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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
"Here is the full text of our trigonometrical poem:
In days of old when knights were bold and dragons still breathed fire
There lived a knight, a clever knight, Sir Pythag-Oar Esquire
He had a lance, a sturdy lance, it measured thirteen feet
He had it with him just in case a dragon he should meet.
But when he came to cross a bridge the guards they did implore:
The longest thing allowed across is nine feet and no more.
Sir Pythag puzzled long and hard; this problem was a quest
Until he found a carpenter to make a wooden chest
The chest was made in record time; not long did Pythag wait
The chest could cross the bridge because 'Twas eight by eight by eight
Now if you do the maths you'll see the diagonal is a line
Of length (worked out with 3D trig) roughly thirteen point nine.
That's big enough to hold the lance with room to spare of course.
But such a chest and the knight are too much for his horse."
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