Suppose you want to send in the mail a valuable object to a friend. You have a box which is big enough to hold the object. The box has a locking ring which is large enough to have a lock attached and you have several locks with keys. However, your friend does not have the key to any lock that you have. You cannot send the key in an unlocked box since it may be stolen or copied. How do you send the valuable object, locked, to your friend - so it may be opened by your friend?
There are three crates, one with apples, one with oranges, and one with both apples and oranges mixed. Each crate is closed and labeled with one of three labels: Apples, Oranges, or Apples and Oranges. The label maker broke and labeled all of the crates incorrectly. How could you pick just one fruit from one crate to figure out what’s in each crate?
Three men are lined up behind each other. The tallest man is in the back and can see the heads of the two in front of him; the middle man can see the one man in front of him; the man in front can’t see anyone. They are blindfolded and hats are placed on their heads, picked from three black hats and two white hats. The extra two hats are hidden and the blindfolds removed. The tallest man is asked if he knows what color hat he’s wearing; he doesn’t. The middle man is asked if he knows; he doesn’t. But the man in front, who can’t see anyone, says he knows. How does he know, and what color hat is he wearing?
You want to send a valuable object to a friend. You have a box which is more than large enough to contain the object. You have several locks with keys. The box has a locking ring which is more than large enough to have a lock attached. But your friend does not have the key to any lock that you have. How do you do it? Note that you cannot send a key in an unlocked box, since it might be copied.
NASA was considering sending canaries into space to study them under zero gravity. The project was scrapped when someone realized that in spite of having sufficient water supplies, they could die of dehydration within a few hours. Why?