Monthly Archives: February 2017

Puzzle #194: Dog Fu

Last week’s dogs were rather incompetent. This week, the focus will be on Bowser, Spot, and Fifi who are three dogs very skilled at Dog Fu. There are certain Dog Fu maneuvers that involve teamwork, a pack if you will. This pack respects Fluffy highly, but there are other cats that need a whacking.

The Dog Fu maneuver of Cat Smearing requires three Dog Fu practitioners. As it is a very advanced technique, even Bowser, Spot, and Fifi have difficulty pulling it off. Bowser has a 70% chance of pulling off his part, Spot 85%, and Fifi 45%. All must succeed for the maneuver to succeed.

Two successful applications of Cat Smearing will thoroughly whack any cat. If the pack tries Cat Smearing three times against a cat, what is the probability that they will successfully whack their target? Answer to the nearest 0.1%.

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, February 22, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Perspective

It can be difficult to assume another person’s perspective. Assuming that one knows can be disastrous. Asking politely can help a lot.

Sometimes, it is the other’s point of view that is missed. (I am somewhat unusual in a number of ways, and I see this personally by people who just do not get me.)

Some people do not even try to understand others and just treat others as they like to be treated. This can cause fireworks when an extrovert tries to get an introvert to, ah, have fun.

(It is sadly hilarious when such a person says that he is a people person and why am I not one?)

Sometimes, the misunderstanding is due to a condition. Do you really understand what it is like to be blind?

Here is a case where sighted people did not understand problems blind pedestrians face navigating in the snow: Be kind to blind pedestrians by choosing where you step when walking through the snow in Japan. What would seem to be the logical thing to do causes trouble for blind pedestrians.

Thank you to those who try to understand others. I try myself, and I know how hard it can be.

Odd Language #190: Missing Articles?

Foreign shop clerk and Japanese customer fail to communicate because of Japanese language quirk tells of a store clerk and a customer having a problem communicating.

The issue: The foreign store clerk asked, “Sutoro irimasuka?” and by this meant “Do you need the straw?” The Japanese customer took it as meaning “Do you need a straw?” Both interpretations could be correct. (Japanese does not have articles.)

When the customer replied no, the clerk threw away the straw. The customer thought that the clerk had just not noticed the item already had a straw.

Puzzle #193: Kara-Ashi

Fluffy the cat is minding his own business walking down a walled alley when he is set upon by three dogs. There is no way out. He will have to fight. Fortunately, Fluffy is a master of kara-ashi (Japanese for “empty paw”). By the way, “karate” means “empty hand”. A favourite kara-ashi maneuver of Fluffy’s is Dog’s Nightmare where he spins on one hind leg and lashes out with the other three paws hitting up to three times.

When Fluffy uses Dog’s Nightmare, he has a 50% chance of hitting once, 40% twice, and 10% all three times. Miss totally? Please do not insult the master.

The dogs will panic and break if they are hit a total of six or more times. What is the probability that Fluffy will accomplish this in three or fewer uses of Dog’s Nightmare?

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, February 15, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.