Fun & Games

  • March 13, 2020

    Now for Something Truly Puzzling!

    Chris Ramsay is not your usual nerd. Between his ZZ-Top-like beard, sleeve tattoos, and quotidian hoodie/baseball cap, you would foolishly think that he is not one of the world’s greatest puzzle solvers. And you would be wrong! This guy has built up a massive YouTube subscriber following of over 6.62 million, that’s million with an M, subscribers solving Level 10 puzzles. Level 10 puzzles are the hardest possible puzzles in the world that would drive most of us bonkers trying to solve. But not Chris Ramsay. In fact, he thrives on these challenges. He has spent countless hours attacking some of the world’s most difficult and craziest puzzles such as: The Impossible Excalibur Puzzle The Absolute Hardest Jigsaw Puzzle The Hardest Lock Puzzle in History And many, many others. Even though the amount of time it may take for him to solve one of these could be half a day, his videos are thankfully edited down between 15 and 25 minutes (give or take)—and they are they are truly fascinating to watch. There’s also lot of sped up POV footage and pithy commentary as he tinkers with these mind-numbing enigmas. Another thing to note about Chris is that he’s a very good cinematic videographer as well. Frequently, he’ll introduce a new puzzle video with a sweeping array of lens flared artistic and themed cinematography along with an epic Game of Thrones-style music score. It’s his signature film style, coupled with his happy-go-lucky (and extremely patient) persona, along with his inconceivable ability to solve crazy puzzles that make him a YouTube sensation. If you like real physical 3D puzzles that you can touch, rotate, tinker with, and lose your mind over, then you want to watch Chris Ramsay’s YouTube Channel. He’s also got links to where you can purchase these puzzles yourself for hours of intense eye-hand-brain coordination entertainment that...
  • In honor of NFL Super Bowl LIV this past Sunday, here’s a football physics question to tease your brain! In U.S. football, after a touchdown the team has the opportunity to earn one more point by kicking the ball over the bar between the goal posts. The bar is 3.048 meters above the ground, and the ball is kicked from ground level, 10.9728 meters horizontally from the bar. If the ball is kicked at 37 degrees above the horizontal, what must its initial speed be if it is to just clear the bar? Express your answer in meters per second (m/s). The answer can be found here!
  • February 24, 2020

    Movie Trivia — Engineering Theme

    In honor of the Oscars recently, I’ve decided to offer an engineering cinematic trivia contest. Why an engineering theme? Well, currently my day job is creating content for a great software company whose customers are engineers for manufacturing industries. So why not? See if you can guess the movie titles from the descriptions below (provide the years as well): Astronomer gets world to build a giant cosmic faster-than-light ship based on a message from space. Abandoned astronaut uses science to survive on desolate world while his crew mates figure out how to rescue him. American businessman builds largest airplane in the world and kicks off the airline industry while he descends into mental illness. Paranoid monarch takes a woman in lieu of tribute to fund building his massive robber-proof tomb. Two western men aid the Chinese army in defending their country from an invasion of a horde of supernatural creatures. The last one is not really about building anything as it simply glorifies a great ancient structure. In the meantime, Digital Batman’s got you covered with hints for you below!
  • February 17, 2020

    The “Holey” Sphere

    [From the website of Dr. Donald Simanek—see further down.] Browsing Martin Gardner’s books I stumbled on this diabolical puzzle. Gardner calls it “an incredible problem”. He traces it back too Samuel I. Jones’ Mathematical Nuts, 1932, p. 86. It is seen on the web in various forms, often ambiguous in wording, along with endless discussions often leading nowhere. I have tried to restate it to remove ambiguity (which isn’t easy). A hole is drilled completely through a sphere, directly through, and centered on, the sphere’s center. The hole in the sphere is a cylinder of length 6 inches. What is the volume of the remainder of the sphere (not including the material drilled out). You’d think there’s not enough information given. But there is. The solution does not require calculus. Gardner gives an insightful solution that requires only two sentences, including just one equation. Visit From mathworld.wolfram.com for more info. The answer is provided by Doctor Donald Simanek, Professor of Physics Emeritus at Lockhaven University. Visit Donald Simanek’s page at Lockhaven.edu for more brain-bending physics puzzles! Now that’s an interesting answer! Keep scrolling down… Wanna see a video answer to the brainteaser? This video was created by Tom McNaney Jr., Generalist Applications Engineer, Fellow at PTC (the company that I currently work for). Here is his detailed approach to the brainteaser using PTC’s flagship CAD program Creo Parametric! For the Holey Sphere challenge, Creo Parametric says the volume is 113.097 in^3. Interestingly, the volume remains constant regardless of the sphere Radius. Cool. I have no idea what the mathematical formula is, but probably 4/3*Pi*(something)^3. Who needs advanced math when they have Creo or Mathcad?
  • January 27, 2020

    Caterpillars

    Here’s a quick little brainteaser for young and old alike! Slice the square into 4 identical sections, so that in each section there is 1 caterpillar with its leaf. One caterpillar will not have a leaf, she is taking a diet. This and many other great geometry puzzles can be found on BrainDen.com!
  • January 20, 2020

    Two Geometry Brainteasers!

    When writing fun stuff for my company’s global communications site, sometimes I like to throw in a brainteaser every now and again—especially given that a lot of PTC’s employees and customers are engineers. So here are two geometry puzzles to get those old mental juices flowing! 64 = 65 Geometry Paradox Where does the hole in second triangle come from (the partitions are the same)? Write Numbers Write the numbers from 1 to 8 into the squares, so that the squares with consecutive numbers do not touch (neither edges nor corners). These and other amazing geometry puzzles can be found here on BrianDen.com.
  • October 14, 2019

    How Many Squares?

    How many squares are in this image? But here’s the twist: you have to present your logic behind the answer.