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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Did Archimedes suffer Insomnia?

Well, I can't seem to find the answer in web. Not in wikipedia at least.

But, wait, why would I have such a weird thought? No; not exactly a product of my thoughts. One day, sorry, one night, I was trying to find some sleep at around 1 AM. My body wouldn't accept 'Night sleep' after doing night shifts for more than one month or so. So, I finally give up and wanted to watch a movie. I thought I would watch great Nolan's Insomnia to suit the occasion. Unfortunately, the DVD had scratches and wouldn’t read. Ok, what’s next? Darren Aronofsky came for the rescue. I decided watching Pi for the third time.

Only when you watch a movie multiple times, you will notice the unnoticed.

There is character in this movie, who is a very old mathematician (Sol Robeson), whom this young mathematician (Maximillian Cohen) consults. Concerned about Max’s health, he tries to discourage him that he is searching for a dead end. He refers to Archimedes of Syracuse. Here is the exact quote:

“Have you met Archimedes? The one with the black spots, you see? You remember Archimedes of Syracuse, eh? The king asks Archimedes to determine if a present he's received is actually solid gold. Unsolved problem at the time. It tortures the great Greek mathematician for weeks - insomnia haunts him and he twists and turns in his bed for nights on end. Finally, his equally exhausted wife - she's forced to share a bed with this genius - convinces him to take a bath to relax. While he's entering the tub, Archimedes notices the bath water rise. Displacement, a way to determine volume, and that's a way to determine density - weight over volume. And thus, Archimedes solves the problem. He screams "Eureka" and he is so overwhelmed he runs dripping naked through the streets to the king's palace to report his discovery.”

So, did he really? Or, continuous sleepless nights can be considered Insomniac? I don’t know. I'm only schizophrenic!

BTW, watch Pi, if you can. One of the best low budget thrillers you will ever see.

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