Use six straws to create the classic house shape (a rectangular body with two straws forming the roof, all laying flat on the table). Bet that you can make four equal triangles by moving only three straws. Try it! To all but the most creatively freethinking, this is impossible. The trick is to go 3D—pick up the three straws that make the bottom and sides of the rectangle and replace them so that one end of each straw is rooted in a corner of the triangle with all three moved straws touching above the center of the original triangle, like a tent or teepee—four, equal triangles, each the size of the original roof.
It is surprising how infrequently this bet’s simple trick is discovered. Bet that you can throw a paper match into the air and make it land on its narrow side. This sounds impossible, and it is until you bend the match!
Two Glasses I
Submerge two identical glasses in water and place them opening-together, so that when you take them out of the water and set them on the bar it looks as if any bump would separate the glasses, spilling the water out of the top glass. Bet that you can put a dime into the bottom glass without spilling a drop. Impossible, right? Wrong—surface tension makes this very possible. Gently tap the top glass until the glasses separate just enough to slip a dime through the exposed gap into the bottom glass.
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