Martin-Gardner

In a similar vein, Martin Gardner offered the example: “Wouldn’t the sentence ‘I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-And-Chips sign’ have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?”
—  ~On the Wikipedia page for a list of linguistic example sentences.
Martin Gardner centennial

Yesterday was Martin Gardner’s 100th birthday.

Martin Gardner, born on October 21, 1914, was an American popular mathematics and science writer specializing in recreational mathematics, but with interests encompassing magic, literature, philosophy, scientific skepticism, religion, and chess. Gardner published more than 100 books and almost all of his columns have been collected in book form.

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The mathematician Martin Gardner, pictured above in Central Park, would have turned 99 years old today. As the Times points out, his bestselling book was The Annotated Alice.


Gardner’s editor here, Bob Weil, says Gardner "was something out of the Wizard of Oz. To know Martin — he was something out of a time warp. He lived in his stories. He lived in Lewis Carroll. He was frozen in the land of Oz. Part of him is Dorothy just skipping.“

#8: Apples à la Martin Gardner

How can you cut an apple in half using four separate cuts in three different directions?

This is not so much a magic trick as a three dimensional brain teaser. First, start cutting down the apple from the top as if you were going to bisect it normally, but stop halfway down. Second, cut halfway up from the bottom at a right angle to the first cut. Third, carefully cut from one of the ends of the first cut to one of the ends of the second cut at a right angle to both. This third cut will be only half as long as the first two cuts. Fourth, make a similar cut on the opposite side of the apple.

This effect is documented in Martin Gardner’s “Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic”. I now slice all of my apples this way.