Geekiness and Nerdiness, and Other Surprises

Time for me to talk about another program I’ve come across, downloaded and thoroughly enjoyed, so hopefully others can do the same. This time it’s Golly, a desktop application for simulating cellular automata. And I use the general term intentionally: rather than just Conway’s Game of Life (CGOL, GOL or even just “Life”) for which […]

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First, the necessary context: an axonometric projection is a type of parallel projection, basically meaning there’s no perspective. Further, it’s a type of orthographic projection, meaning there’s none of the distortion present in an oblique projection (which I hate with a passion). The final necessary context is that the view is rotated to reveal all […]

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In a puzzle game like Portal, you can’t have a puzzle that makes use of knowledge the player doesn’t have, or they’ll probably never work it out. However, it is a puzzle game, so surely it would be best to make learning a new mechanic a puzzle in itself. These are good steps to properly […]

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It’s a common problem, where one person will say something and another will hear the same words, but each will think the words mean something different. Sometimes they might even hear different things, leading to further miscommunication. The problem isn’t the speaker, the listener, or even their communication skills. It’s human language. (I’ll concede that […]

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Some months ago I came across Celestia, a 3D visualisation program of the known universe. It really helped me understand the positioning of things in outer space (I now have a good idea of where the Andromeda galaxy is amongst other things) and I soon feel in love with it. There were some minor problems, […]

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Last week, I played universal paperclips. It’s quite interesting and, if you have some time to spare (because you’re not doing anything important, regardless of whether you should be), I recommend you play it. The basic idea is that you control the actions of a superintelligent AI, and your goal is to manufacture paperclips. I […]

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Until about the early 1900s (don’t quote me on that), many boats were powered by paddle wheels. That’s not too important. The efficiency of a paddle wheel is increased when the individual paddles remain upright the entire time they’re in the water. One way of doing this is with a vertical bucket paddle wheel, which […]

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Since this site runs WordPress, I was receiving huge amounts of spam. At first I tolerated it, but recently it became too much. I had to start adding more and more phrases to the blacklist, but it still persisted. Fortunately, there was one very useful fact I noticed: it was all coming from the same […]

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Look at any discussion over some shortcoming of Python syntax, and somebody is bound to mention the following guideline: There should be one– and preferably only one –obvious way to do it. Basically, it goes like this: Person: why doesn’t Python have support for <feature x>? This is pretty basic. Python advocate: <feature x> is […]

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