Friday, March 09, 2012

A random electromagnetic comic I thought of recently...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

250 : An awesome cards game for 5 people!

First of all, thanks to Jeet who taught me this game! :) I find it one of the best card games I've played so far, and so, thought of putting up a basic how-to-play ( rules & procedure i.e.) so that you could give it a try as well.

The ground principle for 250 is the same as that in games that go by the names Coatpeace / Satranga / Blind Partner / 3-2-5 / 7-8 .

Point system:
1. Three of : 30 points
2. Ace (high) to Ten (low) : 10 points each (So, for all the four colours, total points = 10*5*4 = 200)
3. Five : 5 point each (So, for all the four colours, 5*4 = 20 points)

Adding all above (30+200+20), total points in the game = 250

Initial stuff & Rules:
1. Take out Two of and , so that the total no. of cards in the deck become 50 (each player will get 10 cards in all, i.e.).

2. Bidding starts at 150 and continues in (minimum) increments of 5, in a circle... a player could pass any number of times but also, join back the bidding at any time (of course, only when it is his/her turn - see example c) below). A few examples of how a bidding could proceed:

a) 150 -> 155 -> 180 -> pass -> 190 ->
pass -> pass -> pass -> pass -> pass
b) 150 -> 170 -> pass -> pass -> 175 ->
200 -> pass -> pass -> pass -> pass
c) 150 -> 200 -> pass -> pass -> pass ->
205 -> pass -> pass -> 210 -> pass ->
pass -> pass -> pass

3. Once a bid becomes final, the player who took that bid ( in the above example, it would be a) 190, b) 200, and c) 210 ) announces two cards (say, the King of and Ace of ).
The player(s) holding these two cards is(are) his partner(s) for the game, but they are not allowed to explicitly reveal this, of course!! If the bid is at 200 or above, then he can choose two Aces, but if it's less than 200, then he can choose only one Ace at the most.

1. One of the players equally distributes the cards amongst all, going in two rounds (5+5 to each)

2. The player next to him bids the first. Then the bid goes on, as explained above in #2.

3. Once the bid is final, the bidder announces two cards (i.e. chooses his/her "invisible" partner(s), as explained above in #3) and then, announces the cut-colour that he/she wishes.

4. The bidder now starts the game by dropping a card, this can be a high/low/seemingly-intelligent/seemingly-stupid/whatever card!! The main objective is to get his/her partner(s) revealed as soon as possible so that they (and 'they' can be either 3 or 2 people, here) contribute constructively in obtaining as much points as possible, during the course of the game. For example, the bidder chose the King of and Ace of and he starts the game by dropping, say Three of . The player who holds the Ace of could then, on his turn (though, he is not obliged to) drop this card thus revealing his affiliation to the bidder.

Simultaneously, their opponent(s) also need to know each other, so that they can prevent the bidding team from winning, i.e. not let them cross the final bid-value. To continue the case in the above example, assume the person next to the bidder does not either have the King of or the Ace of , (so he is not a partner) and furthermore, he does not even have a single card. So, he puts some cut-colour card. Then, a partner of his (i.e. another player who does not either have the King of or the Ace of too) could let's say, drop a Jack of (because this carries 10 points) on his turn, thereby clearly showing that he belongs to the opposition camp!

One important thing to remember is to try your best that the Three of is captured by your camp, as this could provide/snatch from you, 30 points in just one shot!!!

† : The players have to form at least the designated no. of sets for themselves (or their team). For this, they throw cards of the same suit and the biggest one gets that specific set unless cutting-colour suit card(s) has(ve) been also thrown. In that case, the highest colour

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

cube-with-'n'-cuts problem

Just a while before, I was thinking of some problem which very queerly reminded of another problem we used to tackle, while solving those mental ability questions during NTSE preparation in X standard. It's not anything special or hard, and I am pretty sure this result I've derived here would be present in an umpteen no. of books/guides; but maybe it's still nice to put it on the blogpage so that if someone is searching for a quick solution, then I believe the formalism I present here will make it easy to remember.

So the problem is - you take a cube and uniformly paint it all around, then make n equally-spaced cuts along each of the x, y and z axes. This gives you n3 smaller cubes and one needs to determine how many cubes have exactly one face coloured, or two faces coloured etc. etc.

The following formula contains the answers:

n3 = (n - 2 + 2)3
= (n - 2)3 + 6(n - 2)2 + 12(n - 2) + 8

The first term is the number of cubes with none of the faces coloured, second is with exactly one coloured face and so on.... and this is pretty easy to visualize too.

The interesting thing now is, can this be generalized to higher dimensions? As in, would cutting a kube (a k dimensional cube :-P) with n cuts in each of the k dimensions (to obtain nk kubes in all i.e.) result in q = nCk (n-2)j 2j being the no. of kubes with exactly j faces coloured.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Deutsche Bahn wishes you a Happy New Year... 19 times!

because the current year according to them is 2029! :-D

The photo isn't the clearest one could take with a mobile phone camera, nonetheless, if you look carefully you will find all the DD MM YYYY fields as quite arbitrary!

Can't prevent writing the obvious now... but it seems so futuristic!! ;-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Authentic Pfizer spam?

I am reasonably sure you would've seen/received umpteen of spam emails from "Authentic Viagra Sellers" or some-similar-sounding-spammer kin, with the subject announcing a flattering personal/special discount of 80% off Pfizer.
It's needless to say that the subsequent action one takes is simply to delete this stupid spam. Which is what I did a few hours ago too, in my usual nonchalant way. I did a "Select: All" first and then, as I hit the "Delete forever" button, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the subject of one of these Pfizer spams... offering a discount of 73% !!! How on the earth did they choose this number? :D
Or has it been this way and it's only that I noticed this today?

Whatever, must say I feel a bit dejected on having deleted that email now! :D

Friday, April 10, 2009

Apni to har aah ik toofan hai...

Black and white is gorgeous. Add the immensely beautiful Waheeda Rehman and charismatic Dev Anand to the scene, blend it with Rafi's magic in the background, and what you get is a wonderful and lovely song! Apni to har aah ik toofan hai... Each (Even a) sigh of mine seems to bring a storm! :)

Here, Rafi croons a cute & flirting-so-delicately-and-sweetly-between-spirituality-and-love song that brings a light-relaxed smile on my face everytime I watch it.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Just so terrible!

United Kingdom's justice system has gone bonkers!
I just happened to be following this incident a bit closely in the last few days, because of the extreme revulsion and disgust I had felt when I read about it for the first time.
Just four years of imprisonment for claiming a man's life is outrageous! Given that the culprit already had a few convictions before, for shoplifting etc., it's beyond my understanding why the punishment awarded is so miserably small.

As Britishers like to say, God save U.K. !