Wednesday, July 8, 2015

FPP 2015

Since I've started this PhD, I've resigned myself to having to travel to Finland once a year (as if that bothers me).  I wait until Conference season and tack it on to that trip to save the wear on my slightly aging body.  Last year I posted on FaceBook that I was going and Tomas Linden  got in touch to say the Finnish Puzzle Party was taking place that week and asked me to join.  I enjoyed it so much, that this year when I planned my trip I contacted him!

First stop Helsinki for a night and of course I had to visit a puzzle shop!    Nothing for me though.  Can you tell how cold it was there?  Next stop Jyväskylä and a bit of intensive study before I headed off to the puzzles.

It was just as fun as last year and there was no disappointment at all.  This year the FPP was located in Turku along the southwest coast of Finland.  It's a very beautiful city and I enjoyed walking around it with my husband.  (Did I fail to mention he came along?)

We first went to a mathematical exhibition at what I think was an art center.  We had a bit of a guided tour, and while most of the items on exhibition I had seen before, we did get into a good discussion about why balls travel faster down different planes, and there was a really cool dice counting thing that I had never seen before.  You dump around 40 dice on the table, roll them then line them up randomly. Start with the first di and count that number.  As you go through the dice, you should end up with a few remainders, discard those, roll the rest again and restart the count.  You will then end up with no remainders.  I don't know what this is called, or why it happens, but it is sooo cool!  I was fascinated by it.  It was also great fun to watch the boys playing with bubbles!

From there we headed off to a school to do a bit of talking and playing with puzzles.  Of course Tomas was selling and I managed to get a few toys myself.  Once again it was a good haul!

I listened to a talk on different shapes and tiles that forgive me, went over my head, but was very interesting.  A icosahedron turned inside out makes 2 cubes.  Is that right?  Gave a short talk on where to buy Berrocals and then went on to puzzle play.  All in all we spent about 4 hours chatting and playing. I brought along the astronaut and sort of forced Vesa to reassemble it.  (I took it apart to show him how easy and different it was from the others I've brought in the past and made him fix it).  Sorry Vesa, but I really take great pleasure from watching people play with them.  (and thank you for the disk!) I brought along my copy of the 69 puzzle an if you count the shoes, you can see how many people it took to solve and reassemble the puzzle.  Good fun!

After we went to a man's house...Sorry, can't remember the name. We puzzled for another 4 or 5 hours, had a late bite to eat and headed home. While there, I managed to find an original price list for the Berrocal's I love so much.  How I wish I had discovered them 20 years ago!

We had some good fun playing with tops and various other what's its.

I can't wait until next year.  I hear it's going to be near a puzzle shop I went crazy in last year!

 Next stop: Copenhagen and a little shop that had to be found and a short visit with Oskar and José.

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