Newton, by Byron

I read this at Christmas, and I smile every time I think of it:

When Newton saw an apple fall, he found
A mode of proving that the earth turn’d round
In a most natural whirl, called gravitation;
And this is the sole mortal who could grapple
Since Adam, with a fall or with an apple.

It’s in Professor Stewart’s Hoard of Mathematical Treasures, which is a properly excellent book of properly interesting mathematical conundrums. It goes into the history and ramifications of said puzzles, doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff, and there are plenty of quotes, games and jokes. Great fun to flick through while, say, tea’s cooking.