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Archive for the 'Good reads' Category

A Panoply of Puzzle Books

Tuesday, December 13th, 2022

In the past month I’ve published four puzzle books, you can read about them here. It is no secret that the puzzles in my books are produced using computer software that I write. I’ve been writing such software for nearly twenty years. I’ve spent a lot of time working on that software, and I’m proud […]

Montague Island Mysteries book review

Monday, April 18th, 2022

Over the course of the Pandemic, I’ve purchased a LOT of puzzle books, and I thought I’d review some of the better ones over the next few blog posts. First up is one of my favorites, Montague Island Mysteries by Wayne Schmittberger. I picked up this book because I’m a fan of old fashioned logic […]

Everything is Orange

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

An article about my work with Flickr photographs — in which I noticed that blended digital photos make orange — appeared on The Atlantic website today. If you’re interested in reading my paper on the subject, “Emergent Orange”, you’ll find it in the publications section of this website. For the record, I am a bit […]

Emergent Orange

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Emergent Orange describes the orange hue that is produced when you average together a bunch of randomly selected digital photographs. The illustration shows 5 different sets of photos (randomly selected from Flickr) accumulating over successive rows. The first row is a single image. Then 2 images, 5 images, 25 images, and 100 images in the […]

The mark of the unicorn

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, but hopefully, there are still one or two of you out there who understand the value of a good RSS feed. I’m back to write about a book I’m enjoying, with the following cryptic title: 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 If this line of BASIC code […]

It takes 17 clues to make a Sudoku

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The science journal Nature reports that a mathematician has proven that it takes 17 clues to make a Sudoku. Gary McGuire of University College Dublin showed this in a proof posted online on January 1st (apparently he wasn’t partying on new year’s eve). This means that sudoku puzzles with 16 or fewer clues do not […]

Dumb Ripoff Alert

Friday, January 6th, 2012

I just found a book in the Kindle bookstore that (incompetently) rips off some of my sudoku puzzles. The book is called “The Most Difficult and Hardest Sudoku Puzzles” and is “copyrighted” by one Johnny Cohen. Here’s the cover: The cover helpfully informs you that the book is a BEST SELLER. Here’s a sample of […]

Fibonacci Flim Flam

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

I recently posted a tutorial on how to draw circles, spirals and fibonacci spirals (that pattern you see on sunflowers). I thought it would be only fair to post this critique of the notion of the “golden ratio”, in which mathematical curmudgeon Donald Simanek takes sacred geometers to task for overstating the importance and pervasiveness […]

Wired Mysteries

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

A few friends recommended I check out the May issue of Wired, so I finally picked up a copy at the airport today. They were right — this is the best issue of Wired I’ve seen in a few years! Wired is one of many magazines that has been noticeably suffering from the downturn in […]

Mirror Morphs

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

I found this old video of mine while looking at some old backup CDs. Back in the early 90s, while playing with Gryphon Software’s “Morph” software, I accidentally stumbled upon a technique for making a still photograph or painting look like a hologram. The basic idea is that you make a mirror image of the […]