Sunday, May 10, 2009


1) A big fat Indian and a small thin Indian were sitting outside a teepee, each smoking a pipe. The little Indian was the son of the big Indian, but the big Indian was not the little Indian's father. How come?


The big Indian was the little Indian's mother.

2) Mary's husband's father-in-law is Mary's husband's brother's brother-in-law, and Mary's sister-in-law is Mary's brother's stepmother. How did this happen?


Mary's father married the sister of Mary's husband.


3) Over the side of a boat floating in a harbor there hangs a rope ladder containing ten rungs. Each rung is one foot from the next one and the bottom rung is resting on the surface of the water. The tide rises at a rate of one foot an hour. How long will it take the water to reach the top rung?


 It will never reach the top rung because the boat will rise with the tide. 

4) A sparrow has fallen into a hole in a rock. The hole measures three inches in diameter and is three feet deep. Due to the depth of the hole, the sparrow cannot be reached by hand. We cannot use sticks or canes, because we could hurt the bird. How can you get the bird out?


By gradually pouring sand into the hole. The bird will keep moving so that it is not buried in the sand, forcing it higher until it comes out.

5) Timothy and Urban play a game with two dice. But they do not use the numbers. Some of the faces are painted red and the others blue.
Each player throws the dice in turn. Timothy wins when the two top faces are the same color. Urban wins when the colors are different. Their chances are even.
The first die has 5 red faces and 1 blue face. How many red and how many blue are there on the second die?


Each die has 6 faces. When two dice are thrown, there are 36 equally possible results. For chances to be even, there must be 18 ways of getting the same color on top. Let X be the number of red faces on the second die. We have: 18 = 5X + 1(6 - X)
X = 3
The second die must have 3 red faces and 3 blue faces.

 A ribbon is 30 inches long. If you cut it with a pair of scissors into one-inch pieces, how many snips would it take?


Twenty-nine snips. The last two inches are divided by one snip. 

A Ferrari is traveling at 30 miles per hour on a head-on collision course with a Maserati, which is being driven at a leisurely 20 miles per hour. When the two cars are exactly 50 miles apart, a very fast fly leaves the front fender of the Ferrari and travels towards the Maserati at 100 miles per hour. When it reaches the Maserati, it instantly reverses direction and flies back to the Ferrari and continues winging back and forth between the rapidly approaching cars. At the moment the two cars collide, what is the total distance the fly has covered?


At first glance it may seem that a horrendous calculation is necessary to solve this: the sum of an infinite series of numbers that get smaller and smaller as the cars approach each other. But if you focus on time rather than distance, a solution is easy. The cars are 50 miles apart and traveling towards each other at a combined speed of 50 miles per hour, so they will meet in one hour. In that hour, a fly that flies at 100 miles per hour will naturally travel 100 miles.

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