Author Archives: Gene Wirchenko

About Gene Wirchenko

I am a computer programmer / systems analyst living in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. I am naturally analytical and like figuring things out. I like reading (mainly science fiction and fantasy) and gaming (mainly board and card games, some RPG).

Explaining Quickly and Clearly

In my job, I have recently had to explain to other people how to do parts of it.

How does one do this quickly without appearing to treat the other person as if he were stupid but still get the important points across?

Over the past four months, I have picked up a number of points that are important. For a fairly simple job, there sure are a lot of them.

It is something like an elevator speech. (How would you introduce yourself if you were in an elevator? (Limited time.))

I have not figured it out totally, but it is an interesting exercise.

Odd Language #227: Limited Access

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagano_Prefecture: “Among other issues, he has refused national government money for construction projects that he deems unnecessary, such as dams, and has overhauled (locally) the press club system that is blamed for limiting government access to journalists who give favorable coverage.”

The issue: Is it that only journalists who give favorable coverage get access, or is it that a journalist’s access is limited if he gives favorable coverage? By context and common sense, it is the former, but the latter is a valid parsing.

Puzzle #230: Even More Marbles

You have some marbles. Each is of one colour of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. You have one to nine of each colour with a different number of each colour. Given the following clues, how many of each colour do you have?

1) The number of red plus yellow plus violet equals the number of orange plus green plus blue.
2) The total of the number of red, orange, and yellow marbles is the same as the total of the number of marbles of some other colour.
3) The number of orange, green, and blue marbles are all odd.
4) There are fewer red marbles than any other colour.
5) There are two more blue marbles than green marbles.
6) There are more violet marbles than any other colour.

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #228 Solution: Frozen Yummy II

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Perspective

I had someone helping me with my job today. The person had just started with the company and did not know the ropes. He was just following my instructions. (He did quite well.)

I found that I was quite busy making sure that he stayed busy and that work items were completed properly.

What I learned from it is that there is a lot of admin knowledge that I have picked up that I have to know in order to do my job even though my job is a labourer position. I appreciate the perspective.

Puzzle #229: Follow the Logic

Start with the number 7. Then follow these steps in order.

Step 1: If it is true that arutta, then add 5; if not, add 7.
Step 2: If it is true that budrist, then multiply by 2; if not, multiply by 3.
Step 3: Subtract twice the number you added two steps ago.
Step 4: Divide by two.

Your answer is a two-digit prime. Is arutta true, and is budrist true?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #227 Solution: Frozen Yummy

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Kamloops Municipal By-Elections Results

“It doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.”—Unknown

Well, the results of the by-elections I wrote about last week are in. The candidates I voted for did fairly well relatively speaking.

I voted for Bill McQuarrie for mayor. He placed second with 2,661 votes (18.34% of the votes). The winner was Ken Christian with 9,274 votes (63.91% of the votes). The other candidates all got fewer than 1,000 votes each.

I voted for Ray Dhaliwal and Bill Sarai for councillors. The winners were Kathy Sinclair with 3,421 votes (12.29% of the votes) and Ray Dhaliwal with 3,292 votes (11.83% of the votes). Bill Sarai placed fifth with 2,182 votes (7.84% of the votes). If the percentages look low, remember that there were 21 candidates for two positions. There was no big gap as in the mayoral race; the numbers just gradually become less as you go down the list.

With the number of candidates, I wonder how badly the vote got split. Over time, first past the post voting tends to reduce the number of candidates to two. For an excellent explanation of this, watch
The Problems with First Past the Post Voting Explained by C.G.P. Grey
. He also has other videos on other voting systems (and other subjects, too).

(The election results come from Kamloops This Week which is Kamloops’s newspaper.)

Odd Language #225: It’s Sorted?

“It’s sorted.”

The issue: I thought this about a confusion at work that I had worked out. My boss’s assistant might have asked, and that is how I could have replied. However, my job involving preparing rock and soil samples for processing; this is called sorting. This means that when I had the confusion sorted, I did not have the work (sorting) done. I would have created another confusion. Context counts!