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Minutes of DHAPS gathering 20110315

March 22, 2011


  • 15th March, 2011


  • 20:45-22:15


  • Misocool, Central


  • Soyin
  • Vase
  • miah (late-comer at 21:15, minute-taker)


  • T. Lau
  • Cha
  • HTY
  • Siuto
  • Lemon
  1. When miah arrives, Soyin and Vase have already finished their main dish, but they have not had their side orders so that they can eat with miah.
  2. Soyin talks about someone at work who comes from 山東. Someone else asked for the specific location in 山東 and the someone told them that it is 濟南. Someone then commented that he once went to 濟南 but he does not feel that there are particularly many 名士. [ref:  劉鶚《老殘遊記》:「歷下此亭古濟南名士多」which is itself a reference to 杜甫《陪李北海宴歷下亭》:「海右此亭古,濟南名士多] He believes perhaps the line refers to a 名士多. Vase recalls a similar wordplay by her brother. She also did a search on her iPhone to find that a 濟南名士多飯店 exists.
  3. miah mentions the Chinese idiom 吳下阿蒙 out of the blue. He doesn’t seem to remember what it means himself. Upon a bit of iPhondling, Vase realises that the idiom does exist (Soyin says he never doubted it). The idiom is used to refer to people who are not well educated.
  4. miah asks for advice on what to order, Vase recommends the cold noodle, miah takes the advice. It is rare that miah can decide on what to eat so quickly.
  5. Vase and Soyin ordered 金菇牛肉卷. They also want to order something called 嫲餃子, but the waiter tells Vase that the 餃子 has 沽清. Vase then asks 其他餃子有無沽清呀. The waiter said that 其他餃子有. miah asks 其他餃子有沽清呀, the waiter giggles.
  6. miah is reminded of a story involving his father. Once his family went to a buffet and miah’s mother wanted to know whether there is a discounted price for children, miah’s father rather convolutedly asked the waiter "有無小童同價".
  7. miah says that despite the weather forecast, the weather is not cold enough for his taste. Vase says she has an app on her iPhone that notified her about the Cold Weather Alert earlier that afternoon. miah points out that Hong Kong people like to use the word "apps" even for a single application. (e.g. 我上個禮拜download左個查經apps.) Soyin does a sit-up mime, making a pun on "abs". This is impressive not only because Soyin is not known for his talent in miming, but also because he is able to do a sit-up mime while sitting up.
  8. miah appears to be scribbling on some engineer drawings with a 中華牌 6151 pencil, but is actually jotting meeting notes. He says that, at work, this is his pencil for important occasions. For less important occasions, he uses his silly Keroppi pencils ("Kerokerokeroppi" according to Vase). (Siuto is later furious to learn that miah uses Keroppi pencils at work.) Vase thinks that the cultural significance of Keroppi can be illustrated by the fact that she can no longer draw a frog that does not look like Keroppi.
  9. miah attempts to draw a frog that does not resemble Keroppi. He does it by drawing a squatting frog viewed from the side. Soyin thinks that the frog now looks more like a mouse without ears or a tail. miah then draws a pair of Mickey-Mousesque large round ears for the semi-frog. Soyin thinks that the frog looks as if it has a bump on its head ("起瘤既青蛙"). miah then draws a frog wearing a safety helmet ("起樓既青蛙").
  10. The 金菇牛肉卷 is too salty.
  11. Vase asks others whether their incisors have a smooth or rugged edge. She draws the alternatives on a piece of paper. Soyin says he probably has rugged incisors from teeth-grinding. Vase explains that the reason she asked is that when she was small, she was unable to describe the shape of a rugged incisor and would refer to it as "the shape of Keroppi’s legs". miah suggests that she can refer to it as "heart-shaped". [ref: "heart-shaped" toe nails]
  12. miah mentions two lift-related phenomenons that do not seem to make sense. The first one is that miah himself tends to press the floor number before pressing the door-close button. He realises that in order not to waste everybody’s time, the actions should be carried out the other way round. He finds it difficult to correct the habit.
  13. The second phenomenon is that the person who enters the lift first tends to somehow automatically assume the role of the "lift-operator". The first person tends to be responsible for closing the door after the entrance of each subsequent passenger.
  14. Soyin does not seem to agree nor disagree with this observation. miah wonders whether this is because he does not use a lift at home. Soyin says that he uses the lift at work. He believes that the second phenomenon is caused by the fact that the first person who enters the lift tend to position him/herself right in front of the control panel.
  15. Vase agrees and shares her opinion on human behavior in lifts. She thinks that the first person who enters the lift should always take the position in front of the control panel, the second person should then take the diagonally opposite corner, the third should take one of the remaining two corners, the fourth should take the final corner and the fifth should stand in the middle. Anybody not conforming to this pattern deeply disturbs her. miah concludes that people in a lift behave more or less like dots on a dice. (The conclusion is in fact a weak one, as person number 1 and 3 are both exceptions.)
  16. The Dice Theory is extended and does prove to be correct: when the sixth person enters the lift, the fifth person would move to the side and the sixth person would take the position opposite the fifth. Soyin further extends the Dice Theory to predict that people will slightly squeeze towards the middle upon the entrance of the sixth passenger. miah extends the Dice Theory even more to predict that people will turn red when there is / are one person or four people in the lift. He adds that when there is only one person in the lift, he / she also appears to be larger.
  17. miah believes that the Dice Theory is a good theory because six seems to be the limit to the predictable pattern. He thinks that when there are more than six people in a lift, the arrangement becomes more or less unpredictable. Vase disagrees and thinks that when there are more than six people in a lift, the pattern follows the suit arrangement on playing cards.
  18. There is also a limit to the application of the Extended Dice Theory (a.k.a. Playing Card Theory) when the number of people exceeds ten. miah disregards this by stating that when the eleventh person enters the lift, everybody suddenly turns into Jacks, each will have an upright head in the usual position and and upside-down head at the bottom such that everybody looks identical either upright or upside down. Soyin points out this is an example of surreal humour, miah agrees.

The next meeting will be held again in Misocool on the 23rd March, 2011.


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