Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pixel Couch for Gamers

I found this Pixel couch in TechEblog. Royal College of Art graduate (UK) Cristian Zuzunaga has devised a fabric based on a 'pixel' concept, which is being produced by Danish manufacturer Kvadrat and sold through Moroso.
I am very fond of pixels, because Japanese picture puzzles are based on filling in them. This is too restless to my eye but it would be very nice with a Conceptis puzzle design :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Joke of the Day

I have probably told before that I have Playstation Singstars. At some point we had competitions every time the children came over to visit. One of the songs in the DVD's was Meat Loaf's I'd do Anything For Love. I always thought the lyrics were totally weird and I had a good laugh today when I found this Pie Chart in the humor archives

Here is the song if you want to listen :)

Here are the lyrics of the song:

One More Logic Game

I found this game through StumbleUpon. I have played many different games like this having the idea of removing bricks with the same colour. This is however new to me an at least in the beginning demands a little bit of thinking :)

You can also embed this game on your own website. It was unfortunately too wide for me.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I found a nice math online game. The aim is to clear the playfield making necessary sums of numbers in the neighbouring tiles. When a coloured tile is involved in the sum, it gets replaced by a white tile. You can play the game online or download the game on your computer.

The game is a Flash game and looks very nice. It was originally a bit too big for my laptop screen until I noticed that the size can be changed.

At first I thought that the game was too easy until I got stuck with a tile having number 8. It was a corner tile and all its neighbours were too large to sum up to 10. I had some difficulties deleting the neighbours and waiting for smaller tiles to show up :) This just shows the same thing I am trying to teach my students: consider the situation first before you start calculating. There may be a very quick solution if you think about it.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Cute Corgis

Corgis are just so cute. I wrote earlier that Piitu has her own social network. My daughter joined a Finnish Corgi Forum provided by Suomen Welsh Corgi Seura (Finnish Corgi association). The forum is very active and the Corgi owners upload lots of photographs there.

Two of the best pictures have been uploaded by the same user Mona (Promisehill Irish Rose).

This picture is a bit spooky… Where is the rest of the dog?

Every Corgi owner knows that Corgis are very “good eaters” and they have a very good nose for food, but this is just amazing:

The last one is a video I found in YouTube. Even though my Piitu is an excellent jumper, she can’t do this :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wonderful Madrid

Two weeks ago I had a week off from work. It is an old tradition here in Finland. It was originally called the skiing holiday but now that it is usually impossible to ski here in the Southern Finland, we call it just the winter holiday.

One of my friends from the Conceptis community, Rosa, visited me with her husband, Antonio, in Finland last August and kindly asked us to visit them in Madrid. Since I am not very fond of hot weather and from what I have heard Spain is one of the hottest places in the summer, this was just a perfect timing. Rosa even took a week off from work because we were coming!

When Rosa was here we had an amazingly hot weather here; as if Rosa had brought the sunshine with her. Apparently I managed to take our weather to Spain. It was raining for the first two days and it was more or less raining non-stop; just like in Finland but not customary in Spain. I did not actually care. I knew they needed the rain and besides, Rosa is a person who creates sunshine around her, no matter what the weather is outside.

Madrid is a beautiful place! They have taken care of the old buildings and all the new ones fitted very well in their surroundings. The old houses were like art with all the ornaments and statues. The Finnish style, especially in Turku, has too many times been to replace the whole building with a new (ugly) one. Madrid was also very clean. In one of the restaurants my husband found a men’s room which he declared the cleanest he had ever seen anywhere!

We lived in a cozy hotel, Hostal la Vera, which was built in an apartment building. I like those; if you choose a five star hotel you can’t see any difference. They are the same all over the world. The owner spoke great English with an excellent and clear British accent!

The food was great! It is very nice when you have someone to rely on to choose the restaurants and what to eat. I have heard horror stories about people who have just randomly chosen something to eat without knowing what it will be and ended up not being able to eat it. We eat paella (of course), some kind of a traditional pot from the part of Spain where Rosa comes from and also excellent sea food.

The first course usually contained among other things cheese and ham (so tasty) and this was the most creative way they placed them:

The most adventurous meal I had at the seafood restaurant. We had lobster first and then fish. My husband wanted more traditional fish but I took Rosa’s advice and ate something that looked more like a snake than a fish. They brought one for us to the table so that we could take the photograph. If I had seen only the dish which was served, I would never have thought it was a fish at all. I have no idea what the English name for that fish is; it was not found in any of Rosa’s dictionaries. It was very tasty, but as always the portions were huge! During the time there I probably eat as much as in a month at home!

We visited the Royal Palace, El Prado and many other places I am not going to mention here. One day we went by car 70 km south from Madrid to Toledo, a beautiful little city. It is so filled with history, beautiful buildings and narrow streets. Toledo is on a hill and every street was up or down which made walking there very interesting. Toledo is the sister city of Jerusalem and we could see the symbols with a Cross, David’s star and the Half Moon attached to each other in many places.

We saw and experienced so much that this story would be too long if I told you every detail and that is why I have just tried to pick up the highlights.

Thank you so much Rosa and Antonio for your hospitality and your company. You will always be welcome to Finland again, but it would be also nice to meet in Portugal or Estonia or even Israel :)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mandelbrot - Mathematical Art

It seems that planning next years courses takes so much of my time and energy that the Madrid story gets delayed day after day.
In the meantime you can enjoy this video named
Fractal Zoom Mandelbrot Corner

About Mandelbrot and Fractals in Wikipedia.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Eurovision Song Contest representative 2008 for Finland: Teräsbetoni

It seems that after some time the young people have started to take an interest in the Eurovision Song Contest. Two years ago we were represented by Lordi who gave us the victory in the finals with the highest score in the history of the contest. At that point Finland was divided in half: those who were sure that Lordi had good changes and those who thought that Finland would make a fool of herself sending the monsters to the competition. I belonged to the first group and Lordi gave us much more than I could never have hoped for.

Last year Serbia won, but we did not do bad compared to our achievements in history. Serbia's song was a ballad sung in their own language and probably that had caused this year most of the Finnish participants to be Finnish songs.

The competition was very tight. Among the three best were two songs to satisfy younger people and one old Finnish ballad sung by Kari Tapio, who stated that if the competition would take place in Serbia, he would not go. That kind of music I am ashamed of in Finnish music culture. Boring, similar to all the other songs in the same genre and not something you can show Europe.

The winner Teräsbetoni is again a hard rock -band, but this time singing in Finnish. That is actually a good thing. Finnish can be very lyrical, but we have also words which suit hard rock very well. Finnish has often been compared to German where the consonants are expressed much stronger than in English.

Again the speculations started: Everybody will be laughing at us! Wrong!! This is a song we can show the world :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Agility - fun for the Dog and the Watchers

My Corgi Piitu is very energetic, as I have shown before here and here. She has experienced her first Match Show and got graded as Good. The event was outside and it was cold. It had been raining recently and all the places were wet and muddy. In some respect that was a good thing, because Piitu did not want to sit on the wet ground and we knew that standing in front of the judge the whole time would not probably succeed in normal conditions. We were so tired and cold that we left after the first part. We found out what Piitu had to practise: her contact with my daughter who was showing her was so intense that she did not like the judge interfering in the moment.

Piitu has done very well in school and the first lessons in agility are behind. Piitu is doing well because she is not afraid of anything. She did not even hesitate to go to the pipe which seems closed. The other end is not rigid and it is hangig like a curtain blocking the light. Here is a videoclip from her last time practising. Concentration must still be focused on.

I work at night until 9 pm, and usually anything that I like to watch on TV is on when I come home. I know it is not a good habit eating in front of the TV, but what can you do...
Piitu is an excellent jumper and does not want to leave me alone when I am eating. She pays attention to every bit, hoping that I would drop something:

"What are you looking at? I am just making sure mother does not mess up!"

She really does not try to steal my food, but I must admit that her gaze is somewhat disturbing. She tries to pretend she is so hungry, like she had not even seen food in days :)

Hello My Friend!

I got this nice Tag from Hanna already two weeks ago but I have had not time to do anything about it. Thank you Hanna from your friendship!

I pass this on to all the members of Conceptis addict community in MyBlogLog

The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend. ~Aristotle