Let ε < 0.


The mathematical theory of big game hunting V

Filed under: Academic humor, Lion hunting — Travis @

Following the seminal paper by H. Petard in 1938 introducing to the mathematical theory of big game hunting, a good many others were prompted to add to this literature. The following is one of these articles.

Further techniques in the theory of big game hunting

–Patricia L. Dudley
G. T. Evans
K. D. Hansen
I. D. Richardson
Carleton University, Ottawa

Interest in the problem of big game hunting has recently been reawakened by Morphy’s paper in this Monthly, Feb. 1968, p. 185. We outline below several new techniques, including one from the humanities. We are also in possession of a solution by means of Bachmann geometry which we shall be glad to communicate to anyone who is interested.

1. Moore-Smith method. Letting A be the Sahara Desert, one can construct a net in A converging to any point in A. Now lions are unable to resist tuna fish, on account of the charged atoms found therein (see Galileo Galilei, Dialogues Concerning Tuna’s Ionses). Place a tuna fish in a tavern, thus attracting the lion. As noted above, one can construct a net converging to any point in a bar; in this net enmesh the lion.

2. Method of analytical mechanics. Since the lion has nonzero mass it has moments of inertia. Grab it during one of them.

3. Mittag-Leffler method. The number of lions in the Sahara Desert is finite, so the collection of such lions has no cluster point. Use Mittag-Leffler’s theorem to construct a meromorphic function with a pole at each lion. Being a tropical animal, a lion will freeze if placed at a pole, and may then be easily taken.

4. Method of trigonometric functions. The lion, having spent his life under the Sahara sun, will surely have a tan. Induce him to lie on his back; he can then, by virtue of his reciprocal tan, be cot.

5. Boundary value method. As Dr. Morphy pointed out, Brower’s theorem on the invariance of domain makes the location of the hunt irrelevant. The present method is designed for use in North America. Assemble the requisite equipment in Kentucky, and await inclement weather. Catching the lion then readily becomes a Storm-Louisville problem.

6. Method of moral philosophy. Construct a corral in the Sahara and wait until autumn. At that time the corral will contain a large number of lions, for it is well known that a pride cometh before the fall.

Amer. Math. Monthly 75 (1968), p. 896-897.

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