26 August 2018

It is homework time all over again.

“Dad, you are a nerd”
“Oh! Yeah? I have been called worse. So, there!”
She shook her head and went on to the kitchen to warm her milk.

What earned me that sobriquet this early morning at the breakfast table was the fact I was trying to put a jigsaw puzzle of African countries together. You can be forgiven if you are equally confused about why on God’s green earth would I wake up early in the morning to do jigsaw puzzles.

Well, it happened the other day. Natasha was on her way from Paris to Accra, Ghana to start her fall semester. The flight was half way done, time wise. Nikita had asked me how far had she reached. I started to answer her “She will be roughly above….”. And I never managed to finish that sentence. I actually had very poor understanding of the geographical location of the different countries in Africa. Most other continents, given two countries, I can name – with reasonable accuracy the likely countries she will be flying over. But when it came to Africa, all I could think about was the the big Sahara desert!

Coming to think of it, while I had a vague idea of where Ghana is (I remember Mrs. Bhowmic teaching us about cocoa production n Ghana), I could not name a single country that borders the country my daughter was headed to!! I remember in school we had learnt a lot about the countries in other continents. But do not seem to remember studying a lot about Africa. Of course, it does not help that Africa has way too many countries!!

Curious how many countries I could name in Africa, I started jotting them down. And challenged Nikita to the same. After a lot of effort, I could remember about 35 of them. I thought I would have completely trounced Nikita. She beat me by about 10 countries! And then when we Googled, we learnt that even she had missed 10 countries!!!

If that was bad, try this. She asked me if I could tell locate the various countries are. I got about half a dozen right. And about half a dozen more if you allow “rough vicinity” to be the pass mark. The rest, I had no idea where they were (other than vague North, South, East, West etc.).

That is what triggered that realization that I need to do something about my ridiculous ignorance of the second largest continent of the world. What I did was, unlike most sane people, ordered a jigsaw puzzle of Africa (countries as individual jigsaw pieces) from Amazon. This morning, armed with a cup of coffee and pen and paper, I sat down to study the map.

“You just watch. In 3 months I will master Africa. I will learn about each country, their capital and some cool facts about each country”, I told my incredulous younger daughter.
“Yeah. You might want to do that faster”
“Why?”, I asked.
“They keep having rebellions and split into different countries”, she said as she took her cup of milk out of the microwave.

You know, maybe that is why I never learnt anything about Africa in childhood. They kept changing the count on me 🙂

23 August 2018

This week Thursday puzzle

Bill Hubbard, what can I say – 3 different airlines, 6 flights, 4 different cities this week. You know who to blame for one more puzzle 🙂

Anybody who works out the answer, feel free to post the answer only in the Comment section. Send your logic as a personal message to me. Do not write your logic in the Comments section.

Now to the puzzle.

In a Polynesian island, girls are highly preferred as a child. This has led to a strange practice over the years among couples who are trying to have a baby. If they have a baby boy, they keep trying to have another baby in the hope that it will be a girl. If it is a baby girl though, they stop having any more babies. Of course, given any birth, the probability of having a baby boy or baby girl is half and half. So, they keep having more babies as long as they are all boys and stop moment they have a girl

As a result, there are couples who have one girl, couples who have one boy and one girl, couples who have two boys and one girl, couples who have three boys and one girl (and the girl is always the last baby they have) but no couple with two girls (or more).

Here is the question: Over a longer period of time, what is the likely ratio of boys and girls in the island?

20 August 2018

One of the more interesting LinkedIn invites…

Check out the invite I got. I thought the role this lady plays – elegant and upscale social events for single Ladies and Gentlemen in Metro Atlanta – was pretty intriguing. I blurred the picture and redacted some of the info to maintain privacy.

But I have noted down the names of the 11 friends that I have who are connected to her. I have a few interesting phone calls to make today 🙂 🙂

Category: Humor | LEAVE A COMMENT
19 August 2018

And with that… we reached the 4000 mile mark

Sharmila was out for five days. I could not take the motorcycle out. Well, I could have but was too scared to. The first thought that always went thru my mind was “What if something happens to me? Who is going to pick Nikita up from school?” 🙂

Well, she came back last night (actually early this morning – that too without her suitcase but that is a different story altogether). This morning took the bike out for a spin and came back home totally drenched in the rains.

But reached the 4000 mile mark, nonetheless!!

Category: Biking | LEAVE A COMMENT
18 August 2018

A weekend puzzle

In a class there were 40 students with roll numbers 1 thru 40. One day, the teacher got them all to sit around in a circle sequentially in the order of their roll numbers (1 thru 40). (Of course 40 sat next to 39 on one side and 1 on the other). She then gave a wand to student number 1. What the student had to do is turn towards the next student (which would be #2) and tag him/her with the wand. Upon tagging, the tagged student steps back and is out of the game and the wand is then handed to the next student – which would be student #3 in this case

Now student #3 does the same thing – tags student #4 who steps back and is out of the game and then the wand is handed to #5.

This keeps going on and on (in circles) till only one student is left.

Can you figure out which student was the last one left?

17 August 2018

Friday evening decompression…Faysal’s poetry

“Jo bhi dukh yaad na tha, yaad aaya
Aaj kya jaane, kya yaad aaya
Yaad aaya tha bichhadna tera
Phir nahin yaad ke kya yaad aaya.”

Roughly translated…(Avinash, care to take an alternate crack?)…

“All the forgotten sorrows, came back to me today
Who knows what all I remembered today
Memories flooded of your separation from me
I can’t remember what all I remembered after that”

Category: Musings | LEAVE A COMMENT