Wednesday, December 18, 2013

And the winner is ...

On Monday we posed a riddle to you, regarding the total, cumulative number of gifts in the well known song The Twelve Days of Christmas. 

Here's the song:

For this puzzle, you were asked to come up with the total cumulative number gifts received by the giftee on the third, seventh, and twelfth days. 

The library received an avalanche of emails, but only 7 of the emails received had the correct answer. 

On the 3rd day, the giftee had received 10 gifts.
On the 7th day, the giftee had received 84 gifts.
On the 12th day, the giftee had received 364 gifts.

Many of you got the correct numbers for each day (6 gifts on the 3rd day, 28 gifts on the 7th day, and 78 gifts on the 12th day), but you forgot to add those gifts to the ones the giftee already had. 

On the first day of Christmas, the giftee got 1 gift.
On the second day, the giftee got 3 gifts -- but s/he already had 1, so the total for that day is 4. 
On the 3rd day, the giftee got 6 gifts. Added to the 4 s/he already had, that brings the cumulative total for the 3rd day to 10 gifts.  By adding the gifts received on a specific days to the gifts already in the giftee's possession, we arrive at the correct answers. 

The numbers in this song (1,3,6,10, etc.) are called triangular numbers. Click here to see an explanation of triangular numbers and to see the sequence of the first hundred. You will recognize the first 12 as the gifts received each day in the song.  

And now for the winner of this contest!

The winner of the Hershey's large chocolate bar is..... Dawn Niles! Congratulations, Dawn! Please come to the library to get your prize. 

But wait, there's more! 

The entries below were all correct, and although they came in after the winning entry, they have all received honorable mentions, and the senders have each won a candy bar. Please come to the library to collect your prize!

Jennifer Beiner
Dolan Harrington
Lee Bobbio
Mary Hedges
Danielle Taylor
Chiron Anderson

Prizes must be collected by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, December 20th. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas puzzle: find the total

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
a partridge in a pear tree

Most of us are familiar with the Twelve Days of Christmas song, in which some unnamed person showers another with gifts, some extravagant (ten lords a-leaping? Seriously?) and some quite valuable (5 gold rings! They will have to be sold to pay for the maintenance of the lords, maidens, cows, etc.).  But how many people know how many presents the giftee had on the 3rd day, or the 7th day, or the 12th day? Do you?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out how many cumulative gifts the giftee had on the 3rd day, on the 7th day, and on the 12th day. 

The first person to send the correct answer via email to on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 will win a big chocolate bar. Please include your name, your student ID or Blackboard user name, your email address, and how you arrived at the answer. The first sender will be determined by the time stamp on the email. 

Emails sent before Wednesday, December 18th, will not be considered. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Library Showcase: Happiness

Source: Wikipedia Commons

In every life we have some trouble
But when you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy
~Bobby McFerrin

December is here, and the holidays are right around the corner. No matter what holiday you celebrate, 'tis the season to be jolly. Despite this expectation of happiness, though, for many people the holiday season brings depression.

To help fight any holiday blues that may be lurking, the Jessup Library shines the spotlight on happiness this month. We have books that explain how happiness happens in the brain (for those of you who like to know how things work), books that give you advice on how to be happy, and even books that simply share a few words that inspire happiness. So come to the library this month and take a bit of happiness home with you.

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking -- A very original book that suggests that the path to happiness involves embracing failure and sadness.

The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living -- Let the Dalai Lama guide you to happiness and balanced living.

A Brief History of Happiness -- Philosopher Nicholas White will take you on a journey of discovery and attempt to answer some questions about happiness: What is it? Why is it important? What makes us happy? Along the way you will learn how thinkers throughout history have viewed happiness.

Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, & Wisdom -- Use science to rewire your brain and make it easier to attain fulfillment, happiness and success.

Exploring Happiness: From Aristotle to Brain Science --This book explores the concept of happiness through the ages.

Exuberance: The Passion for Life -- Dr. Kay Jamison explores the meaning of exuberance, examines the lives of those who felt this passion for life, and describes how the concept of exuberance has been viewed throughout history.

Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill -- The author, a former molecular biologist turned Buddhist monk, explains how to attain happiness.

Happiness as a Second Language -- For many, happiness might as well be a foreign language. This book teaches how to learn that language, step by step.

Happiness is an Inside Job -- Offers remedies to counteract the happiness-negating challenges of life; among them: stay connected with the world and practice mindfulness.

The Happiness Hypothesis -- This book examines philosophy through the lens of psychology, and explores how a deep understanding of society's maxims (for example, "love one another") can transform our lives.

The Happiness Project -- You are probably thinking that you don't need another project. You should still read this book to see how the author took it upon herself to change her life and mindset over one year. You might find some good insights in here.

Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile -- Packed with interesting observations about happiness, this book explores why some people are happy and some are not, what strategies work or don't work when it comes to fighting sadness, and what brain workings lie beneath our moods.

Happy at Last: The Thinking Person's Guide to Finding Joy -- Another look at the science of rewiring your brain to turn it into a happy place.

The Myths of Happiness -- Explores why so many people are unhappy with their jobs and what can be done to refresh our perspective and find satisfaction and happiness in our professional lives.

On the Good Life -- Cicero, the great Roman orator, writes about his vision for a happy life.

Secrets of True Happiness -- Short and sweet, this little booklet contains several pages of inspirational poems about happiness.

Stumbling on Happiness -- Learn how your own imagination may limit or increase your happiness, depending on how you use it.

You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness -- If you are not a dog person, you may not know how much dogs can teach about happiness, and so this book is for you.  If you are a dog person, you already know the grace and beauty of dog companionship... but you should read this book too; you will be nodding and smiling while you do it.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Countdown to Winter Break!

Fill out a raffle ticket to be entered into a daily drawing for candy. On December 20th, the last day of exams, we’ll also raffle off a $25.00 gift certificate to Amazon. All you have to do is come to the library and fill out a raffle card. We’ll do the rest.
And don’t forget to check out the actual calendar in the periodicals room. The purpose of this is just to create a little holiday cheer and excitement. It’s been a long semester; now it’s time to have some fun!