Archive for April, 2011

Timeline 3D is Addicting

April 29th, 2011 No comments

I reviewed Timeline 3D at, and let me tell you: that’s addicting. I’m building all these beautiful timelines, and I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with them. Maybe I can work one into school somehow.

Here’s a timeline of America’s Involvement in Wars, starting with King Philip’s War in 1675 (from, rendered in 3D and exported directly to YouTube: Read more…

Categories: Review Tags: , ,


April 15th, 2011 3 comments

I taught a knot-tying class at a camp and had a lot of fun reviewing the many different knots I have enjoyed (and some that I should enjoy but never learned). Along with the class instruction I provided handouts with instructions for over 18 different knots. I have made PDFs of the documents available here. I gathered the instructions and pictures from all over the Internet, and I attribute credit to each as appropriate.
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Categories: Utility Tags: , ,

Can the Kalmyk Unseat the Bowline as King of Knots?

April 15th, 2011 17 comments

Finished kalmyk loopThe bowline is referred to as the “King of the Knots,” and with good reason. It is easy to tie, resists jamming, and retains rope strength decently. Tying the bowline with a bight at the end is a convenient way to make an exploding knot—one that unties with a simple tug on the free end. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a new knot, which this Russian site calls a “Kalmyk (калмыцкий)”.

(post updated in 2017)

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Categories: Utility Tags: , ,

Spotlight Searching at the Command Line

April 5th, 2011 3 comments

If you know about the mdfind command that lets you perform Mac OS X Spotlight searches at the command line (The Power of mdfind, O’Reilly), then you know it’s a good start but ultimately unsatisfactory. I made up a shell script mdfindi that helps me interactively navigate the results of mdfind when I SSH into my home computer. Of course I keep the script on my Dropbox as mentioned in an earlier post so that it is available to all of my computers.

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Categories: Utility Tags: , , ,