Archive for May 2015

“How many zombies do you know?” – Columbia University Investigates

It’s good to see that modern zombie researchers* take Health and Safety seriously.  You can never be too careful with hordes of the ravenous undead around.

Extract of zombie paper

Elf & Safety, & Zombies

The full paper is available here.

*As the author of the paper makes clear, that’s people who research about zombies, not zombies who do research.  It’s an important distinction.

Posted May 18, 2015 by HVS in Mathematics, Memes, Zombies

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Arduino Days

My first degree was a Joint Honours B.Sc. in Music & Physics.  The music part has remained a serious hobby, and provided the raw material for my Ph.D study, but the physics has always been the basis of how I earn my living.  I’m therefore enthusiastic about the trend for ‘physical computing’, which involves messing about with resistors and soldering irons as well as coding.  It’s great to get back, literally, to the nuts and bolts of the hardware.

I’ve therefore been spending a chunk of this weekend assembling an Arduino DIY Gamer kit; a very enjoyable process, especially if like me you enjoy both physics and crafts.  You do have to read the instructions carefully though!  I thought I had, but discovered too late that I’d fixed the IR transmitter in at the wrong angle, and it proved impossible to remove without breaking something.  (This won’t stop the kit as a whole from working, but might make multi-player gaming via IR a bit flaky.)  I also managed to fix the battery terminals in the wrong way around!  Fortunately they were easier to get out again than the IR TX, and fitted back in after a bit of filing and resoldering.  The kit is now working, and after a couple of tries I’ve also got the Arduino IDE downloaded onto my Mac, and talking to the Gamer.  Next stop, Space Invaders!