Cobwebs

I’ve upgraded the blog software and moved this much neglected blog to a new host.  I was curious to see which of the old posts were popular over the years and so here’s a sampling:

The one-eyed robot

Real computer scientists concern themselves with sorting their balls.

New home for Zodiac cipher material

The years I’ve spent obsessing over the Zodiac ciphers have recently culminated in a new site, ZodiacKillerCiphers.com

Over forty years of analysis have yielded no viable solutions to three of the four cryptograms the Zodiac killer created to taunt the public. Do real solutions exist, or was the public hoodwinked by a master troll? Perhaps we’ll never know. Or perhaps someone will get lucky and figure out the “trick” that will unlock the mystery.

Scammer epilogue

In this old story about me baiting a scammer, I posted some of the photos the scammer was sending me to convince me of the authenticity of the photo. Here is a photo of “Mariam” at her father’s funeral:

It looked obviously photoshopped to include some model’s face. Today I located the original photograph:

More info about these kinds of scams: Advance Fee Fraud letters | Your utterance is reprehensible | Scamwarners

Eh? What’s that, Sonny?

I’m no longer hosting AgainButSlower.com, but if anyone is looking for it, it can be found here:

http://oranchak.com/againbutslower.com/

Terrible beauty

“The Patrician took a sip of his beer. ‘I have told this to few people, gentlemen, and I suspect I never will again, but one day when I was a young boy on holiday in Uberwald I was walking along the banks of a stream when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. A very endearing sight, I’m sure you will agree, and even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued and dragged onto a half-submerged log. As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and I remember to this day the sweet pinkness of its roes as they spilled out, much to the delight of the baby otters who scrambled over themselves to feed on the delicacy. One of nature’s wonders, gentlemen: mother and children dining on mother and children. And that’s when I first learned about evil. It is built into the nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, I told myself, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior.’”

Terry Pratchett, Unseen Academicals

Command-line debunker

My superstitious Facebook friends are posting this message:

October has 5 Fridays 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens once every 823 years. This is money bags. So copy this to your Status and money will arrive within four days. Based on Chinese FengShui. The one who does not copy….will be without money I cannot let that person be me …. Copy within eleven mins.

Sure enough, it is false. I wanted to try to prove it myself. So I came up with this Unix one-liner:

for x in {1950..2050}; do for y in {1..12}; do echo `cal $y $x | grep -v [a-z]|grep [0-9] | cut -c1-2,15-20 | tr " " "n"|grep [0-9]|wc -l`: $x $y | grep ^15; done; done;

Result: Between 1950 and 2050, there are 101 months that contain 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. Can I still have money bags?

BTW here is the full list of months:

   December 1950              May 1953              January 1954
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    October 1954             July 1955               March 1957
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    August 1958               May 1959              January 1960
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     July 1960             December 1961             March 1963
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
      May 1964              January 1965            October 1965
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     July 1966             December 1967             March 1968
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    August 1969               May 1970              January 1971
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    October 1971           December 1972             March 1974
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    August 1975             October 1976             July 1977
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
   December 1978            August 1980               May 1981
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    January 1982            October 1982             July 1983
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     March 1985             August 1986               May 1987
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    January 1988             July 1988             December 1989
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     March 1991               May 1992              January 1993
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    October 1993             July 1994             December 1995
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     March 1996             August 1997               May 1998
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    January 1999            October 1999           December 2000
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     March 2002             August 2003             October 2004
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     July 2005             December 2006            August 2008
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
      May 2009              January 2010            October 2010
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     July 2011               March 2013             August 2014
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
      May 2015              January 2016             July 2016
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
   December 2017             March 2019               May 2020
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    January 2021            October 2021             July 2022
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
   December 2023             March 2024             August 2025
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
      May 2026              January 2027            October 2027
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
   December 2028             March 2030             August 2031
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    October 2032             July 2033             December 2034
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    August 2036               May 2037              January 2038
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    October 2038             July 2039               March 2041
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
    August 2042               May 2043              January 2044
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     July 2044             December 2045             March 2047
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
      May 2048              January 2049            October 2049
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa    Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2                    1  2                    1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9     3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16    10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23    17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30    24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31                      31                      31
     July 2050
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
                1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Play Shinro puzzles for free in your Web browser

Now you can try out Shinro puzzles in your Web browser!

There are 120 puzzles there ranging from easy to hard. Can you solve them?

PlayShinro.com launch

I’ve finally finished the web site for my new book of puzzles.

Go there and check out the book. You can even download a free edition!

Craft time

Something I had to make during my lunch break.



Because seeing Totoro in Toy Story 3 was awesome.