Jigsaws, crosswords, Rubik's cubes, spot the differences, those interlocking nail thingies, word squares, logic. Some, if not all, of these were featured at the recent 15th Annual World Puzzle Championships
.Will Shortz, the neatly mustachioed crossword editor of the New York Times, who is also the editor of more than 350 books of crosswords, sudoku and kakuro, and who performs the role, on the American team, of an endlessly upbeat motivational coach said,
"I believe we are living in a golden age of puzzles.
So do (k) you?
I don't think there was an Indonesian team there, probably because a different form of logic is applied here, one that can't even solve the following riddles.Orangutans
A couple of years ago, I wrote about our closest cousins
in Thailand. They had been smuggled out of their natural habitat in Kalimantan and Sumatra as young orphans and then trained as kick boxers to entertain the masses. After national and international campaigns
, 48 have now returned to Indonesia
. Five other are too sick to travel yet. They will all need lots of TLC, medical treatment and retraining if they are ever to be returned to the forests which are their natural home.
As has been widely reported
, their natural home has been decimated by fires. It has been estimated that 1,000 Orangutans have been killed
.Willie Smits, a founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) project, said that the forest fires killed many Orangutans and drove many others closers to human settlements, where they were killed by people, who consider them as pests.
Rescue 48, kill 1,000. Go figure that one.People
The mudflow in Sidoarjo, East Java has been widely reported. Running through the site is a pipeline carrying gas to Surabaya, a major city, and to power stations.
As the mudflow has been ongoing since May and more than 10,000 people have so far been displaced by the mud, gushing at a rate of 50,000 cubic metres (1.75 million cubic feet) a day
, the ground has subsided as much as five feet because of this and the mud is hot, very
hot, most folk would assume that the pipeline was at risk.
Yet an explosion on Wednesday seems to have taken everyone by surprise. Being wise after the event is no consolation for the families of the, at least, eleven people killed, one of whom cannot be identified after being burned beyond recognition
"We don't know exactly why the gas pipe exploded but the effect of the blast stopped gas distribution for Surabaya and Gersik
," said Sukadi, Pertamina's gas transmission chief for East Java distribution.
Really? Sukadi, isn't aware of the explosive properties of gas? Or that the pipeline he is is responsible for has been at risk as long as six months? Others do.Basuki Hadimulyono, head of the national team tackling the mud flow, told Reuters,
"The soil layer in the centre of the Banjar Panji well, from where the hot mud constantly flows, subsided and then it curved. Thus it pressed the 28-inch pipes which broke and the gas escaped into the air
."Retno Rudi Novrianto, another official from the mud team, said it was likely the pipes cracked
: "Since the gas pipes are high pressure ones, it produced a big blast
Good thinking, Retno. The rest of us will now try to work out the riddle of why the various agencies weren't pooling their knowledge and why the gasline hadn't been moved.