Monday, January 9, 2012

Simple Maths. Proofs

Finally, Monday again! What a good day it is, especially since I stopped working on Mondays and I shifted the shitty feeling to Tuesday, but that's another story :).

Last week I got the courage and made the confession about my young years. As a reminder, you can find it here. I also made some statements there that were left as homework. You cannot imagine how thrilled and moved I was after having got your reactions to that. Your very positive reactions that is. I could never imagine such a great interest in maths and the hunger to unravel its mysteries. I wish I could hold them for myself only, but I really can't, I feel bound to share them with you all. So here's the gist of the reactions to my poll question: "Shall I go on and prove that all cows are the same colour and horses have an infinite number of legs? What about Achilles and the tortoise?"

One big fan of mine, I_didnt_shoot_no_deputee_yet : "I have already been ill this year and it's only January". Mate, hold on, I hope you'll get better going through the proofs, glad to help you.

Another one came from Alaska, the user Moose_are_dull: "Man, I'll chew my arm off and spit it out". Wow, so much sacrifice for science and knowledge. Respect, man, I won't let you down.

I even got a limerick, from dontmakemehireahitman (I have no idea what that means, it must be some random name generator)
There once was one blogger  too much
Whose maths posts were just double Dutch
But his friends found a man
Who sent him a huge fan
So his maths could hit it as such.
Now I'm speechless, seriously, these are the most beautiful words someone has ever said to me. I'm sure your heart is as pure as your words.

Since you all asked me so kindly and showed a genuine interest in the tangled gossamer of mathematics, I will grant you the wishes. But I'm only human, not a fancy golden fish, so you'll only get one, not three. And as the cows are boring (very relaxed animals, though, but boring) and Achilles and the tortoise would need some graphical explanations (too much for me, I can't draw), let us focus on horses.

First of all, we should agree that it's common sense to assume that a horse has an even number of legs. That's simply the duality of mother nature to bring things in pairs. Then, a horse has forelegs in front and two behind (the hind legs, the ones on which the humans began to stand up once). That's six in total, which is a very odd number of legs for a horse to have (no one has ever bet on such a horse at least). And as the only number that's simultaneously odd and even is infinite, we need to say nothing more about the proof. QED.

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