Monthly Archives: January 2015

Puzzle #86: Snow Wussies

Some people stay home when it snows. Let us say that with 5 cm of snow, 10% of people stay home. With another 5 cm, 10% of the 90% also stay home. Another 5 cm, and 10% of those who braved the outdoors at 10 cm also stay home. And on and on at each 5 cm, 10% of those who braved the weather at the previous snow level decide that home is where the hearth is and ask the others where the hot chocolate is anyway.

How much snow does it take to have at least half of the general population stay home?

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, January 28, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #84 Solution: Snowflakes

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Snow Wussies

Why is it that so many people lose their sense of proportion when snow hits the ground?

We have gotten a heavy snowfall here in Kamloops over the past few days. (I will now pause while people living in really snowy areas snicker.)

It really is not that bad if you take things a bit more slowly and carefully, and yet, there is so much concern.

Mind you, there are some people driving like the pavement is bare.

Did I answer my own question, or is the answer something else? Is the concern because of the weather or the people who do not act any differently in it?

I will ponder this further as I sip on my winter whine.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Odd Language #82: Which Competition?

“… but the sloth’s competition is not impressive.” — Variable Star, p. 196

The issue: Does it mean that the sloth has competition which is not impressive or that the sloth is not competing in an impressive manner?

It is the latter, but I think that most people would think of the first usage first.

Variable Star was a book planned by Robert Heinlein in 1955. He never wrote it, but seven pages of notes survived. Spider Robinson wrote the book, finishing in 2005. An interesting collaboration.

Puzzle #85: Still More Marbles

I have some marbles. Each is one of these colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. There is at least one marble of each colour and fewer than ten of each colour.

1) The number of red marbles can be evenly divided by the number of yellow marbles.
2) There are fewer green marbles than blue marbles.
3) There is a different number of marbles for each of the colours.
4) There is an even number of marbles for each of the colours red, yellow, and violet.
5) There are fewer blue marbles than violet marbles.
6) The total number of red, orange, and yellow marbles is equal to one-half of the total number of marbles.
7) None of the numbers of marbles of each colour are prime, except for one of them.

How many marbles are there of each of the colours?

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, January 21, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #83 Solution: The New Job

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow