Monthly Archives: August 2016

Puzzle #169: Sugar Bomb Cookies

Chris took a recipe for sugar cookies and adjusted it to have more sugar. The new recipe, for sugar bomb cookies, has (by proportion) twice as much sugar and only one-third as much non-sugar ingredients as the original recipe.

What fraction of the new recipe is sugar?

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 31, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #167 Solution: Date Puzzle 3

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

All Hail Our Default Masters! (Or Not)

Do you just accept the default settings in your software? Some people do not even know that they can change various settings.

I like the Windows taskbar to be at the top of the screen. I have had people see that, and blurt, “You can’t do that.” Obviously, I can, or they would not have anything to blurt about.

Default settings can be very useful, but sometimes, it is useful to do things differently.

Defaults apply in other areas of life as well.

This article (Set It and Forget It: How Default Settings Rule the World) discusses some of the effects of defaults. For example, one school in New York moved their salad bar from its previous position against a wall into the middle of the room near the cash registers. The sales of salad more than tripled.

Are you limiting yourself by simply taking things as offered? Why not try a change?

Odd Language #165: Which In?

‘”We’re going to see a man named Tom Compton,” Sullivan said. “Best tracker in Jeffersonville, assuming he isn’t dead or out in the bush.”‘ — Robert Charles Wilson’s Darwinia, p. 69

The issue: “in” is a bit ambiguous. It could refer to:
1) Mr. Compton’s current location: the best tracker currently located in Jeffersonville,
2) his base location: the best tracker based in Jeffersonville, or
3) where he excels at tracking: he, maybe, does not do so well elsewhere.

Puzzle #168: Date & Time Puzzle

Consider a date and time in YY-MM-DD hh:mm format with hh a 24-hour range. What is the first date in a century where all digits are 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 24, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #166 Solution: Date Puzzle 2

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

10,000th Day (or So) of the Web

On July 28, 2016, I opened an E-mail from Mozilla which was titled “Party like it’s 9,999”. I wondered if it was some odd item about Y2K, but it was not.

Dated the day before, it started “Tomorrow, July 28th, is the 10,000th day of the Web. We’re feeling pretty nostalgic about the past 10k days, so we’re going to be sharing some of our faves in Twitter tomorrow.”

The Worldwide Web started on March 12, 1989.

This made the 10,000th day of the Web, July 27, 2016. Mozilla was off by a day.

Off-by-one errors are one of the commonest types of programming errors. They can be surprisingly easy to make. As we see here.

Puzzle #167: Date Puzzle 3

Consider a date in YYYY-MM-DD format. What was the first date in the Common Era where all eight digits were 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 17, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #165 Solution: Date Puzzle

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow