Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quasi-Final version of Sudoku Solver

This is going to be the last update to my sudoku solver for a while.

So here's the rundown:

1) I changed the way the dialog to set values works. To reset a box to null, press the button for the current value again. The GUI will not let you set a box to an illegal value.

2) Guessing works. Boxes solved without guessing are filled blue. If it can't finish the puzzle, the solver will ask if it can start guessing. The boxes set after guessing are filled red.

3) Trying to guess on a sudoku without a unique solution will cause the solver to enter an infinite loop.  Refresh the browser to end.

4) Added a reset button.

I may add advanced techniques later, to get it to solve further before needing to guess, but I'm kind of losing interest now, so we'll see.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Blog stuff

I don't think the hide-post-thingy I have been using likes blogger's latest revisions.  But blogger added their own jump break stuff, so I changed over to that.  I really liked the one I had been using, though.


Thursday, July 08, 2010

Sudoku Solver

I think I've learned enough Java to try to write a Sudoku solving applet.

The first step in running the solver will be setting the board. Click on a box to set it's value (right now, each click increments the value, later I might use a dialog to pick the value, but this is good enough for now)

UPDATE: I added a dialog to set a box value.

UPDATE2: It was a hell of a fight, but I managed to get the GUI to look pretty much how I want. I ended up having to draw the heavy dividing lines manually, so they don't quite re-size right.

UPDATE 3: Added functionality.

UPDATE 4: Changed the look a bit. The boxes now change color when manually set. Adding the advanced techniques is tougher than I thought. I may take some time. After hitting the "Solve" button, the dialog function changes. Instead of setting the box value, it allows you to change the restricted values (blue means value is restricted).

this is just the GUI. the "Solve" button does nothing yet.
The applet goes as far as it can with the very basic algorithm it uses.
It successfully solved the NYT Easy and Medium Sudokus for July 15, 2010.
It wasn't able to completely solve the Difficult one, but I have ideas for more advanced techniques to add, so it shouldn't be long. YAY!!!

Note: it doesn't error check (yet). If you enter an impossible sudoku, it will still try to solve it.

*** Removed. See post dated 7/23/2010 for sudoku solver applet. ***

"I am so smart! S-M-R-T... I mean S-M-A-R-T!"

Praise me! PRAISE ME!


Some sidebar clean-up

Several bloggers at ScienceBlogs have left due to the kerfluffle about the PepsiCo blog (Which I really don't get, especially since the PepsiCo blog is gone now anyway. But it's their decision, and I'm cool with that.)

Some of those that left I read regularly. I have updated the links to the ones that I still follow, and have taken the opportunity to remove the ones I really don't anymore.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Thoughts on why you can't logically disprove god to a theist.

Consider this:

given some real, non-zero value, a

        a = b
a*b = b2
a*b-a2 = b2-a2
a*(b-a) = (b-a)*(b+a)
a = b+a

This is obviously wrong. You don't even need to understand the algebra to see that it's wrong. If a is not zero, and a equals b, then a cannot equal a+b. The argument is nonsense. Identity is not a conclusion. It is an axiom. It is foundational to mathematics.

As far as theists are concerned, the same thing applies to their god. If your logic leads to the conclusion that their god doesn't exist, then, to theists, there is obviously something wrong with your logic; even if they can't say what that is, exactly. For them, their god is an axiom, foundational to reality. Only when a theist is able to reject that premise as false can they be reasoned with.

That is why I stick to "Evidence or STFU" when someone challenges my atheism.


Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fun stuff!

I'm teaching myself Java.

Check out my first applet:

Cool huh?


Saturday, July 03, 2010


I've had a Facebook account for a few months, but have decided to deactivate it. I have a phone. I have an email account. I have a blog. I have relatives who know all this information. If anyone wants to get ahold of me, it isn't difficult.

Two people who might read this could point out that I participated heavily in a fairly long discussion thread just recently. That was pretty cool, but also an exception.

There's nothing actually wrong with Facebook, I just wasn't feeling it.



The other day I discovered an awesomely cool webcomic. PS238. (This link goes to the first page, the sidebar link goes to the current page)

It's about an elementary school for "metaprodigies". That is, kids with superpowers.

This is my favorite quote so far:

"Why Tuesday?"
"Most cosmic events happen on Tuesdays."

Check it out.


I have discovered tact.

Facebook. Where people I have never met can be my friend.

One of these friends posted the following:

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow, grow."The Talmud

My first thought was "How do they avoid getting chopped up by lawnmowers?"

I did manage to force myself not to post that question in reply. I had to post it here to relieve the pressure, though.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Today is Towel Day

Towel Day was created as a tribute to Douglas Adams, two weeks after his death on May 11, 2001.

In honor of Douglas Adams, I present my Official Hitchhiking Towel. I have known where it is continuously since Junior High. I am a really hoopy frood.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Blog behavior normal again.

Hey, check it out:

The hide-post thingy seems to be working again.
Now I have to decide if I want to keep that bar.
Probably not.


Monday, March 15, 2010

St Patrick's Day in Boston

I'm in Boston this week.
I have a few things planned.

I'm visiting/staying with my cousin Jackie and her husband Kyle. Her parents and brother (Dan) are coming later today.

Yesterday was Pi Day, properly celebrated with the baking and consumption a mixed-berry pie.

Tonight is a concert at The House of Blues (Dropkick Murphys, WooHoo!).
Wednesday is corned-beef and cabbage then another concert (Enter the Haggis).

Everything else is unplanned.


UPDATE: Dropkick Murphys rocked! Too bad the opening acts were shite.

UPDATE2: Enter the Haggis also rocked. The opening band was tolerable.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Weird blog behavior

Did you notice the grey bar just above the fold in the last two posts?
Like this:

The hide post thingy is acting strange, and I have to put <blockquote></blockquote> above the fold to get it to work. Anywhere in the opening text will work, it's just convenient to put it immediately above the fold. Also, I could include text in the blockquote and it will still work, but I haven't had anything I wanted to highlight.

I kind of like it. I think I'll keep it, even if it becomes vestigial later.


Fundies really do say the darndest things.

I have been avoiding FSTDT lately. You know, blood pressure and all. I thought I'd take a look today, though. Below the fold are some recent gems.

Genetics was invented by Satan-induced "scientists" who wanted to "prove" evolution true by creating a whole new branch of lies that corroborated evolution. There is no such thing as DNA or chromosomes. Please, if you are a Christian, please stop believing in this lie; we must make this known.
I can't say anything funnier than this already is.
People think we evolved from monkeys...WHO DO YOU THINK MADE THE MONKEY?
That's the sound of someone drowning in the shallow end of the pool
people say that 'its a womens body' its 'her choice'. there is a 50% chance that the baby is a male....a male has a penis......a women has no penis. there for he is not a part of her body. there for it is no longer her 'choice'.
Your logic ran headfirst into a wall
Consider: the old, old use of the term "to know," for a man "to know a woman," for example, doesn't mean that he thought of her. No, when it says a man "knew" a woman, it's referring to sexual intercourse. That's a physical contact. You can't have intercourse with something that doesn't already exist, right? Right. So God knew us, because he saw us, because he had already created us. So, how old are you? Here's the kicker: You are over 6,000 years old.
God has a serious sex addiction? Could I have Bleu Cheese with that word salad, please?
Some things can not be explained by science. Take for example, rainbows. Rainbows are a mystery and you can not touch them, just like god. Despite this fact, they are still there even though there is no scientific explanation for them. So next time you find yourself doubting your faith, think of god as a rainbow. I know that this can be a difficult concept for some of you to grasp. It is just like air you can't see it but you know its there
Again, I have nothing to add.
And an apocalypse prediction:
Man does not face eternal? suffering. But, man does face up to 5 months of physical suffering on earth, between May 21, 2011 thru October 21, 2011. After the massive earthquake topples EVERY city on earth, on May 21, 2011, there will be No food, clean water, medical aide, sewer, gasoline, etc. There will be nuclear fallout, plagues, and disease. Every person left behind at the Rapture, on May 21, 2011, will face these living conditions..

The Lord will destroy this universe on 10/21/11
Wait, "Up to 5 months"? What happened to seven years? Do we get a reduced Tribulation for good behavior or something? How about we get the whole thing commuted to "time served"? That seems fair.

All together now:

Okay, that was cathartic, but then there are scary ones, like this:
My concern for level of pain of rape would be greater if it weren't for the fact that most American women deserve to raped because they oppose prostitution as a sexual outlet for men. Since they deserve to raped, I cannot concern myself with the pain rape causes them.
Wow, psychopath much?


Revisiting an old post

I was reading through some old posts (because I have that kind of time) and discovered a comment on the post Vast Ignorance. This comment was left almost a year later, so I cannnot be blamed for not responding 'til now.

So here it is:
Thumb Biter said...
You use the word "spontaneously" incorrectly. Scientists use spontaneity of a reaction or occurrence to mean that given enough time, it will eventually, inevitably happen with no outside trigger. Therefore, the statement that "life began spontaneously from non living matter" is true according to abiogenesis, whether or not the word "spontaneously" is included in.
Also, why is the statement that "everything in the universe came about by chance" not MET?

The bit about "spontaneously" refers to this:
Life began spontaneously from non living matter.
That's really abiogenesis, not MET. But that's a quibble; MET does sort of imply abiogenesis. However, "spontaneously" is bullplop. Get rid of that and the statement is true enough.
You are correct about how scientists use "spontaneously", but like "theory" the everyday use of the word is very different, and given the context, it seems clear to me that the author was not using the scientific definition. So the statement is deceptive. Maybe I should have said that, but I still stand by what I did write.

"Also, why is the statement that "everything in the universe came about by chance" not MET?" refers to:
Everything in the universe came about by chance.
Still not MET.
Because the question of "where everything in the universe" came from is cosmology, not biology. Because even if it were a question of biology, chance is only the beginning of the process.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Crashes, werewolves and cider

Crashes: I totalled my car last Saturday. No injuries. Minor damage to a tractor trailer (I clipped the trailer as I spun). Full coverage insurance.

Nothing further to say there.

Werewolves: Wolfman starring Benicio del Toro. Good, not great. Predictable "twist". Fun action. Lots of blood. Werewolf looked like Lon Cheney's in the original.

Cider: The only alcohol I drink with any regularity. Hard to find, usually. I get a case or three when it's available. One bottle (or can) in the evening, tops.

Well, that's my life recently. Jealous?
You're jealous.