HowTo: Generate a Mandelbrot using XSLT

We’ve seen before how Mandelbrots can be mathematically generated using T-SQL and ASCII art.

XSLTs are used to transform XML documents into more readable information. Now someone’s taken the time to create an XSLT template to transform a few values in an XML file into a mandelbrot image also using 27 ASCII characters (each with their own colour). [via The Daily WTF]


Chrome Experiements

Just in case you thought JavaScript wasn’t powerful then check out the Chrome Experiments site. You don’t need to use Chrome to view them but they’ll run better and quicker than most other browsers. 

These experiments were created by designers and programmers from around the world. Their work is making the web faster, more fun, and more open – the same spirit in which we built Google Chrome. – source Chrome Experiments

You can play Tetris, look at some physics experiments and even make your browser talk. Go and check it out

Think you’re a hotshot JavaScript programmer – got a cool experiment or fun game? Why not submit it to them and you could find yourself being showcased on their site too.

Broken Picture Telephone game review

I’m sure most, if not all, of you are familar with the game of quick draw, called Pictionary. And if you know it or have played it before you know how much fun it can be and what hailarious results come out of someone drawing their interpretation of a word or phrase and their partner having to guess that word or phrase.

Okay, now keep that idea in mind, got it? Good.

Now, remember the game you might have played when you were younger or in school, called broken telephone (or Chinese whispers)? You know the one, find a group of people and have one person whisper a phrase to one person, then that person whispers it to the next and so on until you get to the last person who repeats the message to the first. Then laugh at how the message got changed somewhere along the way.

Get that idea? Now, imagine the hilarious results if you put the two together? You then get the Broken Picture Telephone game. 

You can either start your own game, or join in an existing game. Whenever someone takes a turn they only ever see the previous phrase and have to draw it’s representation or the previous picture and have to describe what they see as accurately as possible. Oh, and just like most games, there’s a 10-minute time limit to each go. 

Once the last person has played the game you were a part of you get emailed a notification that the game has been completed with a link to the game so that you can see how it progressed and what the result was. 

Then you get things that start out like this:


Progress to something like this:


And finally, amazingly, end up with this:


Just take a look at some of the previous games I have been involved in for more hilarious examples.

Thanks to onelargeprawn for spotting this one!

Tilt Shift Maker website

I’ve been trying all weekend to get to the TiltShiftMaker website to try it out but it seems they’ve been inundated by people wanting to try out their free service. I wanted to try it out for myself before posting about it so I tried this morning and got it to work – the service is extremely straightforward and simple, it just seems they’re struggling with the demand.

Below is a photograph of the old Green Point Stadium I took while on a helicopter flip around Cape Town and the coast. It’s being replaced by the new stadium built for the FIFA 2010 Word Cup to be held in South Africa – I’d like to take another flip around town when it’s finished and take a photo of it for comparison. [via Lifehacker]


Tilt-shifted photo of Green Point Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa


Textorize any image

What? I hear you asking – okay let me explain – here’s a free little website that allows you to point it to an image on the web, give it a few words to use as paint-brush strokes and voila – it uses the words you gave it as brush strokes to draw the image you gave it – pretty accurately too, and using the closest possible colours. I took my blog mughshot and textorized it with Demitri, Baroutsos and Deems. Go on, try it for yourself – it’s fun! [via Chris Pirillo]

PS: you can’t right click and save the image, because it’s not actually an image but a scaleable vector graphc created with rotated and coloured text – right-click and select view-source to see what was generated. 


Deems, textorized

PhotoFunia: Make yourself famous

Update: 11 Feb 2010 – it appears the Swedes have heard of me and I’m making a difference in their lives.

photofunia-logoEver wanted to be famous? Have your portrait hung on a wall, Warhol style or maybe on a wanted poster? Now you can, with PhotoFunia. Below are some samples I did quickly with my mugshot-photo. Try it out for yourself and see what the results are like. [via Seth]


Warhol-style - I'm famous!


Artist sketching me, nice legs eh? 🙂

Deems-Potter wanted poster

Deems-Potter wanted poster

Game: Fantastic Contraption

Here’s a fun little flash game that will either frustrate the crap out of you or keep you busy for hours – have fun! The idea behind the game is to get a object from one location (light blue area) to the target location (red area) with the aid of various bits and pieces that roll or pull – you can even join things up to move the object around. 

Click on the image below (on of my own contraptions) to get to the game online. Source How-To Geek

Early Christmas Gift For The Kids

When I think back of the time that my brother and I were kids and what outdoor things we had to play with things like an old Fig tree and the garage roof come to mind. Well, that’s all we, as kids, had to climb up and down and on.

Well we’ve been thinking of what we can do with our 110sqm back garden for a while now, in fact *blush* 5 years now. Finally we decided what better than to get something for the kids to use outside. Kids today tend to be indoors most of the time, either watching TV, movies or playing video games. 

So what’s the early Christmas gift already? Okay, okay – it’s an outdoor gym for the kids. Needless to say, I’m jealous 🙂

Here’s a picture of one part of our back-garden as it was before (namely, yesterday afternoon when I got home from work):

And this is what it looks like this afternoon, what a transformation (I didn’t quite realise how big it would be based on the small drawing in the catalogue):

The entire system consists of the following:

  • Slide
  • Ladder
  • Cargo Net
  • 2 x Swings
  • A swinging tyre
  • Monkey bars
  • Climbing rope
  • Covered deck to play on


Special thanks to Donovan from Jungle Mania Stuctures – they did an awesome job and I’d definitely reccommend them to anyone else.

[Just for fun] Are you dominantly right-brained or left-brained?

Which way is the girl in the picture below turning, clockwise or anti-clockwise?

Apparently depending on which side of your brain is more dominant you see her either turning clockwise or anti-clockwise. I guess for me both, since depending when I look at her I see her sometimes turning clockwise and other times anti-clockwise.  A test you can try if you only see her going in one direction is to cover up the top half of her body so that only her legs show and you can either see her standing on her right leg turning anti-clockwise or on her left leg turning clockwise.

Or is it all just BS and the animated GIF changes direction on it’s own? 😉

Tuesday stuff…

Yeah, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate title for this post, so that’s it. We had a nice daddy-daughter day yesterday with my eldest. Starting with a follow-up visit to the chiro and then went to visit mom at her office and brought lunch with us too.

We then took a drive to a nearby place where kids can take pony-rides but unfortunately no one was availabe, so we went to the local mall amusement park instead. Why is it that when you show kids, “look, these are the coins we have for the various games, once they’re up, they’re up” that they’re keen to accept that fact, yet when the last coin is used up, they insist you get more. Why should the fun stop just because some flat-metal discs have all been used up, after all there’s a magic machine over there that spits them out for you! Anyway, after a few trips to the token machine and lots of various games we headed across the way for a milkshake (and to my surprise, a breakfast request too, after we alredy had lunch!). What is it with kids metabolism that some days they’ll refuse to eat and others they wont stop!? We then rented a couple kiddie DVDs and picked up my younger little one from the creche so that they could watch them before supper that evening. All in all a good day (nice weather too, mind you, for the middle of winter).

This morning I had an appointment with the principal of the primary school in our neighbourhood to prepare for next year’s intake of Grade 1’s. I cannot believe my eldest daughter is going to “big” school next year!? Let me tell you, it was a weird feeling being in the principal’s office again, especially since it was more than 15 years ago that I last was in one (no, I wasn’t misbehaving, much). I found it interesting that apperently principals aren’t allowed to “interview” the kids before they join the school anymore – I would have thought that would have been a great way to assess which kids got placed into which classes (proficiencies, etc). Oh well, guess it’s just the normal paper-work and then comes the big spender, like school uniforms, books, writing implements, etc!

I came across this post this morning, on Lifehacker about nifty little add-ons for Windows Explorer (mostly Windows XP only) to add more powerful and useful functionality to your existing file manager. With the exception of add-ons like TeraCopy, I’m usually one of those that has tried and installed quite a few add-ons but the fad soon wears off and I forget about them. But maybe there’s one or two there to your liking that might make your day a little bit more productive (either at home, or at the office). I guess it’s one of those “old habbits die hard” type of things and you just fall back into doing things the way you always did, before all these nice little extras were invented. I stil find myself doing odd things at times like looking through directories in a command window! Ahh, the days of DOS.