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Fun with Flags, Episode 3

With apologies to Dr. Sheldon Cooper (and in celebration of the season-ending episode of The Big Bang Theory Thursday evening), we present a new edition of Fun with Flags. Let's see how you Civil War buffs do with today's Think Thursday challenge at the mentalfloss.com Brain Game. Here goes:

At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War (1861),
how many stars appeared on the
official flag of the United States?

Here is the ANSWER.

THE QUESTION: At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War (1861), how many stars appeared on the official flag of the United States?

THE ANSWER:  33.

Kansas joined the union as the 34th state in January 1861, but its star was not added to the flag until July 4 of that year. The war started in April. (Thanks to the first commenter below for correcting our erroneous original answer of 34.)

Thanks for playing! Tomorrow, it's Free-for-All Friday.

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What Is the Car's Parking Spot Number?
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Today's brain teaser asks a simple question: in what numbered space is this car parked? This puzzle has been floating around the internet for a while, often attributed to a Hong Kong admissions test for first graders, which sounds quite difficult and may not be true. The Guardian traced it to legendary puzzle author David Bodycombe.


Mind Your Decisions

Give it a minute. The answer is below. And while you think it over, here are a couple amazing facts, courtesy of our Instagram account:



All right, did you get it? There's really no math involved besides simple counting. The key is to flip your screen upside down. Here, let us do the flipping:


Mind Your Decisions

The answer is 87! 

Ready for another one? 


What goes in the empty box? (Hint: It's not six.)

[h/t Insider/MSN]

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Pop Quiz: See How Well Your Brain Handles the Stroop Test

Our brains are amazing organs. They’re capable of solving highly complex problems and achieving incredible feats. But the brain isn’t perfect. Despite its many strengths, it doesn’t take much to completely confuse it. Case in point: The Stroop effect.

The Stroop effect—named after John Ridley Stroop, who first wrote about it in a psychology paper—illustrates what happens when the brain is trying to process conflicting streams of information. Specifically, the test that produces the effect involves naming the color a word is printed in when the word itself is the name of a different color. (Example: seeing the word “red” in a blue font and saying “blue.") Reading words is easy, naming colors on their own is a bit harder—and when those two things conflict, the brain is sent into a bit of a tizzy.

You can watch the folks over at Science World in British Columbia above as they take the Stroop test, and play along to test your own mental flexibility. Be prepared to feel flustered.

For more about the Stroop effect, head over to Science World’s website.

Banner image via YouTube.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

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