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ziggy (25)

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Journal of ziggy (25)

Tuesday October 12, 2004
11:44 PM

Teapot Defined

[ #21317 ]
Herewith, I define a unit of measure called a teapot.

teapot (n): a measure of problem complexity. A problem of 1-teapot complexity means that the person solving the problem consumes one pot of freshly brewed tea[1] while solving the problem. A problem of 2-teapot complexity takes twice as much tea to solve.

Because I'm a Yankee, I'm not going to get into femto-teapots and peta-teapots. That's just plain silly.

Any problem greater than 4-teapots is probably going to take more than one day to solve. So I declare that a 4-teapot problem takes one day to solve. If you can't drink four pots of tea per day, you're slacking off. If you drink more, you're on the wrong side of a relativistic time dilation.

Many problems are less than 1-teapot in complexity. For those cases, I declare that one teapot contains four (12oz) teamugs.


1: Any form of tea will suffice: green tea, oolong, black tea, white tea, tisanes, fruity blends, chai, etc. For best results, start with a loose tea and freshly boiled water.

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  • I was just telling my wife yesterday that the code I'm working on was kicking my butt. I have to modify it to add new functionality.

    When I originally wrote the code I was drinking eight 12 ounce cups of very strong coffee a day. Really buzzing... really under pressure... really in the zone.

    Now, I've cut back to four 8 ounce cups and feel like I'm at a definite disadvantage.

    This also reminds me of a saying I used to use as a sig:

    "Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.

  • Sherlock Homes used to call something a three-pipe problem []. Thankfully, smoking in the office is not usually an option any more. :)


  • You just keep adding water to an existing mug (gourd?) of Mate. Is that schedule slip?
    • Yerba Mate doesn't count because you don't brew it by the pot. And you can't measure anything significant with it because Mate gourds, like coffee cups at the diner, have two steady states: empty or approximately half full.

      /me needs to remember to bring my gourd and some mate to the next perl conference...