Social Question

Soubresaut's avatar

Want to play a game of similarity?

Asked by Soubresaut (13556points) June 18th, 2011

I’m really not sure how well this will work outside my mind, but in it, it does.

Give [a] challenge(s) of two or more things, for others to try to connect.
Take on [a] challenge(s) of two or more things, try to connect.

Example (simple, commonly seen as clashing):

of giving challenge—Religion and Science

of taking challenge—Both stem from awe.

. .

It doesn’t have to be an opposing pair—we usually think of things in terms of opposites, and my example is, but that’s not all there is; more than two things, different but not ‘opposing’, heated debate sides, seemingly entirely unrelated, paragraphs, fragments, bizarre, serious, silly, political, absolutely whatever.

Try not to repeat challenges, but related are okay; taking challenges already ‘taken,’ if you see more connections go for it. The connections can be anything.

. .

some starting challenges; no obligation to answer any

Religion and Science
Blue Jeans and Coffee Mugs and Hippos
Mushrooms and Chess
Money and Leather Shoes and Free Parking and Adjectives.
Reality and Education.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

62 Answers

rebbel's avatar

Mind and Boggling.
I have absolutely no idea how this game works, so i’ll be back after others have answered and i get the picture.

Soubresaut's avatar

Oh… okay, I’ll answer yours to see if this thing makes more sense…
‘boggling’ is bewildering the mind; the phrase mind boggling; boggle is a game for the mind; both are invisible/intangible objects/concepts [not counting the game]… etc

Jeruba's avatar

Well, I can connect blue jeans to coffee mugs (both are casual variants of something more formal) and coffee mugs to hippos (both involve water), but I don’t see a link between hippos and blue jeans, unless you want to drag hips into it—or get all metaphysical.

I like to think I can find a commonality or link (maybe more than an actual similarity) between just about any two things, but three is a stretch.

phaedryx's avatar

mushrooms and chess:

what about the mushroom kingdom (mario) chess set?

Or that this guy loves, and blogs about, both?

Hmm, it occurs to me that it’s more about finding a common feature.

phaedryx's avatar

How about finding a similarity between klingons and tofu?

Jeruba's avatar

I was thinking that chess moves might be like mushrooms because unless you have an expert’s eye, the ones that look perfectly innocuous can kill you.

lillycoyote's avatar

Both Klingons and tofu are not to everyone’s taste.

Is that the kind of thing you’re looking for? I’m trying to get the game.

But in a bar brawl, I’ll take the Klingon

Soubresaut's avatar

@lillycoyote Yes, that’s exactly what I had in mind. Everything said so far is… I didn’t want it all rule-y so I guess I made it too fuzzy. [Sorry.] But yes, you’ve got it.

lillycoyote's avatar

@DancingMind If we give a challenge should we have a connection in mind or can it just be two random words/ideas/things? Is that the game? For the challenged to find a connection even if that challenger doesn’t have a particular connection in mind?

Well, I just do the random thing if the game isn’t too ruley. It is kind of fun, the game, it took a bit of stretching of the old brain muscles, on both sides, to come up with a connection. It’s more fun than the SATs or the GREs, that’s for sure: Klingons are to tofu as postage stamps are to ? :-)

So I’ll try calligraphy and a dialysis machine.

That seems pretty random.

Soubresaut's avatar

@lillycoyote—to your Q : I had ideas in mind with my examples, but some of them I also did very quickly just to give some ‘challenges’, so they have ways of connecting but aren’t the best… it’ll be a spectrum of ‘connection,’ so random’s fine; the idea is that it isn’t easy. : )

Calligraphy and dialysis machine: both for saving (thoughts, lives).

_zen_'s avatar

Ahem. So what’s the next one?

koanhead's avatar

Mathematics and Poetry?

WasCy's avatar

Meter, as in “measurement” for mathematics and “rhythmic structure” for poetry.

Here’s one:

Democrats and Republicans

Soubresaut's avatar

Also for Mathematics and Poetry : abstract, creative descriptions

Democrats and Republicans : at the whim of lobbyists


Balloons, Confidence

_zen_'s avatar

Balloons and Confidence reminded me of this Winnie the Pooh story:

In which Eeyore has a birthday and gets two presents

Ho-ho, this is going to be another chapter for Eeyore! Although he’s not all that impressed about this to begin with, as he’s standing by a stream looking at his reflection and saying “Pathetic”. He crosses the stream just to have a look from the other side, but it’s still no better. “Nobody minds,” he says. “Nobody cares.”

Before we can learn what Eeyore is upset about, or whether he is just having a usual reaction to Life in General, Pooh arrives from out of some bracken, and says good morning.

“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.“Why, what’s the matter?”“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”

Pooh isn’t sure what mulberry bush he is talking about, but it turns out that the mulberry bush isn’t that important. Pooh sits down to try to work out what’s wrong, but he has trouble with this because he doesn’t have much in the way of brain, so he has a good old sing instead.

Eeyore gloomily tells him that he should have a good sing and Enjoy Himself, because Some Can. Pooh is sure that something is the matter with Eeyore because he is so sad, and Eeyore says that it’s his birthday, and can’t you tell by all the presents strewn around the place?

But of course there aren’t any presents strewn around, or piled up, or even put away neatly in the cupboard, and there’s no cake, or candles, or balloons, or anything! It is Eeyore’s birthday today and everyone has forgotten! Oh, Eeyore.

Pooh wishes Eeyore many happy returns of the day, and Eeyore wishes them back to Pooh, because he doesn’t want both of them to be miserable on his birthday, and he gets quite upset at this thought, and tells Pooh that it’s bad enough being miserable by himself, with no presents and no proper notice taken of him, but he can’t cope if everyone else is going to be miserable too.

Pooh is overwhelmed by this poignant show of emotion from the donkey, and he resolves to find Eeyore a present right away, even if he has to get him another, proper present afterwards.

When Pooh arrives at his house he finds that Piglet is already there, jumping up and trying to reach the knocker. Pooh asks him what he is doing, and Piglet explains, and Pooh kindly offers to knock the knocker for him, which he does. And while they wait for someone to come to the door, Pooh tells Piglet about the sad state of Eeyore, and how gloomy he is, and then exclaims that whoever lives there is taking an awfully long time to come to the door.

Piglet points out that Pooh lives there, and Pooh says oh yes, and they go in. Pooh goes straight to his larder and gets a small jar of honey, and tells Piglet that he is going to give it to Eeyore as a present. Piglet asks if he could give it to Eeyore too, so that it is from both of them, but Pooh says that that isn’t a good idea.

As he can’t give the honey with Pooh, Piglet decides to give Eeyore a balloon, which he has left over from his party. Now, we will presume that this is the same party as referenced in chapter one, when the balloons that Christopher Robin had taken home were used to help Pooh float. We were a bit worried in chapter one because Pooh didn’t have a balloon, and so might not have been invited to Piglet’s party. But here, Piglet is casually talking about his party right in front of Pooh, so that must mean that Pooh was invited, and he has just given his balloon to someone else. That is a relief.

Piglet immediately goes home to fetch his balloon, and Pooh heads off to see Eeyore and give him the honey. It’s quite a long way from his house to Eeyore’s Gloomy Place, and when he is about half-way there he comes over a bit funny, as if it is time for a little something. Luckily he has the jar of honey with him, and so he sits down and eats the honey, and then continues on his way.

But then a terrible thought occurs to him…he has eaten Eeyore’s present! Bother! It is not too awful though once Pooh has realised that he still has a nice empty honeypot, which he could wash and then write “Happy Birthday” on, and then Eeyore could put things in it.

He therefore needs someone to write the happy birthday, so he goes off to find Owl, and wishes him many happy returns of Eeyore’s birthday. Pooh says that he is going to give Eeyore the jar for his birthday, and Owl says that someone has been keeping honey in the jar, which Pooh knew already, and also that someone should write Happy Birthday on the jar, and Pooh already knew that too.

Pooh asks Owl to do the writing, because his own spelling is good but Wobbly. Owl admires the pot and says that they should give it to Eeyore from both of them, but Pooh says that that is not a good idea. Pooh washes the pot, and Owl has a bit of a think as to how you spell the word birthday.

Owl asks Pooh if he can read, and he is a bit anxious about this, but he seems to be reassured when Pooh says that he can read things if Christopher Robin explains what they say first. This seems to suggest that perhaps Owl’s spelling is not as good as we had previously thought.

So Owl wrote…and this is what he wrote:HIPY PAPY BTHETHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDYPooh looked on admiringly.“I’m just saying ‘A Happy Birthday’,” said Owl carelessly.“It’s a nice long one,” said Pooh, very much impressed by it.

Owl explains that what he is actually writing is not just Happy Birthday, but a full A Very Happy Birthday with Love from Pooh, which is of course much longer than just happy birthday, and Explains Everything, whilst using up a great deal of pencil.

While Owl and Pooh are preparing their jar, Piglet is running across the forest to take his balloon to Eeyore. He is running very fast because he wants to give his present to Eeyore before Pooh gives his present to Eeyore, because then it will look as if he has spontaneously remembered Eeyore’s birthday without anyone having had to tell him, which is much better than only remembering secondhand.

Unfortunately, Piglet is not looking where is going, and he trips on a rabbithole, and falls down – and BANG!!!

Piglet lay there, wondering what had happened. At first he thought that the whole world had blown up; and then he thought that perhaps only the forest part of it had; and then he thought that perhaps only he had, and he was now alone in the moon or somewhere, and he would never see Christopher Robin or Pooh or Eeyore again. And then he thought, “Well, even if I’m in the moon, I needn’t be face downwards all the time,” so he got cautiously up and looked about him.

Luckily for Piglet he is still in the forest and not on the moon, so that’s good. But what was that big bang that he heard – surely that couldn’t have been made just by a Piglet falling over? And where is his balloon? And where has this small piece of damp rag appeared from?

Oh no – the small piece of damp rag is the balloon, and the BANG was the balloon going pop! We have to say that Piglet rather panics at this point, saying oh dear over and over again, not knowing what to do. He eventually comes to the depressing conclusion that it is too late to go back home, and he knows that he hasn’t got another balloon anyway, so he pins all of his hopes on the idea that maybe Eeyore didn’t really like balloons in the first place, and continues on his journey.

He finds Eeyore sitting by the stream, and wishes him happy returns. Eeyore is not really listening, and is trying to balance on three legs so that he can put his fourth leg behind his ear to help him hear better. Once he has done this Piglet says happy returns of the day again, and says that he has brought him a present. This is a moment of high drama for the reader, for we hadn’t realised that Piglet was going to give Eeyore the balloon anyway, despite the fact that it had burst. Will Eeyore be insulted? Will it just depress him further? Will Piglet regret ever getting out of bed?

Piglet tells Eeyore that he has brought Eeyore a balloon, at which point Eeyore gets very excited. Poor Piglet has to explain that he fell down on the way, and that he accidentally burst the balloon. There is a very long silence, and then Piglet hands over the small piece of damp rag, sniffling a little bit as he does so (because of the horror of the situation).

Eeyore asks what colour the balloon was, when it was actually a balloon, and Piglet says that it was red, which happens to be Eeyore’s favourite colour. And Eeyore asks how big it used to be, and Piglet says that it was the same size as Piglet, which is Eeyore’s favourite size. Only now of course it isn’t really red or Piglet-sized at all.

Piglet is standing there feeling very sad at the whole turn of events when Pooh appears. Pooh wishes Eeyore many happy returns of the day again, and Eeyore says that he is having them, thank you. Pooh says that he has brought Eeyore a present. Poor Piglet is sitting a little way away with his head in his paws, snuffling.

Pooh tells Eeyore that he has brought him a Useful Pot, with A Very Happy Birthday with Love from Pooh written on the side, and that Eeyore can use it to put things in. And he gives Eeyore the pot.

At this point Eeyore become quite excited, because has just spotted something very interesting indeed. He tells Pooh that his balloon will fit into the pot! Pooh says no, and explains that balloons are much too big to go into pots, and what Eeyore should do with a balloon is hold it and…

But Eeyore says that his balloon is different, and he picks it up with his teeth, and puts it into the pot – and it fits beautifully! So he takes it out again, and puts it in again, and takes it out again, and puts it in again.

“So it does!” said Pooh. “It goes in!”“So it does!” said Piglet. “And it comes out!”“Doesn’t it?” said Eeyore. “It goes in and out like anything.”

So Pooh and Piglet are both very glad that they have given Eeyore such useful and entertaining presents, and they let Eeyore know how glad they are, but Eeyore is too busy putting his balloon into the pot and then taking it out again, and he is very happy indeed!

Sorry about the length – but it’s a favourite of mine and a story we can learn from. How about:

Acorns and Unicorns?

Jeruba's avatar

I had to work for this one, @zen, but I got it: acorns are poisonous to humans when eaten raw, and the unicorn lore has it that the horn of a unicorn is proof against poison. (This is why princes of bygone eras wanted their personal drinking cups carved from the horn of a unicorn—hence their high value and hence incentive to deliver whatever might pass for same.)

paper clips and tortillas

jellyfish3232's avatar

Well, I had trouble with this one, but the 9-year old that I’m babysitting suggested that they both hold things together. You know, paper and beans.

Lifeguards and seltzer.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Lifeguards work in liquid, that liquid behaves like seltzer when striking the right shore or churning through the right wreckage under the water.

Logic and reason

lillycoyote's avatar

Challenge, not so random:

duplicity and the singularity

and @zen You had me at Eeyore. :-)

koanhead's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central It’s logical to use reason and reasonable to use logic.

koanhead's avatar

@lillycoyote Jaron Lanier thinks the latter is an example of the former. (cf. his book You Are Not a Gadget)

krrazypassions's avatar

Black Holes and Everything (ref Nassim Haramein)

Stinley's avatar

I think I’ve got the gist of this

Black holes contain antimatter and all matter (everything) has an antimatter equivalent. sorry to all the physicists jellies. I should have just gone with black holes suck everything into them…

strawberries and telephones

krrazypassions's avatar

@Stinley actually according to Nassim Haramein, everything- a proton, cell, human body, earth, sun, galaxy, galaxy-clusters and mega-clusters and the universe and then the multiverses- absolultely everything has a black hole at its center
Thus, while the we see the universe expanding, it is also contracting at the same time because the black hole sucks everything in- thereby satisfying the law of action-reaction

Strawberries and telephone are used to spice up one’s sex life- strawberries are aphrodisiacs and phone sex.

Jack and Jill

_zen_'s avatar

Both their names begin with J and end with Smith. They also went up the hill.

Jack and Jill went up a hill,
Where Jack felt so romantic.
But Jill, she wouldn’t take the pill,
Which drove our Jack quite frantic!

But Jill, she didn’t want such love,
Preferring tender, loving care,
Whilst Jack went on some phone-up dates
With Judy, Trudy, even Clare.

Now Jack and Jill just don’t get on,
They never talk of sex.
So that’s the reason – can’t you see
That Jack is now Jill’s ex!

Rabbits and Habits

Jeruba's avatar

A crack on the ceiling had the habit / Of sometimes looking like a rabbit.

_zen_'s avatar

Vacuum cleaners and lemon merangue pie.

Jeruba's avatar

Lemon meringue pie turns me into a vacuum cleaner.

_zen_'s avatar

Pssst guys: you have to write two more to keep the game going.

Jeruba's avatar


pencil sharpeners and hot-air balloons

Soubresaut's avatar

Both are apparent shape-shifters.
Hot-air balloons
Pencil Sharpeners
scroll a bit to see the true variety of their transfiguring talent
(And a pencil, properly sharpened, could maybe do some damage to a hot-air balloon.)

chandeliers and salt

_zen_'s avatar

Chandeliers and salt are both made of translucent crystals. If you dip a chandelier in salt, they both taste salty.

Crayons and centipedes.

Jeruba's avatar


soap bubbles and railroad trains

_zen_'s avatar

soap bubbles and railroad trains both remind me of childhood – but then that’s just me.

Both can float – the new trains are actually magnetized and float above the tracks.

Football and trees

Stinley's avatar

A football can get stuck in a tree

a stick and paper tissues

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, too easy, @Stinley. Paper is made from wood pulp.

peas and hairpins

Soubresaut's avatar

Both in an effort to tame—argiculture, unruly hair;
Both date back to thousands of years BC. And in, at least, the general area of the India/Middle East/Egypt/Greece/Rome; peas more east, hairpins more west, with overlap.

(And both can wind up in your hair, if we’re counting food fights; both in your mouth if we’re counting holding hairpins there prior to putting in hair.)

pushpins and feather boas

Jeruba's avatar

Easy! They’re both for display.

sharks and lipstick

_zen_'s avatar

I wouldn’t want to kiss a woman wearing lipstick (it tastes yuck) nor would I want to embrace a shark.

Also, for some strange associative reason, I thought of Darryl Hannah (sp?) in Kill Bill as the sexy nurse – with very bright red lipstick, and a nurse shark.


Stinley's avatar

Too easy – both are round

Right, a harder one from me (maybe)

ear defenders and a fridge

lillycoyote's avatar

Pencils and front-loaders
Dialysis machines and peaches
Roads and underpants
Beds and lawn mowers

There, zen, I’ve more than made up for not providing two more previously.

flutherother's avatar

Roads and underpants – always wear a clean pair in case you are knocked down crossing the road and end up in hospital.

Cabbages and Kings???

lillycoyote's avatar

@flutherother: A head of cabbage and “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Cabbages and KIngs? It’s about heads, yes… maybe?

flutherother's avatar

@lillycoyote That works for me. Do you want to lay down your challenge?

lillycoyote's avatar

@flutherother I’m plagiarizing myself from my comment a few above. How about:

Dialysis machines and peaches

BTW, mine are totally random, no right answer, if you can come up with a similarity more power to you. That doesn’t mean I don’t have standards, just that there is no right answer I have in mind. I just haven’t thought them out that well, honestly.

flutherother's avatar

That was difficult, but the Chinese say that eating peaches gives long life and a dialysis machine also prolongs life.

Mine are also completely random , for example; lipstick and stars.

lillycoyote's avatar

That one was kind of hard too. Stars are what the sky puts on when it goes out at night to pretty itself up a bit. Though that’s where the similarity ends. I don’t think there can ever be too many stars in the night sky but I have certainly seen a lot of woman wearing way too much makeup in my opinion.

Plagiarizing myself again:

Beds and lawn mowers

Jeruba's avatar

If you’re not careful with the lawn mower, you’ll take out your flower beds.

I know, a stretch, but it’s at least on a par with zen’s response to sharks and lipstick.

So, then: ravens and writing desks.

WasCy's avatar


And your sharks and lipstick had to do, I think, with the fact that lipstick is made from shark parts, isn’t it?

Jeruba's avatar

What, you think I have a connection in mind before I ask? Not at all. You give me too much credit. It’s strictly random absurd pairs, for me, aside from the ravens and writing desks, which come straight out of Wonderland (but Lewis Carroll said he never intended an answer either).

_zen_'s avatar

Pssst. No-one posted another pair.

WasCy's avatar

Jeruba & _zen

lillycoyote's avatar

@Jeruba and @zen are two of my favorite people on fluther; both are smart and funny (yes folks, @Jeruba can be funny as hell sometimes, anyone who doesn’t get that, your loss) both have strong opinions on a number of things, both can a bit stubborn and a bit of a handful sometimes, each in their own way (but not really), and both are more than worth the trouble that sometimes comes with the package when people have strong personalities.

That one was easy.

WasCy's avatar

I can be funny, too, @lillycoyote. And I’ll beat up anyone who says otherwise.

lillycoyote's avatar

I know @WasCy but you were the asker not the subject of the similarity question. I don’t always agree with you but I too will beat up anyone, as best I can, and I’ve never actually beaten up anyone and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be good at it but… if anyone says you’re not funny I will give beating them up my best shot, you just might not want to entirely count on me to have your back, you should probably have a plan B ready to put into play, that’s all I’m saying.

Stinley's avatar

@lillycoyote might send round Mike T to make a better job of beating up @WasCy‘s detractors

A ring binder folder and a snake

_zen_'s avatar

That was nice @lillycoyote. But I’m hardly worth the trouble most of the time. Jeruba is though.

* sigh *

Ring Binder and Snake both go round and round, round and round, round and round… Like the wheels on a truck.

Truck wheels and Harmon Kardon speakers/

lillycoyote's avatar

@zen Well, you’re worth the trouble almost all the time but not nearly as difficult as @Jeruba can be sometimes. But, yes, she is always worth the trouble. She is what she is, thinks what she wants, says what she thinks (or some permutation of all of the above) and there’s no getting around that, though she’s certainly not inflexible. She just has standards, that’sĀ all and there’s nothing at wrong with that, nothing at all. More of us should have higher standards :-)

And @WasCy? What am I going to do about you? @Stinley, what am I going to do about him? If I have to call in Mike Tyson every time I think somebody needs an ass whooping, well what kind of I’ve got your back friend am I? “I’ve got your back but I’m outsourcing the job to Mike Tyson?” While Tyson would certainly be competent it’s the disconnect, the layers between the service I promised to provide and the client that concerns me.

The next thing you know, somebody will start dissing @WasCy and he’ll be bloodied and battered before he’s even managed to get halfway through the sub-menus of my automated voice messaging/customer service line. I think the only answer is to just let him fend for himself, which I think he is more than capable of doing.

Stinley's avatar

@lillycoyote Cut out the middleman and introduce @WasCy and Mike Ty. A beautiful friendship might grow. Even their names go well together :D

Truck wheels and Harmon Kardon speakers – Both deliver the goods

Blackpool and a stapler

Jeruba's avatar

A handful? difficult? me??

Well, that certainly settles the question (elsewhere) of whether I maintain a different personality online. <sigh>

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