Presenting Percy the Persistently Peering Paper Dragon

In case you haven’t seen it before, here’s a sweet and fun optical illusion: a paper dragon that seems to always turn its head to look at you.

Curiously, this illusion works much better on video than in reality. In reality, you need to close one of your eyes to fool your depth perception.

This originated as a conference give-away made by Jerry Andrus in 1998. Fans meet biennially to celebrate the life and work of Martin Gardner, and an American popular mathematics and popular science writer. Each participant must bring 400 copies of something they made, and everybody leaves with one copy of each item. Fun!

Want to make one yourself? Here are three versions, ready to print, cut, and glue:

Oh, and “Percy”? I made one of these to show my kids, and Daniel named it Percy. It sits on my desk and watches me carefully.


I dedicate this post to my grandmother Lizzi who would have been 97 today. She would have enjoyed this illusion.

Peace is a lie. There is only passion.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.

… Sounds good, doesn’t it? A wise code to follow if you want to free yourself from existing scripting and find your own path.

Heard it before? I only left out the ending:

The Force shall free me.

Continue reading ‘Peace is a lie. There is only passion.’

A farewell to Star Trek

I seem to be fond of brilliant technology that is no longer available. Similar to my Psion pocket computer that I recently mentioned, a FingerWorks keyboard is probably another advanced device you aren’t familiar with, except possibly through my rantings.

ST_hands_oblique

I’m sure Star Trek would have used keyboards like this one.

Continue reading ‘A farewell to Star Trek’

“Code 1000. Repeat, Code 1000.”

This evening in Ikea (don’t judge me) we were just done shopping when the PA system blares this. Three times in a row. We notice that all staff around us go into action immediately.

Clever as I am (don’t judge me) I pull out my phone and google “Ikea code 1000“.

ikea_lost_instructions

Turns out, first announcement means an unconfirmed alarm (fire etc.). Second time is a warning to all staff to prepare an evacuation. And third means business. Yes, we heard three, so I shovel the wife and kids out to the car right away.
Continue reading ‘“Code 1000. Repeat, Code 1000.”’

Hello old friend

Today on my commute home from work, I struck up a conversation with the man sitting next to me because he was using a very special pocket computer:

psion_s5mx

That’s a Psion Series 5 (technically a 5mx but that’s irrelevant to you normal folks.) It’s probably the best pocket computer ever built, but by now it’s also extremely rare and, in the context of electronic progress, rather ancient.

I have owned and used one of these for a decade, and I posted about it. It served me well and I still miss many aspects of it. If such a machine existed today with Internet access then I would probably still be using it. But mobile Internet didn’t exist back in its day. Continue reading ‘Hello old friend’