This week's giveaway is in the Android forum.
We're giving away four copies of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons and have Godfrey Nolan on-line!
See this thread for details.
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes Which side does the egg fall on Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons this week in the Android forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "Which side does the egg fall on" Watch "Which side does the egg fall on" New topic
Author

Which side does the egg fall on

fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11161
    
  16

Someone recently sent me this puzzle:

Paul Wheaton owns a vacation house in northern Montana which has an A-shaped roof. One side of the roof faces north and the other side faces south. The prevailing winds from the north are usually quite strong. The strange thing is that the stronger the north wind blows, the stronger the resulting updraft on the south side of the roof. Therefore if a rooster was to lay an egg on the peak of the roof during a strong northerly wind, on which side should the egg fall most of the time?


some folks would say either North or South. Someone might say the two winds cancel each other out, so the egg stays up on the point of the roof. However, the traditional answer is "Roosters don't lay eggs.".

I find that annoying, but mostly irrelevant. The predicate of the issue states that a rooster DID lay an egg, so it is not up to me to say 'Well, that can't happen'. The problem states that it did happen, so we have to go on that.

Am I wrong?


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Paul Sturrock
Bartender

Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 10336

Yeah - the problem is not lingustically well formed. The conjunction used in the predicate adds the possibility that the egg was not laid at all, assuming you accept the definition of "if" is something like "on condition that", but if you understand it to mean "in the event that" then yes, the rooster did lay an egg (even if this is biologically unlikely). So there is scope for either approach.

Next time someone asks you this, just punch them on the nose.


JavaRanch FAQ HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch
Mike Simmons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 2995
    
    9
Depends on the context I suppose. It's often useful to notice a flawed premise and question it, rather than simply accept it.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

There is no Montana.


"We're kind of on the level of crossword puzzle writers... And no one ever goes to them and gives them an award." ~Joe Strummer
sscce.org
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41124
    
  45
Don't tell Miley Cyrus.


Ping & DNS - my free Android networking tools app
Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2840
    
  11

I believe that the egg would explode destroying the roof and, with luck, collapsing the structure and killing the egg-thieving pigs inside.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

An aircraft crashes on the border of Montana and Minnesota. In which state is Miley Cyrus buried?
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Paul Clapham wrote:An aircraft crashes on the border of Montana and Minnesota. In which state is Miley Cyrus buried?

That's easy: Avogadro's number.
Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 41124
    
  45
An aircraft crashes on the border of Montana and Minnesota.

That's unpossible - Ohio, Nevada, Maine, and Kentucky all border Springfield!
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14074
    
  16

Dork Dork Dork, you eat soup with a ...?


Java Beginners FAQ - JavaRanch SCJP FAQ - The Java Tutorial - Java SE 7 API documentation
Scala Notes - My blog about Scala
Mike Simmons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 2995
    
    9
Spork?
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11161
    
  16

Jesper de Jong wrote:Dork Dork Dork, you eat soup with a ...?
Straw.
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

Jesper de Jong wrote:Dork Dork Dork, you eat soup with a ...?

You don't eat soup. You drink it.
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Say 'Ghost' five times.
What do you put in a toaster?
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Also related:
If you were dropped out of an airplane wearing a suit covered in outward-facing needles, how large would a stack of balloons underneath you need to be in order to slow you down enough to not die upon impact with the ground?
but I can't remember why.
Kaustubh G Sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 13, 2010
Posts: 1270

it must fall somewhere on the floor ...


No Kaustubh No Fun, Know Kaustubh Know Fun..
 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: Which side does the egg fall on
 
Similar Threads
your favorite movie dialog
India Population clock
Wealth Redistribution
Clash of Civilizations!!
What Kind of American English Do You Speak?