Friday, July 31, 2015

Mr. B's Brain-O Quiz # 18


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.


What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?


A horse is tied to a 30 ft long rope.  Its hay is 45 feet away, but it still manages to eat.  How is this possible?


Using any combination of parentheses and the operation symbols (+, -, x, and ÷), how can you arrange the numbers 6, 6, 6, 6, and 6 into a mathematical expression equal to 77?


Study this paragraph.  Can you find anything odd about it?  Go through it assiduously.  It has no particular grammatical flaws, although I admit that it contains occasional combinations of words that sound a bit funny or artificial.  But that is not what is most unusual about it.  (Hint: To work this out, you must know a basic fact arising from orthographic statistics.)


You are in a math class in the year 1900 and your teacher gives you a set of “Napier’s Bones”.   What mathematical operation can you perform with them?

A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it
is committing another mistake.

- Confucius

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.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Another Puzzle


Can you put the numbers 1 through 8 in the boxes below so that no two consecutive numbers border each other (they cannot share a side - top, bottom, left or right).


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Scrabble Words, Scrabble Patterns, Scrabble Palindromes, Scrabble Primes


Scrabble Words
Scrabble is an interesting game, which has some interesting followers.
I was reading an article by Susan Thorpe titled “Scrabble Patterns”, and as you know we mathematicians and mathematologists are always interested in patterns.
She did a search of words (in English, and often using the English spelling rather than the American spelling).  The converted the letters in the word to the point values assigned to each letter and looked for patterns. 
Examples: SUPERMAN converts to 11311311, which she calls a Scrabble Palindrome (The pattern is the same whether it is written forward or backwards).  GARDEN converts to 211211, which she calls a Scrabble Tautonym (it repeats the “211” twice).
The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that some changes in the rules for Scrabble might be a big benefit.  Mathematicians have never been big Scrabble fans, probably because our vocabulary is more limited that for players that have specialized in other fields – particularly languages, poetry or other forms of writing that would expand one’s vocabulary more significantly.  If added some additional rules to give bonus points if words that were converted from letter to point values formed letters with specific properties – such as Scrabble Palindromes.
The initial work that Ms. Thorpe did was impressive.  But I am thinking we would have to do more research and include our findings in Scrabble dictionaries (incase there were disputes on word spelling or scoring issues).  First, Ms. Thorpe only studied words with an even number of letters (which did address her needs, but ignores words with an odd number of letters that might also be Scrabble Palindromes).  Scrabble Primes might also be considered.  The word CAB converts to 313 when you look at the each letter’s point values.  So CAB would be both a Scrabble Palindrome and a Scrabble Prime.
It is something to think about.  Feel free to let me know what you think.