The Ecphorizer


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Poor Richard's Almanac XV
R(ichard) Bradner Mead

Issue #52 (December 1985)

This chapter of my almanac 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. His answer is 2.5" for the depth of the water in the cylinder, which I assume is correct. 

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Brad Mead

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.