Amount of content in The Lord of the Rings vs. The Hobbit

While cleaning up my desktop, I stumbled upon a calculation I did after the Hobbit movies came out. What I wanted to find out was how many words in the book would be used for each minute of the movie. Seeing as The Hobbit is a much shorter book than the LOTR trilogy, it would seem that there would need to be a fair amount of padding to make three feature length movies out of it. So, let’s see: Continue reading

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Making a composite material from ABS slurry

Since I do a fair bit of 3D-printing, there’s always plenty of scrap ABS available. Some of the scraps go into the acetone / ABS slurry that I use to coat the build platform before each print, but there’s still plenty more to go around.

So, this got me thinking: “If I make something out paper, from a pepakura design or something, can I use ABS slurry instead of a resin to turn the paper into a composite material?”

TL;DR: No, it doesn’t really work.
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3D-printed buildings and military units for King of New York

Here’s a project I recently finished: 3-printed buildings and military units for the board game King of New York:


Overview of a “game in progress”

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Nginx as origin for S3 with authentication, with CDN on top

We recently had a small problem with our content delivery system. The setup is as follows:

– AWS S3 bucket that requires authentication
– EC2 instance, running Nginx with ngx_aws_auth
– ELB load balancer in front of the EC2 instance
– CDN configured to use the ELB as the origin

The problem was that the content could be loaded directly from the Nginx, or from the load balancer, but when trying to load the content through the CDN, we’d get an AWS error message about a mismatching signature:

The request signature we calculated does not match the signature you provided. Check your key and signing method.
GET x-amz-date:Tue, 05 Apr 2016 12:15:35 GMT /REDACTED_URL_TO_ASSET

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Nginx: Reject request if header is not present

It was surprisingly difficult to find a full working example of this, so here’s my take on “How to make Nginx require that a certain header is present with a certain value in the incoming request”:


http {
  map $http_x_mycustomheader $is_mycustomheader_not_ok {
      default "1";
      MyApprovedValue "0";


server {
    location / {
      if ($is_mycustomheader_not_ok) {
        return 403;

To allow requests that contain the header with any value except an empty value, all you need is:


server {
    location / {
      if ($http_x_mycustomheader = "") {
        return 403;

I don’t know how to accept requests where the header is set to any value including an empty value. If anyone has an example, please leave a comment.

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Obi-Wan Kenobi’s flashlightsaber

Obi-Wan's flashlightsaber

Obi-Wan’s flashlightsaber

I happened to find this 3D-printable model of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber, so I decided to see if me and my 3D-printer were up to the task. There’s also an article about designing the lightsaber model in the Ultimaker blog.
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Inns and Cathedrals added to the tile counter

The Carcassonne tile counter I made a year ago has now been extended with tiles from the Inns and Cathedrals extension: Tile counter incl. Inns and Cathedrals.

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Wooden Tsuro tiles

Well, plywood, really. With printed paper glued on top to make the paths. What I actually want is a set of tiles where the paths and the background are made of different coloured wood veneer, but that would require investing in some new tools and spending a lot of time cutting the pieces. So, for now, I’ll settle for the plywood tiles so I can start playing.


Making the tiles

I started with a piece of cheap hardware store-grade 6,5mm plywood, which I cut into 44mm squares.


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The number of uses of the word “fuck” in Tim Minchin’s “The Pope Song”

This is a breakdown of how many times Tim Minchin uses the word “fuck” or some derivative thereof during the performance of “The Pope Song”, as performed in the Royal Albert Hall with The Heritage Orchestra.


The lyrics have 454 words in total.

“motherfucker” is used 42 times (9%)
“motherfucking” is used 11 times (2%)
“fucker” is used 4 times, 3 of which as part of “kiddie fucker”
“fucking” is used 17 times (4%)
“fuck” by itself is used 33 times (7%)

Other words comprise 76% of the words in the song (347).

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Carcassonne tile counter

While playing Carcassonne this Christmas, the discussion turned towards optimal playing, and how that would require memorizing the distribution of different tiles in the deck, as well as keeping in mind which tiles have already been played. We thought that making decisions based on knowing what’s left in the deck, instead of guessing, would make for a more interesting game. But, since we didn’t feel like memorizing all the cards, we figured it would be easier to just keep a list of which cards have been played and which ones were still available.

I created a simple web page that can be used as such a list for the base game of Carcassonne: Carcassonne tile counter.

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