Things 24: 5 Easy Pieces, Clever Fountain, Innate Hypocrisy

(Originally sent August 2008)

This week’s film
Actually, I managed to resist seeing Space Chimps.

Next Week’s films
The Clone Wars
. As I forecast many years ago, Star Wars is moving into TV series, but they realised they could release a feature-length pilot episode of the CG series in cinemas. I’m not expecting much. The live-action TV series, still a few years away, seems more promising to me.
Imdb: Not yet rated
Rotten Tomatoes: 27%

If I’m feeling mad I may also go to see ‘You Don’t Mess With Zohan’ purely because I like the character trope of a nice peace-loving guy that happens to be totally badass and can catch bullets in mid-air :
Imdb: 5.7
RT: 34%

A Puzzle
A stripper hands you a perfectly square piece of paper and a scisors. She tells you to divide it into 5 pieces of equal area without using a ruler or a compass. Can it be done? If so, how? If not, why?

Bonus puzzle
Where did I get the above puzzle from? (This is very difficult, but I just thought I’d throw it out there as it is at least theoretically knowable. The spelling of ‘scisors’ is in the original.) [No longer as hard as it used to be – T.M. 18/10/10]

A video
As with all great ideas, it seems obvious in retrospect. How clever can a fountain be?
(Video is rather long and you don’t miss too much if you skip through it a bit).


A link
A fantastic experiment that demonstrates how hypocrisy is innate to human beings – make sure you read the bit where they introduce wrist-bands towards the end as that is the most important result.

A bunch of related quotes
Arther C. Clarke

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

My friend Laurence said:

“Any technology that is distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.”

Hanlon’s Razor states:

“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

Someone on Wikipedia says:

“Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice. [citation needed]”

A picture
Eric Poulton’s entry for the Last Man Standing competition at; click through to his site to view the full fantastically deep image, with convenient ‘flip’ button in the bottom right. (If link breaks, I’ve mirrored the image here).