The Viper Room — 14:05

See Dixie’s for an account of our midnight adventures on the strip.


A Streetfight with Vidal Sassoon

Filed under: a group of folks,useless @ 13:40

I have what is, I believe, an insurmountable problem with barbers/stylists/salonistas/etc.: due to my horrible vision, I can never tell what they’re doing to my head until it’s too late. Not that I know what they should be doing, but it’s still a barrier I face everytime I go get my hair whacked – something I finally got around to doing yesterday.

I’ve been telling people I got into a Streetfight with Vidal Sassoon. And lost.

Read more…

Seven in One Stroke

Filed under: a group of folks,blogging,neat!,news @ 12:27

OK, so it’s really only two, not seven. And, to be fair, it was two separate strokes, but they came in such quick succession that they can be considered ‘nearly’ the same.

The news? Two new blogs driven by the best software for the job, WordPress (Sorry Dixie, xaosseed, Ted. It’s just plain true).

Paul.za and I helped these two set up their impressive sites (impressive by their own accord, not through our help) in as many days. We may have to start some sort of venture. If we do, I say we call it “Phase three: profit!”.


Leading to Another

Filed under: a group of folks,thoughts @ 20:25

As per my conversation with Heidi and Dixie.

When people describe that certain way in which couples… discover one another, shall we say, they often use the phrase “one thing led to another, and…”. If only I could just figure out that ‘one thing’. It’s been my quest for quite some time now to find out exactly what it is because, man, I’d be golden if I knew.

Having officially given up on original research in the area, I’m opening this up to outside contributors; please advise on what you feel that ‘one thing’ to be. If some sort of ritualistic ceremony is prerequisite to this knowledge (e.g. Masonic initiation), just say the word and I’m there.


Site goal #1 met — 15:09

I’ve now broken even: 217 posts and 217 comments. A big step from .in need of a life..

Blade Runner had it all wrong

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,thoughts @ 01:56

So Blade Runner is a pretty awesome movie. A question everyone should ask themselves at some point in their lives: Do androids dream of electric sheep?

The only problem I have is Philip K. Dick/Ridley Scott’s vision of the future; There’s way too much petroleum being burned and filth being tossed about. Holly and I were talking the other day, and I told her about my biggest paranoid fear: a world without oil. (Trite, I know. Get over it.) As with any paranoia, some of what follows is a little half-baked, and some stuff may be inaccurate (what paranoid is going to do real research?). Feel free to correct me where appropriate.

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why shorty?

Filed under: a group of folks,useless — Holly @ 20:47

holly here.
hi mike’s online friends – and real friends too. I have one question for you: Why does he call women shorty? My theory: Mike’s previous frustration with the Women in Science poster has him upset about the general success of women in society. Therefore, he feels the need to call women “shorty.” I have invaded the blog from the inside, therefore I am no shorty. Keep on rockin’ in the free world.



Filed under: a group of folks,news,slice @ 02:02

My own personal day of the automobile.

I went to the Saturn dealer today to see if I could score some phat chronic car maintenance. When I took in my car five or six months ago, my brake pads were a healthy 6.5 mm up front and 2.5 mm in the rear, but recently I’ve been hearing some intermittent squeaking and feeling some slight catching, so I had them check them this time around too in addition to the regular oil change and whatnot. The service guy told me the pads measured 9 mm and 2 mm. I blinked. He continued to say that the pads were fine, but that he had sanded them slightly and touched up the shoes similarly to reduces the squeaks and catching. I said “ok, sounds fine” and blinked again.

How did my front brake pads nearly half again in size after five or so months of use? There is some information I’m missing. I chose not to worry about it, and to inquire further if I get more funny numbers next time. Actually, I won’t ask questions. I’ll head to the nearest patent office and make millions.

Stranger than the self generating brake pads, was the appearance of Robert Raussendorf (a post doc in Preskill’s group) at the Saturn dealership. He too was getting his brakes looked at. We chatted a bit until he got driven home by the Saturn people. What a bizarre coincidence. After he left, I sat down to read Herman Hesse’s Demian, which is shaping up to be pretty freakin’ awesome.

What is not shaping up to be pretty freakin’ awesome is the California DMV. I received today in the mail a “Notice of Delinquent Renewal”. This is the first notice I have received; I never got a “Notice of Well-Adjusted Renewal”. This is the second year in a row they have done this to me; I am pissed. Is this some big scam the DMV is running in order to get a few bucks? “Forget” to send a few registration renewal notices here and there and then slap people with a late fee when the don’t (surprise!) pay up on time?

I will be speaking to them on Monday. I have a feeling that’s all I will be doing on Monday.


Raw unadulterated computational power

Filed under: thoughts @ 17:15

Imagine a bee. A complex individual with its own thought processes resulting from native task prioritizing schemas, error handling systems, creativity and ingenuity centers (read “random number generators”), decision making algorithms (complete with dilemma rectifiers), and means of interfacing with both the environement in general and other bee individuals.

Now imagine another bee. Another complex individual, similar, but not necessarily exactly the same as the first. Both bees are capable of interacting with other bees. Therefore, two bees can interact with each other and, a priori, we cannot dismiss the idea that two bees can perform functions which one bee or even two uncoupled bees cannot. To consider the most general case, assume that this “greater than the sum of the parts” (a misnomer, to some) behavior, indeed, occurs.

Imagine further a thousand bees. Each relegated (even arbitrarily or randomly) to a specific task. I’ll let you count the number of naive two-body, three-body, etc. interactions that are possible, but I will tell you it’s a lot. The hive is a tremendously complicated system: complicated individuals, and complicated interactions. (Note, though, that the emergent properties of the hive can be relatively simple depending on the scale at which it’s viewed.) The hive is computationally powerful.

Put that all aside for a moment.

Read more…


Ong Bak – The Thai Warrior

Filed under: a group of folks,movies,neat! @ 21:01

On Haskell’s recommendation, Aaron, Greg and I saw Ong Bak last night. As Haskell puts it,

It’s a martial arts flick with a hint of a plot, absolutely no love interest, and the most freakin awesome unbelievable ass kicking ever put on film.

Tony Jaa was absurdly good: no wires, no CG, just sheer, unadulterated badasstitude.

Everything from the one hundred percent nongratuitous triple takes on every action shot in the entire movie, all the way through to the at-least-three-out-of-four-limbs-in-the-air-in-every-frame sequences, from the complete lack of deleterious effects other than sliding backward a few feet after being kicked in the chest with enough force to collapse an elephant lung, to the new definition of “throw some elbows”, this movie had me – utterly had me.

Apparently, Mr. Jaa is filming a movie currently, and Aaron speaks of a project with Jackie Chan. I’m in – all the way.

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