A question, some facts and recognition | VailDaily.com

A question, some facts and recognition

1) The following has been touted as “The All-Time Greatest Puzzle.” There’s no cash prize if you solve it. (The editor wouldn’t let me offer one.) There are no tricks, catches or assumptive reasoning involved (i.e., that no one could live on $20,000 per year); but EVERY FACT is important, so use each one.

On a train, Smith, Robinson and Jones are the fireman, brakeman and engineer, but NOT respectively. Also aboard the train are three businessmen who have the same names: a Mr. Smith, a Mr. Robinson and a Mr. Jones.

1. Mr. Robinson lives in Detroit.

2. The brakeman lives exactly halfway between Chicago and Detroit.

3. Mr. Jones earns exactly $20,000 a year.

4. The brakeman’s nearest neighbor, one of the passengers, earns exactly three times as much as the brakeman.

5. Smith beats the fireman at billiards.

6. The passenger whose name is the same as the brakeman’s lives in Chicago

Question: Who is the engineer?

If you think you have figured it out, send an email to editor@vaildaily.com; if not, look for the solution right here in next week’s commentary.

2) Here are some interesting but little known facts about the world we live in:

The earth’s surface is 72 percent water, 22 percent tundra, mountaintops, glacial ice and untillable desert – leaving us only 6 percent tillable land on which to grow food. The world’s population of 6.2 billion people lives on about 1 percent of its surface.

Lake Baikal in central Asia is only slightly larger in area than Lake Erie, but it holds 50 percent of the world’s fresh water!

The outpouring from the Amazon River, which is 40 miles wide at its widest, is so great that the open sea is freshwater over 200 miles from its mouth.

Although a dependency of Denmark, Greenland is actually part of North America.

Fifty percent of Americans live in the Eastern Time Zone, 30 percent in the Central, 15 percent in the Pacific; just 5 percent of us live here in the “Forgotten” Time Zone. That’s why Bronco games start at 2:15!

Speaking of sports, due to the movement of the Pacific tectonic plate Los Angeles is slowly moving northward, and in 15 million years the Dodgers and Giants will be cross-town rivals again.

Mona Kea on the big island of Hawaii is the world’s tallest mountain (if measured from its base 3,280 fathoms deep). It rises 33,476 feet, more than half a mile taller than Mt. Everest.

According to some studies K-2, or Qogir, the world’s second tallest peak is rising faster than Everest, (half inch per year) and in a few eons may be the highest point on the planet.

While Everest is the highest point on earth, the lowest point is the Great Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, which is 35,837 feet (almost seven miles) below sea level.

At last count there were 178 countries in the world; also, in what some may find surprising, there are more countries in North America than in South America – think about it.

Transylvania is a real place, but it’s not a country. It’s a region in Romania.

We tend to think of kingdoms in terms of fairy tales or Third World countries. But Belgium, Denmark, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden are all modern Western kingdoms; and, of course, we cannot forget The United Kingdom.

Over 45 countries have changed their names since I studied geography in grade school – don’t ask!

3) Webster’s defines inadvertent as: heedless, characterized by lack of attention, or unintentional. I would like to believe I was the perpetrator of an “unintentional” oversight because my “Quality, Service, Price – Pick Two” commentary on March 7 overlooked some very deserving businesses in the valley.

To redress that situation, the following should have made the original list:

n Steam Master-I’m most embarrassed about this omission because Gary has done work at my home since the mid-’80s. He and his crews are truly outstanding.

n Jim Glammeyer at Orkin Pest Control – conscientious, thorough and consistent.

n Todd Horn at T. Horn Enterprises – fast, pleasant handyman work.

n Alpine Glass – no nonsense, straightforward.

n Simon Properties – good follow-up and first-rate house repairs.

n Peak Window Cleaning – prompt and reliable.

n Just Cuts’ in Edwards – excellent hair cutting and always a good word.

n Canada Connexions grounds maintenance – friendly and dependable. Mike takes his work seriously.

n The deli at City Market in Vail – Maynor and Svitlana are a delight.

n Lulu Gallegos Cleaning Service – superior housecleaning. Since there are two similarly named services, this Lulu can be reached at 926-2178.

n Steve Lindstrom the owner of the valley’s three theaters, who will soon be expanding from eight screens to 12. Now we can begin enjoying a few more of the independent flicks.

n Village Market in Edwards – always obliging.

n Micro-Solutions in Edwards – for a computer neophyte like me, they’ve been a lifesaver.

n The Kitchen Collage in Edwards – accommodating and friendly.

To those I may have offended by not mentioning their businesses the first time, I truly apologize. You have been wonderful to work with.

Butch Mazzuca of Singletree writes a weekly column for the Daily.

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