Archive for October, 2016

The Aureus Coffers

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

The famous explorer Arbuthnot Smythe and his assistant Pascal stood before the stone door of an inaccessible ancient Roman underground tomb over which their torches showed was engraved “ET REQVIESCENT IBI TRES THESAURIS” in large letters.

Beside the door they saw three niches, each containing the bust of a lovely female aged from young to mature.

“Such exquisite sculpture work,” said Pascal full of admiration. “I wonder who the women were.”

“They appear to be related,” commented Arbuthnot, on an impulse pushing on the brooch sculpted on the older woman’s bust with his thumb and pulling her head forwards. This caused the stone door to open slowly on creaky hinges.

“Clever intuitive move,” exclaimed Pascal as they both entered and to their surprise saw that the interior of the tomb was illuminated by seven flaming lamps fixed around the walls.

They saw three exquisitely ornamented rectangular pools in each of which floated a perfectly preserved female body in serene repose, immersed in a transparent liquid. The older woman’s pool was placed on the left.

Arbuthnot Smythe and his assistant Pascal were speechless, eyes popping out and mouth dropping in wonder at this impossible spectacle.

After standing there for a while in a daze, Arbuthnot recovered himself sufficiently to speak. “I have read about this type of tomb in Blavatsky’s Isis book. It was for Cicero’s daughter,” he said in wonder. “Blavatsky even gives the formula for making these eternal flames. The tomb was found in the 19th century, news of which was inevitably suppressed by religious authorities,” he related.

“What shall we do,” asked an astounded Pascal.

“Nothing,“ replied Arbuthnot sadly. “What we see here has been accomplished with knowledge of advanced spiritual technology. Science and western religions are not ready for this, least of all so-called modern medicine.”

“We will make a record of what we find for some future generation, when religion has evolved to become scientific and science to become religious,” he said quietly.

They switched their attention to the foot of each stone tomb, where they saw a marble coffer with the inscriptions “SUMMAM FACIAT QUADRATUM – DIFFERENTIA EST AEQUALIS.”

Arbuthnot forced open the first marble coffer with his sturdy knife. As the lid fell back, they saw that the coffer was full of gold coins.

Arbuthnot picked up a gold coin and studied it with a magnifying glass. “This is an aureus coin of the type minted by Julius Caesar,” he shouted jubilantly. “It contains about eight grams of gold. What a treasure we have found, Pascal.”

“Really unbelievable. I wonder what’s in the other marble coffers,” said Pascal, unsheathing his knife to pry open the next marble coffer lid. Again they found it was full of aureus coins, although this marble coffer was smaller. The third, even smaller marble coffer revealed the same: full of aureus coins.

“I wonder how many aureus coins there are in these marble coffers,” said Pascal scratching his head. “Based on their size, each one contains a smaller number of coins.”

“Judging from the engraved Roman text, I would say that the sum of the number of coins in any two marble coffers, taken pairwise, adds up to a square.” replied Arbuthnot, replacing his knife in its scabbard.

“Brilliant, then the difference between the number of coins in one marble coffer and the next descending one must be the same, judging from the second inscription,” added Pascal with a big smile.

“Yes indeed, that must be so,” exclaimed Arbuthnot. “Then we only have to do the math to determine how many coins there are in each of the marble coffers.”

“Well,  being a purist, you do the math, Arbuthnot. To avoid a headache, I will use a computer,” laughed Pascal. Arbuthnot had already pulled out a notebook and was writing down the details in equation form.

“Yes, I wonder who the women were,” said Arbuthnot Smythe. “My guess is they were the wife and daughters of a nobleman who met with a sudden unfortunate fate. So he left his treasure with them.”

Can you help Arbuthnot Smythe and Pascal work out how many gold coins each marble coffer contained?

A Mayan Pyramid Race

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Captain Jack Starwalker was being chased up the steps of a Mayan pyramid by a prodigiously large, Mayan warrior with a hideously painted face holding a hatchet in his hand, followed closely by the High Priest Ahau’s pet, a ferocious black jaguar.

Captain Starwalker had to get to the top of the pyramid precisely when the eclipse would start in a few seconds in order to be beamed back to his starship Orion.

Captain Starwalker was taking six large steps at a time, the huge warrior was jumping eight steps at a time, grunting Mayan curses, and the black jaguar was leaping thirteen steps at a time – hissing with sharp, yellow canine teeth exposed.

Captain Starwalker was only 16 steps away from reaching the top of the pyramid, where he could see a blue energy halo already forming that would be his stargate exit.

The panting and howling warrior was gaining and only needed 22 steps to get to the top of the pyramid. The growling jaguar was gaining even more rapidly and was only 37 steps from the top.

Captain Starwalker took a final leap and jumped through the blue haze of the stargate to safety, while the warrior and the jaguar were bounced off by the solid blue energy of the stargate, as theirs was a mainly red energy.

They rolled and bumped irregularly back down the steep stairs, to the groaning dismay of a procession of irate Mayans headed by the High Priest Ahau.

Captain Jack Starwalker appeared on the beam-up deck of the starship Orion, wiped some sweat off his brow, checked that his historical artifact bag was fixed to his belt, straightened his uniform and walked through a passage to the command deck, where he was cheerfully welcomed by his officers.

Later, Captain Starwalker had to record in the ship’s log how many pyramid steps he had climbed, which required some thought, and he had to consult his star navigator Leonard about this. Can you help Leonard work out the number of steps there were on the Mayan pyramid?

The Riddle of the Dragon

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Sir Lancelot was riding far from Camelot in pursuit of the Holy Grail when he came upon an abyss over which a bridge was stretched.

As he arrived, he saw another knight being confronted by a large, flame-snorting dragon named Dragon of the Abyss who roared: “Mortal, answer my riddle and pass in safety, or be cast into the abyss.”

“I am Sir Archibald, and will surely solve your riddle, Dragon of the Abyss,” he challenged. “What is your riddle, Dragon?”

“I am Odz, one half of me is a square, one third of me a cube. What is my cross?” The thunderous voice of the dragon reverberated among the mountains and was echoed from the abyss.

“Well, of course, it is six,” answered Sir Archibald, upon which he was cast into the abyss with his horse, screaming on the way down into the darkness.

Sir Lancelot thought a bit about the riddle and rode up to the Dragon of the Abyss before the bridge.

“My answer is true and you must let me pass. I have the answer to your riddle, my dragon.”  He gave his answer and rode boldly on over the bridge. The Dragon of the Abyss did not stop him.

What is the correct answer to the riddle?

The Future Life

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

On a sunny Fall afternoon, Madame Lulu opened the creaky door to her gypsy wagon at the fairground in response to a persistent knock. In climbed Jasper from the step ladder with a confused look.

“Madame Lulu, I need to know when I will be born again, can you help me?” he blurted out excitedly, gesticulating.

“Let’s see what I can do,” replied Madame Lulu indicating a chair by a table adorned with a rich red tablecloth full of esoteric and astrological symbols. A white dove swooped down from above and landed on the back of Madame Lulu’s chair, looking on with interest.

Jasper sat down rapidly. “You see, Madame Lulu, I’m fatally ill from drug addiction, so I would like to know when I will be back, ” he confessed.

“Cross my palm with silver, my friend, and we’ll have a look,” smiled Madame Lulu sympathetically, sitting down across from Jasper and beginning to shuffle a pack of Tarot cards.

Madame Lulu swiftly placed five cards in a cross layout. “Central is the Death card in reverse, indicating the number 31. The Fool adjacent to it represents your next birth, so the duration of your next life will be your birth year divided by 31,” explained Madame Lulu.

“But, Madame Lulu, this is not enough information,” protested Jasper, busy writing down her statements in a small notebook.

“The Hermit above indicates a cross sum of 9. The Magician below reversed shows you will inherit your cloudy mental state in your next life for you to repair this unfortunate condition,” said Madame Lulu.

“The World’s number tau indicates your early life will pass into a century with no leap year,” informed Madame Lulu.

“Thank you, Madame Lulu, all noted,” exclaimed Jasper, placing a large silver dollar in Madame Lulu’s palm. “My friend Leonard will help me work out the figures. “

“So generous,” smiled Madame Lulu and escorted Jasper to the door of her wagon. “Wear this green jasper stone. It will help you on your way,” said Madame Lulu, folding a shiny green jasper stone into his hand.

Can you work out the year Jasper will be born again and the length of his life?