Odds & Ends!

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Everyday life is full of challenges. Humans do a lot of things right, but we're all error-prone. This section is dedicated to making us all a little less so.



Directional Dilemmas
The human body has two opposite but essentially equal sides. Few people have trouble distinguishing up from down, since head and feet are clearly different. But when faced with a decision involving left or right, there's a 50-50 chance of getting it right, or wrong! Ditto for West and East, clockwise and counterclockwise and similar either-or options.

Left vs. Right
Have you ever gone left when someone told you to turn right? Or raised your right hand when told to raise your left? It seems like choosing correctly between right and left would be a simple matter. But our bilateral bodies and brains complicate things.

1 page

Gas Tanks Take Sides
When you drive up to a gas station to fill up your car, are you sure which side your gas tank spout is on? How about with an unfamiliar vehicle, like a rental car? The answer may be right in front of your nose!

1 page

Daylight Saving Time
After the switch to Daylight Saving Time, does it get lighter or darker in the evening? Lighter or darker in the morning? How is daylight "saved"? As the Summer Solstice approaches, do days get longer or shorter? Why have Daylight Saving Time?

5 pages

Time Zones / International Dateline
When you travel or phone across time zones, do you gain or lose time? When you cross the International Dateline, do you gain or lose a day? These are important considerations when you have connecting flights or don't want to phone too early or too late.

2 pages

Be Clock Wise
Clockwise and counterclockwise specify rotational directions, but they are easily mixed up. To tighten a bolt or close a valve, which way would you turn it? What if you were viewing it from behind or the threads were reversed? Which way would turn a tangled strand to untwist it?

4 pages

Clock Bearings
A clock bearing is a direction based on the numbers on a clock face. Where would you look to avoid an object hurtling towards you from 10 o'clock? If an object was directly to your right, which clock position would that be?

1 page

Compass Bearings
A compass bearing is a direction based on the points or degrees on a navigational compass. If you're traveling South, would West be on your right or left? Which direction would you face if you were told to look Northeast?

1 page

Plugs & Batteries
Which way should you rotate a 2-prong polarized plug (one end wider than the other) so it fits into a 3-hole receptacle on the first try? When it's dark and you need to replace a battery in a device, which end of the battery is positive? Which way should you insert it?

2 pages

British Isles Driving Tips
How to keep out of trouble and survive when driving on the "wrong" (left) side of the road! Based on a experiences gained in May 2006 on a car tour of England, Wales, Ireland, & Scotland. Includes advice on trip planning, road signs, and roundabouts.

2 pages

Number Nuances
Formal mathematics is a challenge for most everyone, but even everyday dealings with numbers and measurements can be confusing.

Liquid Measures
When cooking or baking, it's useful to know liquid measures.
How many teaspoons in a Tablespoon?
How many cups in a quart?
How much does a gallon of water weigh?

1 page

Celsius vs. Fahrenheit
When traveling, you may be confronted with an alternate temperature scale.
30 Celsius is how many degrees Fahrenheit?
30 Fahrenheit is how many degrees Celsius?
Which is colder: 30C or 30F?

2 pages

Day of the Week
Sometimes, you need to know a future or past day of the week.
If today is Tuesday, which day of the week will it be in 17 days?
If today is Sunday, which day of the week was it 23 days ago?

1 page

Centuries vs. Years
It's easy to get centuries and years mixed up.
Is 1700 in the 16th, 17th, or 18th century?
Did the 14th century include 1300, 1400, or 1500?
In which two centuries did the 50 years from 1775 - 1825 occur?


Counting Sequential Items
On the calendar, how many days are there from December 2 to 6?
In a book, how many pages are there from page 10 to 20?


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