Mental Floss 70




The answer to last week’s question is. Q: Manhole covers for sewer drains are typically circular in shape (the ones that are removable anyway). This shape has an important advantage over a square or rectangular shape. What is it?

A: There is no risk of a circular manhole cover falling through the hole as would be the case for a square or rectangular shape which could slide through the diagonal. Another small advantage is that a round manhole cover can be rolled.

This week’s lateral thinking challenge is.

Q: You are in the center of on an island that is a kilometer long and half a kilometer wide. The vegetation is very dry from a long drought. Suddenly it catches fire at one end of the island, and a strong wind is blowing it towards you, burning the whole width of the island. There’s no beach, only steep cliffs, and the sea is full of sharks. What can you do?

The answer and a new challenge, next week.

Have a great weekend!


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About the Author

Frank Connolly is the Principal of “Think Quick”, a business that adds value through thinking differently. His work history covers all sectors and includes initiatives that have yielded bottom line benefit in the 10’s of millions of dollars.

Frank has worked across Australia, South East Asia, China, the Middle East and Africa where he has trained and facilitated multiple thinking methods and been acknowledged by Edward de Bono as one of the foremost practitioners of the de Bono thinking methods worldwide.

Frank believes strongly that if we can improve the way we think, the actions that follow also improve.

Comments (1)

  1. Jabr Alnoaimi :

    I would rush to the edge of the fire, steal a piece of burning wood, bring it to the middle, burn right across the half kilometer vegetation, wait in the area for the original fire to get too close to me and watch the area from where I had started the fire being cleared of fire fuel on the second half to which I would go when the original fire reaches the middle. The original fire would not be able to reach me and the second fire would continue to the second edge and die off.

    Thank you for a question which is very stimulating!


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