This year I’d like to thank all of my dear friends for being a part of my life. Almost all of you are related to bars or the cocktail industry and offer no end of enjoyable conversation between myself and my parents as I continue to assure them I am not in fact alcoholic and that I do have other hobbies than drinking. Although ‘working’ is all I can come up with, I still appreciate your influence in my life. I’m also thankful to all my female friends who continue to not sleep with me nor send me naked photos of themselves. Your apathy and rejection has continued to strengthen my self worth as I have gone through divorce and feeling unwanted. Perhaps 5 minutes of your time was saved, but you give me a lifetime of soul searching… and a continued need to spend time with my “friends” (see above). Thank you all for all you have given me this last year. I am the person I am because of you. ♥
Whenever I get sick I tend to have an odd little reaction. My mind seems to slip into recursive loops and OCD like obsessions. Very odd. It’s like the programming breaks down and some acknowledgement flag that is normally set by the brain forgets to fire and I continue processing data trying to come up with an answer. As a programmer, I can totally relate. As a human, it gets annoying.
My latest obsession, while fighting off this damned cold, has been the riddles and puzzles my coworkers and I have been solving. Every day we have a new puzzle or riddle, or two, and spend some time trying to figure them out over our morning coffee. It’s a fun little exercise in logic and creative thinking… perfect for a bunch of programmers creating computer games. Some are incredibly easy, others require more thought. Lately, bored with the riddles, word play and cryptography, we’ve delved into math puzzles.
These were the latest two:
The first puzzle: using the numbers 1 through 9, place each number in the circle. The only rule is the three connected circles in a row must add up to 18. This was a bit of a twist on the Magic Square. This was fun as I not only had determined the answer, but was able to prove there is only one possible answer. The key is to create a list of all possible combinations (easier than it sounds) and eliminate invalid ones.
Since you’ll use 1 through 9, you can assume the following will be used: 1+17, 2+16, 3+15, 4+14, etc. to 9+9. That second number will need to be two other numbers, so what could those possibly be? 1+[(8+9)]… 2+[(7+9)] (can’t be 8+8 because you can only use a number once)… 3+[(6+9) or (7+8)]… etc. Starting with the 1, we know it can only be 8 and 9, or 9 and 8. Write them both in (8/9) in one and (9/8) in the other. We can then use the 6 -> 6 + [(5+7), (4+8), (3+9)] and figure out what the two other joined options could be (5 and 7 since the others use an 8 and 9, which we are already using)… and so on. You eventually get to a point where there are two possible sets of options, however, the number 2 only exists in one of those possible sets, so you can ignore the other and collapse the possibilities down to just the one. There’s your answer and proof there’s only one possible option. Fairly simple, right?
The second puzzle: The simplicity and elegance made me fall in love with this. I’ve become obsessed with not only the answer, but the geometry and math behind it. I blame being sick for the OCD compulsion on this one. Forgive my drawings (it should be a wolf and duck). There is a wolf-demon thing on the edge of a circular lake, it can only travel around the edge. There is a duck-like frog thing in the center and can swim in any direction. The wolf-demon can move 4 times faster than the duck-frog. As the duck-frog moves, the wolf-demon will move as fast as it can towards the closest place to the duck-frog to eat it. What is the shortest path the duck-frog must take to avoid the wolf-demon?
If the duck-frog just ran, it will travel the radius, r. In that time, the wolf-demon can travel 4r, 4 times faster. To travel from one end to the other, half the circumference of the circle, is PI*r or 3.14159r… much less than the 4r the wolf-demon can travel, so the wolf-demon can easily eat the duck-frog. Is it possible to avoid the wolf-demon and how so?
I started going off making the problem much harder than it is. I was thinking you could plot out the sine wave and cosine wave of the motion of the wolf and map the position of the duck based on its slope/wave form of its possible distance it could travel in a given time and find the intersection of the circle in such a way that the wolf had yet to get there… if possible. Silly me. I had to leave work and pickup my son from school, so I kept thinking about it as I was driving to get him. I nearly ran a red light, but was kicking myself that the answer was so simple. I went home and started drawing out the geometry, as I knew how it could be done, but not how you could calculate it out and determine the math and geometry of it. That’s where my OCD sick brain kicked into overdrive:
*sigh* I’m still a little foggy and can’t seem to get beyond the math required for a distance along a circumference relating to the distance traveled along a spiral with a common angular velocity. If anyone has the math, I’d love to see it.
Any way, here’s the answer…
The duck-frog runs to the edge, but rotates around based on the wolf-demon’s path. It matches it’s angle in the opposite direction, so the wolf-demon will always have 180 degrees to travel around the circle. Think of it like a spiral out. However, at the beginning, the duck-frog can move out faster than it needs to move sideways, but as it increases it’s distance, it will need to move sideways more than it can move towards the edge to maintain being on the exact opposite side of the wolf. Because it is 4 times slower, at 1/4r it will be at a point where it’s angular velocity is exactly the same as the wolf’s… it’s orbit speed matches that of the wolf’s… when it goes 90 degrees around the circle, the wolf goes 90 degrees too… it’s the radius of a geosynchronous orbit between the duck and wolf, keeping them always 180 degrees away. They could stay that way forever. Closer in towards the center, the duck can go faster around (which allows the duck to move in and out while matching the orbit of the wolf) and further away from 1/4r, the wolf can travel faster and catch up to the duck. Since the closest path from the duck at 1/4r to the edge is a straight line, it’s in the duck’s best interest to just run as fast as it can and hope the wolf can’t catch it.
Can it? At that point, the duck must travel 3/4r to get to the edge. The wolf, traveling 4 times faster, can travel 4*(3/4)r = 3r. As long as the duck maintained the angular rotation of the wolf, the wolf must travel half the circumference of the circle, which as we noted was PI*r or 3.14159r. That’s a distance 0.14159 greater than the 3r it has time to travel… so… the duck-frog escapes the lake and evades the wolf-demon! Hurray!
The best path will look like a cross-section of a spoon. A spiral that shoots out from the center quickly and then swoops into the 1/4r radius (maintaining a constant distance traveled along a constant angular rotation), in an arcing motion spiraling out. At the 1/4r radius, it simple shoots straight out towards the edge with no angular rotation.
However, I’m determined to know what the actual equation is! Stupid OCD brain won’t let it go. That’s probably why I’m writing this… to release the demons in my mind. ;) So I’m thinking if R < 1/4r, the second derivative is constant and equal to 1/4D (wolf’s distance traveled), which per angle degree theta, varies the slope of the path from pure vertical at R=0 to pure horizontal at R=1/4r. If you are given the distance r is and the actual velocity the wolf can travel, you should be able to determine at what angle R = 1/4r. So when R >= 1/4r, theta = X is the simple polar equation for the path taken.
When R >= 0 and R < 1/4r, R = some equation that has a constant distance traveled per angular change and relating to the angle and distance traveled by the wolf. When R >= 1/4r, Theta = X, where X was the previous equation, solved for theta when R = 1/4r.
Seems straight forward, right?!
My brain won’t let this go and although I have a feeling I just actually said what the basis for the equations are, I can’t seem to piece them together.
Stop being sick so I can figure this out or let this go.
I got my first computer in 5th grade, an Apple ][+, and started teaching myself to program. I saved up all my money and got an Apple ][GS in high school. In college I got a Mac clone and learned web development and Photoshop. I worked in the gaming industry and started a 15 yr career in programming and web dev because of that. I went back to school and got a computer science degree and worked as a software engineer in the defense industry. I was a rocket scientist. I attended WWDC in ‘06 and was in the audience for a Steve Jobs keynote. I partied at the Apple campus. I have an iPhone app in iTunes. Apple was one of the most influential aspects of my life and career. Other than my parents, no other entity has been such a part of my life for so long. Steve… thank you. I don’t know where I would be now if you had not done what you did. I create. Beyond a canvas, I think and create things from nothing. You gave me an ability to be my own personal god, ruling among my own universe. The only limits I know are my own imagination and drive.
Does your wife and mistresses have unwanted jewelry just laying around? Are you trying to figure out your next business strategy but are hindered by the unimaginative, low-wage, yes-men you hired?
Give me a call! Get million dollar ideas for pennies on the dollar! Better yet, PAY NOTHING, just trade in your unwanted and antiquated gold for my mind!
Mind for Gold!
Who am I?!
I’m TikiGeeki, beloved online personality and spokeperson for being awesome. My mind is a lush, fertile ground with ideas springing forth like geysers. I’m not talking water with a light mineral solution bubbling up. I’m talking eruptions of highly carbonated mineral water, super heated in the bowels of the Earth, erupting like the money shot in a porno!
You’re a single lady looking for a costume for the annual Halloween party at JPL?
Sexy Zombie Schrodinger’s Cat. BAM! That just happened! Single no more!
Need a theme for your hosted potluck and movie night?
Kung Fu Tofu. KA-POW!
Guacamole? That was my idea. When the Earl of Sandwich was up late one night gambling and needed something to eat… guess what idea I gave him? When my buddy Christopher was about to go sailing, guess who took his map and wrapped it in a loop and said, “Check this shit out, Chris!” That’s right. Great Pyramids made by aliens? An alien-like mind of AWESOME!
It would take a small country of Asian sweat shops to match the production output of my mind! But you won’t need to spend your GNP to acquire this treasure… NO SIR! Just tell your wife and mistresses to hand over that gold jewelry you gave them last year and they will soon be swimming in pools of champagne! You’ll have so much revenue coming in from my ideas that you can pay for the finest pool boys to occupy your wife and girlfriends so you can stay focused on building your business! That’s what I call a Win-Win. (Yeah, I coined that term too!)
Send me your antiquated gold jewelry NOW and live the life you only dreamed about!
If you give me a call in the next fifteen minutes, I’ll throw in an idea for FREE. That’s right, FREE! But, you have to call in the next fifteen minutes! I’ve got an idea to solve that erection disorder… but you need to call in the next fifteen minutes!
We’ll send you our complete and secure package to mail your gold jewelry to us. Once received we’ll be calling you… and you better have one thick pad of paper and a pile of pens ready!
Please stay on the line if the phones are busy.
TikiGeeki’s Mind For GOLD!
Time machine? Yeah, I’ve had some thoughts on the matter… CALL NOW!
I’m actively supporting my buddy, RumDood, to become Tommy Bahama’s Rumologist. I’d like to say it’s because I’m that good of a friend and support my friends in their endeavors, but really its because I long for the day I can have this conversation:
Bar Manager: Lord Geeki, this is an unexpected pleasure. We’re honored.
TikiGeeki: You may dispense with the pleasantries, Manager. I’m here put you back on schedule.
Bar Manager: I assure you, Lord Geeki, my men are working as fast as they can.
TikiGeeki: Perhaps I can find new ways to motivate them.
Bar Manager: I tell you this bar will be operational as planned.
TikiGeeki: The Rumologist does not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation.
Bar Manager: But he asks the impossible. I need more rum.
TikiGeeki: Then perhaps you can tell him when he arrives.
Bar Manager: The Rumologist’s coming here?
TikiGeeki: That is correct, Manager and he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.
Bar Manager: We shall double our efforts.
TikiGeeki: I hope so, Manager, for your sake. The Rumologist is not as forgiving as I am.
Help make my dream a reality. Vote for RumDood as Rumologist.
Seriously, you can’t make this shit up.
I was mentioned in this week’s Cocktail Nation podcast, episode 173! I’m conducting an ongoing social experiment: call my number and leave a voice mail 909-575-TIKI ending it with “Let’s Have Drinks.” Make it funny or serious, whatever you’d like. I’ll post the messages at my website http://tikigeeki.com so everyone can be a part and enjoy.
Here’s the experiment: I go to bars all the time. So many times I engage in conversations with people and hear very personal details of their lives. For a short period of time everyone there at the bar are friends and the world is a happy place. However, would you call someone random and leave them a funny message and ask to get drinks with them? Most people, no. In person or even on a blog or on Twitter, yes, but over a phone and leaving a message turns out to be FAR more personal and people are hesitant to engage. Worse yet, some people lock themselves and the others around them in protective barriers and try to avoid social interaction. Where do you fall? If you were asked to randomly call someone and leave a funny message, would you?
Step out of that box and be a part of my social experiment! Leave me a message (sign up for Google Voice and it won’t cost you a thing… Hell, Koop Kooper from Cocktail Nation called me and he’s in fucking Australia!!), make it as funny as you want and end it with “Let’s Have Drinks.” Listen to what others left. It’s been fun and will only get better if you are a part of it.
At the very least, say ‘hi’ to that person sitting next to you in the bar rather than just sitting there sipping on that cocktail. Let’s break free from the boxes we separate ourselves with and socialize. Last I noticed the Rapture didn’t happen, so until then we are stuck with each other… let’s make it count. Let’s become a cocktail nation!
Why I’m single