Appendices for Spitballs From the Back Row

This post contains an electronic version of Spitballs From the Back Row’s appendices, for those who wish quicker access to the links.


  1. In Section 1, p. 24, the footnote mentions a resource used to pattern the ‘quiz’ in that essay. Here is a link to the original book, from National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  It is the best book on the general topic I’ve seen.  It is not only readable, but provides a wonderful perspective and things to ponder.–Myths,-Models,-Good-Questions,-and-Practical-Suggestions/

  1. In the Education in an Information Age essay (Section 3, p. 64), there is a Doonesbury cartoon mentioned. It’s amazing to me how successfully that particular strip captures the essence and perspective of this topic, while simultaneously mixing in humor.  It is perhaps my favorite ‘educational topic’ cartoon strip.  The link is provided in the piece, but here it is again:

  1. Notwithstanding the cartoon strip mentioned above, there /was no cartoon strip I know of that matches the sheer volume of excellent-while-humorous educational (and mathematics educational) cartoon strips than Calvin and Hobbes.  Again, the humor helps drive home the thought-provoking points.  Check out this site for a large collection of samples:

  1. As to “the answers” to the Poetry/Mathematics quiz at the end of Section 4 (p. 89-92), here is the quick version: All the odd-numbered quotes refer to poets/poetry, while all the even-numbered ones refer to mathematicians/mathematics.  For the original version of the article, check out the link below. (This is a long (and perhaps surprisingly ‘academic’) article, but the quiz and answers are given in Appendix B at the end.

  1. Further/ongoing resources. Preferably, this section can take on an ongoing and growing nature through the author’s website(s).  If readers have questions or comments, feel free to use the connections and information detailed in Appendix 2.  Resources that grow out of those inquiries and from other places will be added to the list, which can be periodically checked.  Feel free to check back often.



Larry Campbell currently resides in Branson, MO, and he would be delighted to hear from you.  He may be reached at or

To visit Larry’s general AfterMath Enterprises website, go to  While at this site, you can also sign up for his (free) (Bi-)Weekly Photo/Sharings, delivered on (sometimes alternate) Monday mornings.  These always contain one of his photos from around the world (including his 2016 Missouri River trip), along with other features and “Wild Cards” of multiple varieties, all designed to brighten your Monday mornings – and your week. 

To visit Larry’s author website, go to This site will contain other book-related connections (including an ongoing Resources link, mentioned in Appendix 1.)

Larry is available for Book Signing Events and/or presentations on a variety of subjects, and he enjoys doing these events.  Topics are varied.  Some are similar in nature to those in this book, including a talk on “Interesting and Weird Mathematicians and Stores about Them”.  He also speaks on his 2016 River Adventure all the way down the Missouri River (by car) from source to mouth, and has several ‘travelogue’ type presentations, with pictures of his various world travels. For further details, and/or to compare calendars, contact him at the address(es) above.



Also known as “Yoga for the Mind”

 “Brain Teasers” are wonderful tools for the budding problem solver in mathematics and elsewhere, but they are not For Math Nerds Only!  They can be a great deal of fun, as well.  Listed below is a sort of “Top Ten” of some Easy-To-State Favorites, after which some links will be provided to others, as well.  Lighten Up.  Pick (only) the ones you that grab you, and by all means, have fun!


  1. The Horse Trader

A man buys a horse for $60, sells it for $70, buys it back for $80, and finally sells it for $90.  Did the make any money on the transactions, and if so, how much?

  1. Handshakes

Ten people enter a room for a meeting.  If they all shake hands with each other (once each), how many total handshakes will there be?

  1. Dollars and “Sense”

In my hand, I have two common US coins whose total value is 55 cents.  One of the coins is not a nickel.  What are the coins?

  1. Calendar Cubes

How are the digits 0 – 9 placed on two cubes to form a calendar (often seen in banks, etc) that can display every date of any given month?  (Always use both cubes:  01, 02, 03, . . . 30, 31)

  1. It’s All “Relative”

“Brothers and sisters have I none, but this man’s father is my father’s son.”  To whom is the speaker referring?

  1. Buckets of Water

You have TWO completely unmarked buckets.  One will hold exactly 7 gallons, the other 4 gallons.  How can you measure exactly ONE gallon of water?  (What if the smaller bucket holds 5 gallons instead?)

  1. Number Sequence?

What are the next two letters in this sequence?   O, T, T, F, F, S, S, ____, ____

  1. The Frog in the Well

A frog is at the bottom of an empty 30 foot well.  Each day he is able to climb up 5 more feet, but at night, he slips back 3 feet.  At this rate, how long will it take him to escape the well?

  1. The “Average” Driver

Ralph drives 60 miles at an average speed of 30 mph, then returns over the same route at an average speed of 60 mph. What was his average speed for the round trip?

  1. Word Trivia

Consider the spellings of each positive whole number.   A)  Which number’s spelling is the first to contain the letter A?  B) Which number’s spelling is the only one in alphabetical order?  C)  Which is the only one in reverse alphabetical order?


ANSWERS and More Brain Teasers? 

Feel free to share proposed solutions and/or questions with the author, using the links provided in Appendix 2.  In order to promote the needed ‘play/think’ time for these, the answers are not immediately given in a link. Contact the author for a link to the answers.

To see an archive of Brain Teasers and answers that have been used in roughly 2 years of Weekly Mailings, visit There are also other links to more Brain Teasers available by request.

If you want to receive periodic Brain Teasers (followed by answers later), visit the AfterMath website ( and sign up for the Weekly (sometimes Bi-Weekly) Photo Sharing.


River Trip 2017: Book Signing Events – Part I

Rollin’ Down The River ’17!
Book Events and Re-Visits – Part I; Summer/Fall 2017
STATE Town Event Date Event(s)
Kansas Atchison 27-Jul Rotary & afternoon (1:30-3:30) signing
Iowa/Neb Council Bluffs 28-Jul Pres/Sign 1 PM
Omaha? 29-Jul  Still tentative
South Dakota Yankton 1-Aug Rotary Meeting.
Follow up signing afterward
Montana Wolf Point 3,4 Aug Thurs Nite Signing ; Fri Pres/Sign @ Library
Great Falls 8-Aug 12 – 2.  Signing Only
Three Forks 10-Aug Evening. Signing Only?
Helena 12-Aug 1 PM, presentation; signing afterward in Bookstore
 South Dakota Chamberlain 15-Aug Format TBA
 Iowa Sioux City 16-Aug 2 PM Pres/Signing