MATH PUZZLE OF THE WEEK
It's that time of the year when purchases reach a frenzy. My own foray into this market is Chaos Tiles, and it seems to be doing fairly well. In the stores that can keep my game stocked, only Pokemon is selling better. Buy Chaos Tiles. If you can convince a game store near you to stock Chaos Tiles, I'll send you a free set (go here for details). Roger Phillips has discovered an infinite family of convex shapes with Chaos Tiles. I will call this the Neuquen Hexagon, based on the provincial shield of Neuquen.
I recently received a Geometry Catalog from Nasco (1-800-558-9595). I found a variety of interesting things in it.
TB17786T -- Krypto ($21 for 4 copies). A card game where you must use addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division on your five cards to hit a goal card before anyone else. For example, try to make a goal of 17 with the five cards 7, 13, 14, 18, and 20.
TB17501T -- Power Polygons ($24). A set of 450 transparent 2D plastic shapes in 15 different geometric shapes, identified by letter and color. I bought a set for myself to see what new games I might be able to make. TB17514T -- Zome Starter kit ($35). I'm trying to build a variety of knots and convex heptahedra with this set. TB16755T -- 500 1cm cubes ($13). Perfect for exploring cubic packing problems. Or get 1000 cubes for $20 TB16756T. TB16053T -- Pentominoes ($3.35). Made of transparent plastic. TB14928T -- Tangrams ($4 for four sets). Made of transparent plastic in red, yellow, blue, and green. TB15671T -- Bucket of dice ($17 for 144 cubic dice). For those really huge games of Liars Dice. TB16020T -- More dice ($29.10). 36 d20, 7 d12, 28 d10, 7 d8, 10 d6, 9 d4. TB17791T -- Triacontahedra (30-sided dice. $4.50 for four). TB17533T -- X-Y Axis Rubber Stamp ($4.25). Where was this when I needed it? TB17217T -- Tic Tac Twice ($10). Try to get four in a row while claiming letters on both boards. In the game below, the second player won (final moves P D G E B). You can remember the game with the simple sets of words (FARM GUST POKE IDLY) and (LUMP FEDS ORGY TIKA). This game intrigues me. Are there interesting versions on larger boards?
The Tanuguchi Sliding Block Puzzle program is now available here (for free). A new (to me) version of Fractint is available here (for free). I converted this fractal to a PNG image (GIF also available) with StarOffice from Sun Microsystems (also free). The whole website was built in Netscape Composer (free). The image above was drawn in ISISdraw (free). If you know of any good free programs, please contact me.
I'm rearranging various things. I have scads of stuff to add. Several crosswords, but I need clues. Many wonderful polyform solutions. There has been a discussion lately about figures that can be tiled with dominoes in exactly 2000 ways. There is a wonderful correlation with Fibonacci numbers. Several new Chaos Tiles games (including Ivory Towers), and a better write-up of the current rules. A cryptography method based on putting keys on closed tours. An introduction to Axiomatic Set Theory. A list of the great online math books. A list of Zillions games. Some new applet puzzles. Some applets for graphs in the Complex Plane. A guestbook and a chat page.
The Nature and Growth of Modern Mathematics by Edna Kramer ($32) is a wonderful book. Of all the books in my recent book buying excursion, it's my favorite. You can see more book recommendations here. I'm still working on this page, and I have many books to evaluate. I'm still welcoming recommendations, though. I'm especially interested in online math books. The next person to draw my attention to a really nice book I'm unaware of will win something from my Prize page. Write me.
Contest. A $500.00 prize will go to the person who finds the best solution to this question: How many pieces are necessary to make the 97 two tile combinations simultaneously? The contest will end on December 7th, 2000. Some of the factors I'll be looking at when I choose the 'best solution' include: fewest number of repeated combinations, smallest diameter of solution, minimal number of clumps, fewest sides on outside border, fewest internal holes. No purchase is necessary, and the contest is open to everyone.
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