Monday, March 30, 2009

Mystery Person

Yesterday I subbed in Sunday School for the 1-2nd grade kiddos again. Those kids CRACK ME UP. They have a weekly tradition of "Mystery Person." Each of the kids has filled out a little survey about themselves, their siblings, where they were born, favorite food, etc. All the kids stand up and as the teacher reads off facts, the kids sit down if it doesn't apply to them until only one person is left standing.
So here is how the game went on Sunday:
1) All the kids stand up (and teachers).
2) Teacher Kurt reads off the first fact, something like, "This weeks mystery person was born in California"
3) All the kids who weren't born in CA sit down.
4) Teacher Kurt reads off a second fact, "This persons' favorite thing about Sunday School is learning about God."
5) One of the darling girls standing by me says, "Oh, darn it!" and sits down, along with about a third of the other kids.
6) Teacher Christy and a second Unnamed teacher laugh nearly uncontrollably.
I couldn't decide what was funnier - the fact that 1st graders already have the "sunday school church answer" thing down, or the fact that several kids were very particular about their favorite thing about church NOT being learning about God.

Anyhow, it was fun.

Friday, March 20, 2009


To my 7 loyal readers and the 200 people that viewed/hit my page last friday after I posted the PI math problem, I have your answer. Let me say that this is a pretty good way to solve the problem but I don't really agree with the problem definition of "alphabetic shift cipher" and the way the actual answer played out. On the other hand, I KNEW "mathmovesu" had to be part of the answer but I thought it was at the beginning. Oh well. I did love some of the comments the original post got -both relating to the math AND/OR the pudding! Quite randomly addictive!

“The digits of p can be obtained from the internet. The most common digit can also be found by doing a search on Google. One way is to load the 100,000 digits into Word. Use the find and replace functions to take out any carriage returns or other non-digits. Then use the find and replace to change each digit to another character, like an “x”. The find and replace will tell you how many it removed. Doing this you can see that the digit “1” is the most common. I also used Word to find the longest monotonic continuous integer sequence. In Word, I used the find function to look for sequences of “12345” etc. Each time it found one I looked to see what the number preceding and following was to see if there was a longer sequence. It turns out that “12345” is the longest sequence in the first 100,000 digits. So that becomes the key for decrypting the message. There are 15 characters. The first is shifted backwards 1 letter in the alphabet, the second 2, the third 3, the fourth 4, the fifth 5 and then it repeats, the sixth 1 and so on. This turns JNRZJNCWLRPXHWZ into ILOVEMATHMOVESU which is the answer!”