Little Steps

Ask me anything   Things learned along the way.

twitter.com/robbiemelvin:

    nprplays:

With Minecraft, Microsoft Buys A Doorway To Millions Of Players

Since its release, Minecraft has become that doorway for a great many players of all ages and demographics, especially those that might not label themselves as a “gamer.” Like Farmville or Candy Crush, it is entry-level gaming. Minecraft is casual; there are no explosions or politics or machismo-heavy protagonists. You are in control of its world and it is only as difficult as you want to make it.
What Microsoft has essentially done is buy a very popular doorway. As new players enter the world of video games through Minecraft, either in its current or possible future versions, Microsoft will now be the doorman ushering that player into its game room instead of the competition’s.
Photo Credit:  Miles Willis/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse


This summary has only scratched the very surface of Minecraft.  It isn’t so much of a game as a platform upon which an infinity of games live… some of which do involve explosions, politics and all the rest.

    nprplays:

    With Minecraft, Microsoft Buys A Doorway To Millions Of Players

    Since its release, Minecraft has become that doorway for a great many players of all ages and demographics, especially those that might not label themselves as a “gamer.” Like Farmville or Candy Crush, it is entry-level gaming. Minecraft is casual; there are no explosions or politics or machismo-heavy protagonists. You are in control of its world and it is only as difficult as you want to make it.

    What Microsoft has essentially done is buy a very popular doorway. As new players enter the world of video games through Minecraft, either in its current or possible future versions, Microsoft will now be the doorman ushering that player into its game room instead of the competition’s.

    Photo Credit:  Miles Willis/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse

    This summary has only scratched the very surface of Minecraft.  It isn’t so much of a game as a platform upon which an infinity of games live… some of which do involve explosions, politics and all the rest.

    (via npr)

    — 1 day ago with 289 notes
    alexalexalexalex:

I can’t believe I’m too lazy to go buy a microwave but I’m not too lazy to knit a tea cosy so my tea doesn’t go cold so fast.

I will pick knitting over shopping every day of the week… to the point where when my son made a word cloud about  me int included ‘non-shopper’.  Eventually we need things (like yarn and food) so we go and get it done.
Alex, you can live a long time without a microwave!  I refuse to get one for the country, and at home the microwave lives in the basement for popcorn use only.

    alexalexalexalex:

    I can’t believe I’m too lazy to go buy a microwave but I’m not too lazy to knit a tea cosy so my tea doesn’t go cold so fast.

    I will pick knitting over shopping every day of the week… to the point where when my son made a word cloud about  me int included ‘non-shopper’.  Eventually we need things (like yarn and food) so we go and get it done.

    Alex, you can live a long time without a microwave!  I refuse to get one for the country, and at home the microwave lives in the basement for popcorn use only.

    — 3 days ago with 3 notes
    #i don't like shopping  #microwaves are overrated 

    illwriteyournameonabullet:

    comboreversal:

    Imperial ice cream.

    this is brilliant 

    Smiles.

    (via elmify)

    — 5 days ago with 8784 notes
    thekidshouldseethis:

This Rube Goldberg machine is “powered” by a single beam of light, using mirrors, magnifying glasses, and reflective surfaces to burn through strings, melt ice, pop balloons, and more… 
Watch the video.

    thekidshouldseethis:

    This Rube Goldberg machine is “powered” by a single beam of light, using mirrors, magnifying glasses, and reflective surfaces to burn through strings, melt ice, pop balloons, and more… 

    Watch the video.

    (via floresenelatico)

    — 6 days ago with 980 notes
    Graduating

    In October of this year I graduate with a Masters of Science. These are the acknowledgements from my thesis: I would like to begin by thanking my adviser, Dr. Andrea Bunt, for her insight, perceptiveness and guidance. Appreciation is due to my committee members, Dr. James Young and Dr. Christine Van Winkle for their advice…

    Graduating was originally published on Take a Moment

    — 1 week ago
    #from the blog 
    fouriestseries:

Taylor Series Approximations
A Taylor series is a way to represent a function in terms of polynomials. Since polynomials are usually much easier to work with than complicated functions, Taylor series have numerous applications in both math and physics.
There are many equations in physics — like the one describing the motion of a pendulum — that are impossible to solve in terms of elementary functions. “Approximations using the first few terms of a Taylor series can make [these] otherwise unsolvable problems” solvable for a restricted area of interest [1].
The GIF above shows the five-term Taylor series approximation of a sine wave about x=0.
Mathematica code:
f[x_] := Sin[x]
ts[x_, a_, nmax_] := 
    Sum[(Derivative[n][f][a]/n!)*(x - a)^n, {n, 0, nmax}]
Manipulate[Plot[{f[x], ts[x, 0, nmax]}, {x, -2*Pi, 2*Pi}, 
    PlotRange -> {-1.45, 1.45}, 
    PlotStyle -> {{Thick, Cyan}, {Thick, Dotted, Yellow}}, 
    AxesStyle -> LightGray, Background -> Darker[Gray, 0.8]], 
    {nmax, 1, 30, 1}]

    fouriestseries:

    Taylor Series Approximations

    A Taylor series is a way to represent a function in terms of polynomialsSince polynomials are usually much easier to work with than complicated functions, Taylor series have numerous applications in both math and physics.

    There are many equations in physics — like the one describing the motion of a pendulum — that are impossible to solve in terms of elementary functions. “Approximations using the first few terms of a Taylor series can make [these] otherwise unsolvable problems” solvable for a restricted area of interest [1].

    The GIF above shows the five-term Taylor series approximation of a sine wave about x=0.

    Mathematica code:

    f[x_] := Sin[x]
    ts[x_, a_, nmax_] := 
        Sum[(Derivative[n][f][a]/n!)*(x - a)^n, {n, 0, nmax}]
    Manipulate[Plot[{f[x], ts[x, 0, nmax]}, {x, -2*Pi, 2*Pi}, 
        PlotRange -> {-1.45, 1.45}, 
        PlotStyle -> {{Thick, Cyan}, {Thick, Dotted, Yellow}}, 
        AxesStyle -> LightGray, Background -> Darker[Gray, 0.8]], 
        {nmax, 1, 30, 1}]

    (via visualizingmath)

    — 1 week ago with 1099 notes

    thatscienceguy:

    John Conway first theorized that it would be impossible to create a forever-expanding universe using these rules, which was proven wrong by a team at MIT, creating the “glider gun,” which is featured in the third gif. 

    Since then, thanks to computers, people all over the world have added new designs to the database, creating amazingly complex designs.

    For example Andrew J. Wade created a design which replicates itself every 34 million generations! Furthermore it is also a spaceship (permanently moving pattern) and not only that, it was also the first spaceship that did not travel purely diagonally or horizontally/vertically! These types of spaceships are now appropriately named Knightships.

    The simulation has some interesting properties, for example it has a theoretical maximum speed information can travel. Or simply, light speed - as that is the limit in our own universe. The limit is set to 1 cell per generation - after all how can you create something further than 1 cell away in one generation if you can only effect your immediate neighbours? And yet you can get things like the ‘stargate’ (Love the name, huge SG fan here.) which allows a space ship to travel 11 cells in just 6 generations.

    Some smart people have even designed calculators, prime number generators and other incredibly complex patterns.

    You can create your own patterns here: http://www.bitstorm.org/gameoflife/

    All gifs were made from this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2vgICfQawE

    Because Computer Science.

    (via physicsphysics)

    — 2 weeks ago with 3904 notes
    Only Arkansas has slower internet than Alaska →

    I call your A states and raise you a prairie province.  I’ve spent time in places in the last year with < 1Mbps.  And speed is not the only factor.  Stability is still an issue even in places where speed has increased.  If you can only get over 5Mbps half the time… does that count as better?  

    Hopefully North American availability of High speed gets to the point soon where we can spend more time talking about stability.

    (Source: localstoriesproject, via npr)

    — 2 weeks ago with 124 notes
    #internet speed  #access