Frustrating Frogs

24 July, 2006

According to the email that accompanied this little game, you should be able to complete it within 3 minutes, if your IQ is above 50.

The idea is to move all the frogs so that the green frogs change positions with the brown frogs.

The frogs may only move one step at a time, or jump the frog in front of them.

My two workmates couldn’t solve it. It only took me a couple of attempts, so I can rule over them with my IQ of greater than 50!

Let me know in the comments section how you went…

Frog Leap Game


(For those on Windows PCs that rightly distrust downloads because it seems that everything you download corrupts something on your computer, I’ll put your mind at ease as best I can: the link is to an Excel workbook that contains the game in a Flash version. I downloaded on my work PC and my home Mac and nothing bad happened on either.)

My Political Compass

19 July, 2006

I’m extremely non-political. I haven’t bothered voting for the last two or three elections, and in the elections before that I voted for names I recognised, or alternatively, anyone (as long as they weren’t women – how long has NZ been under a woman PM?). I believe the country bumbles along on the tide of world events regardless of what particular political party happens to be sitting in the Beehive.

Having said that, I have, like everybody, views on things. Yes, I’ll shout at the TV when the Maoris claim the airwaves should be part of their settlement for a Treaty signed over 150 years ago; when some moronic “news” item claims a “minority” group that isn’t comprised of normal white middle-class men, is better than normal white middle-class men in some pointless endeavour recorded using a horrendously flawed survey method; and when New Zealanders are portrayed as smug green-freaks thinking we can lecture Japan on whaling (because those whales are so cute and friendly – how oh how can those nasty Japanese people who don’t think like us and are therefore wrong and evil do that brutal killing?)

But I never really know where I am in the political scale. In
America, it’s easy to know: if you range from having a vague feeling that business might actually be good for the economy, through to being a religious nutbar who still thinks that “the family” and killing single mothers will cure all of society’s ills, then you’re a Republican. On the other hand, if you range from thinking that this global warming malarkey might just have some basis in fact, to being a vegan weirdo life member of PETA believing that we should support those good folk who steal things by talking through with them the issues they had with their parents which makes nothing their fault, then you’re a Democrat.
I’ve never really known where I stood – for example, I believe in having the dole for the unemployed (and maybe even the unemployable), but I don’t give a fuck about the environment (tar seal it all, I say). So it was with interest I tried out The Political Compass when I happened upon it the other day.

This site attempts to give more than just the usual left/right wing, by adding an up/down axis, being your authoritarian/libertarian bent. There are a series of questions on various subjects, and based on your level or agreement or disagreement you’re plotted on a diagram like the below.

The site also gives examples of various historical figures and their approximate positions on the map. Saddam Hussein appears at the far left and high up the Authoritarian axis, while George Bush is as far right and almost as Authoritarian (a similar placement to Thatcher, interestingly).

There’s even a NZ political party placement:




So, how did I do? Having done it three times just to make sure I answered approximately the same (and because some of the questions are phrased as awkward double-negatives which means there’s a reasonable possibility of answering the exact opposite of what you intended), I come as slightly Right wing and slightly Libertarian:

Economic Left/Right: 0.63
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.44


Which means I’m extremely similar to the Labour party! Argghghhgh!

Of course, in Meromotopia – I’d have a benevolent dictator.

Those Wily Maori Fellas

18 July, 2006

My brother sent me this joke. It made me laugh. 

 This Maori fella is walking up the beach with a couple of live crayfish in a bucket when he is stopped by a Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries inspector. The inspector says to the Maori that it looks like he has caught a couple of under size crayfish.
The Maori says: “Nah Bro, these crayfish are my pet crayfish. I just bring them down to the beach each day for a swim. When I whistle they hop back in the bucket and I take them home”.
The MAF officer doesn’t believe him and says it is illegal to catch undersize crayfish and starts writing out a ticket. Then the Maori says: “Nah Bro just watch” and chucks the crayfish into the surf.
The MAF officer then says: “Ok lets see ya whistle and make those crayfish come back to you”
And the Maori fella says: “What crayfish Bro?”

I Gave My Computers the Flu

14 July, 2006

Last week was unpleasant. I went from having a slightly sore throat on Monday afternoon, to full blown influenza the next morning. I staggered along to work, and made it as far as lunchtime before crawling home to bed. Where I stayed for the next four days.

During that time, I couldn’t concentrate enough to read a book or watch a DVD, and daytime TV is an appalling series of infomercials and inane chat shows (although I now absolutely need a Magic Bullet, and that makeup that covers all your flaws if you’re Melissa Gilbert).

So I spent much of the time lying motionless, or idly surfing the net by poking one hand out of the covers to control the iBook. This was good.

I could also play around on my new web site at, having just spent the better part of 3 weeks after work each night setting up mySQL, php, phpMyAdmin, WordPress, Webalizer, phpbb, talking to XNet to get a static IP Address, and getting my sturdy purple G3 iMac DV set up to act as my server (and iTunes player). It was finally working, and I could surf to it from the iBook. This, also, was good.

On Thursday, at some stage during the day, the iMac turned off, never to come back on. I suspect a leaky ceiling and a drop of water into the top grill of the iMac. It now produces a momentary flash from the power light when you turn it on, and that’s all. It’s screwed. Argh.

On Friday, while doing the hand-poking-out-of-covers thing on the iBook, the screen shook, flickered, and produced a brilliant kaleidoscopic range of beautiful colours. Uh oh. Upon a  restart, nothing. Looks like I suffered from the dreaded logic board problem that this particular series of G3 iBooks were prone to. And the extended repair period that Apple undertook is also well past. Argh. 

2 days, 2 computers broken.

And I still have a stupid cough the flu left me as a departing present.

New Zealanders Just as Ignorant and Gullible as Americans Shock.

13 July, 2006

How embarrassing – I just found out that New Zealand’s most populous city was the 2005 recipient of a Pigasus Award. This is an annual tongue-in-cheek honour awarded by noted skeptic James Randi. The awards seek to expose parapsychological frauds that Randi has noted over the previous year. Randi usually makes his announcements of the awards from the previous year on April 1.

 There are four categories:

1. To the Scientist who said or did the silliest thing relating to parapsychology in the preceding twelve months.
2. To the Funding Organization that supports the most useless parapsychological study during the year.

3. To the Media outlet that reported as fact the most outrageous paranormal claim.
4. To the “Psychic” performer who fools the greatest number of people with the least effort in that twelve-month period.

The City Council of Auckland received the award under the Funding category, for a $2500 grant to the Foundation For Spiritualist Mediums “to teach people to communicate with the dead”.

What’s next, people start believing that acupuncture and homeopathy work?