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Diary
By DesiredUsername (Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:04:59 AM EST) (all tags)
Mr Show Season 4 Disc 2


Disc 1 didn't live up to the first 3 seasons. Disc 2 didn't either, but it was better than Disc 1. Several brilliant ideae in there, including holding an intervention for the guy who is organizing too many interventions, the Change Thief Action Squad, the Marilyn Manson Pizzatorium, the history of Civil War re-enactments and many others.

4 stars.


The Wonderful Wizard of Etc

We finished The Wizard of Oz as our bedtime story and have started on The Marvelous Land of Oz. I've never read any of the other Oz books--in fact, I'd never read the first until last time we read it. The movie is the next item on my Q, but it might be too scary (or boring) for the Numbers.


Alcohol

Still have not distilled the mead but we did at least assemble the "still", including having to go back to Home Depot for the right PVC cement.


Library Card

Number Two is now 5, which makes him eligible for a library card. I took him on Saturday and he was pretty excited about it. He carried the card around all weekend, often asking "Can you believe I got this card??" and so forth. He's been very interested in optical illusions recently, so I brought him back to the library on Sunday so he could check out some books. I also found a huge tome containing (tiny reproductions of) all of Escher's work, which he thought was awesome.


Robots

This book is surprisingly helpful. It has a lot of good general engineering information, obviously aimed specifically at Lego. For instance, most of an entire chapter is spent in discussing how to drive straight, with both software and hardware solutions. And it doesn't hold your hand too much--there are some pictures of the general idea and then you are left to build it yourself. Which is hard, when you excel more at following meticulously detailed and well-designed construction instructions than actual design skill.

I spent a lot of the weekend trying to build a straight-driving robot using a differential gear and semi-failed. That is, the wheels all turned the right way and everything but the gearing(?) was wrong and so the motors couldn't drive it. The biggest problem is that if you hold the differential stationary (which you need to do while driving straight) then the axles on either side rotate in opposite directions. So you have to go through 2 or 3 gears to reverse that, plus a couple more to move the axle axis back in line with the other one (probably not strictly necessary, but nice). All those gears really eat up the power.

Maybe I should use both motors to drive forwards and a ratchet system to control the differential.


The Third Dimension

Made less progress than hoped on the 3D graph at work. I keep being stopped by design issues that the user (i.e. me, up until now) doesn't even notice (unless they are done wrong). For instance, choosing how many tickmarks to show when you zoom in. You have to detect how zoomed in you are, have a system for making all levels of zoom look about the same, etc. The non-trivialest part is making sure my code works the same way as the existing code for uniformity. Also, how does 3D UI interaction work? When I drag my mouse on a 3D graph, around what axis should it rotate? An axis perpendicular to the movement of the mouse, sure, but what Z component (into the plane of the screen) does that axis have?

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Wizard of Oz by MartiniPhilosopher (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:24:46 AM EST
Has a fairly interesting background in that Baum was going more for political and social commentary than he was children's story. Weird, no? Of course, one can read into it whatever one likes but I can't help but wonder if one day books like 1984 will share its fate.

One more thing. If you continue with the series, you're going to hit some weirdness when you get to the Tip/Ozma portion of the next book. Even back then it appears some men fancied girl/girl action.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

Tip is a boy, isn't he? by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #2 Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:34:02 AM EST
Oh wait, I see what you are saying. Tip turns into Ozma later. And apparently she gets it on with someone? Cool.

As always, the Straight Dope told me about the political interpretation(s) years ago. And I find there is now a rebuttal to the political theory, which I haven't read.



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