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  • Wendy Ice
    I don t know if anyone has mentioned the footnote in Gardner s Annotated Alice about the length of time that it would take for an object to fall through a
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 1 1:33 AM
      I don't know if anyone has mentioned the footnote in Gardner's "Annotated Alice" about the length of time that it would take for an object to fall through a hole in the earth. (My apologies if I overlooked it.)....

      (excerpt from footnote #4, in reference to Alice's fall):

      ....Carroll's interest in the matter is indicated by the fact that in Chapter 7 of his Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, there is described (in addition to a Möbius strip, a projective plane, and other whimsical scientific and mathematical devices) a remarkable method of running trains with gravity as the sole power source. The track runs through a perfectly straight tunnel from one town to another. Since the middle of the tunnel is necessarily nearer the earth's center than its ends, the train runs downhill to the center, acquiring enough momentum to carry it up the other half of the tunnel. Curiously, such a train would make the trip (ignoring air resistance and friction of the wheels) in exactly the same time that it would take an object to fall through the center of the earth—a little more than forty-two minutes. This time is constant regardless of the tunnel's length."

      Wendy Ice
      <http://www.daviddelamare.com/alice.html>

      On Jul 30, 2013, at 9:38 AM, knaveofarts wrote:

      > Here's some more 42 stuff I thought up - 'found out' is too strong an expression. The numerical value of the letters for "fourty two boxes" is 228. Divided by 42 that gives something - 5 I guess, my calculator seems to be overheating - 5.142857 14257 etc. I guess - and the second set of decimals is the same as pi, or 22/7. So it contains 42, and the numbers of the three gardeners, 2 5 & 7. The number 8 seems to have no significance; is 8 used somewhere? The letter-equivalent of the numbers 257 is BEG. The sum of the numerical values of the letters for "forty two" is 142. Of course, we have to ignore the hundred, unless that's found somewhere.
      > I don't suppose we can say these 'equations' are significant. If Carroll had used a rainbow in his books, and the number 45 associated with it, that would be significant, as 45 is the critical angle of a rainbow. Maybe Carroll was just playing around here with numbers and letters, although even that is hard to tell. How would one be able to show that something is non-significant? Could one devise a psychological test for non-significance? My guess would be that mathematicians are more likely to go mad than other professionals, with the exception of pharmaceutical drug advertisers, who are obviously mad. Perhaps one day they will advertise a drug that has ONLY side-effects.
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