But with the California Gold Rush of 1849 on the brain, here's your teaser for your Memorial Day weekend.
James came to California to find his fortune in the Gold Rush. His first stop after arriving was the supply store where he bought the tools he needed to strike it rich. He knew he needed a weights and a balance to weigh all the gold he was surely going to find. He wanted to measure any whole number of ounces from 1 ounce to at least 12 ounces, and he already brought with him a 1-oz and a 9-oz weight. What size weight or weights should he buy?
Ready for the answer?
This isn't too hard; I think the easiest way is to take a few guesses and see if you make measure every weight between 1 and 12 ounces. Play around a bit and you'll find the answer is that James needs to buy just a 3-oz weight and that's it!
I'm leaving how that works for all whole ounce measurements for you to work out on your own, but if you get stuck, here's one answer: you can measure 7 ounces with the 9-oz and 1-oz weights on one side of the balance, and the 3-oz weight on the other side.