Have I been working too hard or not nearly hard enough?

Filed under: academe,slice @ 17:11

I just printed out a paper. It was only after reading all the way through the first section that I realized I’d already read it. And that I have another copy of it sitting in front of me on my desk.


Canola Oil — 01:22

Your feelings about cooking/baking with canola oil. Discuss.


Stick it to Breast Cancer

Filed under: a group of folks,news @ 09:37

Jeff points out that

3M is donating 50 cents to City of Hope for each of the first 200,000 notes posted on its website. It literally takes fifteen seconds.

There’s currently 108,619 notes, and the effort ends on October 31, so get to it!


Dvorak Switch

Filed under: neat!,news @ 15:46

As you may have heard on the streets, I’ve been using the Dvorak keyboard layout for some time now. I started after spookily hearing several Dvorak tales (most notably from Ellen and Matt) within just a few days of one another; clearly it was a sign from the heavens. The switch on my laptop is now permanent; the meticulously placed sticky notes I had pasted to each of the keys on my laptop have now been removed, and the keys themselves have been ripped out and put back in their new positions. It is the beginning of a new era.

Though I’ve not gauged it in a long while, I bet my words per minute is in the triple digits on a QWERTY keyboard. You may, then, wonder how fast I can type on the new layout. Not too quickly, as it turns out, though I have gotten dramatically better over the past two weeks. So what’s the advantage? Far less hand and finger movement. I still make lots of typos and I’m yet fairly slow, but I imagine those things will continue to improve whereas the reduced hand stress was an immediate benefit.

And speaking of lots of typos, it’s been really interesting to see what kind of typos I most regularly make. The most common, obviously, is hitting a letter’s QWERTY position instead of its Dvorak position; “s” is particularly dangerous in that regard. More surprising are the ‘look ahead’ typos (hitting the key that should come immediately after the one I actually want), and the ‘second order’ typos. The latter only happened during the first week or so but were truly bizarre and came in two different varieties. The first was the ‘flip-flop’. Suppose I need to hit the “i” key. On a Dvorak keyboard, the “c” key sits where a Qwertyst might expect the “i” to be. A flip-flop typo would therefore be hitting the “j” key which is the key occupying the “c” position on a QWERTY keyboard: second order. The second sort of second order typo I call the ‘flop-flip’. It’s the same except that the error pattern is Dvorak-QWERTY-Dvorak instead of QWERTY-Dvorak-QWERTY as is the case for the flip-flop.

Additionally, some letter combinations, like “or”, are more deeply QWERTY ingrained in my mind than others and, indeed, more so than their constituent letters are by themselves.

In short, the process is still in the ‘adventure’ stage.


Who? — 12:42

Who made me delicious cookies and how long have they been sitting in my office?

A birthday lesson

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,shenaniganity @ 11:19

Here’s a tip for any future birthday boys/girls out there: don’t host your birthday gala on the actual date itself; put it off a few days. If you get lucky, a few people will still want to celebrate your birthday proper and do wonderful things for you.

Thanks to (in chronological order) Michelle, Ariele and Jeff, and Holly, Cheryl and Amy for a great 10.11.2005.

The ‘official festivities’ (complete with Chicken Dancer Elmo – Thanks Mom!) managed to keep pace as well but are better chronicled elsewhere. Thanks to all the wellwishers and also to Kristin who apparently thinks I aim too high :)


In the Land of Women

Filed under: a group of folks,movies @ 14:44

What would you do if you saw a screening of a movie whose plot eerily paralleled your own life? Would you congratulate yourself on being the screen writer’s muse or would you sue the production company for everything it’s got? I face these very questions now after Holly and I screened In the Land of Women Thursday night.

The story chronicles the life of the witty, dreamy and affable (see the similarities already?) character of Carter as played by _Adam_ Brody and opens with the final death throws of Carter’s vapid and one sided relationship with his model/aspiring actress girlfriend. Looking for solace in his now bleak and miserable world, Carter picks himself up from his LA career as a soft core porn writer and moves to Michigan to take care of his increasingly senile grandmother. There he becomes bosom buddies with the family across the street, having sex with the mother, making out with the fifteen year old daughter, duping the himself-unfaithful father and accepting plot narration from the younger, precocious daughter. I mean, that’s… me. One hundred percent.

The unfortunate thing about the movie is that although they get the details of my life straight, they tell my story in such an uncompelling way. The relationships are totally devoid of emotion, the writing and editing aren’t tight enough to tell any story, let alone one as complicated as mine, and the direction and artistic style are inconsistent enough to be some film school sophomore’s attempt at being ‘indie’ but having watched too many movies with the likes of Meg Ryan or Freddie Prinze Jr. to make that possible. Plus, they ruined the ending.

All in all, ‘In the Land of Women’ has nothing to recommend it other than a few good one liners. At least they won’t be making much money off of me.


If I wasn’t from IQI then why would I be wearing this hat?

Filed under: neat!,physics,useless @ 13:32

I received, for “future contributions”, an official IQI hat yesterday at group meeting. Pretty fly. I think it’s going to be my new look. I particularly enjoy the Southwest pointing (in the liturgical sense – that’s 4:30 for all you heathens) ‘gangsta’ style.

In the IQI hood, beeyahtch. Represent. Step off fohz my homes cap y’all whit theyz provably secure implementation of Quantum Key Distribution. Be cracked to front on me, brothah! M’doin some serious QMA-complete sheeyit ovuh heah!

I’m still working on gang signs.

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