You ask a glass of water

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,neat! @ 23:07

We arrived at the Paseo at six thirty: precisely the time we were told by our invitation would be the appropriate one. We found ahead of us some several hundred people. People who had cheated. They had read the invitation as well, surely; yet there they were. All queued up and looking behind them (at us) with smug little grins and knowledge that they, certainly, would get in, but we… well it would be best not to harp on it.

But that was all right. We tried to tell ourselves we were having a fine time chatting amongst ourselves (Paul.za, Mom.za, Greg, Heidi, BJ and Adam), and that we might even get free passes to see something else if we were refused entrance. Plus, many more people lined up behind us, so we got to assume smug little grins of our own.

I am, of course, referring to our chance to see a screening of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And we were, of course, wrong; we did not get free passes to see something else when we were refused entrance.

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Paul.za is trying to make me feel guilty — 23:59

Check it out: http://langabi.name.


Cue Maniacal Laughter from back stage

Filed under: a group of folks,slice @ 22:57

Somebody out there is having an excellent time and doesn’t even know it yet.

Greg got a nifty puzzle contraption for Christmas which has been sitting out on the coffee table since he got back. If you could combine one of those giant expanding/collapsing geodesic spheres you see all the time (but can never ignore – they just look too cool) in science museums with a seagull, this puzzle and that Frankenstein monstrosity would move in exactly the same way. And if it were a very colorful seagull, it would look about right too.

Anyway, I was spending a good chunk of time poking at it this evening (the puzzle, not the above affront to God’s creation). I was getting annoyed; the puzzle just wouldn’t line up in the way I expected (or should I say “wanted”). I could not figure out what I was doing incorrectly. As it happens, some evil sadist out there (and it was probably one of you) took advantage of a slight breach of the puzzle’s structural integrity to either swap two pieces or flip one. So whomever you were, congratulate yourself; you got me.

Fourty-five minutes of my life gone, and I want them back.

Moral of the story: parity checks are good.


News Flash: Life on Titan!

Filed under: neat!,news,physics @ 13:46

Everyone has no doubt heard of the Cassini Spacecraft launched in 1997 which last year began a series of flybys of Saturn’s moons. Well, on Christmas day, the Hyugens Probe was released from Cassini and began it’s mission: a closer inspection of the moon of Titan. While the Hyugens Mission is primarily an atmospheric one, it was designed to land on the surface (find it liquid or solid), and take some surface measurements and pictures.

January 14th, Hyugens descended into Titan’s atmosphere and it’s four hour data collection spree began. Four hours for two reasons: (1) the batteries wouldn’t last too much longer, and, more importantly (2) because Hyugens transmits to Cassini, not to Earth. And Cassini wasn’t stopping.

Well, as of 2am this morning, a lot of the data have been analyzed. Except for some awesome pictures, though, little has been released; wait until next week, say.

But, I can say that there is quite a high probability that there exitsts life on Titan.

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On DrLP’s Wish List — 19:53

I doubt it’s computationally intractable, but the Dictionary Inversion Problem certainly requires a few TB worth of input: sprachwaffe.


A bit of ROT13 trivia

Filed under: neat! @ 20:11

V unq ab vqrn gung EBG13 jnf bevtvanyyl hfrq va HFRARG tebhcf gb boshfpngr fcbvyref naq bssrafvir pbagrag. V nyjnlf gubhtug EBG13 jnf whfg n wbxr (“zl arj 2EBG13 rapelcgvba fpurzr…”) be n gbby va trqnaxra rkcrevzragf (“vs V EBG13 zl svyrf, pbhyq V fhr gur tbireazrag haqre gur QZPN vs gurl fhocbran naq qrpelcg gurz?”).

Ohg ab, vg gheaf bhg _gb_ unir na vagrerfgvat naq hfrshy uvfgbel. V org guvf vf bar bs gubfr guvatf gung nyy vagrearg whaxvrf bire gur ntr bs gjragl-rvtug be fb terj hc jvgu. Naq urer V jnf whfg lrfgreqnl znxvat sha bs frys-nfpevorq 31337 unK0em jub unq cebonoyl arire frra be urneq bs n OOF. Shaal ubj crbcyr ybbx qbja ba bguref sbe fhpu fghcvq ernfbaf yvxr ntr be dhnagvgl bs rfbgrevp xabjyrqtr.

Trrx perq ~ ntr.

Bs pbhefr, rira nsgre guvf frys-ersyrpgvba, V fgvyy guvax guvax fbzr bs gurfr arj xvqf ba gur oybpx ner n ohapu bs c0m3em. V gryy zlfrys vg’f gurve nggvghqr, abg zl ovtbgel. Ohg znlor V’z whfg na nffubyr.

“KrebPbby” zl nff.


Oh ye of little technological savvy

Greg says I should put a little shoutout to DrLP whenever sprachwaffe get’s updated. Come on, Greg, ever here of RSS?

But, really it’s not a bad idea. Who in their right mind would feed off of sprachwaffe. Except me, of course, but it’s for administrative purposes, I swear. And I think Paul.za does too. Him I have no excuse for.

But speaking of technological incompetence, what do you get when you cross William Gibson, Bruce Springsteen and a fifteen year old script kiddie? Some form of heinous, ill-formed, leeching invertebrate who is but one example of the hoarde of “beta users” WordPress has managed to accumulate.

The upcoming version of WordPress is in beta at the moment and is in need of testing. Since nothing here is terribly important (I think we can all admit that, right?), I decided to make blogwaffe a testbed for WordPress as of the now passed alpha phase of the development. WordPress is an extremely open community; I didn’t have to sign up for the privilege (if you want to consider it as such) of doing this, I just downloaded the software and had at it. And I’ve kept having at it all the way through alpha and into beta in the here and now.

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I’ve done a bad bad thing

Filed under: a group of folks,blogging,news @ 01:13

The one week mark has come and gone. I offer no apologies. Anyone who reads this site is used to it :)

(So Bert is better at blogging than I am. Get over it.)

The title of this post, such as it is, comes not from a lack of timely content, but instead from a project with which I probably should not have involved myself. I’ve… sort of… volunteered to write up a good chunk of the basic end user documentation for the new version of WordPress (currently in beta, and currently powering this site) on its new wiki. The long of it: I’ve been spending time I don’t really have on culling data from other documentation and writing up new stuff. The short of it: I can’t stop typing in wiki markup.

It’s actually pretty convenient, I’ll have to reevaluate my stance on things like Markdown and Textile. Previously, I’d thought they were for sissies. Perhaps my opinion hasn’t changed, but instead I’ve simply admitted to myself that I’m a sissy.

At any rate, the project is going reasonably well, but a bit slowly. I’ll be quite happy when it’s over (this weekend?).

First Lab of a New Season

Filed under: academe,news @ 00:23

My first Ph 3 lab this term was today. You simply would not believe how hard we rocked out on our Joule’s calorimetry experiment discussion. Would. Not. Believe.


Jon Stewart 1, Tucker Carlson 0

Filed under: grilled cheese,neat! @ 12:53

A truly generic “look at me, I have a ‘blog'” post:

Jon Stewart wins, CNN cancels Crossfire. For the piranhas out there: more from Google News.

The day of that “interview” will go down in American Media History, I think. As will some hopefully comical pictures of a certain bowtie wearing personality.

In fairness, and as Ars points out, Jon Stewart’s interview is doubtfully the cause of the cancellation, but it’s certainly correlated.

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