Tag Archives Stuff

Discoveries in my desk

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Now that I moved the furniture around – and I’m still login’ the new layout – I dug into various recesses of my desk which I have not even looked at for years and found some real gems hidden in there, and crap that I can’t believe I kept – like 3.5″ floppy disk labels, old tie-wraps and other junk. But a great find I did find and am so happy that I did are these beauties:

Old Bahraini coins of 10 fils, 25 fils, 50 fils and 100 fils - no longer in circulation

Isn’t that a find? 🙂

I don’t think that these coins are still in circulation. Note the 10 fils, 25 fils (used to love that one), 50 fils and 100 fils coins. The grime on them is authentic too!

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Damn it was intense!

Been really busy since we landed but I’m so glad to be at work today. The first day’s achievement was getting a whole pile of paperwork completed, staff meetings done and then an organising meeting with Think Pink Bahrain and the Rotary Club of Adliya earlier this evening to progress the RCA Pink Walkathon. That was followed by coming home to an excellent salmon & noodles dinner accompanies with a relaxing drink.

At last I have time to just sit back with the wife and watch John Stewart‘s show and he’s on a roll tonight!

Fabulous!

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Pressing for optimum strategies

I was reading this article this morning in the Globe & Mail this morning – our last full day in this lovely country – and thought it’s worth sharing:

Down the rat hole of gambling: Lab rodents press for optimum strategy but lose on slots

Study shows lab rats have trouble differentiating between wins and near misses on slot machines

As part of a study of gambling behaviour, a group of lab rats at the University of British Columbia found themselves looking down four holes.

Some of the holes offered great rewards – more sugar pellets than they knew what to do with – paired with the potential for harsh punishment in the form of imposed “time outs” that removed them from the game for long stretches. The other holes offered moderation, with less possibility of punishment, but also lesser rewards.

So did they take the gamble? According to UBC psychology assistant professor Catharine Winstanley, the rats couldn’t resist at least trying the far riskier option; but eventually, they figured out the optimal strategy – going for smaller gains and smaller penalties – and stuck to it.

In another gambling simulation, the rats played “slot machines” – that is, they would press a lever that would make a series of lights turn on or off. If all the lights came on, the rats could collect a windfall of sugar pellets; if all of the lights were off, but they still tried to collect a prize, they would be “punished” by being temporarily removed from the game.

What’s interesting is that the rats seemed to have trouble differentiating between wins and near-misses – where two of the three lights were lit – which may help to explain what keeps rats, and by extension humans, pushing those levers.

“We can justify all kinds of behaviour that’s bad for us if rats are doing the same thing,” jokes Ms. Winstanley, who hopes the findings will help them develop medications for people with gambling disorders. “It implies there are actually some very old evolutionary signals that our brains are generating, and that we’re responding and reacting to.”

[The Globe & Mail • 4 Sept 2010]

Interesting behavior don’t you think?

  • the rats couldn’t resist at least trying the far riskier option; but eventually, they figured out the optimal strategy – going for smaller gains and smaller penalties – and stuck to it
  • , and

  • What’s interesting is that the rats seemed to have trouble differentiating between wins and near-misses – where two of the three lights were lit – which may help to explain what keeps rats, and by extension humans, pushing those levers.

hmmmmmm

any lessons to be learned from lab rats I wonder?

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Ahhh, so romantic!

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Or at least it would have been somewhere other than in our big neighbour to our east…

Saudi groom slapped by mother on wedding night
The groom’s mother became so upset that she hit and insulted him

A Saudi groom was slapped by his mother on his wedding night when he tried , in a romantic Cinderella-inspired touch, to put a shoe on his bride’s foot.

“The shocked mother was so infuriated by the sight of her son helping the bride wear her shoe that she slapped him amid the laughter of the women guests,” Okaz daily reported on Thursday.

“The groom had reportedly agreed with his bride that she walks into the reception hall wearing only one shoe and that her sister would carry the second shoe. The plan was that he would later take the shoe and put it on the bride’s foot in front of the guests. His family was not told about the perceived romantic gesture,” the newspaper said.

However, the groom’s mother became so upset that she hit and insulted him on the grounds that he did not behave as “a genuine traditional oriental man.”

The groom eventually left the reception hall in Tabuk in north-western Saudi Arabia and took his bride to the airport to fly to Malaysia for their honeymoon, the paper said.
In a separate incident in the same city, angry wedding guests left the reception hall after the families of the bride and groom screened a short film “that failed to respect privacy.”

According to Okaz, the short clip highlighted the different stages of the lives of both the bride and the groom, from their early years throughout school and adolescence, and ended with the couple hugging and exchanging a kiss.

However, some guests were shocked, charging that the clip was not acceptable and that it was inspired by movies screened on private television channels.

By Habib Toumi, Bahrain Bureau Chief Published: 17:22 August 5, 2010

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My Poison

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I just love Custard Creams, I tell you. If I ever open a packet they’re gone in an instant. My wife likens the situation to me inhaling them whole! 😀

And you know what? We haven’t any in the house just now. I could do with one or two (packets) right now. This instant.

That, my friends, would be my poison.

What’s yours?

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If programming languages were religions…

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C++ would be Islam – It takes C and not only keeps all its laws, but adds a very complex new set of laws on top of it. It’s so versatile that it can be used to be the foundation of anything, from great atrocities to beautiful works of art. Its followers are convinced that it is the ultimate universal language, and may be angered by those who disagree. Also, if you insult it or its founder, you’ll probably be threatened with death by more radical followers.

via: MMM’s Twitter

Find out what the others are, hilariousness with some truth too (to programmers, so keep your shoes on and switch on your sense of humour.)

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