September 15, 2011

A Matter of Importance

Whenever I get struck by something - dazzled, intrigued, memorised or entranced - I often find myself juxtaposing it against its utter universal insignificance .
I write this on a train, where a few minutes ago,a woman walked past. I thought she was awesome, because she has a shock of purple hair across her fringe, glowing from the black, like magic. I watched her from the side of my eye as she walked down the aisle past me. I felt compelled to watch, as if she'd disappear if I looked away.
But at the same, I get a floods of thoughts about the massiveness of the universe and the nothing of time that the girl with the purple shock of hair spent in my vision compared to the magnificent age of the universe, measured in the life and death of stars and galaxies. I think about how the woman is one of billions of life forms come and gone and the quintillion chance interactions that caused her and I to cross paths.
This woman with purple hair is a nothing, an insignificance. But I loved it. She had awesome hair.

September 08, 2011

A Real Life Maths Puzzle

Here's a challenge to any of you up to it. It's a Puzzle, but it's an actual real one, in my actual house.

My house is a townhouse, and it has three floors.
There is a hall on each floor with a light in it.
Each hall also has a three-switch array that controls all the hall lights: { BOTTOM, MIDDLE, TOP}
At the moment, all the lights are OFF.
The current position of the switches is this:

  • TOP FLOOR:  {  1 , 1 , 1  }
  • MID FLOOR:  {  1 , 0 , 0  }
  • BOT FLOOR:  {  0 , 1 , 1  }
Still with me?

OK, what I want is for all the switches to be set such that 0 = off and 1 = on.

Is this possible? How do you do it?