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# Exact Measure of Table

## Question

You have to measure exact length of any unknown table, within 1% error.

- you can ask anybody in the room for anything, except measuring device

- you can access Internet

You can ask anybody in room for a dollar bill. Then you can find length of dollar bill from Internet. ( 6 1/4 inch) Use it to measure the length. For more precise measurements, fold it into half, one-fourth, one-eighth

## 18 answers to this question

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Welcome to the boards, lucknowm!

Great little tip. I've been using it for years for quick estimations of length. I always estimate a bill to be 6" long as it's a rounder number to work with and bills are usually between 6 1/16" and 6 1/8" long, which is why I am going to nit-pick your answer.

I just measured ten bills and they were all between the lengths I just mentioned. Even if we used one of the longer bills I found (6 1/8" long) and used it to measure a 73.5" table, the table would be 12 dollar bills long. If we consider these bills to be 6 1/4", we will estimate the table to be 75" long, meaning our measurement will be off by a little more than 2%

Welcome to the pickyness that is BrainDen.

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isn't the pickiness amazing?

I love it

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Couldn't a dollar bill be considered a measuring device?

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Why not just ask for a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper? I wouldn't even need the internet!

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I have a forearm that is about 1 cubit in length. Would that do?

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HA! Is that a poke at HPT and me and the arc discussion?

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I love it when you guys take a stab at me, It means I'm still loved in a really weird sort of self deprecating way I guess.

Here's my infallible solution to the problem.

1st assign new unit of measure.

2nd apply new unit to the table.

3rd boldly state to all within earshot....

"This table is exactly one (insert unit of measure) long."

4th grin maniacally while everyone else groans.

I choose to use the unit now called table.

It just sounds better to say this table is one table long. Or you could say this is one long table.

Peace

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yeah, but you forgot one thing.

No one will believe it's a real unit of measurement

you need a 5th step: use the computer to go on wikipedia, and create a page saying that a table is a unit of measurement.

Then you can continue to laugh maniacly as planned

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HA! Love it.

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Why not just ask for a 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper? I wouldn't even need the internet!

the only problem with that is that not everyone has a 8.5x11 paper in their pockets with them, while most poeple will have a dollar bill.

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you can ask anybody in the room for anything

Didn't say it had to be on their person.

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HPT's answer is still the most accurate.

Forget the 1% error stuff ... The table is exactly 1 table length long.

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HPT's answer is still the most accurate.

Forget the 1% error stuff ... The table is exactly 1 table length long.

Oh, c'mon now. The spirit of riddle solving definitely allows for creativity, but assigning a new unit of measure? There's a fine line between being creative and providing a real answer. But I have a feeling he may have been joking.

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HPT's answer is still the most accurate.

Forget the 1% error stuff ... The table is exactly 1 table length long.

Oh, c'mon now. The spirit of riddle solving definitely allows for creativity, but assigning a new unit of measure?

There's a fine line between being creative and providing a real answer.

But I have a feeling he may have been joking.

Agree totally.

However, if the OP had said "exactly" without the "within 1%", then you'd almost have to stray outside the box.

As it stands, I got to learn something new about US currency.

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ummm, yes, I was joking.

It was intentional due to the exacting requirements of the riddle. Maybe I was word smithing a little when I read "measure exactly" but even with most tape measures, rulers, and certainly dollar bills; the method of measurement usually puts error into the final result. This coming from a guy with a few years of military QA experience.

I guess for realistic means of measure I would have to go with WB on the 8.5X11 sheet of paper. The thin and square shape make for pretty exact measuring. Especially when you consider that dollar bills get washed and folded constantly affecting their actual length, whereas sheets of paper seldom do. You can normally pull one from a printer feed tray in as good of condition as it was when sent out from the factory.

No offense intended to the writer of the riddle, I too learned something new about our currency....What it was I can't recall now, but I did learn something at some point in the not to distant past.

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This thread is reminding me of the apocryphal story of the student who, while doing an test, was faced with a problem requiring him to determine the height of a building using a barometer.

The student was unable to remember the correct formulas to use, so wrote the following answers instead:

[*]B.) Tie the barometer to rope and lower it over the side of the building until it just touches the ground. Set the barometer swinging and use the formula t = 2* pi * root(l / g) to calculate the length of the rope and thus the height of the building.[/*:m:58329]

[*]c) Hold the barometer exactly one metre from your eye. Walk away toward the building until the visual angle of the barometer exactly matches the visual angle of the building. Divide the height of the barometer into one metre and multiply that by the distance to the building to obtain the height of the building.[/*:m:58329]

[*]d) Get a tall ladder, or use the stairwell. Place barometer on the wall and progressively make your way up the wall measuring the height of the building in "barometer units".[/*:m:58329]

[*]e) Take the barometer into building. Find the superintendent's office and knock on the door. When he/she answers, tell him/her "I'll give you this nifty barometer if you'll tell me how high this building is". [/*:m:58329]

According to the story, the teacher did not give him credit for his answer. The student then took it up with the dean/principle and was awarded full marks because the question did not specify how the barometer was to be used. Unlikely story, but still good fun.

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Wait, there's more ...

[*]Tie the barometer to a string and lower it from the top of the building till it touches the ground.

Measure the length of the string.

[/*:m:cb09d]

[*]Measure the length of the building's shadow, then measure the barometer's shadow.

Use the ratio of shadow lengths to convert the length of the barometer into the height of the building.

[/*:m:cb09d]

[*]Every time somebody walks into or out of the building, stab them with the sharpened end of the barometer.

Word of the 'Barometer Murderer' will eventually reach the building's owner, who will of course be forced to sell the building.

[/*:m:cb09d]

[*]Kill someone and leave the body and barometer on the roof of the building.

The presence of the barometer will probably suggest death by scientific experiment.

The TV news report probably will contain more information that might be relevant, such as the height of the building.

[/*:m:cb09d]

[*]With the barometer at ground level, draw line on building at top of barometer.

Place bottom of barometer at the level of the line, draw second line on building at top. Repeat.

Count the number N of marks made on the building. Multiply N by the height of the barometer.

[/*:m:cb09d]

[*]More simply, the building is N barometric units high.[/*:m:cb09d]

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Snopes did a page on this.

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