Mental Floss 194

The answer to last week’s challenge is, Q: During World War II, the mathematician Abraham Wald was asked to help with determining which parts of the allied forces’ planes must be armored better. After examining the surviving American planes, he noticed that there were many holes in the fuselage, and very few in the engines. After careful thinking, he suggested that the armor on the engines must be improved. Why?

A: Abraham Wald realized that the holes should have been distributed more evenly across the planes. Therefore the planes which had more holes in the fuselage survived, while the planes which had more holes in the engines got destroyed.

This week’s challenge is:

Q: Researchers have discovered a strong positive correlation between performance in spelling bees and contestants’ shoe sizes. Can you find an explanation for this?

The answer along with a new challenge, next week.

For those with an interest in the future ….. Join us at this year’s International Conference on Thinking in Melbourne on July 4-8

Have an excellent weekend!

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