Three Perfect Puzzles to Paralyze Your Workplace


Monday mornings can be a drag. Especially if you hightailed it out of the office Friday leaving a bunch of crap unfinished because you were consumed by Spring Fever. For this week’s Monday Metavator, we’re providing you with some time-honored tools of distraction to help throw your co-workers into bafflement and brainfreeze while you get caught up. The cruelest part? We’re not sharing the answers.

Shooting a Bullet Backwards

Shooting a Bullet Backwards

If an airplane is traveling at the speed of a typical bullet (say, 1400mph) and you fire a gun backwards from it ,what will happen to the bullet? Will the bullet stay in the gun? Exit the barrel but hang in the air and then drop straight down? Exit the barrel as it usually would?

The Feynman Sprinkler

The Feynman Sprinkler

In his book Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!, physicist Richard Feynman tells the story of an experiment he attempted while at Princeton.  The experiment: An s-shaped water sprinkler typically spins in the direction opposite the water it expels. If – instead of being used to expel water – it were used to draw water in,  would the sprinkler turn the same way as it did when it squirted the water out, or would it spin in the opposite direction?

Airplane Treadmill

Airplane Treadmill

This one is kind of an internet classic. Imagine a plane is sitting on a massive conveyor belt, as wide and as long as a runway. The conveyor belt is designed to exactly match the speed of the wheels of the plane, moving in the opposite direction. Can the plane take off?

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