Saturday, June 26, 2010

Neocubes mini review

I can't remember what I did before I carried a Neocube around with me. I must have waited quietly at doctor's offices, staring blankly at the walls or perhaps skimming the ancient magazines. Now, I simply pull my Neocube out of my pocket and begin constructing a polyhedron. If I don't have long to wait, I'll wrap the chain of spheres into a solid tetra- or icosahedron. If the other waiters are glancing at watches and complaining about the wait, I'll attempt a modular dodecahedron or a wireframe truncated icosahedron. I can fight off boredom for hours when I have my Neocube with me.

However, I'm not the only one to enjoy playing with a Neocube. Every person to which I've shown my Neocube, from little kids to my own Grandpa, has been mesmerized. Some people make jewelry, some construct flat shapes, and some just like coiling the chain of magnets, but everybody enjoys playing with them. My extended family liked playing with my Neocube so much that I purchased a big batch for gifts.

Neocube is one of the best pocket-sized time-waster I've ever seen, comparing favorably in wait-time compression with the iPhone and iPod Touch. If you want to have a 'cube of your own (and send me some pocket change), you can buy one from Amazon for only $16 (at last check). Don't miss this deal!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

You. Will. Be. Cancelled!

The words popped up every few sentences, turning the already repetitive lecture into a free-form poem of dullness. The comptroller missed no opportunity to remind students — in broken English — that there would be consequences for missed late payments, including cancellation and late fees. He loved to use the phrase "It's gonna cost ya!" to emphasize that the comptroller's office would be more than happy to take your money.

The USF comptroller's presentation dragged on for an eternal fifteen minutes before the incident. The comptroller asked a simple question about the repercussions of a missed deadline, expecting to answer it a second later. Instead, a student in the balcony shouted "You. Will. Be. Cancelled!" and laughter rippled through the auditorium.

Suddenly, the atmosphere of the lecture changed completely. When the comptroller concluded the answer to his own question with "You might be cancelled," the audience burst into laughter. He immediately recognized his newfound catchphrase and began using it to spice up his presentation. He loosened up, and the students began listening intently to wait for the next catchphrase. When he concluded his presentation with "Don't get cancelled!" the entire audience applauded loudly.

In my opinion, this dynamic lecture was the highlight of the whole orientation.