Tuesday, May 31, 2011


181. Having Moët & Chandon in plastic cups to celebrate a colleague's 40th birthday, with Princess Peach and the research group of the Super Marios. There was also a Le Pain Quotidien cherry crumble cake, on which a fly was resting. As Princess Peach was trying -- with the end of a plastic spoon -- to instruct the fly to move away, Luigi commented, "I don't think it is inclined to fly... It is sitting on a big cake..."

182. Rino Son Resto. Having just ordered, a diavolo pizza for her and a frutti di mare for me, we are chatting away as usual.
Lily: When we are together, our brains shut off...

Several brainless conversations later, the pizzas are completely gone. 
Lily: ...Yeah, I told you your brain shut off.
Me: I thought you said that our brains shut off. 
Lily: Nah, it was just for politeness.

While I pretend to be hurt, it occurs to me that this has been exactly what I needed, being able to have my brain pleasantly shut off at the end of a long day.

183. With a slight theatrical flair, Geek #3 puts down an extra card, next to the existing 16 Set cards on the table. Staring at this new addition, we all start to rearrange possible combinations in our head. "Tuck, tuck, tuck," making the usual action soundtrack, Geek #5 points his forefinger at the added card and two others to form a Set, three cards of which every characteristic (number, color, symbol, shading) is either identical or completely different from one to another. The added card is then turned over, Geek #3 introduces a new card, and the whole process starts all over again. 

Systematically, we are trying to determine the maximum number of cards from which we cannot form a Set, an question raised by Geek #2 after two rounds of playing. While we are not geeky enough to write down a proper mathematical formulation of the problem, we are geeky enough to spend the next half an hour finding an empirical answer. After turning the 81st card over and arriving at a tentative conclusion of 16, we realize, that by looking up the ever knowledgeable Wikipedia, we would have found out the proven answer of 20 in a much shorter time. But, what would have been the fun in doing that?

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