Mathematical Celebration

By Alan B. Combs with an addendum by Bob Dvorak

In Northern Germany there is an ancient village populated mainly by mathematicians. Now, these are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill quantum mechanical explorers or such, but rather they are trigonometric specialists. In fact, there are village holidays celebrating some of the more common trig functions. I could tell you about the one dealing with the side opposite over the side closest, but it would be going off on a tangent.

The occasion I want to tout is this evening’s bash which celebrates the function relating the side opposite over the hypotenuse. There will be bonfires, fireworks, and the pig is already in the ground. Yes, there will be a hot sine in the old town, tonight.

The unfortunate part of this mathematical town is that the math portion of the celebrations becomes increasingly important as the days grow shorter — the diehard math guys can’t even bear to leave their labors to go participate in the picnics and fireworks. By the end of October the choice is truly “trig or treat”.

… Which reminds me of the woodcarver who spied a particularly well-shaped branch high in a tree. Although he wanted to cut it off (to bring it home for carving) he felt he couldn’t because some robins had built a nest out on the limb. His predicament: “Twig or tweet?”

… time to sine off now.

Bob Dvorak

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