Friday, March 31, 2006

A civil way of putting the safe sex puzzle

My friend Jon thinks the way I stated the safe sex puzzle, might be downright offensive to 83% of the british population. Now I don't care what 83% of that tiny island think about me or my post, but the conversation did encourage me to look for a version socially acceptable at all levels. A valuable clue from him vaguely mentioning some sort of gloves and handprint problem got me googling.

After playing around a bit, I found the one I was (kinda) looking for. You can find it here along with more brain teasers. Below the relevant one is quoted verbatim.

Gloves and Germs

You have 3 cultures of highly contagious and deadly germs. As part of an important experiment you must squeeze each culture once with your entire hand. However, you have only 1 pair of latex gloves. You must not contaminate any culture with another or with germs from your skin. The gloves can be worn on either the left or right hand. How can you complete your experiment without contaminating anything?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The safe sex puzzle

This problem is about safe sex and condoms that you may or may not have heard before. If you are able to find the solution(s) buy yourself a beer, otherwise try it on your other half (as a joke stupid). Let me assure you that there is indeed a (perhaps more) legitimate solution that works fine.

My soft side whispers that I am doing a social service. I strongly expect the solutions to be helpful under circumstances like the ones below. Read on.


We have two men, two women and only TWO condoms. The objective is to find a way for SAFE sex (intercourse) between every man and woman. For example, if A, B are men and C, D are women then with TWO condoms you must ensure SAFE SEX between the pairs, (A, C), (A, D), (B, C) and (B, D).
REMEMBER only two condoms are allowed. How do you see that happening?


For three men and three women, with the condition of guaranteed SAFE sex (intercourse) between every man and woman, find the MINIMUM number of condoms needed. (Hint: the answer is NOT three)

Main course

For N men and N women where N is any finite number greater than or equal to two, find the minimum number of condoms to guarantee SAFE sex (intercourse) between every man and woman.

NOTE: Appetizer is a special case of the main course. Solving the appetizer might provide an insight (sic) or two on how to tackle the main course. Good luck and have fun!! Leave your thoughts and solutions in the comments.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Biting vaginas

Scott Aaronson asks a simple question,"Why don't vaginas have retractable teeth?"

I am not sure how many of you have ever thought about it. Certainly I never did.

Scott however comes up with a cool motivation, "Think about it. If vaginas had teeth, rape would be difficult if not impossible. Females would have much greater control over which males could impregnate them. Wouldn't a biting vagina be a useful Darwinian adaptation?".

Click here for Scott's post. You would love it!

Should (sports)men cry?

Bill Simmons ponders,"The days of Vito Corleone smacking Johnny Fontaine across the face and telling him to act like a man are long gone. This is the way men are supposed to act now. We're supposed to be sensitive. We're supposed to wear our hearts on our sleeves. We're supposed to remain open-minded to everyone and everything." His Blame Clint! is highly recommended for readers of all genre.

Please note that the usual risk factors,

1. This article is by Bill Simmons
2. This article is by Bill Simmons
3. This article is by Bill Simmons


My Swiss Mocha tells me it is not a good idea to mention Brokeback and Basketball Jesus in the same column.


Blogger's Blues

Less than two weeks into sort-of-dedicated blogging, I feel like hitting the deadly blogger's block. It was sooner than expected. My numbers won't knock you off the chair - 2 weeks, 5 major posts and that's all it took. Frankly it sucks. Me too.

Somewhat irrelevantly, why is it called blogger's block and not blogger's blues?

Latest: Efforts to google myself out of the hole failed as well.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


My creation

Obviously I was bored. For one..waking up in a Sunday morning is real pain...and take into account the Swiss Mocha I bought last evening sucked and you probably get the picture. Not surprisingly I was just hanging out incoherently...mumbling and bumbling when I came across this cool site.

Now every month I plan to make a magazine version (!!!) of my blog with selected posts from that month. If not anything, it kills precisely one hour and twelve minutes .. not bad for idle Sunday mornings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

All Chappell's men

Team India .. uh-oh were you playing Santa Claus in Mumbai (perhaps a bit too early)?

In that case, well done. Thank you very much.

The Guardian reports:

"You know things are going your way when 'c Panesar b Udal' appears on the scorecard," says Dan Jones. "A collector's item if ever I saw one."

A story for grandchildren.

The outcome was so fantastic it left everyone in a state of utter disbelief and disarray. I heard unconfirmed reports from London where people were pinching others just to make sure nobody was hallucinating.

Wankhede, March 22 2006 to be remembered for everything that could go wrong, going wrong and that's putting it midly. It is right up there with Eden Gardens 2001 for "things that you will never ever see happening again in your lifetime" for all wrong reasons.

Rahul: Did Freddie give that you-must-be-kidding-me look when you opted to field? I am just curious.

The decision to field first in the event Rahul wins the toss must have been a "team" decision beforehand. Let me update you Coach. Right now that decision is fighting for a place in the top three dumbest cricketing decisions ever taken on Indian soil.

Did the team management consult Tendulkar or Jaffer? Seriously I want know.

As a classic cricket quickie unfolded - last seven wickets adding 25 runs - a gritty bunch of virtual unknowns rewrote the cricket history - Karma of highest order.

Congratulations Freddie and your extended family. Please send a piece of cake to Coach Chappell as a token of goodwill. He will appreciate it.

What happened was truly inexplicable. I am willing to believe that the aliens came the night before the Mumbai Test and duly sucked all intelligence out of you know whos' head.

Perhaps Mr. Chappell knows the answer and he is not telling us. He probably wants us to believe this is an this point your guess is only as good as mine.

May be his answer lies in the future as we suffer in the present.

Team India should have won the series hands down. PERIOD. Half of the touring side played in the Mumbai test wouldn't make it to the Mumbai team.

And we lost c-o-m-p-r-e-h-e-n-s-i-v-e-l-y.

Perhaps Mr. Chappell, you can tell us why and what went wrong?

If your innovations during the practice sessions led to more than a dozen dropped catches in the field, it is time to send your friend and trainer packing.

Perhaps the constant tinkering with the batting line up made everyone insecure?

Why wasn't Mr. Kaif playing after his match saving innigs at Nagpur? What message does it send to players who are performing? ...that the whims and fancies of a genius in the making matters more than performance on the field?

Why was a certain VVS Laxman sitting out?

Mr. Chappell MBE, now that you been thoroughly outthought and outcoached by Mr. Duncan Fletcher OBE, what's next? (OBE outranks MBE)

Shall we play a test series against Bangladesh or Kenya or Zimbabwe?

My apologies to bring this up at your moment of sadness. If you care to remember Mr. Chappell, we lost to Pakistan 1-0 in the test series too.

You have a lot on your plate right now. We need answers.

This just in: The OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) might as well be your next Honor and they are ready to bend the rules for you.


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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Zen Version

Everyone going nuts. Including me. The blog world buzzing again. The media armed with shields, napkins and tissues (in case a certain tear drop or two rolls out) came out with travel guides on virtues, conscience and perspectives.

To Boo or not to Boo.

I don't think anyone would have cared if Dada (may his cricket soul rest in peace) got boo-ed. Virtually every ground boo boo-ed him one time or the other. If not, atleast thought of booing him.

Poor Dada.. we couldn't care less.

When the umpires make mistakes with Dada or Dravid in the receiving end, the mistakes become part of the game.

But not with Him. An umpire gets crucified (to err is human not applicable anymore), as if he threw a can of grease on what could have become a Michaelangelo.

Now He was BOOed.

The Grannies and Nannies of the world of wisdom wasted no time in zooming on BOOing, considered to be a natural part of the game all around the sports world.

Not here.

Welcome three monkeys.


Amidst all hullaballoo last night I discovered Zen.

I met Mr. Zendulkar. No.. don't get me wrong. He is NOT Mr. Tendulkar who owns a Maruti Zen or Mr. Endulkar who DOES NOT own a Maruti Zen (frankly I don't see how anyone whose surname begins with an END can even own a safety-pin).

He is Mr. Zendulkar who recently attained Cricket Nirvana. He insists Life is Zen and cricket is just a state of allure of every immature mind.

So I interviewed Him, hoping I could get an insight or two.

Did you Sir, hear the boo?
A terrible moment for you
Do you feel Sir
The time is near
To hang the boots and visit a Zoo?

He said:

Have you ever seen a willow
Tucked away in a pillow?
Or a round red ball
In a shopping mall
Too freaky and not too shallow?

Simply I wasn't at his level. So I made one last effort.

Dear Sir, aren't you past your prime?
Take a break with soda and lime
As all the greats
Who were threats
To bowlers around, duly left in time.

His response was prompt.

There was a guy called WG Grace
He had a beard on his oval face
For that matter
A mad hatter
Came to him for a weekly raise.

I am now at peace. Amen.

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Monday, March 20, 2006


What if my CV ain't funny and freaky?
Does my future look blacky and bleaky?
Yes they say
You gotta pay
For not catching up with the world today.

I took my CV and shred to pieces
Why I feel my heart goes recess
Now days are busy
Life not easy
I wash the clothes and do the dishes.

I don't have a CV, I don't have a job
But I keep a towel to wear on top
To do the dishes
And hang the fishes
Upside down in my basement shop.

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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Voila for Vendetta

Make no mistake, V for Vendetta is a dangerous ride through the corridoors of our worst nightmare, yet laced with hope for humanity and the core values we all stand for.

One of the most anticipated movies of recent times, V for Vendetta is an engrossing entertainment and raises a question or two for viewers looking for more than just popcorn value.

As I set myself to watch the latest flick from the house of Wachowski brothers (of Matrix fame), I kept my fingers crossed. The Wachowskis, credited as writers and producers of the movie and director James McTeigue (former assistant of the Wachowskis), however, kept their reputation or whatever is left of it (after the two sequels of Matrix), intact by putting in an honest effort or for that matter what they are capable of.

Circa 2020. The world is in anarchy. America facing civil unrest while England is ruled by a brutal fascist regime.

Set in this backdrop, the movie, based on the graphic novel (of the same title) by Alan Moore (writer) and David LLoyd (illustrator), tells us the story of one masked crusader V (Guy Fawkes clone; if you are asking yourself Guy Fawkes who? please google), fighting for humanity, freedom and civil liberties in a totalitarian state of England where religious minorities, ethnic groups, homosexuals and political activists are routinely sent to concentration camps to be tortured and executed. The resemblance with Nazi Germany cannot be missed as the state media constantly churns out lies and the state police violates every corner of human dignity. The movie paints some of the darkest moments with ruthless authenticity.

The book on the other hand, written over a span of seven years (1981-1988) carries a political message aimed to criticize the then right wing Thatcher Government of England. With a seemingly obvious storyline, the strength of the book lies in its storytelling, subtle and intelligent enough to bite your conscience when it matters most. It is not your run a mill graphic novel but instead hits you hard, begs you to sit back and think... what if?

Portraying the familiar war of protagonist against a subversive regime, the Wachowskis had all the ingredients to make an impact. To be fair, they remained broadly true to the original story but sadly opted for a simplistic version to play with (Alan Moore completely disowned himself from the movie but David Lloyd did not).

One fascinating aspect of the book sorely missing from the movie is the gradual evolution of the characters and their perspectives as they fight through their jobs at hand it our rebels V and his young female friend turned protagonist Evey Hammond, the good natured detectives Mr. Finch and his partner hunting for V and Evey or Mr. Creedy, an evil officer of the regime patiently biding time to stage a coup.

Good intentions notwithstanding, the movie sucks itself into a typical trap of Hollywood excessiveness often at the expense of the story. It has its share of touching moments but fails to keep a reasonable tempo throughout.

If you have read the book, you might be disappointed as the Wachowskis hardly spare any subplot, but thankfully, the finished product is still satisfying (more if you haven't read the book) and offers plenty of punch.

For one... it is pure entertainment. If you are looking for an engaging two hours of your time without yawning, this is your movie. Besides you get to hear Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, and watch happy toasting of bread and fried egg.

Secondly... the movie is never short of captivating visuals with plenty of fireworks and efficiently executed action sequences. The cast by and large did a credible job. Natalie Portman is amazingly believable as Eve Hammond and Hugo Weaving as the masked crusader V is as good as you or me behind a mask (just kidding).



The movie is worth seeing as it eventually succeeds in delivering the message of freedom and liberty, the institutions we cherish and value and often take for granted.

In the world we live now, the movie also raises deeply troubling questions. Is the masked crusader a freedom fighter or a terrorist? Does the end always justify the means?

The movie never attempts to answer the questions nor did Mr. Moore's novel. Perhaps such questions can never be answered.

Perhaps V stands not for Vendetta but for Victory. Victory of the people, for the people and by the people.

Now if we could just stop caring how.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cricket for those who wait

I was talking to my buddy Jon the other day. He happens to be British and wraps the game of cricket around the grandfather coat he wears from time to time. He has other typical British qualities as well and since this post is not about Jon or those British qualities he so admirably carries around with a bit of nonchalance, let me just say he is an extremely likable chap.

Couple of months ago, before the England team started touring this part of the subcontinent, he appeared concerned, which made me equally concerned as I always marveled at his ability to stay unfazed under any circumstances (once he managed to fend off a Grizzly bear by just being himself which is another story). But when his usual smiles turned distinctly sarcastic, I asked him straight face what the matter was.

Turned out that he was wondering whether his team have learned their lessons, having showed up poorly in Pakistan, leading to an early demise of the post-Ashes euphoria. I agreed that it was indeed a matter of grave concern but he wasn't finished.
"We" he said, "are the second best team in the world", as if it meant something. "Last night while doing the crosswords I realized Ashley Giles MBE will miss the entire tour".

Since I have never heard anyone previously worried about the presence or absence of Ashley Giles MBE, I wondered what he had for breakfast.

"It is a good sign that Giles is unavailable; now people will start taking them more seriously", I assured which made him look at me in a most queer way. Clearly the hopes of british fans do not necessarily revolve around quality.

He was skeptic or so I gathered. I understood where he was coming from, how difficult to be in his shoes; the pain and the pressure of being a fan whose hopes materialize approximately every twenty years or so (the Ashes for example).

I continued what I thought an outstanding social service. " Good things come to those who wait. You waited for the Ashes for eighteen years and the last time you won a series in India was exactly twenty years ago".

I left for India for a month in February. I wished him good luck knowing that he will need a lot of it. On 27th I received the following email from Jon that pretty much summed up the then current situation.

"What the hell do you think you're doing to my cricket team?! You just 'happen' to be on a month long tour of India, and our players just 'happen' to be sustaining injuries left, right and centre! Don't think I can't see what you're up to!"

"Trescothick will be missed", I wrote in my reply. " He is your obvious money guy on subcontinent pitches. But I fail to see how it could affect the final outcome. "

I assume he thought it was a joke because I never heard back from him.
Injury excuses notwithstanding, in what followed shortly after, the visitors showed plenty of cricket in the first test. They managed a respectable draw and for a while even danced to the hope of a win on day five. It was pretty impressive and I called him to congratulate.
His voice was like a proud father. " We are still number two and the slot is for yours' to take and not ours' to give," Left with no choice I reminded him that it is his team which hasn't figured out how to win on Indian soil for two decades.

The convincing win for Team India at Mohali however dismantled my theory of good things come to those who wait for twenty years or so.

So much for the pride of being number two.


Random notes:

* I suggest two beers might help anyone looking at the brighter side of the prospect of Ian Blackwell.

* Flintoff scored nine runs in four innings during the 2001 tour; Liam Plunkett has scored ten runs in his last four test innings so far; not exactly Flintoffesque (2001 edition) but raises hope for 2011".

*Even playing for pride, no matter how abused cliche it is, makes a lot of sense now. Now that the team India is playing against is not Bangladesh, Kenya or Zimbabwe, I feel somewhere Ricky ponting is smiling.

I sincerely wish our Guests enjoy Mumbai. I was there only last month and besides being ripped off by the cabwala, I enjoyed every other moment visiting old friends and having few beers. Some things never change: Prawn Koliwada at Mahesh was awesome as usual.

Jon might take solace in the fact that Ashes is just few months away.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Miscellaneous: One blog and two months

When I started this blog around two months ago, like any other blogger, I hoped to maintain some degree prolificacy in my ramblings. Unfortnately it never happened for one reason or the other. Indeed my last post before I reincarnated myself as Second Vibe was dated January 13. Pretty disappointing.

Here is a note to self: a rambling a day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Why don't people work hard when it's in their best interest to do so?

Check out this getting-the-point-across conversation between Malcolm Gladwell and Bill Simmons.

Newsmericks- a cool blog

Staying true to my reputation, I found the blog newsmericks in a rather convoluted way; to cut a long story short it suffices to say that I just happened to stumble across and instantly loved the idea and the blog itself.

Newsmericks is a must visit for anyone who enjoys both news and limericks. In fact I was so impressed, I even motivated myself to write a couple of nonsense and send them as comments to the posts there. Here is one.

Looks are unreal so we were told
Koreans differ, a matter behold
The magic of knife
A job and a wife
That's all it takes to get them sold.

from QbiT