This topic was brought to the Loose Blogger Consortium this Friday by Ramana, aka Rummuser, aka Iron Man.
I think most of us are acquainted with Van Gogh’s Starry Night. During his time, no one really bought into his vision, but since then we have been fascinated with a man seeing what we cannot. Madness or unfettered vision? Hard to say.
However, one thing we can say is that when puzzle makers take a portion of it (the art officianados will immediately see that the above which was used for the puzzle cuts out numerous stars and the top of what we can only surmise is a tree) and then turn it into 1,000 pieces … well, it is a real bear to put together!
Enter team family while on vacation. They are working on this puzzle as I speak. Lafawnda Fossil, Lady Fossil and Flash Fossil. The Old Fossil, yours truly has been the weakest link on this team from the very beginning.
Here is Flash at the beginning of the week pointing out the state of the puzzle as the week begins.
Note that there is a LOT of puzzle to go. He and Lafawnda have started it and most of their time has been spent establishing a border and completing the tree.
Lady Fossil does detail work for a living. You can see how intent she is examining the challenge! She’ll be good!
Here are Flash and the Lady F attacking a couple of nights later while Lafawnda works on her new computer. The original crapped out the first day we were there, fortunate timing, because we were able to get the new on as she needed. But look at the concentration of the other two!
Here they are working away at another time while I am reading The Hunger Games on my Kindle.
The Lady F is persistent. But, it becomes clear that the real talent lies with Flash! More about that in a bit.
the next night, these two are on a mission! Look how much more of the puzzle is in place. That represents major accomplishment!
Flash finds pieces at least five times as fast as anyone else. He is amazing the speed at which he processes!
Here is was last night. It’s the sky that remains – the part everyone dreads! However, notice that the participants have taken the pieces and separated them by category:
Shoulders only, one arm, turtle head, lizard. They have developed their own language to defeat this monster!
Tonight they try to finish. But, the topic was Effectiveness. What exactly is it that makes me, the worst of the crowd so awful and Flash, the best of the crowd so effective? Well, age is part of it. I am now designed to be fossilosophical in ways I could never have managed in earlier years, but it comes at the price of processing speed. It also, I find, comes at the price of strategy when this type of task is being done. I concentrate on one piece, determining in detail in my mind what the attibutes of that piece are and then obsess about filling that one space until the cows come home.
Flash, on the other hand, scans an area for color patterns, scans pieces for approximations, homes in on candidates, starts placing them in configurations on the board, discarding, trying others. He works at it from a lower, much more effective level. This isn’t any deep understanding of any kind we are looking for, we are looking to get pieces on the board!
Every day I have a new admiration for you, Flash!
Stay tuned, because next week you will get a follow up on the ultimate outcome and a little video of all of us working at it!