So I’ve been reading Alan Turing’s biography by Andrew Hodges and find myself glued to the pages. Sadly, I suck balls at math (no pun intended). I truly do. It’s the subject that ruined my otherwise perfect GPA in high school. I’ve been trying to grasp some of the concepts mentioned in the book, and quantum mechanics is one of them. This is fascinating! I never saw that before. I mean I heard the words thrown around but I never understood what it meant. I guess I still don’t. I would love to go back to school and start all over and actually pay attention in physics, maths and chemistry. Anyway, there’s this thing on reddit, ‘explain it to me like I’m five years old’, and anyone who has ever done this properly will probably scream in protest, but it’s ok to dumb it down a bit to get across the idea to non-pros (hey, Stephen Hawking agrees!).
There seem to be a lot of people responding who overestimate the vocabulary of a five-year-old. Here’s my best shot at speaking to a kindergartner.
Physics is how we try to figure out what happens when we throw a rock at another rock. It’s pretty easy to see that throwing a small rock at a big rock is different from throwing a big rock at a small rock. One day, somebody got tired of playing around with big rocks and started using the smallest rocks he could find and throwing them at each other. These rocks were so small that you can’t see them with your eyes, you have to use other tools to know what they’re doing, kind of like when an ant bites you or a bee stings you, you can’t see what they did but you know they did something because it made your arm hurt. Even though they couldn’t see the rocks, they knew what was happening because the tools they made showed them, just like your arm tells you when you get stung/bitten.
So the next thing this guy did with his very tiny rocks was to launch them through a very thin hole at a sheet and see what happened when they came out of the other side. Most people would probably guess that tiny rocks that are shot through a tiny opening will make a tiny hole in the sheet. But that’s not what happened. The tiny rocks spread out once they went through the tiny hole and they wanted to go through the sheet more easily in some places than others. But this only happens when you use small enough pieces of rock. The big pieces of rock don’t act like that. We’re still trying to figure out why.
Some also posted this link to a video of the double slit experiment (which I found very helpful since I’m a visual learner):
You are a man alone in a fitsness studio shower. Two guys walk in, talking, ignoring you. You just stand under the spray wondering what the hell it is this game is all about. Then with a great flourish enters this naked dude with sunglasses, walking up to you, asking you to give him a hand… washing his back. By this time, I have giggled and flushed a bit. Is this some kind of sex sim? You do as well as you can, and then he’s just like “Well, ‘ta for that, see you next time.” The game tells you that you have to wait for a few hours until you can have a go at it again… What the hell just happened?
You just had a game experience created by Robert Yang. It’s called Rinse and repeat. He has made all these other short weird indie games that make profound statements about sex, BDSM and denial like Cobra Club, Hurt me plenty and Stick Shift.
Each is an intricately crafted work full of deliberate detail. Each has a meaning deeper (yet entirely dependent on) its surface, in-your-face interactions. Each packs more significance into its five or so minutes of playing than you will find spread across many an eighty-hour blockbuster game and, taken together, the games present a fascinating oeuvre (a word video game critics rarely have an opportunity to use).
(Brenden Keogh from reverseshot.org)
It questions your expectations as a gamer, influenced by instant gratification the internet has to offer, and you end up weirded out by yourself more than by the actual game. I haven’t looked at all the other games yet (though they sound pretty great:Intimate, Infinite: literary murder / chess / garden simulator!) but if I find myself with five minutes downtime before the Fallout 4 frenzy starts, I’ll definitely check them out.
Same procedure as every year. Our annual 2015 Tetris contest was a bit chaotic this time: Few players, unrecorded games, winners vanishing and so on. But fun nonetheless. And I won 2nd place. Whoo!
Here are the highlights. Enjoy!
Looking through old bookmarks, I just rediscovered this beautiful flickr set by user modern_fred named kaiju eiga.
I especially enjoy these weird anatomical drawings. Have fun with the set!
Recently, a friend recommended NHK’s program “Begin Japanology”. The show has been running for years. It points out different and sometimes entirely weird aspects of Japanese everday culture. I think it’s very soothing to watch. Though at times it’s rather capitalist propaganda, like hey, everything we do is awesome, never mind the environment and the poor people… But it’s NHK after all.
Anyway, here is the episode about vending machines. Camera recognition for choosing drinks and such is a bit creepy!
You can also watch other episodes for free. Check out the one on toilets!
Here are just a few talks I went to and found memorable. Have a look at the other talks here. This one in particluar was nicely delivered and funny in a creepy way. I’d say all of the people giving lectures at CCC have mastered the art of “delivering bad news in a good way”.
In this lecture, we present a black-box analysis of an electronic contact-less system that has been steadily replacing a conventional mechanical key on multi-party houses in a big European city. So far, there are est. 10.000 installations of the electronic system. The mechanical key has been introduced about 40 years ago to allow mail delivery services to access multi-party houses but has since then aggregated many additional users, such as garbage collection, police, fire brigade and other emergency services. Over 92% of residential buildings in this city are equipped with such a solution.
Trant and Eddy, who is a moderator at the infamous video game show Game One, star in a brand new cooking show “Baking Bad”. Milchschnitte is a German spongey sweet with cream enclosed by to chocolate cakes. Its texture is not unlike a Twinkie.
Anyway, these two rascals decided to “bake” a cake out of Milchschnitte, and since they are also international star cooks, they moderate in “English”. Well, if you want to see two German nerds baking something (anything but the pie), you can watch it here. Milchschnitten Torte estimated calories: Over 9000!
Thias described it: “It’s like a car accident in slow motion!” Be warned, there are three parts… And you’d probably die if you ate it.
PS. Do you know cakewrecks.com? I once got stuck there for over an hour..
Steven from RocketNews24.com traveled to some godforsaken desert in Tunisia to visit the remnants of the set of Mos Espa. Eery ghost town pictures, but also someone ‘occupied’ the space (perhaps with a start-up falconry?). Even though I don’t approve the new movies, this still looks pretty far-out.
From Steven’s article:
Four of the Star Wars movies were partially filmed in southern Tunisia and many of the sets and landscapes are still preserved today.
We recently visited Tunisia where we booked a landspeeder (rented a car), Jedi mind-tricked our way out of security (paid the locals to show us around) and made our way to (the set of) Tatooine, the iconic homeplanet of Luke and Anakin Skywalker.
If you do want to try making it on your own, the easiest way to get in is by renting a quad or 4WD car in Tozeur, which is about 40km away, and driving out early in the morning to escape the heat and crowds.
In addition to Mos Espa, there are many other Star Wars set pieces scattered around Tunisia. In Tatouine, the town where George Lucas got the inspiration for his fictional planet’s name, you can find some of the background for the slave quarters shots in Episode 1. Travel to Medenine and you can find Anakin Skywalker’s home and in Matmata you can actually walk around and sleep in Luke Skywalker’s home.