## Thursday, September 30, 2004

### And here's further evidence

Following on from the topic of my previous entry, here's something Chris posted to the cube group:

"If you did 43252003274489856000 random turns on a cube, assuming you start from a scrambled state, then the chance of seeing the solved state by luck is

1-(43252003274489855999/43252003274489856000)^43252003274489856000

which is a close approximation of lim n->infinity 1-[(n-1)/n]^n

If you work out this limit you get 1-(1/e) which is approximately a 63% chance.

I know this is probably getting a little too deep into probabilities and stuff, but I just think it's cool that even if you did the exact same number of moves as there are combinations to the cube, there's still only a 63% that your cube will solve by luck."

I think the numbers speak for themselves. You really need to have a system to reach the solved state!

## Wednesday, September 29, 2004

### 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 combinations

There's a discussion happening in the cube group at the moment about how ridiculous it is when non-cubers claim to have solved the cube by making random turns. Let me illustrate with some numbers.

Consider the following:

• A standard Rubik's Cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations, only one of which is the solved state.
• There are 31,536,000 seconds in one year (60 x 60 x 24 x 365).
• If you made one turn every second for 10,000,000,000 years, you would only see 315,360,000,000,000,000 of the combinations (about 0.73% of the total number of combinations).

And here's something Stefan posted which I think is another great illustration of what we're talking about.

Original question:

"With over 43 quintillion different combinations, does anyone know the actual odds of solving it by accident? Say, 1000 random turns... can that be figured out?"

"I had some fun learning how to use Java's BigDecimal class, here's the result (number of turns vs. probability to accidentally solve). I used 1000 digits precision.

10^0 : 0.0000000000000000000231203163
10^1 : 0.0000000000000000002312031638
10^2 : 0.0000000000000000023120316385
10^3 : 0.0000000000000000231203163852
10^4 : 0.0000000000000002312031638520
10^5 : 0.0000000000000023120316385202
10^6 : 0.0000000000000231203163852017
10^7 : 0.0000000000002312031638519936
10^8 : 0.0000000000023120316385175310
10^9 : 0.0000000000231203163849347630
10^10 : 0.0000000002312031638252929242
10^11 : 0.0000000023120316358474586107
10^12 : 0.0000000231203161179275247580
10^13 : 0.0000002312031371245709479730
10^14 : 0.0000023120289657771148207966
10^15 : 0.0000231200491127469735292260
10^16 : 0.0002311764384602375115896654
10^17 : 0.0023093609520051823138659937
10^18 : 0.0228550898430060057068061681
10^19 : 0.2064217767522700322187135016
10^20 : 0.9009402067081038970925219248
10^21 : 0.9999999999090140835069998078
10^22 : 0.9999999999999999999999999999

Isn't it funny how the numbers look very similar for a long time? And here are the reciprocal values:

10^0 : 43252003274489856000.000000000
10^1 : 4325200327448985600.4500000000
10^2 : 432520032744898560.49500000000
10^3 : 43252003274489856.499500000000
10^4 : 4325200327448986.0999500000000
10^5 : 432520032744899.05999500000000
10^6 : 43252003274490.355999500000001
10^7 : 4325200327449.4855999500000192
10^8 : 432520032745.39855999500019266
10^9 : 43252003274.989855999501926693
10^10 : 4325200327.9489855999692669303
10^11 : 432520033.24489856018766930321
10^12 : 43252003.774489857926193032100
10^13 : 4325200.8274490048668803210016
10^14 : 432520.53274509122929820999981
10^15 : 43252.503276416549031583004599
10^16 : 4325.7003467159159037864998179
10^17 : 433.02022541418460481598214744
10^18 : 43.753929950356976451685197428
10^19 : 4.8444501143894109135381508565
10^20 : 1.1099515734277697062526475446
10^21 : 1.0000000000909859165012786291
10^22 : 1.0000000000000000000000000000

So assuming that guy twisted for a full day at one twist per second, i.e. he came across 24*60*60=86400 states, the chance that he truely solved it is less than 1 out of 432520032744899."

Can you see why we speedcubers think people who claim to have solved the cube by making random turns are not quite telling the truth!!

## Tuesday, September 28, 2004

### Can you solve the cube?

I was sitting here, about to write about something that wasn't about Rubik's cubes, when a cube-related email arrived in my inbox. It was from someone who'd just learnt how to solve the cube.

This, in itself, is pretty exciting to me because I love cubes. But the most exciting thing for me is that he'd learnt how to do it from my beginner cube solution! :)

I've received other emails fom people who've learnt the cube from my page. It's really great to hear that people are getting into cubing, and also that my instructions mostly make sense. I say "mostly" because I also get emails from people who I've managed to confuse.

There's been a definite revival in the cube's popularity in the past few years. It's not at the dizzying heights of the early 1980s, but there's clearly a resurgence. Why is this? I think it's largely thanks to the internet actually, particularly sites such as the international speedcubing group and speedcubing.com which have put speedcubers from all around the world in touch with each other.

BTW, for non-cubers who are reading this, I feel I should offer some evidence for my previous assertion that there's been a resurgence in the cube's popularity. What I find quite compelling are all the international cube competitions over the past year and a bit. The reason this is significant is because, prior to August 2003, there had been a 21 years absence of international cube competitions!! :(

The first Rubiks World Championships was in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary. The second Rubiks World Championships was last year in Toronto, Canada. As far as I can tell, the international cubing scene was pretty quiet in between. I'm sure there were cubers still cubing away, but there weren't any international competitions.

Since Worlds last year, national championships and local competitions have been happening all over the place:

• 24 January 2004: Caltech Winter Tournament
• 3 April 2004: Caltech Spring Tournament
• 16 April 2004: French Rubiks Championships
• 24 April 2004: German Rubiks Championships
• 10 July 2004: United States National Championships
• 7-8 August 2004: European Rubiks Championships
• 11 September 2004: Czech Championships

And there are more to come:

• 10 October 2004: Dutch Open
• 16 October 2004: Caltech Fall Tournament
• 13 November 2004: Spanish Rubiks Championships
• 5-6 November 2005: World Rubiks Championships

There's also several online competitions such as the fewest moves challenge, the blindfold contest, the Saturday contest and the Sunday contest.

Yay for cubing. :)

## Monday, September 27, 2004

### PDF of my beginner cube solution

I've created a PDF of my beginner cube solution page.

=>

## Sunday, September 26, 2004

### Crazy optical illusion

Check out this crazy optical illusion. And here are some more. Whoa.

## Saturday, September 25, 2004

### Re-stickering Rubik's Cubes

I re-stickered my main speedcube recently. The regular stickers that come with Rubik's Cube are usually pretty craptacular. Most speedcubers find that the stickers rarely last longer than a couple of weeks before they start looking terrible. Sometimes they don't even last beyond the first week.

Options for restickering

There are various things people have experimented with when it comes to re-stickering, eg. nail polish, scale model paint, buying replacement stickers from rubiks.com. My preferred option is to use coloured electrical tape. It looks pretty good and the tape lasts significantly longer than those manifestly-unfit-for-purpose-lame-excuse-for-a-sticker things that come with cube. Also, once you buy 6 rolls of tape in the 6 colours, you'll probably have enough tape to re-sticker all the cubes you're ever likely to own.

Colours

In Australia, I was able to find electrical tape in 5 of the 6 colours: red, blue, yellow, green and white. I couldn't find orange anywhere. Fortunately though, the orange stickers on my previous main speedcube had not worn as much as the other colours so I left the existing stickers.

I left these rolls of tape in Australia so I've had to buy more over here. I went to a hardware store the other day and to my surprise they had orange! They did not, however, have white. This is okay though because I'm confident I'll be able to get white somewhere else. The main thing was that I found orange, which is traditionally the most difficult colour to find. For the benefit of any other speedcubers in search of orange electrical tape, here are the details of the one I bought.

Method

Re-stickering using electrical tape is a rather tedious because all 54 squares need to be cut and placed individually. Also, the electrical tape is a couple of millimetres wider than a standard Rubik's Cube sticker process which makes it even more tedious to cut out.

Regular Rubik's Cube stickers have rounded corners which look much nicer than completely pointy corners. I can't be bothered to round all 216 corners of my homemade stickers, so as a compromise I just cut straight across the point to remove it:

I only remove a tiny little bit, maybe only 0.5 millimetres (about 0.02 inches), but it's enough to give the impression that the stickers have rounded corners.

Something else I do when restickering is I only pull of the clear laminated layer of the original sticker. I leave the coloured paper layer. I do this because the black plastic shows through too much if you put the electrical tape stickers directly onto it. As any speedcuber knows, the stickers need to have enough colour to be quite distinguishable otherwise it's no good for speecubing. Putting the tape stickers over the paper layer of the original stickers results in a much stronger colour.

If this is not an option because some of the stickers have completely fallen off then something else that works is to put a layer of white eletrical tape stickers on and then put the real colour stickers over the top. Whatever you do, you need to have something in between the black plastic and the top layer of the electrical tape stickers.

Result
And here's the finished result...

What do you think?

## Friday, September 24, 2004

### There are no Platonic solids with 7 sides

I posted my comment about metaphorical cubes to the online speedcubing group and I got this reply:

"There aren't any Platonic solids with 7 sides never mind cubes with 7 sides. (The Platonic solids are the regular solids - there are 5 of them the cube is one and the octahedron, its dual, is another, the dodecahedron is one and the icosahedron, its dual, is another and the last is the tetrahedron, which is its own dual. The Megaminx is a dodecahedron, the pyraminx is a tetrahedron and the cube is a cube.)"

There are lots of very smart mathematician types in the speedcubing group so I'm not surprised I got an answer to the 7-sided puzzle comment. The answer makes sense of course and I now feel a bit silly for not having realised it when I made the initial comment!

## Thursday, September 23, 2004

### Metaphorical cubes

I did a search in Google News for "rubik's cube" to see if there were any interesting cube articles. There was a long list, but many of the articles were not actually about cubes, they just happened to be using 'Rubik's Cube' as a metaphor.

Here's one that caught my attention: "It's a seven-sided Rubik's Cube, a problem with no solution." I didn't bother to read the article beyond this sentence because it clearly wasn't actually about cubes, but I thought it was interesting that cubes are so frequently used as metaphors.

It also started me thinking about whether there is a seven-sided Rubiks-like puzzle (I couldn't think of one). If there is, it's obviously not a "cube" as the author of the article implies. Perhaps the writer should have said "It's like a Rubik's Cube that's had a single edge reversed, a problem with no solution."*

* For any speedcubers reading this, yes obviously there is a solution which is to rip the piece out and fix it, but I think you know what I mean (ie. it can't be fixed in the usual way).

## Wednesday, September 22, 2004

### Cubist kitty

Check out this cool picture that a friend sent me. (Everyone who knows me knows I love cats and cubes!)

## Tuesday, September 21, 2004

### Laws of Feline Physics - Lesson 1

Here's some funny cat science stuff that someone emailed me. I thought it was cute so I'm posting it here. I have no idea where this originally came from*.

* Dearie me! A misplaced preposition!

Law of Cat Inertia
A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by some outside force - such as the opening of cat food, or a nearby scurrying mouse.

Law of Cat Motion
A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really good reason to change direction.

Law of Cat Magnetism
All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

Law of Cat Thermodynamics
Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.

Law of Cat Stretching
A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of the nap just taken.

Law of Cat Sleeping
All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position as uncomfortable for the people involved, and as comfortable as possible for the cat.

Law of Cat Elongation
A cat can make her body long enough to reach just about any counter top that has anything remotely interesting on it.

Law of Cat Obstruction
A cat must lay on the floor in such a position to obstruct the maximum amount of human foot traffic.

Law of Cat Acceleration
A cat will accelerate at a constant rate, until he gets good and ready to stop.

Law of Rug Configuration
No rug may remain in its naturally flat state for very long.

Law of Obedience Resistance
A cat's resistance varies in proportion to a human's desire for her to do something.

First Law of Energy Conservation
Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and will, therefore, use as little energy as possible.

Second Law of Energy Conservation
Cats also know that energy can only be stored by a lot of napping.

Law of Refrigerator Observation
If a cat watches a refrigerator long enough, someone will come along and take out something good to eat.

Law of Electric Blanket Attraction
Turn on an electric blanket and a cat will jump into bed at the speed of light.

Law of Random Comfort Seeking
A cat will always seek, and usually take over, the most comfortable spot in any given room.

Law of Bag/Box Occupancy
All bags and boxes in a given room must contain a cat within the earliest possible nanosecond.

Law of Milk Consumption
A cat will drink his weight in milk, squared, just to show you he can.

Law of Furniture Replacement
A cat's desire to scratch furniture is directly proportional to the cost of the furniture.

Law of Cat Landing
A cat will always land in the softest place possible; often the mid-section of an unsuspecting, reclining human.

Law of Fluid Displacement
A cat immersed in milk will displace her own volume, minus the amount of milk consumed.

Law of Cat Disinterest
A cat's interest level will vary in inverse proportion to the amount of effort a human expends in trying to interest him.

Law of Pill Rejection
Any pill given to a cat has the potential energy to reach escape velocity.

Law of Cat Composition
A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn't Matter.

## Monday, September 20, 2004

### Everyone loves Magical Trevor

From the people who brought us Lions in Kenya, here comes...

Everyone loves Magical Trevor
'Cause the tricks that he does are ever so clever
Look at him now
Disappearing a cow
Where is the cow?
Hidden right now

Taking a bow is Magical Trevor
Everybody's seen that the trick is clever
Look at him now with his leathery, leathery whip
It's made of magic and with a little flip

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the cow is back
Yeah, yeah, yeah, the cow is back
Back, back, back from his magical journey

What did he see in the parallel dimension?
He saw beans, lots of beans, lots of beans, lots of beans
Saw beans, lots of beans, lots of beans, lots of beans
Yeah, yeah

Lyrics from weebls-stuff.com

## Sunday, September 19, 2004

### Purple makes things better

I'm still stuffing around with the new blog site design. I keep changing my mind about what I want so it'll probably be a while till I get it up. In the meantime, I've purplified the current template because purple makes things better.

## Saturday, September 18, 2004

### If you can't be Googled, do you really exist?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, does it make a sound?

This was the topic of a conversation a while ago between Peter, our friend Lisa, and myself.

Lisa is an astronomer and has published zillions of academic papers so she is extremely Googlable. I can be found in Google if you combine my first name and anything to do with Rubik's cubes (eg. jasmine + cube, jasmine + rubiks). Peter did not have a website at the time of the conversation, but has since created one and so is now Googlable.

After some discussion, Peter, Lisa and I concluded that being Googlable is how you know you exist.*

Based on this logic, I tried to Google my former housemate, Tristan. We lived together for several years and used to work for the same employer as well. I've been wanting to get in touch with him just to say hello and see how he's going, but all the contact details I have for him are obsolete. And unfortunately, he's not in Google, which leaves me wondering - does he still exist??

(* Before anyone gets offended, I should point out that we weren't entirely serious.)

## Friday, September 17, 2004

### Observation at the gym

A guy brought a CD to the gym the other day that had some excellent workout music. He told me it was DJ Sasha. I have no idea who this is, but I certainly like it. I like it as workout music that is. It's not the sort of thing to which I'd normally listen.

When he put the music on, I noticed that I immediately fell into the rhythm of the beat. This meant that I actually ended up going a little faster than usual (which is a good thing obviously). I noticed that everyone else started going a little faster as well to keep with the beat. Looks like this guy is doing everyone a favour!

## Thursday, September 16, 2004

### Got my average down to 40 seconds!

Several weeks ago I had an intense cubing session using Jess Bonde's cube timer (which by the way is awesome). I was averaging just under 40 seconds. I haven't cubed much since then and I was wondering if I had just been having a really good day and actually my average was still low-to-mid-forties. So, I did a few of solves yesterday to check my times. And what was the result? 39 to 41 seconds! Yay for a 40 second average!

## Wednesday, September 15, 2004

### The 3x3x5 "cube" - are you confused just looking at it?

If you are a member of the online speedsolving group then, no, you won't be confused. In fact, you'll be thinking "that's so easy". However, if you are not a speedcuber you may have a different reaction. Peter, who is not a cuber, tells me that it hurts his brain just thinking about it.

Okay, enough babbling. Time for pictures! Check out the majesty of the 3x3x5...

... in the solved state...

... and in a scrambled state!

If you want one of your own, you should visit rubiks.com.

## Tuesday, September 14, 2004

### Altoids make lollies as well as online games

After having fun with the Sheena Gothskull game that Peter wrote about in his blog, I was inspired to purchase some Altoids confectionery. Note to the Altoids marketing department: your plan of having a cool website to entice the kids to buy your product has totally worked on me.

I checked out what was on offer at the supermarket and saw a variety of mints (peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen), a variety of sours (apple, tangerine and citrus) and a few different gums. FYI, there's a full list of flavours on their website. I prefer fruity lollies (or "candy" as they say here in the US), so I chose a sour (tangerine).

I have to say that I quite like these lollies. They remind me of lollies I used to buy in Australia when I was little. Now I'm keen to try all the sours. Mmmm... lollies!

## Monday, September 13, 2004

### Lions in Kenya (forget Norway!)

Have you ever checked out the 'toons on weebls-stuff.com? If not, you should because you are missing out on some great stuff such as badger badger badger (and occasionally a mushroom or a cut snake) and potato potato potato (chips!). My personal favourite is the Lions in Kenya.

We're gonna see lions
Only in Kenya
Come to Kenya, we've got lions

We're gonna see tigers
Only in Kenya
Got lions and tigers only in Kenya

Forget Norway!
Kenya, oh Kenya
Where the giraffes are
And the zebra

Kenya, Kenya, Kenya
Kenya, come to Kenya
Can you believe it?!

Lyrics from weebls-stuff.com

## Sunday, September 12, 2004

### Maukie the online interactive kitty

Maukie is an online interactive kitty for you to entertain. She will watch with interest as you move the cursor around the screen, and bat the little arrow if you get it too close to her. She'll purr if you tickle her tummy and miaow if you pat her head. So cute!

## Saturday, September 11, 2004

### New site design - update

I've had a quick look at the blogger template code and I think it's going to be more fiddly than I'd guessed. Might be a little while before I get the new design up...

### Thumbs up for 1789

Peter and I went to a very nice restaurant in Georgetown called 1789. Everything about it was great - the food, the service, the ambience. It's quite pricey though, so it's definitely a special occasion restaurant.

## Friday, September 10, 2004

### Wanna see lots of pictures of cute kitties? Or scary kitties??

There's a site called Rate My Kitten where you see zillions of photos of adorable fuzzballs. You can rate their cuteness if you like, but I just go there to look at the pictures (although I do give pretty much all of them a 9 or 10 out of 10 for cuteness!)

If you want to see scary kitties, then you should visit My Cat Hates You.

## Thursday, September 09, 2004

### New site design coming soon...

I've been working on a new site design for this blog. At the moment I'm just using one of the BlogSpot templates, as you would know if you'd looked at many BlogSpot blogs. I always planned to create my own design, it's just taken me a few weeks to get around to it.

Anyway, I've almost finished writing the HTML. Now I just need to incorporate all the blogger code into it and it will be good to go. Stay tuned...

## Wednesday, September 08, 2004

### Rubik's puzzles galore

I put in a huge order with rubiks.com last week. The site said it would take 7-10 working days but it only took 6. I got some really exciting stuff including a 3x3x4, a 3x3x5, and a fusion+. Note that the 3x3x4 and the 3x3x5 I got were the semi-functional ones on the rubiks.com site. The fully functional ones are very expensive and I'm not sufficiently obsessed to spend that sort of money on Rubik's cubes.

As the 3x3x4 and the 3x3x5 weren't the fully functional versions, they were pretty easy to solve. Just need to apply the same algorithms as a for solving a regular 3x3x3 cube. Ton had a fully functioning 3x3x5 at US Nationals so I was able to have a go of one then. It was definitely more difficult.

These extended cubes look totally wacky when scrambled, especially the 3x3x4 and the 3x3x5. I shall post some pictures later.

## Tuesday, September 07, 2004

### At the gym again!

I was back at the gym tonight - my 12th time in 16 days. This is extremely hardore for me. I think I've been to the gym more in the past two weeks fortnight than in the past two years. Dearie me I've been slack. I wonder how long this enthusiasm for fitess will last?

## Monday, September 06, 2004

### Getting back into the gym

I've started getting back into the gym recently. With me, fitness is kind of an all-or-nothing affair. By this I mean that I'm either going 4-5 times a week, or I'm going 4-5 times a year. It'd probably be better if I just went a couple of times a week and did this consistently for years and years, but I just don't have the commitment for such a long term fitness plan. So, if I am feeling super-keen I always take advantage of this and go as often as possible, which for the moment has meant 5 times/week for the past two weeks.

The first few visits, and the first one in particular, were killers. I didn't even do much, but after several years of not visiting the gym, I was pretty unfit. :( Now, after a fortnight of regular workouts, I'm doing much better. :)

I had been been finding the cardio machines especially un-fun. I had just assumed it was because I was too unfit to hack it, but yesterday I discovered that it was actually just because I was too bored. What am I talking about? Well, let me explain. Yesterday I took my trusty little iPAQ 3970 along with the intention of entertaining myself while on the exercise bike. This meant I could do stuff like read the news, read email, and play games. I found that I was able to spend twice as long on the cardio machines and I felt completely fine. So I concluded that I was more bored than unfit! ;)

Peter asked if people at the gym thought the iPAQ was weird. Nobody seemed to notice or care. Most people there had discmans or iPods, I don't think this is much different. Actually, I think iPAQs are better!!

## Sunday, September 05, 2004

### Smoked Salmon Benedict

Peter and I went back to Four Courts for brunch today. I had yummy smoked salmon benedict. Mmmm... smoked salmon. And, as promised on the Four Courts website, there was a harpist performing!

## Saturday, September 04, 2004

### Thumbs down for Twist

A place which was far less impressive is where we went to lunch today - Twist (on M Street in Georgetown). What was so bad about it? Well, let me start with the coffee.

As I picked up the spoon to stir the coffee, I noticed that the spoon was so dirty that the handle was sticky to touch. So, I put the spoon down and sipped the coffee. It was luke-warm. Hmmm. Not a good start.

Then, after drinking almost cold coffee, and waiting and waiting and waiting for our food, the waiter informed us that not only had he forgotten to give our order to the kitchen, but he'd also lost the piece of paper he'd written our order on!

At this point we obviously considered ditching the place and looking for somewhere else to eat. Against our better judgment we decided to stay. So, we gave the waiter our order a second time. (To be fair, I should mention that the waiter gave us some bread and dip after the stuff up.)

Eventually we got our food. I had ordered a chicken salad, but it was so drenched with dressing that it was more like dressing soup with some lettuce leaves and chicken floating in it. If I hadn't been so hungry - especially after waiting so long for the food - I probably would have left most of it.

This is one place that I'm definitely not keen to visit again.

### Thumbs up for Ireland's Four Courts Irish Pub

On Friday night Peter and I went to Ireland's Four Courts for dinner. I had the clonmel trout and a magner's cider, which were both yummy.

The place had a relaxed atmosphere and prices were quite reasonable. All-in-all, a good place to eat. I'm definitely going back. In fact, I'm keen to try the weekend brunch options soon - maybe even tomorrow !

According to their website, on Sundays they have a harpist play traditional Irish music to provide "a relaxing atmosphere". Sounds like fun. :)

## Thursday, September 02, 2004

### Do you want a famous face?

I remember a time when admiring a celebrity meant you might purchase an item of clothing you saw them wear on magazine cover, or style your hair in a similar fashion. All pretty harmless stuff really.

Now in the age of plastic surgery, fans are able to take their obsessions one step further. One very drastic step further that is.

There's a show on MTV called I want a famous face. I think you can guess what it's about. The title of the show is pretty self explanatory. Here's a snippet from the website:

"How far would you go to look like a celebrity? Nose job here? Nip & tuck there? The people you are about to meet went that far and beyond. They have endured painful and sometimes risky reconstructive surgery to look like their favorite celebrity.

The subjects of this documentary series decided on their own to get plastic surgery. MTV then asked to document their journey. MTV did not pay for any surgery performed on these subjects."

What is the world coming to!

### Where did you go, Jenneth?

Jenneth and I used to work together at a legal IT company. In fact, our desks were right next to each other. This is how I came to know the wonders of the Pocket PC.

Until I met Jenneth, I didn't really know what an iPAQ was, but within a few weeks, I knew I had to have a pocket PC. So, I bought an iPAQ 3970, which was the latest model at the time.

Anyway, I regularly check Jenneth's site for updates on the latest and greatest in the gadget's world. Over the past few days, or possibly longer, I just get this message when I visit her site:
Service Temporarily Unavailable
The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later.
Where did you go, Jenneth? :(

## Wednesday, September 01, 2004

### Little Black Squirrel

There's an adorable black squirrel I occasionally meet while walking home. There are heaps of squirrels here, but this is the only black one I've met. I didn't even know they came in black.

I did a quick Google search for black squirrels and found some cute little white squirrels and a bunch of other cool squirrel sites: Disco Squirrels, Squirrel Place, Jon's World O' Squirrels and Scary Squirrel World. I also learnt that the black squirrel is the official town mascot of a town in Marysville, Kansas.

I haven't yet got a picture of the Little Black Squirrel, but I do have a photo of a grey squirrel (Peter took the pic). The little grey squirrel munching on an ice cream cone he just found!