Posts Tagged With: time

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

Time Saving Tips #1 – Kitchen Timer

Let’s face it, we all live hectic lives. Rush, rush, rush. There’s no time to smell the roses. There’s no time to relax at all. Before you know it, the day is over. Before you know it, your kids have grown up and left the house. Is this all there is? Will someone help me find more time in my life?

I’m glad you asked. I am here to give you back your precious seconds.

Look at the picture. Same timers, sure, but there is a difference. The one of the left displays 10:00. This takes four key strokes. The timer on the right shows 9:60. Three keys strokes. Both timers will beep after ten minutes.

However, by pressing in 9:60 you will punched in one fewer keystroke than with 10:00. Suppose you set your timer 31,536.000 times with 9:60, you will end up saving yourself an entire year. Sure, that’s a lot of ten-minute eggs, but now you will have taken control of your life. Watch TV, take up a hobby, kiss your spouse, and play with your children. Go ahead, you have a year of saved time.

And the best thing with this time-saving tip; there’s literally no one stopping you doing this. To life!

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sococho (Panamanian Soup)

Panamanian Soup

SOCOCHO

INGREDIENTSSococho-

4 garlic cloves
1 large onion
2 tomatoes
2 pounds yucca or cassava root
1½ pounds potatoes
2 pounds boneless chicken parts
2 teaspoons olive oil (additional ½ tablespoon later)
1 tablespoon cilantro
½ teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cups chicken stock

SPECIAL UTENSILS

Dutch oven
rocker knife or knife with thick blade

Serves 8 bowls and can take up to 2 hours to prepare depending on the battle between you and the yucca root goes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion and tomatoes. Peel yucca and cut it into ½” cubes. (Cutting yucca root is much easier with rocker knife or thick-bladed knife.) Chop potatoes into ½” cubes. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil, cilantro, oregano, salt, and chicken to mixing bowl. Thoroughly coat chicken with herb/salt/olive oil mix. Let marinate for 20 minutes.

While chicken marinates, add ½ tablespoon olive, garlic, and onion to pan. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add chicken and its herb/salt/olive oil marinade to large soup pot. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. (How about “Pink Chicken” as a name for avant garde band?)

Add chicken stock to soup pot. Keep heat on medium. Add potato and yucca to pot, cover, and cook for 45-to-60 minutes or until potato and yucca are tender. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) Van Halen has a song called, “Panama.” A lot of people thought the words were actually “Padded bra.”

2) Either version makes as much sense in the song.

3) I keep hearing Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders singing, “I’m gonna make you, make you malteds.” I like the idea of a famous singer making me a malted. I do prefer them over milkshakes.

4) Does anyone else hear “Do the hustle” as “Tuna hustle?” How does a tuna hustle?”

5) And of course, Creedence Clearwater Revival tell us, “There’s a bathroom on the right.” That’s nice to know.

6) Okay, okay, tidbits 1) to 5) are a prime example of what happens what I look up fun facts for a country and find nothing exciting except . . .

7) In Panama, the sun rises in the Pacific and sets in the Atlantic.

8) This is because time runs backward in Panama

9) In Panama, the people use American dollars for transaction involving paper currency, but their own home-grown coins, the Balboas for vending machines and buses.

10) Panama’s coins are named after Rocky Balboa the hero of all those Rocky boxing movies.

11) How is it possible that the Balboa coins came before the Rocky movies but are named after the series’ main character? Time runs backward in Panama. Remember tidbit 8)?

12) People in Panama win all the American lotteries, since they know all the winning numbers.

13) But they lose the big jackpots when they exchange all that loot when they buy their lottery tickets. Does this frustrate the Panamanians?

14) Yes it does.

15) Invariably the American lotteries are then won by Americans or by citizens of other nations where time moves forward.

16) Augh! I’ve lost my train of thought.

17) Whew, I’ve got it back. Time gets a bit dicey when passing from a country where time moves forward to Panama where it regresses. Often people crossing the Costa Rica/Panamanian border find themselves in a sort of stasis field where time doesn’t move at all.

18) Which is a boon for parents of surly teenagers. If you have the cash, simply deposit your young know-it-all, whatever, in anyone of the stasis fields dotting the border there and leave him there.

19) Don’t forget to take your child home when he’s old enough to leave home for good.

20) You get up to eight years of clean bedrooms and the teenagers won’t get embarrassed by your ignorance. It’s a win-win situation.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

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: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: