I’m easily obsessed with minutiae*. Today I while working on some more filters, and I found myself wondering about the names of regular polygons (there was a reason). I knew most of them up to 10 and was right about 12 too. This lead to about an hour trying to track down a complete polygon name list with Google. After wading through a lot of “pentagon, hexagon, octagon”, which almost universally omitted the seven sided heptagon, I had a pretty complete list going. As I was starting to build a big table, I finally found the following sites by searching for uncommon polygon names like heptadecagon. These sites contain listings of polygon names up to 100 and the naming schemes for polygons with up to 1 million sides:

I prefer the style of naming without the “kai” in the middle as it breaks the vocal rhythm of the series. Apparently the mathematician Johannes Kepler used the “kai” notation, this fact and the ability to easily separate the Greek numerical prefix seem to be making that notation more popular among mathematicians.

To make things more confusing, what are considered the wrong terms for 9-sided and 11-sided polygons seem to be more popular than the preferred terms. Based on Google popularity indexing (number of pages containing the search term) nonagon leads enneagon 1600 to 218, and undecagon
leads hendecagon is leading 186 to 160.

While reading about all this stuff, one diversion lead me to Penrose Tiles, which I definitely want to come back to later. They reminded me of one day in fifth grade playing with a set of blue and white cardboard tiles which were either Penrose kites and darts or just equilateral triangles. They had curved blue shapes on them which would line up no matter how the tiles were aligned. I was fascinated with all the possible the shapes and patterns but somehow only got to use them once.

* I can’t believe I spelled minutiae right on the first try. Of course it should have a ligature, minutiæ, but as I read recently on splorp, the internet is pushing hard-coded ligatures into the dustbin of history. Did I really just say “dustbin of history”?

webcamLast week I received an email from Christine in Maine, her boyfriend lives on Avenue A a few blocks north of me. She asked me if I could point my webcam down towards the sidewalk, so she could see him and he could wave to her. I don’t think I’ve ever met either of them, but her letter made my week.

All of this technology, the cell phones, webcams, and microprocessors. Warm metal boxes with tiny green lights and a tangle of cables. The physical quantification of memory. All to bridge the distance between two people in love.

We’re still human and it’s still the future.

Yesterday I posted a link I found on Jerry Kindall’s site. Today I noticed a link back to my site from his stats page (go find it yourself, it doesn’t seem to be publicly linked). So, back at I see he posted a link to the FXScript Reference.

I’ve been reading his his site regularly for a while, as it seems we’re on a similar wavelength a lot of times. We also tend to cross paths on Metafilter.

Anyway, the linky-lovefest continues.

Installing Linux on Airport. Not using an airport with Linux, actually embedding Linux in the Airport base station’s firmware.(found on

Years ago, a few of the folks in Digital’s Semiconductor Engineering Group plugged a pickle into the wall. It glowed.

The above quote comes from a site detailing the discovery that, when plugged into a wall outlet, Kimchi regulates electricity as it glows, essentially becoming a light emitting vegetable diode. (found at

The first time I heard about the “Electric Pickle”, I nearly passed out laughing. I’ve never personally witnessed the phenomenon, thankfully someone posted electric pickle photos and a quicktime movie.

Though probably not the origin of the idea, here is one of the earliest electric pickle accounts with an explanation.

Matt Reilly, witness to and publisher of the glowing kimchi page, links to some old web classics. One of my favorites that I haven’t seen in a long time is George Goble’s home page where he uses liquid oxygen to light (and vaporize) a barbecue grill.

I threw together a quick page of Translation Bookmarklets. With these in the toolbar, web pages can be translated in one click.

I really shouldn’t have been doing this now, and caught hell for not getting ready for the party tonight. Now I’ve got to go drink a big coffee and whip myself into a cleaning frenzy.

Aside from the tedious paperwork and excessive, archaic verbiage, the strategic practice of law must be quite invigorating.

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