Just forget the words and sing along

Sunday, December 21, 2003

I caught the last half-hour of Titanic on TV tonight. Still the #1 movie of all time. And I was just thinking to myself how it had been a long time since I had seen it, so I should see it. That's the only problem with three hour movies. You can't just say, "Hey! I've got some time to kill, let's watch a movie!" You've got to pretty much plan a whole day around it.

Anyway, over at the main site, I've got this week's column up! It's called Take a Bath. Here's your free sample:

"My favourite Christmas story has to be the tale of Archimedes. You see, Archimedes was one of the great original Greek mathematicians. One day, the king of Greece called Archimedes to his court and had a very special task in store. The king wanted to know exactly how much gold was in his crown. Now, back in these times, the way to determine the volume of gold in a funny-shaped object was easy: melt it down into a shape that you can easily determine the volume of, like a sphere or a cube. Naturally, the king balked off at this. “You’re not messing with my crown, Archimedes,” I believe was the king’s exact quote. So, Archimedes had a real brain-teaser of a math problem on his hands. He locked himself in his workshop, hunched over his work table and began working on the problem. Several days went by, and Archimedes was making no headway at all. Finally, his wife came into the workshop. “Dear, you’ve been working yourself sick on this,” she said. “Why don’t you relax? I got a nice warm bath all ready for you.” Archimedes thought this was a good idea, and headed off to the tub. As he climbed into the tub and got comfy, he noticed something odd. When he got in, the water level rose. He thought about this for a while, and eventually saw the relationship: the water level rose by the exact same amount as his volume. He discovered displacement. He discovered a way to measure the volume of the king’s crown. He was so excited, that he jumped out of the tub and ran down to the palace, screaming, “Eureka!” the whole way."

Want more? All read it!

Next Issue. . .In Search of Pants

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