On Wednesday night, our local Japanese language TV station aired an interesting episode of a gameshow called "Happy Family Plan" (Hey, don't ask ME. I didn't come up with the title).
The series is a reality show / gameshow hybrid. Every week a remote camera crew surprises a family at their home. The Dad of the household is challenged to master an assigned skill in only one week. It's usually some kind of physical stunt (like juggling) or a ridiculously difficult mental task like memorizing 185 flags of the world.
As the camera follows him around throughout the week, you get to see the family work together and help him practice - warm fuzzies all over the place. When the week is up, the family goes before the studio audience where Papa gets just one tension filled shot at accomplishing his feat. If he succeeds, it's confetti, fanfare & big prizes. If not, they go home with a bag of rice (I'm guessing), and the satisfaction of having done their best (I'm guessing).
This evening, they challenged Dad to stack five dice. As a magician, it should go without saying that I promptly put the channel changer down. All my attention was on papa. They only gave him a basic idea, but after that he was on his own. He began with two. On the final day of the week, he got all five.
On the big studio-audience day, I didn't think he'd be able to do it. Not only was he under titanic pressure all week, but they also gave him a cup with slanted walls! They weren't going to make it easy for the poor guy.
Guess what? He didn't choke! Despite a twenty second time limit, he nailed it! Oh he had a couple of false "stops", but when the cup finally came to rest, his trembling hand lifted upward to reveal a precarious leaning tower of victory. The topmost die perched nearly half askew, you could only assume it was placed there by sheer accident. But that didn't matter, he was a winner.
Never thought I'd seriously want to learn how to stack dice...never ever. This show changed my mind.