Monday, December 28, 2009

2012 is not the end of the world

Chances are you have seen or heard of the movie "2012". Chances are you had never heard of the Maya calendar before this movie...
Humans have organized days in different ways. Calendars currently used include gregorian, chinese, hebrew, hindu, islamic, etc. This blog's post contains the date and time it was published by the blog's server in the gregorian calendar. Computers represent dates in different ways. Computers like numbers unlike you and I who prefer readable text. So computers may store dates and times as the number of milliseconds since 1970. Or store years using only the last two digits - e.g. 99 for 1999 and 00 for 1900 and 2000. Yes, you must have heard of the Y2K bug. Just nine years ago we were already wondering if 2000 would be the end of the world as we knew it because some machines might think 2000 came before 1999. Time proved Nature doesn't care all that much how we humans decide to (dis)organize days. Regardless of your favorite calendar, the Sun will still shine for another expected five billions years...
With that in mind, enjoy the show!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Steg - a game for people who love words and puzzles

Summer is almost there, at least if you live in the northern hemisphere. Time for a little fun with your web browser!

Steg is a game for people who love words and puzzles. Your objective is to empty the screen of all its letters.

Go to the Steg Game. If you are a Facebook fan get Steg here!). Press 'Start' to begin. Letters fill up the screen. You must form valid words by mixing the letters appearing on a row or on a column.

You enter the words using the keyboard and press 'Enter'. If the word is valid the corresponding letters are removed from the rows and columns they appear in. Letters fall down till there is no empty space left.

You win when you empty the screen entirely - that's called 'doing a Steg'. Doing a Steg is challenging. However you also score by finding words at your own pace so just go and have fun!

The first time you play the Steg game, it will take a few moments to read and learn all the valid english words and variations (e.g. 'eat' 'ate' 'eaten'). So while waiting for that, have a peek at the screenshots below.

  1. You enter the word 'gala'. These letters get highlighted in the game.
  2. You press the key 'enter'. The letters forming the word 'gala' disappear. Excellent!
  3. Good luck, 48 more letters to remove!

Steg can be played with english words. Steg can also be played with french words. If you are bilingual, it is a fun way to test which language you are better at.

Have a fun summer! With or without computer...