The Mirror Puzzle


Most people laugh when I ask this question. Then they tie  themselves into knots trying to answer it. Explanations are usually accompanied by diagrams featuring stick figures.

Actually you can answer it in less than 50 words, without diagrams.

Here’s the question.

When you look in a mirror, your left and right are interchanged. Why doesn’t the mirror also turn you upside down?

Remember — 50 word maximum for the answer. No prizes.

I’ll give my answer in a week (November 18).

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About aharmlessdrudge

Way back during the late Bronze age -- actually it was the 1950s -- all of us in high school had to take a vocational test to determine our interests and, supposedly, our future careers. I cannot remember the outcome, but I do recall one question that gave me pause. "If you were to win a Nobel prize, would it be in literature or in physics?" I hesitated over the question: although I enjoyed mathematics and science more than English class, I did have a couple of unfinished (and very bad) novels hidden away at home. I cannot remember what I chose back then, but the dilemma followed me to university, where I switched from mathematics to English and -- after a five-year stint in journalism -- back to mathematics. I recently retired as a professor of statistics. Retirement. What a good chance to revive my literary ambitions. I have finished a novel -- more about that in good time -- and a rubble of drafts of articles about mathematics and statistics is taking up space on my hard disk.
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