Monday, October 18, 2010

Chaos Engine

Dark and cold this morning, with the sun not rising until after I had left the house. Slow on the road too, but I think that's a given at this time of year, particularly on a Monday morning. Grmmph. Still, at least I have a week off booked next week for half term to look forward to.

October seems to have snuck up on me somewhat and I've only just realised that I hadn't changed the month on our 'Cute Cats' calendar that hangs under the noticeboard. The leaves haven't really started to fall in earnest yet and I suspect that we'll need a couple of decent storms to shake them loose.

The office was noisy today, with engineers working on the air conditioning system which meant drilling noises, ceiling panels down (revealing a surprisingly large roof space up above) and men clambering over desks to disable the smoke detectors by fitting them with little plastic covers lest the fire alarm be triggered by dust. Not an ideal working environment, I would say.

In games news, I finally joined the rest of the world and bought a copy of Angry Birds (as seen on The Rev's definitive 100 best games list) and waddayknow - it's actually pretty darn good. The controls can be a bit on the fiddly side, which can make lining up the shot that you want a bit hit and miss (ho, ho, I am satirical), but it is quick to restart a level until you get it right. The graphics and sound effects are spot on for a game like this, with the right level of detail and humour. Absolutely perfect for 'just one more go' play.

Finally, I note that the great mathematician Benoit Mandlebrot died the other day. I remember being impressed at seeing a graphical mapping of the Mandlebrot set at a computer graphics exhibition in Edinburgh some time in the early 80s and then being even more impressed when I read an article (which I suspect may have been in Scientific American) explaining how it was generated from the simple and elegant iteration of z_(n+1) = z_n^2 + c | z_0 = c - I wrote a program in a couple of lines of code and watched in wonder as the set unfurled before my eyes.

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