This chapter presents another mathematics problem in rhyme from my great-grandfather's work book:
I placed a bowl into the storm,
To catch the drops of rain --
A half a globe was just its form,
Two feet across the same;
The storm was o'er, the tempest past,
I to the bowl repaired --
Six inches deep the water stood,
It being measured fair;
Suppose a cylinder, whose base
Two feet across within,
Had stood exactly in that place,
What would the depth have been?
I have not attempted to analyze the solution, as I am not up on computing the cubic contents of globes. (I do remember that the area of a circle is πr2, so I could figure the cubic content of a cylinder. I see that he has taken the diameter squared times 1/4 of π, which produces the same result for the area of the cylinder.) His answer is 2.5 inches, which I am confident is correct.
BRAD MEAD, whose chapters of "Poor Richard's Almanac" brightened many of our early issues, lives in a San Francisco Victorian house with a large collection of porcelain owls.
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