All entries for Tuesday 14 September 2004

September 14, 2004

2 Down, 12498 Needles Left to Go…

Let's make this into a song

12500 needles in the box, 12500 needles,
Take one out and put in it,
12499 needles in the box.

(ad nauseam )

Now sing! Sing! Now you have some idea as to the utter drudgery of my current summer job. To put it simply, my task to prepare a needle-punch board for some mysterious and no doubt illegal textiles technology machine. (Actually, it's probably patented, or a company secret, or something, so forgive me for my lack of details.) In any case, the manufacturers who make them produce them separately. First, a board containing drilled holes. The board is made of two layers – 1 aluminium, and 1 plastic. The holes in the plastic layer are slightly smaller than the holes in the metal. Then, we have a crate full of needles. These needles, which are bent over at their ends, are designed to be pushed into the holes from the aluminium side, and gripped by the plastic.

Obvious computer work, isn't it? Not quite. The problem is that the myriad of holes in the board are drilled randomly. And because the bent over part of each needle is actually pretty big, some skill is required to fit the maximum number of needles into the board.

So I wonder, is there a good tactic for this?

The best I can find is pretty simple. Start with the outside edge, and put those needles in, with the sticky out bent over bit facing outside. Then work inwards, always making the portrusion on the outside. The advantage too with this way is that since you are spiralling inwards, the rate at which you go inwards is an exponential function. Thuse, you balance out your growing intolerance of existence with a great apparent rate of progress.

If anyone has a better idea, feel free to tell me.

But the real draw of this job (Other than the cash!) is the possibility of accidents. Needles are cool to strange, terrible people like me. Handling a board covered with tens of thousands of needles is cool. It reminds me of the first world war, where sometimes instead of bombs, pilots dropped flechettes from planes onto trenches, to literally pin troops down. Now, if only I can…

Site of the day:

Irony Central

Ok, I linked to this yesterday… but I think most of you missed it. Go and read! Its supposedly for 18+... so those of certain sensibilities should stay away.

No, it does not contain porn.

So, profound question of the day:

When is morality no reason not to have a workplace accident?


Justification of My Existence? Doubtful.

Come on now! If you are a nerd, with time spare, how can you not jump into any thing just because its new? I mean, its free! That's better than 3 for 2, better than BOGOF, better than…

So, intros:

Me = Zhou Fang, fresher at Maths, living in Westwood. (presumeably, assuming the system hasn't cocked up.) I represent the apogee of humanity. I am also dishonest. My idea of a good night out is a good night in, and occassionally, I talk to myself. But really, we are fine. To pronounce my name, open your mouth, think of the most unlikely and unusual way it can be pronounced, and then make noise. Seriously, I don't care, so long as I know someone is trying to talk to me.

Yes, I am ethnically chinese. Yes, I can speak Mandarin. No, Mandarin is in no way aurally similar to Cantonese or Japanese. Yes, I will be tempted to hurt you if you ask me to speak Mandarin. Unless you pay.

Maybe I'll upload a picture for those studying Stalking and Harassing. (BSc) It depends how stupid I am persuaded to be.

Web site of the day?

Propaganda Remix Project

Slow to load, but you get brilliant stuff like:

Other stuff:

My web presence… If some of you are practiced surfers, you may have encountered me in other places… Do you frequent any of the following?

www.physicsforums.com
www.philosophyforums.com
blogs.guardian.co.uk
www.ironycentral.com
www.wikipedia.org
www.bbc.co.uk/dna/getwriting
www.bridgetothestars.net
rec.art.int-fiction
rec.games.roguelike.angband

With regards to the title of my blog, this page is the portal to a very secret stash of Saddam's WMDs. Can you find the very well hidden link? 10 if you can…


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