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Illustration of a counting board in Strasbourg

A man, woman, and two boys desire to cross a river, but their boat has weight restrictions!

A mouse is at the top of a poplar tree 60 braccia high, and a cat is on the ground at its foot. The mouse decends 1/2 a braccia a day and at night it turns back 1/6 of a braccia.
This is the title page of the Siderius Nuncius (Starry Messenger) of Galileo (1564-1642), published in 1610. This book was a report on Galileo's first investigations with a telescope. Also includes Galileo's initial sketches of the surface of the moon.
I am a brazen lion; my spouts are my 2 eyes, my mouth, and the flat of my foot. My right eye fills a jar in 2 days, my left eye in 3, and my foot in 4.
A woodcutter starts to fell a tree 4 feet in diameter, and cuts half way through. One face of the cut is horizontal, and the other face is inclined to the horizontal at an angle of 45 degrees. Find the volume of the wood cut out.
A railway train strikes a snowdrift which creates a constant resistance. How long does it take the snow to stop the train?

The copybooks of two young men reveal very different purposes in learning geometry.

The king of France entered into a battle and was defeated. How many soldiers did he have before he was defeated?
Heron of Alexandria (ca 200) wrote on many aspects of applied mathematics.

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