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Archive for the 'Good reads' Category

Emergent Orange

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Emergent Orange describes the orange hue that is produced when you average together a bunch of randomly selected digital photographs. The illustration shows 5 different sets of photos (randomly selected from Flickr) accumulating over successive rows. The first row is a single image. Then 2 images, 5 images, 25 images, and 100 images in the […]

The mark of the unicorn

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, but hopefully, there are still one or two of you out there who understand the value of a good RSS feed. I’m back to write about a book I’m enjoying, with the following cryptic title: 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 If this line of BASIC code […]

It takes 17 clues to make a Sudoku

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The science journal Nature reports that a mathematician has proven that it takes 17 clues to make a Sudoku. Gary McGuire of University College Dublin showed this in a proof posted online on January 1st (apparently he wasn’t partying on new year’s eve). This means that sudoku puzzles with 16 or fewer clues do not […]

Dumb Ripoff Alert

Friday, January 6th, 2012

I just found a book in the Kindle bookstore that (incompetently) rips off some of my sudoku puzzles. The book is called “The Most Difficult and Hardest Sudoku Puzzles” and is “copyrighted” by one Johnny Cohen. Here’s the cover: The cover helpfully informs you that the book is a BEST SELLER. Here’s a sample of […]

Fibonacci Flim Flam

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

I recently posted a tutorial on how to draw circles, spirals and fibonacci spirals (that pattern you see on sunflowers). I thought it would be only fair to post this critique of the notion of the “golden ratio”, in which mathematical curmudgeon Donald Simanek takes sacred geometers to task for overstating the importance and pervasiveness […]

Wired Mysteries

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

A few friends recommended I check out the May issue of Wired, so I finally picked up a copy at the airport today. They were right — this is the best issue of Wired I’ve seen in a few years! Wired is one of many magazines that has been noticeably suffering from the downturn in […]

Mirror Morphs

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I found this old video of mine while looking at some old backup CDs. Back in the early 90s, while playing with Gryphon Software’s “Morph” software, I accidentally stumbled upon a technique for making a still photograph or painting look like a hologram. The basic idea is that you make a mirror image of the […]

An epic moment for the epoch.

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Many computers measure time as the seconds elapsed since 1970. This number is shown below, in universal time. In a few hours (6:31:30PM ET) it is expected to reach the magic number of 1234567890 ( Update: You missed it! – reset your computer clock to reexperience it! ) You are advised to celebrate exuberantly, which […]

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 […]

Richard Feynman and the Connection Machine

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Via Hacker News, here’s an account by Thinking Machines founder Danny Hillis about the early days of the company that produced the amazing Connection Machine, and their unlikely employee, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. A fascinating and beautifully written account. link