Tag Archives: plane geometry

Keyhole Problem

This is another problem from the Futility Closet website. It turned out to be pretty simple. The idea is to show the length of BC remains the same no matter where A is chosen on its arc of C1. 

(Update 7/1/2020) There is more to this problem than I realized, thanks to a revisit prompted by a question from Deb Jyoti Mitra.  See the revised Keyhole Problem.

Vitruvian Man Problem

This is a mildly pointless 2015 article about Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man spread-eagled and inscribed in a circle and a square. I started wondering about the positions and whether they over-determined the circle and square. What hidden constraints were being assumed? One assumption turned out to be famous, namely, that the height of a man equaled the distance between his finger tips when he holds his arms straight out to either side of his body. I had been told this in childhood, and I never knew where it came from. Also, I don’t think it is true in every case (what about women?), though it does appear to be close (and is true in my case). See the Vitruvian Man Problem.