Planarity: a great time waster

Posted by me on Thursday, the 16th day of August, anno domini 2007 at 11:48 PM, local time.

So, a friend at work forwarded me a link to this website with a simple flash-based game on it. All you have to do is move nodes around to show that the given graph is planar. Simple at first, then there are 200 nodes and not enough room to see anything at all… I would say that levels in the 7-10 range are the best. Actually challenging, but still doable.

It’s worth taking a look at anyway, especially if you are bored and have nothing else more productive to do for a while.

But, it’s not my fault if you get stuck on that website for an hour. I warned you.

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A Jackknife and Its Packaging

Posted by me on Saturday, the 16th day of December, anno domini 2006 at 12:19 AM, local time.

So, I purchased a small, cheap jackknife today that could theoretically be kept in a pocket. My other jackknives are nice, but a bit too large for casual around carrying. Now, this whole thing is scarcely worth mentioning, except that I found it a bit odd that in order to open all the many levels of packaging around the new jackknife, I found myself needing a jackknife.

This brings to the forefront the problem of too much packaging on today’s products. Seriously people, I don’t want to wade through four shells of hard plastic, and several cardboard backings and frontings, to get to the thing I just bought. Surely so much packaging must increase the price of the item, but here I am, willing to pay an extra dollar for an item that is without excessive packaging. You’d think they’d jump on the opportunity to sell me less for more.

(On a side note, it is possible that the additional packaging is desirable to the store owners. It is a convenient place to put bar codes and price tags and hanging-holes, and increases the physical size of items that might have otherwise fit in a pocket and been difficult to distinguish as unpurchased merchandise. It also makes it clear to consumers that the product in question has not been tampered with and is essentially the exact item that was sent from the manufacturer, and thus hopefully increasing the probability of sale. All these considerations aside, I still hate all that extra packaging.)

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