Quick reminder: I'm going to be mostly away for the next couple of weeks. As promised, today's Challenge is a bit more challenging than most during the past year.
First, let me present the Challenges, then give a couple of hints.
There are three pieces to this Challenge. Both wrapped in a bit of a murder mystery story, just to get your creative juices flowing and to keep you motivated over the next couple of weeks.
Little Rob was found dead of unknown causes in his apartment. Near his body were scattered the contents of the rucksack he was packing, clearly anticipating a trip to the mountains. In the pack was a vial of Acetazolamide pills, lots of fishing gear, and a road map of northern California. For food he only had breakfast and lunch, so the suspicion for the murder falls on his hiking partner, Big Jim, who dropped one packet of freeze-dried dinner on his way out the front door. There is also a list of larger lakes and reservoirs that have recently been stocked, with several circled as places to go fishing. Unfortunately, the piece of paper was torn in half, with most of the information missing.
Your job is to try and find Big Jim. Given what you know, you decide to start your search on high-altitude lakes in California that have been stocked with fish.
1. Can you find all of the lakes and reservoirs in California that have been stocked with fish in 2014, in Northern California, and are above 8,000 feet in elevation?
2. Since you know they're interested in fishing in larger lakes, can you find those Californian lakes more than 8,000 feet high that are also greater than 500 acres in surface area?
3. How do you know that Little Rob and Big Jim were planning on fishing at high altitude?
This is one of those problems that sounds crazy hard, but once you know how to do it, doesn't take that long to do.
So the question comes in two parts: (a) What information do you need? (b) How can you handle this information to answer the questions?
A couple of hints to guide you:
▶ If you're doing it one-lake-at-a-time, you're doing it wrong. It'll take you roughly forever to find all the lakes of California, then find the altitude, then find whether or not they'd been stocked in 2014.
▶ You probably need a tool to help you with this. What kind of tool could you use? (And just as importantly, how would you figure out what this tool is?)
You might want to chat amongst yourselves this week as you tackle this problem. I know it sounds impossible, but it's not as crazy as it seems.
My real goal in this Challenge is to show you a new way to gather, collect, and organize data that you can find in your searches. Once you've found this way, you'll have another powerful tool in your SearchResearch armamentarium.