Problematic Textbook Pictures

by Joey deVilla on September 11, 2012

Over at, there’s a great collection of problematic images from student textbooks. Consider this image from a math textbook:

Illustration from math textbook showing a teepee labelled "Casino"

My guess is that the photo below is either from a social studies textbook or the pamphlet for a fraternity:

Photo from a textbook showing a WASPy student in a novelty sombrero, captioned "A Mexican and his hat"

Here’s a snippet from science textbook whose purpose is to scare the crap out of people who don’t have red-green colour vision confusion (it used to be called “colour blindness”):

Isihara color blindess test with caption "If you see the number 15 in the dot pattern, your color vision is probably normal". The dot pattern in the test actually shows the number 29.

Sorry, if you have red-green colour vision confusion, you’re not going to see the humour in this one…

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria September 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

I have a hat just like that!
What if you see a number, but it’s not 15???

Joey deVilla September 11, 2012 at 10:52 am


  • You have to wear that hat the next time we’re having dinner on the patio at Bairrada.
  • If you see a number greater than 28 in the picture, it means you should check yourself into the nearest mental health facility as soon as possible.
Maria September 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Whoops, on my way to CAMH.

James McLachlan September 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I really am red-green colour blind! Someone tell me what it says!

Joey deVilla September 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm

James McLachlan: The caption says you should see the number 15, but the number in red dots is actually 29.

James McLachlan September 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I still don’t get it.


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