Thursday, 4 March 2010

Red Face Day

A lot of irresponsible twaddle yesterday about building walls, levers . . . and Pythagoras.

I'm sorry to have misled you.

It wasn't Pythagoras at all.

It was Archimedes.

I'm tempted to say it was the ever-watchful J. who leapt out of her bath shouting έυρηκα! - but actually she sent me a corrective e-mail. I even got the Greek wrong. What Archimedes is supposed to have said in demonstration of his principle of the lever, was, according to Pappus of Alexandria (Synagoge, Book VIII, c.AD 340):

δος μοι που στω και κινω την γην (Dos moi pou sto kai kino taen gaen)

Give me the place to stand, and I shall move the earth.

Thank you, J. There is none like you. You stand alone. I stand corrected.

Humble pie for lunch. Please excuse me.


Dave said...

You know, when you mentioned Pythagorus, alarm bells rang in my head, but I couldn't believe that you would make such an error. Perhaps, like Oscar Wilde, he also said it.

I wish I had said that Whistler.
Ah, you will, Oscar, you will.

Sarah said...'s no good saying you knew so after Chris..... has admitted he got it wrong.

I wouldn't have noticed anyway.
My grandmother always used to say it was dreadfully common to be good at maths.

Christopher said...

Hope the alarm bells have subsided, Dave. Next thing, I shall be muddling Antipholus of Ephesus with Antipholus of Syracuse, ha ha.

Sarah: If the truth hadn't come out I expect you would have woken in the middle of the night perturbed by grave doubts about my fallibility and you'd have had to pour yourself another nightcap. I would have got on well with your grandmother. Is she still with us, by any chance?

Sarah said...

No sadly she died ummm 22 years ago at the ripe old age of 87...I think. She was a wonderful, beautiful and very bright woman. Had 9 children in 10 years of! and when her husband died, had to bring up the kids on her own AND run the family business. They don't makem like that any more!

Frankly, I've got better things to dream about.

Ps you have an uncanny knack of wheedling information out of me!!

zIggI said...

what do I know I can't even spell lever

Spadoman said...

I know the feeling all too well Christopher. One time, I thought I made a mistake and found out I hadn't at all. It's always the others you know.

Peace. (with a smile)

I, Like The View said...

was it tasty? (the pie!)

Christopher said...

Wheedling, Sarah? Not me. Haven't wheedled since...a long time ago when I still had egg on my Aertex shirt front. Must be some other bloke. In any case I would only believe what's entirely to your credit.

Zigs: I think a certain sweet primal innocence attaches itself to those who have spelling problems.

Spadoman: It's a man thing, being supposedly infallible, don't you find?


I: I couldn't find too many bitter herbs in the humble pie, so I expect I shall come bouncing back scattering misinformation like autumn leaves before the cauld blast.

UberGrumpy said...

I'm resisting saying 'it's all Greek to me'.

What a lovely wall! Presumably you're making extensive use of Pythagoras to square it up

zIggI said...


That probably sounds more exciting than it is n'est pas? (or is it n'est-ce pas?)

Lysdexia rools ko!

Christopher said...

UG: Thank you. Yes, it's growing. There's a 2-metre stick - to measure how high - put in use every day.

*does his best to keep Rog's end while he's away*

Did I say 'primal', Zigs? I meant 'primate'.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I personally would not have known the difference but I did find your apology most entertaining!

I came by way of Spadoman's blog and I'd like to follow yours. I try to introduce myself before adding my little thumbnail to the list. Otherwise, I find it a tad impolite to come knocking!

Christopher said...

PS, what delicacy of feeling! Very glad to see you - any friend of Spadoman's is welcome here. May I return the compliment, please?