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Tamfang
topic
12:24:27 AM Jun 12th 2014
The nth time I heard a TV detective announce that it's not suicide because the gun was found in the right hand of a left-handed victim, I said to my wife: “If I ever decide to shoot myself and frame someone....” She: “I'll remind you to use your other hand.”

As it happens, I'm more accurate with a pistol in my ‘wrong’ hand.
trimeta
topic
11:53:03 PM May 23rd 2011
edited by trimeta
Would the end of Dan Brown's "Digital Fortress" qualify for this? In that, the villain has left the riddle "what is the prime difference between the elements responsible for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?" Eventually, the heroes discover that these elements are Uranium-235 and Uranium-238, and the difference is the numeral 3 (a prime number, hence "prime difference"). However, in truth U-238 wasn't the main element associated with either nuclear bomb; the actual elements would be U-235 and Plutonium-239, whose difference is 4 (a number which isn't even prime, being the product of 2 and 2). Since this error of fact was key to solving a puzzle, does it go beyond Dan Browned and into Encyclopedia Browned territory?
oksbad1
topic
10:17:48 AM Sep 12th 2010
Why was the name changed? =/

UnclGhost
04:34:05 PM Sep 12th 2010
Here. Looks like it's because it wasn't much of a descriptive name to begin with.
Madrugada
moderator
topic
12:07:22 PM Jul 16th 2010
edited by Madrugada
Deleted this example, because the rebuttal is faulty for several reasons.

  • Yet another Holmes example: "The Musgrave Ritual". Both Holmes and the Butler make wildly invalid assumptions that only turn out accurate due to chance. First invalid assumption: That the trees mentioned in the ritual had not grown in the two hundred years between the ritual being written and their attempts to follow it. Second invalid assumption: That their paces would be the same as the original writer's paces. Holmes often estimates the height of a man by the length of his stride, so he should know that the inverse is also true: That a man's height influences the length of his stride. Holmes was fairly tall by Victorian standards, and therefore would have a noticeably longer stride than other men. Combining the shifted starting point with the inaccurate units of measurement in the later directions, there is significant room for error. Had the part of the ritual going 'And so under' actually meant 'Dig Here' as Holmes originally thought and not 'Look In The Basement', they wouldn't have come close to the treasure.

First, Oak and Elm trees don't continue to add significant height infinitely. They do add girth until they die.

An oak that was planted "at the Conquest" (1066 AD) would certainly have attained its full height by the 1700's.

An Elm that was 64 feet tall would also be at or near its maximum height, and someone writing a set of directions (intended to be used at some unknown time in the future) that relied on the height of a tree to mark a spot would have to be stupid to use a tree that wasn't already at full growth.

The other point, that "stride length varies", is also not counter-factual, since a pace can just as easily indicate the standard step of thirty inches from where the heel of one foot leaves the ground to where the heel of the other foot touches; or the double pace, (58 or 60 inches) measured from where the heel of one foot leaves the ground to where the same heel touches again. Both of these uses were already established in by the time the Ritual was written. Since it specifies "By ten and by ten" (that is, ten steps with each foot,) it's talking about the single pace. It doesn't matter what Holmes' normal stride length is, he's using the established measure called a "pace".
MrInitialMan
topic
11:28:24 PM Jul 13th 2010
I think the picture and caption are perfect for this page. And what the heck does JAFAAC mean anyways?
Tamfang
12:25:10 AM Jun 12th 2014
Just as far as ... hm.
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