Is This yet Another Nail in the Coffin of a Common Skeptic Argument?
Yes. Get used to coffins.â â â â â âJoshua CoffinSome records suggest that Joshua, while captaining the whaler Ganges, sighted and named Gardner Island in the Phoenix Group in 1825, probably naming it after U.S. Congressman Gideon Gardner, the owner of Ganges. Alternative sources claim the island was sighted by whaler Joshua Gardner, also reported to have captained Ganges in 1825.â â â â â âCoffin bone help? (20 char)?Have the vet out to do x-rays and go from there. She may need shoes, she may not, but you should have the vet figure out what is wrong firstâ â â â â âDiscovery of his coffinIn 2016, during the refurbishment of the Garden Museum, which is housed at the medieval church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, 30 lead coffins were found; one with an archbishop's red and gold mitre on top of it. On one of these coffins, a metal plate served to identify it as being that of Bancroft.â â â â â â15 YR OLD IN A COFFIN??!?This is a weird question. Well when I see someone in a coffin it's always someone I knew, or I would not be there.soooo it's always pretty sad, 80 or 15.â â â â â âStewart CoffinStewart Coffin is an American puzzle maker. According to Ars Technica, he is considered to be one of the "best designers of polyhedral interlocking puzzles in the world."â â â â â âFrederick CoffinFrederick D. Coffin (January 16, 1943 - July 31, 2003) was an American film actor, singer, songwriter, and musicianâ â â â â âWhat are coffin problems in mathematics?I concur with Alon and I upvoted his answer (make sure that you read it first).The so called undesirable element (yes, in singular) were mostly people of Jewish descent but that fact was never officially stated. What I could never figure out for the life of me is why the hell did the Soviets even bother with a thin veneer of dubious legality. The country that shot its own citizens on the spot without any shadow of due process, the country that, like a vicious snake feeding on itself, physically annihilated its own citizenry on a mind-boggling scale in a system of concentration camps known as Gulag could have just said no, take a hike.In any case, these coffins were difficult to solve quickly mathematical problems (with elementary solutions) that were offered by an examiner to a hopeful student during the oral entrance exams. Don't confuse an effort with the result - stating an elementary solution is easy but finding one is not so.Since, I wager, most US-born students, especially the younger generation, who never studied abroad are not very well familiar with the format of an oral math or theoretical physics exam, I will describe it in broad strokes.Can't say anything about how these things work these days but in my time, mid 1980-ies, and in my college an oral exam was the (only) form of examination. Among us, the students, it was known simply as an exam (ÑÐºÐ·Ð°Ð¼ÐµÐ½).Yes, we did have some written tests during a semester but these were looked down upon as not the real thing though the technical level of the problems given on written tests was high. But even on the written tests the faculty did not care about the final answers much - the train of thought in its entirety, the step by step, the blow by blow - is what they were after.During an oral exam we normally would be given just one or two questions - a fodder for the upcoming discussion. Then we would be given some small amount of time, say 15-20 minutes, to prepare and gather our thoughts (if we had any). And then - there was no escape - it was the one on one, face time with a professor. As you would begin answering a given question, you could be interrupted at any point at any time for no visible reason with And where did that come from? Why? And this follows from? Prove it; Elaborate; Give a different argument; Justify and so on. As you would begin answering that new query you, recursively, could be interrupted again, and again, and again to explain, elaborate and prove. An originality of thought was welcomed, nurtured and cultivated - and often rewarded even if you made some silly mistake elsewhere.I'm sure that some Quorans from the era will keep me honest but the reason why I am painting the above picture is so that readers (especially non-Russians) can realize that during these oral exams (in my time and in my college) there was virtually no room for such a thing as a lucky guess, the SAT-style: if in doubt - choose D (or whatever).Your cranium will be excavated with an inevitability of a slow moving steam roller. The weak spots, if any, will be found. No matter how smart you thought you were you couldn't just goof off all semester long and then wing it at the end. You had to cover your turf.(A historical aside: if you had a failed exam, midterm or final, by the time the next semester rolled around then we, the students, called such a failed exam a tail or 'Ñ
Ð²Ð¾ÑÑ" in Russian (hhvohst). In my college the policy was that if you had a single tail then you would be kicked out. Reason: the coin vector in USSR pointed in the direction diametrically opposite to that of its US counterpart. In US colleges you pay while in USSR I was paid (different levels of stipend) to go to college. So, my guess, the government didn't want to bother if you didn't cut the mustard)So now imagine - as a 17-year-old kid, fresh out of high school, you walk into an auditorium and are asked to quickly:Using only a straight edge and a compass, reconstruct a square whose four sides pass through four given (coplanar) points. A popular solution involving circles is floating about. Either look it up or, better yet, find it yourself - since you've been given a hint; no such luxury during the actual exam would be extended.But.There is an even simpler and more extensible solution. Wait. From the problem-solving perspective how do we know ahead of time that such a simpler solution even exists? We don't. But it does. Quickly, what is it?Assume that P, Q, R and S are the four given coplanar points through which the sides of the square sought-after pass.How do we approach this problem?In reverse order. The devil's advocate: and how did you, smarty pants, know to use that approach?Honestly, I have no idea.But assume that the square sought-after, ABCD, has been somehow constructed. Then if we connect P and R and construct a perpendicular p to PR through, say, Q then p must intersect one of the square's sides, say CD, at T and the problem is solved because the highlighted right triangles are congruent:Therefore, the elementary solution is. Step 1: connect P and RStep 2: construct a perpendicular p to PR through QStep 3: construct a circle sigma centered at Q with the radius PR (which can be done. Why? Thanks to Euclid's Book 1 Proposition 2 in case you were wondering), sigma will intersect p at two points of which we take T:Step 4: complete the square by constructing a:straight line s_1 through T and Sperpendicular s_2 to s_1 through P to locate Cperpendicular s_3 to s_2 through Q to locate Aperpendicular s_4 to s_3 through R to locate B and D:The above solution can be generalized. How? Quickly.It can be used to solve a similar problem - for the rectangles. As you can see, it is impossible to win. How sad. In the comments of the Alon's answer I see someone asking if anyone managed to solve a coffin.How naive.It does not matter.The well of coffins is infinite.There will be the next one - and less time to solve it.And the next one - and less time to solve that. And the next one . . You will fail. Again - how sad. What are coffin problems in mathematics?What are coffin problems (mathematics)?