Another B.C. Day Rant

Hello, and welcome to my yearly B.C. Day rant.

British Columbia joined Canada on July 20, 1871. When is B.C. Day? The first Monday in August. Say what?

I grant that the colony of British Columbia was created August 2, 1858, but it was only about one-half the size of the modern province.

I do not recall any big hoopla in 2008 for the 150th anniversary of the colony. There was big fuss in 1971 for the centennial of the province.

While Canada Day is a statutory holiday that is always on July 1st, B.C. Day is not always on August 2nd.

But Happy B.C. Day however misdated it is.

Puzzle #165: Date Puzzle

Consider a date in YYYY-MM-DD format. What is the next date where all eight digits will be different?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #163 Solution: The Robber

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Hidden Assumptions

“It isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” – attributed to many including Samuel Clemens, Will Rogers, Satchel Paige, and Artemus Ward

It is possible to make some nasty mistakes because of hidden assumptions.

Google Maps definitely simplifies the problem of getting from point A to point B, but I have to wonder what details it leaves out.

Occasionally, I make a trip from Kamloops to Nelson (both in British Columbia). Google Maps gives me three routes. They are:

Distance Travel Time Notes
456 km 5:42 northern, has a ferry
455 km 5:52 middle
500 km 5:44 southern

It appears that the second route is best, because it is the shortest, and one avoids the possibility of missing a ferry.

However, there is data missing.

1) The second route also has a ferry on it.

2) The first two routes have long stretches of twisty highway where one frequently has to brake. The third has long straight stretches.

Are the travel times based on actual travel time or supposed from speed limits? Google Maps also gives travel times without traffic, but what exactly does “without traffic” mean?

If you know the routes, then the third route is definitely best time-wise.

Watch for hidden assumptions!

Odd Language #161: Birthday

Birthday wishes to a regular on a USENET newsgroup that I follow:
“Marking the 81st anniversary of your birth on July 9, 2016,
I wish you all the best. Live long and strong.”

The issue: Is the first line grouped “[Marking the 81st anniversary of your birth] on July 9, 2016,” or “Marking the 81st anniversary of [your birth on July 9, 2016],”? It is the former, but this line did trip me up briefly.

Puzzle #164: Entertaining the Cat

Your cat, Empress, can be kept entertained by a mouse for 15 minutes, by catnip for 30 minutes, and by a guinea pig for 1 1/2 hours. Humans are just so boring, and besides, one requires staff. Empress has a grueling daily schedule of 18 hours sleep, 3 hours grooming, and 1/2 hour eating. The remainder of the day is for entertainment. A mouse costs $1, a dose of catnip costs $3, and a guinea pig costs $15; these rates are per use. The animals are stuffed toys, but Empress is rather hard on her toys.

In a given day, you can not have the same entertainment twice in a row or more than twice, and you must spend over $20 (unless you really did not like those curtains). Leftover entertainment time is not allowed.

How many possible entertainment programs are there for Empress if you want to keep your curtains?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #162 Solution: Swimsuit Issue

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Irony

While I am not a goth per se, I do enjoy some of the darkness. One blog that I follow is Gothic Charm School. A recent post had the Lady of the Manners somewhat puzzled as to how to help someone. In this case, the person asking for help is blind. Her letter concluded with “It’s a stupid irony, when you stop and think about it. The people in the world who actually understand the true meaning of perpetual darkness are isolated from dabbling in a culture that revolves around it.”

And I have to state that I do not understand her situation very well. I know what the word “blind” means, but I do not appreciate it very well. Consequently, I am at a loss to suggest very much.

Considering that I work in a field that requires mental flexibility, that is another irony.