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Puzzle Craze, Sudoku

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

If you haven't heard of it yet, sudoku is the newest puzzle craze to sweep the United States and the UK. It's kind of like a crossword, but with numbers instead of letters.

Sudoku? What's sudoku a Sudoku you ask?

Sound more like a Japanese martial art, Sudoku is a logic puzzle. You fill numbers into a grid, using deduction (or, failing that, plain old trial and error). Each row and column must contain the digits 1 through 9, with each digit used only once. The best way to understand is probably to visit Sudoku.com, where there are clear explanations and some sample games. It's quite easy to learn.

The current fad in the UK stems mainly from the efforts of a single man: Wayne Gould, the guy behind the Sudoku.com Web site. A retired Hong Kong judge, Gould first spotted sudoku in Japan and was instantly hooked. He created a computer program that will compose new sudoku puzzles on demand. Then he walked into the Times of London offices without an appointment and convinced them to run his puzzles. Gould syndicates his sudoku grids for free, on the theory that he'll rake in money from books and the computer program. The Economist quotes him guessing he'll make $1 million in sudoku revenues this year.

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A giant Sudoku board on the M4 in case you're stuck in traffic!


Recently in Australia, I noticed that instead of crossword puzzles, magazines and newspapers features Sudoku. Why does sudoku attracts?

IMHO, Sudoku's popularity is due to the difference between sudoku and crossword puzzle. Soduku is a puzzle of logic and not a puzzle of knowledge and literate playfulness. Thus, all you need is logic and recognizing number patterns and making a deduction instead of in-depth knowledge of words and it's different meanings.

For beginners, here are a few tips:

1) Use pencil, not pen, because there is a lot of erasing.

2) Work the 3-by-3 boxes first, because the clues are easiest to see. Once you've exhausted the boxes, then go to the rows and columns.

3) Once you've narrowed a square to two numbers, pencil them lightly into the boxes in the grid. You can come back and change them if you have to.

4) Don't guess. A good sudoku puzzle can be solved with pure step-by-step logic.

If you write the wrong number in a square, it can be difficult to figure out where you've made your mistake later. Unlike a crossword puzzle, where you can localize your mistake, with sudoku you can't always find where you went wrong and erase it.

More advanced techniques for solving sudoku:

5) If you've narrowed the possibilities down to two numbers for the square, row or column, then you know that no other square in that row, column or box have those digits.

6) When you get new information, always follow it through to its logical conclusion right then and there. If you fill in that information, try to fill in other information based on it while you're doing it.
posted by Ivan Choe, 4:20 am | link | 0 comments |

Joke of the day: 55378008

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I've been at work since 7am this morning and while 'relaxing', I found this joke in a forum. There are a few variations to this joke and most of you might already know this calculator 'trick'. Anyways,For those of you who don't know... get yourself a calculator and follow the naration;

There was this girl who was 13,
( key in 13 )

who had a boob size of 84.
(don't press anything just continue after 13 key in 84 so you'll get: 1384 )

she wanted to shrink it to 45
(continue to key in 45 )

So she went to the doctor, and he asked her to eat 2 pills a day.
(continue key in 02. Ensure that the 0 is in front.)

But she ate 4 instead.
(multiply the whole thing by 4)

Press equal and turn the calculator upside down and look at the number to find out what heppened to her....
posted by Ivan Choe, 9:55 am | link | 0 comments |

Getting ready for work

Monday, August 29, 2005

It's Monday and I am begining to feel like a robot again! Life, as routine as it is, goes on... Here I am getting ready for work.

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For me, it's a little harder to wake up during winter and get preped for work... sometimes I wish I can have few more minutes tucked under my warm quilt. Thank God, winter's almost over in Brisbane and seriously, it's been really easy to get out of bed.
posted by Ivan Choe, 6:41 am | link | 2 comments |

Mad about travel games

Friday, August 26, 2005

Finally, weekend! This is my first 5 working-day week and since starting work, I really do look forward to the weekends. Who doesn't?

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Recently, I've been 'collecting' travel board games! In another words, it's just the normal board game but in a more compact size. Besides being cheaper compared to the 'regular' sized board games, it's easier to put away and it saves space as well. For me, I like the fact that it's easy just to pack it up and go or continue later if you don't finish the game. However, the only disadvantage is that most of the game pieces are rather small. Thus if you're not careful, you'll lose a game piece easily. If you can live with that... then all is good!

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Let's see, so far I have Monopoly, Boggle, Scrabble, Cluedo and Battleship. I am thinking of adding the travel pictionary to my 'collection'... I'll wait for the next Kmart 20% storewide sale.
posted by Ivan Choe, 9:33 pm | link | 1 comments |

Of Badminton and Cheerleaders!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I've been unbelievably busy at work hence, the lack of updates on the blog. The job is quite interesting and seriously, the working culture is really different back home in Malaysia. I guess you can really a balance lifestyle here.

Anyways, I was going through thestar.com.my a couple of days ago and I stumbled upon this...

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Yeahh...! Cheerleaders in the 2005 Badminton World Championships in Anaheim, CA, USA. I've been watching badminton since 6 and this is really an interesting addition to the half time show. No wonder the American doubles won... thier Asian competitors were too distracted... Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I wonder if this will ever take-off in Malaysia. heh heh... Now I know why I have renewed interest in the sport. Just kidding...
posted by Ivan Choe, 6:58 pm | link | 0 comments |

F1: Kimi dominates Istanbul

Monday, August 22, 2005

An excellent race in Turky last night! Kimi Raikkonen continues to close the gap in the Drivers' Championship race with a victory in yesterdays race. Having qualified first, Raikkonen lost the lead at the very start of the race to Renault's Fisichella, however, by the end of the opening lap, he got everything back in control and took it all the way home.

Meanwhile, Alonso finished in second place, losing only two points to Raikkonen in the battle for the 2005 World title. On the final lap, the Spaniard looked set for a P3 but Montoya who was on P2 ran wide due to a flat spotted tyre allowing Alonso to get through.

Another waste! The two Mclaren's could've made it an easy 1-2 but had slipped to a 1-3 and to add salt to the wound, the difference between Raikkonen and Alonso would be four points not two! Nonetheless, it had been a dramatic race and with both McLarens finishing the race, the fight for the constructors' and drivers' Championship continues in Monza...

Looks like we're gonna have a new champ this season!
posted by Ivan Choe, 3:18 pm | link | 0 comments |

Signs You Are Obsessed With Donald Trump

Friday, August 19, 2005

I love The Apprentice! This is one reality show that has a good balance of entertainment and education. The fast pace, the conflicting behaviors of the contestants, and of course... the “Donald” make this an addictive show to watch.

In a nutshell, the series comprise of 15 episodes where, 16 candidates will compete for a job working for Trump with a 6 figure salary! The candidates include both Ivy League MBA graduates and street entrepreneurs with no college education. Each week, Trump gives the two teams, different tasks that are meant to test their business skills in things like sales, marketing, promotions, charities, real estate deals, finance, advertising pitches, and facilities management. They must compete against each other, and the goal each time is to make the most money.

The tasks have ranged from selling lemonade, to managing a restaurant, to selling art.... Both teams pick a different team leader to lead their team that week during their task. The winning team gets a reward, like visiting Trump’s apartment in the Trump Tower, to meeting sexy tennis star Kornikova or Regis, to getting a private, ten minute meeting with the man himself. The losing team has to face “The Boardroom,” where Trump fires someone.

Anyways, here are some signs if you're obsessed with Donald Trump

Every Sunday night, you fire one of your friends.

You rename your place of residence to the Trump House.

You change your name to 'The [your name]'.

You keep playing, 'Money, Money, Money' song on your iPod.

You do a slow-mo when you're getting off out of a car or a plane.

You also want a Slovenian model as your wife.

Your colleagues keep calling you 'The Donald'.

Your wife filed for divorce after you convert the bedroom into a boardroom.

You let the front hair grow very long and then comb it over.
posted by Ivan Choe, 7:35 pm | link | 2 comments |

Hide the Hotties!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hahaha.. this is an interesting game; exciting and funny at the same time! Armed with TAG™ Body Spray for Men, you're play a young stud on campus with a bevy of beauties in your dorm room.

watch out! When their pops come, you have to hide them in time - and learn all their names at the same time. If you get them wrong, you'll get hilariously beaten up by pops! *ouch*

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As the level progresses, you'll get more hotties and of course, a bigger pad. You start off in the romp room and work your way to the Pimped-Out Penthouse! heh heh!

Have fun! Check it out!
posted by Ivan Choe, 7:19 pm | link | 0 comments |

Joke of the Day: Beer Troubles

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's almost mid-week again and time really flies when one is working! Tomorrow is a public holiday for us Brisbanite and I look forward to a good one-day rest. heh heh.

Anyways, this is a good one!

One day an Englishman, a Chinese and an Indian walked into a pub together.

They each proceeded to buy a pint of Guinness.

Just as they were about to enjoy their creamy beverage, a fly landed in each of their pints and became stuck in the thick foamy head.

The Englishman pushed his beer from him in disgust.

The Chinese fished the offending fly out of his beer and continued drinking it as if nothing had happened.

The Indian picked the fly out of his drink, held it out over the beer and yelled:

"Spit it out! Spit it out, you BASTARD!"

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Meanwhile, I had a good start to the Yahoo! Fantasy Soccer, which I participate every season.

Sentinels

Points: 140.5
Overall Rank: 84
Percentile: 99th
posted by Ivan Choe, 7:01 pm | link | 0 comments |

Hilarious: China Idol?

Monday, August 15, 2005

hahaha... this made my day! If you think Malaysia's talent was bad, check out this China Talent Show! Shamelessly taken off DKBU's blog.

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posted by Ivan Choe, 6:20 pm | link | 1 comments |

EPL: Man Utd 2 - 0 Everton

Sunday, August 14, 2005

ahh... the English Premier League is back in full swing. Last night Man Utd took on Everton who were celebrating an unlikely Champions League birth and Man Und cursing a second consecutive titleless season.

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Well, Man Utd got off to a good start as they cruise by Everton by 2-0 win. United scored through Van Nistelrooy in the first half, with Rooney - back on his old stamping ground again - taking advantage of a terrible mistake by Yobo to put his side two goals ahead a few seconds after the break.

One thing I noticed during the game was Man Utd's latest signing from South Korea, J. Park. He seems to be everywhere! He crosses looks good and he is realtively fast. I am surprised that he actually started the game. IMHO, he would not be in the first 11 with Giggs and Ronaldo being Furguson's first choice. Nonetheless, he looks promising to be Giggs' replacement not too far in the future.
posted by Ivan Choe, 12:08 pm | link | 0 comments |

The haze making World news!

Friday, August 12, 2005

What a way to make headlines! Malaysia finally got the publicity and made news on almost all major news agencies across the globe.

A search on google:news for haze brings back approx. 2,550 hits! From Boston Globe to Guardian Unlimited to Xinhua to Herald Sun, photos of the barely visible iconic skyline of Kuala Lumpur made news on the world section of the respective papers.

Correct me if I am wrong but I would say Malaysia hasn't got that much publicity and attention since the Anwar case back in the 90s.

Although I am not in Kuala Lumpur, just by looking at the pictures and video shots make me hard to breath. Thank God that the Air Pollution Index has stabalize at a much safer lavel than yesterday.

I dunno what impact will this do to the tourism industry. Nonetheless, we can boast that we have 3 seasons every year (thanks to our 'kind' neighbour): Rain, Hot and Haze.
posted by Ivan Choe, 9:17 pm | link | 1 comments |

Things to do during the Haze

Thursday, August 11, 2005

ugh.. I still have not receive my work login and thus, still no connection to cyberspace.

Just read from TheStar online that the air quality levels throughout the Klang Valley have reached levels considered hazardous to health. With that, the government announced a haze emergency for Port Klang and Kuala Selangor until a date to be announced in the future.

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If you're living in those areas, here are some things to do during the haze season.

Play hide and seek!

Pretend you're in Genting Highlands and open a casino in-front of your house.

Shout Fire, Fire!

Enact Battle of Helms Deep from Lord of the Rings.

Camera's won't work... speed on the highways!

Go up to your neighbours and tell them you lost your way and need direction back home.

Starlight Hazy Cinema anyone?
posted by Ivan Choe, 7:16 pm | link | 1 comments |

My first day at work!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Today's my first day at work in Brisbane and thus, just a short update today. Been busy catching up with job-related readings and HR related policies.

Hopefully I'll receive my computer login tomorrow... somehow, I feel incomplete without the internet.

Anyways, I'll post more tomorrow.
posted by Ivan Choe, 3:59 pm | link | 0 comments |

Comic: King of hearts

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Was feeling bored today and while surfing for some interesting stuff, I found this humorous comic by the legendary MAD magazine cartoonist- Don Martin. Image hosted by Photobucket.com

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posted by Ivan Choe, 1:53 pm | link | 0 comments |

Joke of the day: Speeding Excuse

Monday, August 08, 2005

hahaha.... this is a good one!

A man in his 40's bought a new BMW and was out on the SPRINT highway for a nice evening drive. The top was down, the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair, and he decided to open her up.

As the needle jumped up to 160 kph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him.

"There's no way they can catch a BMW," he thought to himself and opened her up further.

The needle hit 180, 200...

Then the reality of the situation hit him.

"What the #$%^ am I doing?" he thought, and pulled over.

The police came up to him, took his license without a word, and examined it and the car.

The police said, "It's been a long day, this is the end of my shift, and it's Friday the 13th. I don't feel like more paperwork, so if you can give me an excuse for your driving that I haven't heard before, you can go."

The guy thinks for a second and says, "Last week my wife ran off with a police officer. I was afraid you were trying to give her back."

"Have a nice weekend," said the officer.
posted by Ivan Choe, 5:12 pm | link | 1 comments |

King George Square Market

Friday, August 05, 2005

During the weekends, there will be several markets around the city. Most of the time, these are arts and craft markets. Unlike the 'pasar malams', which carries a wide range of relatively cheap perishable and non-perishable goods, these markets carries mostly paintings, 'designer' clothing, crafts and some food stuff.

The food stuff are mostly 'European' finger food, like hotdogs, Greek yoghurt, Danish pancake... The picture below is from the King George Square Market which is relatively new and thus, still small in size. It is located right in-front of the city hall clock tower.

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Going to all these markets make me miss the pasar malam back home. Those yummy eateries and cheap audio cds and movie DVDs.... sighs...
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:24 pm | link | 0 comments |

Movie Review: The Island

Thursday, August 04, 2005

This is exciting! I caught The Island on an IMAX theater and although I sat second row from the front, it was awesome! No kidding! I suppose it was due to the contoured screen. Pleasing for the eyes and neck. Anyways, here's my review of the movie.

The movie tells the story of Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) who lives in a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all of the residents of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the "The Island" - reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet. Due to his curious nature, he soon discovers that everything about his existence is a lie. He and all of the other inhabitants of the facility are actually human clones whose only purpose is to provide "spare parts" for their original human counterparts. Soon, he realized that it is only a matter of time before he is "harvested," Lincoln makes a daring escape with a beautiful fellow resident named Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson).

IMHO, the plot was excellent! In the first half of the movie, director Michael Bay captivates the audience with a sci-fi-ish drama feel (sorta like Gataca) and gets the audience thinking about the moral implications of human cloning for insurance purposes. Ah.. a thinking movie (finally!). Just as my brain was enjoying the cleverness of this movie, the storyline deteriorated exponentially and in the second half, it was just explosions, car chases, and black helicopters all the way to the end (action Michael Bay-style). This was a waste in the part of character developement. When the action starts, I somehow didn't feel for the characters and the gravity of their predicament. I guess the movie could've been more fun IF the writers and directors spent more time on the storyline in the second half (something like The Rock).

The actors, McGregor and Johansson who were suppose to play bright but somewhat inexperienced children, somehow seem too intelligent. Regardless, they did a good job instilling life and excitement to this somewhat stiff movie. Two other guest actors were Michael C. Duncan and Sean Bean. However, their talents were utterly wasted playing forgettable characters in the movie.

The special effects in this movie was IMHO stunning. I like the technology the directors try to sell across to the audience. The futuristic atmosphere were not over done and not too outrageous. Here, we get to see more concept cars (like Minority Report), gaming system, public transport system, public phones... you get the idea. One obvious thing about the future technology was the product placement in the movie. There was Nokia, X-Box, MSN Search, Aquafina, Puma, CK, Tag Heuer... there are everywhere. Now we know where Mr. Bay get's his 'extra' income. :P

Overall, an interesting and exciting movie at the same time. For me, it wasn't too boring and the action scenes were not too heavy. So if you're looking for a well balanced movie to watch, I recommend The Island. If you want all action or Sci-Fi drama, give this a miss.

Ratings (Scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest)

Cast : 3.5
Sound : 3.5
Picture : 4
Storyline: 3

OVERALL : 3.5
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:23 pm | link | 0 comments |

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posted by Ivan Choe, 8:54 am | link | 0 comments |

My Internet Explorer can't find Google?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I think Microsoft's Internet Explorer and MSN Search is trying to screw me. For the past couple of days, everytime I key in www.google.com, IE will redirect me to MSN Search and states that www.google.com cannot be found (!). What th...

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I guess this is what Microsoft means by preparing the new concept in the battle against Google. Image hosted by Photobucket.com
posted by Ivan Choe, 1:57 pm | link | 0 comments |

MAS in Plane Plunge

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I don't know if this news made in to the local newspapers, but it was on all Australia's breaking news last night.

According to the news, about 200 passengers were on board the Malaysian Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur and was forced to return to Perth International Airport after the plane experienced instrument problems about 40 minutes into the journey... the plane began shuddering violently and dropping more than a hundred metres at a time over a period of about 90 seconds. Here's the best part... passengers begin to panic after one flight attendant dropped a tray of drinks and another began praying.

That was a close one for MAS. The fact that the flight attendant started praying tickled me a bit. I am not saying that it's worng but I guess flight attendants should be calm and composed when faced with such situation. Anyways, the plane landed safely and the passengers all cheered when the plane touched down without further incident.
posted by Ivan Choe, 7:38 pm | link | 1 comments |

Joke of the day: Somersaults

I find this joke funny and I am not even into golf... heh heh BTW, if you're an animal activist, just take this as a joke huh...

A man and his friend meet at the clubhouse and decide to play a round of golf together. The man has a little dog with him and, on the first green, when the man holes out a 20-foot putt, the little dog starts to yip and stands up on its hind legs.

The friend is quite amazed at this clever trick and says, "That dog is really talented! What does he do if you miss a putt?"

"Somersaults," says the man.

"Somersaults?" says the friend. "That's incredible. How many does he do?"

"Hmmm," says the man. "That depends on how hard I kick him."

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posted by Ivan Choe, 7:18 pm | link | 0 comments |

F1: Kimi's back in the hunt!

Monday, August 01, 2005

After last week's disastrous Grand Prix weekend, Kimi's dream of winning the World Championship was revived after winning the Hungarian GP yesterday while Championship rival Fernando Alonso failed to score any points.

Kimi, who started the race fourth on the grid, managed to jump and took the lead from race leader Michael Schumacher in the second round of pit stops. Michael admitted that Ferrari threw away victory by bringing him into the pits a lap before Kimi. The two rivals were forced to second-guess each other's fuel plans, with whoever stayed out longer before a second stop destined to seize a crucial advantage.

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Meanwhile, Montoya who was leading the race at one point, suffered a gearbox problem and had to retire leaving Kimi to claim the win by more than half a minute from Michael. This race also marks Michael's brother Ralf his first podium for Toyota with a third place (finally!).

With six races to go, the Championship is still wide open and if the Hungarian GP results persists, Kimi can still fight for the Championship! Excellent! See you in 3 weeks.

Here's the what the Top 10 Drivers' World Championship standing look like after yesterdays' results.

1 F Alonso (Spa) 87
2 K Raikkonen (Fin) 61
3 M Schumacher (Ger) 55
4 J Trulli (Ita) 36
5 JP Montoya (Col) 34
6 R Schumacher (Ger) 32
7 R Barrichello (Bra) 31
8 G Fisichella (Ita) 30
9 N Heidfeld (Ger) 28
10 M Webber (Aus) 24
posted by Ivan Choe, 1:47 pm | link | 1 comments |