IPL 2019 at the three-quarter mark

On Apr 24, the 42nd match was played which brings us to the three-quarter stage of the league matches. The story so far:

IPL 2019 after 42 matches

We look back at the final tables of the past 3 tournaments. Note that each team plays 14 matches.

2018: In descending order 18,18, 16,14,12

2017: 20,18,17,16,14

2016: 18,16,16,16,14

Conclusion: To qualify for the semis, you need 16 points (or 8 victories) to be assured of a place. If you are very lucky (as RR was in 2018) 14 points maybe enough to scrape through.

Now see what your favorite team needs to qualify.

It appears that the top 4 teams above are the ones which will go into the last 4. After that it is a lottery.

 

Analyzing elephant jokes

Yes, academics have written lengthy analyses of dirty jokes and limericks. G Legman has written a number of books on these topics.

PJs and elephant jokes also deserve further study.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many elephant jokes, a small number of dog and cat jokes and hardly any jokes involving tigers and lions? Then there are phrases such as the “elephant in the room”.

See what Wikipedia has to say:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_joke

And there are elephant limericks, although this one does not depend on the elephant:

A young man in sunny Yuma

Told an elephant joke to a puma.

Now his skeleton lies

Under desert skies.

The puma had no sense of huma.

Another indirect elephant joke:

A small boy misreads a sign at the zoo which says “African elephant”. He tells his father, “Dad, I saw a frickin’ elephant.”

And there are off-colour elephant jokes, such as these:

elephant camel jokeElephant joke

Learn something new: the two-humped camel is known as the Bactrian camel. Some can be seen in Ladakh. Presumably their ancestors had got lost when the Central Asian caravans were passing through some centuries ago.

For the moment, you need to remember than the one-humped variety found in most of western India and West Asia should correctly be called a dromedary.

The camel has a distant cousin called the llama. It has been immortalized in puns, besides verses like these:

An one L lama is a priest,

A two L lama is a beast.

I bet my silk pajama

That you can’t find a 3 L lama.

One of the “model answers” is a trainee llama who wears a L plate.

Another one is a “three-alarmer”, the most serious fire notified to fire brigades in the US.

And finally, an elephant joke which is almost like a shaggy dog story.

In 1986, a young man named Peter Davies from Chicago was on holiday in Kenya after his college graduation. During a hike through the bush, he came upon a young bull elephant standing with his right front leg in the air. The elephant was in obvious distress, so Peter approached the elephant carefully for a better look. He got down on one knee, inspected the elephant’s foot, and and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it….

As carefully as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife, after which, the relieved giant gingerly put down its foot. The elephant looked down upon Peter with what seemed to be a curious expression… It stared at him for several tense moments. Peter knelt before this young giant frozen, thinking only of being trampled to death…. Eventually, the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned and walked away… Peter would never forget that encounter which would make a lasting impression on him for life….

Twenty years later, Peter was visiting the Chicago zoo with his young son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned toward them and began to approach Peter and his son. The large bull elephant looked down at Peter, lifted it’s right front foot off the ground. The elephant did this repeatedly while trumpeting loudly and staring at the pair. Recalling his incredible encounter in 1986, Peter could not help but wonder if it was possible that this was the same young bull he had encountered so many years before….

Peter summoned up his courage, climbed the railing into the enclosure, and walked right up to the bull elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted loudly, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter’s legs, and slammed him against the railing killing him instantly….. Probably WASN’T THE SAME fucking elephant….!

This is for all of those who send out those heart-warming bull shit stories on email…..

 

 

 

The school which has the most MPs in India

It used to be said that alumni of Eton and Winchester dominated the higher reaches of politics, the armed forces, the civil services and even the clergy in Britain. That has been well documented. The combination of Eton/Winchester and Oxbridge was supposed to be unbeatable till at least the 1950s. Later the prominent grammar schools and LSE were grudgingly added.

Not many prominent Old Etonians in Indian politics, though there is the late King Birendra of Nepal. There is also Gaj Singh, the nominal ruler of Jodhpur who has served a term in the Rajya Sabha besides diplomatic posts.

Not Old Wykehamists either, though there were several British civil servants who were prominent in India. Also M.A.K. Pataudi and Saif Ali Khan.

Harrow is a little below the two schools above. But it does have a number of politicians, such as Shashi Tharoor’s bete noire Winston Churchill. And of course, the present PM’s favorite scapegoat Jawaharlal Nehru.

In the US, the school where one studied is not so relevant but the university is. Here, the magic names are Harvard and Yale:

https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/most-us-presidents/

However, there is one school in India which appears to have the most representation in Parliament even in 2019. The information given below is taken from the official websites. Identify the dynasts if you wish.

http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/AlphabeticalList.aspx

https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/member_site/memberlist.aspx

LOK SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

(Old boys listed in the school’s official publications):

Most of them are expected to be contesting the 2019 elections.

Rahul Gandhi (INC, Amethi, UP)

Raghav Lakhanpal (BJP, Saharanpur, UP)

Kamal Nath (INC, Chhindwara, MP). Recently became Chief Minister of MP.

Jyotiraditya Scindia (INC, Guna, MP)

Dushyant Singh (BJP, Jhalawar-Baran, RJ)

K. Bharatendra Singh (BJP, Bijnor, UP)

Kalikesh N. Singh Deo (BJD, Bolangir, OR)

Footnote: Kamal Nath is Raghav Lakhanpal’s father’s sister’s husband (Phuphaji).

Many OB politicians in Punjab are related, including members of the prominent Badal, Brar and Kairon families.

RAJYA SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

(None)

Now it gets more interesting. We now look at those who are close relatives (i.e. parents, spouses, siblings or children of Old Boys).

Back to the LOK SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

Maneka Gandhi (BJP, Pilibhit, UP); Minister. She studied at Sanawar.

Sonia Gandhi (INC, Rae Bareli, UP)

Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD, Bathinda, PB); Minister of State.

Varun Gandhi (BJP, Sultanpur, UP)

Jagdambika Pal (BJP, Domariyaganj, UP)

Prem Das Rai (SDP, Sikkim). The SDP is part of NDA. He studied at Wynberg Allen. Is supposed to be the only MP who has graduated from an IIT and an IIM.

Moon Moon Sen (Mrs Dev Varma) (TMC, Bankura, WB)

And those who are RAJYA SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

Ahmed Patel (INC, GJ)

PL Punia (INC, UP)

RK Sinha (BJP, BH)

Digvijaya Singh (INC, MP) He studied at Daly College.

Bonus: Old Boys who are Chief Ministers as on April 15, 2019

Kamal Nath (INC, MP). Elected in 2018. Was Lok Sabha MP from Chhindwara until very recently.

Naveen Patnaik (BJD, OR). Facing re-election in 2019.

Amarinder Singh (INC, PB). Elected in 2017. Was also Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar in 2014-2017.

Is this something for which Old Boys of this school should pat their own backs? I don’t know.

 

IPL 2019 at the halfway mark

On April 13, the 27th and 28th matches were played which brings us to the halfway stage of the league matches. The story so far:

IPL after 28 matches

We look back at the final tables of the past 3 tournaments. Note that each team plays 14 matches.

2018: In descending order 18,18, 16,14,12

2017: 20,18,17,16,14

2016: 18,16,16,16,14

Conclusion: To qualify for the semis, you need 16 points (or 8 victories) to be assured of a place. If you are very lucky (as in 2018) 14 points maybe enough to scrape through.

Now see what your favorite team needs to qualify.

Railway quiz-April 2019

Note that there is an underlying theme in most of the questions. If you understand this theme it will help.

  1. What do these stations have in common? For the bottom one, go by the sign you can see rather than the station name. Click to enlarge.

A: They are zonal headquarters but not divisional headquarters. The HQ of SER is near Howrah but there is no Howrah division of SER. In fact SER is a guest of ER at Howrah. (However, there is an Howrah division of ER). Similarly for Hajipur, Gorakhpur and Maligaon (in Guwahati city).

2. What connects the first 4 stations here? And what connected the 5th (bottom right) to the first 4 later?

A: SC, BZA, SUR and UBL were the original constituents of SCR when it was formed in 1966. SC and SUR were in CR, BZA and UBL in SR. After a few years SUR was moved back to CR and GTL was moved from SR to SCR.

3. What unusual feature does this station have (considering the above theme):

Nagpur

A: Nagpur is in CR and the SECR joins there. There is a Nagpur division both in CR and SECR. Like SER in Howrah, SECR does not own the Nagpur station.

4. What unusual features do these stations have (again, considering the above theme plus something else):

A: Chakradharpur, Danapur, Nanded and Izatnagar are divisional headquarters which are not junctions. Note: Izat is correct, not Izzat although even local people get this wrong.

5. The same theme, but somewhat different. What connects these stations? Think of pre-independence days.

A: Baroda, Gwalior, Trichnopoly and Jodhpur were zonal headquarters in the past but not now: for the Gaekwad of Baroda’s State Railway, Scindia State Railway, South Indian Railway and Jodhpur State Railway. Other examples include Bikaner, Mysore, Jaipur and several others.

Note: the best attempt was by Santosh Kulkarni, also known as Sant Kulk.

 

Julian Assange’s predecessor

As you know, on Feb 11 Julian Assange was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after spending close to 7 years there. The story so far:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-47891737

But there was an even longer stay of this kind, from 1956 to 1971 in the US embassy in Budapest. The name of Cardinal Mindszenty may not ring a bell today, but this should help:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zsef_Mindszenty#Church_leader_and_opposition_to_communism

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B3zsef_Mindszenty#Confinement_at_the_US_embassy

A somewhat related story pertains to South Africa during the apartheid era. I must have read about this in the 1980s but cannot locate a reference now.

During the heyday of apartheid and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and other activists, a few junior activists feared arrest and took refuge in the British consulate in Durban.

While Durban is one of the larger cities in South Africa, the British felt it did not deserve a full-fledged consulate and thus their diplomatic staff were working from a few offices in a regular office block. So much so that their offices did not even have attached toilets and their staff had to walk to toilets in a different part of the building.

The South African security police (called BOSS if I remember right) soon arrived there and could not do anything right away as their prey was under British consular protection. But it was soon pointed out that their protection and immunity would cease the moment they left the office to go to the toilet.

One can imagine the diplomatic exchanges which would have gone on. After a few hours the British staff must have persuaded the South African activists to leave, right into the hands of BOSS.

Meanwhile, Ecuador is at least famous for a while for something other than the Galapagos tortoises.

More tailend heroics-2

Another aspect of great tailend recoveries is the proportion of runs added by the tailenders. Today we will concentrate on cases where the score was doubled after the fall of the 9th wicket.

There are only 6 such instances in all Tests. In chronological order, they are:

1) P Willey and RGD Willis took the score from 92/9 to 209/9. (Added 117*, which is 1.27 times the score of the first 9 wickets. Eng v WI, Oval, 24/07/1980. Drawn.

Scores: Eng 370 and 209/9 dec; WI 265.

Similarly:

2) PM Siddle and NM Lyon took the score from 21/9 to 47. Added 26, 1.24 times. A v SA, Cape Town, 09/11/2011. Lost.

Scores: Aus 284 and 47; SA 96 and 236/2. SA won by 8 wickets.

3) PJ Hughes and AC Agar took the score from 117/9 to 280. Added 163, 1.39 times. A v E, Nottingham, 10/07/2013. Lost.

Scores: Eng 215 and 375. Aus 280 and 296. Eng won by 14 runs.

4) C Overton and JM Anderson took the score from 27/9 to 58. Added 31, 1.15 times. E v NZ, Auckland, 22/03/2018. Lost.

Scores: Eng 58 and 320. NZ 427/8 dec. NZ won by an innings and 49 runs (Day-night Test)

5) GH Dockrell and  TJ Murtagh took the score from 85/9 to 172. Added 87, 1.02 times. Ire v Afg, Dehradun, 15/03/2019. Lost.

Scores: Ire 172 and 288. Afg 314 and 149/3. Afg won by 7 wickets.

6) KAJ Roach and ML Cummins took the score from 50/9 to 100. Added 50, 1.00 times. WI v Ind, North Sound. 22/08/2019. Lost.

Scores: Ind 297 and 343/7 Dec. WI 222 and 100. Ind won by 318 runs.

It is interesting that the first such instance occurred only after more than a century of Tests.

Going by the number of runs scored for the last wicket, the most is 163 by Hughes and Agar. The latter was making his debut and holds the record for the highest score (98) at no 11 in all Tests.

They also have the record for the highest ratio, 1.39.

You can also see that none of these teams won the Test. Only one managed a draw.

Next we will look at recoveries where the score was doubled after the fall of the 8th wicket. Apart from the 6 cases listed above, there are 8 others starting from 1927.