Math Game

Here’s a fun and mildly neurotic game to occupy your mind while stuck at red lights and such:

The car in front of you probably has some numbers in the license plate.  Try to use them in functions such that you can reach each number 1-10.  My rules: you don’t have to use every number in each function, and you can rearrange them, but you can only use the numbers as often as they appear, not more times.

Example: you see a plate that includes the numbers 2, 3, and 8.  Here’s what I would do:

3-2=1

8-(3×2)=2

8-(3+2)=3

8/2=4

3+2=5

8-2=6

(8-3)+2=7

8(3-2)=8

8+(3-2)=9

8+2=10

There are lots of places where such minor diversions can handily be had: prices on items while you wait in line at the store.  Prices on signs or other license plates while pumping gas.  Hymn numbers posted at church.  Numbers on screen–or anywhere you can see–during commercials.  (“$3.75 for gas!  Outrageous!  Oh well.  3-(7-5)=1, 5-3=2…”)

Enjoy.

Advertisements

Brain Game #5

These games are fun enough, but daily postings are getting tedious, so this will probably be the last one.

I set a timer for five minutes and listed every U.S. city I could think of with a religious name.  I came up with eleven.  See how well you do.  My answers are after the jump.

  Continue reading

Brain Game #4

In five minutes, I listed every American city I could think of whose name was an allusion to the world of the classical Greeks and Romans.  (Not only was our Constitution largely inspired by those civilizations, but everything from the architecture of Washington, D.C. to the many statements by our Founders on the subject shows that America was meant to be a conscious reincarnation of the glory of the ancients.) 

I came up with six cities.  See how you do.  My answers are after the jump.

  Continue reading

Brain Game

I set a timer for five minutes and tried to list every book title I could think of which constituted a complete sentence.  I had some students do this the last couple of days, using titles of songs and movies, also, and the biggest thing that came of it is that many of them couldn’t recognize a complete sentence–an independent thought with a subject and a predicate–when they saw one.  Many answers were just phrases. The most popular answers were Christmas songs, understandably: “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.”

At any rate, in five minutes I was only able to come up with a piddling eight book titles.  See how well you do.  My answers are after the jump. 

Continue reading

Foot–Cockroach–Bomb

One of my kids and her friends invented a new version of rock-paper-scissors: they call it foot-cockroach-bomb.

To make the foot, you slap your open palm down onto your other hand; the cockroach also has the hand palm down, but with the fingers wiggling; and the bomb is a fist that “blows up” as you slowly lift your hand and wiggle your fingers (and you make the explosion sound effect).  Needless to say, foot beats cockroach, cockroach beats bomb, and bomb beats foot.  Just like in real life!