A Question on Quora: What have you witnessed someone do that made you realize they are really, really smart?

April 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A: When I was in high school our physics teacher gave us a challenge that involved making a paper air plane of any shape. The only objective was to get it to fly as far as possible. I had some paper air plane making skills so I made the best plane I could and it flew pretty far.

One guy made the greatest, yet simplest paper airplane of all time. He stood there at the starting line with a regular piece of paper. Some classmates scratched their head while silently chuckling to themselves. Moments later he took the flat piece of paper, crumpled it up, and threw it down the hall way.

He beat the class with ease.

Some of the students got mad and said that he cheated.

The physics teacher said, “How so? I said it could be any shape. A paper ball is indeed a shape.”

He won the contest with flying colors.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Horny Bangladeshi in trouble: “An airline passenger could be sent to jail for up to two years if convicted after he allegedly recorded video of cabin crew members as they carried out her duties on board a cross-country flight in India. The incident occurred on a low-cost IndiGo flight from Kolkata to Mumbai while employees were serving drinks and snacks to passengers. Witnesses said a man allegedly ignored orders to stop after he was caught recording video of female flight attendants. A fellow passenger tipped off cabin crew after noticing a man shooting video of cabin crew and the plane’s interior, a spokesperson for the budget airline told the Hindustan Times. A report in the Indian Express stated that flight attendants asked the man and his travel companions to stop and then alerted the captain after he refused to put his mobile phone away.”

An ancient song will be heard for the first time in 1,000 years this week, after a 20 year project to reconstruct it: “‘Songs of Consolation’, will be performed at Pembroke College Chapel, Cambridge on April 23, and is reconstructed from neumes, symbols representing musical notation commonly used in the Middle Ages. It draws heavily on an 11th century manuscript leaf that was stolen from Cambridge and presumed lost for 142 years. 1,000 years ago, music was written in a way that recorded melodic outlines known as neumes, but not ‘notes’ as today’s musicians would recognise them; relying on aural traditions and the memory of musicians to keep them alive. Because these aural traditions died out in the 12th century, it has often been thought impossible to reconstruct ‘lost’ music from this era – precisely because the pitches are unknown. The new performance has music set to the poetic portions of Roman philosopher Boethius’ magnum opus The Consolation of Philosophy”

Bendy bird: “It’s said that if you don’t like the way things are, try looking at the world another way. And this short-eared owl, pictured, seemed to take the advice to heart – turning its entire gaze upside down. Photographer Alain Balthazard, 49, who captured the head-turning shot, said the birds can pivot their heads up to 270 degrees in a display of surprise and curiosity. He added: ‘It’s always amazing to observe.’ The bendy birds breed primarily in the coastal marshes of England and Scotland, but this particular specimen was snapped in north-eastern France.

Stricken shipping firm sells off its ships… for $1 each ship: “A heavily indebted shipping firm has been forced to sell off its fleet for as little as $1 a piece as the global shipping crisis takes its toll. Goldenport Holdings said on Friday that it would sell six of its eight vessels for a token consideration of $1 each, while it would look for the best price it can get on its two remaining ships. The company will also delist from the London Stock Exchange after its debt pile spiralled “significantly higher” than the value of its fleet. The global shipping market has been violently shaken by the Chinese economic slowdown after a rapid debt-fuelled expansion in the early years of this decade. The world’s shipping fleet doubled from 2010 to 2013 even as demand for shipped commodities dwindled. Loss-making vessels have nonetheless stubbornly remained in the market, accepting tenders well below their cost base, in order to pay down the minimum interest on crippling bank loans. These so-called ‘zombie vessels’ have forced freight rates lower still, plunging the market into crisis”

The tiny car that sold for big bucks: “The Peel P50 might be dinky in size, puny in terms of power and paltry on passenger and luggage space, but it’s definitely big in one department – price. One of the 1960’s three-wheeled micro machines fetched an astounding $176,000 when it sold at auction in Florida at the weekend – more than 60,000 times its original value. With just 26 other original P50s – the smallest production car of all time – remaining in existence, it means 25 others are currently in ownership of pocket-sized cars with a wallet-busting value. And it’s not just the availability of the Peel P50 that’s titchy: at just 134cm long and 99cm wide it’s the most minuscule of all mass-production motors on record. Even the wheel count is on the small side with three in total measuring 4.1 inches wrapped in donut-size tyres. All the power generated by the two-stroke 49cc moped engine is sent to the single rear wheel, though thankfully the horsepower output is a more pony like at a meagre 4.5hp that’s capable of a fairly pedestrian 38mph”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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