Question: You work at a factory that produces dumbbell weights for lifting. One of the 10 machines has been producing weights that are always 1 pound less than the rest of the machines. You have a large scale used to weigh the weights for quality control. How could you find the defective machine by using the scale only once? You are allowed to make as many weights with the machines as you please.
Answer: From each machine you make a different number of weights and however many pounds the scale is off from what it should be corresponds to the machine that made that many weights.
From machine 1 you make 1 weight, machine 2 you make 2 weights...
If the machine is off by 1 pound you know it was machine 1 that was off.
Question: Your father is a scientist who has invented a red pill which, if eaten with 1 blue pill which he has invented, will grant immortality. The night he invents it, he gives you 2 red and 2 blue pills just in case one of them is lost or substandard. He also warns you that an overdose will cause the opposite effect and kill you instead. You put the pills in your pocket and leave his lab for home. On the way home, you are abducted by aliens who blindfold you and throw you into a singularity. At this point, you remember the pills your father gave you. You take them out (you can move and have enough oxygen in space for a short time), but realize that you can't tell the red pill from the blue pill. Even if you take off your blindfold, you can't see anything due to your proximity to the black hole. Given the circumstances, how do you successfully eat 1 red and 1 blue pill and survive?
Answer: Eat half of each pill.