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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 4 October 2008
Two trains are approaching each other on the same track, both traveling at 50 mph. When they are exactly 100 miles apart, a fly, traveling at 60 mph, leaves the front window of one train and heads directly towards the 2nd train. When it reaches the front window of the 2nd train it turns (instantaneously) and heads back towards the 1st train, always maintaining its speed of 60mph. When it reaches the front window of the 1st train it turns again and heads back to the 2nd train. It keeps flying between the trains in this manner until the trains meet and the fly is killed. The question is: what total distance does the fly travel before the trains meet?

A mother is 21 years older than her son. In 6 years time she will be 5 times the age of her son. The question is: Where is the father?

Such are the some of the delightful problems or puzzles that the author sets us and then proceeds to show us how to answer in surprisingly easy ways, using everyday maths. So don't be put off by the idea that maths is dull, boring or not something that we can all use and enjoy. After all, everyone does use maths in some form every day in lots of ways.

By the time you are finished this highly engaging book you will be able to square (in your head!) any number between 1 and 100. For instance, 37 x 37 = 1369 and so on. I have already impressed my long suffering family with that one.

He also shows us some card tricks and how to win at Penney Ante 88% of the time - definitely worth a congratulatory round of drinks down at the pub. And there are some chapters on some of the more striking properties of triangles, rectangles etc, and some thoughts on the inherent consistency and beauty of numbers. A wonderful book which can be read in one sitting, or dipped into or revisited from time to time. A treat to read for oneself and a wonderful gift for family or friends.
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