Blog Post #119: Love Whispers So Our Hearts Can Sing

Dear Readers,

“Every heart sings a song incomplete, until another heart whispers back” are deeply moving words from Plato…but the perfect heart of God is whispering lovingly to us. When we take the time to turn down the busyness and distracting noise of the world, then we can hear God whispering tenderly to guide us gently along the paths that He knows will ultimately lead us safely and joyfully home, to Heaven. This Advent is the perfect time to pause well, to listen, to hear and respond to God’s personal call to each of us.

Let Our Hearts Sing Together With Thanks To God β™₯ β™ͺ 😊 β™ͺ β™₯

“Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving”–Psalm 147:7

“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord”–Ephesians 5:19

“I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise, I solve life’s riddle with the help of a harp”–Psalm 49:4, The Message Bible.

I know that I am really blessed to be teaching Mathematics in the beautiful Musica Mundi School. So, here in Blog Post #119 exactly 19 days before Christmas, I offer a selection of fresh riddles for everyone’s enjoyment.

  1. Rearrange the letters of WISE + HARP to make A + a proper 7-letter word.
A Modern Harp has 47 strings & 7 pedals and is shaped somewhat like a number 7 😊

Congratulations for discovering that WISE + HARP = A + WHISPER !

2. The prime number 7 equals 3 squared – 2

and the prime number 47 equals 7 squared – 2.

What is the smallest positive whole number that is 2 less than the square of an odd number but is NOT prime?

A photo from 47 years ago.

3. Think of the oldest type of woodwind instrument. Remove its first letter. You now have a different musical instrument! Which one is it?

FLUTE – F = LUTE ! 😊

Here in this blog post, it’s nice that 119 is the answer to the second puzzle, above. 11 squared – 2 = 121 – 2 =119. It might plausibly ‘look’ prime at first sight, but it’s actually a composite number since 119 = 7 x 17.

4. Q: How can you get the most beautiful music ever?

A: Compose it!

Q: Make a proper nine-letter word using all the letters of COMPOSE IT.

A: 119 is a clue; it’s COMPOSITE! 😊

5. Can I rely on you to think of a musical instrument that is an anagram of RELY !?

The LYRE is a lovely instrument 😊

I would like to round off now by wishing everyone a very happy period of Advent leading to a joyful Christmas coming soon.

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani xxx

Michael wrote down the total number of dots on all the faces of the dice except for the bottom. I wrote down the total number of dots on just the top and bottom faces. What is the correct result for Michael’s number multiplied by my number?
Congratulations for figuring out 17 x 7 = 119, a fun finish to Blog Post #119 😊

Blog Post #118: A Case Full of Fun for ‘Tiffany’😊

Dear Readers,

To cut a long story short, I needed a fun code name for a friend whose birthday is coming up fast, and I was thinking…if any fast…idea comes…when suddenly that was it! She can be named as ‘Tiffany’, partly because as Tiffany is an anagram of if any fast, and partly because Tiffany Case in the 1971 film ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ has remained, for half a century, one of my absolute favourite female characters ever in a 007 movie 😊.

Can you think of a classy English eight-letter word that can be made using all the letters of I TIFFANY ? Well, I’m pretty sure that ‘Tiffany’ (who’s really a very smart lady indeed) would find AFFINITY almost immediately.

I have an extra, special affinity for Blog Post #118 right here, because (unless I slow down a lot in future) it’s probably going to be the only one I’ll ever write where my age is half of the blog post number; in this case now, 59 = 118 Γ· 2.

Sending everyone warm wishes past the cold weather! 😊
An early Merry Christmas pic. from my classroom yesterday 😊!

Whenever in my life I might encounter the number 118 again…I will also think of Wout, an incredibly talented 12-year-old musician and super-gifted young mathematician at Musica Mundi School.

Pictured below, is part of Wout’s perfect solution to a fun wee prize puzzle that I sent on Wednesday night to everyone in the school, as we’re looking forward to celebrating several birthdays here this month.

Wout’s Perfect Puzzle Solution 😊

18 is the only number in the left-hand column of the table for which an alternative solution (also using consecutive positive whole numbers) was possible: 5+6+7 makes 18, too.

How can we use Wout’s solution regarding 18 to find a sum of consecutive whole numbers that totals 118 instead of 18?

Well, 118 = 18 + 100 = 18 + (4 x 25), which prompts the idea of simply adding an extra 25 onto each of the four consecutive numbers that Wout used. In that way, 3+4+5+6=18 can be transformed to 28+29+30+31=118.

Time for another quick wee word puzzle/j😊ke…! I might ask my friend if any fit people come to her mind…to which she could respond with the practically perfect anagram, “People…I Tiffany“!

Enjoy your birthday, dear Tiffany, and I wish everyone a wonderful, happy weekend now t😊😊.

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani xxx

Always Treasure Every Moment God Gives In Our Lives

Blog Post #117: Love Like A Child πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

A friend of mine once asked me if I had an absolute favourite word. Though I was not expecting her question, I could answer almost immediately with “Love” because God is Love and, when people are kind and loving to each other, God’s love spreads in infinitely many good ways to touch more hearts.

Two of my favourite short Bible passages are:

“Be imitators of God, as beloved children.”—Ephesians 5:1

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”—Proverbs 22:6.

Dad with me at age 003 😊

Of the many thousands of people whom I know, and billions whom I don’t yet know, everyone should matter to everyone. They should all be SP_ _ _ _ _ .

Please know that YOU ARE SP; y😊u’re truly SPECIAL.

Early this morning via Facebook, I wished very happy birthdays to Danielle and to Stevie, two of my friends there. Today is of course also the birthday of lots and lots of other people, including World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. Everyone is wished a wonderful day, and for Magnus a great game #4 in his current World Championship match with Ian Nepomniachtchi in Dubai.

Maybe your birthday is coming during the month of December…and if so, let’s say that your Big Birthday is on day number B (e.g. B=either 1, 2, 3,…, 30 or 31) in December…then TODAY is the only day in the whole year when I or anyone can actually wish you a super-happy birthday exactly B days early before December B 😊.

Whenever your birthday is, I want right now to wish a lovely HAPPY BIRTHDAY FOR YOU. Good reasons for doing it today, without delay, are that I’m here and able to do it now, and also (I couldn’t resist this one…) HAPPY BIRTHDAY (13 letters) x FOR (3 letters) x YOU (3 letters) is nice because 13 x 3 x 3 = 117 here in Blog Post #117 😊.

I will round off with a wee selection of beautiful ‘happy memory’ photos. Each one is, in its own way, a good reminder to me of ‘Love Like A Child’.

With an unforgettable class of 2012-2013 😊
A super-fun Magic Math Assembly with hundreds of happy children on 23.9.2015 😊
A charity chess fundraising event at St. Columba’s High School in Perth, Scotland,
in the early 1990s 😊
With Mum and her mother and my little brother in 1966 😊
With my dear little brother and my loving grandpa long ago, but never forgotten xxx

With love and kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani xxx

Jesus said, β€œLet the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”

Blog Post #116: 003 Birthday Fun for a Great Friend πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

Once in the theatre within my last school, I asked the audience jokingly, “Does anyone here, anyone at all, know Mr. Mo’s favourite number?” Something like 300 hands shot up instantly as every student knew that 3 had long been my absolute favourite number 😊😊😊.

A nice photo from l😊😊😊ng ago!

In my current school, the beautiful Musica Mundi School, I am agent 003 to some colleagues who bear bravely with my sense of humour!

Early this morning, I sent a double dose of birthday fun jokes and puzzles to a dear friend who turns 67 today, but of course it had to become a triple…and so here we are in ‘003 Birthday Fun for a Great Friend’!

Remove the digit 6 from 67.

Replace it with 93. My joke/reasoning is: “What’s the difference? 9-3 is still 6.” 😊!

Now my weary 937-year-old friend is invited to figure out 0.03 x 937.

In reality, it’s a piece of cake that should light up his eyes because the result of 28.11 is to wish him a most happy birthday today (28 November), and is definitely to wish all of you a lovely Sunday now, t😊😊.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ‘BIG BR😊THER’!

As my friend is a keen and good chess player, let’s round off with a freshly- baked homemade puzzle in which it’s either White to move and force checkmate in 003 moves OR Black to move and force checkmate in 007-003=004 moves!!

It’s either White to move and force checkmate in 003 moves
OR Black to move and force checkmate in 007-003=004 moves!! 😊

Congratulations, dear friends, for finding 1 Qd8+ Kh7 (or 1…Bf8 2 Qxf8+ Kh7 3 Bd3#) 2 Bd3+ Kh6 3 Qh4# for White or 1…Qb2+ 2 Kd3 Qd4+ 3 Kc2 Qc3+ 4 Kb1 Qb2#, checkmate for Black!

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul M😊twani xxx

P.S.

What happy message can you get if you start with the word EVOLUTION, remove a TON of letters, and rearrange the remaining ones?

My favourite true answer is: I LOVE U 😊

P.P.S.

In a joke that a friend posted a few days ago, a man tells his wife not to worry about her mistakes, but rather to embrace them. So, she immediately gives him a really big hug!

Blog Post #115: Happy Birthday Surprises for TimothΓ©e πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

This is the perfect day to post nice surprises for TimothΓ©e (a brilliant young pianist at Musica Mundi School) because it’s his birthday, he’s a keen chess fan, and today marks the start of the World Chess Championship between Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, the reigning champion, and his Russian challenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi. I can confirm that the first game (in progress right now) is already very exciting!

Where is the championship being held? I’ll answer that in the form of a wee puzzle/joke ! 😊

_ _ _ _ _ YOUR TICKETS TO _ _ _ _ _ !

The five ‘blanks’ at the end are for the name of the place, while the two + three ‘blanks’ at the start together sound practically the same as the place name, and we’ll get a proper six-word sentence!

Knowing where the Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi really is being held, my answer is: DO BUY YOUR TICKETS TO DUBAI ! 😊

Timothée and I always enjoy discussing a good game of chess 😊
Continue reading “Blog Post #115: Happy Birthday Surprises for TimothΓ©e πŸ˜Š”

Blog Post #114: For My Friend M.E. and for Mandy πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

What name can you think of involving just M and Y? This was a fun, quick, wee warm-up puzzle because M AND Y makes MANDY, in honour of a lovely friend of mine 😊.

Now get ready to solve for X !

Lots of Math problems say ‘Find X.’ Here, you can’t miss it!! 😊

Punny thoughts for a sunny day: Learn your trig. facts ‘n formulas at the beach!!
It’s all for a good cos., you’ll get a free tan…
and soon the teacher smiling at your work will be a bright sine! 😊
P.S. Congratulations for figuring out that the island is approximately 17.1 metres from the beach.
Continue reading “Blog Post #114: For My Friend M.E. and for Mandy πŸ˜Š”

Blog Post #113: Nice puzzles for 11.11 tomorrow

Dear Readers,

Alice, a young student who knows about the special significance of Armistice Day, 11.11, has the following conversation with Armand, her great-great-grandfather…

Remembering with Thanks

Alice: “Great-great-grandfather, my mum told me that you were born not very long after the end of World War I.”

Armand: “That’s right, Alice! As I know that you like Maths, I will tell you this: If you multiply my age now by my favourite whole number and then divide by the age I was last year, the final result should be 11.11.”

Alice: “Wow, that’s cool! I think I can figure out your age and your favourite number!!”

Armand: “Here’s a bonus puzzle: Make a proper 11-letter word using all the letters of CAN REMEMBER.”

Your fun challenge is to join Alice in cracking her great-great-grandfather’s puzzles!

Wander, ponder and wonder with Alice! 😊😊😊

I intend to publish solutions in a few days’ time.

With kindest wishes as always,

Paul Motwani 😊😊😊 xxx

P.S. Here are the puzzle solutions, being posted now on 12 November 2021:-

Armand is 101 years old and his favourite number is 11.

101 x 11 Γ· 100 = 11.11

CAN REMEMBER makes REMEMBRANCE.

Blog Post #112: Happy Holy Days πŸ˜Š

Dear Readers,

The word ‘Holidays’ originally comes from an Old English word meaning ‘Holy Days’. So, it’s very fitting that many countries recognise today, All Saints’ Day, as a holiday to be celebrated.

A desire to become more holy is a great and happy goal to be honoured and respected. It is possible for you, for me, and for all people who will turn to God and, with the free will that He still grants us now, ask Him to guide us ever closer to Heaven.

Shared on Facebook today by Father Jim Walls, a wonderful Scottish priest

Though we all still stumble on, or sometimes stray away from, the path meant for us, it’s really comforting to know that God forgives our faults if we ask Him sincerely and believe in Him faithfully. Today is a perfect day to ‘turn over a new leaf’ and, through prayer, seek God’s help to live a more holy life.

It’s the perfect time to ‘turn over a new leaf’ in our lives
Continue reading “Blog Post #112: Happy Holy Days πŸ˜Š”

Blog Post #111: Lovely To Meet You

Dear Readers,

One of the most precious gifts that we have received is time. Recognising that well, I endeavour to do good things now in the present, rather than waiting (unless ‘now’ might sometimes be too soon). So, I want to say a most sincere “THANK YOU” for yet another truly wonderful concert at Musica Mundi School last night. The beautiful concert can be enjoyed again via this link: https://youtu.be/Wr9bQi-6kjg

Just like myself, my wife, Jenny, loved every moment, and afterwards she thoroughly enjoyed meeting the school’s musical accompanist, Li Xie, who is also Chinese. While Jenny and Li chatted in Mandarin, I followed quite a lot of their conversation (really honestly, though Maths or Chess would still be considerably easier for me!!), and then suddenly I saw another lovely lady to whom I had been introduced quickly, at the start of the evening, just before the concert. Then, Rita had told me that she is German, and that she came to Belgium 65 years ago, in 1956.

It was really lovely to meet you, Rita
Continue reading “Blog Post #111: Lovely To Meet You”

Blog Post #110: Colors of Love with U

Dear Readers,

It doesn’t really matter whether ‘colors’ includes a ‘u’ or not, but the unique colors and all the love that you personally can add to the world by being you, yes, that always matters to someone; you can be happy and sure about that.

The caption with a photo that I saw a few days ago was ‘Everyone smiles in the same language’, and so let’s add some more lovely smiles in our lives to further brighten them for others, too.

Smiles add joy and color to anything black and white!
Sincere special thanks to Paul Fitzpatrick
for many gems of advice about chess, teaching, love and life.
Smiles all round!
Leave time to smile 😊
Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.–Chinese Proverb
Continue reading “Blog Post #110: Colors of Love with U”