All stick and no carrot, since ought-three.
Recent search referers:
Mon, 29 Sep 2003
Now that bluegrasscountry.org has turned into a non-stop loop of soulless, generic, watery gruel I've been checking out other sources of music. I hit the jackpot with BeatBasement —I have yet to hear a track I haven't dug. Solid underground hip-hop.
"Many a peer of England brews Livelier liquor than the Muse, And malt does more than Milton can To justify God's ways to man." — A. E. Housman (1896)Wed, 24 Sep 2003
I've been thinking about buying a laptop recently. I'm looking for something very small and light. I envision mainly using it for coding, so I'm not overly concerned with performance, though obviously better is better. I am also willing to forgo having a CD or DVD or floppy drive in it for the sake of reduced physical dimensions, though I realize that may make installing Linux a pain.
After some research, I've narrowed the choices down to four. These have 12.1" screens, are an inch or less thick and weigh around three pounds.
It's a toss-up between the Toughbook and the Dell, I think. The lack of wireless support is completely irritating as I'll have to use a PCMCIA wireless card, but it's not fatal. The Toughbook is pretty appealing but it's not clear that it's worth $250 more than the Dell. Decisions, decisions....
UPDATE: I bought a laptop. It's not any of these.
Greets from New Orleans, where, as of day three, 100% of my meals have been fried. The weather is great, the people are nice, and the hotel is extremely bling. Oh, and the conference is alright, too.
Went out to the French Quarter last night with workies and others and promptly spent ALL of the money I had allotted myself for the entire week at a Rick's Cabaret, where, after reacquanting myself with old friends Wild Turkey and Macanudo (the latter from the men's room, oddly enough), I made a new friend of a beautiful young lady by the name of Annabelle, who proceeded to—as we say in la France —remove her clothes and grind her delicious booty into my nether regions until the aforementioned money had, as aforementioned, run out.
So we pooled our pocket change together and spent the rest of the evening at Mike's, where Pabst is on tap and a twenty-dollar bill buys you five beers, two shots, a plate of chicken bits (fried) and a plate of onion rings (fried).
By the way, not only can you smoke everywhere in the hotel, and carry drinks around outside, the
At some point today, my officemate and I are supposed to board a flight to New Orleans. As of right now, neither of us have any idea what time, what airline, or what flight number.
Hope it wasn't leaving this morning. Live in the moment, I always say....Wed, 17 Sep 2003
If you live in London, and your car has been wheel-clamped, you can call this guy and he will come with his angle grinder and remove it, while dressed in a superhero outfit. Great pictures.
http://www.anglegrinderman.co.uk/Tue, 16 Sep 2003
I was reminded by some random Livejournal entry about my favorite Chinese pickup line:
In yet another "two disparate areas of William's life join together in a very bizarre way" category: apparently the Debian devel list has a curious history of random people asking for—of all things—sheet music for
One theory is that, thanks to Google, which indexes the list archives, this has become a kind of self-perpetuating effect. Once the initial mistaken request was made, Google starting pointing people who searched for Dueling Banjos to the list, which increased the number of requests posted, which pushed up its rank in the search results page, which drew more people to post about it to the list, and so on.
The list is now pointed to by the first two results returned by a Google search for "dueling banjos sheet music". And apparently several Debian folks have now taken to sending out the sheet music....
It's taken me two and a half years to figure this out, but when I switch the vent selector in my car to the windshield setting (i.e. to defog), it automatically turns the AC on without toggling the AC indicator light. What the FUCK is that about?
I realize AC air is drier. It's often the case that one would want to turn it on while defogging. But a) maybe you live in a dry climate anyways, b) maybe you're running low on gas and don't want to be forced into a tradeoff between visibility and stalling, and c) maybe you don't want fucking cold air blowing out of there on a cold day and regular air is just fine if you turn it up enough thank you very much you fucking brain-damaged dogwankers.
And why would you not toggle the AC light? Simply because you know people will get pissed off?
Do all cars do this? Or is this a Subaru-specific feature?
Maddening.Sun, 14 Sep 2003
Wrote another Blosxom plugin for the "recent comments" list that's now in the sidebar. I've seen similar plugins that generate a separate page of links upon request, but nothing that spits out a nice includable HTML list. Pretty crappy code at the moment (e.g. no caching) but it works.
Updated the comment system as well to some fancy shizzle that allows threading and timestamps, finally. Luckily, making the plugin work with this instead of the old writeback system was trivial.
Could anyone who knows a little about random walks lend me a hand? I've been thinking about the Gambler's Ruin, trying to figure out why the probabilities of winning are what they are. I believe it is equivalent to the following random walk problem:
Given a finite one-dimensional ladder with n rungs r_0 .. r_n, starting at rung s, at each each time t the probability of going up one rung is p, and that of going down one rung 1-p. The game ends when you reach the top or the bottom rung, so what is the probability of hitting the top of the ladder, as a function of n and s?
I can write the recurrence:
where R_t is the rung you're at at time t, which might be helpful, but I'm also not clear how to solve it. In general this seems like a pretty basic random walk question, so... little help, please?
(In terms of the Gambler's Ruin problem, tacit in the above formulation is the assumption that, in flipping the coin, you first choose a pile with equal probability, and then flip a coin from that pile—as opposed to picking a coin to flip independently of which pile it's in. The Mathworld page doesn't specify how the coin to be flipped is chosen, but it seems like it matters, so that's my simplifying assumption.)Fri, 12 Sep 2003
Go sign it. http://www.eff.org/share/petition/
UPDATE 9/15/03: 35k signatures already, far surpassing their goal of 10k. Take a moment to donate or join (or add them to your will )—you get a cool t-shirt that's guaranteed to pick up babes.Thu, 11 Sep 2003
Today at work I:
Should I just go ahead and start the betting pool now?
Still diggin' this poem. Re-encountered it yesterday when flipping through my kiddy book of poetry, and apparently I'd read it a long time ago—last month's discovery was just a re-discovery.
結盧在人境，而無車馬宣， 問君何能爾，心遠地自偏。 采菊東籬下，悠然間南山。 山氣日夕佳，飛鳥相與還。 此中有真意，推辨已忘言。
Rough translation by me:
My home is built among other people, but the sound of carts and horses is absent. Asked how I live this way, I reply: With my mind on distant things, this place is naturally solitary. I pick chrysanthemums under the eastern bamboo And cast leisurely glances at the southern mountain. The mountain air, a beautiful sunset, A pair birds returning to their home— There is a deep meaning here. But As I open my mouth to speak, I forget the words.
But it's basically impossible to capture all the ambiguity possible in classical Chinese when translating. E.g. the line
i'm from virginia where ain't shit to do but cook pack it up sell it triple-price fuck the books where we re-up re-locate re-off them brooks so when we pull up it ain't shit to do but lookMon, 08 Sep 2003
Here's a picture of the best tea I've ever had in my entire life:
This was in 鎮勝陶坊 in 陶瓷老街, 鶯歌, Taiwan. (If you're in the area, I highly recommend them—I got a great teapot there, some beautiful tea cups, and the proprieter brewed my the aforementioned tea and chatted with me on things tea and not-tea for about an hour, despite my oh-so-poor Chinese.)Sun, 07 Sep 2003
The Boston Craigslist in general is populated by very stupid very illiterate people, but the best-of section occasionally has some very funny posts, e.g. this very Flowers for Algernon trip report about Portland:
http://boston.craigslist.org/about/best/sfo/15168000.htmlFri, 05 Sep 2003
The Koran, allegedly, is the origin of the
Because the modern age is digital, and because it just works out better this way, we'll be using base 2. Your log age is simply log base 2 of your regular age. We'll stay with the traditional practice of dropping everything past the decimal point in casual conversation, so here's the quick conversion chart:
Traditional age | Log age ========================= < 1 | don't ask 1 | 0 2-3 | 1 4-7 | 2 8-15 | 3 16-31 | 4 32-63 | 5 64-127 | 6
(So that solves my birthday problem, at least—I'm still 4.)
Now for dating, we'd like a radius of .5 in the log domain, i.e. you can date anyone half a logyear younger to half a logyear older than you. That works out to:
dating_radius = trad_age / (2 * sqrt(2))
which means I can legally date anyone from 16.1 to 33.8 years old. Modern times being more liberal, I guess.Wed, 03 Sep 2003
During the past week, three people at work have independently and without prior warning left books for me to read. I have:
Was it something I said? Does this particular selection something about my personality?
This reminds me, I've been meaning to write a mini-review for Ted Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others and China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, both of which I read in SA, but the very very short review (for both) is: <shrug>.
So so is good, very good, very excellent good: and yet it is not; it is but so so. -- William Shakespeare, "As You Like It"