Sunday, December 25, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

100,000 hits to my Rubik's Solution page!

My beginner solution to the Rubik's Cube has just reached 100,000 hits!

When I posted this page early last year I never expect it to be so popular. I'm glad it has been and I'm very happy to have been helping new cubers around the world. Thanks to everyone who has visited my cube page and especially those who've sent me emails.

spinning Rubik's Cube

BTW, if you've learnt my beginner solution and you are ready for something more advanced, make sure to visit Dan's CubeStation, Joël's cube page, Lars' CubeZone and speedcubing.com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Spell with Flickr

How cool is this!! Go to spell with flickr and type in your name or your favourite word and watch what happens.

Spell with Flickr: Jasmine

... and here's another one...

Spell with Flickr: Jasmine

The images above are not full-size. I had to take a screenshot and reduce them down so they'd fit within the width of one blog entry column. To see the full image and the links for the location of each letter, click on each word above.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Kitties need cuddles!

I saw this article in SMH about making sure your kitty gets cuddles when you're away. Actually, the article is about housesitters, but the first few paragraphs are about kitties needing proper cuddles while you're away. Fuzzy.

Calico kitty washing. Graphic from Cat Stuff

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Optical illusions

Check out these optical illusions. At first very cool, and then very weird. You'll see what I mean...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cow tipping myth debunked

Scientists at the University of British Columbia in Canada have investigated the physics of cow tipping and concluded that the force required to actually tip a cow means it's pretty unlikely that anyone could ever really do this.

Here's the maths...

Force = (m g cosθ b)/(a + b)

Where:
m = mass of the cow = 682 kgs
g = gravitational force = 9.81 m/s^2
θ = angle of the lever = 66 degrees
a = length of the lever above the centre of mass = 0.79m
b = length of the lever below the centre of mass = 0.79m

So,

Force = (682 x 9.81 x cos66o x 0.79)/(0.79 + 0.79) = 1360N

1360 newtons of force requires 2.07 people to exert it, if you assume that each person weighs 67kgs and can push their own bodyweight.

A cow mooing with relief after hearing that it's unlikely she's ever going to be tipped

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Powered by Purple

It's purple...

powered by purple

It's pointless...

pointlessly purple

And it's cool.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Awesome Rubik's Cube photo

I was browsing the website of a speedcubing friend, Joël van Noort, and saw this awesome arty photo of a Rubik's Cube. I thought to myself "that arty cube photo is so cool, I want to put it on my site too!"

So, I went to the source of the Rubik's Cube photo (Toni Blay) and asked permission to use it (which was granted). The photo is so cool that I wanted to use it in more than just one blog entry, so I've purpled it and used it as the new main image in my banner graphic. Pretty cool hey?

Arty photo of Rubik's Cube by Toni Blay
Arty Rubik's Cube photo by Toni Blay

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Are you sure that isn't a Bornean Bay Cat?

I saw news reports today about the discovery of a possible new mammal species. If true, this is quite remarkable.

New species are discovered all the time, but they are generally tiny little creepy crawlies or microbes that are of little interest to anyone other than the scientists who discover them. The discovery of a new furry mammal, on the other hand, is a whole different story.

As soon as I saw a picture of this as yet unclassified mammal, the obvious question which comes to mind is: Are you sure it isn't a Bornean Bay Cat (Catopuma badia) or an undiscovered subspecies of the Bornean Bay Cat? My reasons for asking this question are due to the following similarities between the two creatures:

  • both found in Borneo
  • both are mammals
  • both are similar sizes
  • both have reddish-brown fur
  • the new creature has been described as 'probably a carnivore'
  • both have small ears, pointed snout, long tail (compare this picture of the Bay Cat and this picture of the 'new' species)
  • the new creature looks like a cat
  • both are extremely rare
I've read several news reports and none have mentioned the Bornean Bay Cat. I'm surprised by this because it's an obvious first guess!

Update 7/12/2005: Here are some links to news stories about the new discovery: World Wildlife Fund, Cryptomundo and Cryptomundo again.

Monday, December 05, 2005

New best single solve and average on the 5x5x5

Yesterday I got a new best single solve time on the 5x5x5, and a new best average.

My new best single solve time (5 mins 30.55 seconds) was the fastest solve of my first 5x5x5 average yesterday. As my times seemed to be going well I decided to do a few more solves and watch the rolling average. A couple of solves later and my average had dropped to 6 mins 28.87 seconds!

Here are the details:
Average: 388.87 (6 mins 28.87 seconds)
Fastest: 330.55s (5 mins 30.55 seconds)
Slowest: 444.17s (7 mins 24.17 seconds)
Individual times: 399.24, 436.53, 367.04, 372.11, 419.25, 361.76, 403.20, (330.55), 402.38, 350.91, (444.17), 376.27.

Solved 5x5x5 cube

Sunday, December 04, 2005

First 5x5x5 average: 392.73s

I've first solved the 5x5x5 cube about 2.5 years ago and, believe it or not, today is the first time I've ever done an average! Here are the details...

Average: 392.73s (6 mins 32.73 seconds)
Fastest: 330.55s (5 mins 30.55 seconds)
Slowest: 488.44s (8 mins 8.44 seconds)
Individual times: (488.44), 414.89, 399.24, 436.53, 367.04, 372.11, 419.25, 361.76, 403.20, (330.55), 402.38, 350.91

5x5x5 cube in checkerboard pattern

Friday, December 02, 2005

ActiveSync error codes

Read about this on Pocket PC Thoughts today. They had a link to a page which explained the meaning of ActiveSync error codes. Thought I'd better hang on to this because cryptic and unhelpful error message codes are rather annoying!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

New best time on the 4x4x4: 160.28s

Got a new best time on the 4x4x4 yesterday: 160.28 seconds! :)

Partialling solved 4x4x4 Cube