Monthly Archives: May 2015

Puzzle #103: More Marbles

You have some marbles in six colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. Each marble is one colour. Given the clues following, how many of each colour do you have?

1) The number of green marbles plus the number of violet marbles equals the number of blue marbles.
2) Of all of the pairs of marble colours, only orange and green total ten marbles.
3) There are more orange marbles and more yellow marbles each than there are red marbles.
4) The number of each of the red, orange, and yellow marbles are all primes and the number of each of the green, blue, and violet marbles are all not primes, unless it is the other way around.
5) The number of red marbles can be evenly divided by the number of blue marbles.
6) There are from one to nine marbles of each colour, and no two colours have the same number of marbles.

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, May 27, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Half of What? Abuse of Statistics

http://www.itbusiness.ca/news/half-of-canadian-business-still-running-windows-server-2003/55249 states “While Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 will reach end of life in July, new research shows more than half of Canadian business are still running at least some of their workloads on the soon to be unsupported platform.”

Really? One-half of all Canadian businesses are running Windows Server 2003? I really do not think so.

It might well be that one-half of Canadian businesses running some version of Windows Server or some other network operating system are running Windows Server 2003. Or it might be some other qualifier such as businesses of a certain size.

A common abuse of statistics is to leave off qualifiers. Watch for it.

Odd Language #99: First Place or Last Place?

The Vancouver Sun, Mon. 2015-05-04, page A1, headline “Vancouver tops four Canadian cities for child allergies” and subhead “Exposure to other kids and pets lowered risk, UBC study finds”

The issue: Is Vancouver being at the top of the list good or bad? Considering that UBC is University of British Columbia which has its main campus in Vancouver, one might assume from the subhead that it is good. It was not.

Being at the top of a list which has being at the top being bad and being at the bottom being good, it gets ambiguous. Generally, top is good, and bottom is bad. When the pairings get switched to top being bad and bottom being good, how do you word it clearly?

Puzzle #102: Another Alphabet Split

The letters of the alphabet have been divided into four sets. Each letter is in only one set. Determine the membership rule for each set.

1. {C, I, J, O, V}
2. {B, D, F, G, H, K, L, M, N, P, Q, T, U, W}
3. {E, R}
4. {A, S, X, Y, Z}

This puzzle is based on the form of capital letters. It is possible to argue the sets should be a bit different. If you come up with an alternative split that is close, if you explain the differences clearly, it will be counted as correct.

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, May 20, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.