Editorial
[ Issue 30 ]

Language, literature, music, nature, the performing arts, hobbies, science and humour all deserve Emily Bronto's approval

Bikwil offers acclaim to language, literature, music, nature, the performing arts, hobbies, science and humour

Editorial

In the Editorial to Issue 30 Tony Rogers wonders whether the famous 12 Billiard Balls Puzzle was inaccurately stated in Bikwil.  He also foreshadows a couple of apologies to be found later in this issue.
 

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Off the Beam? — Tony Rogers

Copyright


When we first published the 12 Billiard Balls puzzle (Issues 4 and 6, November 1997 and March 1998), reader response consisted of little more than a stifled yawn. In contrast, on the Internet the puzzle is a worldwide favourite. Person after person is looking for a solution, and most find it at Bikwil.

The downside of all this is that I may have stated the problem inaccurately. I quote (verbatim) from an affronted U.S. searcher:

A beam scale usually has one tray where a balence scale has two. this obviously makes a big difference in how the problem is solved! . . . I have wasted hours trying to solve with a beam scale . . . Maybe youll consider rewording your question.

Yes, I did say beam balance — the phrase I’d swear we used in high school science. These days, though, the term for the “see-saw” two-pan scales is balance scale, while beam balance seems to apply the device with one tray and one or more weights that slide along the beam(s).

Do any readers have more information on the matter?

This current issue of Bikwil, by the way, is loaded down with contrite behaviour. Far too much for its own good, perhaps. For other examples (if you must) see Another Apology from the Front Porch and Mistaken Identity.

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