Archive for March, 2009

State official: Shalit talks with Hamas frozen

March 29, 2009

State official: Shalit talks with Hamas frozen

Top Israeli sources reiterate negotiations towards prisoner exchange deal aimed at securing release of captive soldier deadlocked. ‘Until Hamas submits new list of prisoners it demands there will be no negotiations,’ official says, adding that negotiator Ofer Dekel was not sent to Cairo

Roni Sofer

Published: 03.29.09, 08:10 / Israel News
“Until Hamas submits a new list of 125 terrorist as we have requested – there will be no negotiations,” an official source from the Prime Minister’s Office said Saturday night.

“Ofer Dekel did not travel to Cairo, and for the moment, there are no talks,” the source stressed, following various conflicting reports on the matter.

Stuck
Hamas objects to exile instead of release / Ali Waked
Palestinian sources say organization holding captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit continues to refuse to bend on list of prisoners it demands in exchange for soldier’s release. Sources say Israel offered having certain prisoners deported instead of released, but Hamas rejected offer
Full Story

Israeli officials said Dekel, the top negotiator in talks for a deal aimed at securing the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, did not leave for Cairo, and that they had no information of his whereabouts. “All these publications could be creating unnecessary noise. All we can say right now is that Hamas has not submitted the requested list, after Israel already confirmed 325 terrorists and another 125 are missing. As a result, there are no talks with Hamas,” the PM’s Office source clarified. On Thursday, Israeli officials okayed a number of moves taken in recent days. Last week, Hamas inmates held in Israel were allowed to convene to discuss the list of prisoners the organizations demanded be released. In addition, talks were held with Egyptian negotiator Mohammed Ibrahim, who was appointed by Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman. Last week, official diplomatic sources called Hamas reports of a breakthrough in the prisoner exchange deal a “Palestinian spin” and insisted that no progress had been made. “There is nothing new since last Thursday’s report,” the source stressed on Saturday. “Any other report may be misleading. As of yet, there are no negotiations with Hamas, who have not given us the list of 125 terrorists.”

Meanwhile, the Islamic Jihad-affiliated website Falastin al-Youm on Saturday reported that a “countdown” for the signing of a deal had begun. The unusual report was not confirmed by any official sources. The website reported that marathon negotiations, the likes of which have never before taken place between Israel and Hamas, through Egyptian mediators, were about to take place. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped into the Gaza Strip 1,008 days ago Roee Nahmias contributed to this report

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Puzzles

March 25, 2009

Puzzles

In my mind a “puzzle” differs from a “game” in that the former is designed to be pretty much a solitary exercise, while the latter is meant to engage two or more people in some sort of competition. On this page I’m listing various puzzles that I have invented. They are heavily leaning toward the mechanical and geometric type of puzzle.

One of the joys for me, as a designer, is to figure out how these are best made (what material and so forth). I generally try to create prototypes that can be made simply and quickly, drawing upon the resources I have handy.

I often end up selling copies of these to friends (especially during the holidays) when they are looking for one-of-a-kind gifts.

Trickier than actually creating interesting puzzles seems to be naming them. As mentioned under the “Jimmy Cube”, I offered to let the first person who solved a new puzzle name it. But I’m not sure if I’m going to strictly adhere to this. After solving the Jimmy Cube at the local coffeeshop, said solver, Jimmy, couldn’t really think of a name he was completely happy with. One possibility was “The Wei” or “The Way” (a play on his first name), or, poking fun at fellow cafe-goer, Mary, who did not solve it, he thought of “The Mary Couldn’t Do It Puzzle”.

But this is led to unforeseen consequences, as Mary (though not solving it) later suggested I name 8CTO “Jimmy Is A Punk-Ass”.

Maybe I will just come up with my own names…


<!–Puzzle-crafting is not a full-time endeavor for me these days. However, if you see something that you really, really like, and you email me really, really nicely, I might find time to build you one [grin]. These items are all hand-made, built-to-order, so there are not particularly cheap. But if you are looking for a unique gift, or just love having a puzzle that you cannot buy at Wal-Mart, these may be for you. –>

Encaged

This “sliding burr”-style puzzle is being manufactured by a company in Germany. It was originally designed for and featured at my Spring 2007 Puzzle Party.


2006 Pentomino Daily Calendar

Not exactly a hand-crafted, manipulative puzzle, but related nonetheless. People interested in geometry, games, and puzzles, might be interested in my compilation of pentomino challenges in the form of a Daily Calendar. Even though we are past 2006, this item may intrigue you if you would like 365 pentomino puzzles to solve.


Eclipse

This puzzle is a set of 6 hexagonal pieces. Each is made of thin, clear plastic and is partitioned into 54 triangles. On each piece 9 of those 54 triangles are colored in black. The object is to stack the six hexagons atop one another so that the whole shape is filled in by the black triangles (i.e. no triangles remain clear all the way through the layers).


Hexerei

This is basically a smaller version (and simpler version) of 8CTO (below). It uses only 3 different colors, and a 6×6 square is formed with the pieces, not an 8×8.

Here is one solution. I do not know how many non-trivially distinct solutions there may be.


8CTO

This is a puzzle consisting of 8 rectangular pieces, each 2×4 colored unit squares. The squares are colored plastic (red, blue, yellow, or green). The object is to assemble them into an 8×8 square such that each row and column has exactly two squares of each color. The unit squares are 1″ by 1″, so the final solution measures 8 inches square.

The solution is not unique. Here is one answer. I do not know how many non-trivially distinct solutions there may be.


Jimmy Cube

Ok, first off, I know that this puzzle is not a cube. However, as friends of mine were playing with the prototype, I started a “competition” by saying whoever solved it first could name it. After several folks tried unsuccessfully to assemble the 30 rhombic pieces into a single polyhedron with the painted line forming one continuous loop, friend, Jimmy, finally succeeded.

While he was celebrating his triumph, someone off-handedly referred to the puzzle as “the Jimmy Cube”. So, until Jimmy comes up with a better name, that’s going to stick.

Besides, it’s easier to say than “Jimmy’s Rhombic Triacontahedron”.

The model pictured here is made of spruce wood (I needed light weight) with embedded magnets. It is hand painted.


Colored Icosahedron, Easy Version

Built in a similar fasion as the Jimmy Cube above (with magnets embedded in the sides of wooden pieces), this puzzle, when completed, has twenty sides, not thirty. The goal is to arrange the pieces so that the colored sections at the vertices match. There are twelve vertices on a regular icosahedron, so I painted it such that there would be 6 pairs of colors (red, white, green, yellow, blue, and orange).

This is an easier version of a related puzzle I built, which I will document later.


Colored Icosahedron, Hard Version

The same shape as the puzzle above (20-sided), this one is painted differently. The goal is to arrange the pieces so that the colored sections at the edges match.

Because there are many more edges than vertices, and of the independence of the edges’ orientations to one another, this puzzle is significantly more difficult than the “easy” icosahedron above.


Surface Mazes

I also enjoy creating mazes. Recently I’ve been focusing on creating mazes on the surfaces of various geometric shapes (or, more accurately, I’ve been focusing on creating computer programs which generate random mazes of the surfaces of geometric shapes). Pictured to the right is a maze on the surface of a “buckyball” (i.e. a truncated icosahedron, or soccer ball).

The maze is “perfectly formed”, meaning that there are no loops, and every spot on the maze is reachable from every other spot on the maze. This is really just a prototype; I plan to make a nicer one with a solid wood structure beneath the laminated paper surface. The pictured one is simply heavy paper laminated with clear contact paper and taped at the edges of tha faces. The laminate allows one to use an erasable marker on the surface when solving.

I created a maze on the surface of a cube for my first Puzzle Party back in fall of 2004. I did not have one at EPP2, but I expect similar puzzles to crop up again at future Parties.


Color Cube

Pictured here is a rough prototype of a cubic puzle I designed. The cube can be separated into 8 subsections (they slide together with tongues and grooves). This model is fashioned out of wood, and painted.

I hope to make later ones smoother and with a higher degree of precision so that the tongues and grooves fit more snugly. I will also paint the blue section a lighter blue so that it is easier for me to tell it apart from the purple section.


Explore

This puzzle was my entry in the 2005 Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition (formerly the IPP Design Competition). I have a webpage devoted exclusively to this puzzle. It is a somewhat “open-ended” challenge in that the best possible answer is not immediately obvious (in fact, I still do not know if the best answer so far obtained is the theoretic optimum).

Despite this goal-ambiguity, I very much enjoy this puzzle as I feel it encourages the player to simply manipulate the pieces and try to discover interesting configurations… thus the name.

mazes

March 25, 2009
Read reactions to this story

Mazes – Mazes

Read “Mazes-Mazes” Article from the source – Click here!

March 24, 2009 by Peter Ekman
Category: Albums (and EPs)

mazesNumerology never did you any favors, safe to say, but dig this big crux: Mazes spin off from The 1900s, the psychish Chicago poppers formed in 2004 and last seen orbiting the blogosphere. (Not 1990s, mind you, those rakish Scotsmen [2006] with Yummy Fur wafting through their veins.) The 1900s? Seven-piece. Mazes? Just three.

Edward Anderson and Caroline Donovan shed the wall-of-twee plenitude The 1900s do so well, and in tandem with Charles D’Autremont weave a markedly looser “mid-fi” collection hatched in that venerable, nebulous American thirdspace: bedrooms, basements, and the odd studio under duress. It’s a thoroughly pleasing ride, with twangy divagations here and there — just echoes, really: see, inter alia, “Heather on Heather” — but for the most part is a clear-sightedly eclectic popfest, surprising but never jarring.

Anderson’s voice isn’t distinctive, but his steady delivery, his allergy to overt histrionics, keeps the layered instrumentation at center stage. What wags will doubtless call lush, shimmering, haunting, strikes me as just subtle. Each track wears its thick adornment lightly, and it never feels fussy, just mindful.

The press machine says Mazes channel New Zealand — i.e. Flying Nun, 1981 A.D.; The Chills, The Clean, and all — but I’m hearing a synthesis and gentle reconfiguration of ’90s archetypes above all. When the Farfisa cuts through on “Cat State Comity,” assertive but not strutting, a baroque little foil to the vocal melody, they’re speaking Aislers Set. Similarly on “Love to Lay,” as close to pop perfection as it comes: organ meat lines the skeletal form, nearly motorik in its hushed insistence. Vocal lines dive and weave, setting up daring chord changes that don’t disorient so much as enlighten. The lazy boy–girl act recalls the light-hearted Yo La Tengo that comes out on Fakebook; post-surf amuse-bouches fall in with the Crabs, the K also-rans, or the supple, spare guitar duels proffered lately by, say, Real Estate.

Perhaps Mazes isn’t as freewheeling as they say — everything works in deference, even if not outright submission, to a cunning, capacious logic — but it supplies a certain levity that higher-strung perfectionist pop often manifestly lacks. The stars align, maybe, and it all adds up.

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Mazes

Imk Blot Mazes is a really cool resource for mazes.
Many of the mazes are of celebrities or of some famous piece of artwork. Others are just plain famous pictures from the press or media.

This is a maze of monkeys jumping off roof tops. It took something like 20 hour to draw this one, and it probably can be solved in about 1-4 minutes. Totally worth it 🙂

Team of Monkeys

Team of Monkeys has a great variety of really cool printable mazes for you to complete. I really like the originality of these mazes. Exceptional stuff.

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Real Simple maze of a monkeys face close up. This maze should take about 20 to 30 seconds to complete, about the same time it took for you to read these sentences 🙂
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Have a look at our maze collection. Enjoy.

Mazes

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Maze of an Olympic Pool – Y.Frimer Mazes
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Please contact the maze artist if you’d like to use any of these mazes in your publication or paper.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

BLIVETs

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Blivet (believe it) these are mazes


Blivet Maze
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Blivet Maze – 2009, By Yonatan Frimer

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Maze of Mazes
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Have a look at our maze collection. Enjoy.

>>Next Maze>>

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Maze of an Olympic Pool – Y.Frimer Mazes
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Please contact the maze artist if you’d like to use any of these mazes in your publication or paper.

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>>Next Maze>>

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Maze Blog
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Y.Frimer Maze in the Chinese Newspaper, The Information Times

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A webbed maze of web mazes and other puzzling fun.

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Scroll down to view it all – TeamOfMonkeys.com
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Wondering who draws all these mazes?
Click here to learn about the artist, Yonatan Frimer

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You may print these mazes all you’d like for your own use.

Schools and teachers may reprint mazes freely for classroom use.

If you are a printer, publisher, illustration agent, or have some other commercial interest in mazes, please contact directly thru the contact page – Thank You.

– All Rights Reserved –

– Click here to visit our monkey comic site –

We train to fight so as not to fight
– Click here to visit our monkey comic site –

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Labyrinth
Some of the most difficult mazes I have attempted in a while. Very expertly crafted for diffiulty, and extremely well designed. I am a big fan of this type of very engrossing mazes. See more at:
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Emma
Weekly Mazes by Emma. The great thing about Emma’s mazes is their simplicity and the hand drawn quality. Not to mention the fact that she adds a new one nearly every week. A really cool resource for mazes.

Team of Monkeys

Team of Monkeys has a great variety of really cool printable mazes for you to complete. I really like the originality of these mazes. Exceptional stuff.

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A maze of web mazes and other puzzle fun.

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CLICK on any maze to view, print and enjoy. Free.
– Only at TeamOfMonkeys.com –

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View, print and share our mazes – TeamOfMonkeys.com

Want even more mazes? – CLICK HERE

You may view and print these mazes all you’d like for your own fun.

Schools and teachers may print and reprint mazes freely as rewarding classroom fun.

Printers, publishers, illustration agents, or others with commercial interest in mazes, please contact before running off any copies. See our contact page or click on any of these images for purchasing our mazes as royalty-free clipart for editorial or commerical use. – Thank You.

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The Mazeum – Ink On Paper, Winter 2006, by Y. Frimer
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Hallucamazenic – Ink On Paper, Winter 2006, by Y. Frimer

Maze A Delical

Click here to buy Maze A Delic Royalty Free License – For Editorial and Commericial Use


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Your source for mazes.

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AGAIN:

You may print these mazes all you’d like for your own fun.

Schools and teachers may print and reprint mazes freely for classroom use.

If you are a printer, publisher, illustration agent, or have some other commercial or editorial use for political and celebrity maze portraits or any of my other mazes, you may now easily do so online

>click here to buy royalty free license of these mazes for commercial and editorial use <

If you are interested in having your daily, newspaper, or magazine, subscribe to our Editorial Feature: Political Mazes. then please view our contact page – Thank You.

– All Rights Reserved –

More mazes? – CLICK HERE

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– Click here to view the Team Of Monkeys comic site –
Run monkey, run!
– Click here to view the Team Of Monkeys comic site –

THANK YOU for visiting TeamOfMonkeys.com

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Mazes

Click the mazes to view it in a higher resolution.



Blivet Maze – Optical illusion maze of an impossible object.
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Blivet Maze – 2009, By Yonatan Frimer
They that mistake life’s accessories for life itself are like them that go too fast in a maze: their very haste confuses them

Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

Maze of Monkey Illusion – 2009
Optical illusion maze caused by conflicting horizontal and vertical lines.
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Maze of Monkey Illusion – 2008 – By Yonatan Frimer


“Boris Podolsky: James! How’s the rat business?

James Moreland: Well, actually it’s mostly students I’m experimenting on now.

Kurt Godel: My God, the mazes must be enormous.


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Maze of the Statue of Liberty – 2009
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The man of character, sensitive to the meaning of what he is doing, will know how to discover the ethical paths in the maze of possible behavior.

Earl Warren quotes (American Republican Politician and Judge, 18911974)

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Real obstacles don’t take you in circles. They can be overcome. Invented ones are like a maze.
Barbara Sher

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It is easier to penetrate your audience with one sharp, clean point or idea, thand with a maze of half-baked unremarkable, uninspiring ideas that will never motivate or be remembered.

~ Stavros Cosmopulos quotes

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Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.

Charles Caleb Colton quotes (English sportsman and writer, 1780-1832)

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When I was in New York it was like a maze, a rat maze, going from one little box to another little box and passing through passageways to get from one safe haven to another.
Bruce Conner


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Life is a maze in which we take the wrong turn before we have learnt to walk

Cyril Connolly quotes (English critic and editor, 1903-1974)



Maze King, of Rock N Roll, Elvis
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“They that mistake life’s accessories for life itself are like them that go too fast in a maze: their very haste confuses them.”

~ Seneca quotes






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The maze … was such a mind-altering and life-changing experience. … My gosh, I mean for something that’s pretend it changes your viewpoint on life,

~ John Travolta quotes


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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Revolutionary Mazes

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blivet and Nitnoid

BLIVET AND NITNOID

[Q] From John McWilliams: “I am an engineer and have used the words blivet and nitnoid all my professional life, but I’m not sure if they are real words. To me, a blivet is some small amorphous shape like a blob. A nitnoid is a small mechanical device of little importance as in, ‘that nitnoid keeps the belt tight’. Any help?”

[A] Blivet is by far the better known of the two words and dictionaries of American slang suggest it dates back to American servicemen in World War Two. It is frequently said to be any small, useless, unnecessary or superfluous thing. It looks like a mixture of blip and widget, though your definition suggests that it might instead be from blip plus rivet.

It’s often described as ten pounds of horse manure in a five-pound bag (though the quantities vary between tellers) and the excuse to retell that “explanation” to a naive onlooker is often the reason for using the word. I am told that in the 1950s the term could be used to describe a person who was either self-important and full of himself or grossly overweight, for whom this description was all too apt.

When this piece first appeared, many subscribers mentioned that they knew blivet as the name of an impossible two-pronged trident thingy, otherwise known as the Devil’s pitchfork. It is sometimes said that the name derives from “believe it”, which I don’t. Other subscribers remember blivet as a military term for rubberised bladders that were used by various air forces for holding fuel at temporary locations, usually small airstrips. Once drained, the bags would go flat and be easily stored until required for use elsewhere.

Your other word, nitnoid, is clearly also American slang, though it’s new to me and there’s nothing in any of my books to tell me its origin (the earliest example I’ve found is from 1992, but it clearly must be significantly older). There are references to it online that suggest it can be a niggling small matter of no consequence, or something that’s nit-pickingly frustrating, or a pedantic person intent on squashing the life out of some subject by considering every detail. This suggests a derivation from nit plus the suffix -oid to indicate something of a given nature (plus, to be nitnoid about the matter, an interpolated n to make it easier to say, and perhaps a trace more humorous). Examples include “he has written a book chock full of nitnoid detail”, and “this man is a nitnoid perfectionist”. A rare example in print appeared in the Atlanta Constitution in September 2001: “We need to appreciate every moment we have with each other and just be nicer and not get lost in the nitnoid frustrations of life.” Interestingly, though this is clearly in the same ball park as your example, none of the instances I’ve found have quite the same sense.

It was confidently said by many subscribers to derive from the Thai nit noi, meaning “just a little”, with the suggestion that it was brought back to the USA by servicemen returning from the Vietnam war. I can’t find evidence to directly confirm or deny this one, though the gap between the Vietnam era and the first appearance of the word might count against its being the source.

source

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Mazes of Gilad Shalit, Woody Allen, Michalangelo’s David

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The Latest Pop Art: Mazes

March 22, 2009

Home Contact About The Artist Maze Blog Maze News
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Maze of Mazes
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Have a look at our maze collection. Enjoy.

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Maze of an Olympic Pool –  Y.Frimer Mazes
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Please contact the maze artist if you’d like to use any of these mazes in your publication or paper.

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Y.Frimer Maze in the Chinese Newspaper, The Information Times

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List of Top Mazes on the Web…

March 19, 2009

Random Maze

Here is a random maze I have generated by Monte Carlo.  Can you find the way out?

In reality, a random maze would be much more convoluted than the above example.  Such mazes are less pleasing to the eye. In the case above a maze consisting of walls that spiral from the origin was generated, and then subjected to a Monte Carlo simulation for a short time (before the maze would randomize completely).

Random Tree:

A maze is a special kind of random tree:  in particular, it is a spanning tree of a square in the square lattice (such a maze would have only one way out from the center).  Below is a random tree in the square lattice.


Towards the limiting random lattice tree

If the number of edges in the tree above should be multiplied, while the length scale is shrunk appropriately, a limiting random tree will be seen.  In the picture below there are 10000 edges, each too small to be seen here, in a lattice tree generated by a Monte Carlo program.  The tree begins to appear like a fractal object.  The existence of a scaling limit is known in high dimensions (above 8).  There is general consensus that it also exists in dimensions below 9.


Random Disks

The interior of a closed loop in the square lattice (or a polygon) is a Disk.  In this example, a square lattice polygon was randomized by subjecting it to a Metropolis Monte Carlo algorithm.  The interior of the polygon is a disk.

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Part 3 – Tile-Based Graphics, and Maze Creation


Often in game creation it becomes necessary to create multiple sets of game graphics and background images which contain similar details and repeating elements. It may be for a HUGE outdoor overhead map for a role-playing game showing landmarks, hills, trees, grass, monsters, etc., or as in our case, a bunch of similarly-constructed mazes, or whatever. As game designers and programmers, we need to be able to store, manipulate, and recreate these in our game, using as few graphic, memory, and hard disk storage resources as possible.

One common way of doing this is called “Tokenizing” the image. Instead of saving and loading all the images we could possibly need for our game, we break the image down into a small number of replicable parts – a set of graphic pieces that we can arrange to create the image we need when we need it. Usually, most pieces in this set are the same size, and will match up against other pieces in the set. The graphic pieces are generally called “tiles.” The graphic screens are stored as a matrix of alphanumeric characters, called “tokens,” with each character in the matrix corresponding to one of the graphic tiles.

Here are the mazes I have created so far for Snack Attack!

The first “maze” is for the About this Game screen. The ghosts chase Snacky around the About this Game text. The next maze (top, middle) is the original Pacman maze, resized to fit our game window. The next four mazes (the red, purple, green, and brown ones) are the original mazes from Ms.Pacman, and the last two I found in hacked MsPacman roms on the net.

Looking at the mazes, you’ll see that they all contain similar elements – rounded ends, right angle bends, segments that are the same length, etc.. To create these mazes, I took screen shots of the Pacman, et al, mazes and cut them up into 24 chunks. These 24 pieces arranged carefully, can recreate any maze a Pacman game can run.

Once I knew what the pieces needed to look like, I had to determine how to create a set we can use for our game. I had to make some creative and technical decisions to make the game easier to do and to make the mazes “fit” in our game window.

The mazes in the Pacman Arcade game are 1.5 times as tall as they are wide, and our game window is roughly square in mode 19, which has a 3:4 aspect ratio. In the Original, the maze borders are thinner than the maze obstacles, and the vertical spacing between obstacles alternates between high and short as we go from top to bottom in the maze. To limit the number of tiles we’d need and to make maze creation and AI programming easier, I decided to have one set of tiles for everything, and to make all the tiles the same size. Notice our borders and obstacles are the same thickness.

After a couple hours of tweaking, I determined the “correct” matrix size for our game is 19×22, with tiles that are 12×8 pixels in size. My primary criteria was being able to reproduce the original Pacman maze using uniform-sized tiles, and this maze needed to fit in a square game window as close as possible to the screen size we have. Our game window is about 8 pixels shorter than my other games, so I added the light blue border box around the game window, centered it, and adjusted the size of our feedback window to make it balance better. Since our Maze tiles are 12×8, for consistency sake, I set the graphics size for all the moving sprites to also be 12×8. This really is arbitrary, but it makes keeping track of them easier. Another upshot of having 12×8 tiles is we end up with about 1/3 fewer dots than the original.

Here is our minimum tile set:

Notice that our tile set is not colored. In the game we need to draw the mazes in different colors, so our tile set here is black, white, and gray. When we draw the maze we’ll color the white and gray pixels in each tile to the outline and interior color, respectively. Here I’m showing you the 2D “arcade” tile set, because it’s easier to see how it fits together. I have a more solid, 3D pipes-look tile set in 10 colors that will be included in the final version of the game. It was constructed the same way, only I processed each tile in photoshop to make it look 3D like. We’ll have a game option to choose between the two tile sets.

Our tile set contains a few extra tiles to correspond with new features we’ve added to the game. The 6 images along the bottom row are doors. The first two are doors for the penalty box. In Pacman and MsPacman, the penalty box is always in the same place, in the same orientation. The reason I think is that they needed to hardcode the location so that the ghost’s eyes can find their way back to the box so that the ghosts can respawn when we kill them. For our game, we can just have the eyes target the Penalty box door, and they’ll always find it, so we can put the Penalty box anywhere in the maze and it can have a vertical orientation if we want it to. Therefore I included a Horizontal and Vertical Penalty box door.

The next two doors are Ghost-Only doors. Snacky can’t go through them. We may want to make passages for the ghosts so they can ambush Snacky. The last two doors are Snacky-only doors. We may want to block the ghosts from certain Snacky-safe escape routes.

Included in the tile set is a Dot, so we can place the dots only where we want them. Similarly, we can place energizers anywhere we want, and since Euphoria is flexible in redimentioning sequences, we can have as many of them in the maze as we’d like.

Our game will determine the starting positions and number of ghosts from the maze definitions, so we can place as many ghosts as we want to, anywhere in the maze. We MUST have a penalty box, with a Penalty Box Door, but we can have the ghosts start from anywhere.

Snacky’s starting position will also be determined by the maze definition. We can start the game with Snacky anywhere we want.


Tokenizing the maze
Ok, so we have a tile set that we can use to construct any maze we can think of. So, how do we do it? I told you before that we want to represent the maze as a matrix of alphanumeric characters with each character corresponding to a tile in the tile set. Our mazes are 19×22 tiles big, and thus they can be represented by a matrix containing only 418 characters. That’s pretty tight. Storing the mazes as a GIF image is 6 times as large and GIFs are compressed pretty tightly.

How do we choose the tokens for each tile? Arbitrarily. You can make any alphanumeric character represent any tile you want. I usually try to go for characters that look kinda like the tile, so when I look at the text representation, I can tell what the maze is. Here is a maze from Snack Attack! And it’s corresponding text representation:

( is an upper left corner,
) is an upper right corner,
[ is a lower left corner,
] is a lower right corner,
< is a left ending horizontal piece,
> is a right ending horizontal piece.
O is an energizer and o is a dot.
C is the player’s starting position – because C kinda looks like Snacky.
M is a Ghost (M for Monster)
P is the Penalty Box door.
= is a horizontal piece.

You get the idea. When I run out of characters that look like tiles, I just start picking letters and symbols until I run out of tiles.

I store all the levels in the game (in the maze order shown above) back to back in one long sequence of sequences of sequences. Levels is all of the mazes, Levels[1] is the about maze, Levels[3][4][5] is the token at position 5,4 in the second level.(the red one in the image above – third maze in the sequence)

For our purposes, I have created a handy, dandy maze editor we can use to create the mazes. You click on the tile you want and then place it in the game window. The program indexes into the maze definition sequence and places the right token in the right place automagically.

If you haven’t yet downloaded my version of our course project, Snack Attack!, do it now, and play it a million times to get an idea for the game.

*****************************

Amazing Challenge I

By Shawn Olson

Posted on 12.18.03

As a kid I used to draw mazes all the time. Sometimes I would draw a couple dozen mazes and tape them together, so that the entire maze was twenty feet long laid out. I hadn’t made any mazes in a long time, so I decided it’s time to get back in the habit. Here is the first maze in my series of Amazing Challenges. Enjoy.

Click the image to view the maze full-size.

shawn's amazing challenge 1

Copyright © 2003-2009 by Shawn Olson.

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Help the Monarch butterfly fly south for the winter.

Back to Fall mazes.

Be sure to visit our main printables index for more fun including our Fall coloring pages, word puzzles and check out our great Fall crafts!

Click here for printable version

More fun printables and activities to enjoy:

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Surface Mazes

I also enjoy creating mazes. Recently I’ve been focusing on creating mazes on the surfaces of various geometric shapes (or, more accurately, I’ve been focusing on creating computer programs which generate random mazes of the surfaces of geometric shapes). Pictured to the right is a maze on the surface of a “buckyball” (i.e. a truncated icosahedron, or soccer ball).

The maze is “perfectly formed”, meaning that there are no loops, and every spot on the maze is reachable from every other spot on the maze. This is really just a prototype; I plan to make a nicer one with a solid wood structure beneath the laminated paper surface. The pictured one is simply heavy paper laminated with clear contact paper and taped at the edges of tha faces. The laminate allows one to use an erasable marker on the surface when solving.

I created a maze on the surface of a cube for my first Puzzle Party back in fall of 2004. I did not have one at EPP2, but I expect similar puzzles to crop up again at future Parties.

***********

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***********************

Mazes for Discussion

Adapted from Business Mazes by Joni Farthing, Hart-Davis, 1981

maze

What is a maze?

A maze is a puzzling game. A garden maze is a network, or labyrinth, of paths between high hedges. The puzzle is to find the paths that will lead most quickly to the exit, but the hedges prevent you from seeing where alternative routes lead.

How to read a maze

There are five mazes designed to introduce and practise language common in business situations. Just like the garden maze, each one involves making decisions. However, the aim is not to reach the exit as quickly as possible, but to solve the problem effectively.

The entrance is ‘the situation’. Everyone starts here, and then chooses a course of action from 1. If none of the alternatives are exactly the path you would like to take, choose the one nearest to the ideal. Each decision leads to another number in the maze, which shows how the situation has changed because of the action you have taken. Write down every number you turn to. This is your numbers-route, (If you find yourself on a familiar path, think again!) Continue until the end, or exit, of the maze is reached.

In a garden maze you cannot use a ladder to take a quick look over the hedge to see where other paths lead. In this book, you should not look at routes unless they are indicated by your decisions.

I suggest that you work through the maze in a group, but you can do it by yourself, discussing each choice in detail before reaching a joint decision and going to the next stage. Practise your English by trying to convince others that your point of view is right, but listen to their opinions too. Keep a record of the problems and your decisions. After you finish the maze you can either discuss it further or go back along your number-route and take another look at the unfamiliar words and expressions you met on your way. Write a report when you have finished.

No Smoking

The Salesman

The Complaint

The Reference

Reg Collins

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The Political Maze: By Ink Blot Mazes

March 18, 2009
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Blivet Maze – Optical illusion maze of an impossible object.
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They that mistake life’s accessories for life itself are like them that go too fast in a maze: their very haste confuses them

Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

Maze of Monkey Illusion – 2009
Optical illusion maze caused by conflicting horizontal and vertical lines.

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“Boris Podolsky: James! How’s the rat business?

James Moreland: Well, actually it’s mostly students I’m experimenting on now.

Kurt Godel: My God, the mazes must be enormous.


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Maze of the Statue of Liberty – 2009
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The man of character, sensitive to the meaning of what he is doing, will know how to discover the ethical paths in the maze of possible behavior.

Earl Warren quotes (American Republican Politician and Judge, 18911974)



Barak Obama Maze
Portrait– 2009

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Maze Portrait of Barak Obama – By Yonatan Frimer

Real obstacles don’t take you in circles. They can be overcome. Invented ones are like a maze.
Barbara Sher

Maze of 3D Impossible Object – 2009 – By Yonatan Frimer
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Maze Zen Impossible – Yonatan Frimer 2009

It is easier to penetrate your audience with one sharp, clean point or idea, thand with a maze of half-baked unremarkable, uninspiring ideas that will never motivate or be remembered.

~ Stavros Cosmopulos quotes

Maze Museum 2006
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Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.

Charles Caleb Colton quotes (English sportsman and writer, 1780-1832)


Portrait Maze of Barak Obama, profile view – 2009
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When I was in New York it was like a maze, a rat maze, going from one little box to another little box and passing through passageways to get from one safe haven to another.
Bruce Conner

Maze – Kong 2006
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Times Are Tough, and Libraries Are Thriving

March 14, 2009

Times Are Tough, and Libraries Are Thriving

Alan Zale for The New York Times

SHELF LIFE At the Teaneck Public Library, traffic is heavy.

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Published: March 13, 2009

TEANECK

Skip to next paragraph

New Jersey

In the Region

Alan Zale for The New York Times

Dorothy Gates, left, checks out books for Shira Weiss at the Teaneck Public Library.

SHIRA WEISS, a 34-year-old publicist, showed up one day with her two children at the Teaneck Public Library for the first time in years after her husband had gently inquired why she needed to spend so much on books.

She applied for a new library card and — after taking out two chick-lit novels, an illustrated “Star Wars” book for her 5-year-old, Jake, and two animal books for her 2-year-old, Ben — she instinctively pulled out her wallet to pay.

“I guess it will take an adjustment period until I realize that some of the best things in life are indeed free,” she said.

Ms. Weiss’s cheerfully erratic return to her local library illustrates a surprising upside to the economic downturn: Libraries are booming.

Indeed, the bad news on the economy is good news for libraries across the New York region, so long as they can escape the budget ax that is falling on many municipal services as cities and towns struggle with declining revenue.

People are flocking to libraries after forsaking Barnes & Noble or ditching their HBO service and subscriptions to Netflix, library officials said, because libraries’ books, DVDs and CDs have a significant advantage: They are free.

Some people are showing up at libraries for the first time for free entertainment — movies, lectures, concerts and puppet shows, library officials said. Still others are capitalizing on their newspaper racks, books and free Internet service for job searches and investment advice or advice on a topic that the title of a much-thumbed book makes obvious: “Surviving a Layoff: A Week-by-Week Guide to Getting your Life Back Together.”

There is an incongruity in libraries’ providing such a wealth of free services because libraries themselves are vulnerable to the economy. Towns and school districts have started to make cuts, and library hours and employees are frequent targets.

In Maplewood, Jane Kennedy, the library director, is grappling with a 10 percent cut to her budget, reducing it to $1.7 million, and she lamented that she is contemplating layoffs, payless furloughs and shorter hours.

“People need us more than ever, and we’re not going to be there for them,” she said, noting that circulation had climbed 8 percent from 2007 to 2008, to 235,285 items. “People count on us and we want to do more, not less.”

Librarians said they had not had to make major increases in purchases of books and DVDs, only shrewder ones — buying extra copies of, say, a John Grisham novel and cutting back on books that might not have as large a readership.

For now, libraries are welcoming their new popularity.

In Chappaqua, in Westchester County, Pamela C. Thornton, the director of the Chappaqua Library, said that circulation in December was up 22.3 percent from December 2007, with patrons checking out 35,692 books, DVDs, CDs and other items.

In Teaneck, patronage for the last quarter of 2008 was up 7 percent compared with the previous year’s last quarter, with 144,500 items borrowed, according to Michael McCue, the library’s director.

The Bergen County Cooperative Library System, a consortium of 75 libraries in northern New Jersey, reported an 8.2 percent increase in borrowing in 2008, with 10,887,000 items taken out.

“People are reawakening to all the things the library has to offer, and unfortunately this is because of the economic downturn,” said Arlene Sahraie, the library services director for the Bergen County network. “There’s a saying among librarians that libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.”

Robert White, the director of the network, said he had calculated that “the average yearly value to every card used in our system was $706.”

“You don’t get that kind of rebate on the Discover Card,” Mr. White said. “And it’s all free.”

As in Ms. Weiss’s case, librarians said they were noticing more adults getting library cards for the first time, or sheepishly explaining that they had lost their cards or even paying long-neglected late fees so they could use the library’s free Internet service.

Jude Schanzer, the director of programming at the East Meadow Public Library, on Long Island, tells the story of a middle-class woman in her 50s who dropped in late last year after work and applied for a library card. She confided to a librarian that it was the first library card she had possessed since childhood.

“Now I don’t have to buy my books,” she told Ms. Schanzer. “This is how I’m cutting back.”

In Ridgefield, an affluent Connecticut town where many residents work at nearby companies like Pepsi, General Electric and I.B.M., people are tapping the public library’s free services even if they are financially comfortable enough for now, library officials said.

  • 1
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Some cool cartoons and mazes

March 14, 2009

Monkey Teams are INCREDIBLY complex.
Prior to the discoveries of Dr. Otto Verbraucher in the late 20th century, only the most advanced scientifically studies where capable of creating consistent results from individual monkeys, perhaps two, but never an entire team. After Dr. Verbraucher discovery of MPTP (Monkey Peer training protocol), Monkey Teams became easier to train that programing the proverbial “VCR” With today’s advanced Monkey Training Techniques, the Teams can drive a car.

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The armies of great warriors such as Atilla The Hun and Mou Sang Di of the 2nd Dynasty would fall in under 2 days against a modern Team Of Monkeys of 734,650.

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“American Gothic Maze” – By Yonatan Frimer

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Maze Portrait of Albert Einstein.
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“Genius Maze” – By Y. Frimer

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Maze of Robocop
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Maze Portait of Rodney Dangerfield
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Blivet Maze – Optical illusion maze of an impossible object.
Blivet Maze medium Artwork replica portrait yonatan frimer
Blivet Maze – 2009, By Yonatan Frimer

They that mistake life’s accessories for life itself are like them that go too fast in a maze: their very haste confuses them

Seneca quotes (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

Maze of Monkey Illusion – 2009
Optical illusion maze caused by conflicting horizontal and vertical lines.

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Maze of Monkey Illusion – 2008 – By Yonatan Frimer


“Boris Podolsky: James! How’s the rat business?

James Moreland: Well, actually it’s mostly students I’m experimenting on now.

Kurt Godel: My God, the mazes must be enormous.


IQ quotes (Movie)


Maze of the Statue of Liberty – 2009
maze of the Statue Of Liberty - InkBlotMazes Ink Blot Mazes, By Yonatan Frimer, your humble maze artist
Maze of Liberty – 2009 – Yonatan Frimer

The man of character, sensitive to the meaning of what he is doing, will know how to discover the ethical paths in the maze of possible behavior.

Earl Warren quotes (American Republican Politician and Judge, 18911974)



Barak Obama Maze
Portrait– 2009

Portrait barak obama maze

Maze Portrait of Barak Obama – By Yonatan Frimer

Real obstacles don’t take you in circles. They can be overcome. Invented ones are like a maze.
Barbara Sher

Maze of 3D Impossible Object – 2009 – By Yonatan Frimer
maze of 3d impossible box
Maze Zen Impossible – Yonatan Frimer 2009

It is easier to penetrate your audience with one sharp, clean point or idea, thand with a maze of half-baked unremarkable, uninspiring ideas that will never motivate or be remembered.

~ Stavros Cosmopulos quotes

Maze Museum 2006
international maze of a museum
Mazeum, by Yonatan Frimer

Happiness, that grand mistress of the ceremonies in the dance of life, impels us through all its mazes and meanderings, but leads none of us by the same route.

Charles Caleb Colton quotes (English sportsman and writer, 1780-1832)


Portrait Maze of Barak Obama, profile view – 2009
Portrait barak obama maze by maze of mazes artist yonatan frimer InkBlotMazes Ink Blot Mazes, By Yonatan Frimer, your humble maze artist
Side Portrait Maze of Barak Obama, President

When I was in New York it was like a maze, a rat maze, going from one little box to another little box and passing through passageways to get from one safe haven to another.
Bruce Conner

Maze – Kong 2006
maze of kong InkBlotMazes Ink Blot Mazes, By Yonatan Frimer, your humble maze artist
Maze Kong – By Yonatan Frimer

Life is a maze in which we take the wrong turn before we have learnt to walk

Cyril Connolly quotes (English critic and editor, 1903-1974)

Maze King, of Rock N Roll, Elvis
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Elvis Maze – By Yonatan Frimer

“They that mistake life’s accessories for life itself are like them that go too fast in a maze: their very haste confuses them.”

~ Seneca quotes



Matrix Maze – Keanu Reeves, Neo
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The maze … was such a mind-altering and life-changing experience. … My gosh, I mean for something that’s pretend it changes your viewpoint on life,

~ John Travolta quotes

French Maid Maze – 2007

French Made Maze InkBlotMazes Ink Blot Mazes, By Yonatan Frimer, your humble maze artist
Maze Maid in France By Yonatan Frimer

Poem I found on the web about mazes…

Maze Poem
Maze

I entered the maze not knowing what I’d find
A world so different within my own
The path was set
But never clear
As I walked along my eyes grew wide
I found so many things I thought I knew
But how different they now appeared
I continued looking for the end
Hopeful that I was getting near
Eventually I reached the end
But by then I realised it was only the beginning.
Magentia

Home Contact About the Artist Portfolio
Ink Blot Mazes

buy mazes?
Obama Maze Portrait

ClipArtOf.com
STOM Research: Your Primary Science News and Monkey Comic Website. Created By Yonatan Frimer and RSL. Welcome to TeamOfMonkeys.com All Rights Reserved, FULL STOP Maxell Monkey samurai monkey<!– Jolly Roger Monkey –> samurai monkey


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The Team of Monkeys Pirate ship. Where is the rum?
Pirates Monkeys Team Delta echo niner, by Yonatan Frimer and RSL

Monkeyed Mission to the Moon 2005 Yonatan Frimer and RSL

Mazes and Portraits of todays.

March 12, 2009
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Maze-A-Delic  2006
Maze A Delical


<<  BACK 1 24 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NEXT  >>

Michael Jackson         Keanue                                        Elvis
Michael Jackson Maze portrait Keanu portrait maze maze The King of Rock - portrait by yonatan frimer

Gwen Stefani                                         Bashar Al Assad                           Shimon Peres
gwen stephani maze portrait portrait maze bashar assad shimon peres, president of israel, portrait by yonatan frimer

Arcadi Gaydamak                         George W. Bush                                    Bill Clinton
Arcadi Gaydamak maze portrait portrait maze George W Bush Bill Clinton, former US president

Amir Peretz                                         The Lubavitcher Rebbe
portrait maze amir peretz the lubavitcher rebbe

<<  BACK 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 More Mazes  >>

Team Of Monkeys imageTeam Of Monkeys.com Comics
Home Contact Info Image Archive 2006 Mazes About The Artist
The Crystal REVEALED! CyberMonkeys CyborgMonkeys

Maze of the US Flag

And a bunch of other stuff…..

Arnold Shwartzenegger                        Vladamir Putin                                                George W. Bush
Aaaarnold ShwartzeneggerVladamir Putin in the red, for mother Russia - true leader of Soviet UnionVladamir Putin in the red, for mother Russia - true leader of Soviet Union

Click Images to view larger and then set as your decktop choosing “stretch”

Brown Bird – 2007
Brown Bird

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Reasons Monkeys Do Not Make Good Pets

Monkeys are expensive to house and feed, and some require specialized diets that can be time consuming to prepare. A significant commitment of time is needed just for routine care and cleaning up after a pet monkey, but more importantly a monkey needs a large amount of social interaction and attention from the owner. A pet monkey deprived of your time and attention will only develop severe behavior problems and psychological issues.

There is something irresistible about an infant monkey – they appear so sweet and helpless, and seem so much like a human infant in many ways. However, those sweet babies grow up into difficult adults, and as a general rule adult monkeys do not make good pets. Their intelligence makes them special, but ultimately makes them a very challenging pet.

Commitment
Taking on a pet monkey is a long term commitment. A well cared for monkey can live anywhere from 20-40 years, and needs your full commitment throughout their lives. A pet monkey cannot do without your attention when life gets busy or circumstances change.
Monkeys may not take well to new people in your life (including spouses and children), and make it hard to get away for vacations. Finding a new home for a pet monkey is extremely difficult, and very hard on the monkey which has bonded to its first owner.

Legal Issues
Monkeys may be illegal to keep as pets in some areas. Check locally as well as state or province wide. If legal, permits may be required, and sometimes permit holders are subject to inspection for proper facilities and care.

Medical Issues
A wide range of diseases can be passed from monkeys to humans. See “Zoonoses Acquired from Pet Primates” by David M. Renquist, D.V.M., M.A. and Robert A. Whitney, Jr., D.V.M., M.S. for a thorough discussion of this aspect. Finding a vet who is able and willing to treat a primate may also be difficult. Monkeys are also susceptible to a variety of illnesses of humans, which can be devastating for the primate.

Aggression
The sweet dependent baby monkey will eventually grow up, and become the wild animal it was meant to be. Unfortunately, raising a monkey around humans doesn’t change the wild nature of monkey, and in fact depriving a pet monkey of normal social relationships with other monkeys can create behavior problems and neuroses.
Pet monkeys also have a tendency to bite. They have different personalities so one cannot generalize, but some monkeys will be very aggressive, and others will be more docile. Nevertheless, monkeys are unpredictable and may turn aggressively on anyone, including the person to whom they are the closest.

The Mess
Monkeys are messy. They can’t really be effectively toilet trained (many younger monkeys can be diapered or at least partly toilet trained, but that is often lost at maturity) and sometimes engage in distasteful activities involving their feces and urine.
Aside from the toileting messes, pet monkeys can be extremely mischievous and destructive, especially if bored.

Housing
Monkeys need a large secure enclosure and should spend time outdoors too if possible. They must be provided with a wide variety of ever changing toys and exercise equipment to keep them challenged and stimulated, or they will suffer from boredom.

************************

Malaysian Government Halts Monkey Export

PDF view pdf of the press release»

Following our recent campaign, we are pleased to tell you that the Malaysian Government has announced its intention to reinstate the ban on exporting macaques for purposes including research.This is a major victory for Malaysian primates and follows an international campaign by animal and environmental groups in Malaysia and across the world.We’d like to thank those of you who supported us. Your actions have directly helped in the Malaysian Government’s decision to reinstate the ban on the export of primates for research.

*********************************************

The Impossible Housing and Handling Conditions of Monkeys in Research Laboratories
by Viktor Reinhardt, former research veterinarian
August 2001

I used to associate cruelty against monkeys with pictures of individual animals subjected to experimental procedures that obviously inflicted extreme pain.

Personally I see no ethical justification for any research which inflicts pain, distress, or suffering on animals, and primates in particular.

However, this type of research is a given reality and, as long as it continues, I feel a strong obligation to at least promote refinement techniques that lessen the suffering of animals whose lives are involuntarily sacrificed for a questionable research enterprise. When I do nothing I betray not only the animals but I also betray my humane nature.

When I saw a primate research facility from the inside for the first time, I quickly realized that the cruelty against monkeys is much more pervasive than I had concluded from the horrible pictures. The suffering is not restricted to the inhumane experimental procedure itself but extends to every single hour of the animal’s life in the laboratory.

More than 700 macaques – the prevailing primates in the research laboratory – were locked behind bars, fearfully waiting to be forcefully removed and immobilized during life-threatening procedures.

The situation was reminiscent of a high security prison for convicted criminals, though none of the animals was guilty of any crime other than being a helpless victim.

Each monkey was kept alone, in a cage that was so small that he/she could not take a few steps in one direction, let alone jump or run in monkey fashion. There was no companion to huddle, groom or play with.

It should be remembered that macaques are primates – just like us – who have an intensive need for social contact and social interaction. Solitary living conditions are similarly unbearable for them as it would be for us.

Most cages were completely barren, offering not even a perch that would have allowed the animals to make use of the arboreal dimension. In the wild, macaques spend most of the day in elevated sites – away from ground predators – and seek the refuge of trees at night.

When kept in cages without a high perch, the animals have no way of retreating to a “safe” place during alarming events, such as when a staff member approaches them. Being cornered in this manner must, indeed, be a very distressing experience for a helpless monkey who associates people with painful and distressing handling procedures.

In order to accommodate as many monkeys in one room as possible, cages were arranged in double-tiers with one row stacked on top of the other. This condemned half of the animals to confinement in a permanently shady, cave-like environment. Needless to say, this was not a living quarter that was suitable for diurnal animals.

The conditions I witnessed were so depressing that most monkeys had developed stereotypic behaviors such as pacing, rocking, bouncing, somersaulting, swaying from side to side, biting parts of their own bodies, pulling their ears, tossing their heads back and forth, or smearing feces on the cage walls.

When I expressed my concern about these alarming signs of distress, I was told that they are “abnormal” behaviors that the animals develop when kept in cages for a long time. My conclusion was different: the appalling caging environment was abnormal – not the behavior of the monkeys.

It was hard for me to believe that the situation I had seen was typical. I therefore decided to contact animal care personnel of other laboratories and survey the scientific literature to find out how macaques are housed and handled in other research facilities.

What I heard and what I read confirmed what I had seen myself, leading me now to the following conclusion. In the U.S. there are currently approximately 15,000 macaques imprisoned in double-tier stacked solitary cages waiting in fear to be subjected to distressing procedures.

The conditions under which these animals are forced to live are so inadequate that researchers themselves have repeatedly admitted in scientific publications that about 10 out of 100 caged monkeys are so desperate that they mutilate themselves.

The recent scandal at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center – one of the most prestigious facilities in this country – gives the public a rare opportunity to get a sobering look behind the doors and see for themselves that the manner in which most primates are currently being housed and handled is not only inhumane but at the same time counterproductive to good research.

Wouldn’t it be naive to expect scientifically valid research data from an intelligent, social animal who is forced to live alone in a barren cage with nothing to do but engage in self-injurious behavior out of utter frustration?

Providing monkeys in research institutions with primate-adequate housing and humane handling conditions would be a guarantee that scientific data are not unnecessarily skewed by uncontrolled extraneous variables.

There is no doubt that primatological investigators could do their research with fewer animals – and hence avoid a lot of unnecessary suffering and squandering of tax dollars – if they would make sure that the animals are not behavioral cripples as a result of under-stimulation, and that they do not suffer distress during handling procedures.

The ethical and scientific concerns arising from the prevailing housing and handling practices of monkeys have been acknowledged by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1991 stipulating in the Regulations and Standards of the Animal Welfare Act that:

The housing arrangement of monkeys must [emphasis added by author] address the social needs of the animals, the cage environment must [emphasis added by author] be enriched by providing means of expressing monkey-typical behaviors, lighting must [emphasis added by author] be uniformly diffused and provide sufficient illumination for the well-being of the monkeys, handling should be done as carefully as possible in a manner that does not cause stress or unnecessary discomfort.

These legal requirements are consistent with guidelines promulgated by the International Primatological Society in 1989/1993 and recommendations set forth by the National Research Council in 1998.

Many reports have been published in scientific journals outlining well-tested options for addressing the social needs of monkeys in the research laboratory, for enriching their environment in a species-adequate manner, for assuring uniform lighting conditions, and for training the animals to cooperate, rather than resist, during common handling procedures such as capture, injection, topical drug application, and blood collection.

This information has also been compiled in bibliographies and a comprehensive database which can be accessed on the Internet at no cost.

How is it possible that investigators keep research monkeys under living conditions and handle them in ways that are in gross violation with federal rules and professional standards?

Here are my thoughts.

Lack of interest

A prestigious researcher conceded in an American scientific journal:

Most investigators think only briefly about the care and handling of their animals and clearly have not made it an important consideration in their work.

It is true, for many researchers the monkey is merely an identification number attached to a computer-processed data entry, and they consider it a waste of their time to visit the animals and check for themselves if they are properly housed and handled.

Arrogance

To quote from the same article:

Finally, I think that all investigators consider themselves upstanding citizens of excellent ethical and moral character. Their feeling may be that since they are moral and ethical in every sense of the word, they are quite capable of monitoring their own animals without outside interference.

Without question, most investigators regard compliance with the minimum housing standards set forth by the federal Animal Welfare Act as a nuisance.

Inertia of tradition

Many scientists resist any changes in the traditional husbandry practices of research monkeys, probably because of fear that historical data will be invalidated by different, albeit better, housing and handling conditions.

Lack of ethical concern

It is not uncommon for investigators to treat monkeys with little or even without ethical reservations. A world-famous scientist made this quite clear when he explained that experimentation with human patients is hampered by “sound ethical constraints”, but that, “No such problems exist for the monkey researcher.”

The present situation in primate research laboratories strongly suggests that professional judgment is no guarantee that the inhumane housing and handling conditions of laboratory monkeys will ever improve.

Progress will be possible only if USDA makes more serious efforts to enforce the federal law as Congress intended.

Until then, the well-being of research monkeys will continue to depend on the mercy of scientists who traditionally view them as research objects and treat them accordingly.

USDA Regulations and Standards give the public the impression that monkeys in research laboratories are housed and handled in ways that reflect minimum ethical concern for their well-being. The prevailing housing and handling conditions of monkeys give testimony that these federal rules are not enforced properly. If you care for the well-being of animals, and of caged primates in particular, you may want to contact:

Dr. Ron DeHaven
Acting Deputy Administrator
USDA, APHIS, AC
4700 River Road, Unit 97
Riverdale, MD 20737 USA

Please request that APHIS enforce more effectively the Animal Welfare Act’s Specifications for the Humane Handling, Care and Treatment of Nonhuman Primates. Rules have no meaning unless provision is made that they are actually followed! Request that stronger regulations are needed to ensure the well-being of captive primates.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Viktor Reinhardt has worked for ten years as an ethologist and clinical veterinarian at a primate research facility where he took care of the animals’ health and introduced more humane housing and handling conditions for them.

After the laboratory hired a new director, Dr. Reinhardt’s work was no longer appreciated and his contract terminated in 1994.

He joined the Animal Welfare Institute, Washington DC, in the same year where he continues ‘from outside’ to promote better living conditions for nonhuman primates in research institutions.

The Animal Welfare Institute has recently published Environmental Enrichment for Caged Rhesus Macaques – A Photographic Documentation and Literature Review.

You can order a free copy of this book by sending an e-mail to awi@awionline.org or by phoning 202-337-2332.

Bibliographies

http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/primates/primate.htm
http://www.awionline.org/lab_animals/biblio/index.html

Database

http://www.awionline.org/Lab_animals/biblio/enrich.htm

buy  maze of 3d impossible boxBlivet Maze thumb buymaze of monkey illusion medium buy

Nuclear Obama: Will Cap-and-Trade Plans Spur Nuclear Revival?

Click here for original article

Will President Obama—no huge booster of nuclear power on the campaign trail—become the nuclear industry’s best friend?

ObamaChu_art_257_20090311151126.jpg

Nuclear dream team? (AP)

Here’s the thinking making the rounds in pro-nuclear circles: The Obama administration has talked up the need to dramatically curb greenhouse-gas emissions, and even included revenues from a non-existent cap-and-trade scheme in its 2010-2014 budget. To curb emissions so much will require an across-the-board development of low-emissions energy, from wind farms to, yes, more new nuclear plants.

Nuclear advocate and author William Tucker makes the optimists’ case in the American Spectator (tip of the hat). When climate policies run into opposition from Congress, led by coal-dependent states, the nuclear lightbulb will turn on:

Someone in the administration — probably Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who knows in his heart that wind and solar can’t cut it — will suggest that that a carbon tax be coupled with the revival of nuclear power. Suddenly, the dam will break. NRC regulatory mazes that are still trying to protect us from Three Mile Island will be swept aside. Construction schedules will be accelerated. (The TVA just built a new reactor at Watts Bar in three years and under budget, using a license granted in the 1970s.) Tens of thousands of construction jobs will be created overnight. The French and Japanese will provide the financing. We may even revive the steel industry in the process.

The idea that the climate-change imperative will give fresh legs to nuclear power isn’t entirely new; that’s what’s pushing once-hostile environmentalists toward the pro-nuclear camp. And a carbon tax or at least expensive emissions in a cap-and-trade program would go a long way toward improving nuclear power’s currently grim economics.

But even an Obama administration bear hug that “sweeps aside regulatory mazes” won’t necessarily “accelerate construction schedules”—those depend in large part on financing and getting a hold of sometimes limited nuclear components. And while a big nuclear build out would indeed create as many as 20,000 jobs, it would be hard to create them overnight, given the three-decade atrophy of the U.S. nuclear industry.

What’s really missing is any discussion of nuclear waste. Now that Yucca Mountain’s been given the Old Yeller treatment, there is no long-term solution for storing nuclear waste that’s remotely close to fruition. For the current fleet of nuclear reactors, which produce about 2,000 tons of radioactive fuel a year, the death of Yucca Mountain just means business as usual.

But sooner or later, if nuclear power becomes an even bigger part of the nation’s energy mix, the nuclear waste problem is going to have to become an even bigger part of the answer.

Please enjoy these mazes.

Maze Kong - 2006 Mazes

I also do Technical Animations of Scientfic products
Especially for advanced technology. For Example:

Y_Frimer Maze in Chinese Newspaper, The Information Times

CLICK on any maze to view, print and enjoy. Free.
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2006 Mazes by YFrimer April Showers Bring Maze FlowersMazell and other mazes 2006/7 yfrimerMy MAZErotti does 185, I got arrested now I don't drive - Joe Walsh


DOWNLOAD
Maze of Mazes Booklet #1 PDF.
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Printers, publishers, illustration agents, or others with commercial interest in mazes, please contact before running off  any copies. See our contact page – Thank You.

Have a Look, or download and print!
Maze of Mazes “Most Popular Mazes” Booklet PDF

Maze Portraits:

Michael Jackson         Keanue                                        Elvis
Michael Jackson Maze portrait Keanu portrait maze maze The King of Rock - portrait by yonatan frimer

Gwen Stefani                                         Bashar Al Assad                           Shimon Peres
gwen stephani maze portrait portrait maze bashar assad shimon peres, president of israel, portrait by yonatan frimer

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Arcadi Gaydamak                         George W. Bush                                    Bill Clinton
Arcadi Gaydamak maze portrait portrait maze George W Bush Bill Clinton, former US president
Amir Peretz                                         The Lubavitcher Rebbe
portrait maze amir peretz the lubavitcher rebbe
All Rights Reserved

I love making scientific animations,
This one follows an electron thru
a solar panel:


The Mazeum – Ink On Paper, Winter 2006, by Y. Frimer
Maze um - at least act snooty if this doesn't download


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Check out more mazes on our new site:
Maze of Mazes – Created by Yonatan Frimer
The site basically is an album of some of my favorite mazes with the ability to download them in various formats and sizes

OraGanizational  Overview

Team of monkeys . com, founded in  February 1964* is a subsidiary of STOM Research, founded in December 1961*. Utilizing the vast resources at its disposal, STOM Research has resulted in conclusive evidence that monkeys working in teams can benefit the human race in ways not previously accepted because monkeys working alone are unable to perform the same task(s).

Notable highlights from STOM Resarch’s 59 decades.

  • 1956  – Dr Otto Verbraucher wins science recognition accolades award 1956
  • 1959  – Able and Miss Baker – First team of monkeys to go to space and come back
  • 1962  – Cuban Missle Crisis forces STOM resEarch Labs in Las Tunas to close.
  • 1977  – Shakespear Theorum proved wrong. Even an infinite number o monkeys working in an organized team will still not render the complete works of shakespears complete works in proper order.
  • 1988 – Internet is opened to the commercial public enabling teamofmonkeys.com to be available to non-military personnel.

Making sense of the foreclosure-rescue maze

March 8, 2009

The Obama administration’s release of details and guidelines for its $275 billion foreclosure rescue plan that could help as many as 9 million at-risk mortgage holders nationwide is step one in a process that will require patience, attention to detail, and a lot of cooperation on the parts of lenders and borrowers.

What is not known is how many of those mortgage holders in New Hampshire and Maine will benefit from the two programs in the Make Home Affordable plan, which was crafted to help two different groups of struggling homeowners.

Eligibile for help?

To determine borrower eligibility for one of the two Making Home Affordable programs — Home Affordable Finance or Home Affordable Modifications — there are four quick avenues of information.

1) The federal government has set up a detailed borrower Q&A web link at http://www.financialstability.gov/docs/

borrower_qa.pdf that acts as the first step to determine eligibility.

2) Borrowers can also speak directly to Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counselors at 1-800-995-4673. The counselors can help borrowers evaluate their income and expenses and explain options. This counseling service is free.

3) The state of New Hampshire has also set up a Web site for struggling homeowners at www.HomeHelpNH.org.

4) Borrowers can also call their loan server, the bank or lending company that takes mortgage payments.

The Home Affordable Modifications plan is for those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments and face foreclosure, but have the capability to remain in their homes if payments are reduced to 31 percent of gross monthly household income.

The Home Affordable Refinance will help borrowers looking to refinance and lower their payments, but have been found it difficult because of property value decline.

Both programs come with strict guidelines designed, administration officials say, to separate the struggling mortgage holder from speculators and the irresponsible. (See accompanying box to find out more about eligibility guidelines.) The goal, both federal and local officials insist, is to stop the spiral of foreclosures and sagging property values.

“It is imperative that we continue to move with speed to help make housing more affordable and help arrest the damaging spiral in our housing markets,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in announcing the guidelines for the plans Wednesday.

“The more people that can be assisted to stay in their homes, the better it is for everybody, the housing market and our economy,” said Jane Law of the New Hampshire Financing Authority.

Law said she could only guess at how many people could be helped by the two programs.

“Every case is so different and that’s what makes it difficult to estimate,” she said.

But what is known is that the sagging housing market has been a major factor in the current economic recession. Supporters of the plan hope it will help lead to a floor in the housing market.

“The core of our economic problems is primarily due to a drop in the value of real estate,” said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. Despite it’s hefty price tag, Gregg supports the Obama administration’s “aggressive plan” because “stabilizing the housing market is crucial” to helping stop the economic slide.

While New Hampshire and Maine haven’t been hit as hard as states such as Arizona, Florida or California, the foreclosure numbers have risen dramatically.

According to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, Rockingham County foreclosures have risen from 66 in 2004 to 805 in 2008. Overall, 3,563 foreclosure deeds were filed in New Hampshire in 2008, up more than 700 percent from 448 in 2005. Maine had 2,851 foreclosure filings in 2008, an almost 900 percent increase from 2007. York County had 86 properties in foreclosure in January. Both states have seen a rise in so-called “short sales” in which homeowners and lenders agree to sell a property far below the value of the mortgage.

“President Obama’s plan is aimed preventing millions of foreclosures, which are the root cause of the downward spiral in property values,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. “This is an issue of deep concern to me and I believe we must take action to help New Hampshire families stay in their homes and protect responsible homeowners who have seen their home values fall through no fault of their own.”

The Making Home Affordable plan would target $75 billion for lenders and borrowers to restructure or refinance as many as 9 million at-risk mortgages, inject $200 billion into the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the federal government took over last summer, for lending capital. The administration also is supporting legislation making the rounds in Congress that would allow bankruptcy judges to rewrite mortgages for homeowners in bankruptcy.

Gregg said the crisis is impacting people’s sense of personal worth and has partially crippled the overall credit market. He believes the federal government will do more to help and is working on legislation to offer a “low-mortgage window” for refinancing and home buying to help stimulate activity.

“What we need to do is get the inventory sold and get value underneath the market,” he said.

Citizens Bank, one of the state’s largest financial institutions, said it has already seen a lot of contact activity from its customers since the guidelines were released. Spokesperson Kathleen Reardon said it was still too early to determine how many might be helped.

“We’re reviewing the program and plan to participate,” she said.

But one local bank doesn’t expect to see an increase in inquiries.

“Given the favorable drop in interest rates, we like everybody have seen a very high volume of refinancing,” said Jim Brannen, the chief financial officer of Federal Savings Bank in Dover. “I think that property values (in the Seacoast region) have held up a little better than in other parts of the state and country. Because we have more conservative lending practices, when our customers come in to refinance, they are generally speaking in better (financial) shape.”

Federal Savings Bank issued no subprime loans and Brannen said “our levels of default and delinquency are very low and manageable.”

While the foreclosure rescue plan has generated a fair amount of criticism for bailing out reckless mortgage holders at the expense of the vast majority of Americans who have kept up with payments and acted responsibly, the guidelines issued by the Obama administration reveal a set of strict guidelines designed not to save every bad mortgage or those “underwater” (whose mortgage value exceeds their property value.)

Jane Law at the New Hampshire Housing Authority said the plan offers a wide range of financial incentives for both borrowers and lenders to make the program work. Law said the plans mandate a three-month probation period for borrowers to ensure their commitment.

Also, the federal government will offer mortgage-servicing companies up-front incentive payments of $1,000 for every loan they modify and follow-up payments of $1,000 annually for the first three years if the borrower remains current. For the borrower, the government will also pay $1,000 a year to directly reduce the borrower’s loan amount — in essence adding to the homeowner’s equity — if the borrower makes payments on time for five years.

Federal officials are warning against scams likely to emerge. The loan refinancing and modification application process is free and any person or company offering loan modification or refinancing services for a fee should be avoided.

Obama’s Stocks and Bonds Bear Market

Even $9.00 an hour jobs are being filled by older applicants and high paying jobs are lost. Retail jobs are disappearing at a faster rate in this recession than in any other since the U.S. government began keeping track in 1939.

From the “We could see this coming” category,

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is moving to allow the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to temporarily borrow as much as $500 billion from the Treasury Department.

Last week, the FDIC proposed raising fees on banks in order to build up its deposit insurance fund, which had just $19 billion at the end of 2008. That idea provoked protests from banks, which said such a burden would worsen their already shaken condition. The Dodd bill, if it becomes law, would represent an alternative source of funding.

It appears that the only entity that isn’t broke yet is the government.

Obama’s Bear Market.

— The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 20 percent since Inauguration Day, the fastest drop under a newly elected president in at least 90 years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gauge has lost 53 percent from its October 2007 record of 14,164.53, slipping 4.1 percent to 6,594.44 yesterday. More than $1.6 trillion has been erased from U.S. equities since Jan. 20 as mounting bank losses and rising unemployment convinced investors the recession is getting worse.

Treasuries are struggling with a potential oversupply.

Treasuries fell this morning as traders focused on the $63 billion in notes and bonds to be sold next week after a government report showed the economy shed jobs and unemployment climbed to the highest level in more than 25 years.

Government debt has handed investors a 2.5 percent loss so far this year as the U.S. embarks on the sale of more than $2 trillion in debt to steer the nation out of recession.

Gold is giving back hard-earned gains.

( Bloomberg ) — Some investors have become concerned about possible future inflation as governments and central banks spend trillions of dollars and lower interest rates in an effort to rescue financial companies and revive economies. Those steps have yet to help the U.S. economy, the world’s largest, to revive growth or stem job cuts as companies seek to reduce costs in response to tumbling sales. As long as the economy is flat on its back, inflation may not have the effect that is anticipated.

Japanese sentiment a sign that they are near a bottom?

Japanese stocks retreated, extending a weekly decline, on concern a shortage of funds could spark collapses in the automotive and electronics industries. “Investors are getting more and more worried about businesses’ survival as the end of the fiscal year draws near,” said Yoshihiro Ito , senior strategist at Tokyo-based Okasan Asset Management Co., which oversees about $9.3 billion. “The deterioration of Japan’s economy is way beyond that of other nations, and the market has entered a tunnel with no exit.”

The Shanghai Index optimistic prospects may be dimming.

China’s stocks fell, paring the benchmark index’s weekly gain, as commodity producers and shipping lines slid on concern stimulus spending won’t be enough to offset the collapse in the nation’s exports. Collapsing exports have dragged China, the world’s third- largest economy, to its weakest growth in seven years. Optimism government stimulus spending will revive growth has driven the Shanghai Composite 20 percent higher this year, the best performer among 91 global stock gauges tracked by Bloomberg.

The dollar is due for a pullback,

— The dollar fell against the euro and the yen before a government report that may show the U.S. lost the most jobs last month since 1949.

The U.S. currency weakened for a second day against the yen before the Labor Department report, which may show the unemployment rate rose in February to a 25-year high as payrolls fell by 650,000.

Housing plan “kicking the can down the road.”.

The Obama administration yesterday sketched in the details of its most ambitious attempt to reduce foreclosures and stabilize the beleaguered housing market at the root of the economic meltdown. The program has two key elements: a refinancing program for borrowers with little equity in their homes but current on their loans, and a $75 billion program to help reduce mortgage payments for struggling borrowers. Unfortunately, it does not address that most homeowners who are in trouble have negative equity. This plan carries more hope than substance.

You’ve got oil!

The Energy Information Administration tells us about a relatively recent discovery of shale oil in the Western States. “The Bakken Formation contains a major onshore unconventional oil resource in Montana, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan, Canada. The Bakken shales produce a light oil that is generally desirable because it offers a high yield of gasoline and other key petroleum products. Proved oil reserves in Montana and North Dakota grew from 831 million barrels in 2006 to 892 million barrels in 2007.”

A lack of drawdown is keeping gas supplies high.

The Energy Information Agency’s Natural Gas Weekly Update reports that a late winter cold spell in the lower 48 states and a winter storm in the east has temporarily boosted natural gas prices. But the drawdown of 102 billion cubic feet (BCF) was less than the prior 5 year average of 121 BCF and smaller than the 139 BCF drawdown last year.

Are our banks worth saving?

Our politicians want to blame our banking problems on the greedy executives. There is plenty of blame that can be pointed there. However, our financial system has been rigged by a maze of laws and regulations that has flawed the system so badly that it may not be worth saving. Michael Rozeff of LewRockwell.com has written an article that may help understand why the current system may not be worth saving.

Ground zero of the economic depression is the banking system – worldwide. The system is collapsed, exploded, demolished, gone, ruined, kaput. The global banking system was a house of cards, and it has fallen. Governments and central banks everywhere do not yet realize this. They are attempting to rebuild the house from the pieces and scraps scattered far and wide. Better to salvage the pieces that still work and use them in an entirely new system than attempt to rebuild this one on the same cracked foundation and along the same flawed lines that produced this wreck.

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If you are a client or wish to become one, please make an appointment to discuss our investment strategies by calling Connie or Tony at (517) 699-1554, ext 10 or 11. Or e-mail us at tpi@thepracticalinvestor.com .

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