Sunday, 17 March 2019


Ultimately, entropy will prevail, but meanwhile we delight in small, fortuitous victories which buck the trend. Or to put it another way, you will eventually lose at Tetris, but until the stack grows too high, sometimes you get the satisfaction of just the right piece for just the right space.

Our food processor is from India, so it came with a Type D plug, and in the UK we had to use it with an adapter. At some point the plug broke. I decided to swap out the Type D plug for a UK Type G, thereby obviating the need for an adapter. Before I could buy a plug, we bought some darkroom equipment off eBay. It came with various odds and ends, including an old, solidly-constructed "Made in England" plug. I quickly united this unattached plug with our plugless food processor, and I am pleased to report that the two are now working in perfect harmony.

We also had a saucepan lid whose knob broke off. Nevertheless, I continued to use it for nearly a year. Lifting the knobless lid off the saucepan involved a complex manoeuvre: sliding a fork between the pan and the lid to lift up the lid slightly, then grabbing its raised rim with oven gloves to take it off. Many is the time I contemplated buying a new pan, but I disliked the idea of buying a pan-plus-lid when I really only needed a lid.

My flatmate recently got a pan for free with something else she bought. The first time she cooked in it, some of the teflon(?) coating peeled off, so she decided to discard the pan. This pan too had a lid, but of a different size. But when I took off the knob on its lid and tried it on the old lid, voila! It fit perfectly. Ah, the simple pleasure of being able to lift a saucepan lid at a moment's notice and with a minimum of effort.

I get more joy than I should, out of these types of incidents.

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While writing this post, I got curious about whether a fast-enough player can theoretically play an infinite game of Tetris. I found out that in 1992, John Brzustowski set out to answer this very question in a Masters thesis in applied mathematics. He also conducted a survey where he asked Tetris players to give one piece of gameplay advice. The responses, like go proverbs, read like profound pieces of life advice:
Stay calm.
Don't wait for that perfect piece.
Pretend you are having sex.