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## Quick Snippets

Published on Sunday, June 15, 2014 in , , , , , , , , , , ,

This month, we're going back to some favorite topics, and provide some updates and new approaches.

• Let's start the snippets with our old friend Nim. The Puzzles.com site features a few Nim-based challenges. The Classic Nim challenge shouldn't pose any difficulty for regular Grey Matters readers.

Square Nim is a bit different. At first glance, it might seem to be identical to Chocolate Nim, but there are important differences to which you need to pay attention.

Circle Nim is a bit of a double challenge. First, you may need to try and figure it out. Second, the solution is images-only. Once you realize that different pairs of images are referring to games involving odd or even number starting points, it shouldn't be too hard to understand.

• Check out the Vanishing Leprechaun trick in the following video:

These are what are known as geometric vanishes, and can be explored further in places such as Archimedes' Laboratory and the Games column in the June 1989 issue of OMNI Magazine.

Mathematician Donald Knuth put his own spin on these by using the format to compose a poem called Disappearances. If you'd like to see just how challenging it is to compose a poem in geometric vanish form, you can try making your own in Mariano Tomatis' Magic Poems Editor.

• Back in July 2011, I wrote a post about hyperthymesia, a condition in which details about every day of one's life are remembered vividly. That post included a 60 Minutes report about several people with hyperthymesia, including Taxi star Marilu Henner. Earlier this year, 60 Minutes returned to the topic with a new story dubbed Memory Wizards. This updated report is definitely worth a look!

• If you're comfortable squaring 2-digit numbers, as taught in the Mental Gym, and you think you're ready to move on to squaring 3-digit numbers, try this startlingly simple technique from Mind Math:

That's all for June's snippets. I hope you have fun exploring them!