Calculus is a monstrous demon used by math teachers to frighten their students into learning their times tables. Due to the demon's fascination with curves, which nearly always end with its victims flat-lining, it takes the form of a seemingly frigid but incredibly beautiful succubus-like being, promising great rewards to those both male and female who woo her, but leaving those who fail to master her arcane charms as smoldering wrecks beside the road, mumbling about how they're approaching zero because they could never reach her limits. So seductive were her charms that Isaac Newton died a virgin, obsessed with scoring her for himself, despite her simultaneous dalliances with gadabout German Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.
Though some find her ways overly derivative, thoroughly knowing her is integral to finding the secrets of the universe.
In case you were curious, calculus is basically the mathematical study of varying quantities. If you want to figure out where you'll be after a specific time spent under acceleration, calculus is what you will use to figure it out.
- Wikipedia has a much better article, including links to tremendous quantities of instructional material. Get yourself a really nice graphing calculator, brush up on your algebra and trig, and have at it. You won't regret it. (You may, however, have trouble meeting other succubi for a while.)
- No, we won't tell you which one. You really don't want to get into the TI vs HP flamewar here. You may as well recommend vi to an emacs fan.