21 February 2018

Another puzzle. Arranging digits

Do not write the answer in the Comments section. If you get the answer, simply message me on FB or write in the Comments section that you got it (without actually giving away the answer).

Can you come up with a 8 digited number where the digits are 1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4 and the following are true:
There are exactly 4 digits between the two “4”s in the number.
There are exactly 3 digits between the two “3”s in the number.
There are exactly 2 digits between the two “2”s in the number.
There is exactly 1 digit between the two “1”s in the number.

So, 12344321 cannot be an answer since there are 6 digits between the “1”s, 4 digits between the “2”s etc etc etc.

What is the number? (Hint: There are two answers)

21 February 2018

From the bartender’s corner – Siberian Express Martini

To switch up a little, went with a vodka based cocktail rather than a gin based cocktail. Although martinis used to be originally with gin, most are made with vodka today.

This has Smirnoff vanilla vodka, Chambord raspberry liqueur and Godiva dark chocolate liqueur.

The proper garnish for this drink is a raspberry which I had none of. Another variation is to sprinkle chocolate on the rim…

20 February 2018

The immutable truths of social media

[Yes, this is what I do if it rains when I am supposed to be motorbiking outside 🙂 ]

“Law of first reader advantage” STATES
The reader, upon reading a joke for the first time in his or her life, will immediately conclude that nobody else has ever heard that joke before ever.

“Corollary to the above law” (what is good for the goose is good for the geese) STATES
A reader, upon receiving a joke in one group, will immediately conclude that no other group has ever seen that joke before either.

“Law of overreaction” (Newton was wrong. Reaction is always greater than action) STATES
Upon such conclusion, the reader will venture to remove the world’s ignorance around that joke post haste by posting it to everybody with disproportionate haste.

“Law of false equivalency” STATES
What holds good for jokes holds good for hoaxes too.

“Law of positive correlation” STATES
Everything else remaining the same, more sensational the hoax, more gullible the reader will be. And faster the hoax will be posted to everybody else.

“Law of washing hands” STATES
When pulled up for spreading hoaxes, the reader will simply put a “Forwarded as received” disclaimer. Upon which the “Law of first reader advantage” will kick in.

Care to add some more of yours? 🙂

20 February 2018

Four different paths converged for a few hours!

Last week I was in Virginia Tech to meet an old classmate of mine – Madhav. More on him later. The second highlight of that trip was meeting these three guys you see in the picture. I had never met them before but we had one common thread – we all went to the same high school (Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission). All in very different years but the same school, nonetheless.

Rounak, the youngest of the four of us, is yet to reach the half way mark to my age!! He was not even born when I left India for US!! Arindam – the one who insists that not shaving is lower maintenance than shaving everything off like me – is the avid runner in the group. Srijan – the professor – is an outstanding person. His ability to hold two opposing thoughts at the same time and argue both sides of the case is something I have to learn some day.

Like I said, other than the fact at very different points of time, each one of us studied within the same four walls of a particular classroom, we had little in common, at the surface. But somehow, we managed to find ourselves in the same latitude and longitude at the exact same time last week – thanks to some help from Madhav.

The discussions that I had with these youngsters were of varied themes. And I realized how rich the diversity in their thoughts were on a wide range of topics – from social media to statistics to politics. One thing for sure – their thought processes are far more evolved, their perspectives in life far more mature than mine were at that age.

That is why, while many are given to believe that things are getting worse by the day, I continue to conclude that the world is actually getting better and better with every generation. And so much so, the better for it!!

19 February 2018

From the bartender’s corner: Gin #31 – 3 Howls Old Fashioned Gin

The first curiosity that I had to overcome was to understand where the name came from. From their website, I go to know that this goes back to a Scottish folklore of a red-eyed giant wild hound (looks like a wolf) that used to howl three times before taking souls to the underworld. A similar creature is there in Irish folklore as well as some Welsh folklore. All these consider the monster as a harbinger of death.

Beyond that, the website really does not have much helpful details on the details of the gin – including the botanicals used, the iterations of distillation and all that. They do not even spell out the base alcohol but do make some tall claims about how good their products are. The gin is made in Seattle, USA (and not Scotland as you might have thought by now).

It being a very young distillery (a little over four years old) and me never have taken a liking towards American Style Gin (3 Howls position itself between London Dry and American style), my expectations were very low. Also the fact that none of the other gin reviewers I knew had ever reviewed this prepared me to expect very little.

That said – or maybe because of the low expectations – I did not find the gin to be too bad. The nose is mostly citrusy. However, it is in the palate that you notice the distinction first. It fills in the mouth very quickly. There are the citrus notes and the juniper that make their presence felt almost immediately. But more than that, there is a certain bite to it. I almost want to suggest a faint hint of spiciness (peppery might be a better description). The finish was long and very rich with the junipers.

I liked the “on the rocks” version far more than I liked the G&T. In the G&T, I felt the tonic clashed too much with the biting of the gin in the mouth.

Overall, I would say this is a good gin. Not the most memorable. But at least it got me to start respecting American style gins a little.

I will try with cocktails and report back how it goes.