Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sleep, or a Lack Thereof

So, I realized why I do more focused work late at night. The number of objects that I can easily mentally juggle decreases as time without sleep increases. For example, I'm having to draw the site map for my History 80y project because I can't track that many elements mentally right now. I designed the entire thing, including links, in my head and the site has become less complex since then. The only variable that has changed is how tired I am. Although, it is a case of having been awhile without sleep rather than being actually tired; being physically tired will set in some time later today. Awesome. Thus, my nocturnal nature is more of a boon to my focus than I had thought. Suck on that, Daylight!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Japan: Not for Group Projects

Japan is not for group projects. 2/2 group projects that I've had to do involving that nation have ended in a mad rush to get everything done before the deadline. Seriously. Japan is a black hole for group projects. I don't know what it is, but there is a direct correlation between it and bad group projects. Even taking into account the failure rate for group projects on any subject (high), Japan seems to be a project killer.

In other news, the Dark Blade case is done. Started in 2004 by a member of the Bit-tech forums, the case is a hulking mass of well machined parts, illuminated from within by an eerie green glow. Awesome.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Disregard That...

So, I'm a total tool for not checking this Harry Potter stuff against the internet first. Internet giveth and the internet taketh away... I'm a tool, and this is apparently either a very well hushed up leak, or its really 659 pages of fan fiction. Pro tip, its fan fic. Oh well, at the very least its pretty well written in most parts, and it delivers. Noting that in other places it totally falls apart.

...and Ginny's a minx.

pipe flange fitting one

Heh, the Internet rocks. It appears the last Harry Potter book was leaked ... and is now on the Internet. Muhahahaha. MUHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Phrase

So, based on recent experiences, I move that a new phrase be adopted: .... (that's/like/as/is as/futile as/etc...) getting mercury out of a carpet. This can be used to express how time consuming or futile a given task is. For example, if you were to tell me that you wanted to code an operating system in Java, I could respond with "That's like trying to get mercury out of a carpet." This would indicate that such a task is not to be undertaken. Another example would be cooking with a solar oven on a cloudy day. A good response there would be "It would be faster to get mercury out of a carpet." Using this phrase in regards to actually getting mercury out of a carpet is to be avoided, as it will be readily apparent to the person how much their life sucks; you don't have to rub it in.

In other news:

My head cold gets worse, scientists predict that I will either skip all my obligations tomorrow, or get frustrated that my sociology teacher sucks.

Students fail to speak out against Bill Pool's failure to do his job. I decide that my fellow students are both hypocrites and idiots; if your going to bitch about the Regents making decisions for the student body, it makes sense for you to bitch about Bill Pool making decisions for the student body.

Different mural gets "accidentally" painted over by Merrill Maintenance. Yup....

Restoration story line dead, no new content for it after I get whatever hard copy I have left in the notebook online.

Lucas returns to be one of my housemates, says he will bring a blender. Robert Approves.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Google

So, I realized that I'm totally dependant on Google right now. Seriously, if Google went down for a week or two, I'd likely fail this quarter, lose my housing and be really confused most of the time. I use Google services for my RSS feeds, my blog, groups pertaining to my housing, email, writing papers, making spreadsheets, checking the weather, and of course searching. I don't know how I feel about this. Certainly Google is an evil organization that I can get behind, but man, living an infocentric life around one service is a bit worrisome.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Orson Scot Card

I first read "Ender's Game" when I was in high school. It was well written, the characters were excellent and the story was intense. I knew the Card had continued Ender's story across a trilogy after "Ender's Game", but to be honest I really had no desire to read the books. I rather liked where the story had ended, and was content to leave it there. So, I let that stand for about five years, until in a fit of boredom I decided to read "Speaker for the Dead". It was an excellent book, taking place roughly three thousand years after "Ender's Game". Another alien species is introduced, a porcine species, and again conflict arises. The story spans the next two books as well, the time frame accelerating across all thee books. This makes it fairly important to read the books in fairly quick succession, or to remember the key parts of the previous books by the time you get to the last book. Of the three books, "Speaker for the Dead", "Xenocide" and "Children of the Mind", I was the least pleased with "Xenocide". I feel that the writing took a somewhat disappointing turn as a portion of the book addresses the essence of souls within the Ender universe. His conclusion fits in with the science behind the rest of the books, but I found it somewhat excessive. That aside, the books are an excellent read, covering topics from artificial intelligence, family relations and of course alien-human interactions.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Students Have Spoken


The Merrill Moat, a long concrete retaining wall, faces the A and B Dorms in Merrill. Thankfully the college decided long ago to decorate the Moat with student art, letting students paint murals on it. The content is eclectic to say the least, and not all of it is well done, but it's an enjoyable addition to the campus. Every year the current residents of Merrill College vote on the murals, selecting 10 of them to be painted over and replaced with new art. Noting the somewhat dubious quality of some of the art, and the occasionally out-dated themes, this is quite a good system. This year, 10 murals were voted to be removed. Nine of them were painted over by the Merrill Maintenance staff yesterday, clean white paint obliterating the work of years past, a new canvas for some artist. But what of the tenth? It remains, spared the fate that so many had voted for. William Pool, the head of the Maintenance staff for Merrill spared that mural based on his opinion that it is the best mural. Mr. Pool is of course entitled to his opinion; however what he is not entitled to is forcing that opinion of the rest of the college. Yet, that mural still stands, and he has posted an email all over Merrill, explaining his position, and asking students to sign a petition he started in an attempt to save the mural. I would back his position, which seems to be that some of the murals are terrible and should be removed, and that the good ones should be protected, except for the fact that he seems to think that he is an arbiter of what is or isn't good art. If this was his own home, he can preserve what ever art he wanted to within its walls, but this was a decision made by the student body on a public piece of art, and in this instance they are the ones who have been given governance over that art.

I hope that the Merrill administration will uphold the students' decision. It would be unfair to both the students who already voted for the removal, as well as the artists who's murals were already removed, to overturn the decision. If this was a major issue for Mr. Pool then none of the murals should have been painted over, thus giving everyone a chance to view the works in question and vote again and allow for further debate.

I have included the letter that Bill posted; as it was posted publicly, I believe this is fair use. Personally, I am disappointed that Bill took this opportunity to both hold up one piece of art as good, and to dismiss the rest of the paintings as "crap". His position would have been better served by listing the merits of the mural in question, rather than taking jabs at the decision making process, which he should have been aware of, and at "American democracy", which is frankly irrelevant to the discussion.

I hope that any students who feel the need to petition for the preservation of the mural consider their signing carefully; in the context that Mr. Pool has placed this argument, it is an unfortunate coincidence that supporting the mural also supports the usurping of students choice.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Firefox: WTF?

Firefox's memory leaks strike once again. In the image to the right, you can see my page file running at a nice constant 900+ mb.
For the record, I only have 512mb of physical memory, the rest of that was in the virtual PF. Not surprisingly it made my laptop slower than a molasses on a dead pig on ice, so I killed the process, which dropped my PF usage under 300mb. It is absurd that 6 hours of heavy usage and having ~20 tabs open eats that much memory. Arguably, most people don't make the Internet their religion, but seriously, I've had flight simulators that used less RAM than that.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

I found this number on the bottom of my router today, does anyone know what it is? One guy suggested that i was the IPv6 address, but somehow I think that's incorrect, as this router is sorta old...

On an unrelated note, The Office is pretty awesome. Even the American version, which isn't quite as good as the British one...the humor is just different.