Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Blanket and Brick

List as many uses as you can think of for each of these items: a blanket, a brick. You can take about 5-10 minutes if you like, but you'll probably tap yourself out in the first few minutes anyhow. You may not ask anyone else for input on this.

That's the whole thing. I'll tell you what it means afterward.

I'd love to see your answers posted in my comment section. Please do not read on if you'd like to play, but come back after you've posted. I'll leave you some blank space to play along.

So what was that? The short answer is: this is a form of IQ testing.

This article


explains it very well and from whence it came (the book Outliers which I'm currently listening to on audio book). What the article leaves out, is that there is a problem with college acceptance (as noted in the book), where colleges do not merely make a pile of "possible to be accepted" and "does not qualify" and randomly pick from the first pile. That would insure a diversity at the schools and the pictures on the brochures would match the personalities of those who attend. Instead, they painstake over details and include things like Legacy as criteria, which changes the playing field for attendants. Gladwell, in the book, suggests they give this additional test to get a truly gifted and well-rounded population.

Check out the article if you like, but if you don't want to, here's the brief info that I was going to pull off the book and send to you:

Mr. Florence has an IQ of 198, one of the highest recorded. Mr. Poole is in the average range. Here are their answers:
(Brick). Building things, Throwing.
(Blanket.) Keeping warm, smothering fire, tying to trees and sleeping in (as a hammock), improvised stretcher.

(Brick). To use in smash and grab raids. To help hold a house together. To use in a game of Russian roulette if you want to keep fit at the same time (bricks at ten paces, turn and throw- no evasive action allowed.) To hold the eiderdown on a bed tie a brick at each corner. As a breaker of empty Coca-Cola bottles.
(Blanket). To use on a bed. As a cover for illicit sex in the woods. As a tent. To make smoke signals with. As a sail for a boat, cart or sled. As a substitute for a towel. As a target for shooting practice for short sighted people. As a thing to catch people jumping out of burning skyscrapers.
Don't you feel smarter than a mega-genius?

Further, what do their answers say about them? Poole is funny. He's a quick thinker. He bounces from sex to violence to practicality, a complex thought process. What do your answers say about you? I'll share mine, which I think showed I am practical and a little more whimsical than I associate myself with:

Keep warm
Slide furniture on to move it
Hide presents under
Keep fur off the sofa
Build a fort for kids
Cover mirrors if sitting shivas (sp?)
Cover windows to sleep during the day
Insulate breakables for storage or moving
Cover tv to keep from scratching during move
Provide pet with comfort of your smell during absence
Provide puppies with warmth and softness

Build a wall
Stabilize a short table leg
Build a fireplace
Break glass
Stacking contest
Weather device (if wet, raining, if frozen, snowing...)
Keep people from parking on the lawn by putting at grass edges
Enclose a flowerbed

Here are the answers of a few of my friends, with names removed.

cover to sleep
cover to protect plants from frost
sit on at a picnic or concert
keep winter born farm animals warm
wrap baby - swaddle style or papoose style
cover furniture where pets like to sit/sleep
Indian blankets hang like a tapestry
hang for window covering
stuffing for Santa Claus costume
wrap in a roll for neck wrest
wrap in a roll and set at bottom of door for drafts
use as upholstery/pillow covers
make a quick sack

to make all types of buildings
make a brick oven for bread/pizza
heat and use in winter to warm bed and boots
use as a lift for potted plants to drain
hold the door open
knock someone out
use for sidewalks
engrave for memorials, charity bricks, etc.
crush and use as filler for holes
build a fire pit ring
paper weight while working outside
use as a counter weight
break a window


to keep warm by wrapping yourself with it
to put out a fire
during a fire to stuff under the bedroom door
as a tourniquet
to set a place for a picnic
to cover yourself if indisposed
for comfort as a security blanket (Linus; Peanuts)
as a toga
to lure a cat to lay with you

to build a house
as a heavy paper weight
as a weapon, (great blunt object)
to break into a house
to break into a car
to prop up a table
to hold open a door
to build a fireplace
to line up for an outdoor pathway (path stones)


carrying items
exercise to stretch
putting out a fire
fanning a fire
smoke signals
as fuel for a fire
as a hammock
as a shelter
as camoflauge from the Dutch Oven Scoundrel (doesn't work)
as clothing
as art
as a cape, shawl
masturbatory aid in the closet
Michael Jackson's offspring
cutting tool
stacking for wall
to write with on stone
a way to get attention by throwing
a road
a way to raise head when sleeping
a toy
a masturbatory tool (not recommended)
a weight
balance tool
pen holder
a song by Ben Folds Five


send smoke signals
to carry things in
tie things off with

building a house, walls, etc.
way to stop vehicle from rolling


to keep warm
door/window covering
in a pinch: as a baby carrier
if cotton: cut up and used as a diaper
tied properly any piece of cloth can be used as a bag, I once used a blanket to carry a dead dog
as a drop cloth (to keep paint/dust off something)
as a temporary wall for privacy
left on a windshield overnight keeps frost off the glass

as part of a structure (house, bookshelf, holding up an old carseat being used as a sofa)
as a weapon
as a bookend
to hold down an accelerator in a car (although I've only seen this on TV/Movies)
to prop a door/gate open