It is famously impossible to square the circle. That is, given a circle, it is impossible, using only a compass and straightedge, to construct a square having the same area as the circle. I will let you read elsewhere about the exact rules behind compass and straightedge constructions. The punchline is that if you begin…

# Tag: squaring the circle

## Lincoln and squaring the circle

I’d heard a long time ago that Abraham Lincoln was a largely self-taught man and that he read Euclid’s Elements on his own. Right now I’m reading Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, and from it I learned that not only did he read Euclid, he spent some time…

## Circle squaring limerick

I found this nice limerick on Charles Petzold’s blog: Said the man about town, ‘I have a flair For squaring the circle, I swear.’ But he found that the strain Was too great for his brain, So he’s gone back to circling the square. Petzold has a scan of the title page of E. H….