Sunday, July 20, 2008

You can't judge a book by its cover

The other day I was sitting in the coffee shop minding my own business (more or less). A mid-thirties white man and a small child came in and sat beside me. The kid looked like a fairly normal eight-ish year old boy but the man, presumably the boy's father, looked slightly rough. He didn't look dangerous or anything but was a bit weathered looking and had a slightly scruffy beard and some tattoos.

They were sharing a packet of pretzels and after a few minutes the kid held one up and said, "What do you think this looks like?"

The father said "it looks a bit like a Chinese character. In fact it looks like the character for hot."

He then broke of a tiny part of the pretzel and said "There, now it looks just like the character for hot."

The father then spent the rest of the meal modifying pretzel to teach the son various Chinese characters.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Party Game for Werewolves

Werewolf is an interesting party game that doesn't require any special equipment (except for some slips of paper that the players draw to determine their role).

There are four different roles in the game - one player is the moderator, two are werewolves, one is a seer and the rest are villagers. All of the roles are kept secret except for the moderator who basically runs things.

Every turn has two phases - day and night. Every night the werewolves kill a villager and every day the villagers lynch one other player (ideally a werewolf). Also every night the seer can determine if one other player is a werewolf or not.

The werewolves win if they kill all the villagers. The villagers (and the seer) win if they kill both the werewolves.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Flying Frog

National Geographic Photo of the Day has an action shot of a flying frog. I didn't know there were flying frogs but this is National Geographic after all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Usually it's just me is a handy website for finding our if a website is really down or if you just can't see it for some reason.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Own goal needed to win (the famous debunkers of urban legends) has an article about a soccer game in which both teams had to score on their own goals in order to advance in the tournament.

There was a strange rule in effect that said that a win in penalty kicks counted as a win by two goals. Since one of the teams in the game needed to win the game by two to avoid being eliminated from the tournament, they decided the force the fame into penalty kicks by scoring in their own goal to force a tie. The other team then tried to prevent this by scoring in their goal.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Eating in the air

A blog post from my friend Alexa describes an unusual meal that she had recently. They basically strapped her to a chair then hoisted the table and chair (and a bunch of other people) 35 meters into the air with a crane. Then they fed her breakfast.

Things you can do with a Wii remote

Sometimes you can make some interesting things by combining software with cheap(ish) things you have laying around. This video shows some interesting things you can make with a Nintendo Wii remote.

The video is from one of the talks at the TED conference. I've been slowly looking through them and some of them are really worth watching.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Learn any language in an hour (sort of)

A blog post from Tim Ferriss (of Four Hour Workweek fame) tells how you should spend the first hour of learning a language looking for pitfalls. He has some sample sentences that he gets translated that highlight potential trouble spots.

Canadian Millionaires

The National Post has a column about Canadian millionaires. The article breaks down the percentages of the population that are millionaires by age. Over 15% of people born between 1945 and 1954 are millionaires whereas only about 2% of people born between 1965 and 1974 are.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Flying Aircraft Carriers

Airminded has a post about airships used to carry airplanes. This was a big idea in the early days of aviation but never really worked out.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Russia to build spacecraft for private tour company

Yahoo News reports that the Russian Space Agency has entered an agreement to construct a Soyuz spacecraft for a space tourist agency.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cardboard Bicycle

The Telegraph has an article, with a photo, about a bicycle that has a frame made out of cardboard. I have seen cardboard furniture before but I think this is the first time I've seen an outdoor vehicle made of cardboard.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Flash Pages can now be Indexed

Tech Crunch is reporting that Flash pages can now be indexed. Presumably this means that their content will now be visible to search engines.

Follow up : Google reports they will be including the pages.

Designer Packing Tape

In case you have too many plain looking things in your life, you can now get designer packing tape.