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ooooo ooooo .oooooo. oooooooooooo HOE E'ZINE RELEASE #832
`888' `888' d8P' `Y8b `888' `8 "A Short Lesson In Applied Calculus
888 888 888 888 888 (or: How I Learned to Stop Hating
888ooooo888 888 888 888oooo8 Math and Love the Aluminum Can)"
888 888 888 888 888 " by Ior
888 888 `88b d88' 888 o 9/20/99
o888o o888o `Y8bood8P' o888ooooood8
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when newton and leibniz concurrently discovered/invented calculus,
they had little idea of how it would revolutionize industry. today,
calculus is used for many things, far beyond the boring textbook examples of
'if a hollow object created by rotating curve y = x^3 - 2x^2 around the x
axis is being filled up by water at a rate of blah blah yadda yadda how long
will it take for the object to be completely full?' analog electronics
engineers use calculus to decide on the proper resistors to use when
building that fancy new p8-12389752 gHz computer you're contemplating
purchasing. architects might use it to understand the actual space of a room
under and arching roof. and professors might use it to bore high school and
college students.
regardless, we owe some of the most astounding feats of modern
engineering to calculus.
the best example of this is the typically underappreciated aluminum
can.
stop for a minute and think about the aluminum can. you probably use
at least one a day. it doesn't seem like anything special. however, the
virtues of the aluminum can cannot be examined enough. the aluminum can is
optimized for several things. let's list those:
-- the can is optimized for maximum volume.
-- the can is optimized for a minimum of physical space.
-- the can is optimized for a minimum of physical weight.
-- the can is optimized for maximum integrity.
the first two optimizations are actually fairly simple problems to
solve for anyone who has had a first year calculus course. the third
optimization is possible with aluminum, a space age material made possible
only through the use of calculus.
it's the last optimization that is truly mindboggling. even just
observing a single aluminum can full of a carbonated soda, the implications
of this optimization are incredible. the authors lack of knowledge about
the amount of carbonation in soft drinks means that the exact amount of
pressure exerted outwards on the can is not known. it can easily be assumed
to be over 1 atmosphere, if it weren't there would never be a problem with
carbonated sodas fizzing over the edge of the can when opened.
this optimization is even more spectacular when observing the
aluminum can in groups. the groups being referred to here are not just the
packs of six cans or the flats of 24. these groups are most easily seen at
large warehouse stores such as price-costco. frequently, a single full
aluminum can will be supporting easily another 20 or more cans directly on
top of it! even the human spine would fracture if a single human were to
support 20 other humans vertically. yet there is no doubt that the aluminum
can could carry over 50 times its own weight with direct vertical
compression.
truly, the aluminum can is a marvel of the manufacturing process and
is only possible through the great math of calculus. next time you finish a
soda or a beer, do not simply throw the can in the recycling. instead,
pause to look at the can. to notice its perfect shape, its meticulous
design, and its dazzling abilities. only when one has contemplated this
thouroughly may the can be discarded.
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[ (c) !LA HOE REVOLUCION PRESS! HOE #832 - WRITTEN BY: IOR - 9/20/99 ]