I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Some weeks ago, I discovered the Sudoku-like puzzle KenKen® (registered trademark of Nextoy LLC). In Japanese, Ken means ‘clever’. I say ‘Sudoku-like’ because it consists of a grid to be filled with digits. Like with Sudoku, every digit can only appear once within its row and once within its column. But, instead of square boxes, KenKen® contains cages, which can hold between one and seven (the largest cage I have encountered) contiguous cells. There are no initial clues, but for every cage, the puzzle provides a number and an operation with which the number is to be achieved.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Watch Your Language!

Intelligent Design is an affirmation of a belief, not a scientific theory.  To maintain that Nature is too complex to have evolved on its own and then deduce from such an arbitrary concept that a Creator/Designer must exist is an affirmation of faith, not a scientific statement.

It is important that magazines focussed on popularising Science maintain the highest standards of objectivity, not just in what they say but also in how they say it.  Statements that purport to be scientific but are formulated with elements of superstition can have deleterious effects on the minds of the younger readers.

What prompted this tirade is the article by Lauren Monaghan titled “Grand Delusions” that appeared in Cosmos (self proclaimed “Australia’s #1 Science Magazine”)  Issue 28 of Aug/Sep 2009. On page 46, it contained the following sentence:

“...we always have — and always will — want to believe in the fantastic. In fact, many scientists believe we are even programmed to do so.”  (my italics)

In the same article was also the following statement made by an experimental psychologist:

“Humans are born with brains designed to make sense of the world, and that sometimes leads to beliefs that go beyond natural explanations.”  (again, my italics)

Do you see what I mean?  The words “programmed” and “designed” imply the existence of a Programmer and a Designer.  They should have never appeared in a Science magazine.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

GLUT in C with Eclipse on the Mac

For the past couple of months, for my book on Sudoku, I have been writing C programs with Eclipse running under Mac OS.