Archive for the Random Category

500 House Rules

These are our house rules for the card game 500. Some are designed to encourage higher bidding and thus a more interesting game, while others just clarify ambiguous rules.

  • Players can re-enter bidding when it is their turn, even if they passed in an earlier bidding round.
  • The player with the successful bid can change their bid to any higher bid before picking up the kitty, but this restarts the bidding which continues as normal until three players pass in a row.
  • Closed misere is scored as 130 points and this bid can be beaten by any bid of 7 or higher.
  • Open misere is scored as 230 points and this bid can be beaten by any bid of 8 or higher.
  • In no-trumps you can lead the joker and nominate its suit without constraint (i.e. it doesn’t matter whether you have played that suit before).
  • In no-trumps you never have to play the joker.
  • In no-trumps you cannot play the joker on a trick if you have a card of that suit.

French Forces

The Vendémiaire, a frigate of the French Navy is currently docked in Wellington. It’s apparently visiting New Zealand for Anzac Day because of the following non-reason constructed by the French public relations team:

The people of New Caledonia have not forgotten the Australian and New Zealand troops that trained in New Caledonia before leaving for combat elsewhere in the Pacific during World War Two or who visited New Caledonia on their way home to Australia and New Zealand at the end of the war.

What did amuse me is that it’s in exactly the same place that the Rainbow Warrior (version II) was docked about a week ago.

IT Geek Culture

Are there any IT sites with more than a few servers that don’t have at least one named after a Simpsons character? I’m writing up the servers at my current job and the names are a wonderfully typical cross-section of geek culture. Here’s a list of some of the names along with what I believe the reference is to (corrections welcome):

BASIL – Fawlty Towers
BLUESTEEL – Zoolander
BORAT – Ali G/Borat
CORLEONE – The Godfather
CYBERTRON – Transformers
DRGONZO – Hunter S Thompson
MAGGIE – The Simpsons
PEDRO – Napoleon Dynamite
RAOUL – The Addams Family
RATCHET – Transformers rather than the Ratchet & Clank video game
REN – Ren & Stimpy
RIVENDELL – Lord of the Rings
SHELOB – Lord of the Rings
SHOCKWAVE – Transformers rather than The Shockwave Rider
STARSCREAM – Transformers
STIMPY – Ren & Stimpy
VERBAL – The Usual Suspects

Notable omissions:

  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Buffy/Angel/etc

(I did consider whether there were any confidentiality or security implications of posting this and I couldn’t think of any.)