Friday, August 31, 2012

How To Untangle a Slinky

Never let a kid swing a slinky around randomly.  It will quickly get tangled.  The number of seconds until tangling is roughly equal to (age of child * 5).

If you get a hold of the tangled Slinky soon enough, there is a chance you can untangle it.

Ok there is no simple way to untangle a Slinky, and you are likely to never get it back to how it was before, but there is one technique that seems to help.  At the places where the Slinky is wrapped upon itself, stretch it out rather widely (without twisting).  This stretching will help expose the topological issues that have developed in the Slinky.  The remediative techniques generaly involve passing the Slinky back through itself.  If you find yourself sliding the Slinky along itself, or twisting the Slinky, that is unlikely to help.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Slate News Quiz

Victory is mine!

Try to beat my score in the Slate News Quiz

Monday, August 20, 2012

Running WAMP and MySQL on Windows with Skype

Since I have Skype running on port 80, I needed to configure WAMP to run on a different port.  This created a variety of issues that are addressed here.  I am running WAMP 2.2 on Windows XP.

1. Default browser for phpmyadmin is IE and want to to be Google Chrome - When installing WAMP, be sure to select the Google Chrome browser file when prompted, such as: C:\Documents and Settings\mike.berman\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe

2. MySQL not listening when I do telnet to port 3306 - When you try "telnet localhost 3306", you may get a strange error message such as "5.5.24-log?A2v}1y3?ǧ-7m@6.#dRJ\omysql_native_password".  Edit the Apache port number by going into C:\wamp\bin\apache\apache2.2.22\conf\httpd.conf and changing "Listen 80" to alternate port such as "Listen 8083"

3. Can't change default link in launching phpmyadmin - If you try to modify the file c:\wamp\wampmanager.ini, it will keep getting overwritten.  You must change the file c:\wamp\wampmanager.tpl.  Look for a line like "Type: item; Caption: "${w_phpmyadmin}"; Action: run; FileName: "${c_navigator}"; Parameters: "http://localhost/phpmyadmin/"; Glyph: 5" and change to "Type: item; Caption: "${w_phpmyadmin}"; Action: run; FileName: "${c_navigator}"; Parameters: "http://localhost:8083/phpmyadmin/"; Glyph: 5"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Living so close to Washington D.C., I get asked a lot what I think about Robert Griffin III ("RG3").  He is the quarterback that the Redskins drafterd this year with the #2 pick, transforming their team from a perennial loser to this year's winner of 7 games in a row and the NFC East.

Sadly, I think his style of play has him destined for a career full of injuries.  Plus people forget that he already had a major knee injury in college.  We will see how it plays out.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Google Soccer

Here is my 3-star score on Google's soccer mini-game during the London 2012 Summer Olympics:

Google Canoe

Here is my 3-star score on Google's Canoe mini-game during the London 2012 Summer Olympics:

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Google Basketball

Here is my 3-star score on Google's basketball mini-game during the London 2012 Summer Olympics:

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Google Hurdles

Here is my 3-star time on Google's hurdles mini-game during the London 2012 Summer Olympics: