Shady Dealings in Legoland

March 23rd, 2008

Last time my younger cousins paid us a visit, I dug up our (rather large) collection of Legos so we could keep them entertained. Naturally I got to building things with them as well. Ostensibly for ‘research’ – the fact that Lego’s instructions are designed in such a way that 5 year-olds can build quite complex objects in ~20 steps is impressive, but I digress.

After they left I decided to keep indulging in past childhood and build some more sets. As I was flipping through the binder of instructions those for set #6563 caught my eye:

Gator Island Lego set

While it may seem innocuous at first glance look a little closer:

Close up of picture

You see that it comes with two suspicious looking brown 1×2 pieces, copious amount money, and suitcases to carry them in. The pontoon plane also has a safe for storing “the goods”. Hmmmm…

It appears that Gator Landing is all about DRUGS!

Sounding Smart pt.I

March 20th, 2008

Ever find yourself in the middle of a conversation touching on usability or cognition? Well, incase you ever do, here is a great little piece of information to quote:

A few years ago, while analyzing an experiment on number comparisons, Dehaene noticed that subjects performed better with large numbers if they held the response key in their right hand but did better with small numbers if they held the response key in their left hand.

[other interesting info]

He even suspects that this may be why travellers get disoriented entering Terminal 2 of Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, where small-numbered gates are on the right and large-numbered gates are on the left.

Now I could never advocate blindly quoting someting like this without (at the very least) a peak at the source article – especially one as interesting, accessible, and informative as this one was.

Found amongst the many other quite interesting facts about cognition with a neurological slant on the wonderful Mind Hacks blog.

Port Your iChats folder to 10.5

March 19th, 2008

Just today I noticed that in 10.5 iChat started to organize the chat transcripts held in ~/Documents/iChats/. Here is a script you can use to organize all of your pre 10.5 chats in the new iChat v4 places:


for I in $DIR/*.ichat
    if [ ! -e "$I" ]

    D=${D##*on }
    D=${D%% at*}

    if [ ! -d "$DIR/$D" ]
        mkdir "$DIR/$D"
    mv "$I" "$DIR/$D/"

    echo ${I#$DIR/}


And if you’re always changing IPs this can be handy:

find ./ -name "AOL System Msg" -print0 | xargs -0 rm


March 14th, 2008

After a fine day here, what looked to be a promising π eve was met with disappointment as my grand plans for an exciting pi eve caper got washed away with the evening’s rain.

That means no surreptitious chalking of four foot tall (5000 pt) digits on the Engineering quad and no cool photograph either. If only I had more time, but alas, I have a train to catch in the morning.

Granted it’s not all bad – having no irrationals to approximate means I will get a more reasonable amount of time to finish the few things that need turning in Friday. And lets face it – as it was the weather that beat me to the punch, I can still lay some small tiny shred of a claim for the cool idea that could have been.

My Announcement Type

March 11th, 2008

For those of you who may not now, my handwriting has a bit of a notorious reputation. A full explanation of how my writing came to be will have to wait for another day, but today I’m posting about the newly adopted writing style that I’ve began using on occasion.

So… getting more to the point – my handwritting, while it might look “good”, it certainly cannot be construed as legible by any measure. Now this isn’t a problem for me in my normal writing (I’m the kind of person who is quite happy putting up with a few inconveniences for something of aesthetic value), but it does become an issue when you want people to notice and read your message – which was just the situation I found myself in a few days ago…

Handwriting picture

Thankfully I had spent the last week drawing sketches of type for typography class, so when it came time to post a few notes on the wall, I was quite prepared. For my nice clean, readable (and easy to draw) typeface I chose the fine typeface Futura.

I still need to work on getting accustomed to the large counters in the ‘e’ and perfecting the curve of the ‘s’, I’m pretty proud of my new note posting script.

I Can Has Job?

March 4th, 2008

post icon Hooray, my final semester has already arrived and is on its way out. With ~8 weeks of class remaining, I’m closer than ever to leaving university and being out in the job market.

And, while I’ve gone around to the usual suspects, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that I am most definitely not the usual suspect’s kind of material. In light of this, I figured I’d make some kind of announcement here.

So what kind of thing am I looking for? Well… naturally, I am looking to work building things loaded full of 100% pure AWESOME. After that here is an unordered list of:

  1. A product that I can fall in love with.
  2. Work that requires things to be beautiful — inside and out.
  3. Work where broad interests are a good thing.
  4. A company filled with groovy people.

And of course that list’s important counterpart — what I can do:

  1. Cocoa programming, if you found my blog this is probably why.
  2. Web programming, CSS, HTML, and Javascript are good friends.
  3. Java programming (i.e. backend of a webapp).
  4. “Better than average” sense of design and usability. There really isn’t any objective measure of this but I think it is safe to say I’m pretty good.

I’m not terribly interested in publishing personal information of me or others here on the world wide web, so I’ve only published a reduced resumé here. If you want the full document email me directly and I’d be happy to give it to you.