Brain teasers that only geniuses can solve

The true mark of a genius is not how well he or she performs on IQ tests or in school (which emphasizes memorization and robotic regurgitation of that info), but how adept that person is in conceiving outside-the-box solutions to novel challenges, such as these:

woman exercising
What could this woman do between sets to burn more fat than pumping iron?

What can someone do while resting between exercise sets that will do considerably more than the exercise itself to help that person lose weight? I realize that burning fat while sitting or standing likely seems impossible for inside-the-box thinkers, but it is indeed possible. How?

How could welfare recipients receive more (even much more) than they now do while the welfare burden on taxpayers is significantly reduced? (answer)

How can racists quickly lose their racial animosity? (answer)

How could governments have roads plowed free?

How could governments have grass (in parks, along roads, etc.) mowed free?

How could snowmobile trails be kept perfectly smooth at all times without trail groomers? Background info for people who are not familiar with snowmobiling: For a variety of reasons, snowmobile trails are prone to quickly develop bumps that are often endless, forming a washboard surface that makes snowmobiling much less enjoyable. Snowmobile trail groomers—essentially road graders for snow—are periodically sent down trails to smooth them, but bumps often quickly form again. There aren't enough trail groomers, or operators, to keep all trails smooth at all times.

yummy caffeine

You want to extract as much caffeine (& other goodies) from your morning cup of tea. How can you do that without squeezing (or otherwise compressing) the bag, or using a centrifuge or anything else that imparts straight-line or curved acceleration or deceleration? You must use the same temperature and pressure, so you cannot use a vacuum to induce room-temperature boiling.

How can you legitimately make money by giving people things they want? How can your kids do the same thing?

How can you freely post your contact info on various Web pages so that legitimate users can easily contact you, but spammers cannot? Hint: The correct answer does not involve e-mail address munging (which is easily defeated) or JavaScript cloaking (which is a pain to use but still not completely effective); the correct answer enables you to turn an ordinary word or phrase, or a clickable hyperlink, into a contact code that gives people a way to contact you via e-mail without you having to reveal your e-mail address, thus foiling spammers. (answer)

How can an online service help you meet people in the offline real world even if they do not participate in online dating?

How can an online service enable you to contact people on paid dating sites without paying those sites?

Without using a robotic vacuum or maid, how could you keep your floor clean without manually vacuuming it or otherwise taking time to cleanse it?

How could we eliminate every cell phone company, and every cell phone tower, in the world while giving people MUCH better cell phone coverage at much lower cost?

How could you hang your house key outside, with a HOUSE KEY HERE sign pointing to it, so you never need to worry about locking yourself out of your home, without giving potential burglars an easy way to enter?

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

Comments (0)

post commentPost a comment or subscribe to my blog