Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year's math problem from Lewis Carroll's Alice

Either I'm hiding out in my man cave, pretending the whole thing
never happened, or digesting that bone. Or both,

"Take a bone from a dog. What remains?" demands the imperious Red Queen of Alice in Through the Looking Glass, attempting to determine Alice's queenly attributes. When Alice replies that nothing remains, because she would run away and the dog would run after her, the queen belittles her: "Wrong as usual!" Of course, she explains, the dog's temper would remain, because he would lose his temper.

Well, in my real-world experience of this very same problem, the bone did not remain, because I ate it. Fortunately, Mom's finger was not lost in the subtraction, although it's rather swollen. And neither of us lost our tempers, which certainly was a bit of New Year's luck for me.