Fun_People Archive
2 Jun
Three Scientists and a Herd of Sheep

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon,  2 Jun 97 17:22:04 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: Three Scientists and a Herd of Sheep

Forwarded-by: "Jack D. Doyle" <>
Forwarded-by: Kevin Johnsrude <>
Forwarded-by: David Conner <>

An engineer, a physicist, and a mathematician are shown a pasture with a
herd of sheep, and told to put them inside the smallest possible amount of

The engineer is first.  She herds the sheep into a circle and then puts the
fence around them, declaring, "A circle will use the least fence for a given
area, so this is the best solution."

The physicist is next. He creates a circular fence of infinite radius around
the sheep, and then draws the fence tight around the herd, declaring, "This
will give the smallest circular fence around the herd."

The mathematician is last.  After giving the problem a little thought, she
puts a tiny fence around herself and declares, "I define myself to be on
the outside!"

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