think outside the box – 1

Ever looked at something and went tangential to what it truly was? Like looking at a puffy cloud and going, that looks like Saira Banu’s / Marge Simpson’s hairdo, or perhaps a Lexus that you are dreaming up of.

This is a bit similar to that, except that the more creative, out-of-the-box, outrageous or funny the answer is the more you score . The answers are guaged between being Common and Creative.

The problem –

You have a stack of 5 cups [like the ones in the pic below] on the table in front of you. You are allowed to touch them, pick them up, and use more than one to come up with your solutions or perceptions. You may not destroy or break any in the process.

List 2 common responses and 2 creative responses at least.

Examples so you get an idea of what’s expected

1. It’s a plastic cup [stating the obvious]
2. I drink milk from this cup. [stating the obvious again, as in usage]
3. The cup has no color
4. I can stack all cups.
5. They are all recyclable.

[…. but look below for a flip to the statements above]

1. Take a sip from it with a cheeky look and say “shhh, don’t tell anyone, but this is the cup that Jesus drank from, and am auctioning it away tonight!” [adds an element of drama and character]
2. Pretend to hiccup and hold your chest and go “hurry, someone get me a cup of water, the hicCUPs are killing me” [creative usage of the word ‘cup’ and drama]
3. “mia culpa” screamed the Italian warloard on shooting his dog [phonetic ‘cup’ – an exaggeration ut acceptable]
4. “Hi, I am Archie the Architect and I built the cupola that beats the one on St.Basilica. [embedded usage]
5. This cup can become an ant’s nightmare! [looking at it from a different perspective]

Give it a shot? All Common answers get 1 point, and creative answers 3 points.

Enjoy! 🙂

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14 replies on “think outside the box – 1”
  1. says: Archana

    1. CNN Breaking news – the famous cup-building in Table City collapsed today under the relentless assault of Hurricane Windmerefan. According to reports only one section of the building remains intact. More details to follow.

    2. Woohoo, someone is having a party!

    3. Cups? What cups? I can see only one cup – but you do have a lot of white colored bangles on a tapered holder!

    4. Darn – where are all the clowns who were supposed to wear these hats?

  2. says: Orchid

    …..and here is a pictorial evidence of why I am putting off my second pregnancy forever..that said, will leave the rest to your imagination.

    good one rads!

  3. says: Reshmi

    Hi Rads,

    First of all thanksssssss for visiting my blog.. You love my hair, and me???…:)) A PJ (poor joke!!) ha ha…

    Now for the CUPS!!


    1. I hate plastic cups because they are too silly for the most important event in my life that happens daily!! (Drinking Tea with that strong feeling of hot porcelain in my hands!!)


    Hmm.. cup, cup, cuppa…yess I love Cuppa (Cuppa is the malayalam word for Tapioca!!…)

    Sorry Rads, but this lazy Sunday afternoon my brain is already zzzzzzzzz…!! not functioning and I cannot think of 2 for each!!..:))

  4. says: The Kid

    I am brain dead. Could not think of anything about cup/cups in the past 2 days. I did get some ideas but it was not very appropriate here in your comments section.

  5. says: Usha

    Oh yeah they re totally recyclable. I just washed them and arranged them.

    The soliaty cup:
    Well, they all went flat after one round of drinks!

  6. says: W H

    Well, the comments you put down there are not really creative – just smart-ass answers. Real creativity leads to something productive.

    There is a famous story that goes. Guys were packing some sort of food items in cardboard boxes. Everything was being done in an assembly line – but the machine to fill up the boxes would miss out at times, so you’d have random empty boxes there.

    The easy solution to the problem was found out by one of the employees: he realized that the empty boxes were lighter than the filled ones. He simply put a table fan there. 🙂

    Another example of creativity is the case of NASA and the Russian space agency. Ball pens, you know, work due to gravity. The ink flows down due to gravity and thats how it writes. NASA spent millions of dollars and years of research to come up with a ball pen that would work under zero gravity. The Russians just used a pencil.

    Creativity doesn’t necessarily lie in doing something grand, or making a grand statement like comparing a cup to a Basilica, it lies in in things we do everyday – how we can do those things better.

    Unix is an operating system where one wouldn’t survive without creativity. Every unix user will know what shell scripts do. And how much easier the world becomes once you write a shell script. Microsoft never realized creativity. It stuck to making things grand – flashy GUIs, dialog boxes and so on, but utility – it forgot there.

    Remember the IBM ad. The guy tries to get the water running out of the faucet and fails miserably?

  7. says: rads

    wh – you are way too serious. Good stuff you write, but serious 🙂

    the rest of u – good ones. 🙂

    This is an exercise that teams of 5 kids work on, with 1 minute to think and 3 minutes to answer taking turns. It is just part of what they work on in the odyssey program. If interested check out and also google “spontaneous problems” and there are a gazillion links that lead you to some amazing answers.
    The idea is to have fun, and to see things differently from norm.

    Kids beat us hollow due to the fresh unadulterated minds and thoughts and conceptions they do not carry.

  8. says: The Kid

    wh- The story about ball pens and how the Russian engineers were smarter, is not true. Great story though!

  9. says: W H

    Kid… You are right, or maybe not, we will never know.. anyway… officially Fisher pen didn’t receive any NASA funding.. But the story really is great, isn’t it.

  10. says: W H

    Btw. kid.. Do read the book “What do you care what other people think” by Feynman. No mention of zero-gravity pen.. But tells a lot about NASA.

  11. says: Ginkgo

    Yes this is called a cup. But it was not always called so.
    In the 2nd century BC, the early cave man found a cocunut shell that he used to throw at animals that were attacking him. One of them hit the horn of a rhinoceros (dont know what name it was called then)and broke into 2. For some unknown reason shocked by the impact, the rhinoceros gave a screeching sound that resembled like caaaaaaaauuuuuuup.
    And the cave man, hearing that..was lost for words ( he dint have any then..). So he started calling in caaaauuup.
    Maybe that particular guys vocal cords werent that good..
    and when the romans and egyptians got hold of the early cavemen paintings, they discovered that caaauuuup with the half broken shape of a coconut next to it.
    Ever since that name and shape stuck.
    But it was only later when the Indians came to the scene, did they give shape to the modern Cup….made of clay

    and ofcourse the English came over and made it of plastic…until it was the turn of the chinese who took the clay make that the indians did, heat treated it and called it china cup…

    He he… iz ittttt

  12. says: Deepa

    You see 5 cups and your results are gonna be out soon. A voice inside says – Is this God’s way of telling you how many cups you’d have this sem!?

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