All entries for Sunday 04 June 2006

June 04, 2006

5D cubes? Lets play!

Writing about web page http://www.gravitation3d.com/magiccube5d/

OK, so the extent to which this is an “international current affair” is debatable… I think it is certainly a “The” but I'm not sure about the rest… Anywho, if your getting down with exams, or you've finished them and are bored; I've got the perfect puzzle for you… The 5D Rubik cube; like a tesserac (i think that's the right spelling) only harder, and in different colours.

Basically, with you standard Rubik cube there is 432 520 032 274 489 856 000 unique permutations. With the 5D “cube” there are apparently 8.2×10700 unique permutations... (which is 7 Google's – a Google being 1.0 x 10100; just if you wanted to know). It is technically possible though – 3 people have solved it... you can get it from the website above (I've not tried because it requires .Net – but the 4D version with its 1.3 x 10334 unique permutations is available for Java as well as an RPM and .tar.gz)

If anyone does either you can post here to brag… and if you fail your exams because you've been playing too much… don't blame me.


Knife Amnesty fails.

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5045744.stm

The BBC is reporting that in the knife amnesty over 10,000 knives and other weapons have been handed in to the police. The article contains a quote from “Mothers Against Murder and Aggression” (like other people want to be murdered?) where they claim that this is a good thing – after all, that's 10,000 less dangerous weapons on the street, right? Well, no.

The knives which are handed in almost certainly wouldn't have been used in crimes – people who commit crimes don't give their weapons in. This is quite probably just older people who have been lead to believe that what they already owned is actually going to kill them and make little kittens cry. It is futile. It is also worth mentioning that it doesn't seem to have done anything to stop the rate of knife murder…


Society Plug

Dear all who visit the blog,

Since we seem to have plenty of student revisiting this blog, I thought I'd take the opportunity to say why we are here.

This is the blog of the ICA@Warwick, which (according to how we, a bit too grandly, declared ourselves in our Yearly Plan for next academic year) is an 'affront to intellectual apathy' on Warwick campus. Anybody who joins our society can post here, and we encourage everyone who comes on the blog to comment.

When next term begins, we'll be restarting our weekly meetings, which are led by our Chairman, Jonathan ("Joe") Rose, and follow issues given in our weekly newsletter, which highlights what we think are the most interesting stories of the week, together with links to web–articles.

We will be having trips out to 'current–affairs inspired' events around the UK, as well as going to talks/films being shown on campus.

Keep us in mind if you're thinking of joining new societies next year, or if you're currently commenting on the gun violence post and want to heckle me in person at the meetings!

If you want to know more, feel free to email (see the 'About Us' page)

Regards,
Scott Harrison, President ICA


Tehran warns of fuel disruptions

The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, now warns of fuel dispruptions, according to the BBC, if the US make, quote, the "wrong move". What the wrong move is remains unclear.

If he means war, then the statement becomes more of a tautology, however, if he means actions used to increasingly isolate and put pressure on Tehran, then we can be worried.

In the speech, he repeatedly stressed that Iran has no aspirations to acquire a nuclear bomb, since it would be against Islamic Law, and also that civilian nuclear technology is their legal right.

Whatever you think of the sincerity of the first point, the second remains valid. The Nuclear Non–Proliferation Treaty allows the pursuit of civilian nuclear technology (including uranium enriching), and any action on the basis of Iran 'breaking the rules' would therefore be illegal.

The claim that the whole world is behind the US on this issue is also flawed. You've probably heard of Venezuala refusing to condemn Iran, but other countries that use uranium enrichment, or are developing it, for use in civilian nuclear reactors, such as South Korea I believe, will be increasingly nervous about their own position if official actions against Iran are mandated by the security council.

Perhaps this is an inherent weakness with the original treaty, allowing Iran to use obstensibly civilian technologies as an almost subconscious threat (ie if they can do that then it might be possible they have a bomb etc) to Irseal (the only real enemy left in the area after the US took care of Iraq and Afganistan).

Whatever the case, it is obvious this situation was not foreseen when drawing up the original treaty (or perhaps it was, but they settled on a weaker deal). Let's just hope that either the west backs down and Iran is genuinely only interested in civilian technologies, or the west doesn't back down and Iran doesn't retaliate through the oil market. Both scenarios, unfortunately, look increasingly unlikely.


Our Society

This is the blog of the International Current Affairs Society at Warwick. Any member can contribute, and anybody at all can comment on the entries.

Please see the ‘About Us’ link to find out more information about what we do.

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