My name is Luc Stepniewski, I’m a french guy who lives in France. I’m considered a geek/hacker by my neighborhoods. I have a few passions, mostly computer related. First of all, my greatest passion is my family. My wife Noa, and my children Ido, Oren and Lia are the most lovable (even if ‘lovable’ is not a word) people in the world.
Another one of my passions, which is quite new (2 or 3 months), is Rubik’s cube. I love cubing! each day I find new reasons to play Rubik’s cube. Manipulating small cubes with your fingers (especially if you do finger tricks for speedcubing) is really good for your hands. It is quite different from typing on a keyboard, as I do on 99% of my time (day and night). Maybe it even protects from CST (Carpal Syndrome Tunnel), even though it is has been demonstrated that there is no link between typing on a keyboard/mouse and this medical problem. You also train your eyes to focus rapidly on the moving cubes, recognizing patterns of colors. You learn to concentrate while manipulating the cube and at the same time think about the next combo/move to place another color. The Rubik’s cube is also good for training your memory and your logic. And, most of all, it shows that by training, you can achieve a goal. That’s really what struck me. The achievement/goal is to finish the cube. And by learning techniques, you progressively approach your goal. And when you manage to finish it, you can find other goals (mainly timing related). And optimize your movements,algorithms, etc. Each day I see that I do better. I think that, at least for a child (but I think it works for any age), this is exceptionally important to know that with some persuasion, some work/study, you get somewhere.
Also, a cube doesn’t require any batteries, which is quite nice (but you may need some silicon lubricant from time to time if you’re speedcubing). It doesn’t take any place, so it is the perfect game when you travel alone. It is enough quiet to use it anywhere, except that some cubes make sometime disturbing noises (metallic springs rotating). It doesn’t cost too much. You’ll find a good cube for around 15 â‚¬, the DIY and the ones from Hungary with screws are the best).
You can even participate in championships; there was one 2 months ago in Paris!
And last, but not the least, like in the Open Source community, Cubing community have really cool/nice and helpful people. I’ll make some pages about Rubik’s cube (and my performance, which is at 104 seconds on 2007-06-12, just before I begin doing 2 layers at the same time, learning Fridrich’s F2L algorithms :-)
Another passion (and it’s the main theme of my blog), is Guido van Rossum’s Python language. I use it everywhere. At home and at my work. I used and practiced a lot of languages (ranging from x86 assembler, Perl, Cobol, Prolog, Lisp, to PHP, C, C++, Java and others I forgot). Python has so many advantages, besides being an interpreted language, that it would take several pages to list. One of them is that Python allowed me to meet my wife (during a Zope conference :-)