The Countdown to a Design

This is an analysis and design of a program to allow someone to play the numbers game from the British game show Countdown on a computer. First we’ll review the rules of the game and then we’ll explore techniques for implementing them on a computer. The numbers game is played with a board of cards […]

Pardon My Introspection

It is hard to think when you are tired. To a large degree that is because when you are tired and you close your eyes to think for a moment, you wake up after another moment and realize that you’ve just gone to sleep. It’s not that difficult if you have a topic in mind. […]

Musical Theater Magic

For the last three Sunday nights we have watched a three part series that tracked the history of the musical from the early twentieth century through the present. It reminded me of why I was so moved by musicals and even had ambitions to create rock musicals when I was a teenager. In my case, […]

Lisp Fundamentals

NOTE: for all my non-computer friends and readers. If technical topics bother you or make you tense, perhaps todays post is not for you. If you are not given cold sweats when facing a new topic with the flavor of computers or programming, by all means please join me. There are many things that Lisp, […]

Groovy! Far Out! Namaste!

I signed up for the test drive of It is a web site that purports to help you focus, meditate, or sleep via music tailored to effect your brain state. I of course signed up for focus. I have often complained that I was having trouble concentrating when I was trying to write, either […]

Growing Pains

When I was in high school Alvin Toffler published a book entitled Future Shock. In it he described a condition that resulted from too much change too fast. The fact is, the amount of and acceleration in the rate of change has continued to grow in the fifty years since Toffler did his study. Future […]

Don’t Let It Get You Down

“Winter is coming.” So goes the motto of the Stark house in George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. I feel a great impending doom facing the world. I’m not sure what is going to happen or what indications have tipped me off. I hope to goodness that I am wrong. But just for argument’s sake, what […]

Theater is in My Blood

My father was a school teacher. He taught English and Speech and Theater. He was a good teacher. He was a consummate professional. But the thing that made his soul sing was directing theatrical productions. When he was in college his plan was to prepare himself for a career in New York on Broadway. He […]