I made another app for Android. It’s called Elementary and it’s a periodic table viewer and element reference application. You can zoom and pan the periodic table, and you can see more details about an element by tapping on its block. The details page also has a link to Wikipedia and a video from Periodic Table of Videos.
I decided to make this app free and open source under the MIT License with source available at GitHub. Here is a screenshot:
Preview of the Periodic Table view
I hope it is found useful by someone. I made this because I am interested in chemistry and I thought it would be a fun challenge to render the periodic table, and it was. I also thought it would be handy to have easy access to Periodic Videos, so you can show people why chemistry is awesome.
Since my previous post, I have released the coffee and wine versions of Flavordex, but more importantly I have updated the app to version 1.1. The most significant change is the ability to post reviews online and share them on various social networks. You can see these reviews at flavordex.com.
I think this feature makes the app far more useful and helps promote the app at the same time.
Over the past several months I have been working on a project called Flavordex, which I released Friday. Flavordex is an Android app for beer (and soon wine, whiskey, coffee, tea, and more) tasting. Its most significant feature is the radar chart for visualizing the elements of a product’s flavors. Since this is my first attempt at mobile app development, I want to share the story behind it.
It all started back in September ’11 when I received an electronic letter from Dirty ‘Space Jang’ Dan a.k.a. Robert Watters with some crazy idea about an app. Apparently people taste things and some of them like to take notes, so there should be an app for that. It sounded like a good excuse to get into mobile app development.
The first thing I did was to buy a good book on Java programming, since that’s what Android apps are written in, and quickly learned the language. As soon as I had a pretty good understanding, I downloaded the Android SDK and started learning the framework. Then I spent the last several months writing and rewriting the app with space input from RobDan.
So that’s the story behind Flavordex. If you are interested in beer tasting or know someone who is, check it out at flavordex.com. I’m also working on one for wine, whiskey, and coffee, with more after that…
I got this spam email today and I just had to share…
MetalPromExport is one of the largest leading companies in the Shipbuilding Industry. Through constant attention to innovation and investment in its facilities it aims to increase productivity and quality in line with customer’s requirements. During of latest years the company has enlarged its business both in domestic and international arenas with turn-key business solutions. MetalPromExport builds a wide range of vessels including, naval vessels, tailor-made oil/chemical/stainless steel tankers, container vessels, tug boats, arctic & pelagic trawlers and research vessels, offshore vessels and private luxury motor boats. MetalPromExport aim is to play a major role in the development of the domestic and international arenas of Shipbuilding Industry.
Total Area: 95.243m²
Covered area: 30.746m²
Annual Steel Processing Capacity: 20.000 tons / year
Commercial vessel building up to 200 m and 50.000 DWT
Two slipways with 150m, 100m length for new building facilities
Closed production halls and painting hall with collapsible roofs for transferring of blocks: 5500m²
2 lifting capacities gantry cranes: 300 ton and 200 ton
With a strong corporate background and specialist personnel MetalPromExport offers the following services:
Refit & Repair after sales service
At this moment our shipyard has Oil/Chemical Tankers from 3.000 DWT till 12.000 DWT with different level of readiness which can be floated within the few months.
We are looking forward to your response to our E-mail in order to take up the matter further. All our contact details are signed herewith & please do not hesitate to contact us for any further clarifications in the matter. If you ready to discuss our further cooperation that please connect with our representative Mr. Evgeny which will arrive in India from 21th till 27th of January 2012.
Red State is a great movie. It’s about an extremist religious group killing people and a resulting standoff between them and government agents. The group is similar to the Westboro Baptist Church, only with more murder and lots of guns.
I found it to be totally unpredictable and full of surprises, which is rare in my experience. It was also pretty thought-provoking. At the end, I wasn’t sure who the real enemy was.
It’s extremely violent and pretty gory at times, but if that doesn’t bother you I definitely recommend it. It’s available for streaming on Netflix.
I read a book called Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith by J. Anderson Thomson Jr. MD and Clare Aukofer (I believe it was Penn Jillette who recommended it). It attempts to explain why humans have a natural susceptibility to believe in the supernatural by describing various behavioral adaptations in our species. It even goes into some of the physiology and brain chemistry involved.
Some of parts I found most interesting were about the evolution of our species and reasons some of the social adaptations were successful. It also includes an explanation for our natural cravings for food high in sugar and fat, which I found interesting. The overly positive reactions in our brain to sugar and fat are leftover adaptations from when these were very difficult to obtain (there were no grocery stores for cavemen apparently).
It also had interesting insights into psychology and several studies of the brain and behavior of young children. There were many less obvious things that were revealed which really got me thinking.
Overall, I found the book pretty interesting. It’s short and definitely worth reading if you have any interest in evolution, psychology, or religion. I’ll close with an interesting quote:
“Children have been described as ‘intuitive theists.’ Children show what is called promiscuous teleology, a basic preference to understand the world in terms of purpose. This contributes to what we now know about children’s belief. Children will spontaneously adopt the concept of God and a created world with no adult intervention. At heart we are all born creationists. Disbelief requires effort.” 
 Thomson, J. Anderson; Aukofer, Clare; Richard Dawkins (2011-06-01). Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith (Kindle Locations 766-769). Pitchstone Publishing. Kindle Edition.