Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two candles

Here is simple one, you have two candles of different length. You light both of them and cover them with glass cover of some sort (doesn't really matter what the cover is). Which one will die out first, tall candle or short one? It's easy to just do this experiment and and see it on practice, however thinking about what will happen is interesting and can lead astray.
Let us know what you think!
Note: Comments may have spoilers! Come up with solution on your own before reading them.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

River Crossing

Recently I got River Crossing as present from my wife. It is nice simple travel game from One way to find solution is by eliminating all illegal moves. Another strategy could be to find a plank that has least number of possible placements, then one with slightly larger number of placements etc, connecting these sets would lead to the solution.

The most fun however was to watch our kids solve the puzzles. One interesting observation I got from them, is the longer the plank the harder it is to rotate it ! They have no problem rotating small planks on the whim, however constatntly forgeting that long ones can be rotated just as easily. May be its psyhological perception that long planks are bigger and heavier, who wants to haul them around. Another observation is long way seeds doubt in their mind even if they are are on the right track. If there are too many moves which take them long way around the game field they begin to doubt themself and look for shorter way. Interestingly how both these obstacles interfere with our prblem solving in real life !

If you played the game and have strategy of your own, please share it here :)