# SPUG: Stick Riddle

Jay Scherrer jay at Scherrer.com
Thu Jan 2 21:04:24 CST 2003

```On Thursday 02 January 2003 03:50 pm, Adrian Hands wrote:
> m3047 at inwa.net (Fred Morris) writes:
> > my gut tells me Michael has found it.
>
> You realize it was
> the modification (norm_rand) to make the first break occur close to the
> middle that increased the probability to nearly 100%.
> Then, the modification to make it blindly choose the "left" piece,
> instead of the "longer" piece,
> for the second break, resulted in it picking the "longer" piece 1/2 the
> time...
>  1/2 of ~100% -> ~50%.
>
> It seems unlikely to me that the "friend" based his answer on the idea
> that it's easier to break the stick in the middle.
>
>
That brings up a really good point! Instead of using rand(8), the rand()
should be done three times, using rand(99) each. Thus the randomized cuts
would truly reflect the percentage of each slice of the original stick.
jay

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