The Sun, the Moon, and ... the Earth

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 7 15:23:54 UTC 2010

At 10:53 AM -0500 11/7/10, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>At 11/6/2010 08:59 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>>There is a possible generous interpretation: You have me so
>>dumbfounded that I am circling around you with a wobbling orbit as if
>>I have a large companion object.
>Otherwise known as the "three-body problem"[1] ... or, colloquially,
>"three's a crowd".  Especially if the unwanted third is a large body.
>[1] "Historically, the first specific three-body problem to receive
>extended study was the one involving the Moon, the Earth and the
>Sun.[citation needed]" [Wikipedia, which however goes on cite
>Newton's "Principia."]
Learn (even if imperfectly) something new every
day.  I knew about the two-body problem posed by
dealing with spousal hires, so I'd have guessed
the three-body problem involved the even more
complex situation of when partners in a ménage à
trois try to find three academic positions at the
same institution...


The American Dialect Society -

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