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Digital Dice by Paul J. Nahin

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3. A Parallel Parking Question

This problem originally appeared in 1978, as a challenge question. As stated then,1

Four birds land at random positions on a finite length of wire.

Upon landing, each bird looks at its nearest neighbor.

a.  What is the probability that a bird picked at random is looking at another bird that is looking at it?

b.  What is the probability if there are n birds, with n > 4?

The solution appeared the next year.2 (I have converted the birds into cars and the wire into a car lot to, I hope, make the problem more ...

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