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More ways to get Braingle...

The Old Monk and the Staircase

Trivia brain teasers have some element of trivia in them, but they are not just pure trivia questions.

 

Puzzle ID:#33274
Fun:*** (3)
Difficulty:*** (2.49)
Category:Trivia
Submitted By:OldChinaHand*****
Corrected By:Winner4600

 

 

 



Construction of a stronger and more massive bell tower for the monastery to replace the one destroyed during the last civil strife with a neighboring lord was well underway when the old Monk visited the site. The Abbot showed the Monk the drawings and model for the three-bell tower. The Monk was impressed until he stood where the bell chamber would be and saw the spiral staircase in this medieval bell tower running the wrong direction (counterclockwise).

"The staircase direction must be changed," said the Old Monk. The Abbot looked at the staircase and agreed. Why?





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Comments

GebbieRoseAus*
Sep 30, 2006

That is quite interesting, China! Thank you!
blondebookwormAus*
Sep 30, 2006

That's way cool! great job!
PhalanxAlu*
Oct 09, 2006

Well, I was wondering whether my solution was right and it was... I wasn't so sure since most monks did not have military training. In fact only some fraternities , like the templars, the Teutonic Order, were allowed to be members of the clergy and propagate the Christianism with the sword...!
PineappleMamaAus*
Oct 12, 2006

Well, I knew it was thought improper to write with one's left hand, but I didn't know it was that weird. Though I wonder why it is considered good manners to eat with your left? Hmm perhaps you could use that next time! Great Job!
boodlerAgb*
Oct 15, 2006

My old boss, who was born in 1911, was left handed, and he said that even that late he was being hit for writing left-handed! Really makes you wonder. They must have HATED Polar Bears!
rea14sambo48us
Oct 29, 2006

I like that one!?!?!? Did you know that Ben Franklin one of important people of the AMerican revolution was left handed??? My brother is also left handed and so are some of my best friends!?!?1 i can't imagine them being hit!?!?!
Jimbo*au*
Nov 04, 2006

Clockwise going up or down?
Trishgal*us*
Nov 07, 2006

Very Interesting...... and I learned something to boot.
peanutAza*
Nov 07, 2006

Good one! I'm left handed... Boodler - what's the story about polar bears???
donfrench*
Nov 07, 2006

Your boss was old indeed, Boodle! If he was born in 1911, that would make him 95 today!
ciotogca*
Nov 07, 2006

My father was born in '42 and was forced to write with his right hand. It hasn't been that long since the practice of forcing lefties to switch wasn't widespread. It still happens - I knew someone who is now around 25 who was forced by her grandmother.

Anyway, interesting teaser. For anyone further interested, try reading up on the Kerr family from Scotland and especially the castle Ferniehirst.
lmurray*cn*
Nov 07, 2006

YOU JOGGED MY MEMORY, IN MY RIGHT-MIND.

LEFT HANDERS, HAVE A DISPROPORTIONATE NUMBER OF GENIUS'
coachpisco*
Nov 07, 2006

I remembered that factoid about the stairs after I read the answer. IMURRAY is right about one thing: Left handed people are the only ones in their right minds.
bradon182001*us*
Nov 07, 2006

This is a very interesting bit of history that I wasn't aware of. I believe in the more recent years parents or grandparents try to "make" youngsters use their right hand because most things in this modern world are geared for right handers. Think about it. Try cutting a piece of paper with a pair of scissors using your left hand.
Synlapse*
Nov 07, 2006

This teaser left me right perplexed. I did guess the Monk's name though. It is Costello.
jfellrath*
Nov 07, 2006

I got this right away, but I practice with a sword and knew the history of those types of staircases.

And actually, many monks were actually former soldiers who went on to a life of monasticism. Though they were forbidden from shedding blood (via a sword) that didn't stop them from using a club or mace, which was seen as a non blood-letting weapon at the time. Plus many monasteries had armed guards/men-at-arms to protect them.
Pizzazz2uAus*
Nov 07, 2006

This is an old fact, which has been around for ages! Very impressive teaser, China. This should get many responses from ALL walks of life. WTG
heebygeebyus*
Nov 07, 2006

This is very intriguing, I must say; though, I am a wee bit surprised I didn't hear about this tidbit while studying in Scotland.
locutus13dsus*
Nov 07, 2006

Whew--Those lefthanded devil worshippers!! I didn't see this coming!
bhssoccer23Aus*
Nov 07, 2006

This is really cool. I guess I would never be a knight.

Oh, and people say it's so much harder for lefties to do things like cutting paper and stuff, but we get used to it as we get older. I do most things with my right hand now except eat and right, and instinctively I use my left hand to grab things and pick up things. I love being a lefty, though! It's fun being different!
bhssoccer23Aus*
Nov 07, 2006

I meant eat and *write*. I guess I was caught up in the left-right thing.
MurfQ*ca*
Nov 07, 2006

Very interesting. I had absolutely no idea. Great little tidbit there.

Interestingly enough, I have a brother (in his early 30's) who would have been a lefty except my parents wouldn't allow it. They didn't think it was devilish or anything foolish like that, but they did think it awkward and inhibiting, so they simply wouldn't allow it. They didn't hit him or anything, but they did constantly "correct" him and force him to eat and write with his right hand. It didn't hurt him to be forced to use his right hand. In fact, he's quite pleased with it now. He has some of the nicest handwritting I've seen, and is quite artistic, all with his right hand even though that wasn't his natural inclination. A little practice with the left and he could easily be ambidextrous. Of course, he still uses his left hand instinctively for certain things but is quite comfortable as an "unnatural" righty.

Anyhew, don't know why I shared that, but it just popped in my head
tchershellyus*
Nov 07, 2006

I say we get back to the brain teasers and leave the bits of information to another sight.
tchershellyus*
Nov 07, 2006

*site* must have gotten caught up in the left-right thing
luvdoritos706*ph*
Nov 07, 2006

hum......very interesting.....i actually remember that....wow.....goood one
cuteandditzyAus**
Nov 07, 2006

Very interesting. It explains alot. My ex-husband is a lefty.
docfriday
Nov 07, 2006

Why is it more difficult for a righty (carrying a sword) to climb a clockwise staircase vs. a counterclockwise one?
kman613**
Nov 07, 2006

Interesting and educational - but I don't think it qualifies as a brain teaser. Really required a detailed knowledge of history to figure it out, not logic.
TheSmartest*us*
Nov 07, 2006

Very cute. Once I read the hint I got it. I did not know that they thought that left-handed people were decendants of the devil! That is really interesting!

Peanut: The story with polar bears is that it has been proven that all polar bears are left-handed.

Interesting isn't it???
bobiscool134*us
Nov 07, 2006

I'm neather left nor right handed...I use both evenly. I prefer my left hand, but wasn't allowed to use it in school. And that was only 10 years ago.
FeaerFactorY666*us*
Nov 07, 2006

nice!
purplec412us
Nov 07, 2006

I'm left handed (27 years old) and my kindergarten teacher tried to make me write with my right hand. Needless to say my parents had a couple of "choice" words for her when they talked to her about what happened.

--Unfortunately left-handers also have a shorter life-span, due to living in a right-handed world!--

I've heard this somewhere before...maybe someone can let me know if this is true.
4kai2lyn6*us*
Nov 07, 2006

Oh man!!! China, that was AMAZING!!! I LOVE learning about stuff like this!!! Gosh, I can't believe how, well,... jovial you've just made me!!! Thank you so much!!! Pleasepleaseplease submit more knight/monk/(I don't know how I want to classify this stuff) related trivia!
4kai2lyn6*us*
Nov 07, 2006

......(goin' right into my favorites)!
kalaroneAus*
Nov 07, 2006

That is very intersting I never new that. It is true you learn something new every day.
tonjawithaj*us*
Nov 07, 2006

Okay, I had a question about it, but I was thinking of a staircase spiralling up along the outer wall rather than a spiral staircase around a central pillar.

Cool trivia!
Badger*us*
Nov 07, 2006

Good one, OCH, and a bit of historical trivia that I didn't know! Thanks for submitting!
(user deleted)
Nov 07, 2006

Docfriday, Imagine if you will toting a 20 lb. sword up a narrow spiral staircase, i'm sure you have seen the common style of these, suspended from a pole which runs up the center. Now, while ascending in a clockwise direction you try to swing your sword with your right hand. I am sure that you can imagine that the pole which is on your right side is going to prove to be an obstacle when attempting a sweeping stroke, as will the stairs above your head when attempting an overhand stroke. Now picture an armored Knight, charging down the stairs at you with his sword hand hanging over the railing to his right, free to swing in any direction he so chooses. Unless you have one heck of a backhand swing, your future is looking pretty dim.
OldChinaHand**
Nov 07, 2006

Thanks all for the feedback. I glad this teaser informed some and got others sharing their thoughts and experiences.

It still amazes me how just powerful social customs and manners can be and how much we are influenced by them. Thanks again. OCH
vlermaAus*
Nov 07, 2006

Excellent info there China. I enjoyed it very much. And of course I had no idea, but thank you.

I changed my son from left to right hand before he started school. I was later told that is part of why he never crawled and had poor eye hand coordination. Who knew?
MystikChaos
Nov 08, 2006

uhhhhh.... I don't think this counts as a brain teaser. More like a fact question.
boodlerAgb*
Nov 08, 2006

It astounds me that anyone EVER tried to persuade a left-handed person into being right-handec! How can anyone be so STUPID?
tdbrsun*
Nov 08, 2006

interesting information Thanks
reptile5000Aus*
Nov 09, 2006



THIS ONE IS A REPEAT ALMOST EXACTALLY OF ONE ALREADY HERE



I TRIED TO LOOK BACK FOR THE OTHER BUT I COULDN'T FIND IT, CAN SOMEONE PLEASE REPORT THIS TO BRAINGLE, I DON'T KNOW HOW TO



IF ANYONE COULD PLEASE SEARCH FOR THE OTHER, I MIGHT HAVE CHOSEN RANDOM OR IT IS IN THE 1ST 4 PAGES OF "TRICK"



IF YOU FIND THE OTHER PLEASE SEND ME A MESSAGE SO I CAN STOP SEARCHING, I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR 1/2 HOUR SO FAR



THANK YOU
reptile5000Aus*
Nov 09, 2006

MURF.Q

I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU SOME INFORMATION, I AM A GENERAL PRACTICIONER, GP

MOST PEOPLE ARE WELL, OBVIOUSLY, BORN RIGHT HANDED. I AM ALSO RIGHT HANDED, BUT FOR SPORTS LIKE HOCKEY I USE MY LEFT HAND AS THE DOMINENT POSITION. THIS IS NOT UNUSUAL AT ALL.
natureluverca*
Nov 18, 2006

What's wrong with the left hand?
Anarocka*ie*
Nov 19, 2006

Only 13 percent of people are left-handed so that must be why they thought it something to do with the Devel but they didn't know that the Devel isn't real.
shdwhawkAsg*
Nov 21, 2006

You forgot one thing... the attackers won't be knights, and they may be all left-handed.
senther7Aus*
Dec 09, 2006

Hmmm......

i think i learned some medivel things today...good one
QrystalAca**
Dec 12, 2006

Awesome trivia! And well-written teaser too. I love medieval stuff, and I'm adding this to my faves. I should've realized how handedness would've decided this! I guessed pure superstition, but was too curious about the answer to think about it longer.

To Jimbo, though he commented over a month ago: it's clockwise going down. They were standing in the bell tower. (I wondered this too, and for half a moment I thought there was ambiguity, but then realized where they were standing.)

To the nay-sayer who claimed this wasn't a teaser, take a look at the category. What else would a trivia teaser entail, except a fact question?
LeafFan4life*
Mar 02, 2007

vey intresting teaser great job and well thought out
patiencewithaP*us*
Nov 07, 2009

Interesting...guess I never would've made it as a knight! Fun!
auntiesisAus*
Nov 07, 2009

I went to school and was taught by nuns. Some of them tried to change my writing hand to right,but I always managed to go back to me left. In almost everything I am ambidexterous. I guess there are even fewer of us than lefties. And the teaser was very interesting, but I didn't know the answer.
UptheHillA*
Nov 08, 2009

I didn't know that!!!
doctapeppamanAus*
Jan 30, 2012

I guess the one in the puzzle is clockwise going down and counterclockwise going up. Depending on the big the distance is between the center of the midpoint of the spiral and the closest point on the staircase, that could make it easier for right-handed people to descend than to ascend.
Babe*
Nov 07, 2012

Yes, very interesting, but this is a teaser and we are supposed to know this why????
HABS2933Aca*
Nov 07, 2012

The practice of "correcting" a left handed person still exists. Several friends of mine are left handed and one in particular was telling me that when she was in Kindergarten they would try to make her use her right hand, but when they saw how stressful it was on her, they decided to leave it be.
She and the other leftys I know (including my hubby) are all able to do anything that they need to with ease. Though places like the "Leftorium" don't exist, many products including left handed scissors and coputer mice do. Most of them have just learned to adapt and can use their right hands to do a lot of things.

There are many things in society that can be historically traced to most ppl being right handed.
Mounting a horse for instance. As knights were right-handed a sword is word on the left hip, so they can grab it with their right hand. They would mount the horse from the left so that the sword was not in the way. Though we don't see many ppl walking around with swords any more the practice continues.

A wrist watch was worn on your left wrist not only so it didn't get in the way, but more importantly so you could wind it (yes young'uns you used to have to wind a watch at least once a day or it wouldn't run).

The closures on men's and women's clothing are on opposite sides so that the man can use his right hand to do up the zipper/buttons/snaps while a noble or aristocratic woman would not dress herself, so the buttons were put on so her lady-in-waiting was able to use her right hand to fasten the clothing.
cutebugAus*
Nov 07, 2012

Completely clueless. Great teaser. My dearest friends whole family are lefties.
Maggiethe8th*us*
Nov 07, 2012

Very interesting! It seems completely relevant to strengthen our brains by unusual facts. Thank you!
30angel100tus*
Nov 07, 2012

Never would have guessed. I'm a right-hander, but I taught myself to be ambidextrous.



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