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Chris Welch

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MATH PUZZLE: Can you replace the question mark with a number?
What's the least number of chairs you would need around a table to sit four fathers, two grandfathers, and four sons?

Constantine Rafinesque

Born 22 Oct 1783; died 18 Sep 1840 at age 56.Constantine Samuel Rafinesque was a French naturalist, traveller and writer who, in spite of work of variable reliability, still substantially expanded knowledge with extensive travels, collecting, cataloging and naming huge numbers of plants and some animals. Among these are many new species he is credited with being the first to describe. Years ahead of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, Rafinesque conceived his own ideas. He thought that species had, even within the timeframe of a century, a continuing tendency for varieties to appear that would diverge in their characteristics to the point of forming new species. Accordingly, he was over-enthusiastic at distinguishing what he called new species. He wrote prolifically, and often self-published. His work varied from brilliant insightfulness to carelessness. He had a difficult personality, was in his time often dismissed and died impoverished.«[He was born in Turkey, but his nationality came from his father.]

The Mule, the Monkey & The Man

God created the mule, and told him, "You are mule. You will work constantly from dusk to dawn, carrying heavy loads on your back. You will eat grass and lack intelligence. You will live for 50 years."
The mule answered, "To live like this for 50 years is too much. Please, give me no more than 20."
And it was so.
Then God created the dog, and told him, "You are dog. You will hold vigilance over the dwellings of Man, to whom you will be his greatest companion. You will eat his table scraps and live for 25 years."
The dog responded, "Lord, to live 25 years as a dog like that is too much. Please, no more than 10 years."
And it was so.
God then created the monkey, and told him, "You are monkey. You shall swing from tree to tree, acting like an idiot. You will be funny, and you shall live for 20 years."The monkey responded, "Lord, to live 20 years as the clown of the world is too much. Please, Lord, give me no than 10 years."
And it was so.
Finally, God created Man and told him, "You are Man, the only rational being that walks the earth. You will use your intelligence to have mastery over the creatures of the world. You will dominate the earth and live for 20 years."
The man responded, "Lord, to be Man for only 20 years is too little. Please, Lord; give me the 20 years the mule refused, the 15 years the dog refused, and the 10 years the monkey rejected."
And so God made Man to live 20 years as a man, then marry and live 20 years like a mule working and carrying heavy loads on his back. Then, he is to have children and live 15 years as a dog, guarding his house and eating the leftovers after they empty the pantry; then, in his old age, to live 10 years as a monkey, acting like an idiot to amuse his grandchildren.
And it is so ...
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