Earth Hour, North Korean style

Earth Hour is a stupid scamHey, whoever the North Korean promoters of Earth Hour were last week they deserve a medal. It seems they convinced the whole North Korean population to turn off every single light in the entire country. The Dear Leader is, of course, above all that so the single source of light you see is probably his, which is understandable. But “bravo!” to the rest of my North Korean comrades for loving and respecting the Earth, at least for an hour. And congratulations to the rest of the world! Earth Hour was a great success, with a 0.000000001% reduction in emissions sustained for almost a whole hour, but a 25% increase in smugness which can still be measured days later.

Twitter is stupid

Well, maybe it’s a little harsh to call Twitter stupid. At the very least it is silly, borderline idiotic. It’s a strange hybrid of a forum and a blog, but nobody is saying anything useful or meaningful. It’s the world’s largest intellectual toilet bowl. Comparing to other social media sites, it’s hard to find a single redeeming quality for Twitter. I have a personal Twitter account, yes, and I’ve even posted once on it. But I felt dirty afterwards. Also I found that for some reason I had over 20 “followers” until I culled them, but they were mostly porn sites. To try and drive traffic to my other projects, I’ve got other twitter accounts but I’m getting a close to 0.0% ROI for my effort on those.  Does it work for anyone? I can’t find any data supporting this.

Twitter is the lowest rung on the communication ladder

twitter is the worst of all worlds

All I imagine Twitter to be (if you’re not a celebrity, product or service) is full of young, insecure, immature noobs who take pleasure in how many “followers” they have and waiting for some shred of acknowledgement from other twitterers.

Mind you, I’ve blogged every day for three weeks now and haven’t said anything useful or meaningful yet. So maybe it’s not just Twitter, but the whole Internet is stupid.

Blog oddities

I just checked out the Google Analytics stats for my blog for the first time in a while. Google Analytics tells me that my blog has been taking almost 400 unique visitors a day for the last few days. Along with 4.1 pages per visit, that’s over 1500 page views per day. I can’t explain why, but perhaps I’m tapping into the lucrative Star Destroyer Wallpaper market from a few days ago. That’s up from an average of about 100 or so new visitors a day for the last month. At least my SEO-fu is working.

google hits

Google Analytics also tells me that the most common searches which lead to my blog were these:

  • sexy eyes wallpaper
  • brian kerle wife
  • mudslide kings park
  • funny device names
  • worlds without number

Just who is Brian Kerle’s wife? I really can’t explain that one. Brian Kerle was coach of the Brisbane Bullets from (I had to look this up as memory fades) 1984 to 1992 plus a couple other years when he came out of retirement and was inducted into the NBL Hall of Fame in 2006. I can’t find who he married, though, or why there would be such interest in his wife.

Now if I could just drive all this to DarthVaderFigures.com, which is enjoying about 12-15 visitors a day, although it is steadily increasing by 1 visitor a day per month on average since New Year. In fact, if you’re reading this then go there now and see if you can skew my stats.

2010 Select Fremantle Revelation Gems

In honour of Fremantle’s first win of the season (and costing me a perfect 8 in the footy tipping) here’s the 2o10 Revelation Gems cards for Stephen Hill and Hayden Ballantyne. They actually played really well, which is surprising and promising. Rookie Michael Barlow had a good game, with plenty of possessions and a couple goals. At this rate, he’ll be a shoe-in for the 2010 series 2 Fremantle Rookie Signature card.

2010 Select Gem Revelations Hill and Ballantyne

Haircut time

What do you think?

This gives me an idea for a web site. Hmm.

Large hi-resolution Star Destroyer wallpapers

Here’s a selection of Star Wars Star Destroyer wallpapers I found. Of all Sci Fi ships, I think I like the Star Destroyer best. The opening scene of Star Wars had a big impression on me, with the sight of this impossibly large ship flying overhead chasing the Rebels. As it gets to the docking bay, you think this must be where it ends, but then it just keeps going until you see the giant array of engines glowing blue as they power the ship along. A very iconic image! I’m not too fussed with Darth Vader’s Super Star Destroyer, but the regular sized one is just beautiful. Included are some very large pics of a custom/hybrid version. Not sure of the source for these.

Green tip

Ashton did her first Taekwondo test on Tuesday and got the results tonight: she passed! She had to perform the first 8 steps of the “Basic Pattern” in front of her teacher, Master Kim, and a couple other of his helpers. It was all very formal, and probably quite daunting but she gave it a good go. She also did a few other tests of basic form including low, middle and roundhouse kicks. For most kids, though, these all seemed to result in one kind of indistinct kick, even for the yellow and blue belts.

But anyway, she’s pretty happy she got this small achievement!

The beauty of mathematics in nature

The polar equation for a golden spiral is the same as for other logarithmic spirals, but with a special value of b:

r = ae^{b\theta}\,

or

\theta = \frac{1}{b} \ln(r/a),

with e being the base of natural logarithms, a being an arbitrary positive real constant, and b such that when theta  is a right angle (a quarter turn in either direction):

e^{b\theta_\mathrm{right}}\, = \phi

Therefore, b is given by

b = {\ln{\phi} \over \theta_\mathrm{right}}.

The numerical value of b depends on whether the right angle is measured as 90 degrees or as \textstyle\frac{\pi}{2} radians; and since the angle can be in either direction, it is easiest to write the formula for the absolute value of b (that is, b can also be the negative of this value):

|b| = {\ln{\phi} \over 90} = 0.0053468\, for in degrees;
|b| = {\ln{\phi} \over \pi/2} = 0.306349\, for in radians.

An alternate formula for a logarithmic and golden spiral is:

r = ac^{\theta}\,

where the constant c is given by:

c = e^b\,

which for the golden spiral gives c values of:

c = \phi ^ \frac{1}{90} \doteq 1.0053611

if is measured in degrees, and

c = \phi ^ \frac{2}{\pi} \doteq 1.358456.

if is measured in radians

See, mathematics is beautiful!

OK, so I stole the text from Wikipedia. I can’t really remember all this mathematics from high school, but I can still appreciate the beauty.

Storm damage

Wow, quite a night last night. There was a mudslide at Kings Park which damaged the hotels at the foot of the hill near Jocob’s Ladder, cars had their windscreens broken from hail, and there were some areas which go quite flooded. The thumbnail shows the scene outside the office where I work on the corner of Adelaide Terrace and Victoria Avenue in Perth.  Perth got hit earlier than down south which would have been right when I was leaving work so I would have had a bit of trouble getting to the train station! I feel a little bit bad that I was enjoying it so much last night.