Brick and Mortar Also Build Community

Many people do things through the Web. This can be very useful. It can save time and money. It can also short-change the local area.

A friend (Duncan) and I play board and card games at a local hobby store (High Octane Comics & Collectibles (their Facebook page). I might not have met Duncan otherwise, and he suggested another group (our next meetup) that we now both game with.

If Duncan and I were playing some on-line game, we might not have any other contact. Duncan is great for playing quite a few different games with.

Kamloops is not a large city, and it is nice to find people to game with. It is also very useful to be able to see games before purchasing them.

For the past few years, we have had had a gaming convention in Kamloops: Attack-X. This got going because of local contact. I met the head of the convention at High Octane.

High Octane and other gaming stores are very useful for meeting people. It is one reason why I give them business.

You can enjoy good company with people in your own community.

Puzzle #200: Whodunnit?

Four suspects were questioned by police about a recent crime. It is known that one of them must have done it. Each suspect made two statements. One person told the truth both times, one person lied both times, and the other two told the truth once and lied once. Given the following statements, whodunnit?

Al: (A1) I did not do it.
(A2) Di did it.
Bo: (B1) Al or Ci did it.
(B2) Di is being totally truthful.
Ci: (C1) Bo is totally lying.
(C2) Di did not do it.
Di: (D1) I did not do it.
(D2) Al did it.

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #198 Solution: Buckets

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Other People’s Opinions

I am an avid reader. I buy books from a nearby (Kamloops, BC) used bookstore, Andrena’s Book Company.

I have been dealing with ABC for years. The owner, Andrena, knows my tastes and sometimes recommends books. Are her recommendations good? Well, sometimes yes and sometimes no.

Her understanding of my taste is different than mine is. If she totally matched my understanding of my taste, she would not misrecommend. On the other hand, because she does not totally match, she recommends books that I might not have looked at.

Because of her recommendations, I become aware of books that I might not have found out about otherwise. I recently purchased a trilogy, Legends of the Duskwalker by Jay Posey on her recommendation. I have not read enough of it yet to have an opinion, but so far, so good.

I have bought other books on her recommendation.

I think that this makes a good argument for listening to other people’s politely-stated views. Too often, people get caught up in their own opinions and forget that other opinions do not have to be enemy views.

What have you learned from someone else today?

Puzzle #199: Siblings

Susan has twice as many brothers as sisters. Her brother, Tom, has twice as many sisters as brothers. How many male siblings are there, and how many female siblings are there in Susan’s and Tom’s family?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

How the Web Makes Us Ignorant

The Worldwide Web is very useful for finding out many things. Unfortunately, this can lead to one being rather ignorant in some ways.

The first way is that if you can look it up, why bother learning it? The answer to that is that having the information readily available to think with, one can think with it easily.

For the same reason, I find knowing basic arithmetic very useful. I can often estimate an answer (and sometimes figure the exact answer) before someone has fished out his calculator (or other device with a calculator) and started entering the problem.

Which of us do you think uses arithmetic more often?

The second way is that one can have a bunch of links to information and not keep track of them.

I recently had a problem with my browser and had to clear my browsing history and restart my browser. I lost several links and have been unable to find them with a Web search. If it had not been so easy to just keep them open, this would not have happened.

The third way is that even if you do learn the material, you are all too likely to just get the gist of it, because you can always look it up later.

This is similar to the first reason, but has the added point that you might really think you know the material. Should you have to apply the material, you may find that your understanding is not what you thought it was. Or you might not find that out. Either way could result in a disaster.

The Web is very useful, but do not let it stop you from thinking.

Odd Language #195: Crossed Words?

Why is it that when you transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?

The issue: Different word uses can develop that, by themselves, look fine, but when compared with other word uses look very odd, the reverse of what one would expect. Another variation is “Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?”