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Eric Momsen
Attends North Dakota State University
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Eric Momsen

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I'm becoming more and more convinced that I'm out of luck for an easy fix... but thought I'd ask if anyone with home wiring experience sees something I'm missing.

We are redoing some insulation in the attic, so I have access for a week or so to do things I normally wouldn't be able to.

The stairs/hall light has a switch at the top and bottom of the stairs.  Both switches must be on to turn the light on, the switches seem to be proper 3-way switches but there doesn't seem to be an extra traveler.  Schematic of what I was able to deduce from the two switch boxes is at https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1BcvArW0L56M5a9iZZUbhlc_7L_1CuJewIZ1WVADZO9s/edit?usp=sharing

The lower switch is behind the furnace chimney, which happens to be 2 inches from where the rafters meets the joists.  I might be able to reach a hand behind to where I can see the current wire coming up, but there is no way to get my head back there.

Is getting a second wire dropped down to the lower switch my only option?

Should I be concerned that two different circuits seem to be returning on the same neutral?

The professional electricians that wired our kitchen a few years ago looked at it for 15 minutes and then put it back to how they found it.  They didn't want to deal with it since the kitchen was the priority.
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Whew, I can't tell if that looks really useful or if it is a hazing trick!
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The 2013 Arimaa World Championship is just around the corner.  We just need one more person to sign up to break the previous registration record, it promises to be an exciting tournament for new and experienced players.

For those not familiar with the game:  It looks like chess at first glance.  It can be played on a chessboard, can be learned by children and is deep enough that the top players still feel the are just scratching the depths of the strategy.  The game play doesn't allow for memorized openings or endgames, between that and a few other aspects of the game a $10,000 programming challenge has yet to be claimed by a bot that can beat the best human players.

There are a few more days to register for the tournament.  We are inviting players of all levels to participate.  (Last year's "elite" championship had a $100 entry fee and a large prize fund, but this year we are back to the "everybody plays" entry fee of $10.)  With 33 players signed up already, we are tied for the record participation of 33 from 2011. Here's a list of the registrants so far (note that 1400 is your rating when you first sign up at arimaa.com - so beginners and experts have already been signing up!)

Registered players: 33
1316 ddyer Dave Dyer US
1345 alien1020hk Leung Yu Fung HK
1370 kenny_dee Kenneth Dreyer DK
1400 Alfred Alfredo Alfredo IT
1460 hull Josh Hull US
1465 Skrypt Jn Mndrsch DE
1581 gangsterveggies Pedro Paredes PT
1595 aurelian Aurelian Florea RO
1604 fritzlforpresident John Hoody US
1631 VinceS Vincent Severin DE
1655 UMDRevan Umd Revan US
1683 crazyharry Jacob Gray US
1825 Zkid Steven Zierk US
1847 RmznA Ramazan Aydin NL
1853 odin73 Christian S DE
1856 clyring Matthew Craven US
1881 omar Omar Syed US
1942 woh Herve Dhondt BE
1982 Brendan_M Brendan M GB
1998 ChrisB Christopher Bovee US
2013 mistre Mark Mistretta US
2015 Nombril Eric Momsen US
2017 Hippo Vladan Majerech CZ
2057 supersamu Samuel Schueler DE
2073 Thiagor Peter U DE
2079 Max Max Manual DE
2093 Harren Daniel Worm NL
2186 browni3141 Mathew Brown US
2202 rabbits Gregory Clark US
2204 Alfons Ulrich Galster DE
2239 99of9 Toby Hudson AU
2289 Adanac Greg Magne CA
2474 chessandgo Jean Daligault GB

The format is six rounds of Swiss Divider followed by elimination finals until only the champion remains. This means everyone is guaranteed six games against unique opponents, with the games becoming more evenly matched as the rounds progress. More details are at the website, but I'm also happy to answer any questions in this thread as well.

Registration closes midnight UTC January 4, so if you don't already have Arimaa points or money in PayPal you can use, now is the time to figure out how to register. Omar has been lenient about the registration deadline in the past, but Fritz is scheduling the first round on January 5, so no late registrations will be accepted this year. Register now!

I'll see you in the chat room and at the board! 
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Eric Momsen

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Fun video! And the problem isn't limited to just teenagers - Michigan's state government was presented with data that just talking on a cell phone (handsfree) reduced your reaction time by more then driving drunk. And the legislatures passed zero legislation, because they felt they couldn't themselves give up talking/texting while driving... (via +Ry4an Brase )
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Anne Denton's profile photoNathan Ehresmann's profile photoEric Momsen's profile photo
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I simply know from my own experiences that holding a conversation with people in a car can be quite distracting. I recall a specific time recently I was driving on a one-way with three friends in my vehicle. I was going to take a left and slowed to a stop at the light. I'm currently talking, so I'm not thinking as much about driving. I see that no vehicle is on the cross road and begin to move forward to take the left. I quickly realize my folly and stop before I enter the intersection, but my lapse in judgement (treating a traffic light like a stop sign) would not have happened had I had my full attention on driving.
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Eric Momsen

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Looking for some first hand feedback on the Surface:  How precise of a line can be drawn?  Jenni quit using the iPad for lecturing/presentations, since annotations she makes with the stylus are relatively thick lines.  Is the stylus for the Surface any better?  She would want to hand write legible words while walking around the room.
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From the time I played with one, the line width was application-defined, so it'll go as thin as the apps will allow, OneNote/paint/whatever usually allow pretty thin lines. 

The handwriting recognition with the on-screen keyboard in handwriting mode is fantastic! It picked up on my doctor-like scribble handwriting without any issues. 

OneNote with the pen would be perfect for annotating pictures and making other notes, it works pretty well with the pen, from what I've seen. 

The digitizer is Wacom tech with 1024 levels of sensitivity, as linked above, it's compared to a Wacom Cintiq as a quality reference. 
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Eric Momsen

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I had a great experience with Google Summer of Code last year.  Any students (college or even high school) looking for something to do over the summer should check it out, and I'm happy to answer questions if you have them.
 
We've just announced that we plan to hold Google Summer of Code 2013!

Historically, Google Summer of Code has brought together nearly 6,000 students with over 300 open source projects to create millions of lines of code. We’re looking for mentors and students to join us in making 2013 the best Summer of Code yet!

The Google Summer of Code program is designed to encourage student participation in open source development. Kicking off in 2005, the program has several goals:

• Inspire young developers to begin participating in open source development
• Provide students in Computer Science and related fields the opportunity to do work related to their academic pursuits during the summer
• Give students more exposure to real-world software development scenarios (e.g., distributed development, software licensing questions, mailing-list etiquette, etc.) 
• Get more open source code created and released for the benefit of all
• Help open source projects identify and bring in new developers and committers

We’ll be offering successful student contributors a 5,000 USD stipend, enabling them to focus on their coding projects for three months. This program is done completely online. Students and mentors from more than 100 countries have participated in past years.

Google will accept applications from open source projects from March 18–March 29, 2013. Student applications will be accepted from April 22–May 3, 2013.

Find full details on requirements for participating, including how to apply and info on the all-important t-shirt at http://www.google-melange.com. We hope you'll consider participating as a student, mentor, or organization, or just spreading the word about this great program!
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+Eric Momsen
... and you did a great job ;)
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In his circles
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Have him in circles
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