December 4th, 2006

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Oh my aching laptop...

Laptop crashes in a flash...but resuscitation (spelling?) takes such eons....as expected, the recovery disk given with the laptop would format the system so extensive backups had to be taken...now the machine still does not accept wifi and I am not able to send messages on the broadband account...feel frustrated, inexperienced, and...er....bugged!

Thank goodness all this happened a few days BEFORE departure...I am hoping that by the time I get back, Chandan would have got my laptop jumping through e-hoops again.

Sadly, I realize that putting the backup CD's on my CD drive will only get the date back into the system but I will have to restore lots of stuff manually...just the thought of redoing my address book appals me....
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My account for QuizFamilies

I moderate a family quiz group called (guess what!) QuizFamilies...it's open to everyone. We meet on the first or second Saturday of each month, post-prandial, and have a lot of fun and not-terribly-serious quizzing. And I usually post an account of the evening to the egroup so that those who couldn't make it can read about it...

Thought I would cc my account of the December quiz. Here goes:

Hi everyone,

It was a chilly evening when Mohan and I drove down with Arun and Aparna ( I made friends with Arun over Live Journal and invited them for the quiz) and picked up Amogh on the way as well. We arrived at Subash's place to find assorted delicious smells wafting out, and Sumedha, Sravana and Ramesh doing the preparations.

Sravana and Ramesh took turns to score and ask the questions and Sumedha helped both parents impartially!

Teams were called, Sylvia, Road to Perdition, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, and Enduring Love...the last team had to endure a lot of teasing that their score would always be "love"! The connection was, they were all movies which the present James Bond (of Casino Royale II) acted in earlier.

Sravana led off with several questions..."There are nearly 600 million of these; many people don't have any, and some have two or more...what?" We burst into laughter at Rohan's answer, "Children!" The answer, of course, was cars.

Which is the largest seed in the world? Ghanshyam and co identified it correctly as the Coco-de-Mer, or the double coconut. "I will tell you later which film star it looks like," said Raghu!

Panthera tigris, Pavo Cristatus, Mangifera Indica, and Nelumba nucifera...what's common to them? Sarita promptly said they were all Indian national symbols...the tiger, the peacock, the mango and the lotus.

When Sravana asked what euphobia was, Ghanshyam cracked, "Fear of you, the quiz master!" It was fear of hearing good news...we do have weird people in the world!

On we went with the questions, with Cognitive Closure (the belief that the human mind cannot grasp some facts because it just cannot know them) coming in very handy for us. Whenever, after that question had been asked, we didn't understand anything, we said it was because of cognitive closure!

We were able to locate the Islets of Langerhans on the pancreas for Sravana, and there was a big argument about nictitating, with several teams maintaining that their answer of "blinking rapidly" was correct (it was winking!)

Arun gave the answer to what a "pyroclastic" flow was....it was the flow of lava from a volcano. Unfortunately, none of us knew that a group of bats is called a colony, though some of us suggested the Indian cricket team...

What is "Karojisatsu" had inventive answers; I said it was a directive to a child in Hindi to visit the toilet seven times....it was actually suicide from overwork!

Break came all too soon and we tucked in pretty hungrily (thanks to the early start!) into samosas, dhoklas, and a lovely dessert which I never got to have because it was so delicious...and with hot coffee and masala chai, we came back for the second session.

Ramesh produced a really wonderful link-the-pictures round...for example, there was Lord Mayo, Gandhi, and Anil Kumble..the connection was, Mayo Hall, on M G Road which then led to Kumble circle in Bangalore! It was really fantastic and of course Sandy and co got the answers down pat.

We also got a nice audio round and some of the songs selected were so good that we told Ramesh to keep them playing while we thought...well, guessed...at the answer! Here the 10 month-old partnership of Arun and Aparna really worked...he identified the movie from which the song was, and then she promptly identified the music director or singer that Ramesh had asked for!

We wound up with Dumb Charades and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly....Mohan kept running to the door to show the word Escape, but did single-word movies like "Nero" with ease! Mohan-e-Azam, who was being dubbed Mohan e Diesel for his attempts to get the bonfire going, was cheered to the echo...but everyone, Sandy, Ghanshyam, Rohit, Rohan and I all acquitted ourselves fairly well!

And so a really good quiz evening drew to an end and we returned, chattering, basking in the warmth of good comradeship and bonhomie.

We did ask if QuizFamilies could hold the quiz on the 4th Saturday of Jan so that Mohan and I could return, but it didn't seem to suit everyone, so we will really be missing it, very much! Sravana will be writing the account this time....Doc Hari Kiran and Nivedita are hosting at Sharmila's office and the Ghais will be the quiz masters. Meanwhile, enjoy the cold weather, have hot samosas and chai and snuggle under your comforters with either a good novel or a loved one!