Archive for the ‘The Occasional Intellectual’ Category


Lunch with the Bankers and Lawyers

March 20, 2010

A lazy, Saturday afternoon lunch with the old buddies from Junior College is always refreshing and stimulating. With Bankers and Lawyers (and one currently-unemployed-but-not-for-long Masters of Finance) at the helm, today’s conversation was vastly different from the harping about Jack Neo and his indiscretions, which seems to be the topic of choice with the company I keep these days.

While I do like to think of myself as relatively intelligent, I’m really the underachiever of the bunch.

Here’s a sampling of one excellent topic from the table this afternoon:

There are five pirates, ranked A to E, who are to split 100 pieces of gold. The pirates take turns to propose a way to share out the gold, and each pirate gets a vote. If at least 50% of the pirates (i.e. 3 out of 5, or 2 out of 4) vote “Yes”, the proposal will be accepted and the gold will be shared out accordingly. If not, the pirate making the proposition will be killed, and the next pirate in line will get to propose a method. The order of the pirates is non-interchangeable – A will first make the proposal, if he is killed, B gets to propose, and so on.

Some assumptions about the pirates:

  • All the pirates are rational, logical and highly intelligent
  • All the pirates will attempt to maximize their own gains
  • To them, preserving their life is more important than money (i.e. they would rather not get any gold than die)

Assuming you represent Pirate A (the first Pirate to propose), how would advise your client such that he would be able to get the maximum number of gold?

(Hint: The answer is more than you’d expect)

It felt good to get the rusty ol’ cranium out of the box once in awhile.


Edit >> The boyfriend was able to work it out doubly quick. *beams* The difference between the Mathematical types and the, well, not. Right now, Pig is impressed.


The Quiet World

March 18, 2010

By Jeffrey McDaniel

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

%d bloggers like this: