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    Round-the-globe almanac
    From: Ron Roizen
    Date: 2004 Apr 1, 05:05 -0800

    Another questin from the peanut gallery, if you don't mind:
    
    If I remember this correctly, Columbus and most of his crew became marooned
    for months on Jamaica on the great explorer's third voyage.  Before long,
    all were starving.  Columbus, as the story goes, had an almanac with him.
    He used it one night, with local indians present, to trick the indians into
    bringing food to his men.  He told them that if they did not provision his
    men, then he would take away the moon -- using, as the story goes, the
    precious almanac to predict the eclipse's time of occurrence.  The eclipse
    happened on schedule and the terrified indians did indeed begin supplying
    food.
    
    Question:  Is this story plausible?  Would an almanac constructed in a time
    when the true diameter of the globe was imperfectly known have allowed
    Columbus to bring off this clever stunt?
    
    Thanks.
    
    Ron Roizen
    Landlocked Idaho
    
    
    

       
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