Monday, May 02, 2011

Pub challenge of the month of the month: Break five toothpicks so that that the two halves are still hinged and then arrange them as spokes on a wheel. Without touching them directly and without using a tool such as a fork, can you get them to rearrange themselves into a five point star? The other stories this month include (a) the physics of a clown car and the general problem of dense packing of objects inside a container and (b) liquefaction in which ground shake turns solid ground into a fluid and allows buildings to slide into the ground.

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