Blog  |  Publications  |  Puzzles
Fun & Games  |  About

Archive for 2008

Quirk – a Bendable Pencil

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Denise Bagley from recently sent me a sample of their Quirk Bendable Pencil, thinking it would be of interest to the puzzle solvers who visit this website. I generally solve puzzles with a pen. However my wife, Janet, used it for a few weeks, and submitted the following review: Comfortstylus is a fancy name […]

Vote for Topspin!

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

My employer, Topspin, has been nominated for a Crunchie award for “Best New Startup of 2008.” I will personally vouch for us: Among all the Crunchie nominees, Topspin is indeed the best new startup of 2008! Okay, seriously, I don’t know a heck of a lot about the other nominees, who I imagine are very […]

Instant Party Videos – a How-to Guide

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

At our company Christmas party, I helped set up two monitors to display an endless stream of amusing short videos, including cartoons, psychadelic eye candy, and various shorts of guys in Santa Claus suits doing extreme sports and other interesting things. The videos were chosen so they could be watched silently, while loud party music […]

GEL Videos

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Hey kids, remember that 2007 GEL conference talk I posted on YouTube a few months back? Well, GEL impressario Mark Hurst has posted my talk, along with a collection of other equally (if not more) fascinating GEL talks (each precisely 20 minutes long), for your amusement and enlightenment. Hopefully, these videos will inspire you to […]

Mosaic: November 5th, 2008

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Interactive version at This mosaic is constructed from newspaper headlines from around the world, which I collected from the website The underlying image is from the famous Shepard Fairey poster.

Wooden Sudoku Board

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Greg Erickson wrote me about these nice handmade wooden Sudoku boards he is selling. Looks like a nice Christmas gift!

Obama Tweets

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

A sampling of election night Twitter traffic that I was able to geocode. These are tweets that include the word “Obama”. The arcs are tweets that were directed at another person. The blue circle is the source, and the green circle is the target. Purple dots are tweets that were directed to the world at […]

Prop 8 is Gay

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

I’m temporarily turning off a lot of the ads on the site, since Google’s competitive ad-filter is not fast enough to get rid of these abhorrent “Yes on Prop 8” ads that have infected the site today. For the record, I am very, very against California Prop 8, which I find intolerant and hateful. NO […]

Red State, Blue State, Green State, Yellow State

Friday, October 31st, 2008

I got this idea from Daniel Drucker, who implemented it back when Flickr first started supporting geotagging. Th dots in the above illustration indicate the positions of about 1.2 million photos on Flickr tagged with the names of the lower 48 states: "Alabama", "Arizona", etc. It took about 15 hours for my computer to collect […]

Sunrise, Sunset

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I prepared these images by downloading about 42,000 thumbnail images from Flickr, and rendering them on these maps. Each image is displayed in the area where the photograph was taken. Bright spots correspond to metropolitan areas that accumulate a lot of photos. If you pay close attention to the differences between the two photos, particularly […]