An Annoying Little Game and a Moment of Discovery

Did you ever play an annoying little game as a child? I’m thinking of the kind that have a picture with holes and several tiny metal balls, all encased in plastic. The object is to tilt the picture this way and that to get the balls in the holes. About 2″ by 2″, these little items provide frustration or amusement for the child while the parents get a few minutes of peace and quiet.

Possessing neither skill nor luck nor patience, I never liked them very much.

But Tina is different. Game in hand, she tells me she needs a magnet. I suggest one from the fridge.

She soon shows me the completed game, having placed the magnet under the picture and used to it control the balls.

So how exactly did Tina think of employing the principle of magnetism to solve the puzzle?

“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” ~Albert Szent-Gyorgyi


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