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Posts in the ‘Fun’ category

24 Apr 2006

by Noel

Give us all your money!

Actually, don’t give us all your money, give it to the British Heart Foundation instead!

The Davester and myself are entering the London to Brighton bike ride. Being a ride for charity we’re collecting sponsors. You can sponsor me or Dave. If you have a blog please pass on the links so we can reach the maximum number of people.

This will be my first major ride since October, when I dislocated my fingers coming off my bike. I spent a bit of the weekend cleaning off the cobwebs, adjusting the brakes, and so on. A quick trip down to the city centre showed both the bike and the rider to still be running a bit rough, but time will solve this problem.

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22 Jan 2006

by Noel

A Game A Week

At the Experimental Gameplay Project at CMU the participants were challenged to create a game about a particular theme every week. The results are impressive, but more interesting are the insightsderived from observing the process. It’s not about games. It’s about using extreme resource constraints to force innovation. It’s about accepting failure as a necessary part of creativity. It should be read by anyone who wants to turn a big idea into reality.

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12 Dec 2005

by Noel

Population of the World

cartogram of the world by population gives some perspective. This green and pleasant isle really is quite crowded. Canada, on the other hand, is somewhat devoid of human inhabitants.

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6 Dec 2005

by Noel

Happy Birthday!

A great big Happy Birthday! to Geoff, who turns 21 again today!

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24 Nov 2005

by Noel

The Rise of Intelligence

A recent study of human skulls covering a period of about 600 years shows the human skull has changed significantly. Facial features, particularly the lower jaw, have decreased markedly in size, and more intriguingly the size of the cranial vault has increased “by more than a centimetre” (presumably they mean a cubic centimetre). What does this mean? I don’t think anyone knows, but I’d guess the increase in processed foods means less need for strong jaws, and the increased brain size might explain why IQ scores are increasing over time.

Update: The increase in IQ over time is known as the Flynn effect. There are some good links here. Cranial capacity is proportional to body size, as discussed here. I haven’t been able to find the publications of the original study, so I can’t tell if they controlled for increases in body size. If not, then the increase in cranial capacity is likely not significant, as people today are generally larger than in the Middle Ages.

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24 Nov 2005

by Noel


From The Scheme Way is a link to Frag, a first-person shooter programmed in Haskell. Neat!

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3 Nov 2005

by Noel

Nokia’s New Browser Breaks Nokia’s New Browser

I’ve just read a post about Nokia’s new web browser for mobile devices. It is based on WebKit, which is developed by Apple for its Safari browser and in turn is based on KDE’s KHTML component. Now, in a piece of delicious irony, the page where Nokia tout their new browser crashes Safari! And Mozilla! And in fact every browser apart from IE 6. Oh dear.

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28 Oct 2005

by Noel

Not-so-failsafe Computing

I went to withdraw some money from an ATM yesterday, but instead of the normal screen I was confronted by a Window NT 4.0 bootup screen. The machine seemed to have hung at that point, so for a laugh I pressed 4-5-6, thinking it was the closest key sequence to the famous Ctrl-Alt-Del. Imagine my surprise when the machine rebooted! It can tell you the ATM was a Pentium 3 running at 700MHz, with 128MB of RAM. This whole episode amazes me for so many reasons: that ATMs run Windows (do they ever get viruses? can I play Minesweeper if the network is slow?), that the software doesn’t detect crashes and try to recover, and that they can be rebooted so simply. I’ll never look at an ATM the same way again!

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22 Jul 2005

by Noel

The Moon

Google has added the moon to Google Maps! Make sure you zoom in to maximum size!

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