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Yo Yo Honey Singh has been 2013 biggest hit-maker. He has also been embroiled in controversy after controversy over the alleged sexism, vulgarity and violence in his songs. Recently, he appeared in “The Front Row with Anupama Chopra” on Star World and finally spoke out. You may not agree with his views, but surprisingly, he actually manages to make some sense. Watch on.

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Deep into The Amazing Spider-Man 2, my 11-year-old companion was confused about a certain plot point — justifiably, I’d say — and demanded an immediate and thorough explanation.

“Shh, not now. Later!” I hissed. Because, though I didn’t admit it, I really didn’t want to miss an Andrew Garfield-Emma Stone kiss. And who knew when the next one was coming?

With great chemistry, you see, comes great kissing.

Let’s just say this unequivocally: Whether or not my young Spidey fan would agree, the best thing about the The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the second installment of director Marc Webb’s series reboot, is that infectious chemistry between Garfield and Stone. In fact, given that this overstuffed, overly long film is a sequel to a sequel, and that it spends a gazillion dollars retelling a story (in 3-D and IMAX) that the world already knows, you could argue that the Garfield-Stone dynamic is the real justification for the whole enterprise.

This isn’t just because the two happen to be real-life partners — though it can’t hurt. Garfield is a sensitive actor who brings a quirky blend of intelligence and goofiness to Peter Parker, and a welcome hipster edge to the role that the wide-eyed Tobey Maguire didn’t have in the earlier incarnation of the Marvel character.

As for Stone, she’s just so darned charming. And though it’s again a stretch to imagine her as a high school student, heck, we’ll take it. (In fact, Stone is 25 and Garfield is 30, so we’re just gonna have to give them a pass on this. At least they get their diplomas this time.)

Another winning presence is that of Sally Field, touching as the now-widowed Aunt May. The reliable Field gets one terrifically emotional scene with Peter that may have you reaching for a tissue.

As for the plot, though, that may have you reaching for a notepad. There are not one, not two, but three villains (at least!) here, and all sorts of backstories — something for everyone, which means too much.

The most important backstory involves Peter’s parents, and what really happened to them once they abandoned him as a tot (hint: it involves a very fast-paced plane ride).

Back on terra firma, we start with an even faster-paced urban chase involving Spider-Man, a hammy, Russian-accented Paul Giamatti, and some plutonium, distracting Peter/Spidey from Gwen, who’s anxiously awaiting Peter’s arrival at their graduation.

Peter does arrive, miraculously, but we quickly learn that the key obstacle to their relationship remains in place: Peter’s fear of putting Gwen in harm’s way. Haunted, Peter just can’t commit (they always have an excuse, right?) Not surprisingly, Gwen gets very charmingly annoyed, and kinda sorta breaks up with him. But these two can’t stay apart for long.

Meanwhile, there are big goings-on at Oscorp, that huge bioengineering corporation headed by Norman Osborn. With Norman on his deathbed, son Harry (Dane DeHaan) Peter’s old buddy, returns from boarding school. The pale, wiry DeHaan is entertainingly creepy as he descends into desperation.

Then there’s the unappreciated Oscorp employee Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx). When he falls into a vat of mutant electric eels (OSHA would have a field day at Oscorp), he morphs into Electro, a glowing monster who can manipulate electricity and suck the power from a whole city (Foxx is more convincing as the villain than the self-effacing scientist).

In this age of multi-tasking, Peter/Spidey sure has his work cut out for him — taking care of New York, of Gwen, and of the endearingly curious Aunt May, who, in a funny moment, wonders why, when Peter does the laundry, he turns all the clothes red and blue?

Where will it all end? Well, at least two more sequels (to the sequel, to the sequel) are planned, and any number of future confrontations loom. Which of the villains will re-emerge to challenge Spidey?

Shh, not now. Later! We’re thinking about that kiss.

the amazing spider-man 2 movie review

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Their strategy was revealed in a massive rock-paper-scissors tournament at Zhejiang University in China, documented on the Arxiv server.

Scientists recruited 360 students and divided them into groups of six. Each competitor played 300 rounds of rock-paper-scissors against other members of their group.

As an incentive, the winners were paid – in proportion to their number of victories.

To play smart, classical game theory suggests players should completely randomise their choices – to remain unpredictable and not be anticipated by opponents.

This pattern – where both players select rock, paper or scissors with equal probability in each round – is known as the Nash equilibrium.

The strategy is named after game theory pioneer John Forbes Nash Jr, subject of the 2001 Hollywood film A Beautiful Mind.

How to win at rock-paper-scissors

John Forbes Nash Jr and Russell CroweGame theory pioneer John Forbes Nash Jr was played by Russell Crowe in the film A Beautiful Mind

And indeed – in the Chinese tournament players in all groups chose each action about a third of the time, exactly as expected if their choices were random.

However, on closer inspection, the organisers noticed a surprising pattern of behaviour.

When players won a round, they tended to repeat their winning rock, paper or scissors more often than would be expected at random (one in three).

Hidden psychology

Losers, on the other hand, tended to switch to a different action. And they did so in order of the name of the game – moving from rock, to paper, to scissors.

After losing with a rock, for example, a player was more likely to play paper in the next round than the “one in three” rule would predict.

Rock paper scissors

What are your odds of winning rock-paper-scissors? Simple – one in three. At least, that’s what chance predicts.

But people do not play randomly – they follow hidden patterns that you can predict to win more games than you should, a study has revealed.

Winners tend to stick with their winning action, while losers tend to switch to the next action in the sequence “rock-paper-scissors”.

Anticipating these moves could give you a winning edge, say scientists.

This “win-stay lose-shift” strategy is known in game theory as a conditional response – and it may be hard-wired into the human brain, the researchers say.

Anticipating this pattern – and thereby trumping your opponent – “may offer higher pay-offs to individual players” they write.

“The game of rock-paper-scissors exhibits collective cyclic motions which cannot be understood by the Nash equilibrium concept.

“Whether conditional response is a basic decision-making mechanism of the human brain or just a consequence of more fundamental neural mechanisms is a challenging question for future studies.”

Though it is only a simple game, rock-paper-scissors is seen as a useful model for studying competitive behaviour in humans – in financial trading for example.

A previous experiment found that players unconsciously mimic the actions of their opponents – a surprising result because advantage is usually gained by acting differently.

The Chinese scientists now plan to investigate the underlying psychology behind the seemingly irrational choices players make when competing.

In the meantime, anyone curious to test if their “winning strategy” really works need look no further than the UK championship.

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