The World’s Most Boring Card Game

Yesterday, my daughter and I were playing a game of Old Maid (thankfully, she’s old enough now that we’ve also been playing more interesting games together, such as the awesome Dominion). I commented that Old Maid with two players is rather boring, since the only thing that matters is the last play. It’s just dumb luck whether the person who doesn’t have the Old Maid randomly picks the card at the end. (If you’re not familiar with Old Maid, I won’t bother reproducing the rules here and you can thank me for that sometime.)

Talking about Old Maid’s boringness led us to a much more fun pursuit of inventing other boring card games. I think I hit on what is possibly the world’s most boring card game. It’s also among the simplest to describe:

The deck of cards is placed in the middle of all of the players. The first player to draw a card loses.

I think a good name for this game would be Make It Stop ™, because that would appear to be the point at which the game ends. One player will become bored enough to grab a card just to make the game end.

The Onion: Americans hire a lobbyist

Americans hire a lobbyist:

“The goal is to make it seem politically advantageous for legislators to keep the American people in mind when making laws,” Weldon said. “Lawmakers are going to ask me, ‘Why should I care about the American people? What’s in it for me?’ And it will be up to me and my team to find some reason why they should consider putting poverty and medical care for children on the legislative docket.”

The Onion proves once again why it’s America’s Finest News Source. I wish that an article like this wasn’t so spot on.

Facebook vs. Google: which is better for food espionage?

Kenji Lopez-Alt wrote a terrific and detailed look at how to copy McDonald’s french fry goodness. In order to figure out the McD’s secret, he attempted to get some frozen fries from McD’s:

“Listen, the thing is, my wife is pregnant—like really pregnant—and she sent me on a quest for McDonald’s french fries. But she only likes them really fresh, like straight out of the fryer fresh, so I figured I’d just get some frozen, and fry them for her at home. You know how it is. Women—no accounting for’em, right?”

That attempt was met with a dose of McFAIL, so he next resorted to Facebook, where he found an accomplice:

I had pre-printed a list of items for said made up “Scavenger Hunt” (I basically Googled “Scavenger Hunt Lists” and added “Frozen McDonald’s french fries”.)

Kenji’s accomplice succeeded in snagging some frozen fries. He then measured the fries and fried them up in peanut oil and found out that they tasted just as good as they do at the golden arches. But, he hadn’t really figured out the secret, right?

He next resorted to “research”, which I assume means googling. The googling turned up an article that described exactly what McDonald’s does to turn potatoes into frozen fries:

The fries are then flumed out of the A.D.R. room to the “blancher.” The blancher is a large vessel filled with one hundred and seventy degree water. The trip through the blancher takes about fifteen minutes… After the fries leave the blancher, they are dried and then it’s off to the “fryer,” which is filled with one hundred percent vegetable oil. The oil is heated to three hundred and sixty five degrees and the fries take a fifty second dip before being conveyed to the “de-oiler shaker,” where excess oil is “shook off.

It turns out that, in this case, both Google and Facebook came through with their assigned tasks, but Google actually delivered the goods. What struck me about this article, other than the extreme detail about the french fries, is the fact that snagging some frozen fries was entirely irrelevant. Had he and his accomplice not done this at all, the article would have been shortened but had the same conclusion.

Lesson learned: before you hit the street, hit the goog.

McCain’s behind: Quick! who can we attack?

SCENE: Unnamed strategy room in the West Wing.

Bush: Hey, Gatesy. Look, our boy M.C. Cain is running a bit behind in the polls. This economy thing is really a drag. We need to do something militaristic to make M.C. look like the choice.

Gates: What do you have in mind?

Bush: Maybe we can bomb someone, or invade someone? How about Iran? They’re downright Un-American!

Gates: Sir, with all due respect we’re already stretched a bit thin with our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Bush: Well, c’mon. There’s gotta be something. That’s what I pay you for. Figuring out who to invade. What can we afford?

Gates: I think I’ve got a free helicopter in Iraq. We could send that into Syria. Take out a couple of civilians.

Bush: Syira? Are we at war with Syria?

Gates: Of course not. But, that would certainly stir things up a bit.

Bush: Gotcha. Okay, let’s rock and roll!

What could lie behind Syria raid?

Whatever the local military factors involved in this US operation, it would be unthinkable to imagine that an incursion into Syria would not require a policy decision at a high-level.