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NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

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old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

27 February 2006

only 1 human being on the entire Internet tried to answer this PizzaQ, you're all expelled!


Click this for original PizzaQ.

Anonymous
said...


9999719.26522921 Fz.
hoo boy.
~ben n.

used allercalc and mostly openoffice sheet.
plz let me know if I got it right.

a = semimajor axis
149597887.500000000000

b = semiminor axis
149576999.826000000000

dist btwn ctr and focus
2499813.496133650000

e = eccentricity
0.016710219228

Phi = arcsin(e) = 0.016710997
.016710997000

E(e) = (I used allercalc here)
.016710996780

L
9,999,719.265229210000
Units are Fz. Or Frongoz

FORMULAS ONLY BELOW

L=4aE(e)
e=sqrt(1-(b^2)/(a^2))
e*a=dist btwn ctr and focus

E(e) is the complete elliptic integral of the second kind for the eccentricity e = sin ? (tables are usually given in terms of ? instead of e). E(0) = ?/2, and E(1) = 1, corresponding to the limits of a circle, b = a, and a straight line, b = 0.

Modular angle = alpha,
arcsin(eccentricity)=alpha=phi
sin(alpha)=eccentricity=.016710997000
Eccentricity ^ 2 = (a2*a2-b2*b2)/(a2*a2)
Alpha = arcsin k
k = .016710219230
20:14

Anonymous said...

let me just come right out and say I'm not definitively solving this problem this time either, just sharing where I'm at.

how about Ramanujan's formula approximation of 939,885,629.4 Fz?

hmmm. solving the complete elliptic interval of the 2nd kind (ellipticE function) seems too tricky, in light of my current inability to comprehend the concept of the elliptic modulus or the modular angle.

939,885,629.2 Fz. is the eerily similar alternate answer I come up with when I use pi/2 instead of whatever phi really is in allercalc's ellipticE function. I've figured out that phi is supposed to refer to the angle at which a hypothetical circle is positioned relative to the x-y plane to make the present ellipse, but exactly calculating it is something my searches have not answered. It's not just the golden ratio, 1.61803399, right?

I can proudly say I didn't consult with anyone to get these answers, except of course google, wikipedia, answers.com, and probably half a dozen other sites.
22:51

========================

Attention all Space Cadets. Listen up, this is the Commandant speaking:

The entire graduating class of 2010 is hereby Expelled, and this will go on your permanent records.

Except you, Anonymous.

Your answer differs from mine by a distance of less than one frongo. That's close enough to stick your head out of a window of your sexy spacecraft and see your Space Lobster trap, if the flashers are still working.

Have you ever eaten Space Lobster? Raumus homardus, and the sweetest, tenderest damn thing you ever dipped into melted butter. And they are PRICEY!

Around 1660 the Puritan authorities on the Atlantic coast of Massachusetts forbad citizens from feeding their slaves and servants (Atlantic) lobsters more than twice a week. In them days, you could take an hour's walk down the beach and fill a bushel basket with the squiggly little suckers. They were considered trash food; they're forbidden by Kosher law, and the Puritans were trying to re-establish a New Jerusalem.

Vleeptron's got the Ministry of Food & Beverages working on the problem, but so far the bad news seems to be that Space Lobster is just as forbidden, by exactly the same Entity, for largely the same reasons, as Atlantic and Mediterranean Lobster.

Okay, back to the Length of the Orbit of Planet Yobbo.

Anonymous has gotten reallllllllllllly intimate with the Ellipse. I hope he had a good time. I hope he had a lot of aspirin in the medicine chest.

Me, I was lucky, I found a way where I only had to throw a and b at the Ellipse, and then flee. Me and the Ellipse did not get nearly so intimate.

If you are experiencing intimate math problems, this is about the best place, this guy has all the answers:

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/

but if you want to read all the gossip and smut about the lives of all the hot mathematicians through history

http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/BiogIndex.html

Which mathematician was licked all over his body for a week? These guys know. I know. And we know why he was licked all over his body. Do you? 1 slice.

I got this infinite series by Colin Maclaurin 1742 -- certainly a worthy ancestor of Ramanujan, who must have thrilled to it when he found it as a schoolboy -- which claims to get the answer on the nose to any decimal precision your little heart desires.

You win the 3 damn slices of Pizza! And Vleeptron is troubled to report that Anonymous lives so nearby that Vleeptron may finally actually have to fork over the pizza.

The life of a Space Lobster must be a very cold and harsh life. I don't know how they survive, particulary being as tasty as they are. I had one the last time I was in Ciudad Vleeptron, gently grilled in EVOO, maybe a little fresh garlic and parsley, but nothing to challenge the natural taste. On the juke box, Caruso was singing "Vesta la Giubba" and I had a glass of Chianti. I was wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs toque and those running shoes with red LEDs blinking in the heels, like parking flashers.

We'll try to find some new recruits to take the place of all of you who Washed Out. This is a sad day for the Vleeptron Space Academy, a sad, sad day. The VSW only just opened a few years ago, they make a lot of jokes about us down in Poortown and over on Hoon. The Board of Inquiry determined that the loss of the vessel was Not Our Fault.

btw we previously hinted that 1 frongo = 1 kilometer. By an even more amazing coincidence, the semimajor and semiminor axes of Yobbo are exactly the same as those of Earth, the third massive sphere out from Sol.

Maclaurin says if you crank the handle on his equation just 4 times (in Nerd: the infinite series converges very rapidly), you soon find that every year, Earth travels

T = 4
C = 939885629.430007 km

... that's the Circumference of its orbital ellipse. Close enough to find your lobster trap.

btw Vleeptron certainly didn't do this by hand. Our prime contractor, Central American Rockwell, handed the job over to Yankee Magnetic Software ("Solving things you never even knew were problems!"), and they whipped Maclaurin's equation out in the world's finest high-level programming language, Microsoft QuickBasic. (Microsoft no longer sells or supports QB. That really bites.) We just arbitarily asked for that much precision, and we plum got it.

I think this Maclaurin guy was very smart, check this out:

However, Maclaurin had to defend a thesis in a public examination for the award of this degree (which is not the case today), and he chose On the power of gravity as his topic. The thesis, which developed Newton's theories, was written by a 14 year old boy at a time when such advanced ideas would only be familiar to a small number of the leading mathematicians.

I'm sure he and Ramanujan would have had much to talk about. "Much can be done with a Scotsman, if he be caught young," Dr. Johnson said.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Olson said...

I must confess that this one was beyond my limited algebraic abilities.

Now, on the other hand, if you had asked me to compare, for instance, Thomas Aquinas' stance on faith and reason, and to outline the Five Arguments for the existence of God according to the Thomistic model, I'd have been happy to do so, in English and Latin.

Currently, I am writing a small essay on Book 4, Chs. 53-69 of Aquinas' Summa Contra Gentiles, that lays out the rationalist argument for the efficacy of the Sacraments, and how to argue for that efficacy with Jews, Muslims and Pagans in such a way that they first cannot argue with the natural reasoning of the logic, and by that way, cannot avoid coming to Faith.

Mind you, I don't happen to agree with the Purpose of medieval Scholastic legalism (conversion of the heathens) but I admire the beauty of the argument and the stunning simplicity of Aquinas' logic.

G.K. Chesterton said it succinctly in his short book about St. Thomas Aquinas.

"Against all this [complicated modern philosophy,] the philosophy of St. Thomas stands founded on the universal common conviction that eggs are eggs. The Hegelian may say that an egg is really a hen, because it is a part of an endless process of Becoming; the Berkeleian may hold that poached eggs only exist as a dream exists; since it is quite as easy to call the dream the cause of the eggs as the eggs the cause of the dream; the Pragmatist may believe that we get the best out of scrambled eggs by forgetting that they ever were eggs, and only remembering the scramble. But no pupil of St. Thomas needs to addle his brains in order adequately to addle his eggs; to put his head at any peculiar angle in looking at eggs, or squinting at eggs, or winking the other eye in order to see a new simplification of eggs. The Thomist stands in the broad daylight of the brotherhood of men, in their common consciousness that eggs are not hens or dreams or mere practical assumptions; but things attested by the Authority of the Senses, which is from God."

So, sorry, your Commandantness, that I did not figure the orbit of Vleeptron around the sun. I have had my mind set on other things.

15:00  
Blogger SteveHeath said...

I will testify that the Commandant pays his Prizes in full to anyone who qualifies and makes the physical trip to Northampton MA USA....He'll even consider meeting you in nearby Hartford if you are a Grand Prize Winner.

20:45  
Blogger Bob Merkin said...

Leibniz (who discovered the calculus simultaneously with Newton) had this scheme which he was always trying to get the princes of Europe to bankroll, whereby he would go to China and teach binary arithmetic to the Emperor, at the conclusion of which the Emperor would convert to Christianity. No prince bankrolled him, so he never went to China, and we don't know if his binary arithmetic lessons would have converted the Emperor.

If his scheme was sound, it would seem to me that thousands of computer science students at universities around the world would finish their binary arithmetic lessons and immediately convert to Christianity, but I've never heard any buzz that this happens.

I know a lot of dirty smut about Leibniz. And if you want to wallow around in some Really Obscure Metaphysics, check out Leibniz' Monadology.

Yeah, I guess I did sling the equivalent of a few pizza slices at ya, HeathBar, and I enjoyed every sling. It's this Long-Distance Pizza Delivery -- trying to buy somebody in Kuala Lumpur a couple of slices of pizza -- that has so far defeated the best minds on Vleeptron. I owe Amy the equivalent of two Chuck E. Cheese parties by now.

03:05  
Anonymous Jim Olson said...

Jah, I can vouch too. Commandant Bob pays up. I've been on the receiving end of lunch at the Miss Florence Diner.

21:34  

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