Wednesday, June 03, 2020

An Old Puzzle

The algae on a pond doubles in size every day. It gets going in a small way in mid-April, barely noticeable by May 1st.  On June 3rd it finally covers the whole pond. On what day was the pond half covered?

9 comments:

Deevs said...

My answer is a plain, black square, indicating I'm listening or something.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Laughing.

Unknown said...

At what time of day was full coverage reached?

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Was it windy that day?

Unknown said...

Well, I'm going to buck the traditional answer of "the day before" because if the Algae/Water-lilly/etc. "doubles in size every day", then kind of by definition the pond was half-covered on the day that the algae doubled in size to cover it completely.

Donna B. said...

Unknown - thank you. I couldn't think of anything clever so avoided answering with the obvious and I'm glad I'm not alone!

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Just an overall statistics reminder of how quickly things can build, and catch us by surprise. There's a way of stating it that makes it harder for people to see unless they stop and think, but I told it badly.

james said...

It's the wrong question anyway. The real question is who has deep enough pockets to make them worth suing about this.

Sponge-headed ScienceMan said...

Interesting James. The very first time I served as an technical witness in court involved lake residents suing an upstream neighboring NH town over wastewater they claimed was causing excessive algal blooms in front of their properties. I was on the loosing side.