Rock Scissors Paper ....Spock? Lizards?

Ok, I’ve never heard of this before, and now I’ve seen it twice today. Where did this come from? Why did it come? How does it work? I’m out of the loop here, pop culture is slithering past without me.

The TV show The Big Bang Theory, season 2, episode 8.

RPSLS existed long before The Big Bang Theory, though they probably made it more popular.

Real roshambo professionals use these rules:

e.g. Alien vaporizes dragon, shoots lightning, defuses nuke, vaporizes rock, destroys sun, mutates snake

Snake bites monkey, eats cockroach, swallows sponge


Pfff, maybe the rookies do. Oh, what’s that, your rules have more than a one percent chance of a tie? Not these ones, baby.*

*interactive diagram here.

Is there a photo somewhere of the hand gesture for lizard?

You can get it on a T-shirt from ThinkGeek.

Now that is impressive. But how can you get a tie in the chart I linked to? I didn’t go through it exhaustively, but after a cursory glance I didn’t see any ties. Assuming two players (roshambo is always two players, right?)

Segment and explanation.

You can get a tie in any system if both players choose the same object. The more objects there are, the less chance that will happen.

Just to make sure I’m clear on the details, the point of these expanded lists of gestures is to avoid both players choosing the same gesture, right? Or is there some subtler strategic issues raised?

And on a related note, I’ve read that Zachary Quinto turned out to be totally unable to do the Vulcan salute. Apparently nobody thought to check before production started. J.J. Abrams finally had to resort to glueing his fingers together so he could shoot the scene.

Doh! Of course!

No, that’s about right. You can do it with any number of symbols as long as it’s an odd number. Basic rock-paper-scissors has 3 so you have a 50/50 chance against them (1 winner, 1 loser). The expanded spock version has 5 symbols but you still have a 50-50 chance (2 winners, 2 losers). You could make a version if you like of 101 symbols (50 winners, 50 losers) like the dynamite one linked to.

WTF? You hold your hand up, palm facing the other guy, and part your middle and ring fingers. What’s unable to be done about that?

Some people just can’t control their fingers independently that way. Dunno if it’s true about Quinto, though.

I saw the ThinkGeek shirt, then heard about it being on BBT, then found out about the rest.

And now I’ve heard it 3 times this week.

I feel so in the know!

Can you wiggle your ears or roll your tongue or flare your nostrils?

I can do two of those three, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t wiggle my ears.

If you’re not wired to do those things, it won’t happen.

I can’t do it right handed, only about a quarter inch of separation anyway. Left handed is only a little better. Yeah, it’s odd, I can only wiggle one ear, too.

I dunno about the rest of those, but I definitely had to practice as a kid to get the hand gesture.

I cant do it :frowning: