Things 6: Elliptical Orbits, AI Koans, Magnetic Liquid

(Originally sent January 2008)

This (actually last) week’s film – one line review
I am Legend turned out to be one of the best ‘last man on earth’ films I’ve seen, but the story took an abrupt turn for the worse towards the end.

Next week’s film
I’m going to see Charlie Wilson’s War.
Imdb rating: 7. 8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 81%


Prognosis: A hilarious historical black comedy about complex ethical issues starring Tom Hanks… fascinating.

A Puzzle
At Christmas my dad asked me why planetary orbits were elliptical. I realised that a mathematical demonstration wouldn’t convince him, so decided to try to come up with an heuristic argument. Turns out this is a good, hard puzzle.

A Quote
Laurence: You will have a vested interest in someone that has a vested interest in something that you have a vested interest in.

A Link
Some AI Koans:

A video
Magnetic liquid art:

A picture
I’ve put together all the posters of films I reviewed in 2007 in the order of how good I thought they were, highest rated being top left, lowest rated being bottom right, in rows: