22 December 2011

Big Ideas for a Christmas Social 2012

The Big Ideas Christmas social was a blast despite, or because of, its simplicity.

The venue was the same as for the monthly meetings, the upstairs function room at The Wheatsheaf in Fitzrovia with its fake but cute Tudor windows, the people were the same and the eagerness to talk was the same.

The only difference was that we did not have a theme for the evening or somebody to guide us but we did have a good finger buffet that I visited more often than I probably should have.

Seasoned conversationalists need no encouragement to mix and that's what we did but this time I did not take any notes.

Without a set theme the talk veered in several disparate directions, most of which I've forgotten.

The ones that I do recall were the crisis of capitalism (always a good choice at Big Ideas), our relentless animalistic pursuit for sex (always difficult discussing that one with women) and the architecture in Minsk.

In the middle of all this we had time for a quiz on philosophy and mathematics. We formed ourselves in to small teams and attacked the questions with vigour.

Round One was on logic and that meant using lots of algebra to work out the agree of five brothers and their cats. This should have been my strong point but the forceful Alicia insisted in taking control. Luckily she is good at this stuff.

Round Two was anagrams of philosophers names with helpful pictures of them all as clues, if you had any idea of what they looked like. Somebody on our table, Sam maybe, did and we got most of them. Examples included bent gift idolizer, exam brew, impale glacial, magicians or not, much facile lout, and, sweet indulging twit.

Round Three was DitLoIDs, a combination of letters and symbols that represented a philosophical saying. For example, G = D meant God is dead. Simples. Other clues included H = OP, M = by N a PA, M = the M of all T, and, B that S which 1Tl. I was pretty useless on these due to a weakness in all areas philosophical but as a team we were OK.

Round Four required us to draw lies that did not cross on a torus (ring-doughnut). This should have been a cinch for somebody who studied Topology at university, like I did, but I failed miserably. Luckily none of the other teams could do it either.

And so we won. The prize was a large tin of Celebrations chocolates which we promptly shared with everybody. It seemed appropriate.

The quiz over we returned to our conversations and drinks until the pub quietly told us that we had to go home as they were closing.

I love Big Ideas for its thought-provoking discussions and the Christmas social was just a bolder brasher and slightly less structured evening of what they do well. A great event.

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