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A Rainbow of Donuts Before You

Dear Members and Constituents,
Have you ever noticed when you hold your index finger and thumb at a specific distance from your eye and “grab” the edges of any rainbow, the distance between the index and thumb are always the same? It does not matter whether the rainbow is caused by the water drops coming from a thunderstorm miles away or a garden hose in front of you, the diameter of that rainbow will never change. In other words, all rainbows are the same size (supernumerary rainbows, of course, are bigger -but they too are all the same size as each other). Try it sometime, it’s true! I discovered this fact this week and, as should be expected of anyone making a great contribution to science, I was very pleased with myself. Of course, my self-satisfaction in this discovery was rather short-lived. As I explored this notion further (Google), it turns out Rene Descartes had made essentially the same observation some 374 years before me. So much for fortune and fame.

The reason all rainbows are the same size, as it so happens, is that for a rainbow to appear the angle formed by the sun, a drop of water and your eye must be 42 degrees (the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was right, 42 is the answer to the question of life, the world and everything). Only drops which meet that criteria will light-up (which explains not only the size, but also the shape or rainbows). No two people ever see the same rainbow at the same time (unless, of course, they are looking at a photograph of a rainbow). I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all. Speaking of beauty, Nanette Zeille (donut girl) delights us this morning with a site for sore eyes. Come enjoy the colorful array of delicious donuts. We started with four dozen but there are only 42 left, so you better hurry.


Happy Friday!

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