A reader: “Someone as smart as you can’t be allowed to be taken in by that
silly legend about Walt Disney being born in Spain. Snopes polishes it off
definitively here .
Furthermore, there are dozens of photographs available of Walt, his brother
(and business partner) Roy, and their father Elias. It doesn’t take a DNA
test to see that all three of them were clearly related; one eye will
Blimey, just as soon as you get your hands on a nice factoid to brandish at
dinner parties, someone snatches it away from you.
You’d be surprised, Sir, at the stuff someone as smart as me gets taken in
by. I never heard of the intractable Collatz Conjecture , for example, until half an
hour after I’d posted it as a brainteaser in my January Diary.
All right, all right, let’s get down to business here. Was Walt Disney
related by blood to the woman who blighted Sir William Rowan Hamilton’s
life? (And thereby, perhaps, by driving him to refuge in higher
mathematics, was indirectly responsible for giving us the Hamiltonian, quantum theory, and the modern