Jeffkillian.com initially started as a Geocities website when I was in 6th grade. Over the years, it has slowly evolved into a place where I can practice and become familiar with web development as it progresses. I started out coding with Microsoft Frontpage, then moved to Dreamweaver. Initially, there was very little coding, and it was all WYSIWYG. However, as I learned more, I could make it more interactive.


I incorporate drawings and blog posts to keep those that are interested updated. Through the evolution of the website, I was forced to learn HTML, PHP, CSS, XML, jQuery, javascript, and the handling of MySQL Databases. I've put online some code samples.
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Higgs Boson Explained
This video helped explain what the purpose of the LHC was, and what the Higgs Boson was.

The Higgs Boson Explained from PHD Comics on Vimeo.

The Stark Raving Mad King Riddle

I'm settled in, and just today picked up my room. I've been going through training for my job, and things are going great. One of my roommates found a website where there are some good logic/reasoning problems, and I've been looking at them trying to solve them. The first that I tried was called the Stark Raving Mad King.

It goes as follows:

A stark raving mad king tells his 100 wisest men he is about to line them up and that he will place either a red or blue hat on each of their heads. Once lined up, they must not communicate amongst themselves. Nor may they attempt to look behind them or remove their own hat.

The king tells the wise men that they will be able to see all the hats in front of them. They will not be able to see the color of their own hat or the hats behind them, although they will be able to hear the answers from all those behind them.

The king will then start with the wise man in the back and ask "what color is your hat?" The wise man will only be allowed to answer "red" or "blue," nothing more. If the answer is incorrect then the wise man will be silently killed. If the answer is correct then the wise man may live but must remain absolutely silent.

The king will then move on to the next wise man and repeat the question.

The king makes it clear that if anyone breaks the rules then all the wise men will die, then allows the wise men to consult before lining them up. The king listens in while the wise men consult each other to make sure they don't devise a plan to cheat. To communicate anything more than their guess of red or blue by coughing or shuffling would be breaking the rules.
What is the maximum number of men they can be guaranteed to save?

You can find the answer on the link above. Think about it for a while, then come back to read the rest of my post.

Seeing as this was my first riddle off of this site, I wanted to make sure that it wasn't a really dumb answer and that I was wasting my time. After I thought about it for a couple days, I decided to cheat and look at the answer. I knew it had to be at least 50 people could be saved, because the group could just sacrifice every other person, and they would just say the hat of the person in front. Person 1 would say person 2's hat color, allowing person 2 to live. Person 3 would do that for person 4, allowing 4 to live. This was not good. I knew I had to figure out a way to make everybody's answer depend on the answers before them.

The best answer I got before I cheated was 66 people (every third person would die, but save the two in front). All of the prisoners would agree that blue or red meant "same color" or "different color", referring to the two hats immediately in front of them. Person 1 might die, but person 2 would know whether their hat was the same color as person 3's, or a different color than person 3's. Person 3 would hear what person 2 said, and know what color they should say. This would repeat in pairs of 3 people, and 66 people would be saved. The true answer, if you haven't looked yet, involves even and odds, and, though I did not come up with it, my friend had some computer scientist friends who formed a brain trust and were able to save 99 of them, which was the answer.


I've got some more riddles that I've been working on with friends and I'll try to post those when I get some more time.
Editing and Riddles

When I make posts, I do it online in an admin environment that I created. Until now, I've been using plain text, and had to format all fo the html myself, which can get tedious and nasty when there are images and tables and lots of formatting involved. I searched around a bit, and found  something called CKEditor, which is a great free, online, wysiwyg editor.  I've been meaning to change it for a while, but the issue is so minor, as I'm the only one it really affects, that I've put it low on the list of things to fix. 

In the previous post, I attempted the "Stark Raving Mad King" riddle. I've been busy doing others, one of which was the fake coin puzzle. Don't read on if you don't want spoilers.  I was able to solve it, but one part of the puzzle is figuring out how many weighings you need, and then figuring out how to do it.  When the puzzles was first told to me, it was given how many weighings were needed, so I only needed to figure out how. I had a sit down session while my roommate was making dinner, and thought out loud, eventually realizing I needed to split it up into two groups of 8 and two coins, respectively. What makes the riddle hard I initially realized was that you have no clue whether the the coin will be heavier or lighter.  However, after messing around with some scenarios on paper, I was able to do it in three weighing regardless. I double checked with my friend that it was right, then verified with the internet.

The other puzzle that we did that night was the card trick, (#5 on the previously linked page). I'll make a post about that one next. That was a good one in that we were able to test it when we thought we had solved it.

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