Perplexing Math

Answers anyone?

  • You throw three darts onto the surface of a globe, each from a randomly chosen direction. What is the probability that all three darts are in one hemisphere?
  • You are a bug sitting in one corner of a cubic room. You wish to walk (no flying) to the extreme opposite corner (the one farthest from you). Describe the shortest path that you can walk.
  • An Arab sheikh is old and must will his fortune to one of his two sons. He makes a proposition. His two sons will ride their camels in a race, and whichever camel crosses the finish line last will win the fortune for its owner. During the race, the two brothers wander aimlessly for days, neither willing to cross the finish line. In desperation, they ask a wise man for advice. He tells them something; then the brothers leap onto the camels and charge toward the finish line. What did the wise man say?
  • There are ten gnomes who have gotten themselves into quite a predicament. They are in the dungeon of a castle of a tyrannical king. Despite the evilness of the king, he has a silver lining in his heart. He has given the gnomes a chance of survival. Here is the offer: The King lines the gnomes up in a single-file row. This means that the tenth gnome sees the back of the person in front of him, and there is no gnome behind the tenth gnome. The ninth gnome has the tenth gnome behind him and the eighth gnome directly in front of him, and so on. Finally, the first gnome has the second gnome directly behind him, but there is no one in front of the first gnome. The king has a large bag full of many black hats and many white hats. There is not necessarily the same number of black hats as white hats. The king randomly reaches into his bag and places a hat on each of the gnomes. This means that the tenth gnome can see everyone’s hat except his own, the ninth gnome can see everyone’s hat except his own and the tenth gnome’s hat, and so on. The first gnome can see no one’s hat. The king then takes out his gun and puts it to the temple of the tenth gnome. The king asks the gnome, “What color is your hat?” If the gnome answers correctly, he lives and gets freed from the dungeon. If he does not, he dies. He continues up the line in this progression. However, before placing the hats on the gnomes, he allows the gnomes to meet as a group and discuss a strategy to save as many of the gnomes as possible. Imagine that you are one of these gnomes. What strategy would you develop? How many gnomes can you guarantee to save?  REMEMBER: When it is your turn to say the color of your hat you must ONLY say “white” or “black.” If you say anything else, the king will shoot you and all of the remaining gnomes.

Slumber Slain

Ok, so I haven’t written in ages. This time around I don’t even have a good excuse. Or maybe I do, but oh well. I’d rather sound like a slacker. Helps keep the expectations down, and life’s been teaching me a fair bit ’bout that lately. Gee tagged me, and so here goes- eight random facts about me.

  1. I love cinema: Adore it, live it. There is something utterly powerful about what film can achieve. If I didn’t hate ‘development’ jargon so, I’d say the only thing capable of changing paradigms is great cinema. And woohooooo I’m getting to make a film. 😀 Life is good.
  2. I know precious little: Yupsie daisy. I’m surrounded by people who think I’m well read, articulate and really original in terms of ideas. They couldn’t be more wrong. I’m as uninspired as they come, feed off my plate, live within my framework and am really happy just getting-by most times.
  3. I believe in the Matrix and in magic: I do. I know spells work and I know there is something incredibly fabricated about the world we live in. For that matter, I also believe that dinosaurs exist in a lost islet somewhere wrapped in an envelope of slow-time. And no its not just Harry Potter, Jurassic Park or Reeves. Its about a manner of thinking. The metaphysical, that we all like to deny.
  4. I love my gadgets: No in fact I’m obsessed. I’d feel desperately lonely without my phone despite not having anyone to call. I miss my iPod. My laptop is so customized only I know how to use it. I don’t like being called a techno-freak but people not taking computer security seriously bothers me. Just as not being able to tell flac from aac really upsets me.
  5. Thunderstorms: Thunderstorms in my head still make me want to crawl under the bed. I don’t know what to make of that. Maybe I need a therapist. Tsk Tsk…
  6. Cartoons: Peanuts, Calvin and Dilbert are the greatest political philosophers of all time. Period. Else I bite off your head.
  7. Courage: I believe I will someday find a bottle full I can swallow. Maybe it will be green and golden. Ho hum.
  8. I love cigarettes: Ok,I know. I do. I like adding clouds to my mind. Can’t help.

And oh, take a look at Pikey’s post and pick up the tag if you feel like. Its hard enough to blog without tagging…Sob.

Think About This….

“It’s very important to understand this because I think entrepreneurs suffer from an inferiority complex. They think that the world is going to favor size. No, today’s world is not about size, it is about an idea. If you have the right idea, you can take on size. So don’t be scared of size. You know, size gives you a sense of the power of incumbency, and entrepreneurship is about non-incumbency. I keep saying that in a world full of monochromatic tadpoles, if you are fluorescent it does not matter what size tadpole you are.”

 – Subroto Bagchi, COO, MindTree Consulting


“By late afternoon the light that washed over the garden turned it into
a lake of gold, with islands of shadow; the blown lilies, the long
tendrils of roses and the anemious grasses streamed like plants that
grow in water.”

Edith Pope; River in the Wind; Scribner; 1954.


I am of the many cities I’ve traveled

of the Earth I’ve stepped, the gravel beneath

the little butterfly that left a yellow smear on my finger

the echoes and the music

the many nights of dreamless sleep

hours of looking up dictionaries so people believed I knew

I am of the sweat that rolled off my brow

late nights, swaying colours and desperate measures

the failed attempts at several jobs

the few successes, many worlds, constructs

I am of a quiet solitude, a deep sense of remorse

an odd spark of gurgling bubbling joy

I am of the books I have struggled to read

the words I never learnt to spell

I am of cold nights, whispered condolences

terrifying nightmares and flights of fancy

of long hours of debate, an insight or two

of struggles I can only call my own

of money that I have always overspent

choice and graciousness of many a hue

of a huge crowd and a fistful of friends

from epithets and epitaphs

from smoke and spirit

I am from her and him and them

from her too, though she was never my friend

from barely being able to walk to treks

from a late starter to a voracious reader

from a D grader to an A+

from love and loss, being and being and being and being some more…

I am from a pinch of salt, a struggling mind

from a slippery surface and a crumbling foothold

from magenta leaves, curvy ringlets and bended knees

I am from there and not from here

I am from where I hope to rise to,

Worth more than three smooth pebbles and a crumpled tin can.

Would have been…

  • On a private cruise, all alone with stars for company
  • Curled up on a bed with a warm mug of drinking chocolate
  • Getting ready to announce the next miracle to the world
  • Singing in the rain, barefoot in a village after months of scorching sunshine
  • In a limo sipping a glass of blood red wine
  • Part of a high speed car chase minus the guns
  • Happily beautiful and brainless
  • A Martian scheming on how to take-over planet Earth or demolish it for the next cyber-pass


Jesus Among the Neocons

            Had Jesus, the Shepherd of  sheperds,

            been a bodily traveler among us

            today, he might not have been able

            to ride any plane, or cruiser,  or bus

            into the United States,

            or to conquer any of its many hates.

            What with his Asiatic visage

            and sable skin,

            compounded by his Bin Laden beard,

            he would have had to dare

            more than the fates.

            Supposing he had entered the place,

            aided by some technical subterfuge,

            would he have recognized the New World

            as love’s haven, or christian refuge?

            The born-again, beefy giant

            at the check-point tray

            might have slapped the cuffs

            on him even as he made his pliant

            in unintelligible Aramaic huffs;

            and no sooner than you think

            he might have landed in Guantanamo Bay.

            Once  secured there, O Jesus,

            answer me this:

            would you have pleaded anew

            ‘father, forgive them; 

            they know not what they do?’

            Or, would you, more realistically,

            (as Luke has you say) express

            your wrench and anguish thus:

            ‘father, why hast thou forsaken me’

            in a glittering, golden wilderness

            from whence the reigning evil one

            decrees to demonise Creation

            with dirty uranium and white phosphorus?


Easter thoughts in a lovely poem, forwarded to me by e-mail.