My Top 10 Car Chases

I’m in no way shape or form a petrol head, I don’t drive unnecessarily fast, but I do appreciate a good car chase in a film. Of the films I’ve watched (and you all know that is quite a few) here are my Top 10.

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000)
Bourne Identity (2002)
Ronin (1998)
Bullitt (1968)
The Italian Job (1969)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Blues Brothers (1980)

Name that Polyhedron!

For recent design project I spent the better part of a day trying to find out the name of a 72 faced shape. Finding the schema for naming a 2 dimensional shape, also known as a polygon, by its number of faces was easy; wikipedia had a brief naming table. Finding a similar table for a 3 dimensional shape, or polyhedron, was a lot harder (I actually had to use a book!) but very obvious when I found it.

Polyhedron & Polygon Naming Conventions

Having a table of naming information is useful but learning the rules behind how they are named makes things much easier to remember so I’ve summed up my observations.

  1. Both regular poly shapes are named from largest number to smallest, that is hundreds, tens, units
  2. Polygons can use the ‘kai’ conjunctive between Tens and Units .e.g. tetracontakaidigon and tetracontadigon are both valid for a 42 faced shape
  3. Polyhedrons end in ‘hedron’.
  4. Polygons end in ‘gon’.

For numbers greater than the table I’ve provided and the one available on wikipedia you multiply each digit by its base and call it as such so 4,000 faces becomes 4 × 1000 and called tetra × chilia + gon, 300 faces becomes 3 × 100 called tri × hecto + gon.

Table you can use from left to right for naming shaped 1-100
Tens and Units final suffix
10 deca- 1 -hena- -gon
20 icosi- -kai- 2 -di-
30 triaconta- 3 -tri-
40 tetraconta- 4 -tetra-
50 pentaconta- 5 -penta-
60 hexaconta- 6 -hexa-
70 heptaconta- 7 -hepta-
80 octaconta- 8 -octa-
90 enneaconta- 9 -ennea-
100 hecto- 0

For numbers great than one hundred you can use this base numbers.

Name Value
100 hecto
1,000 chilia
10,000 myria

What I really learnt at University

Those that go to University do so to extend their knowledge in a particular field but inevitably also learn a lot in a variety of others. Depending on whether your course sustains your interest those life lessons might be more important than your diploma. I found out half way through my degree that it wasn’t for me, I persevered none-the-less and along with a feast of boring Comp Sci edu-ma-cation I learnt that following that I think are just as important:

  1. Speaking your mind is better than putting it in text.
  2. You learn a helluva more from accomplishing something difficult on your own than being taught how to do it.
    • It also takes longer.
  3. Aslong as your room is clean and tidy you don’t feel so bad about the rest of the house.
  4. Everyone is a small fish, most just don’t know the size the pond.
  5. Nothing stays free forever.
  6. They mock you for being prepared but they love it when it pays off.
  7. Girls are frequently cold.
  8. One girl is a good investment of your time; otherwise have caution.
  9. Grammar is your friend.
  10. Exceed expectations/achieve your best as often as possible.
  11. Appreciate what you’ve got, and keep it if you can.

SSAGO Website, Phase II

If you set your way back machine for June 2006 you’ll see a stub about how I changed the SSAGO Messageboard to use phpBB and particularly the Categories Hierarchy modification. Well the rest of the site did follow shortly after but it didn’t sit well with those viewing in Internet Explorer because of their issue with list indentation, not to mention the design compromises embossed by democratic vote.

So a new layout was needed and whilst I was at it I wanted to deliver on my promise to provide a Content Management System for SSAGO News. Well I knew I couldn’t change the forum software again so I had to find something that someone had already developed an integration method for or one I could quickly bodge together myself.

I tried a Joomla! but it was far too complicated, I had to assume that the next Publicity Officer, whether this would be me re-elected at the Loughborough SSAGO Rally AGM or in Feb 2008. I went through a slew of them; I rejected Drupal for it’s unfriendly support community, e107 worked fine but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work along side phpBB and XOOPS was just too obscure. (Thank God for Open Source CMS.)

Then it dawned on me, WordPress. I’d been using WordPress as my blog software for 6 months or so and I loved it, I’d gotten quite close to the community and familiar with the code but I wasn’t sure how robust it would be with dozens of pages stored on it.

After a quick bit of research I found a code edit to accelerate the static page listings page which had exponentially gotten slower as I added more. (link) Next issue was user integration, there was a plugin with some minor code edits that I tried for a time but realised the author hadn’t updated it in almost a year, I tried working out what he had done and update it myself but decided that it would be quicker to start a fresh development cycle than catch up on an existing one.

So I had one WordPress blog working as the CMS and as the SSAGO News Article System. Hopefully the partnership will be a fruitful one.