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Frank Morgan's Math Chat - Once in a Blue Moon


January 3, 2002

If We Had Two Suns

OLD CHALLENGE. How would night and day differ if Jupiter's orbit held instead a second, little sun?

ANSWER. When the earth was on the other side of the Sun from Jupiter-sun, day and night would be as now. As the earth moved around, days would lengthen, until when the earth was in between the Sun and Jupiter-sun, all locations would enjoy 24 hours of sunlight. Little Jupiter-sun would rise just as the Sun set. One pole would see only the Sun, the other only little Jupiter-sun. Of course, Jupiter-sun would presumably be much dimmer than the Sun.

QUESTIONABLE MATHEMATICS. Howard Waldman found the following quotes at (a very funny site):

"Better make it six, I can't eat eight." - Dan Osinski, Baseball pitcher, when a waitress asked if he wanted his pizza cut into six or eight slices

"Pitching is 80% of the game. The other half is hitting and fielding." - Mickey Rivers, baseball player

"Half this game is ninety percent mental." - Danny Ozark, Philadelphia Phillies manager

"We talked five times. I called him twice, and he called me twice." - Larry Bowa, California Angels coach

"Any time Detroit scores more than 100 points and holds the other team below 100 points they almost always win." - Doug Collins, basketball commentator

Readers are invited to submit more examples of questionable mathematics.

NEW CHALLENGE. The new year 2002 is a palindrome, the same backwards as forwards. How common are palindrome years?

MATH CHAT wishes all readers and friends a happy and progressive 2002!

Copyright 2002, Frank Morgan.


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