Geekiness and Nerdiness, and Other Surprises

Background info: the Tower of Hanoi is a puzzle involving moving a stack of disks from one peg to another, one at a time. The Sierpinski triangle is a fractal generated by cutting an equilateral triangle into four and continuing with the three corners. Turns out there’s more to the Tower of Hanoi than I […]

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When it comes to measuring time, the metric prefixes are commonly used for periods less than one second long, but longer than that it becomes the mess that is minutes, hours, days and beyond. But have you ever wondered what the proper, SI, power-of-1000 equivalences are? Here’s are some handy conversions. SI unit Rough equivalence […]

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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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