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A Nerdtacular Quiz: Books Condensed via Amazon's Statistically Improbable Phrases

Now, this one isn't a mental_floss quiz, but I thought it was a lot of fun. Head over to Dennis Cooper's blog for his Alan presents ... 69 Modern Classics Condensed via Amazon's SIPsâ„¢ (Statistically Improbable Phrases). Now, the idea here is that Amazon lists Statistically Improbable Phrases for many books it sells -- unusual turns of phrase that appear in the work -- and by examining those phrases, sometimes you can guess the book they're from. I've listed three favorites below, with the answers after the jump. Of course, if you want a whole bunch more, just go straight to the source.

[Book] 31.

bun compartment, nucular bum, exercising board, cabinet under the bar, kickoff rally, young man sighed, front shutters, looseleaf folder, fat mother

[Book] 35.

bloated colonel, tighter bomb pattern, intelligence tent, more combat missions, sei pazzo, sixty missions, seventy missions, illegal tobacco, railroad ditch, bomb line, forty missions, flak suit, group chaplain, lead bombardier, fifty missions, medical tent

[Book] 64.

stillsuit manufacturer, panoplia propheticus, gom jabbar, inkvine scar, ducal signet, factory crawler, poison snooper, voice from the outer world, stillsuit hood, weirding way, dew collectors, diamond tattoo, little makers, maker hooks, message cylinder, water flagon, funeral plain, death commandos, spice liquor, palm lock, prison planet, shield belt, terrible purpose, demanding memory

Answers after the jump...

Answers

* 31. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole

* 35. Catch-22, Joseph Heller

* 64. Dune, Frank Herbert

(Via Kottke.org.)

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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iStock
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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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iStock

If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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