Trivia

I love trivia, but I have to admit that not all of the things on this page are going to be trivia.  Still, I hope that you will find some of the stuff interesting.

I love mind games.  I saw one a while ago on a website that I did not figure out at first.  It was not until one day when I was taking a walk that I thought of it again.  Here it is:

The Problem of the Weights

You have eight weights all are identical in appearance; however, one has a slightly different mass than the rest.  You also have a balance (scale).  How can you determine which weight is different from the rest in only three weighings?

There are at least two possible solutions to this problem - one is quite complex, the other fairly elegant.  If you cannot figure it out, contact me and I will give you a hint.

The Weights Get Harder

I was challenged by a visitor to try and solve the same puzzle above, except this time with 12 weights.  Once I was assured that it really could be solved, I put some serious thought into the problem and yes it is possible to determine the odd weight in only three weighings.  If you cannot figure it out, contact me and I will give you a hint.

The Problem of The Dots

A mad scientist has captured you and two scientists (Jones and Zhang) with the greatest minds of our time.  He stands all of you in a straight line (first you, then Jones, and finally Zhang).   You are arranged so those behind can see the back or backs of those in front of them.  The scientist shows you a box.  In the box are five dots (two red and three blue).  Standing behind each of you, he secretly selects a dot and then places it on your backs.  Finally he says, the first of you to correctly guess the color on his or her back will be set free.  The penalty for incorrectly guessing will be very severe.  The penalty for saying nothing will be unpleasant.  You are not allowed to communicate with each other in any way.  After his announcement the room is quite for five minutes.

Assuming the two scientists really are among the greatest minds of our time, what color is the dot on your back and why?

This puzzle is a bit simpler than the first; however, I am ashamed to admit I did not figure it out.  Give it a try and if you cannot figure it out, contact me and I will give you a hint.

Family Trivia

A small piece of personal trivia (you would have thought with a page name like "Trivia" this would have shown up sooner).  My father, sister, youngest brother, and I all attended the same school - Culver Military Academy (actually, my sister attended Culver Girls Academy, which is effectively the same school).  My father, sister, and I also share the same reunion years as well.

My grandfather was named after my grandmother's father.  Actually, it turns out my grandfather was not only named after him, but my grandmother's father was also my grandfather's uncle!  It was not as bad as it sounds.  My grandfather's uncle was an in-law.  His wife (my grandfather's aunt) died.  When she did, his uncle remarried and had two boys and one girl with his new wife.  The girl was my grandmother.  So, while they were technically ex-first cousins, they shared no blood relationship.

For now, that is the only trivial thing I will include.  Come back later and I will slowly increase the supply.