Posts with mood bored (11)
Posted on 2010-08-19 13:58:00
Tags: reviews links
Tonight I'm auditioning to sing the Durufle Requiem and Handel's Messiah this fall with David Stevens. Luckily, my voice has finally recovered from talking/singing pirate-y. Wish me luck!
Hipmunk is a brand new flight search engine that's pretty darn cool. As you can see in this search page, it sorts by "agony" (a combination of when the flight leaves, number of stops, and price), and automatically hides flight combinations that are strictly dominated by others (i.e. arrives at the same time but you have to leave earlier). The main display is such a relief to read after doing searches on Orbitz, etc.
Here's a depressing article about how Washington sucks without any good answers how to fix it.
are the holidays here yet? links
Posted on 2009-12-17 13:33:00
Tags: politics links
Health care reform - is it going to happen, and is the public option-less bill even worth passing anymore? Nate Silver asks 20 questions for people who answer "no", responds to people who answered them, and explains why he thinks it's still worth passing. Meanwhile, Atul Gawande (the guy who wrote that article about the rising cost of health care in McAllen) says that having lots of pilot projects (like the Senate bill does) is a good way to go and has worked in the past for farming.
For me, the holidays now have an odd association with Mythbusters since we seem to watch them when we're at my folks place a lot. Here's an old interview with the Mythbusters which I found pretty entertaining.
You know those Predator drones the Army is using in Iraq to target insurgents? It turns out the video they transmit is unencrypted(!) and insurgents have been able to intercept it easily.
A computer scientist looks at ICBM security.
So...does anyone want a Google Wave invite?
Posted on 2009-10-29 16:23:00
I have 10 or so to give away. Drop me a line!
depressing articles about football
Posted on 2009-10-29 11:13:00
One in GQ, and one by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker. Basically, it looks like many linemen in the NFL suffer from Chronic traumatic encephalopathy which has symptoms similar to Alzheimer's.
It sounds like the NFL is being very reluctant to investigate or make changes to the game to minimize the risks. Sure, players know the risks of getting injured, but it sounds like people don't realize the risk for CTE and that it seems to be so widespread, and it can ruin your life after you leave the NFL. Head injuries are nothing to mess around with.
flu marches on
Posted on 2009-05-04 14:51:00
Tags: swineflu links
and apparently Travis County has its first confirmed case! That's exciting, I guess. Keep washing your hands, etc. Here's an article describing how schools decide when to close - it really makes a big difference in the spread of viruses if they close as soon as they see a few cases. Of course, then the virus doesn't spread and people complain about "overhyping" the threat and such...which is true, but if we hadn't taken it as seriously it would have been worse.
Car Warranty Racket Exposed on Today Show - I wonder if these are the jerks that keep calling me? I hate those guys.
Talking Gadget Theater II: The Kindle 2 and iPod Shuffle perform Wrath of Khan - their enunciation is pitch-perfect!
Space-racism is bad: And 17 other not-so-subtle lessons learned from Star Trek
MD gay marriage (not!), leaving
Posted on 2007-09-19 08:30:00
Tags: politics links
The Maryland Supreme Court upheld a ban on gay marriage in a 4-3 decision. Although the majority wrote "Our opinion should by no means be read to imply that the General Assembly may not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the right to marry a person of the same sex", which is nice I guess. Maryland's gay marriage ban was passed in 1973 - that sounds pretty early. Anyway, boo.
I found this wonderful new feature in the Washington Post (how I shall miss thee!) this morning - Fact Checker, for checking claims that presidential candidates make. I wondered why nothing like this existed before. Sam Brownback's "In countries that have redefined marriage, where they've said, 'OK, it's not just a man and a woman, it can be two men, two women,' the marriage rates in those countries have plummeted to where you have counties now in northern Europe where 80 percent of the first-born children are born out of wedlock... And currently in this country -- currently -- we're at 36 percent of our children born out of wedlock." gets 3 out of 4 Pinocchios!
The packers are coming today (hopefully soon). It really feels like we're leaving our apartment now - all the walls being bare did it for me.
a personal confession
Posted on 2007-05-16 13:01:00
I don't get Lolcats. They were kinda cute at first, but now I hate them. I find the pidgin English annoying. (and usually not clever) Feel free to correct the error of my ways or (more entertainingly!) call me old.
Two good articles from Slate:
- Alberto Gonzales browbeats the critically ill
- Jerry Falwell's hit parade (a bunch of Falwell quotes)
I like Slate a lot, especially since I don't read any of Mickey Kaus's stuff, which used to make me roll my eyes angrily.
obsession #12358: bsg
Posted on 2007-05-14 12:53:00
So destroyerj gave us many seasons of Battlestar Galactica as a present, and we sat down kinda late Saturday night to watch the miniseries. (i.e. Disc 1 of Season 1) I had heard from a few people that the miniseries was kinda slow since it had to introduce all the characters and such. To the contrary, I enjoyed it a lot, and we stayed up until 1:30 or so to finish it. Good stuff, although I liked the first "real" episode less than the miniseries. My mom's coming this week (she has a conference in Columbia...what are the odds?) but I guess we'll pick it up next week...
As one obsession waxes, so does another wane. My licensing problem with the Google n-grams led me to try to find my own. I found a corpus based on Wikipedia that I'm currently using, but the parser I wrote to extract words isn't very good, and I'm not sure that it can be improved due to inconsistent data. So my data is not particularly clean. (sometimes two words are strung together, sometimes a single word is broken into two) I wrote a quick little thingy to just do a simple lookup on the popularity of a word, and I'll probably make a web interface for that, but I'm highly doubtful that a cryptogram solver would actually work. (and I've basically given up with trying to extract 2-grams, 3-grams, etc. that would generate English-looking text)
So I'm really losing motivation to work on it, and not having an exciting project to work on leaves me in a weird and unstable condition. I like having a drive to do things like this, but sometimes it's kinda irritating. Maybe a little time off from the n-grams will give me some more inspiration...or maybe I'll give up completely and move on to something else. In a very real way it shouldn't matter (it's just something I'm doing for fun, not for anyone in particular), but I still feel bad starting a project, then giving up and moving on to another one a week later.
Wii Forecast channel
Posted on 2006-12-21 10:34:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft wii
When I woke up Tuesday the Wii disc slot was glowing blue, so I turned it on and there was a message from Nintendo that they had released the Forecast Channel. I did the system update and played with it quickly before work. Now that I've had more time with it it's actually pretty darn neat (relevant Penny Arcade strip). Yeah, it's just the weather, but here's why it's super cool:
- The background music is very calming. Plus, when you show a forecast of "rain" there's a faint rain noise that plays :-)
- It has the forecast for your area, but you can show a very nicely drawn globe (pictures here) with the current weather (or today's high/low, etc.), and you can spin the globe around by grabbing it and it's fun.
- Apparently Madden '07 uses the data from that to find the weather conditions when you play a game. Neat!
But really, the top two cool things are:
- If you zoom out enough you see stars in the background. And their positions and intensities are accurate! We spotted a few constellations last night...
- Obviously when you zoom out fewer and fewer cities are shown. I discovered this by accident, but when you start at Texas and zoom out eventually you get to a point where Houston is shown and not Dallas!!!! Hahahahaha!!! Take that, Dallas!!
Here's a festive screenshot I took in WoW - notice the reindeer mount and Santa-like hat :-)
I went to the 108th best high school in the country!
Music: Rent - "Rent"
Posted on 2006-05-03 10:31:00
Tags: movies palmtogooglecalendar links
At least, according to Newsweek (here's the full list). Ed Felten points out that their methodology is a little suspect...
Disney is toning down Mission:Space ride - at first I thought they were toning it down for everyone, but they're just providing a toned down version in addition to the original, which is good. I can see why some people have trouble with it, though - the ride is pretty intense. Good stuff!
LJ was slow yesterday because of a DDoS attack. Guh. Although that thread does contain a somewhat entertaining flamewar!
Superman Returns trailer - ooh! (from kottke)
Made some more progress on my Palm datebook to Google Calendar importer - now I can delete entries, as well as add entries that don't repeat. Repeating entries are annoying (that was the block of code I posted, although I later learned that everything after the first three lines will always be the same, since it describes the timezone and daylight savings time), and I don't get any useful error message, so I guess I'll just tweak it some more until it works...
just a note
Music: Ozzy Osbourne - "Bark at the Moon"
Posted on 2005-12-08 16:52:00
I'm addicted to Yahoo! Answers. Check me out!
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