Wednesday, November 17, 2010

still alive

This blog is still alive.
I'm doing my PhD, and i'm still alive.

Following that theme, here's a quick sound byte from a sound track to one of the best games around (IMO)

But there's no sense crying
over every mistake.
You just keep on trying
till you run out of cake.
And the science gets done.
And you make a neat gun
for the people who are
still alive.

Now, these points of data
make a beautiful line.
And we're out of beta.
We're releasing on time!
So I'm GLaD I got burned-
Think of all the things we learned-
for the people who are
still alive.

Look at me: still talking
when there's science to do!
When I look out there,
it makes me GLaD I'm not you.

I've experiments to run.
There is research to be done.
On the people who are
still alive.
And believe me I am
still alive.
I'm doing science and I'm
still alive.
I feel fantastic and I'm
still alive.
Still alive.

Still alive.


Monday, November 17, 2008

following a blog

during my random stumbling today I came across -- and found that there is now a "follow this blog" feature, so i thought i'd test it out.

That blog has a bunch of fun pics, a few of which i hadn't seen anywhere before.

I need to sort out my random pics, but for now they'll continue to sit in my picasa account at So many things to do, and not enough time ...

Monday, November 10, 2008

The (almost) death of my blog

well, more than a year has passed since I've posted anything here, but this site is attached to an email address that is watched, so as the subtext to the title mentions, any questions on *any* topic will be answered.

I'm posting this a few years into the future so it'll be permanently pinned to the top.

you can see what other stuff i'm interested in (mostly science/IT/technology stuff) through my link lists at

about 1500 links in both.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Does creation matter?

I've recently had an interesting discussion concerning whether a belief in creation is critical to Christianity. This is not a discussion on creation vs evolution in the scientific sense.

If you disagree with anything, please post a comment and I will respond, and correct what I have written here, if needed.

I do not believe that ‘progressive creation’ and other similar intermediates between creation and evolution make sense. If you acknowledge that god is powerful enough to create everything individually, why would he not create it as listed in genesis 1, in 6 literal days.

One of the importance verses in the bible pertaining to creation of creation is Romans 5:12

‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ (Romans 5:12).

This would appear to indicate that, as Jesus was a real person, so Adam was also a real person. For there to have been a literal Adam, as outlined in Genesis, then man had to be created, not evolved.

is it possible for there not to have been a literal 'first person' to commit the 'original sin' by which the curse listed in Genesis 3:13-19 . Part of this curse is ‘

… until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;
for dust you are and to dust you will return’ (3:19).

This would indicate that up until this point, Adam was not going to ‘return to the dust’ – ie, have a physical death. I believe the precludes the possibility of anything other than the instantaneous creation of a complete human, without any non human ancestors.

Along a similar argument, it is hard to picture a world which has been based on millions of years of death being as being 'very good'.

What is meant by 'very good'?
the Hebrew words linked above translate the phrase literally as:
(exceedingly, much) (good, pleasant, agreeable)

I can not see how a picture that involves hundreds of millions of years of death and suffering could possibly produce this ‘very good’ world. As this process is continuing around us, it would also mean that creation is currently uncompleted rather than fallen.

If anyone has any other resources, please let me know.


creation does matter:
Institute for creation research (ICR)
AnswersInGenisis (index to creation articles)

creation is optional:

interesting reading:
AnswersInGenisis, mildly supportive of creation, but mostly conserned with theology

Thursday, December 01, 2005


All questions left here will receive an answer. Ask anything.
Some of the topics that I intend to post on(some time, and in no particular order):
  • random numbers, generating them, and using them for cryptography.
  • the generic object renderer that i created (combination ray tracer and polygon shader)
  • gods' impossible standards (and the amazing gift of grace)
  • how accurate is the bible?
  • can evolution overcome irreducible complexity?
  • The davinci code
  • interpretations for genesis 1 ( from a Christian perspective)
  • a brief look at the scientific evidence for and against a young earth creation
    (note - although I'm a Christian I'm also a scientist so I can't simply say Christianity is right therefore everyone else is wrong, without some evidence to back up that claim)
  • graph theory, and storage of a large number of graphs compressed. (1 per byte)
  • curve fitting, on arbritraty (non planer) surfaces (still working on the last bit)

This list seems to keep growing, but don't let that stop you from contributing your own questions

Monday, November 21, 2005

My thesis is completed

and as such, I will now have time to start posting here again.

I have not had any time to do anything in the last month and a bit, but now I have free time again.

I have now got a account, and my links can be seen at over the next few days I'll be uploading most of my bookmarks to the site - the bookmarks are mostly science/it related.

ahh, it is good to have some free time again

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The accuracy of the bible

someone has borrowed my main reference - i'll have to put this off a week or 2

Well, this complicated topic should fall into two categories:
New Testament and Old Testament.

New Testament

  • Is what we have today what was originally written?
    • translations
    • number of manuscripts
    • dating of current manuscripts
    • dating of original manuscripts

  • How accurate was what was originally written?
    • internal evidence
    • external evidence
    • archeological evidence

  • a closer look at Jesus of Nazareth
    • was there a Jesus of Nazareth, who lived around 4bc to 30 ad?
    • did the bible paint an accurate picture of him?
    • what happened to his body?

Old Testament

  • Is what we have today what was originally written?
    • translations
    • number of manuscripts
    • dating of current manuscripts
    • dating of original manuscripts

  • How accurate was what was originally written?
    • internal evidence
    • external evidence
    • archeological evidence

I'll post on each point over the next few weeks.

While many of the claims in the new testament seem impossible (raising the dead, walking on water) there is no evidence that it did not happen. This is not the same as saying those events did actually happen, as the absence of evidence is not, in itself evidence one way or another.

If it is remotely possible that Jesus of Nazareth was the 'Son of God', then, as the son of god, he would of been capable of doing those things. If he wasn't then those stories are simply made up myths.

If anyone has any evidence concerning The bible, either from a pro or anti christian view, i would like to know about it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

satelite pictures

post a location, anywhere in the world, i'll post a picture of it :-)

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

curve fitting

well, i thought i'd finally get around to posting on something mathematical, considering that the course that i'm doing at uni at the moment is oficially 'BSc with honors in mathematics'. This is a picture of something that i've been working on in my free time.

It creates a polynomial surface that will pass through all the points in the grid. People have been doing this with splines, benzier curves and bi-cubic patches for forever.

What is different about this curve fitting methodology is that this is a peicewise polynomical of only 4th order (the highest power in the individual segments of the surface is x^3 * y or y^3 * x). This leads to an analytic solution to the intercept between the surface and a line(blue) (4th order polynomials can be solved for zero exactly). I also implemented this, calculated the normal to the surface(green), and calculated the direction a ray that hit the surface would go (red).

The joins between the individual segments are second derivative continuous, and each segment is created using only local information (up to 12 points in this scheme).

I created this method to allow ray tracing of dynamic 3d objects, but haven't gotten around to adding it to my renderer (i'll have to add that to my list of things to post on; it's a basic combination polygon shader and ray tracer)

This can be trivially extended so that the interpoltate fits to the surface match any condition (eg. if you wanted the derivative at each of the points to be zero, that could be arranged). They don't even have to be polynomial based surfaces, although the exact intercept would probably not be calculatable without the polynomial fitting.

if anyone knows how to import a 3d mesh into matlab, or could create one (it has to be a grid based object, but the points can be anywhere in space, not just in the regular planer shape that i created the example with) i would be happy to do some trial renderings of the object.

matlab is an interpreted language, so a compleatly unoptermised set of files like what i used to create the above rendering runs much slower than a decent compiler could achive. If there is any requests, and i have some time free i'll see if i can port it over to c++, although that could be messy, due to matlab having one indexed arrays and c++ having 0 indexed arrays.

Monday, July 18, 2005

quote of the day

Larry Ponemon, a privacy adviser, says research by his Ponemon Institute found Google consistently getting high marks for trust.

By contrast, Microsoft, whose software sometimes crashes and regularly gets violated by hackers, didn't fare as well despite what Ponemon and others acknowledge are improvements in its approach to privacy.

(emphesis mine)


scripture, holidays, and chess (on a camp)

well, it's been a while since i even looked at my blog - and the list of topics that i intend to write on is just getting longer, and as i have a bit of time this week, i should realy write something.

Last week i spent at lake moogerah . This was the yearly 'Mid Year Camp' put on by a christian group around the uni called the 'evangelical students' of which i'm a part. This year the topic of the camp was the doctrine of scripture, although we ended up looking at the trinity allot more than scripture itself. Key passages were 2 peter, 2 tim and psalm 119 (used more in the bible studies not the teaching sessions), although there was allot of other passages used. Once i've got the cd's (probably next week) i'll post them on my website for download.

I've just added the cd's from last years camp, which was on the topic of 'Christ and Culture', or 'how christians should relate to the world around them'. Feel free to copy them.

Two years ago the topic was isiah, but i didn't attend that one.

At all these camps the speaker was the local chaplin. No, that's not the right term. minister and preacher aren't correct either - Keith is just the guy that does the teaching, and he is quite good at it.

back to the teaching:
the individual lectures/sermons/?? were on the topics of...
well i can't remember the titles, but the topics were roughly what does it mean for christ to be the word, god to send the word, the holy spirit interpreting the word, the last lecture was on applications for all this, and i can't remember the topic of the other one (it was a 5 day camp).

it was nice to be able to sit back and relax, without any computers for email, and while there was 'a' tv there (one between about 100 of us) noone used it.

during the free time people played soccer, chess, 500, mao (another card game - if you ask i'll explain), and mafia (ditto).

some of the best chess players that i've had to practice with in a while were there (i lost more than one game in a row in the first time in quite a while) and, everyone being uni students, the average interlecutal level of conversation was a little higher than normal.

(i intend to update this when i get home - add pictures and the like)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


well, i finally found it; some way to see how random my random number
generator is.
I've known about this test set for a while, but although everyone
quotes it, it is quite hard to find on the Internet, as one of the
main pages for download is down permanently.

i'll eventually post stuff here concerning it, how it works, and how
random (or not) it turns out to be. I'm quite sure that it will not
pass the tests, however that doesn't mean that it isn't a good

(ps. i tried emailing this to my blog, but for some reason it didn't work. i have no idea why)

re: time management

i don't know how i did it (well, i do, and there were a few late nights invloved), but everything except one project has been handed in, completed and on time.

The project is due friday, and is well on the way.

so i'll finally be able to see star wars this friday.


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

x factor

'navonod; things this site could be more interesting. What do you think i should do?
post ideas here:

Friday, May 20, 2005

Freak storm

(note, due to me being caught on a bus during the storm, I might be exaggerating a little...)
wow, what a storm!

15 mins, 2 inch of hail!

on my way to uni this morning (~17 hours after the storm) there were still piles of hail around, and the tempterature over night only got down to about 15 degrees C. I would of expected it to all of melted by now.

i don't have an image hosting account at the moment, i'll put them up on my website when i get home (for some reason it is down, so i'll have to sort that out when i get home also :(

heres some pictures, as i was in a bus at the time of the storm w/o a camera, these aren't mine

it's now more than 24 hours later, and although the minimum temperature has been 15 C, there is still ice on the ground in places! (temperature currently at 18, outside)

time management

what to do with my time, over the next 1 week i have:

1 large project
~2 tutorials
1/2 assignment
and as much of an nothing to do on my honours thesis (my supervisor realises this is a buisy week for me) as can be done
and a router to fix

well, it's a little less than when i last edited this post, so i think it is doable, it just means i won't get to see starwars this weekend :(
i'll post when i can, but don't expect 2 many long deeply philosphical posts, but feel free to ask any question, i'll probably welcome a 1/2 hour break to answer it.

to help with my time maagement, i've managed to talk the place that i'm doing my honours project with to lend me a copy of matlab, it's only a student edition, but it's more than enough to get the job done, unfortunatally, it's not mine to keep, so i'll have to return it at the end of the year. even if i could keep it, i'ts a student licence, so if you're not a student, then you're not supposed to use it.

please post a comment on something, just to let me know how many people actually read my site (i don't believe the counter i put up about a month ago, i think that most of those could be me)

if you want a gmail account just ask.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Matlab is erratic

The time is min seconds, as reported by matlab, using clock()
time on a g5 (OS X): 12.0000 26.7438

time on an itanium2 : 12.0000 23.7752 some flavor of Linux
time on itanium2 w/o jvm: 10.0000 29.5311
NOTE: due to heavy usage, I was only using 50% of one processor on the itanium

intel 1.5 GHz, running red hat 6 (not sure on exact specs)
6.0000 41.0150 ?! This is fast!

866 mhz p3? windows - bah - slow! (x86 Family 6 Model 8 Stepping 6)
47.0000 52.4580

a report from someone else:
Matlab 7.0.1 service pack 1 on a G5 via ssh from my laptop =
6mins 28.279 secs

Matlab 6.1 in virtual PC (mac laptop)= 1hr 24mins 53.657 secs

The ~ 5 min run was on a computer @ uni I don't have an account on, so I can't re-run the test.

matlab student edition,, P4 2.66 GHz:
8.0000 18.6400
the next day: (stuff open in backgroud, but not doing anything)
10.0000 25.4210
reboot, close everything not needed, no jvm (including background stuff)
7.0000 57.5160

anyway, the test files are here:
so if you have access to matlab, feel free to run 'assign1', and please report your times here. (read the 'sup' post below for details)

Neglecting my blog

Well, I seem to have been ignoring my blog for a while, but life has been quite busy here.

Some things that I would of though would be easy have turned out to be harder than I though, so today, allot less has been done than what I would of liked to do.

anyway, I've got some more times, and am updating how quickly matlab runs.

Monday, May 02, 2005

My own hosted page

Well, I've finally gotten around to putting some stuff of mine on my home page (, including various projects that I have done while I've been at university.

Please tell me what you think of it and how I could improve it.

I know that it is a bit bland at this stage, but I'll slowly be updating it to be a bit more useful and interesting.

away, I'm going to apply for that PhD at Oxford

Sunday, May 01, 2005

information on almost everything

sumbjects discussed on this site include:
  • Vectors monthly newsletter of science, technology, and other subjects.

  • Air Vectors: Writings about military and civil aircraft, including rotorcraft and lighter-than-air machines.

  • Asimov Project: Writings in physical science and spaceflight, dedicated to and with inspiration from the late Dr. Isaac Asimov.

  • CyberTechnics: Writings in computing, electronics, and technology.

  • WorldScapes: Writings in military technology; military and general history; plus artwork, reviews, and some other miscellaneous items.
i found it looking for information on 'AWK', a usefull data file process laguage, more powerfull than using grep, or egrep, and simpler than pearl, or some other simler language.