After spending the first two weeks of winter break “recovering” from the semester and the week after that thinking I should probably be doing something productive, the end of vacation is approaching.  No, I still have not done anything really productive.

I’ve been trying to catch up on eating, sleeping, and reading, two of which will most likely be in short supply upon returning to Cornell.  I hauled The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy home with me so I was obliged to finish it so I wouldn’t have to tow it back to Cornell.  Similarly, I’m really hoping to finally finish The Silmarillion, which is a history of Tolkien’s elves.  It’s interesting, but very dense and full of names of varying degrees of unpronounceability that all sound the same.  As for The Hitchhiker’s Guide, things stop making sense somewhere around the third book, but that’s what makes it so great.

After going to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in theater, I reread The Hobbit so now I know how the third movie should end.  My other movie watching endeavors have included The Perks of Being a Wallflower (stayed surprisingly true to the book and captured the characters well), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (my second time seeing it; still really liked it, but this video has some good points), and Catch Me If You Can (interesting, but throughout the entire movie no one noticed that his checks had stickers on them?  Really?).

I also put together a thousand piece puzzle.  A few years ago, I realized that thousand-piece puzzles generally do not, in fact, have one thousand pieces.  [The math that follows refers to rectangular puzzles; the puzzle I just did was actually not rectangular – it was horse shaped.]  Mathematically speaking, this makes sense: the factor pairs of one thousand are as follows: 1 and 1000, 2 and 500, 4 and 250, 5 and 200, 8 and 125, 10 and 100, and 25 and 40.  All but the last pair would make an extremely narrow puzzle, and even with the last pair, most puzzles are more square.  To avoid more math, I’ll just end with the fact that the world’s largest puzzle has over 32,000 pieces.

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