Brain Game: I Heart Huxtables

At the Huxtable household, Valentine's Day is a special day. Mother Claire kicks off the holiday a week early by secretly assigning each of her five children the job of sending a valentine card to one other sibling. She makes the assignments herself, but asks the kids to keep quiet until the five cards are delivered. She even takes the time to ensure that the sender of each card doesn't receive a card from that same sibling. What a mom, huh?

Anyway, you probably know the names of the Huxtable brood. Sondra is the oldest, followed by Denise, Theo, Vanessa, and little Rudy. Given the above information and these three clues, can you determine the senders and recipients of each of the five valentine cards?

1. Theo sent his valentine to a sibling older than he.

2. Sondra's valentine went to one of the two youngest Huxtables.

3. Denise, who did not send a valentine to Vanessa, thanked Rudy for hers.

Here is the SOLUTION.


Rudy sent a valentine to Denise;
Vanessa sent a valentine to Rudy;
Theo sent a valentine to Sondra;
Denise sent a valentine to Theo; and
Sondra sent a valentine to Vanessa.


Clue #1 indicates that Theo sent a valentine to either Denise or Sondra.

Clue #2 reveals that Sondra sent a valentine to either Rudy or Vanessa.

According to clue #3, Denise did not send Vanessa's valentine. Also, Rudy sent Denise's valentine.

By elimination, Theo sent Sondra's valentine.

Since Rudy sent Denise's card, Denise could not have sent Rudy's valentine; so Denise's card went to Theo.

Vanessa could not have sent a valentine to herself, so hers went to Rudy, and Sondra's went to Vanessa.

Bone Broth 101

Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?

If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).


More from mental floss studios