The Official Gesture for Professor Palmer's Economics Students

For those who really want to know, I have suggested to my students that when they see me on the street or in a mall or somewhere, if they feel a bit shy about coming over and saying, "Hi, I'm in your class," we'll have an official class gesture they can use.

This is it:

Mickey is happy to be in Palmer's section of Intro Economics

Former U.S. Vice President, Nelson Rockefeller advised all students to sign up for Economics courses taught by Palmer.

Fed Chair Ben Bernanke thinks everyone should sign up for Professor Palmer's courses on monetary theory, finance, and the financial crisis.

Some judges recommend Professor Palmer's course on Economic Analysis of Law

The coveted
Palmer award

"Read my lips! I'm taking Palmer's Econ when I grow up!"

No, This isn't
 my mother.

 An American Idol who wishes
 he had taken an Economics course from Professor Palmer.

Biker Babes recommend Professor Palmer's introductory economics courses.

Clearly, Durham MPP John O'Toole was once a Palmer student!

 Perhaps he was just saying "hello" from provincial parliament....


Wrestlers love Palmer's Economics Courses:

Poems are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.



In public washrooms, it is agreed:
Palmer's class is number one.

Some former students dedicated their wedding to Professor Palmer's section of Introductory Economics:

"My Dad was a student in one of Professor Palmer's classes. He says, 'Hello' to all his former classmates."

The Official T-Shirt for Professor Palmer's students:
It says, "Palmer's economics courses are just the thing for

A former student informs George Steinbrenner that he should take Palmer's Sports Economics course.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash said, "Palmer's section of Economics is number one with me."

A student says "hello" via Facebook

Rudolph took a course from Professor Palmer some years ago.

And to acknowledge Rudolph's presence in the class, Professor Palmer placed red noses on several of the deer warning signs in the area.

Is this what NASA thinks of the Keyhole Nebula?
(Palmer's courses are "outta this world")




This is the shape of the Long-run Phillips Curve.

[but demand curves are never vertical]

Pierre Eliot Trudeau once said, "Get a job!"
or, failing that, take Palmer's courses.

Another major world leader recommends that students stay in school and take Palmer's courses.

Darren Wood says "hello" from Utah to all of Professor Palmer's students

This woman was one of Professor Palmer's students when he first started teaching economics, 69 years ago.

The city of Darmstadt has devoted an entire tower to the study of the Economics of the Arts and named it in honour of Professor Palmer:

Piper Palin says,
"When I grow up, I'm taking an economics course from Professor Palmer, assuming he's still alive then."

"I took TWO courses from Professor Palmer!"

A Muslim woman suggests that the Iranian president needs to study the economics of discrimination with Professor Palmer.
And so did I!

I want Palmer-nomics in my school, too!

"Hey, I wish I'd studied economics with Palmer instead of wasting my life on Sociology at York University"

I'm studying economics with Palmer when I grow up. I hope he's still teaching then!

Even York grads want to get into
 Professor Palmer's courses.
I wanna study economics!! 

Another youngster says, "Everything else is boring.
Gimme Economics with Palmer or I'm gonna hold my breath!"

"I went ape over economics!"

Goth Cheerleaders enjoy studying the Economics of Sports with Professor Palmer

People who study economics with Professor Palmer lead happier lives.
Another leader recommends taking economics with Palmer.

A former student says hello from the auto show. Thanks, Mario! Same to you!

Another wannabe economist looks forward to studying economics with Professor Palmer

This happy couple, along with many others, met while studying economics with Professor Palmer. The expected marginal costs of additional search for a mate out-weighed the expected marginal benefits...

Still more happy former students are grateful for having learned how to apply the Economics of Search to looking for a mate.

The folks at the US Congressional Budget Office send a secret message saying they wish US politicians had learned more Palmer-style economics.
HISTORY OF GIVING THE FINGER.....(with thanks to Andrea)

Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous weapon was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew" (or "pluck yew".)

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!"

Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is also known as "giving the bird."

[sadly, the above story appears to be little more than a fantasy. Check Snopes for their analysis.]

Here's a more plausible history from The Straight Dope:

The "one-finger salute," or at any rate sexual gestures involving the middle finger, are thousands of years old. In Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, Desmond Morris and colleagues note that the digitus infamis or digitus impudicus (infamous or indecent finger) is mentioned several times in the literature of ancient Rome. Turning to our vast classical library, we quickly turn up three references. Two are from the epigrammatist Martial: "Laugh loudly, Sextillus, when someone calls you a queen and put your middle finger out." 

(The verse continues: "But you are no sodomite nor fornicator either, Sextillus, nor is Vetustina's hot mouth your fancy." Martial, and Roman poets in general, could be pretty out there, subject-matter-wise. Another verse begins: "You love to be sodomized, Papylus . . .")

In the other reference Martial writes that a certain party "points a finger, an indecent one, at" some other people. The historian Suetonius, writing about Augustus Caesar, says the emperor "expelled [the entertainer] Pylades . . . because when a spectator started to hiss, he called the attention of the whole audience to him with an obscene movement of his middle finger." Morris also claims that the mad emperor Caligula, as an insult, would extend his middle finger for supplicants to kiss.

It's not known whether one displayed the digitus infamis in the same manner that we (well, you) flip the bird today. In another of his books Morris describes a variety of sexual insults involving the middle finger, such as the "middle-finger down prod," the "middle-finger erect," etc., all of which are different from the classic middle-finger jerk. But let's not quibble. The point is, the middle-finger/phallus equation goes back way before the Titanic, the Battle of Agincourt, or probably even that time Sextillus cut off Pylades with his chariot. And I ain't kidding yew.


And from The EclectEcon: (April, 2006)
Be Careful Using the Official Course Gesture in Dubai
From the Emirates Economist:

Misuse of finger leads to deportation: "A pilot who flashed his middle finger at a policeman in an instance of road rage will spend a month in jail, a court ruled on Monday. He will be deported after serving his term. The Dubai Public Prosecution had charged the 37-year-old Canadian pilot, identified as K.V., with indecently gesturing in public." (Gulf News)

I have had several former students who are pilots. Perhaps this was just one of them using the official course gesture, possibly posing for a photograph, and telling me hello from Dubai.