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Notes on this cube:
1) It's not a "cube", I just think of it as one.
2) It's not as complicated as it looks. It's actually exactly the same
as a normal Rubik's Cube, except for one [just one!] difference:
Instead of having 4 sides on each face, this has 5. As a natural
progression to end with a platonic solid, you complete the exercise with
a dodecahedron.
As a result, almost all of the normal cube-like moves actually work
here, also. You just have to imagine that the 3 faces you mess with
are perpendicular instead of vaguely perpendicular, and everything just
slots into place.

Hmmm. Anyone who can solve a vanilla Rubik's Cube [3x3x3], you can
[probably] solve this already, depending on how you solve a normal one. If
you do it a slice at a time, this is almost completely the same. You can
solve the whole cube except the bottom slice using just your intuition
and the move that takes a piece from the bottom to the side, without
munging the rest of the center slice, or the stuff above it.

Except one thing that was bugging the living f**k out of me.

What that picture doesn't show you is that the colors on opposite sides
are exactly the same. Hence, the edge-middle pieces have /two/ of each
color pair, and the corner pieces have two of each color group [eg, RGB]
but are handed, hence, unique. For example, going clockwise around the
piece, there's one Corner that goes Green, Red, Blue, and there's another
that goes Green, Blue, Red.

Since the centers never move:
1) The centers are effectively different colors WRT each other
2) The corners are all unique
3) There are two of each side piece.

Which means that
4) Sometimes, you'll get to what looks like an insoluble cube. It is. You
need to start again.

Which was my mental block. But it's also a pretty daft design, vaguely;
you /can't/ garauntee that you're solving the thing correctly; as opposed
to other normal cubes, where you're garaunteed to have the correct piece
if you just look at the colors. Or it doesn't matter if you have the
wrong pieces, so long as they're the right color [like the 5x5x5 cube,
which has groups of 4 indistinguishable pieces, but they can be in any
order when you place them].

Anyways. I'm now off to try to make pretty patterns on it; solving
Rubik's cubes is generally "simple", wheras making pretty patterns all
over them is
1) harder
2) more interesting
3) more time-consuming


Something I posted to one of our campus newsgroups yesterday:

Notes for drivers:

1) Overtaking on Blind corners is stupid
2) Even if it's a cyclist
3) Even if you're doing it because there's a big f-off puddle and it's
  your only forseeable opporunity to soak the stupid person on his

4) I was a white van driver for a year and a half. I /know/ you can
f***ing see me, I also know that it's easy to pretend you can't. I
know where the f***ing blind spots are, and I'd have to be
mind-bogglingly f***ing stupid to cycle along in them.

Cutting me up as I'm coming up beside you, even though you're waiting
in traffic and can't f***ing go anywhere, is just f***ing annoying. If
you're one of the ones who complains at people going up on the kerb on
their bike, then you should be f***ing courteous and stop trying to be
deliberately f***ing annoying. If you're not in my way, deliberately
moving over is stupid.

If you're one of the ones who beeps their horn at me for cycling along
no hands, perhaps you should put the f***ing mobile down and use at
least one hand on the steering wheel [honking the horn doesn't count
as "on the steering wheel"]. Perhaps you should also avoid driving
past me so closly at such speed that it's only through sheer fluke,
and my ability to grab the handlebars, that I don't fall off.

5) F**K YOU is not a suitable response to a cyclist who looks behind
him, sees you're about 60 or 70 yards away, signals his intention to
turn right, then does so.


Added some KDE3 screenshots at
Yes, that's edie running Wide&Short. W00t. Not sure why I though that
was worth a screenshot...

Some UT ones are also up.
Is the HTML page, but understand; this page is going to put a whole
world of hurt on your bandwidth if you're on 56k. I haven't split the
page up, so there's 1.7M of thumbnails on that page. Hmmm.

Note that the shots are faily dark. Blame nvidia. I won't alter the
screenshots, as that's considered really bad.

The really slow ones are on DM-Gothic are with full anti-aliasing on. The
crappy antialiasing is FUGLY, so I've not bothered putting up any shots
with it on. Note that this game is pretty good-looking without FSAA.

I'm seeing some problems with the big screenshots, but I'm not sure
why. If you're having problems, I'll do reconversions of some of them
as I hope I still have the .bmps someplace.


Ignore the KDE thing I've done previously
Is an extended, updated, and generally improved version.


Things that Chunky does with his time that could be considered technically
"stupid", number 546: Fire Breathing

I just got to do this the other day, and it's fun.

Since safety is, actually, of concern here, I was slightly loathe to do
it until I had someone who knew what he was doing standing near me. More
by luck than judgement, I end up chatting with someone who knows how
to do it. Interestingly enough, he's the same punter who stars in the
update below this one.

Notes about breathing fire:

1) Try it with water first. You don't want to spread paraffin [kerosene,
to you yanks] all over yourself the first time you try to spit it out.

2) Paraffin is one of the most disgusting things you can possibly imagine
putting in your mouth, because
 a) It tastes f***ing awful
 b) It's got this horribly slimy oily textures to it

3) Paraffin /will/ drip down your chin and onto your shirt

4) Listerine is also one of the most disgusting things you can possibly
imagine, but it's one hell of a big improvement on paraffin. Surprisingly,
it can actually cut through the nasty oily thing you have going on in
your mouth. Which is nice.

And, possibly the most important to those of you with a sense of

5) Paraffin is apparently carcinogenic. At each fire-breating sitting,
I apparently do myself a similar amount of damage as I would do to myself
by smoking several hundred cigs.

In the meantime, I'll be doing it again tonight and am hoping someone
brings a digital camera so's I can put pics up.

It's good fun when more that one of you aim fireballs in the same general
direction, but slightly crossing, so you end up with a /huge/ fireball
thing going on. Very much good fun.


Let me tell you something that really really pissed me off last night.

One of my friends had come into a bet; if he can get a lass in the shower
before the end of the night, he makes 50 quid. Fair enough. Seems like
a really good deal.

I'm sitting there chatting to some random people [who I've never met
before]. Quite out of the blue, I ask one of the girls there [who is
seriously fucking drop-dead gorgeous, IMHO. Looks a lot like one of my
Exs, but with longer hair] if she'll get in the shower with this guy,
not expecting anything to happen. What with the fact that her boyfriend
was sitting there next to her.

Now, technically, she was also offered part of the profits on this,
but we feel that's hardly the salient point of the story.

I comment that I'd better get at least a fiver out of the deal, given
my part in it. "OK", he agrees.

She then she goes and [both of them have their clothes on] gets into the
shower cubicle/room with this guy. They're each just gonna wet their hair,
and make some cash for doing it. It's like a small room with a shower
in the corner; you can turn on the water without actually getting wet,
but that's about all the space there is.

They're both in there with what I can only assume is all their clothes
on. And someone comments "no, you've gotta pass at least /her/ clothes
out through the door". And she only fucking did.

Now. That's fine. But look at it from my point of view:
1) I've convinced a fucking gorgeous lass to get into the shower with
2) She gets her clothes off once she's in this shower.
3) I make just five pounds on the deal, rather than getting to take part.

So... I've convinced a girl to get into the shower with someone, and
she turns out to be willing to get her kit off. And I did all that for
a fiver? Shit. Perhaps next time I'll convince someone who's really
good-looking to get into the damn shower with /me/.



1. The woman at the front desk probably was indeed amazed by your
British accent. I'm telling you, that's one of your primary reasons
for moving to the states: easily impressed women.

[ed's note: Apparently, toting english banknotes is also a viable tactic
in getting women's attention, when you're in the states]

2. "Claim Jumper" was the restaurant we went to where they serve the "Ore
Cart". Anyone who comes to the US must eat there. It's generally one of
the conditions of your travel visa (if you happen to have one).

3. The front bumper of my car isn't shredded. It does have a few spots
where the paint has been scraped off down to the metal, but in general
it's not too bad. I could feasibly get away with some touch-up paint, but
I opted for the racing bra on the front instead. Damn truck drivers
with their big trucks that like to back into innocent sports cars...

I guess that clears that one up, then.


Fine, I'll update my .plan.

For anyone who's not paying attention, I was in the states for a job
interview. It was with a random company who do cool stuff with cool
toys. A purely Linux house.

So, anyways. I arrive in the US and a couple days later the boss of
this company [there're only 10 people in it] picks me up in his Jag,
that would be very nice if it had
1) A gear stick
2) 3 pedals
3) E-type written on it instead of XK8
But it was pretty nice, all the same. Guess you can't have everything.

In this oh-so-lovely car, we then go for a little potter from Rolling
Hills [near Palos Verdes] up to Beverly Hills, where this company
currently is, for me to have an interview. Except I end up camping there
the whole day, and they're only actually expecting to interview me for
an hour or so.

Which gave me ample opportunity to sit there, pointing and laughing at
all the people who were actually doing work. Mwahahaha.

At one point, I heard the comment "you'd better get a picture, it's the
last time you're ever gonna see him wearing a tie". Hmmm. Bonus points
for observation, there...

Going back slightly, the first thing that happened as I arrived in this
office was the usual round of introductions. First greeting I get:

"Oh, I love your accent".

And she sounded like she really meant it. You people scare me. Women
in this country can't even take American accents seriously, let alone
point out they love them.

After several more greetings, I get a comment "oh, so /you're/ the
embedded guy". Hmmm. Well, at least I knew what to be expecting when they
come to interview me...

Now, obviously it's hardly a "normal" day as such, but one of the first
things I get to watch in this place is the only lass there present
the only french guy there with a blow-up Monica, who comes with bonus
cigar. Mmmmmmm.

Which is topped only by the Clinton dildo that's under one of the other
guy's desks.

When it came for them to actually interview me, I guess it didn't go as
great as I might ideally have imagined...

"Can you do this: {mumble} ?"
"Uh... In theory, yes. In practice, I've never been able to afford one
of those toys, so I've never been able to try & install Linux on it."

[rinse. repeat. This being the focus of this particular intervew,
after all...]

"What old code and stuff can you show us that you've got?"
"Well, most of the stuff I did at Lehman is not exactly for public
consumption, and there's very little in the way of major coding projects
I've done outside of that. I'm helping on MSPhil's Secret Project X,
but I'm hardly going to be banding the source for that about..."

[although it should be noted that I've not exactly done much on project
X so far, and when they interviewed me I'd only just signed the NDA &

Right. Anyways. I hope I get the job. If they offer it to me, I'm going
there. Simple.

Later on, myself, the french guy, and another punter all wander [ok,
drive] up the street a bit to the Troubadour. It's this really nice
club, where the Flower Kings were on stage that night. I had a seriously
cool time.

The Flower Kings rock. They're sort of Pink Floyd wannabes, but with
more bass, and a slightly different following. That place was absolutely
decked out with the proverbial ageing rockers. Bunch of guys older than
me all toting black leather jackets and going about on Harleys. You know
the sort. Very seriously cool.

First off, getting in was a bit of an exercise. I hand the man on the door
my drivers license, so I can have a wristband and can then have a
drink. [That's a bloody good idea, if you ask me. You get id'd once,
and then the lady behind the bar just has to ask if she can see your
wristbands. Seems crap at first thought, but then's actually a really
good idea when you think about it.]

"You're shitting me"
"Uh... no, that really is my driving license"
"When were you 21?"
"Last year"
"When were you 22?"
"Uh... this year?"
"When this year?"
"Dagnammit. It's written on the damn card."

Eventually, I get in and have a drink. Mmmm. Bottles this time. Saves
all that pint hassle you people seem to have so much trouble with.

Following that, I end up crashing on {weird french guy's} sofa. I
didn't wake up with chloroform on my breath and a sore ass, so I guess
that's good.

Next day, hendersa comes to pick me up. Everybody listen up. His car's
bra on the front... It's not because he races it or anything decent
like that. It's because the bumper's shredded underneath it, and a bra
is cheaper than a bumper.

In the evening, we went out to this steak-kinda place. Met Mike Phillips &
his missus, "Lady Firedancer". They didn't scare me at all.

Can't remember what it's called, but they have on the menu, among other
things, the "Ore Cart". Which is just a trolley covered in dead stuff. Big
trolley. Lots of dead stuff. Yummy. I didn't have one, actually, as I
think it's just a little out of my league...

Anyways. That's all fun. Other notes about driving around in the US:
1) Just because someone's address says "Rolling Hills Estates", doesn't
mean you don't go in the gate that says "The Terraces". Bugger.
We only ended up driving round the hill 2 or 3 times because of that...
2) Instructions on the web are, at times, not perfect. We got within a
couple miles of home, before taking the "scenic route", which finished
at approximately the totally wrong place.


Anyways. I think I've probably bored the living f**k out of all of you by
now, so I'm gonna quit. Am going fire juggling in an hour or so anyways...

When this .plan was written: 2002-05-07 06:41:37
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