Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Little Challenges that bring joy when overcome

One of my passions has always been to solve puzzles, almost any type of them; and last October I decided to give myself a new puzzle from the collections of Tavern Puzzles to feed that passion. But I didn't want any puzzle, I wanted a really challenging one, one that will take me longer than 45 min to solve (as the Blackbeard's Revenge took) and will expand my horizons, I decided to go for the famous and traditional Patience Puzzle.
As its names states, you need patience and time in order to solve it and after 3 hours the first day and 2 hours the second one, I realized I had finally met my match!.
The puzzle was boxed due to hurricane, packing, moving to Belgium, moving in Belgium, etc. and then finally in March I had in my hands again. It rested in our library looking and challenging me, like that annoyingg mosquito you can't get rid of at night. But I didn't listen to its call, I didn't try to solve it until last June 1st, when I decided to give an end to this unfinish business and take as much time as needed to complete it.

After 45 min more I MADE IT! and it is now at home waiting for anyone that is interested to take the challenge and try to solve it too, if that is your case and you are in Brussels, I will be more than happy to introduce you two.

Here are a couple of pictures ot the puzzle, the whole point is to let loose the long metalic piece in the middle:


PS: Feels good to finish one challenge and to be able to focus that energy into another one.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Some interesting High Tech News

I decided to post some Tech News to feed my inner nerd, who is always taking a look at the new gadgets out there:
BMW is developing a Turbosteamer: An overall 15% improvement could be obtained by using the energy from the exhaust gases (heat produced) of the traditional Engine to power a steam engine. The best part of it is, that it's designed to be installed in the current cars.
Do you want to have cool, flat, flexible, big, digital clock? Even if it is being sold by $4,000? Well Then you should try out Citizen's upcoming flexible digital wall clock, which measures 21-inches high by 52-inches wide and can wrap around corners, so you'll always know either the hour or the minute depending on where you sit.
US and Canadian Skiers to get body armor: I know, it is not winter anymore, and it is actually quite hot, but how cool will it be to have a body armor that whenever it is hit it gets hardened? I can imagine about a 1000 usages for it, but I am sure at least dody will enjoy it for the horse riding lessons!!
PQI packs an amazing 16 GB
into a credit
card sized
drive, just
3 mm thick!

Robot surgeon performs world's first unassisted operation. Physorg.com has the story of a robot which using the experience of over 10.000 performed operations, it has learned the procedure and made a 50 min surgery in Milan Hospital on his own.
Are you ready to be the next patient?

Honda's Asimo gets mind control interface. Developers have made an interface that gives humans the possibility of controlling the robot only by thinking. In the tests the robot copied the action of doing a fist after his commander. Do you think any time soon they will do some cool stuff?
How much would you pay for an self suspended (as a matter of fact levitating) bed? Would you pay 1.2 million Euros for an out of this world sleep?
Well Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars thinks his bed is worth that much, and is preparing a scaled version for 115.000 Euros, Anyone?