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#1 2014-04-24 10:27:43

ManiticMath
Member
Registered: 2014-04-24
Posts: 29

My answer to the Burning Island puzzle

The puzzle is as follows:

A man is stranded on an island covered in forest.

One day, when the wind is blowing from the west, lightning strikes the west end of the island and sets fire to the forest. The fire is very violent, burning everything in its path, and without intervention the fire will burn the whole island, killing the man in the process.

There are cliffs around the island, so he cannot jump off.

How can the man survive the fire? (There are no buckets or any other means to put out the fire)

The answer they gave is that he set another fire to survive, but dies anyway due to starvation. I have a more practical solution.
Because the island is in the middle ocean (Where else would it be?) there will normally be a heavy amount of rain. The rain provides the  intervention by dousing the areas that haven't caught fire yet while not putting out the fire. The fire gradually dies down due to the lack of dry materials and constant dousing by rain and goes out due to lack of fuel. The man survives the fire, builds a raft and returns to civilization.

And that is my answer. (I'm trying to be optimistic.He died in the original answer.)


When ever I see a brand new new math problem, I want to solve it. Then I want to burn it. Then I want to rebuild it in a new, more streamlined way.

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#2 2014-04-24 12:01:36

ShivamS
Member
Registered: 2011-02-07
Posts: 3,411

Re: My answer to the Burning Island puzzle

I think the first answer is what most people use.

As for the second answer, what about the cliffs?

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#3 2014-04-24 13:24:51

ManiticMath
Member
Registered: 2014-04-24
Posts: 29

Re: My answer to the Burning Island puzzle

He uses the vine to get down.


When ever I see a brand new new math problem, I want to solve it. Then I want to burn it. Then I want to rebuild it in a new, more streamlined way.

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#4 2014-04-24 13:34:03

ShivamS
Member
Registered: 2011-02-07
Posts: 3,411

Re: My answer to the Burning Island puzzle

That's a bit far-fetched, don't you think?

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#5 2014-04-24 13:53:48

bobbym
Administrator
From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 81,616

Re: My answer to the Burning Island puzzle

Because the island is in the middle ocean (Where else would it be?)

Florida has thousands of islands within eyeview. There are also desert islands.


In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
I have the result, but I do not yet know how to get it.
All physicists, and a good many quite respectable mathematicians are contemptuous about proof.

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#6 2014-04-24 20:09:01

bob bundy
Moderator
Registered: 2010-06-20
Posts: 6,116

Re: My answer to the Burning Island puzzle

hi ManiticMath

See below for my solution.  The man lives!  smile

Bob

View Image: island fire puzzle.gif

You cannot teach a man anything;  you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei

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#7 2014-04-25 11:00:00

ManiticMath
Member
Registered: 2014-04-24
Posts: 29

Re: My answer to the Burning Island puzzle

Hmm....... ok.


When ever I see a brand new new math problem, I want to solve it. Then I want to burn it. Then I want to rebuild it in a new, more streamlined way.

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