Mayer et al.  relate the following anecdote:
"A turning point in Freeman Dyson's life occurred during a meeting in the SPring of 1953 when Enrico Fermi criticized the complexity of Dyson's model by quoting Johnny von Neumann  `With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk'", Mayer et al. .
Von Neumann was right; you can fit an elephant with four (complex) parameters, and with a fifth, you can make his trunk wiggle.
|||Jügen Mayer, Khaled Khairy and Jonathon Howard, Drawing an elephant with four complex parameters, American Journal of Physics, volume 78, pages 648-9 (2010). (doi:10.1119/1.3254017)|
|||Freeman Dyson, A meeting with Enrico Fermi, Nature (London), 427(6972), 297 (2004).|
Research Team: Gavin Cawley