Singularity Magazine March 2011

Singularity Magazine March 2011

So in a fortnight’s time, it will be Pi Day! Are you excited? Yeah? Yes? no? Oh, you don’t care… Well, you get to eat pies… oh you love pies? Great! So look out on the Internet on March 14. Why March 14? Because the first three digits of PI (3.14159) is 3, 1 and 4. You know, 3/14 as a date?

Anyway, the March 2011 issue of Singularity magazine is available! I’d chomp right through a bushel of cookies if I had it right now. Because I’m that happy. Speaking of cookies, there’s a special report on CookieBank, a sweet way of microlending. Check it out in the magazine.

Since we have Pi Day, we can’t escape from mathematics, right? I bring you an interview with mathematician, John D. Cook. He says contrary to popular understanding, Taylor series approximations are not used to calculate trigonometric functions in computer chips. What, you didn’t know? Neither did I!

Download the March issue right now (about 3MB)

Behind the scenes

So the fairies I hired last month are really good. They helped me track down nice pictures to use in the magazine, small bits of info here and there, do some design stuff. All they ask for is that I feed them, which is ok, since they eat very little. And that I let them take rides on my cat (assistant). My cat graciously obliged (after I begged her imperial Majesty for a few days. I really needed the fairies to help).

There was one small tiny bit of a commotion. An incident really. The fairies were exploring the house, and they settled near my cat’s food bowls. They picked a couple of pieces of dry cat food out.

KABLOOEEE!!

My cat pounced onto the fairies. Luckily, no fairy was hurt (they fly and flee fast, I’ll give them that). Otherwise I’d have to answer to the Magical Minist… what? Oh, I’m not supposed to tell them. Uh, forget what I said.

So. My cat’s fine with the feline rides. But touch her food bowls and you die. Period.

Singularity Magazine February 2011

Singularity February 2011

Chinese New Year is on the 3rd February 2011. So in this issue of Singularity, I will tell you how red packets came about, and why they contain money (it involves the story of Nian). You didn’t know red packets contain money? Well, now you know.

I also have an interview with Karol Gajda, entrepreneur, traveller, vegan, minimalist and Freedom Fighter. Learn his definition of “freedom”. I also covered the blinkBL-NK January event.

Download the February 2011 issue (about 3 MB).

There’s also a special alternate cover. Turn to page 4 of the magazine to see it.

Epic Cuteness Contest!

Because this coming Chinese New Year is also the Year of the Rabbit (according to the Chinese Zodiac system), I have a contest! Turn to page 18 to see the cutest rabbits of epicosity in existence! Then vote for your favourite rabbit. You can also use the Twitter hashtag #epiccuterabbits like so

I vote contestant 1 #epiccuterabbits

We have 4 contestants. Results will be tabulated and the winner of epic cuteness will be revealed in the March 2011 issue of Singularity. Vote now!

Editor’s story

This was another month cramped with activity. I launched my own product, a programming guide on spreadsheets and Open XML. I had to learn to write sales copy, do marketing, make sure the sales process go smoothly for the customer.

So I asked the magic elves who helped me out with the December issue last year. They said they’re swamped with work preparing for the end of this year. Their primary employer, a jolly good fella in a red and white suit, wants to get a jump on this year’s tasks.

But they referred me to some fairy friends of theirs. So yeah, I hired 5 fairies to help me. You know what’s the price? One jar of Chinese New Year goodies:

Pineapple pastry

Wait, what? Oh, I’m not supposed to tell them the details of the contract? Oh darn.

Uh, forget what I just told you, ok? Let me tell you about my other assistant. She helps me with simple admin stuff.

Cat assistant

Don’t let her relaxed demeanor fool you. She’s busy destroying junk email using her tele-mechano-kinesis power to reach into my computer and shred the offending emails to pieces. Sometimes, she lets a few of those slip through. Then she would wait by my side, looking at me. I would grab those junk email, crumple them into a ball and let them drop to the floor. My assistant would then pounce on the hapless piece of paper with playful ferocity. Does your paper shredder have fun shredding? Mine does.

Singularity Magazine January 2011

Singularity January 2011

The beginning of a new year brings hope and dreams of dreams fulfilled. In this first issue of the 2011, I bring you back to my roots. Mathematics. We discuss distance minimisation when waiting for the elevator. Then you’ll find out how to reclaim more of your life in a book review of The Other 8 Hours by Robert Pagliarini. Finally, you’ll visit HortPark, a garden in a garden city.

Download the January 2011 issue (about 4.4 MB). If you have problems downloading, try a right-click on the link, then do a [Save As] to your computer.

Also available at Scribd.

And have a happy New Year!

Singularity Magazine December 2010

Singularity December 2010

The end of the year will soon be upon us. The magic elves at Singularity HQ had been hard at work to bring you a whopping 79 page issue, brimming with illustrations and photos. In this December issue, you will meet Matt Pearce, a digital artist and illustrator. Read about the difficult start to his illustrator career in my interview with him.

You will also visit (by proxy) the Singapore Philatelic Museum, with special exhibits on Iron Man and the work of G. R. Lambert. You will also meet cosplayers from the Anime Festival Asia held in Singapore (no, they weren’t at the museum. Though that would cause quite a stir with the stamp collecting community).

Download the December 2010 issue. (13 MB. It’s huge. Please be patient.)

Feel free to share the magazine through email, blog or other means. You’re given the right to print and distribute the magazine electronically provided you don’t change any of the content or charge for it.

Also available at Scribd.

Singularity Magazine November 2010

Singularity November 2010

The November issue of Singularity is available. Get it now. It’s free.

In this issue, we have:

  • An interview with Iain Broome, fiction writer and copywriter. You’ll find out his Post-it system while writing his novel, A is for Angelica.
  • A book review of Chris Guillebeau‘s new book, The Art of Non-Conformity
    (Amazon link).
  • My visit to Hay Dairies, a goat farm in Singapore.
  • Coverage of the 30th anniversary of Gundam in Singapore.

You can also read it on Scribd. (click through to site to see embedded document if you can’t see it from your RSS feed reader)

Singularity November 2010

Feel free to share the magazine through email, blog or other means. You’re given the right to print and distribute the magazine electronically provided you don’t change any of the content or charge for it.

And have a happy Halloween.

Singularity Magazine October 2010

Singularity October 2010 issue

The October issue of Singularity is available for download. Get it now. It’s free.

In an act of serendipity, we have a Halloween-theme for this issue (although it’s stretching that definition). In this issue, we have:

  • A short story by my friend Grey Yuen. While the story is not scary, the character doing the monologue is. Can you guess his identity?
  • An exclusive interview with Alex Hall, a web developer in United Kingdom. Learn what it takes to create web sites in a team. We have a spider’s web on the cover. That counts as Halloween-themed, right?
  • A continuation of the Japanese learning article from September.
  • An exploration in forensic science about telling the time of death using the liver’s temperature.

Feel free to share the magazine through email, blog or other means. You’re given the right to print and distribute the magazine electronically provided you don’t change any of the content or charge for it.

Singularity Magazine September 2010

Singularity September 2010 issue

In this September 2010 issue, I have an exclusive interview with Parker Emmerson (also mentioned previously), a mathematician, musician and artist. We talked about his art and how he used mathematics to create images.

Download the September 2010 issue. It’s free.

Other articles include:

  • The business of iPhone apps (yay, finally, a tech article!)
  • How to understand 1/3 of Japanese texts in 1 hour
  • What happened at the Tech65 Party?
  • You probably don’t know this about snakes…
  • I witnessed the “beheading” of dozens of plastic bottles. A PHEMAS live cutting event.

Read all that, right here in the September issue. Download the September 2010 issue.

Please subscribe to the Singularity magazine if you haven’t done so. Subscription is free, and members get exclusive updates. There’s also a free ebook when you subscribe. If you’re reading this from an RSS reader, please click through to the blog to find the sign up form (at the sidebar).

Singularity Magazine August 2010

Singularity Aug 2010 issue

Ok, an announcement first. I asked, you spoke, and I listened. Singularity is now free (I can already hear people rejoicing and crying for joy).

Download the August issue.

In this issue,

Drawing the line
Are you present-focussed or future-facing?

Milky Way and Raspberries
A little milk, a little space. A little fruit, a little taste.

Our cover story:
Vegetarian Continuum
From fruitarians to Hannibal Lecters.

Hebrew notes
Similar alphabet system to Greek and fascinating numbers from the language of the Jews.

New feature

I’ve added an “upcoming events” section. The idea is to list interesting events happening around the world. Hopefully, one of them occurs where you live, and you can experience the fun. Art exhibitions, science fairs, cultural shows and technological displays are all fair game.

One of them is the Buenzli 19, a demoscene party. It’s held in Switzerland from 20 to 22 August. I’ve never been to a demoparty before, so if you’ve been to one, please tell me what it’s like.

If you know any other fun events, please let me know.

Singularity Magazine July 2010

Singularity July 2010 cover

Well, frankly speaking, I didn’t think I’d make it this far. But hey whaddayaknow, the July 2010 issue of Singularity is out!

Buy it now! Update: Singularity is now available free of charge. Download the July issue now.

In this issue,

Ecological escape velocity

A discussion on our Earth, the ecology as a whole and the environment. There’s an ecological escape velocity where suddenly our resources become sustainable. I hope to get there sooner. I hope you will help.

Mohism

My friend Christopher contributes his thoughts on Mohism, a comparison with Confucianism, and the applications of Mohism to your daily life.

Descent into darkness

A discussion on darkness, fear and how the hero’s journey is a metaphor for our trials and tribulations.

Download the July issue now.

I am also proud to say that Singularity supports the efforts of Project Polymath, an interdisciplinary university with the goal of raising a new generation of polymaths. Project Polymath was established by Polymath Foundation, a non-profit organisation.

Project Polymath

I really like this quote:

One da Vinci changed the world. Let’s create thousands.

Price change

[UPDATE: I’m no longer charging for the magazine]

You may have noticed a price change, from US$1 to US$2. You don’t like it? I don’t like it either. I’d give the full issue for free if I could help it. The main cause is that PayPal charges a lot if the price is low.

At US$1, PayPal charges $0.30 + 2.9% of the original price. That comes up to $0.30 + $0.029, which means that when you buy Singularity at $1, I get $0.67.

At US$2, the charges are $0.30 + 2.9% of original price, which is $0.30 + $0.058. When you buy Singularity at $2, I get $1.64. Which is a bit more reasonable.

Of course, the maximum profits come at even higher prices, but I want to keep the price affordable and reasonable. There are other factors involved, but I don’t want to bore you with discussing my balancing act of integrity, transparency, psychology, consumer mentality and how my stomach gets strong votes for wanting to eat.

Download the July issue now.

Singularity – a micro magazine

Singularity June 2010 issue

I am launching a micro magazine, Singularity. You can buy it for US$1 right here. UPDATE: Singularity is now available free of charge. Download the June issue now. In it, you will read about:

  • Ayn Rand and Objectivism
  • Limitations of choice in a game
  • The lack of control in water colouring
  • Liberal arts education

You can also download a free preview to see if you like it.

Click here to download free preview [Download the full June issue now]

While you’re at it, how about doing a survey for me? Helps me customise the magazine for you.

Click here to take survey Survey closed.

In the past, I’ve launched 2 newsletters before. I stopped writing them because the email text format prevented me from using a lot of design elements, namely typography and images. Sure, there is the HTML email format I could use. But the effort in sending emails with a consistent look took too much effort, and your email system might not even be able to open it.

So when Seth Godin wrote about micro magazines, I liked the concept immediately. A small scale magazine with a few articles in PDF. It’s a file, can be easily shared, allows freedom of design elements, and doesn’t have to be printed (environmentally friendly).

[UPDATE: I’m no longer charging for the magazine.]
I’m also charging for it because, well, I need to eat. And you can buy the inaugural June 2010 issue of Singularity for just US$1. Think of it as a donation to me if you like. Hungry men don’t write well

Singularity currently runs ad-free, but I’m willing to consider sponsorship. Then you can get it for free! Yay! But you’re most welcome to buy my magazine.

Click here to buy Singularity June 2010 issue Download the June issue now.

And if you can spare a couple of minutes of your time, please help me with the survey too. I appreciate your time and attention. Thanks.

Click here to take survey Survey closed.

[UPDATE]
If you have any questions, comments, or enquiries on Singularity, you may contact me at
singularity@polymathprogrammer.com

If you’re an advertiser looking to sponsor Singularity, please contact me at the same email address:
singularity@polymathprogrammer.com

If you’re a die-hard supporter of Polymath Programmer, but you happen to not have money, fear not. The writing on this blog continues to be free. Tell your friends about the magazine. Tell your friends about the blog. I appreciate your help.