I was at Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend. One of my favorite things was a collection of simple handmade puzzles sitting on a table under an umbrella, away from the action. A Russian woman named Tatiana Ginzburg told me that the puzzles were part of some kind of mind enlightenment group she started. When I got back home I looked her up and found her website, Global Enlightenment.
I picked up the puzzle shown in the photo here. It's two nails, bent in such a way that the nails are linked. I spent about 15 minutes trying to disentangle them. I bought it for $10 and as I was walking away from the table, accidentally separated them. It took 15 minutes of trial and error to get them linked again. I spent the rest of Maker Faire fiddling with them. Every hour or so I was able to get them apart, but I didn't know how I did it. Last night when I got back home, I stayed up late and finally figured it out. I can get them unlinked in a few seconds. I still haven't figured out how to easily get them back together. I'll work on it tonight. I love this thing.
I don't know where you can buy this exact kind of nail puzzle. This one looks similar, though.
Here are three two lateral thinking puzzles that were new to me. They’re from the book, Lateral Thinking Puzzles (1991), by Paul Sloane. Death in the Field A man is lying dead in the field. Next to him is an unopened package. There is no other creature in the field. How did he die? Death in Rome […]
One of my favorite puzzle books as a kid was Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalizing Teasers, by Martin Gardner. It had fun “real life” type problems (how can you drive an 11-foot-9 truck under a bridge with 11-foot-8 clearance?) and it introduced me to palindromes (“Straw? No, too stupid a fad. I put soot on warts.”) […]
I’ve been reading a 1978 book called The Art of Problem Solving, by Russell L. Ackoff. (Used copies sell for $7 including shipping on Amazon). At the beginning of the book, Ackoff tells about the time his school-age daughter came home with a familiar puzzle. On a piece of paper, there are nine dots arranged […]
What do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google all have in common? Somewhere in their framework, they all use MySQL, that most versatile (and free!) of database management systems. And they’re not alone. If your company or the one you’d like to work for wrangles data (and who doesn’t?), they’re going to need someone with a […]
There’s a reason you’re hearing about the gig economy in every other business story these days. More than ever, people are finding income from more than one source. And if you find the right one, a side hustle can do more than just pad your pockets – it can allow you to finally get paid […]
High-def cameras are available to anyone and for much less than they were just a decade ago. Even the phones in our pockets can be used to shoot and edit short films. It’s never been easier to be a filmmaker, providing you have the technique. Enter the Film & Cinematography Mastery Bundle, an online boot […]