A man had a book that was worth $40,000. There were only 2 books in existence. He threw it in the furnace, reducing it to a pile of soot. Why did he do this?

He destroyed the book because he has two, and by only having one, the value goes up.

Swaff was traveling in an elevator, being cool, when he suddenly heard the cord supporting the elevator snap. Being the cool guy that he is, he knew of a myth where if you could jump at the right time, you could possibly be able to survive a plunge in an elevator.
Now, when Swaff was a boy, he spent all of his math classes making fun of his female teacher's moustache. He never paid attention, so he was a tad bit slow in his mathematical calculations. He did, however, have a very bizarre talent, in which he could tell the exact speed he was traveling. That came in pretty lucky today.
Swaff knew he was falling at an even rate of 50 miles per hour. When the cord snapped, he was exactly 110 feet above the ground. He knew that he must jump at the right time to have any hopes of surviving.
Now, after doing the math, please tell me when Swaff jumped.

He never did. By the time Swaff figured out that he would have to jump in 1.5 seconds, he would already be dead. Not even the best of mathematicians could do all the math needed in 1 and half seconds. Swaff fell to his death.

A man has two ropes of varying thickness (Those two ropes are not identical, they aren’t the same density nor the same length nor the same width). Each rope burns in 60 minutes. He actually wants to measure 45 mins. How can he measure 45 mins using only these two ropes.
He can’t cut the one rope in half because the ropes are non-homogeneous and he can’t be sure how long it will burn.

He will burn one of the rope at both the ends and the second rope at one end. After half an hour, the first one burns completely and at this point of time, he will burn the other end of the second rope so now it will take 15 mins more to completely burn. so total time is 30+15 i.e. 45mins.

There are 3 switches outside of a room, all in the 'off' setting. One of them controls a lightbulb inside the room, the other two do nothing.
You cannot see into the room, and once you open the door to the room, you cannot flip any of the switches any more.
Before going into the room, how would you flip the switches in order to be able to tell which switch controls the light bulb?

Flip the first switch and keep it flipped for five minutes. Then unflip it, and flip the second switch. Go into the room. If the lightbulb is off but warm, the first switch controls it. If the light is on, the second switch controls it. If the light is off and cool, the third switch controls it.

One day a boss said to her employees, "I can fight and beat any man who works here."
A new employee, a seven-foot-tall ex-prize fighter, stood up to take on the boss.
The boss kept her word, but did not beat the man or back down.
What did the boss do?

You are a prisoner sentenced to death. The Emperor offers you a chance to live by playing a simple game. He gives you 50 black marbles, 50 white marbles and 2 empty bowls. He then says, "Divide these 100 marbles into these 2 bowls. You can divide them any way you like as long as you use all the marbles. Then I will blindfold you and mix the bowls around. You then can choose one bowl and remove ONE marble. If the marble is WHITE you will live, but if the marble is BLACK... you will die." How do you divide the marbles up so that you have the greatest probability of choosing a WHITE marble?
HINT: The answer does not guarantee 100% you will chose a white marble, but you have a much better chance.

Place 1 white marble in the bowl, and place the rest of the marbles in the other bowl (49 whites, and 50 blacks). This way you begin a 50/50 chance of choosing the bowl with just one white marble, therefore life! BUT even if you choose the other bowl, you still have almost a 50/50 chance at picking one of the 49 white marbles.