Posts Tagged With: rocket

What the Way People Cut Their PBJ Sandwich Says About Them

Life is scary. So scary that we develop ways of coping with our daily world. Some ways are good, like looking both ways when you cross a road. Some responses to problems or fears are a bit extreme, like burning down your house to kill a spider. Sorry, but that’s true; you’ll just get another spider in your next house, if you can afford it. How do you know what type of person are you? How do you know what sort of carbon-based life form is sitting next to you on the bus? You need to know if he is an axe murderer or not? How can you find out? Like right now.

Fret not, I know how to psychoanalyze the person in question. Look at his PBJ (peanut butter and jelly) sandwich. No matter how demented the fellow, he cannot hide his personality when cutting apart his PBJ. Just can’t. Anyway, here are the six basic PBJ sandwiches.

The Uncut PBJ – Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. This PBJ eater shuns complexity. He’s easy going. He shrugs off adversity and generally turns out to be a rather pleasant fellow. Or it could be he doesn’t trust himself with knives.

 

 

The Vertically-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater can be counted to do what the majority of the people around are doing. This is great when the two of you are attending a garden party. It’s deadly, though, when you are in the midst of full-scale urban combat. In this case, the PBJ eater will kill you. And what are you doing at Battle of Stalingrad, anyway?

 

The Diagonally-Cut PBJ  – This PBJ eater will generally do what the majority does. But he can also think for himself. If all his neighbors are rioting, he’s likely to absent himself from the chaos. He’s apt to be a problem solver. This places him in high demand. He might even become the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

 

 

The Horizontally-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater is fundamentally decent sort. She just wants to do things her way. Sometimes she acts differently just for the sake of doing things differently. She can’t, however, abide being forced to do what the authorities tell her to do, particularly if she knows them to be wrong. Consequently, she is the primary fomenter of rebellions.

 

The Double-Diagonally-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater is brilliant, but may also be erratic. He’s likely to be an impressionist painter. If he’s stable, he’ll be like Monet. If he’s erratic, then he’ll act like Van Gogh. Watch out for your ear. This PBJ may also show a scientific bent. If he’s stable, he’ll design a rocket that takes astronauts to Mars. If not, he’ll try to breed 60-foot tall rabbits.

 

The Squiggly-Cut PBJ – This PBJ eater is totally demented. If we’re lucky, she’ll merely rob, maim, and murder. If we are not, she’ll design and manufacture printers.

 

 

There you have it. And remember, this method is infallible.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: observations, proof you cannot deny | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Analyze a Cereal-Box Game

 

Please look at the picture of the Alpha-Bits game. (Sorry, it’s a bit blurry. I have fired my camera man.) You draw from a deck of cards, containing each of the following numbers, 1, 2, 3, and 4. If you draw a 1, you move your piece, an Alpha-Bit letter, ahead one square, and so on. However, there is something funny about the game. Unsettling even.

Starting the game, it is impossible to land anywhere but on the 3rd square, the one with the bee. For . . .

If you draw a 1, then you move to square 1. The result tells you to move ahead two squares to square 3, the one with the bee.

If you draw a 2, then you move to square 2. The result tells you to move ahead one square to square 3, the one with the bee.

If you draw a 3, then you move to square 3, the one with the bee.

If you draw a 4 then you move to square 4. The result tells you to move back square to square 3, the one with the bee.

No matter what you draw, you end up on the bee.

Similarly, if your piece is on square 13, the one with the rocket, no matter what you draw, you’ll finish the game.

Working backwards from square 13, you can determine the expected numbers of turns needed to win the game.

THE EXCITING RESULTS

Square #   Expected Numbers of Turns needed to win the game.

———-   ———————————————————–

13            –         1.00

8              –         2.00

6              –         2.25

5              –         2.56

3*            –         3.15

Start        –         4.15

* = Mathematical excitement abounds if you’re starting on square 3. If you draw a 1, you have to go back to your bee. If in your second turn, you again draw a 1, you will once more be back at the bee square. Fear not! By using the mathematical formula for infinite sums, you can calculate how many turns you can expect to be stuck in this purgatory. (It’s 1.33 turns.) Knowing this, our calculations become simple again.

Note that is impossible to end your turn on squares: 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20.

I have come to believe that the designers of this game never really played it. I am quite certain they never subjected their creation to mathematical analysis.

Please do not use this analysis for betting purposes. And if you do, do not employ a doubling cube as in backgammon.

At any rate, my years of mathematics has served me well. And you get a gold star if you read this blog all the way through.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., nerd

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: humor, obsevations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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