Monthly Archives: October 2012

Howto Try Trihexaflexagon

We finally managed to get a hexaflexagon working!  Check out the video of my son demonstrating.

If you’re having trouble getting started too, here’s a recap of our journey.

We were introduced to them a few weeks ago thanks to vihart‘s great video (via my friend Kate), but stumbled around at first trying to figure them out.   We watched Danny Halvern’s Hexahexaflexagon movie and had some success putting them together with a compass and ruler but it was very time-consuming and we didn’t get many iterations before giving up.  We read over the hexaflexagon construction instructions but were still overwhelmed.  We found a page that talked about the different ways to flex it, but it was still too much to get us off the ground.  I went back to basics and read Martin Gardner‘s original Scientific American Book of Puzzles and Games which probably would have worked if I had taken the time doing it myself, but couldn’t work trying to get the kids to do them as well.  I found a template (and was confused by the having both sides on one side) but, didn’t have a colour printer available so was stumped again.  How were we ever going to get folding?!

And along came the Celebration of Mind Gathering for Gardner.  Their party organizer’s kit finally collected together a simple set of Trihexaflexagon templates in the same spot that we could work with.  We printed out numerous of their blank templates (note to self: modify this to include the numbers for the absolute newbs) and after a few attempts at numbering and colouring it for the kids we got one put together.  Woot!  My son has already modify it to include putting the pattern in the middle and watching it go to the outside and he wanted to do two more before bed, but there is plenty of time for it now.  Are hexahexaflexagon’s next?

Update: Day Two.  We’ve made a few more videos as we worked through our folds and more.  First up is me walking you through the tri and the hexa hexaflexagons.

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‘I on the sky’ at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto

Young People's Theatre LogoDynamO Théâtre‘s I on the sky is currently playing at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto with tickets still available for this weekend’s performances.

My kids and I saw the show today (they perform twice a day for school groups as well as the ticketed weekend shows) thanks to a Toronto4Kids contest win, and it was excellent.  An acrobatic trampolining energetic costume filled play without words that is also touching and heartfelt, not to mention laughter inducing.  If you can find the time to squeeze in the 60minute show, I recommend you do, you won’t be disappointed.  Side fact for my circus followers — two of the actors are former Cirque du Soleil performers.

The program suggests it for an audience of 10 years and up, and YPT suggests grades 3 to 7, but my 3 & 5 year old were engrossed completely.  There is conflict, and bullyish behaviour from the ‘thugs’ as I named them, plus some violence near the end from the ‘soliders‘ but it didn’t seem to register on the kids.For an added bonus to your outing, after the show get a peameal bacon sandwich from St Lawrence Market and head a block south of the theatre to David Crombie Park and you can sit on a back to back green bench, almost like the ones in the show.  Minus the trampoline in the middle.

If you’re still not convinced, here is a video preview of the show.

Plus a special mention to ‘Jeff‘ for overruling the front of house staff’s aversion to my barefeet.

Our videos this week – 2012-41

It was a busier than usual week for video uploads to our youtube channel, so I thought I’d just include them all here in case you missed some.  To help from missing out, feel free to subscribe to us and you’ll be notified of new videos as soon as they upload.

And our most popular video this past month continues to be Kids Playing in ball pit.

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Celebrate Spider-man’s 50th Birthday at NYCC 2012

Marvel Entertainment is teaming up with New York City Comicon this coming weekend to help celebrate Spider-man’s birthday and has invited the Mayor of New York City to participate.  Amazing Spider-man #700 (the “last” Amazing Spider-man comic?) is just around the corner too (see cover image above and lead-up video below).

Update: Oct 19. So many people contributed to a giant Spider-man birthday card at the NYCC that they’ve won a Guinness World Record!

Spider-man Birthday Card -- 2707 signatures

Step by step graphic on how to keep your world of warcraft alts private from the internet and other characters

HOWTO Keep Your Alts Private

Attention World of Warcraft players!
If you do not want the internet to automatically discover who your alts are, please follow these step by step instructions.

  • Hit ‘Escape’ or Click on the ‘Game Menu’ icon in your toolbar
  • Select the ‘Interface’ option from the Game Menu
  • Select the ‘Display’ category under the ‘Game’ tab
  • Check the last box which reads “Display Only Character Achievements to Others”
  • Rinse and Repeat for all your Characters

What this will do is restrict your account wide achievements from displaying when another player /inspects you ingame, or when they visit your character profile on the Battle.net Armory — but MOST importantly it hides that data from the API.  The API is the programming interface that other websites can use to harvest your profile data.  A few of them have started to parse through your account wide achievements to find out which alts earned the achievement, and then they are linking your alts together on their website.

WoWProgress posted about their Alt Tracking.  And WoWInsider reported on GuildOx’s addition of the feature.

For the time being it seems that if you were already refreshed on one of the tracking sites before you checked this option, your alts are permanently linked.  Hopefully the programmers of the popular sites will provide a way for people to dis-associate their toons, or even better, re-check during their refresh and if the information is no longer in the results of the API, remove the links to peoples alts.

Screenshot on how to keep your world of warcraft alts private from the internet and other characters

Update Oct 26 It seems WoWProgress has added an option under your account settings that allows for “Hide my alts (you will need to confirm at least one character)”.  So if you go through the process of registering on their site, confirming one of your characters (they’ll ask you to un-equip certain items, logout and refresh) that are linked together, then checking this box your alts can be hidden.

Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared now available on Netflix Canada

Two superb, under-appreciated, TV comedies from over a decade ago are now available on Netflix Canada and I recommend you watch them now.

Freaks and Geeks ran for most of a season in 1999-2000 and right from the opening credits with Joan Jett wailing out Bad Reputation I was hooked on the equally awkward Sam and his gaggle of geeks and the rebellious Lindsay going her own way with the fearless Freaks.  Half the main cast of teens have gone on to further stardom, thanks to their association with Judd Apatow, so that’s another reason to check out this series and see them ‘before they were stars’.

Undeclared was a 2001 follow-up from most of the creative team and a few of the actors heading off to college for the first time where Steve (Jay Baruchel) tries to re-invent himself and navigate the strange social landscape of being a Freshman.  Please note, you probably want to watch the episodes in this order, and not the order they are listed on Netflix.  Somehow Netflix knew to jump ahead to Episode 9 to be played 2nd, but after that you have to manually select the order they are played in.