Monthly Archives: May 2008

Crazy internet travelling adventures

On the 16th of May 2006 a man named Ze Frank who ran a popular daily video blog challenged his viewers to do something global. His challenge was to turn the Earth into a sandwich by placing two slices of bread on the ground at precisely opposite sides of the Earth.

At the time I was amused by the idea and excited by the challenge of uniting people from opposite sides of the planet by something really rather pointless and fun. It didn’t take very long for the challenge to be completed, using fancy internet tools like Google Earth and neat GPS thingies a couple of British guys took a detour on the way to Portugal to hit up Spain and complete the sandwich. The scary thing is that the managed to do it by April 12th, it took less than a month to turn the whole earth into a tasty sandwich!

Anyway, the reason I mention this is because of todays XKCD comic which contains a neat algorithm based on the DOW opening value for determining a specific location. The way it works is that the world is split into 1 degree square blocks (known as graticules), and within this block the algorithm uses the DOW opening value to determine the precise latitude and longitude of the location. The result is that every location is precisely 1 degree away from the next location, the result is that at the location within your graticule is always going to be within 100 miles or so (usually much closer).

Why is this interesting in any way? Well that I suppose is up to you. If for some reason you feel like going on an adventure, but don’t know where to go, then something like this makes the decision easy for you. Assuming todays location is reachable then why not go there and have a picnic or something. Even more exciting is the fact that Randall (xkcd author) has determined that 4pm on Saturday should be the standard meet up time, and so in theory if the location is reachable and there are enough xkcd readers in your location, heading there on a Saturday afternoon will result in meeting other random people who read xkcd.

As an aside, this comic also lead me to discover the game GeoDashing, which is a similar idea except that it’s implementation is that at the beginning on the month a few thousand random points are created globally, and then “players” are challenged to visit as many of those points as possible in the month to earn points.

I’m pretty sure internet based real world entertainment (usually in the form of random adventures) is on the increase. At some point in the future I will probably embark on one of these adventures myself.

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Exciting Relay material

Today is my birthday, and I have thus far receieved 1 card (thanks Grandparents!), a whole heap of facebook messages, a singular text message (thanks Mim!), and an exciting package from UCCF.

Sadly the package from UCCF was not a birthday present, but I was still rather pleased to receive it. The package contained a short letter outlining what the package contained (very useful), an outline of 10 Bible studies in Corinthians for me to have a look at, a CD full of Relay goodness which includes a heap of reading material, Terry Virgo’s talk on grace which was given at Word Alive and a few forms to fill in, and finally three books for me to read before Relay begins.

As it happens I have read two of the books before, they are Cross Examined by Mark Meynell, a really excellent book outlining just how amazing an event the Cross was. Cross Examined is a book I can easily recommend to any Christian, it’s a fairly easy read and it is filled with so much fantastic stuff which every Christian should be told about! I now have two copies, so I will no doubt be trying to give one of them away soon. The second book was Out of the Saltshaker by Rebecca Manley Pippert, a brilliant book all about evangelism. When I read it the first time I couldn’t help but get really excited about evangelism and I’m sure that I will thoroughly enjoy reading it again and reminding myself about just how fantastic it is that I have been given an opportunity to tell people about Jesus! The third and final book is called The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges, and it comes highly recommended by a few people. I’m really looking forward to digging into just how amazing God’s grace is and how it should effect my life as a Christian. I also know that I will be challenged by the book, and I hope and pray that those challenges will work themselves out in my life.

Now I have the joy of sifting through all of the bits and bobs on the CD and filling in some forms etc. Then tonight I might actually have some proper birthday fun!

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Last night I had a really weird dream. I dreamt that I was Logan from Logan’s Run, this was weird in itself as I haven’t seen the film in a really long time and there was no particular reason for me to have been dreaming about it. It was made even stranger by the fact that during the dream there was a concert happening in the city and Tinyfolk were headlining. I think my hand thingy had turned red at this point so I was running away and had to miss it, which I was pretty gutted about.

Anyway, if you haven’t already you should definately watch Logan’s Run because it’s an excellent film. Apparently a remake is currently in production and imdb says it’s due for release in 2010. I have an awful feeling they are going to do terrible things to an excellent story, but I guess it could turn out OK.

As for Tinyfolk, you should listen to them now!

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