3 Minute Brownies

I think I need to apologise for my recent quietness, I was working on 2 big projects which I learned a lot from, maybe even things that I’ll post about here for the geekier people following my blog to read, and (maybe more importantly) so that if I ever need to remember something cool/useful that I learnt doing this, I can read to remember it.

One really nice but unrelated thing that I learned during my hiatus was how to make 3 minute brownies in a cup! The Anonymous internet were on an information sharing spree and this was one of the things being shared. My family and I have really enjoyed this so I hope you will too. Here’s the picture I got with all you need to know:

Recipe by Pictures: 3min Brownies

To save this from being a somewhat redundant post where no value is added I’d like to mention that you should not be shy when adding the oil/milk unless you like dry brownies and that if you are preparing more than 1 cup you might like to increase the time on the microwave or do them one cup at a time otherwise you end up with a cup of un-baked chocolate goo, which is arguably not such a bad thing… I have yet to test if the cocoa can be safely substituted with Milo. If you don’t have any cocoa you can use Milo. I have tested this and the result is a bit strange but I think you can still call it a brownie.

Safe and Easy Passwords

I was reading something by a friend of mine about an easy way to remember a large number of passwords. I had some comments on it but I was writing a bit too much to fit in a comment box so I’ve moved it here instead.

The basic idea is that because it’s inadvisable to use the same password across multiple networks because, possibly amongst other things, if someone knows one of your passwords then they have access to everything you do online! So it was suggested that you pick something memorable, for instance you might be a proud supporter of Liverpool F.C., so you take the word “liverpool” and prepend the first letter of whatever service the password is for to that. For example:

Twitter: tliverpool
Facebook: fliverpool
Identica: iliverpool
Gmail: gliverpool
Jabber: jliverpool
And so on…

Now, while in principle this might be an easy way to remember passwords, there are some problems with it, so I’d like to add a bit more. Continue reading

GeoGraphs

My brother’s doing his International Baccalaureate Diploma right now and for one of his Geography assignments he had to make these graphs -cross sections of rivers- he called them geographs because… they’re for geography and because it has fewer words, so that’s what I’ll call them here. He drew them by hand but they got smudged and I thought it would be nice if he could make them digitally, but that’s a lot of work. I then thought it would be good if there was an easy way to do this, and, having found one, I’ve decided to share it with the world so that other IB students can benefit from this too!

What is a GeoGraph?

It’s a bunch of points on a graph that shows the depth at different points of a river the class studies.

A graph looks like this one:

Example GeoGraph

Example GeoGraph

And as I understand, it works like this:

  1. there is one graph for each transect measured at different points on the river
  2. the width of the transect is shown
  3. the width of the graph is scaled to the width of the transect
  4. the depth of the river is shown for different points along these transects
  5. the depth is measured at 5 points along the transect:
    1. at the start of the transect
    2. at the end of the transect
    3. halfway between the start and the end
    4. halfway between the midpoint and the start
    5. halfway between the midpoint and the end
  6. the depth is measured as a negative number
  7. because depth is negative the graph is drawn below the x-axis
  8. the graph is shown as an irregular polygon connecting all points on the graph
  9. there is a line along the bottom of the polygon connecting the first and last points
  10. this line is as low as the lowest point on the graph

That’s a lot of points to consider, and it’s why this graph is not easily done using the graphing functions of your spreadsheet application (for most of you that’s probably MS Excel). A lot of people might get frustrated, or resort to just drawing it in Paint or some other simple drawing program, which is much too much work! Don’t worry there’s a much easier way of doing it, and it’s all described below. Continue reading