Have you ever wondered how they make food look so good in ads?
Because working with real food can be quite challenging, some food stylists use these “tricks of the trade” to make the food they photograph look delicious.
That luscious-looking roasted turkey has been washed in dish washing detergent, cooked briefly, painted with ten coats of food colouring, and blowtorched (to give it that lovely roasted look!)
Watch 2 famous religions duke it out for the right to further lower our science education standards! Which invisible man in the sky will capture our judges’ hearts? The winner’s theory will be taught alongside evolution in our nation’s schools; the losers will be relegated back to their churches & mosques. All this and more on American Idolatry!
Next stop: New York!
Fill in the grid so that every row,
every column, and every 3×3 box
contains the digits 1 through 9.
It looks like just another numbers game. The kind usually found in puzzle books that prop up tables in old people’s homes and doctors’ waiting rooms. But peer closer, and your way of life will be in jeopardy. For this is Su Doku and it is sweeping across the country like a virulent strain of avian flu.
The game has stealthily taken a grip on the UK over the past few months, turning previously normal people with active social lives into hermits who would rather stay at home and stare down at a little grid scattered with numbers. Commuters who once ranted at ticket collectors now patiently hope their trains will be late so they can complete a challenge. Bored office workers are quietly logging off their computers and returning to pencils and paper. Classrooms full of teenagers have gone eerily quiet.
It’s called Su Doku. It came from Japan. It’s deceptively simple, but a brief tutorial reveals hidden depths. It’s spreading like gangbusters through the puzzle-obsessed British public, where it is making major news and being rapidly added to the country’s newspapers. Fortunately, archived puzzles and free software are out there to provide puzzle addicts their latest fix.
Don Knuth observed that the Sudoku problem is an instance of a class of exact cover problems that can be formulated in terms of Boolean matrices and solved by a backtracking procedure he calls “dancing links”, using pointer manipulations to cover and uncover rows and columns of the matrix.
Knuth’s observation is interesting because it reveals that a number of apparently important distinctions are actually artificial. A Sudoku problem can be solved by making a sequence of choices to place a digit in a square. Each choice must be consistent with the choices that have gone before it. The choices are of four kinds:
* select a square (r, c) and fill it with an chosen digit d.
* select a row r and a digit d and put d in a chosen place in row r.
* select a column c and a digit d and put d in a chosen place in column c.
* select a block b and a digit d and put d in a chosen place in block b.
In each case, the choice satisfies a constraint that each square must contain exactly one digit, or that each row, column or block must contain each digit exactly once.
Knuth’s approach reformulates the problem in terms of finding an exact cover of a 729 x 324 Boolean matrix. The 324 columns correspond to the 4 x 81 constraints enumerated above, and each of the 729 rows corresponds to a move that puts one of the 9 digits in one of the 81 cells. Each row contains four 1′s, corresponding to the way the move satisfies one constraint from each group. The problem becomes one of finding a subset of the rows that contains exactly one 1 in each column.
It’s best always to select a constraint that has the smallest number of remaining possibilities. If that number is zero, then we have followed a dead end, and should backtrack. If the number is one, then we can definitely fill in a square, and there is no genuine choice. If it is more than one, then we can explore all the possibilities in a depth-first pattern.
This shows that the distinction between forced moves and arbitrary choices is artificial, since a forced move is just the special case where there is only one choice. Knuth’s method also treats all four kinds of constraint uniformly, so that it can not only backtrack over all the digits that can fit in a square, but also over all the places that a given digit can be put into a row or column or block. None of the submitted solutions for the main competition can do that — it may not be necessary for Sudoku, but it does reveal a symmetry to the problem that is rather nice.
It looks like Su Doku is very easy if you’ve got a background in programming and/or computer science…
Late Tuesday afternoon, 11news confirmed the U.S. Army will now call for a nationwide stand-down of all recruiting efforts in what a spokesperson at the Pentagon calls a serious step at self-examination.
The Army will set aside a full day on May 20 as the day to have every recruiter across America review Army recruiting policies and standards. It’s an effort to stop overly aggressive recruiting tactics.
Nationwide, the Army wants to make sure men and women who become soldiers do so without being threatened.
The announcement comes just one day after the 11 News Defenders exposed a Houston Army recruiter threatening to arrest a local young man if he didn’t report that day to the army recruiting station.
Sgt. Thomas kelt left this message on that young man’s cell phone: “Hey Chris, this is Sgt. Kelt with the Army man. I think we got disconnected. Okay, I know you were on your cell probably and just had a bad connection or something like that. I know you didn’t hang up on me. Anyway, by federal law you got an appointment with me at 2 o’clock this afternoon at Greenspoint Mall, okay? That’s the Greenspoint Mall Army Recruiting Station at 2 o’clock. You fail to appear and we’ll have a warrant. Okay? So give me a call back.”
Before Bush’s War, there was no need for such tactics. War supporting politicians could lend a hand by urging people to join up, but they won’t. Can’t have a call for sacrifice.
Religious Right preachers could use their pulpits to urge their flocks to fight their “just war”, but they won’t. No parent wants their preacher telling them to send their kid to the grave.
The 101st Fighting Keyboardists could urge their readers to enlist, and then follow suit themselves. But they won’t. The un-American cowards make a mockery of their anthem’s “home of the brave” line as they hide behind tough talk.
TV blowhards could use their cable channel platform to urge their listeners to head to the nearest recruitment office and put their words in action, but they won’t. “Supporting the troops” means nothing more than empty words.
Nearly one in five recruiters have been investigated in the past year alone for recruitment improprieties. All because no one wants to fight Bush’s senseless war. And those who still defend it against all reason are the last to put either their words into tangible action, or urge their followers to do so.
But sales of these is going very well….
Sinds het in gebruik nemen van detectiepoorten, heeft de rechtbank in Rotterdam ruim 630 messen, peppersprays, scharen, dartpijlen en andere voorwerpen in beslag genomen. In een jaar tijd werden vooral veel messen gevonden.
De rechtbank plaatste een jaar geleden de detectiepoorten. Iedere bezoeker wordt gefouilleerd. Vooral de eerste maand brachten bezoekers veel verboden voorwerpen mee. Daarna was er een daling, maar de laatste maanden constateert de rechtbank weer een stijging in het aantal meegenomen wapens. Maart was een topmaand wat betreft messen, zei directeur R. Monster dinsdag.
Het gaat in totaal om ongeveer 350 messen, 34 scharen, 19 dartpijlen, 56 spuitbussen en tientallen stuks gereedschap. Bezoekers mogen de in beslag genomen voorwerpen weer mee terug naar huis nemen.
De politierechter in Lelystad heeft dinsdag geen straf uitgedeeld aan een werknemer van de C1000-supermarkt in Emmeloord. De 22-jarige S.G. gebruikte traangas bij de aanhouding van een vermeende winkeldief. Volgens de rechter handelde G. echter uit noodweer.
De vermeende winkeldief E.F. uit Zwolle had niks gestolen op 13 januari vorig jaar. Toen de 50-jarige man toch werd aangesproken door de eigenaar van de supermarkt, de vader van G., pakte hij een mes en bedreigde hiermee de winkelbaas. Om zijn vader te beschermen spoot G. de man traangas in het gezicht.
De jonge werknemer G. is vanwege noodweer ontslagen van alle rechtsvervolging. Voor het bezit van het busje traangas kreeg hij wel een boete opgelegd van 100 euro. Tegen hem was vanwege mishandeling en traangasbezit een boete geeist van 400 euro, waarvan 300 euro voorwaardelijk.
Tja. Als je het OM niet helemaal voor schut wilt laten staan bij een vrijspraak, zoek je als politierechter gewoon iets anders uit…
Lives based on having are less free than lives based either on doing or on being.
~ William James
In a spectacular kick-off to its first season of prime ring viewing, which began last month, the Cassini spacecraft has confirmed earlier suspicions of an unseen moon hidden in a gap in Saturn’s outer A ring. A new image and movie show the new moon and the waves it raises in the surrounding ring material.
The moon, provisionally named S/2005 S1, was first seen in a time-lapse sequence of images taken on May 1, 2005, as Cassini began its climb to higher inclinations in orbit around Saturn. A day later, an even closer view was obtained, which has allowed a measure of the moon’s size and brightness.
North Korean children play a shooting game with a toy gun aiming at a portrait of U.S. President George W. Bush at Namjun kindergarten in Shinwiju, Pyongan-Budo, North Korea. The photo was released by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 9, 2005. (Reuters)