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COLLEGE HUMOR REVISITED
A bright young mathematician attended a seminar on computers at Notre Dame this summer and found his fellow math masters toying with what they called "the mathematical theory of big game hunting." The problem: how to get a lion into a cage in the Sahara Desert using any of a variety of scientific disciplines. The following examples are selected from those we came closest to understanding without altogether making it.
THE METHOD OF INVERSIVE GEOMETRY. We place a spherical cage in the desert, enter it and lock it. We perform an inversion with respect to the cage. The lion is then in the interior of the cage, and we are outside.
LOGIC METHOD. procure a cage, stand before it and repeat these statements:
Statement 1. "If there is no Sahara Desert lion in this cage, Statement 2 is true; otherwise it is false."
Statement 2. "Statement 3 is true."
Statement 3. "Statement 2 is false."
If there is a lion in the cage, there is no paradox; if there is no lion, there is a paradox. Nature abhors a paradox, so a lion will appear in the cage.
And, from experimental physics, THE THERMODYNAMICAL METHOD. We construct a semipermeable membrane, permeable to everything except lions, and sweep it across the desert.