Started here:

Lordsburg, New Mexico
Missing States I
Day 6 - Thursday, May 11, 2006
Ended here:

Mesa, AZ

T o d a y ' s    N a r r a t i v e
The alarm was set for 7:30 but I woke up at 6:30. Don't know why. I tried to go back to sleep but after about 5 minutes gave up an got up.

We hit the road about 7am. After almost being abducted by space aliens yesterday, The Navigator is back to doing his usual excellent job. Due mostly to his efforts, we drove I-10 West and crossed into Arizona. Another missing state that is no longer missing :)

We visited Saguaro National Park. There are several self-guided nature walks. Very interesting. Of course we saw cacti. But we also saw a long eared rabbit and several kinds of lizards. The Navigator was particularly interested in the rabbit. I suppose it reminded him of home. The are several pix below of the different kinds of cacti we saw.

Then we drove to Mesa, AZ, which is just East of Phoenix to visit with Pat, a high school friend. We'll be here the rest of today and probably all of tomorrow. Maybe some of Saturday, too. We'll see.

T o d a y ' s    P i c t u r e s
Click on a pix for a larger view
Here ya go, June. Colorful sign. Entrance to the park. With cacti, of course! The variety of shapes and sizes is amazing.
This cactus is about three feet tall and is sort of like a miniature tree. Each cactus begins life as a black seed about pin-head size. The Saguaro cactus can live 100-200 years.

T o d a y ' s    S t a t s
Begin: 7:00am
End: 2:30pm
Net (includes stops): 7 hrs, 30 mins
Begin odometer: 156,694
End odometer: 157,032
Net miles today: 338
Average MPH: 45.06
Total trip miles: 2737

Gasoline: $0.00
Food, ice, etc.: $11.00
Lodging: $0.00
Other: $0.00

T o d a y ' s    T h o u g h t
From Denise in IN:

A survey asked: "Who are the happiest people?" There were four winning answers:

      A craftsman or artist whistling over a job well-done.
      A child building sand castles.
      A mother bathing her baby.
      A doctor who has finished a difficult operation and saved a life.
Please note that money, power, politics or possessions plays no part in any of the answers.

T o d a y ' s    J o k e
Before we get to today's joke, did you try the super illusion on yesterday's page from Sue in KY? If you didn't, click here^ and give it a try.

Did you figure out how it works?

Here ya go:

Note that, based on the illusion's formula ("Choose any two digit number, add together both digits and then subtract the total from the original number"), the numbers 10 though 19 all yield 9

10. 1 + 0 = 1; 10 - 1 = 9
11. 1 + 1 = 2; 11 - 2 = 9
12. 1 + 2 = 3; 12 - 3 = 9
13. 1 + 3 = 4; 13 - 4 = 9
19. 1 + 9 = 10; 19 - 10 = 9
And the numbers 20 through 29 all yield 18
20. 2 + 0 = 2; 20 - 2 = 18
29. 2 + 9 = 11; 29 - 11 = 18
30 through 39 yield 27
40 through 49 yield 36
50 through 59 yield 45
60 through 69 yield 54
70 through 79 yield 63
80 through 89 yield 72
90 through 99 yield 81

Did you notice how the "yield" number is incrementing by 9?

No matter which two digit number you choose, the answer will always be one of these nine numbers: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72 or 81. Let's call these nine numbers the "yield" numbers.

Most good illusions have a lot of "clutter" which is used to distract you away from the way the illusion works. This one is no exception. First the author uses a lot of strange symbols we don't see everyday. It's just human nature that we look at these symbols and wonder what they mean.

Second, he uses the numbers zero through 99 so there are 100 numbers. Of these, only the nine "yield" numbers are actually used. Thus there are 91 number and symbol combinations that will never be used in the illusion. And the ratio of clutter to real is almost 10 to 1. Also notice that the author has arranged the rows so that the "yield" numbers are scattered throughout the chart and that the columns are arranged right to left instead of left to right. It is to the author's credit that when you look at the number chart, most of what you see is just clutter.

Now go back to the illusion and try it with the "yield" number 81. Then click the "Try again!" box and do it with 81 again. The second try gave you a different symbol from the first try, didn't it? Hmmm... how does this work?

Up above I mentioned clutter and that 91 of the number symbol combinations are not really necessary. If you look at just the "yield" numbers you'll see that they all have the same symbol. If you do the illusion and click Try Again! you'll notice that all the yield numbers still share the same symbol but the symbol has been changed. Sneaky, huh? And the symbols with the other 91 numbers stay the same. And, to make it even more confusing, each time the illusion is loaded into your browser, the "clutter number" symbols change.

This is an excellent, very clever illusion. The author has done a good job of concealing how it works. And congrats to you if you figured it out!

Oh, almost forgot... here's today's joke from Ralph in MD*:

A three-year-old boy was examining his testicles while taking a bath.

"Mom," he asked, "are these my brains?"

"Not yet honey," she replied.

*MD - You may be thinking Maryland, the state, right?  Wrong.  Try Moldova, the country.  Next to Romania.

N a v i g a t i o n
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