12.13.2018

04.14.2006

I wear glasses because contacts make you go blind — 12:01

Contact solution harbours blinding eye fungus!

04.10.2006

I’m with the band

Filed under: a group of folks,neat! @ 00:32

This weekend was the third annual Caltech Dance Show. Being friends with a few of the performers and dating one, I was super excited to see the show. My excitement, as it turns out, was not misplaced.

I essentially know nothing about dance: not the histories, not the theories, not the performance. But I can categorically say “that looked awesome/hot/beautiful” when I see something deserving of such a label. Every piece in the performance I saw opening night on Friday deserved more than one such accolade: from Scottish country to Belly dancing and everything in between. To pick favorites though, I have to say I personally enjoyed most the Lyrical piece performed by Kristin, Val and Birgitta (emotive! gorgeous! passionate!), the Ceroc piece performed by Michelle and the Ballroom club (stunning! incredible! awesome! stylistic! …geometrically impressive!) and the so called “Contemporary” piece by Kristin, Alexa and the Dance Troop (fascinating! clever! provoking! red!)*.

…Yes, I realize these are the very pieces in which the people I know performed. They were still my favorites. Get over it.

For the second show Saturday night, I snuck backstage to wish Michelle luck and ran into Kristin who, being one of the organizers of the event, looked like she was trying to be in a dozen places at once. In order that she need be in only eleven, I asked if there were some dumb grunt work she’d like me to do (thinking of “move that over there”). She handed me a camera and asked me to take pictures backstage: people getting ready, shots of the performances from the wings, etc. Why not? So I took a couple hundred shots (most blurry, the use of the flash onstage being a no no). A couple of the best were pictures I had taken when I swindled my way past the ushers and into the audience, so I volunteered to take more pictures during the third and final performance on Sunday afternoon. This time, exclusively from the front row.

Somehow I became the show’s official photographer.

Armed now with a tripod and a sense of duty, I took several hundred pictures before, during and after the performance from carefully chosen locations (read “someplace I could lie down”). Everyone was very appreciative, but all I did was act pleasant and push buttons. The real work is being done by the people who have to sort through and possibly touch up those hundreds of photos I took (I’m thinking Kristin and Wolfe). Not to mention the absurd amount of time Wolfe is spending video taping, editing and making DVDs of the performance. But I was up front and visible, so I got the thanks.

A little cog in a big machine, but I had a really good time doing something I’ve never done before (Dad will be proud). The best bit, though, was watching the performers (one in particular!) do their respective things.

* I name the people I know, not necessarily the prime movers.

04.09.2006

It’s harder to catch typos on Dvorak

Filed under: slice,useless @ 23:32

Several months ago, I switched to the Dvorak keyboard layout. On the whole, I’m quite happy about the switch. I’m still a little disjointed when going back and forth between it and QWERTY, but otherwise things are quite smooth.

I do still, however, make a few common typos; I’ll sometimes mix up the following pairs of letters: a and o, e and o, k and x, m and w, and l and s (each pair has adjacent constituents). I’ll also sometimes type characters out of order (presumably because the Dvorak “rhythm” is somewhat different than that at the QWERTY layout).

But I always made lots of typos. It seems, however, that more typos slip through my pinky’s erstwhile diligence at backspace patrol. I believe there are several factors at play here.

  1. I make more typos than before. This explanation is extremely dull. Let us never speak of it again.
  2. I don’t make more typos, I just catch more; I’ve become better at proofing my writing. This explanation I’ve included only for the sake of completeness. I can’t imagine I’m actually any better at proof reading now than a year ago, say.
  3. I don’t yet feel the typos when typing on a Dvorak keyboard (as I do on QWERTY) and so must depend on my eyes to catch them. This would be related to my relative lack of comfort with Dvorak’s “rhythm”.
  4. And finally, I treat vowels and consonants differently. Most of the single character typos I make swap two vowels. When proof reading, it seems harder for me to catch the difference between “color” and “coler” than between “color” and “colwr”. This is interesting. Two possibilities come to mind. To work backward, the second possibility is that the letters a o and e, in their respective lower case forms, look somewhat similar: round (as opposed to the letters o and w). Indeed, the consonants I swap most often also have some sort of “shape similarity”: w and m, and k and x. I don’t think this can be the whole story, though. Continuing backward, the first possibility is that I only read the consonants and that the vowels act mostly as placeholders (and as the occasional disambiguators). This possibility I called “first” because I am irrationally attached to it and proclaim it to be “likely” without any data to back me up. Since all the vowels are grouped together on the Dvorak layout, vowel swaps may be more common and (given this “likely” possibility) cause commensurate unnoticed typos. Perhaps Dr. Language person can comment on the merit of this “I don’t read vowels” possibility.

In any case, I’m not that good at typing, but I never have been. Don’t blame Dvorak.

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