Archive for October 2008

X-Prize Lunar Lander Challenge

You know those myriad science fiction stories with rocket ships flying around…

It won’t be science fiction forever.

This is so exciting!

Even better to watch the videos in high quality here and here.

It’s Like Printing Money

Zimbabwe has 231,000,000% inflation.

The wikipedia article on the Zimbabwean dollar reads like a Keystone Cops comedy.

A Reuters article reads “The country’s largest bank note, a 100 billion Zimbabwe dollar bill introduced on Monday, cannot buy a loaf of bread…”

On July 24th 2008, a “Second” 100 billion ZWD note could buy 3 eggs.

Of course since then the currency was devalued by 8 decimal places. And continuing inflation has moved things along another 6 decimal places. Their currency has been devalued a couple times.

A little quick math (that’s probably wrong, I’m no wiz at such things) tells me that 1 US Dollar could buy 32,145,960,000,000,000,000,000 (yes, 3.2 x 10^24) “First” Zimbabwean dollars from back in 1983.

(that number calculated from here. Here’s the ratios: First ZWD:Second ZWD = 500,000:650. Second ZWD:Third ZWD = 758,000,000,000:1,780. Third ZWD:current US dollar = 98,300,000,000:1)

Thanks for the pointer Trav and thanks for providing my RDA of absurdism Mr. Mugabe.

update 11-2-08: Hey would you look at that. Someone on Wikipedia made a chart for the most part agreeing with my 3.2×10^24 estimate. :-)

update 11-13-08:

Take a look at this screenshot I took of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe I took today.

Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen

How to Pronounce “Wiktionary”

First, ask yourself how you would pronounce the word “Wiktionary”. Ok, now proceed.

In April I commented in the Wiktionary wiki about…. well, I’ll let you read:


There is quite a consensus that the pronunciation for “Wiktionary” in the logo of this site is not definitive. Why then is this contentious pronunciation displayed on every page of the site? A look through the archives of the discussion roomsFAQ and entry discussion shows that the issue appears time after time without any resolution. This has caused me to lose faith in the process Wiktionary’s Administration uses to agree on subjects. Since I cannot trust Wiktionary, I will not be using Wiktionary. For the betterment of all, I hope this issue is resolved. I will check back in 6 months. —Gadlen 22:58, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

The responses were… well, less than compelling.

Apparently everyone is perfectly happy that the logo of this wordie website is an incorrect pronunciation of the name of the site.



Sure, encyclopedias are more exciting than dictionaries but it’s interesting to compare the popularity of the two sites…

wikipedia Active users 157,889

wiktionary Active users 995



For posterity, here is the rest of the discussion from above:

Continue reading ‘How to Pronounce “Wiktionary”’ »

Sony Bravia Bouncy Balls Video

Today’s joy:

A high resolution Bravia Bouncy Ball Video. Download and play this 78mb video. It will endevour to make you a little happier. Sorry, I don’t have a streaming version of this. I tried but the fine details of the video don’t show well as a Flash video.

Bravia Bouncy Balls Video.avi


If you’re into Bittorrent, here’s a Torrent file of it.

Installed No Adverts for Friends

I installed the No Adverts for Friends plugin. It is specifically compatible with the WP Super Cache plugin which has worked very well.

With this plugin, if you have posted a comment on my blog, it’ll remember you and you won’t have to see the banner ads that I put at the bottom of every post.

I just downloaded and installed the No Adverts for Friends plugin (1 file). Then put this in my comments.php:

<?php if (function_exists('is_regular_user')) { ?>
<?php if( is_regular_user() == false ) {  ?>
My Google ad here
<?php } ?>
<?php } ?>