Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scientific Proof: The Solar System

"Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God's crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe. I can't think of anything more trivial than quarks, quasars, big bangs and black holes." — Tom Stoppard (1937- ), Czech-born British dramatist.

Scientific Proof
   by J W Foley

If we square a lump of pemmican
And cube a pot of tea,
Divide a musk ox by the span
From noon to half-past three;
If we calculate the Eskimo
By solar parallax,
Divide the sextant by a floe
And multiply the cracks
By nth-powered igloos, we may prove
All correlated facts.

If we prolongate the parallel
Indefinitely forth,
And cube a sledge till we can tell
The real square root of North;
Bisect a seal and bifurcate
The tangent with a pack
Of Polar ice, we get the rate
Along the Polar track,
And proof of corollary things
Which otherwise we lack.

If we multiply the Arctic night
By X times ox times moose,
And build an igloo on the site
Of its hypotenuse;
If we circumscribe an arc about
An Arctic dog and weigh
A segment of it, every doubt
Is made as clear as day.
We also get the price of ice
F. O. B. Baffin's Bay.

If we amplify the Arctic breeze
By logarithmic signs,
And run through the isosceles
Imaginary lines,
We find that twice the half of one
Is equal to the whole.
Which, when the calculus is done,
Quite demonstrates the Pole.
It also gives its length and breadth
And what's the price of coal.

Exhibit A: Plasticine model of solar system by Charley, resident expert on Neptune (flagged), displayed, fittingly, on a Black Galaxy granite kitchen benchtop.

Exhibit B: Plasticine model of the planet Earth by Charley with map of Australia showing location of Canberra probably a little too far North more in the vicinity of Brisbane which would be a nice change at this time of year.


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