It is said that Charles Babbage sent the following letter to Alfred Lord Tennyson regarding a couplet in Tennyson's "The Vision of Sin".

--begin quote--

Every minute dies a man,
Every minute one is born

I need hardly point out to you that this calculation would tend to keep the sum total of the world's population in a state of perpetual equipoise, whereas it is a well-known fact that the said sum total is constantly on the increase. I would therefore take the liberty of suggesting that in the next edition of your excellent poem the erroneous calculation to which I refer should be corrected as follows:

Every minute dies a man,
And one and a sixteenth is born

I may add that the exact figures are 1.167, but something must, of course, be conceded to the laws of metre.

--end quote--

And thus began the long bitter misunderstanding between Mathematics and Arts faculties...

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