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At the end of the day, the amount of success can be measured by the amount of joy experienced.

How to create more joy?

- Appreciate the good things
- Share affection with others
- Take time out for fun (even 5 minutes of it)

If today was your last day, then all of the trivial things would become irrelevant anyways.

Thursday, September 22 2011 4:06:44 PM in Life, Philosophy

Nintendo 3DS Pre-Order

For those of you who are interested Nintendo's long anticipated next console went on pre-order today! It is supposed to have as much computing power as the Wii yet it's about the same size as the DS! You can pre-order it from Amazon.com for $249, and it ships in North America on March 27. It is reported that a very limited quantity of these systems will be available on the launch date. Good luck!


Nintendo 3DS offers a new way to play, 3D without the need for special glasses
Play 3D games, take 3D pictures, and watch 3D videos with Nintendo 3DS
Connect to a deeper wireless experience with SpotPass™ and StreetPass™, giving you more exclusive content and connecting you with other Nintendo 3DS users
Complete with an adjustable stylus, 6 AR cards, and fun built-in software such as Face Raiders™, Nintendo 3DS Sound, and the Mii Maker™ application
The 3D depth slider lets your determine how much 3D you want to see

The company that changed the world of video games with touch-screen gaming in 2004 and motion-controlled gaming in 2006 now pioneers the next dimensional shift. With the announcement of the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo introduces portable entertainment in 3D without the need for special glasses. Nintendo 3DS includes two screens. The bottom touch screen makes use of a telescoping stylus that is stored in the unit itself. The top screen displays 3D visuals to the naked eye. The system also has a 3D Depth Slider that lets players select the level of 3D they enjoy the most. The 3D effect can be ratcheted up to the highest level, scaled back to a more moderate setting or even turned off completely. In addition to the familiar + Control Pad and button controls found on previous Nintendo hand-helds, Nintendo 3DS now also includes a Circle Pad, which provides a full 360 degrees of direction, giving it the freedom and precision needed to play games in 3D worlds. A built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor can react to the motion and tilt of the system, so whether players are twisting their systems side to side or moving them up and down, their motion-compatible Nintendo 3DS games respond instantly. Each Nintendo 3DS system comes pre-loaded with a variety of fun games, applications and features, such as Nintendo 3DS Camera. One camera points at the user, while two additional cameras point outward. These two outer cameras take photos in 3D. The fun, built-in game Face Raiders asks users to shoot at funny depictions of their own faces. Nintendo 3DS, when put into Sleep Mode, can act as a pedometer, while letting users earn Play Coins for the steps they take that can then be traded in for additional content in compatible games and applications. By accessing the Activity Log, users can check their steps as well as their play time. With Nintendo 3DS Sound, users can enjoy sound-manipulation tools or rock out while listening to their MP3 or AAC music files.

Thursday, January 20 2011 12:04:22 AM in Gadgetry

HTML5 Validation and iFrame frameborder property in ie8

Lately I've been involved in a major HTML5 overhaul for one of my site and my main focus has been ensuring that the pages validate properly according to this new standard. One thing which I came across that was driving me nuts is the fact that Internet Explorer 8 does not allow you to completely eliminate the border of an iFrame using pure CSS techniques. Ironically, IE7 and IE6 were fine, but IE8 was not. If you want to completely eliminate the annoying 3D border imposed on an iFrame in IE8 you need to use the property frameborder=0. While it is a very simple fix and looks fine in IE8, the frameborder property has been discontinued in HTML5.

So I was stuck at a juncture between having all of my pages validate for HTML5 versus an ugly 3D border in my iFrames. Before I continue, allow me to take the stance that while many are completely against using iFrames (they say that using DIVs with overflow:auto and Ajax are better alternatives), I still find several applications where iFrames are necessary. For instance, embedding a Facebook social box plugin, or a Facebook Like button without having to load their JavaScript library and use FBML. Anyways, I found that I desired BOTH a borderless iFrame and HTML5 validation so I crafted a simple workaround using JavaScript.

For example, here is what was causing validation to fail:
<iframe src="http://someurl" frameborder="0" style="border:none; overflow:hidden; width:500px; height:27px;"></iframe>

Using Javascript's document.write method I was able to embed the iFrame using JavaScript and still pass HTML5 validation. Until this bug is removed from IE8 (if ever) or IE8 no longer comprises the majority of my visitor base I see no alternative at this point. And of course, this workaround will prevent the iFrame from rendering for users who do not have JavaScript enabled (perhaps about 5% or less of the population).
<script type="text/javascript">
document.write("<iframe src=\"http://someurl\" frameborder=\"0\" style=\"border:none; overflow:hidden; width:500px; height:27px;\"></iframe>");

I was not able to find a solution to this everywhere I looked so I hope this helps someone with my same predicament!

Tuesday, September 21 2010 5:37:52 PM in Software Dev

The Egg

This is a short story by Andy Weir. IMHO thought provoking and very well written, certainly worth sparing the 5 minutes it will take to read...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup,” I said.

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you god?” You asked.

“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”

“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And I sent you on your way.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Source: http://www.galactanet.com/oneoff/theegg_mod.html

Saturday, September 11 2010 1:01:50 AM in Philosophy

The Physics of Light and Time Travel

Below is a question which I have posed to my good friend's brother who is an astrophysicist. I will post his reply once he gets back to me...

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I'm going to send this to you now before I forget again. If you could ask Adam for his thoughts on this it would be greatly appreciated!

My question stems from an episode of "Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking" that I saw about a month ago which covered the subject "Is Time Travel Possible?". I will try my best to word the question in a way that makes sense but for me the concept which I sort of understand in my brain doesn't quite make sense when I try to articulate it...

First to summarize ... according to Stephen Hawking it could be possible to travel into the future, but not into the past. The way I see it Stephen Hawking is amazing with what he knows and I can't imagine how much he had to "dumb" down his knowledge just to make the average person watching the Discovery Channel grasp his concepts. Also, I assume that all of his findings and theories are rooted in physical time/space (the way we experience reality with the 5 senses), and it probably strays away from other forms of theoretical physics which might focus on "higher dimensional realities" as a possibility where time would cease to exist altogether.

Anyways ... He was explaining how time slows down for the traveler as we get closer and closer to the speed of light. So for example, if we were to somehow accelerate to 99.9% the speed of light (it is apparently impossible to reach or exceed the exact speed of light), for every day which we traveled at that speed an entire year would elapse back on Earth. So traveling for 10 days at that speed would cause us to travel 10 years into the future on Earth. The only catch, according to him, is the fact that we would not be able to go back to our original time so it is basically a one-way ticket into the future.

So after the show I got to thinking about the light from stars. If the distance from stars to us is measured in terms of light years (i.e. the amount of time it takes for the light from that star to reach us in years), then a star which is 4 light years away from us would theoretically take just over 4 years to reach if we were traveling at the maximum velocity of 99.99999...% the speed of light. That would be 1,461 days of space travel. Going back to the illustration in the previous paragraph that also means that 1,461 years would elapse on Earth while we were en route to the star (but it would only be about 4 years for the traveler). Am I mistaken?

Taking that one step further ... since the light from stars travels towards us at the speed of light (go figure) ... What are we really seeing when we look at the night sky?? We must be looking into the past quite literally ... But my main question is How far into the past are we seeing when we are looking at a star? Does the same principle apply to light itself, when it is traveling at such a speed, is time compressed for it relative to our perception of time? So in other words, is the light which we see from a star 4 light years away only 4 years old, or is it more like 1,461 year old light (for our perception of time) because of how the speed of light bends time??

Does this makes sense at all? Would appreciate any insight about this because it's not making complete sense to me...

Thanks !

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

I look forward to receiving his answer. Please note that I have not formally studied physics and I'm just approaching things as a layperson. My question might be very elementary for someone who has actually studied physics (in fact maybe it is even addressed for a first year physics student), but I found the topic to be fascinating...

Saturday, August 14 2010 3:29:48 PM in Science


Previously ...
Intention vs Expectation
Mystery DLL Strikes Again
NvRaser.dll - Mystery File ...
Quantum Pajamas
The Move Towards Individual Sover...
The Origin of Consciousness
Miracle Food Recipe? Space Syrup
Why You Are So Important
Stubborn Theology
Strict Science

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