Friday, March 19, 2010

Need for Intuition

The Apple App Store has an offering called NFI (Need for Intuition).

The developers just revamped it an offered some new levels and I'm attempting to do a walkthrough of the ones I've figured out. Warning: there are spoilers for the levels.

First: I like this app because, without offering instructions, relies on one's intuition to figure out how to use Apple's innovative features of the iPhone to solve problems. So far, I've had to use touch, multi-touch, tapping, shaking, turning over, listening for sound and swiping in various combination to unlock the levels.

The game's latest version includes the ability to make more than one profile so that multiple users can play on the same device. It also added checkpoints so that you don't have to repeat each level in sequence to get to where you left off. Yay. That was getting annoying in the first version.

So... here are the solutions to the levels I've seen so far:

Level 1: Press the green button.
Solution: Duh. Press the green button.

Level 2: Press the green button redux
Solution: Press the green button while it is lit.

Level 3: Press the green button trifecta
Solution: Press the green button while it is lit, before it cycles.

Level 4: Foggy Mirror.
Solution: Use swipe motions to "wipe" the condensation off the mirror, revealing a Blue man next to the word: ElevatoR

Level 5: Matchbook
Solution: Use tap and hold to control the match and "strike" it on the rough element of the matchbook, causing it to ignite.

Level 6: Slingshot
Solution: Use tap and slide to "pull back" the slingshot and then release it to fire a bullet at the bird.

Level 7: Road Hazard
Solution: Tap the horn on the steering wheel repeatedly to cause the deer to move.

Level 8: Zippo
Solution: Use your finger to flick open the top of the zippo lighter. Then swipe your finger from left to right over the ignition wheel to light it.

Level 9: Toast
Solution: Use a swipe motion to move the glass on the left to the right and then use a swipe motion to move the glass on the right to the left, causing them to "clink" together.

Level 10: Champagne
Solution: Shake the iPhone until the bottle uncorks itself from the pressure buildup. Note: You may have to do this vigorously and it may take reorienting the device so that the cork is pointed up.

Level 11: Hourglass
Solution: Turn the device over so that the empty portion of the hourglass is on bottom and allow the sand to run into the empty portion.

Level 12: Fingerprint
Solution: Place your finger on the inkpad and leave it there for a few seconds. Then, pick up your finger and place it in the box on the paper to make your fingerprint.

Level 13: Combination
Solution: Note: Must have the sound on for this part. Carefully slide each part of the combination by using finger swipes until you hear a click. Once the number clicks, leave it alone and move on to the next one. When you have correctly identified the combination, the case will open. Note: The correct combination changes from game to game, so you'll have to use the technique to discover it each time.

Level 14: Snoring
Note: This amused me because you have to turn the volume up on level 13 in order to complete it, and then this level has a really annoying snoring sound the whole time, so it made me laugh, but my wife, who was trying to sleep when I got to this level threatened me if I didn't make it stop.
Solution: You must use multi-touch to cover both nostrils and the mouth for a few seconds to make him stop snoring.

Level 15: UFO
Solution: Use a swiping motion to move the targeting bracket over the UFO, then tap the camera icon in the bottom right to take a picture of it.

Level 16: Canoe race
Solution: Slide your finger along either side of the canoe to advance it along to the finish line. Alternate which side of the canoe you are swiping to avoid running into the bouys. This may take some practice to accomplish successfully.

Level 17: Tantrum
Solution: Shake your iPhone until the baby gets a tissue and stops crying. Otherwise, you'll get sneezed on! Ewww...

Level 18: Drowning.
Solution: Hold the iPhone upright and use a motion like you are casting a fishing rod to "throw" the life preserver to the drowning man. Careful, if you do it too lightly, you'll fall short and he'll drown. Do it too hard and you'll toss it past him. This level may take a few tries.

Level 19: Balloons
Solution: Not sure, my app keeps crashing every time I try this level.

Fun fun, I'll post more as I figure them out.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Word Power

Okay, so I've been kicking around some ideas that combine a few different areas of thought for me. I think that they are complicated enough that I think I'm going to split them up into several posts to aid in comprehension (hopefully).

To start:
I love words. I'm not a word fanatic. I'm no sesquipedalian bore. Don't look to me to wax loquaciously about a subject by any means. I eschew obfuscation whenever possible. Okay, I'm just being silly. Really, though, I believe words are powerful. I believe they are formative. I believe that in some ways, we speak things into existence. Not literal, concrete things per se, but our words shape our reality.

For instance, there is a thought that our self-identities are formed at a young age. What we hear about ourselves usually shapes what we think about ourselves. You tell a kid they are a stupid, good-for-nothing and parents wonder why their kid grows up, lagging behind in school and generally getting in trouble. On the flip side, parents who tell their kids they are smart and capable generally have kids who do well and have self-confidence.

I dislike labels, except on soup cans. I see clients with labels all the time: Alcoholic, cheat, liar, depressed, etc. Labels are helpful for identification, true, but when one's identity becomes wrapped up in the label, problems follow. Words are powerful to shape our reality.

I tell clients, "Don't tell your kid that he's a bad boy. He's just a boy. He may make bad decisions or have bad behavior, but he can change those things. It is harder to change who you are." Or with another therapy couple, "Don't call him a liar. When you resort to name-calling, it is a way of making that behavior out to be something that a person is rather than something a person does. When you are angry, labeling him as a liar makes that all he is, so nothing he says after that point has any power because if he is a liar, everything he'll respond with will be doubted." Words are powerful.

Words can be positive and formative, too. Take a look at this remarkable video: (Click here to be redirected to YouTube). It is a neat, feel good film about the power of words to change perceptions.

So the second area that I've been thinking about that blends in with the first thought concerns where the power behind Words comes from. Here are my thoughts:

Start at the beginning. How do things start out? God calls everything into existence by speaking. God created the heavens and the earth... then he speaks, "Let there be light" and there was light. God speaks again and voila: Sky to separate the waters above from the waters below. God not only creates, but he names. Out of all of this creation that he sees and deems good, only one part of it is made in his likeness. What if part of being made in his likeness is tied up in our sharing the ability to, in some limited fashion, harness the power of words?

Fast forward to after the flood (Genesis chapter 11, if you care to read it). The world is once again teeming with people and they have to spread out to find space. Scripture notes that everyone had a common language and speech. Given that everyone is able to communicate effectively, they decide to do something spectacular: reach for metaphorical immortality by creating a city that reaches to the heavens. God notes their efforts and comments:
6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

Wow. That is pretty amazing. So, the same All-powerful Being who, mere chapters ago, spoke the universe into existence seems to indicate that with the remarkable skill of being able to communicate, nothing they purpose to do will be impossible for them.

Pros: God seems to indicate that we could do powerful things if we use our words to build up.
Cons: With enough cooperation, we could also end up destroying ourselves.

Other thoughts on the power of words from scripture to follow...