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    Re: Equation of Time (Travel)
    From: Lu Abel
    Date: 2007 Dec 14, 23:14 -0800

    Hey, this is fun!
    1.  The "Equation of Time Travel" is really the Equation of Time.  E is
    the time (in minutes) ahead or behind zone noon that the sun will pass
    directly over a time zone's principal meridian.
    2.  The first equation requires a "B" value.    If B is measured in
    degrees, then the equation is B = 360 (N - 81) / 365, where N is the day
    of the year (N = 1 for Jan 1st ... 365).  Some references use 364
    instead of 365 as the denominator.   So the first part of the movie's
    equation for B is sort of correct (see comment below in item 3) but then
    there's the second term with fanciful stuff like the square root of Pi *
    i  (where i in turn is the square root of minus 1).
    3.  There's a 2 * Pi at the beginning of the equation.  If B is in
    degrees, then 2 * Pi is wrong, it should be 360.  2*Pi in the beginning
    works if we agree that angles are measured in radians.  The part of the
    B equation after the 360 (or 2*Pi) is simply going to take us all the
    way around 360 degrees over a year's time, starting at about minus 79
    (or plus 281) degrees and proceeding clockwise around the circle.
    4.  It's Bender, the robot (full name Bender Bending Rodriguez or
    Bending Unit 22) from the TV series Futurama.
    5/6/7   I'm stumped.
    My kid introduced me to Futurama.   The creators often put fun, obscure
    mathematical references in it.  I remember one episode where, in an
    apparent parody of the ever increasing number screens at local
    cineplexes, Fry, Bender, Lela and the others went to off the "Aleph
    Null" cineplex.   (Mathematician Georg Cantor studied the concept of
    infinity and discovered there are actually different infinities, Aleph
    Null is the simplest, and that's pretty advanced mathematics)
    Lu Abel
    frankreed{at}HistoricalAtlas.net wrote:
    > You don't often find references to navigation mathematics in pop culture.
    > How's that for the under-statement of 2007...
    > The attached screenshot is taken from an animated film that was released
    > last week (direct to DVD). As you can see, they've included an equation for
    > "time travel". It really should look very familiar to some of you! The
    > creators of this particular series are famous for inserting obscure
    > technical references in their films and tv series. They also famously
    > included a dis-proof of Fermat's Last Theorem in the background of one
    > scene:
    > 1782^12 + 1841^12 = 1922^12.
    > So test your knowledge:
    > 1) what is that Equation of Time Travel really used for?
    > 2) in the second equation, for B, where does it begin to deviate from
    > reality?
    > 3) how accurate is this equation as quoted (ignoring the 'wrong' part)?
    > 4) who's that metal man leaning in to look at the equations?
    > 5) what's the name of the film?
    > 6) how does this screenshot differ from the frame in the original film?
    > 7) [bonus] did they really disprove Fermat's Last Theorem?
    >  -FER
    > http://www.HistoricalAtlas.com
    > >
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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