top of page
dp thoughts.png

Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

The Five-Sided Pencil

Imagine you have a five-sided pencil with “HB Pencil” written on one of its sides; the other four sides are blank.

If you were to roll this pencil on the table, what is the chance the side with the text on it ends up straight on top?

If you answered 20%, congratulations, you remember your high school probability classes.

But that's not the correct answer in this particular case.

In this particular case, the chances of HB Pencil landing at the top is 0%.

Because the pencil has an odd number of sides, which means gravity will force a flat side to the bottom and a "point" to the top.

"Theory" is best when you can apply it to the real world.

P.S. Here's a tip of the hat to Stacked Marketer for including this brainteaser in their newsletter a few weeks ago, which prompted this post.

1 Kommentar

08. Nov. 2021

Hello David - your post has me reach out to the pencils on my desk - one from Staedtler and another from Staples. Both have 6 flat sides ( even number) with one side

containing the brand name and HB. When I rolled both pencils there were some rolls that led to the brand being seen from a side view and other times when the brand could not be seen. I am not clear on the essence of your message. Forgive me but it may be early morning brain fog.

Gefällt mir

If you liked this post, don't miss the next one: get dpThoughts delivered to your inbox up to three times each week. 

(Or add me to your RSS feed and get every post in your reader as soon as it's published.)

Disclosure: As an Amazon Affiliate and a member of select other referral programs, I may earn a commission if you click on links found within my blog posts and subsequently make a purchase. The commissions earned are negligible, and while they help fund this website, they do not influence my opinions in any way.

bottom of page