Daily Archives: October 28th, 2009

What planet do you want to live on?

Class M PlanetI had a little email exchange with a buddy of mine today and I thought I’d share. What prompted the discussion was a report that police in San Diego, California, are looking for a four-time bank robber who, judging by the surveillance footage, is about the age of a fossil.

I then shared one of my personal theories, that there is a loose correlation between the crime rate and the division of wealth and that free markets tend to stratify wealth.

To make my point, I came up with this lame analogy:

A space ship carrying 100 people lands on a small class M planetoid. The colonists immediately allocate 60% of EVERYTHING to one dude. The remaining 99 people share resources on a sliding scale with those at the bottom receiving less than enough to sustain life.

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Diced days until Christmas

Christmas diceDice fascinate me. I even collect them. (Geek alert #1.) Some of my earliest memories of programming involved dice simulations and usually included lines that looked something like this:

roll = INT(1+RAND()*6)

That little line of code generates an integer number from 1 to 6. I know, I know. Geek alert #2.

Some interesting facts about normal 6-sided dice. A die is a cube consisting of six faces that are perfect squares of identical size. The numbers displayed on the six faces range from 1 to 6. Additionally, the sum of two opposite sides of the die always add up to 7.

In our office last week the cutesy “Days Until Christmas” display showed up on the wall above the fax machine. It is powered by dice! How exciting. Make the jump to roll them bones.

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Flip this house: Air hockey floors for cats

Cat air hockey

Credit: eydis on Flickr

My wife and I recently adopted two cats from the same litter, a brother and a sister. In spite of what you might think, having two cats does not double the impact. It’s sort of logarithmic. You don’t get twice the poop. It’s four times the poop. You don’t get twice the broken items. It’s four times the broken items.

It’s a rather amazing phenomenon to say the least. And one that caught us a bit unawares.

One thing that has been interesting is that these cats take to toys in a way I’ve never seen before. In my experience you buy a cat a toy and they’ll ignore it in favor of your dirty underwear, bottle caps or the Glock you keep under your pillow.

We got these cats a “tree” and they loved it. They went nuts for it and use it all the time. They sleep in it, they climb it, they jump from it and they run across the bed and land on it. They even tip it over in no time making me worry about one of them getting crushed. Then we got a cheesy and colorful $15 plastic toy from WalMart and they loved that, too. Amazing. They’ve been rough on it and they’ve grown considerably. That toy won’t be around much longer.

My new home improvement idea is  replacing all the floors in our home with air hockey surfaces. I’m actually surprised no one has thought of this before. Since the cats love toys so much we’ll keep plenty of those air hockey discs on hand. I’m sure they’ll love it.

Step one is to visit WalMart again and buy about 700 of those air hockey tables. I’ll let ya know how that turns out.