Monday, 18 November 2002

A bath is the best possible think tank.

Floating in warm water is great for fantastic ideas to emerge. I don't know why.
  • Because the body relaxes, muscles and bones can take a break from carrying their daily burden?
  • Blood circulates easily, hardly going up or down?
  • Water maintains the body temperature?
Whatever. Ask me for an enterprise resource with maximum return on investment and my answer will be: the bath. Give me a complex algorithm to solve and your chances are good that the solution is born in warm water.

For the most complex problems I head for the warm water, armed with a pencil and a notepad.

The water must remain warm. That poses a small problem. The more complex problems take more than half an hour to solve. The water cools down too much.

Of course I could rise, but that would obliterate the whole benefit of the bath session. A bath is the place to lay down and stay down.

kikker And tada, here comes a brilliant solution that solves this problem: the frog. The frog is a small statue, made of pewter, mounted on top of a bathplug. My love has brought the amphibian from South Africa. I have not seen it in the Netherlands yet. There must be a giant market for it, given all the IT companies in this country.

  1. Now, when the water gets too cold, I grab the frog's head with my toes.
  2. It croaks a bit as soon as some cool water goes down the sewer.
  3. A short while later I use my toes again to push it back. With a few happy last croaks it retakes its old position.
  4. While lying down, I add a bit of warm water and the think tank is fully operational again.
This cycle can be repeated endlessly, so even the impossible problems like the travelling salesman (.../Travelling_salesman_problem) should be solvable now.

Till next week,