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Showing posts from March, 2009

How to play Kenken

Kenken is a numbers puzzle game like sudoku, and both are meant to be good for sharpening your arithmetic skills and your logic. You have a square grid (typically 4x4, 6x6 or 8x8) to be filled with numbers such that each number is unique in its own row and colum.  The boxes in the grid are also partitioned into "cages"; often defined by a common thick border line.  The numbers in a cage must produce the total number specified in the cage when the specified operation is applied to all the numbers in the cage.  Here's an empty kenken board:
In the bottom row, for instance, we have 2 cages: one composed of 3 numbers (one for each box) whose sum (because the given operation is addition) is 6, the other cage has only one box containing number 4.  No operation needs to be specified for a cage with only one box.  So filling first the single-box cages, we have:
Now looking at the rightmost column, there's a 2-box cage with total 2 and operation division.  Since we have a 4x4 g…

Les enfants de la liberté

I have just finished reading the novel "Les enfants de la liberté" (translation: Children of Freedom) by French author Marc Lévy.  It's based on a true story of a group of immigrants who fought against the Nazi occupation of France and the equally brutal French collaborators.  They were called the 35ème Brigade Marcel Langer F.T.P.-M.O.I. and they were among the earliest of the French Resistance partisan units.
This is the second French novel that I've read.  Due to my limited vocabulary, I didn't understand many of the words, sometimes even whole sentences.  But where I understood the words, this book never failed to fill me with emotions so terrible I could barely hold back tears.  I bought this book so I have something to do while on the bus to work and back.  So one can imagine my predicament while reading this book.
Here are some interesting quotes:
* On est tous l'étranger de quelqu'un.
* En faisant allégeance à l'Allemagne nazie, le maréchal Pétain…