Sunday, January 25, 2009

Another reason why Archimedes is my hero

Via GiFS comes an interesting article:
A Prayer for Archimedes: A long-lost text by the ancient Greek mathematician shows that he had begun to discover the principles of calculus.

It seems that an old (very old) prayer book was discovered to have a faint palimpsest, which turned out to be writings of Archimedes.

Archimedes wrote his manuscript on a papyrus scroll 2,200 years ago. At an unknown later time, someone copied the text from papyrus to animal-skin parchment. Then, 700 years ago, a monk needed parchment for a new prayer book. He pulled the copy of Archimedes' book off the shelf, cut the pages in half, rotated them 90 degrees, and scraped the surface to remove the ink, creating a palimpsest—fresh writing material made by clearing away older text. Then he wrote his prayers on the nearly-clean pages.
Of course his prayers were far more important than whatever nonsense had been preserved for 1500 years
I was going to include more snippets from the article, but I ended up with most of it. Just go read it at the above link. It is awesomely cool.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

the xkcd test

Your result for The xkcd test...


You scored 92% percent on knowing it and 100% percent on getting it!

You clearly follow the comic, and understand the humour quite well.

Take The xkcd test
at HelloQuizzy


Written by, directed by, starring and end theme performed by Clint Eastwood.

If you guessed from my post title that I just saw Gran Torino, you'd be right...

It was good. Very good. Funny in spots, poignant in others. A bit predictable, maybe, but all in all I definitely recommend it. Overly PC, sensitive and/or humorless people may be offended by Clint Eastwood's character. Those who are not tone-deaf may be offended by Eastwood's singing.


Saturday, January 17, 2009


This is a test.
This is only a test.

I never, ever thought of this. Of course, now it seems so obvious that I feel kind of foolish.
A post on Qalmlea's blog had blocks of collapsed text, and I admit, it kind of blew my mind.
This has been a test of collapsible posting. Neat!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Assembler 2

Woohoo! 25 more levels!

One of them took me 15 minutes. Damn that physics engine is sensitive.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another xian who doesn't know what "proof" means

WARNING - You may want to turn the volume down. (the music is actually pretty good, but grating if unexpected)

UPDATE - I know MarkCC at Good Math/Bad Math blogged about this, and pointed out the same thing I do. But check the dates. Mine is a day before his.

UPDATE #2 - It seems the video has been made private. In order to view it, you must sign the poster's friends list. Ah yes. To defend oneself against criticism by only allowing those who agree with you.

Nice friendly opening there, dude.

That's a lot of crap to pull from one passage of scripture.

Anyway, here's why this doesn't work. It's a circular argument. His method only results in the speed of light if you already know the speed of light.


See the last equation there? v is always going to be very close to c. The only reason this guy got a value close to the speed of light was that he used the known speed of light for c.

He seems to think that finding v in the equation for relativistic time dilation proves his point. It does not. The value he really wants to find is c. In order to do that, he'd have to know v, which would be God's velocity relative to earth. Ignoring the fact that God would therefore be receding at near the speed of light (by his argument) that value is not given in scripture.

All this proves is that xians should not try to use math or physics in their apologetics.

Sorry, but thanks for playing.

Also, I love that his background music is Judith by A Perfect Circle, a song expressing contempt for religion (specifically xianity). Note the line "Fuck your god" at ( :44). Ah, irony. It's almost enough to make me call Poe's Law, except that I know some xians who really are that clueless.