July 26, 2012

Tip-Tok Time

I have a cool announcement: the team I worked with to build Amoeboid has asked me to join their app development venture! I am now part of Tip-Tok! Check out the Tip-Tok about page--it's mega official.

This means I'll be working on more iOS games! Right now, Tip-Tok is finishing up Chicks in Tanks, which will be on the app store next month.

I'll post game announcements here occasionally, but if you want to hear more about the game-y goings-on, follow Tip-Tok on Facebook and Twitter.

Prepare yourself for all the awesome.

July 25, 2012


Cold-blooded is a misleading term. The scientific term is ectotherm: ecto = outside, therm = heat. Ectotherms don't regulate their body temperatures like we warm-blooded endotherms do; they are at the whims of the outside temperature.

Being an ectotherm means that the temperature of your surroundings has a serious effect on your body. This explains why putting a fly in the freezer slows it down so much that you can tie a string to it like a leash. I bet flies love that, by the way.

For the record, I've never attempted this. 
I usually have better things to do.

Being at the mercy of the outside temperature is why you don't see many bugs and reptiles in cold parts of the world. They really prefer warm climates so they can be active and annoying. Fun fact: cockroaches in Manhattan wouldn't last one winter without heated apartments to snuggle into (compliments of The World Without Us by Alan Weisman), as they are a tropical transplant and not built to withstand a New England winter on their own.

If we humans were ectotherms (and I'm glad we're not), life would be a bit like this:

July 18, 2012

The Original Pyramid Scheme

Trophic levels (troph means "food") in food chains are the original pyramid scheme: you need a lot at the bottom to support a few at the top.

But human pyramid schemes rely on convincing the ones on the bottom that they can move up. There are no such delusions in food chains.

July 11, 2012

The Joy of Learning

In my organic chemistry class in college, at the end of a lecture, one of my classmates raised his hand and asked, "So how can this be used? What are the applications?" 

Looking back, I don't remember what reaction or chemistry phenomenon he was referring to, but the professor furrowed his rather bushy white eyebrows and said, "Isn't it enough to understand it and appreciate how amazing this is? Does it need to have a marketable application to be worth studying? You need to learn how to take joy in simply learning something."

There is nothing at all wrong with using science to inform the latest technologies, market them, and make a buck, but surely knowledge is not merely a stepping stone to a mountain of money. There is joy to be had in learning in and of itself. 

Here is my doodle-y representation of the joy of learning: