Mathematics defeats nature

August 31, 2010

I have done it!

Done what? Mathematically proved that the reason we grow is not down to nature, not down to physics, not even down to biology or chemistry… but down to pure mathematics.

As shown in the simplified calculations and diagram below you can see that a normal person laying down in a north-south orientation at a position on earth of 51° (approximately my home) will grow at a rate of 200 metres a year!!

How is it that this happens?

Simple. Based on the rotation of the earth, you will physically travel further the nearer to the equator you are positioned. So according to my calculations if you are laying with your head north and your feet south they will be approximately at a distance of 0.000001 degrees apart. Therefore your feet will travel roughly 200m further than your head. So logic states that you must be stretched by that amount each year.

Obviously this assumes that you stay in this position for the whole year and do not stand up or change your orientation to an east-west position 🙂

Mathematical proof!

Digital cryptography

June 16, 2010
After reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown I was inspired to try my own simple cryptography. So I wrote a simple encryption script that uses Quark Xpress to encode the text.

Cs!zpu”cbo!sge!uiiu ufyt”it!ruktf!cotioh!apd!jonqcvpvs”aoe!iu jo!nq xbz c ijedgn!qmov up!kklm!uhg qsfskdfou cne!uame!pwet uif yosme,”eud/ Duu!jf”ypv!mcnbhf vo!efcqdf!jt”I!xpund!mjkg up!kpox/!Pnebtf ueoe!ap fnbin up!tkmAtqaeeqfogwio/do0ul!uhct!sfafs;!J erbdlef zpvr”cpef duu!J yimm!nqt!cf elbjnipg!b!mcrt!cat bt!a”psj{e0 Kvtt”sp!uhct!nz eusjpuuiuz!iu gvmfklmfe.”Tibok”ypv/

Have Fun, 16th June 2010.

Do Androids Dream of Ceefax

May 27, 2010

After years of not quite getting round to it, I have finally read Philip K. Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Don’t worry if you have not read it, there are no spoilers here.

Something funny struck me. The Penfield Mood Organ, which has a selection of moods you can dial up, has a setting called “The desire to watch TV no matter what’s on it”. And the number for this mood? 888 – the old Ceefax number for subtitles. I wonder if this is coincidence or significant? Did the organisers of Ceefax has a sense of humour? I doubt anybody will ever know but it did make me chuckle to myself.

Entertaining ourselves

May 17, 2010

Television: Long-time enemy of social life. It sits in the corner surrounded by the ‘nuclear family’ continually shouting whether anyone is really listening or not. It does not defer when people try to talk and is often louder than their voices any way. No thought required, sit down and absorb.

Books: Perceived as the gentler alternative to television. Non-intrusive. Quiet. Dignified. Said to inspire the imagination.

But are books any more social than tv?

Two people in a room watching tv will inevitably pass comment now and then. Two people in a room reading different novels – silence. What is more sociable?

But I still prefer books 🙂

Don’t waste your right to vote

April 29, 2010

Firstly, I do not claim to have any knowledge of how the country runs, politics, or any of that stuff.

Secondly, I cannot see how the following would work but it is just a random though that came to me while brushing my teeth.

Something that really irritates me is how many people say “I can’t be bothered to vote, its all a load of b*****ks any way”. So this kind of Use-It-Or-Lose-It idea just seemed to materialize into my brain. It is total crap really and would be very controvertial but, Hey, here it is anyway.

A big part of the election campaign seems to be the parties attitudes to immigration. Now I, myself, cannot decide what is right here. My ideals say that borders are only recent and political and that the human race is inherently nomadic and as such should be free to roam wherever they want. But I know that this cannot economically work, add to that the overpopulation of the world in general, yet alone individual countries/areas, and it is only going to keep increasing.

Now throw into the mix all the people that want to come to this country and GENUINELY want to be a part of this community, would add to the overall well-being of the country either, artistically, economically, on a skill level, etc., and would love to be able to have the right to vote because they believe in the country.

Wouldn’t it be a great experiment to let them in, give them the right to vote BUT, and here is the strange bit, deport all those that have the right do vote but just can’t be bothered, regardless to their original ‘homeland’ (Yes even thirty-generation-true-blood-English-that-have-never-left-the-village), thus making room for those that care. Now I know this would never happen, besides, where would you send them: some uninhabited island named Apathy with no government – and watch them descend into William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Hell you could even put cameras on the island and make money from them selling it as a long-term reality show.

No way it could possibly work, or happen but it is a thought!

All that glitters…

July 17, 2009

It takes more than a nice shiny new building to improve things.

Yesterday I visited Wymondham’s spanking new, award winning library:

Wymondham Library

Yes, the building is impressive, light and airy but overall I was left feeling cheated.

Despite only being open now for 6 months it already smells of old people inside. There is plenty of space to move around inside, with a flashy, trendy area to read magazines and newspapers over a cup of coffee, but the internet area in the main library area consisted of 6 computers the looked randomly placed on old school tables in the middle of the room. The quality of books was less than expected, looking very rough around the edges (OK so I know a lot of them would just have been moved from the old library, but even so!) and there was nowhere near the selection of books that I am used to in my local village library at Hethersett; and this is supposed to be for a Town not a village. For example they only had 1 Stephen King and 1 James Herbert, both of which I had never heard of, and I struggled to find anything I wanted to borrow.

When I did eventually find something, I then had to contend with their self-service booths which, being somewhat technologically minded, didn’t daunt me at all to begin with.

Step 1 scan your card:  BEEP <There is a query with your card>

Look around, no staff to be seen so try a different station.

BEEP <There is a query with your card>

Finally track down a staff member “Oh they probably just want to check you’re still at the same address”

He confirms I have not moved and issues me a new card anyway.

Right here I go again. Step 1 scan your card: BEEP <OK>

Step 2 place book in hole: I put my book in, only to discover somebody has left something in there already and it scans them both in AND there is no cancel button on the screen and I really didn’t want to take out the Audio CD of Heidi no matter how good the story might be!

After finding the member of staff again we concurred that the only thing to do was to “Borrow” Heidi finish on this terminal and then return it again immediately.

This self service thing seemed to be very staff intensive to me!

Oh well, I think I shall stick to good old Hethersett.

Sci-fi short story

July 14, 2009

CAPTURE

A new sci-fi short story by Spacepenguin