Archive for August, 2008

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

I’m in boxing and bowling and baseball in sport;
An offense that appears on indictments in court;
A refined European high nobleman sort;
And the number of threads that your bedsheets support.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Brian. See comments for answer.

Shakespeare Anagram: Much Ado About Nothing

Monday, August 25th, 2008

From Much Ado About Nothing:

…an two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind.

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Biden (DE) was rumored a shoe-in for the mention.

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

I’m a long West Coast highway; a palindrome prime;
I’m the room where you go for committing thought-crime;
The Dalmations of Disney; a back-to-work time;
And the course that’s an Intro before the steep climb.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Kimi. See comments for answer.

Thursday Morning Riddle: Special Edition

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

To the Romans, I’m C; When I’m C, waters boil;
On the field of the pigskin, the yards of the soil;
I’m the years that the English claimed they were French royal;
And this riddle among every Thursday dawn’s toil.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Neel Mehta. See comments for answer.


Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Have you been looking for a game that combines the fun geography challenge of Traveler IQ with the social responsibility of FreeRice? Look no further. A site called FreePoverty allows you to identify locations on a label-free map while generating ad revenue that donates water to people around the world who need it. Enjoy!

I was doing pretty well at first, but my ignorance of Australian geography turned out to be quite a detriment on the higher levels. Crikey!

Shakespeare Anagram: Much Ado About Nothing

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

From Much Ado About Nothing:

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never.
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Edwards believes in two Americas. He held a hot lover in each one.

No, it’s not so funny. You find one more ninny no longer monogamous.

No, honest voters have no tendency to let bygones be bygones, turning enthroned heroes into nothing.

Spinning Dancer

Friday, August 8th, 2008

It’s 8/8/08, and I’m in a symmetrical mood. Enjoy this animation, created by Nobuyuki Kayahara, of a spinning dancer, and ask yourself this question: Is she spinning in a clockwise direction, or a counter-clockwise direction?

I’ll be honest: this picture freaks me out. Sometimes, she’s spinning clockwise; sometimes she’s spinning counter-clockwise. Sometimes her left foot stays on the ground; sometimes, it’s her right.

According to Yami McMoots, this is an example of bistable perception. There’s not enough information in the image to tell for sure which direction she’s really turning. But we can recognize a human when we see one. “When presented with stimuli that have two valid, mutually contradictory interpretations, your brain just picks one. Then, sometimes, it picks the other.”

I thought this was a hoax at first, and that the animation actually spins both ways, but this site set me straight. We can see the dancer as spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise, but our brains won’t allow us to see the ambiguity. Once we see what we identify as a human figure, our brains fill in all of the missing details. That’s why we can make smiley faces with punctuation marks.


It’s also why the effect of this Charlie Chaplin mask (via Mighty Optical Illusions) is so eerie.

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

I’m a double-decked sandwich with turkey or ham;
I’m the place where you went for the pool where you swam;
I am not thrown in golf; but by jugglers, I am;
And I keep your car safe as a steering wheel jam.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by Ro. See comments for answer.