New Scientist magazine ran a story on my little article, The Hardest Straight-in Pool Shot, College Math. J.41, no. 1 (Jan. 2010), 49–57. (The supplemental "napkins" are HERE.) Check out "Trig shots: The secret of perfect pool " by Stephen Ornes, May 11, 2010 (issue number 2759, pp 34-35).

The author of the New Scientist piece, Stephen Ornes, did not give it that ridiculous title — that's the job of headline writers and others who try to hawk magazines. Worse, there are absurd suggestions in the call-outs in the magazine, such as, "Hustle your friends with a spectacular 39-ball combination shot!" I didn't say that (it's not even a good hustle) and Stephen didn't either. Oh well, again, no such thing as bad publicity, and I'm grateful that the article ran.

There are some statements I'd prefer were changed to reflect my own thoughts and some of the mathematics, and maybe I'll get around to posting those some day. Meanwhile, this is all good fun.

I'll try to maintain a collection of some reactions below. My favorite, and I cannot imagine one I'll find funnier is the first comment at the bottom of the article on the New Scientist website itself (linked above), by "Joseph EH": I would predict his playing reached its worst after 1.618 beers.

Click for Rick Mabry's LSUS homepage.