Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Leap Second


Just in case you did not get your memo from NASA:

Before you go to bed tonight, move your clocks ahead by 1 second.  NASA is adding a leap second tonight.

The last leap second that was added occurred in 2012.  So they don't happen often.  But with a few exceptions, I don't think most people will notice the change.  Still it will be refreshing to know that we will all get an extra second of sleep tonight.

Source: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2015/05/21/june-leap-second/#.VWrRlkaNgTo


True or False


63,015 is a 602-gonal, 6,303-gonal, and a 21,006-gonal number.  It is a composite, deficient, Harshad, odd, Smith, sphenic, square-free, and unprimable number.

Have you ever heard the rule that "There is an exception to every rule."?

Is that rule true or false?

If a rule had an exception then that rule would be false.  Take the spelling rule "i before e, except after c".  I think it is a weird rule.  In the word "weird" the i does not come before the e, and there is no c.  There are many exceptions to that rule.  Are there any rules that don't have exceptions?

The rule listed above does not say it has an exception.  It does not say "There is an exception to every rule, except this rule."

But this rule is a rule, and it says that every rule has an exception.  So it must have an exception too!  And since the rul has to have an exception it must be false.

Owwww ... my head is starting to hurt.

Can you help me out?  What do you think?  Is the rule true or false?  Or can we even determine if it is true or false?  What do you think?


Monday, June 29, 2015

Brain-O Quiz Answers


6,292,015 is a composite, Duffinian, odd, semiprime, square-free and unprimeable number.

Answers to Last Fridays Brain’o Quiz:

1.  Alaska has islands on the other side of the international date line, so their longitude is measured going east of the Greenwich meridian.   The rest of the US is measured going west.

2.  Florida.

3.  Minnesota.

4.  Just 4.  Page 53 and 54 are on the same piece of paper.

5.  They did not duel each other.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another "What If" Day:


What if the game of basketball had to be played with a football?  How would that change the game?  Could you learn to dribble a football?

What if the game of baseball had to be played with a basketball?  How would that change the game?  Would baseball games have higher scores, or lower scores?

What if soccer player's had to be blindfolded?


Saturday, June 27, 2015



A lipogram is a form of constrained writing in which a letter or word is not allowed to be used.  Since the letter E is the most frequently used letter in the English language, and is contained in over 60 percent of all Engish words most authors who have attempted to write lipograms choose to attempt the feat by eliminating the use of the letter E.  (I guess it would be like trying to do math without the digit 1 – it makes me dizzy just thinking about it.)
The first example of this kind of writing constraint (that I am away of) was by the greek poet Tryphiodorus who wrote his epic poem Odyssey, chronicling the adventures of Ulysses, excluding a different letter of the alphabet from each of the 24 books.  Thus, the first book was written without alpha, the second without beta, and so on.
Below you will find lipograms by H. Ross Eckler.  The first version of “Mary had a little lamb” is unchanged, but each of the additional versions have been re-written eliminating some letter of the alphabet.

Mary Had a Lipogram
by A. Ross Eckler

Mary had a little lamb,
its fleece was white as snow
and everywhere that Mary went
the lamb was sure to go;
he followed her to school one day
that was against the rule
it made the children laugh and play
to see a lamb in school

Mary had a little lamb
with fleece a pale white hue
and everywhere that Mary went
the lamb kept her in view
to academe he went with her
illegal and quite rare
it made the children laugh and play
to view a lamb in there
(Written without the letter S.)

Polly owned one little sheep
its fleece shone white like snow
every region where Polly went
the sheep did surely go
he followed her to school one time
which broke the rigid rule
the children frolicked in their room
to see the sheep in school
(Written without the letter A.)

Mary owned a little lamb
its fleece was pale as snow
and every place its mistress went
it certainly would go
it followed Mary to class one day
it broke a rigid law
it made some students giggle aloud
a lamb in class all saw
(Written without the letter H.)

Mary had a pygmy lamb
his fleece was pale as snow
and every place where Mary walked
her lamb did also go
he came inside her classroom once
which broke a rigid rule
how children all did laugh and play
on seeing a lamb in school
(Written without the letter T.)

Mary had a tiny lamb
its wool was pallid as snow
and any spot that Mary did walk
this lamb would always go
this lamb did follow Mary to school
although against a law
how girls and boys did laugh and play
that lamb in class all saw
(Written without the letter E.)

I am not aware of any lipograms involving mathematics.  Image a mathematics text book where the problems (exercises) and their answers (solutions) were constrained.  In chapter 1 the homework problems and correct answers could not contain the digit 1.  And in chapter 2, the digit 2 was not allowed.  Actually, it might be best applied in a book on recreational mathematics.  Hmmm … I could be the first. 


Friday, June 26, 2015

Mr. B's Brain-O Quiz #13


Mr. B’s “BRAIN-O” Quiz
Guaranteed to unclog clogged up brains!
NAME:__________________ DATE:____________ PERIOD:_______
Directions: Carefully read and answer the following questions.  Print you answer clearly in the box next to each question.  Questions are worth one zillion nano bonus points each.  However, if you get all five correct, we will double the points for a total of ten zillion nano bonus points.

Of the 50 United States, which one reaches farthest east?


OK, now image a map of the contiguous 48 United States (all of the states except for Alaska and Hawaii).  Which state is the southern most?


Using the same map of the 48 states, tell me which state is the northern most?


If you were to tear pages 8, 9, 48, 53 and 54 out of a book, how many separate sheets of paper would you rip out?  (NOTE: DO NOT TRY THIS WITH YOUR TEXTBOOK!!!)


Over a century ago, two Frenchmen, Alphonse and Gaston, fought a duel with pistols.  Each shot his opponent in the head, right between the eyes, yet neither Alphonse nor Gaston died.  How could this be?

Worry is like a rocking chair.
It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.

- Unknown

WARNING: For Educational Purposes Only.
Please do not attempt to answer any of these questions
unless you are willing to learn something.
Answers will be posted on Monday.