Solve it Sunday: An Experiment

Now for a little practical experiment – one that you, dear reader, are able to take part in without any undue effort. Exhale slowly and steadily into the palm of your hand. Make a mental note of how it feels. Now purse your lips, and blow vigorously onto your palm. You may use the other hand if you wish.

You will observe that when breathing slowly, the air feels warm, but while blowing firmly, the air feels cool.

Your breath has not changed temperature. Neither has your hand. So why is there a difference?

Good luck everyone, and just remember, simple is sometimes the answer.

Solve it Sunday: Gold Standard

This question may seem laughable at first glance. I assure you, however, that I have no intention of making sport with you. Simplicity does not always indicate triviality.

Which is heavier – a 1-ton block of wood, or a 1-ton block of gold?

You may assume that both blocks are being weighed on the same weighing apparatus in the same terrestrial location, and that the machine is giving an identical value in both cases.

Good luck with this one! It’s not as simple as you might think it is.
As always, answers in the comments.

Solve it Sunday: Ciphertext

This is a quote made my Albert Einstein. If you can find it then maybe you’d be able to recognize it. Good luck!

In this puzzle, the challenge is to decrypt a quotation that has been made obscure by the use of a simple cypher. Are you able to work out what it says?

Solve it Sunday: Two Pails

There is no math required for this one at all. All it takes is a little memory of elementary school science, which may be worse.

Let me know your answer in the comments.

Imagine that you are in possession of two pails of water. These pails are identical in every significant respect, save that one has a large chunk of wood floating freely inside it, while the other does not. Apart from that disparity, the two are filled precisely to the brim with freshly distilled water.

Which of the pails would be heavier?

Good Luck!

Solve it Sundays: Submersible

By now, your weekend is probably pretty close to done, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop relaxing.

Take a seat on the couch and try to solve this week’s riddle.

There are many pressing concerns when one is in a submarine, whether it is a time of war or not. However, one of the most important is for the captain to ensure that his boat not be permitted to rest on the bedrock of the ocean floor, even for a moment. Such an event may well prove fatal for the entire crew.

Can you say why?

Solve it Sundays: An Exercise in Logic

Hey everyone. This week’s riddle is a bit easier for you, but it’ll for sure make you think.

The English mathemitician and author Lewis Caroll devised a series of excellent logical problems designed to illustrate and test deductive reasoning. Several statements are given below. You may assume — for the duration of this problem — that they are absolutely true in all particulars. From that assumption, you should be able to provide an answer to the question that follows.

I dislike things that cannot be put to use as a bridge.

Sunset clouds are unable to bear my weight.

The only subjects I enjoy poems about are things which I would welcome as a gift.

Anything which can be used as a bridge is able to bear my weight.

I would not accept a gift of a thing I disliked.

Would I enjoy a poem about sunset clouds?

Solve it Sundays: Absolutely Nothing

We are back for another Solve it Sundays, and this one I didn’t find too tricky. Good luck! and as always, the answers are in the comments.


It is tempting, soothing even, to think of mathematics as a perfect edifice of logic and order. The truth however is that it is an art as well as a science, and it has places where absolutism breaks down.

For this example, we will show that 0 = 1. Firstly, however, I should point out that when adding a series of numbers, the associative law says that you may bracket the sums as you like without any effect.

1+2+3 = 1+ (2+3)= (1+2) + 3.

So, with that established, consider adding an infinite number of zeroes. No matter how much nothing you gather, you will still always have nothing.

0 = 0+0+0+0+0+…

Since 1-1 = 0, you can replace each zero in your sum, like so:

0 = (1-1)+(1-1)+(1-1)+(1-1)+(1-1)+…

From the associative law, you may arrange the brackets in your sum as you see fit. Which means:

0 = 1+(-1+1)+(-1+1)+(-1+1)+(-1+1)+(-1+1)+…

However, as established, (-1+1) = 0, so this sequence can also be stated as:

0 = 1+0+0+0+0+0+…

Or, for simplicities sake:

0 = 1

Something is clearly incorrect. But what?