Tuesday, October 14, 2008

RSVP: Nonsense? That's Nonsense!

As the dissertation deadline draws closer, I am honored that so many NTB readers have answered my call for guest posters. Today's author even wrote his own introduction: "Well, MEP, I bet you didn’t expect this! This is DRPHIL38 who used to be the original DRPHIL but was preempted by a certain TV personality who now has a copyright on this name and therefore prohibits me from using it. For NTB readers, I am MEP’s father-in-law and proud of it. (NTB) Why wouldn’t I be, since she has produced the two most perfect grandsons I could ever want. (NTB) Here are a few ramblings that you might want to consider, forget, or just plain ignore." I am thrilled that DRPHIL38 was willing to post and want to add that that other Dr. Phil has nothing on him. DRPHIL38 is an excellent crossword puzzler, fisherman (won a fishing tournament this past weekend and $68 too, NTB), Mr. Fix It (who willingly takes on projects for me that his son either lacks time for or interest in), and father/father-in-law/grandpa. NTB. He titled this post "Here is some nonsense," but I disagreed! See above.

An amazing invention was the thermos bottle. Consider the fact that you put in something hot and it comes out hot; you put in something cold and it comes out cold. The question is: How does it know?

Is 12:00 at night really the beginning of the day or is it the end of the day. Since each hour has 60 minutes and each minute has 60 seconds it would seem that 11:59 still leaves a minute to go and that minute ends with 12:00 being the end of the day. Now if that is true, when does the next day begin? Since each minute requires 60 seconds, if we start after 12:00 the first minute will be short by a nano second at least. Can it be possible that the beginning and the end are the same?

Math can be confusing and not always tell the truth. Consider this: Three men checked into a hotel and the room was $30. So each one paid $10 and went to the room. After they had left the clerk discovered he had put them in the $25 room. So, he called the bellhop and gave him five one dollar bills and told him to go give it back to the men and to divide it evenly among them. The bellhop tried but could not make 5 divide by 3 and come out even, so to make it easy, he put two dollars in his pocket and gave each man back a dollar. Now here is the confusing part of this story. The room cost each man $9 and 3 times $9 is $27; the bellhop has $2 in his pocket. $27 plus $2 = $29. Where is the missing $1?

Directions, North, South, East and West: It is pretty easy to determine where North and South begin. At the North Pole and South Pole, right? In fact at the true North Pole and South Pole there is only one direction. At the North Pole it is South, and at the South Pole it is North. Think about it, since the earth is round it has to be that way, doesn’t it? So where do East and West begin? If I stand and look North, east is always on my right; West on my left. This is true if I am in China or in Europe. I really don’t know where East or West begins. I bet it’s like the beginning or ending of the day discussed above, elusive.

Well, MEP, if you publish this it may seriously damage your readership, so I leave it up to you.

DRPHIL38

I'm confident that DRPHIL38 has not seriously damaged my readership and thankful for his post! Currently, my brain is a bit too worn out to offer any answers to his elusive questions. Plus, math has lied to me quite a bit over the years. If you have any answers or insights, leave them in a comment. Or, share your own brainteaser!

11 comments:

Michelle said...

I must say...these are things I've never thought about, which is not surprising considering my great fondness for math and my directional aptitude.

As for DRPHIL38, I can attest that he is far superior to Dr. Phil and will always be the original as far as I’m concerned :-) He is also a master storyteller with one heck of an imagination. NTB. Who can forget Chief Big Nose and Chief Itchy Toes?! Two characters who were a major part of my childhood!

Actchy said...

Delightful post.

I am at a loss for solving any of posted queries, but on a slightly-related note (not really a brain-teaser, per se, but..), it has always frustrated the crap out of me that the Avenues in Manhattan are numbered with the lower numbers on the East side of the island. It would make more sense to number the Avenues beginning on the West side of the island, therefore allowing them to progress sequentially from left to right, as it were, when one is looking at a map. You know, because we read from left to right.

LAP said...

These are great. I particularly like the bit about the thermos...any observation that I can imagine translating into a Seinfeld episode is funny to me.

I've never met the more famous Dr. Phil, but he irritates me from afar, and thus I am pleased to mentally replace him with a more genial fellow such as yourself.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this post...I feel that this DRPHIL should post such queries more often.

As for you, MEP, after reading one of your posts I tried out Real Housewives of Atlanta last night. Could we create a math problem as to how many brain cells I possibly could have lost in an hour relative to how agitated I became? When it falls below my tv standards, you know it's bad.

MEP said...

Just for the record: I did not recommend Real Housewives of Atlanta, merely mentioned that I was watching it (and that I hoped God would forgive me for doing so).

Sarah D said...

MEP, your Dr Phil is clearly superior in all ways that OTHER Dr Phil. Great post. Hope to hear more from him.

My dad has always told a joke about the thermos, too. All I remember is the punchline: It keeps the hot stuff hot and the cold stuff cold but How do it know?

CaraBee said...

Okay, the math one is going to keep me up tonight. Thanks a lot, Dr. Phil, as if I didn't have enough sleeping problems already. Sheesh.

CJR said...

Troy must not be reading carefully (because the Bub does not appear in this post) and I'm sure he knows the answers.

The thermos doesn't know any more than the walls of your house know winter from summer.

You don't start "after" 12. You start at 12:00:00:00:00 . . . If you think there is no "exactly" 12:00, ask yourself why Zinser can make his checkbook balance.

Each man paid $9 and that's $27. The bellhop kept two and 27-2=25, the cost of the room or 25(Hotel)+2(Bellhop)+3(Guys)=30, if you like. Keep track of sign changes.

"If I stand and look North, east is always on my right," but also "at the true North Pole and South Pole there is only one direction." Never trust a puzzle that contradicts itself before it gets to the question. At the North pole, east is not on your right, as you say, so get back to me on that when you're ready.

If you want to bake your noodle, consider this: There are three boxes at a game show -- one has a prize inside and two are empty boxes. The host asks you to pick a door and you pick one, but don't open it. Then he shows you what's in a box you did not pick and there is no prize in it. He tells you can switch to the last box, or stick with the box you picked. What should you do and why?

msh said...

love this post and am still stuck on the hotel issue. cjr's response still doesn't clear it up for me. yes, 25+3+2 is 30, but 9+9+9+2 is still 29. i don't like this one bit.

CJR said...

The guys paid the $9, the bellhop took away $2. So it is plus 9, but minus 2. As the Four Food Groups of the Apocalypse taught us, "subtraction is addition's tricky friend."

More importantly, why is the alphabet in that particular order? Does it have something to do with that song?

Michelle said...

CJR,
The gameshow contestant should switch to the last box because of the concept of variable change. The probability that the prize is behind the last door becomes higher (66.6% instead of 33.3%) once the second door is eliminated.

BTW, I learned this from the movie "21" :-) Funny how I remember this but can't remember anything from a year's worth of calculus.....

 
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