# Swype right

I wrote this blog post because I saw a woman throw a banana at Russell Brand. Bear with me on this one.

# Extractor attractor

Recently the extractor fan in my bathroom has started malfunctioning, occasionally grinding and stalling. The infuriating thing is that the grinding noise isn’t perfectly periodic – it is approximately so, but there are occasionally long gaps and the short gaps vary slightly. This lack of predictability makes the noise incredibly annoying, and hard to tune out. Before getting it fixed, I decided to investigate it a bit further.

# Transaction analysis web app

As a poor student, I always tried to keep a close eye on what I spent. This usually amounted to skimming statements and manually keeping track of what went where, a decidedly sub-optimal solution.

Thanks to an initiative called MiData, you are now able to download transaction histories from your current account in CSV format, which is ripe for analysis. I built a small tool for myself, which I put online here for your enjoyment. I should note this is the first slightly complex thing I’ve written in Javascript, so if it breaks in unexpected ways feel free to get in touch and let me know.

# A geometry puzzle

Here’s a fun problem I came across when trying to analyse some data, which I thought I’d write up to illustrate the kind of interesting puzzles I get paid to solve as a physicist. Perhaps have a go yourselves and let me know if there are more intuitive solutions.

# The Optimal London Pub Crawl

In this third of a trinity of posts involving the travelling salesman problem, we finally use the sophisticated algorithms at our disposal as they were intended: drinking with peak efficiency.

With the aid of a well-placed Christmas present detailing the best pubs in London, I found the optimal route around a reasonable subset of them.

# The Travelling Artist Problem

This is the second in a series of posts involving the travelling salesman problem, somehow even more frivolous than the first. This is no coincidence, as I have recently been reading the excellent book ‘In Pursuit of the Travelling Salesman‘, which goes into great detail on the history of the problem and algorithmic techniques for tackling it. The topic which caught my eye was decidedly less technical, as we shall see below.

# Christmas Kinematics

In the finest traditions of christmas, how about a timely blog post meant to cynically cash in on a blogosphere craving seasonal articles about nothing much in particular (see previous, sadly failed, attempt). What are the implications of Santa flying around the UK in a single night?