Spreadsheets, Rings, and Oculus Rift

Spreadsheets. Both the facilitator of work, and the bane of my life. Whenever a table has 96 columns and 427 rows, that particular table should just be put out of its misery. And all this before the data analysis can even begin. Who knows when I’ll be finished. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. But some day.

Enough of the self-pity. My gaming has been cut to a minimum, chiefly because of other demands on my time. Making rings is more labour intensive than I had initially thought, and it isn’t a process to be rushed either. First, the centre of the coin is drilled or punched out. Then the coin is heated above its critical temperature, and quenched in water, a process known as annealing. Annealing softens the material, making it more ductile and easier to work with. It also helps relieve internal stresses and refines the structure, making it more homogenous. Following this, the coin can be placed on the mandrel, a roughly conical street instrument, and hammered down with a nylon mallet. The hammer used should be non-marring, made from something softer than the material being hammered, to prevent damage to the coin. After a period of hammering, the edges of the coin being to flatten, and the coin begins to take on a more ring-like appearance. Once the desired size has been achieved, the slides of the ring are flattened as much as possible, the edges can be ground down and sanded, and it can be polished to the desired finish. Coins with a higher silver content are easier to work with due to the softness of the metal, but in my experience they are more easily misshapen. I’ve finished a number of rings including a few 75% silver ones, so my next step will be 92.5%, or sterling silver. I’m currently taking orders if there are any interested individuals out there – custom orders can be accommodated, with any coin and any date possible.

There was some big news in the technology world this week, as Facebook bought VR pioneers Oculus VR for $2 billion ($1.6 bn in Facebook shares, and $4 million cash). This was immediately followed by a massive outcry by patrons of Oculus Rift’s Kickstarter campaign. The feelings of betrayal are understandable, considering their investment (or rather, donation, because Kickstarter contributions leave you with no say in the actual company) was used to attract venture capital and massively inflate the value of a company that hasn’t produced a finished product yet. There are fears among the community that Rift will become a platform tailored to Facebook’s desires, shying away from a gaming focus. But is the Facebook acquisition all bad? The massive injection of capital could be quite beneficial for the company, allowing the project to achieve more ambitious goals, and supposedly the team will retain autonomy, with minimal input from the social media giant. I find that hard to believe. We’ll see how things pan out, but with such a heavy investment, it seems hard to imagine Facebook not exercising their control over the company significantly. In the fallout of the incident, there are also fears that this could be a new model for Kickstarter projects – attract enough funding to get bigger players involved, and get out with the cash. There’s one thing we can all agree though – no matter how it is changed or twisted in the coming years, Oculus Rift will be better than the Virtual Boy. Now that was a piece of crap if ever there was one.

Now with added dizziness, loss of awareness, eyestrain, headaches, disorientation, backache, and shoulder pain
Now with added dizziness, loss of awareness, eyestrain, headaches, disorientation, backache, and shoulder pain (Image Source: College Humour)

In other news, after an extensive search was not mounted, I discovered where the dog Joey from Friends owned was hiding. And there wasn’t just one, it was a pair. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the height of class and taste. Who doesn’t want two life-sized porcelain dogs in their living room? You’d have to be mad to pass up on an opportunity like that.

The porcelain dog seen in its natural habitat...
The porcelain dog seen in its natural habitat…

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