Real Story of the Cat, the Dog and the Rabbit

Have you seen the email that asks you to figure out the combined weight of a Cat, a Dog and a Rabbit?

Dog Cat Rabbit

This is the kind of email I would normally trash immediately. Math isn’t my strong suit. Oh, I could assign each of the animals  a letter: the Cat a ‘C’, the Dog a ‘D’, and the Rabbit an ‘R’. I could even come up with  three equations: R+C=10; R+D=20; C+D=24. But that would be about as far as I would get before I’d insert a ‘Y’, as in why would I even care.

The Car Guy absolutely loved this email, because his mind likes numbers. He solved the question, even found out what each animal weighed individually, then posted it on Facebook. The response from his friends was almost instantaneous. Some got the answer, some said they were too far into Happy Hour to even guess, and one even posted all the ‘if’, ‘then’, ‘thus’ and ‘therefores’. Even my two young grandsons popped up with the answer, using the ‘guess and check’ (conjecture and proof) method of math that they are learning at school, and it took them less than a minute.

That was when I decided I really did care ‘Y’, and I would find the answer too. First though, I had to fill in the back story so that I could relate to the animals. So here it is:

Grandma had a cat, a dog and a rabbit. They all lived happily on a farm on the right bank of a wide river. The rabbit loved to eat in grandma’s garden, the cat was an excellent mouser, and the dog knew that grandma had a seemingly unlimited supply of kibble and bits.

Somehow (and I’m not too sure how it happened) the three animals woke up one morning on the left bank of the river. This is where the potato farmer lived. The three animals quickly realized that potatoes were not their favourite food, and if they didn’t get back to Grandma’s house quickly, they would perish. The river was too wide to swim, but there was a small boat by the shore and it was just big enough to hold the three of them – as long as they didn’t weigh too much.

The potato farmer had a scale to weigh his bags of potatoes. For some reason the animals couldn’t all get on the scale together, and equally puzzling, they couldn’t get on the scale singly. Instead, they got onto the scale in pairs. With the resulting three pieces of data, they figured out their cumulative weight. They were then able to board the boat, and float across the river without any fear of sinking. The End.

Now you know the real story . Can you answer the question – how much do all three animals weigh? Bonus points if you can tell me how the animals ended up on the left bank of the river AND ‘Y’ they had to weigh themselves in pairs.

I’ll post some answers in the comment section. Don’t peek! I’ll give you a hint though. There is more than one way to find the answer!

Rise and Fall of RivetPics

In a land not so far away, in a time not so long ago, there was a very large kingdom called The Whorled. In the very middle of the kingdom was a huge castle where King Sharpmann lived with his family, friends, crusaders  and 70 million Minions. Outside the castle was a huge town where most of The Makers lived. The Makers created all sorts of beautiful things, wrote interesting stories and took wondrous photos. They captured them all and put them into big books which they would bring to the big town square every day. They would spread their books out on long tables so that everyone could look, talk about, and buy what they were seeing.

The Castle Minions enjoyed looking at the books, but were sad that they didn’t have a way to save and share the contents of The Maker’s books.  The King, who wanted happy Minions, invented a Copy Wand which he mass produced and distributed to all. The Minions only had to shake the wand  and utter the magic words, “Copyright be damned” and instantly they had an exact duplicate of any idea or image that The Makers had created.

The King decreed that these images should be called Rivets because they could be riveted to the tables in the town square. All this riveting would henceforth be called RivetPics. This activity kept The Minions busy, and it helped them to forget that they didn’t own many of things that were in the pictures. Even some of The Makers started using the wands, and much of the Whole Wide Whorled (or WWW as it was called) embraced the activity.

Inevitably though, the costs to run RivettPics increased so much that the King required an influx of capital. So he sent some of his Caped Crusaders off to the Dark Forest to ask for the help of the Wolf-like Investors who lived there. The Investors ears perked right up, and they said they would be more than happy to help the King with his creation, but they warned the King that when the Castle Tower Clock struck 2014,  the King would have to  start generating a significant return on their investment.

As 2014 drew nearer, the King decided that the way to profit from RivetPics was to tap into the Minion’s Mildly Moderate to Miniscule Wage.  He wasn’t quite sure how to do this, so he sent his crusaders on another mission. This time he sent them to Wallet Street, where they purchased a slightly used Monetization Strategy from Prince Mark for $9.95 a month plus tax. To kick start this marketing plan, the King created  Sponsored Rivets – which were promotions for certain rivets that came from a select group of Big Box Businesses  (BBB) that were willing to pay for this privilege.

These rivets were targeted to match the content that The Minions had riveted to the tables. The King hoped The Riveters wouldn’t notice that Sponsored Rivets  were really just slick advertising. The King need not have worried, for the Minions were enthusiastic about spending their wages to buy the things they had riveted to the tables.

Life was not so good for The Makers, however. The Riveters had gradually taken over many of the tables and this left less and less room for The Maker’s books. The Makers had started to think of these Rivets as screws, for in fact The Makers were being… well, you know what was happening to them. They had created all the original content, but they were receiving less and less attention for it, and were  receiving fewer and fewer bitcoins for their effort.

In retaliation, The Makers removed all their books completely. The once never ending source of the Rivets dried up. With no new ideas, the Riveters gradually lost interest in RivetPics. Sales slumped, and the BBB’s pulled all their advertising. This would have been devastating to the King, except he had sold RivetPics to Gaaaaagle a few months earlier.

The End

Is this the future for Pinterest too?

LEGO – The Businessman and the Oranges

December found us far from Home, though at a place we are learning to call home – our Snowbird place in Arizona. The gathering of the clan at Christmas was a smaller event than usual and Christmas morning was a quiet affair. At least it was until a stranger appeared in my Christmas stocking. He said he was just a Businessman, but there was something about his bowler hat that hinted he had a secret agenda.

We decided to spy on him! Armed with only our cameras and our wits, we syrupti… serrepti… surreptitiously followed him around for the next few days. Here is what we found:


Businessman spent a lot of time investigating a bowl of oranges.  On the surface, it all seemed innocent enough…

half oranges

But apparently there was one bad one in the bunch. Businessman coldly bisected it and skewered it with a cocktail fork.


Later that day, we found him up on the roof of the house with the stalk of another orange in his hand. We heard him whisper, “This is one body they are never going to find.”


Businessman’s behaviour was unsettling, so we quickly juiced the rest of the oranges and hoped he would leave. And leave he did. With only a cursory glance at the GPS and a stare that told us we should forget we had ever seen him…


he left in as mysterious a manner as he had arrived.


Days later, we read that a Businessman had lost his life in an unfortunate accident involving a paper shredder. It happened in Orange County, Florida.


The photos for this story were the result of a challenge. Each of us had to photograph the Businessman – no one else could see the result until all the photos were taken.

Of all modern notions, the worst is this: that domesticity is dull. Inside the home, they say, is dead decorum and routine; outside is adventure and variety. But the truth is that the home is the only place of liberty, the only spot on earth where a man can alter arrangements suddenly, make an experiment or indulge in a whim. The home is not the one tame place in a world of adventure; it is the one wild place in a world of rules and set tasks.

– G.K. Chesterton –