Wednesday 16 July 2003

An interesting point:
“The aim of mathematical modelling is not to try and simulate a natural phenomenon as closely as possible, but to isolate the fundamental principles that govern the phenomenon.”

11:16:03 PM  #  comment []
categories: Commonplaces

As promised, close-up video (no sound) of the Philips Poker Chip Twirl, here, as practiced by Gus Hansen on WPT. 908 k.
10:54:42 PM  #  comment []
categories: Didja know?
 Tuesday 15 July 2003

Write a blog? Thinking of selling out? Find out what kind of ads you’re in for, by way of Aaron Swartz
11:17:54 PM  #  comment []
 Monday 14 July 2003

So that’s what happened.
And me hemming and hawing to my boss about some half-heard mention of an “incident” at New Brunswick.
11:44:02 PM  #  comment []

The Dark Side to the Internet

My Usenet server only holds posts for a week, so I almost missed this in the latest digest. (I believe it was Ron who introduced me to these? or Dave? or Ron?)

Date: Mon, 07 Jul 03 12:34:37 -0500
From: Internet Oracle 
Subject: Internet Oracularity #1326-01

Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson"

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

> Oracle most wise, > > Is it true people use the Internet for other things besides porn?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Absolutely! You can also spread viruses with the internet. Steal books, } music and videos. And lets not forget the endless supply of "free" } games out there waiting to be downloaded. } } There is a dark side to the internet. Some people put _information_ } on their web sites. No nude chicks or pirated music. Actual useful } information about cars, the weather, what's on TV tonight, etc. } I can't tell you how much those freaks creep me out. Stay away from } them or next thing you know you might find yourself doing unspeakable } things like studying and research. Imagine what you mom will think when } she finds out you know WAY too much about 18th century Romanian art. } } You owe the Oracle some links to sites about naval warfare in the } late 1500's. Not for me mind you, its... uh... for a friend.


Subject: Internet Oracularities Digest #1326
Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 18:03:59 +0000 (UTC)
NNTP-Posting-Date: Mon, 7 Jul 2003 18:03:59 +0000 (UTC)
Originator: ()

Speaking of which:

10:01:24 PM  #  comment []

 Sunday 13 July 2003

Going down due to frivolous install. Uptime:
[rizal:~] baruz% uptime
8:05PM up 19 days, 6:24, 3 users, load averages: 0.70, 1.02, 1.20

8:05:59 PM  #  comment []

Instapundit   says that he clerked for this judge, who is apparently a lifelong Democrat.

Gee, that must have been a fun clerkship, huh?
2:33:14 PM  #  comment []

 Saturday 12 July 2003

Pop culture images, rendered in the isometric perspective. I just thought it an interesting concept. Also expropriated from David Morford.
11:57:34 PM  #  comment []
categories: Hostage to Crap


In poetry collection news, I picked up Anne Carson’s Glass, Irony and God on the strength of “The Fall of Rome” and Hayden Carruth’s Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey. I forewent Louise Gluck’s Vita Nuova and Geoffrey Hill’s Speech! Speech!, but will probably reconsider in the next week.

The Apple Store is offering an “Apple Store Pro Card.” Sigh. I don’t know how much, but the one day of ten percent off on software is looking attractive, especially with my Adobe suite (of which I only use Illustrator and Photoshop regularly) still stuck in the flakily emulated OS 9, and other software I really really want. But then there’s the G5 coming up soon.

Sigh. Must resist urge to translate dissatisfaction into purchases.
10:17:45 PM  #  comment []

categories: Hostage to Crap

Recently started searching for my old copies of Elementals and Coventry after picking up the graphic novel Fables: Legends in Exile, collecting issues one through five of Williamson’s new Vertigo series. I keep seeing little things in the dialogue and panel layouts that remind me of his earlier work, like Colin running around in the foreground and background while the main action is happening elsewhere in the scene. I couldn’t find anything, though, to verify my thoughts. Sigh. I enjoyed both of those comics while they lasted.

Anyway, came across some old New Teen Titans issues, the stuff from which the Teen Titans cartoon series will be based. I had forgotten how risque Koriandr’s outfit was; the cartoon tones it down into a teenybopper tube top it seems. Kid Flash doesn’t seem to feature in the promos. The cartoon also seems to put them at a much younger age than the comic book, making the Robin/Nightwing-Starfire romance plotline unlikely. It seems to play up a Robin-Cyborg rivalry I don’t remember from the book.

Also came upon the twisted The Lost, recounting Captain Hook’s search for the vampiric Lost Boys. Only two issues of a projected four came out, both of which I have. Pity.
10:07:52 PM  #  comment []

categories: Hostage to Crap

Oooh, shiny, pretty buttons... Must resist urge to add flair.

[whoops, forgot from whom I nicked the link. Sorry!]
9:31:08 PM  #  comment []

Scott Robert Ladd seems to have written a new book on parallel programming for Springer Verlag that I can’t find anywhere, so I’m assuming he just turned it in.

I’m surprised he turned it in to Springer Verlag; he’s quite readable, and from my recollections of them, Springer Verlag books tend to be a bit dry and academic, with thin and reedy fonts that are a drag on the eyes. Of course, I could be wrong, but I don’t have any Springer Verlags in my library.
9:10:19 PM  #  comment []

Apple WWDC Keynote

Finally watched this.

While I am shaking with desire, let me note some of the grace notes that seem to have been overlooked in the bigger feature announcements that had the audience going ooh and aah.

Labels have returned (about 14:00). Much as I liked Unsanity's implementation, I don't think it ever allowed searching for labeled items. If Apple brings this back from its OS 9 graveyard, there may be life for other OS 9 features.

Postscript to PDF on the fly (about 36:00). Finally all those academic papers I downloaded from the ACM and IEEE libraries are readable without having to resort to Ghostscript.

Waiting for the auto-negotiate of the iChat with Parisian addresse Jean-Marie Hullot, creator of InterfaceBuilder (45:30): “It takes a little while longer to negotiate with France.”

Microsoft jab (51:00).

Incremental compile, bringing XCode (the new IDE) closer to the Smalltalk ideal. Java has this in Websphere, which was built on Smalltalk technology, and perhaps Eclipse, which was dervied from the Websphere model. Xcode looks like it is starting to become a much more useful platform for Extreme Programming.
10:47:56 AM  #  comment []

 Friday 11 July 2003

Wilde on diaries and memory:
CECILY. I keep a diary in order to enter the wonderful secrets of my life. If I didn't write them down, I should probably forget all about them.

MISS PRISM. Memory, my dear Cecily, is the diary that we all carry about with us.

Wilde on three-volume novel, plaguing us even then:

CECILY. Yes, but it usually chronicles the things that have never happened, and couldn't possibly have happened. I believe that Memory is responsible for nearly all the three-volume novels that Mudie sends us.

MISS PRISM. Do not speak slightingly of the three-volume novel, Cecily. I wrote one myself in earlier days.

CECILY. Did you really, Miss Prism? How wonderfully clever you are! I hope it did not end happily? I don't like novels that end happily. They depress me so much.

Wilde on what fiction means:

MISS PRISM. The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.
Heh. The meaning of non-fiction, is, of course, beyond the scope of this weblog.
The Importance of Being Earnest

11:22:51 PM  #  comment []
 Thursday 10 July 2003

Saturday: zero for two. Today: Two for two, and my affect is much improved thereby.
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Contended with a fundamentalist today. It was interesting to note where my grasp of apologetics is not as strong as it could be. We agreed on Christ, but I disputed with him on the doctrines of Mary, apostolic succession, and purgatory, as well as his grasp of the history of the early Church. (Note to self: read up on purgatory.) Luckily, he left his New Testament in his car and his powers of biblical quotation was weak. He claimed to be a former Catholic (hence, I suppose, the inability to quote chapter and verse ;.), losing his mind former faith to the fundies in college (Columbia, for crying out loud! Don’t they teach critical thinking there?), and renouncing the Church two years thereafter. He claimed that he went to two priests to ask them how to be saved, and was told that it was through the sacraments, not Christ. Incredulous, I was not sure whether he was lying or had visited some poorly trained seminarians. I told him to meet another priest, then joined someone else in my former web apps class to escape. Throughout I firmly reminded him that while I respected his love of Christ, I disagreed with his conclusions.
11:51:29 PM  #  comment []

DOS Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq, Tandy, and millions of others are by far the most popular, with about 70 million machines in use wordwide. Macintosh fans, on the other hand, may note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans, and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form.
—New York Times, November 26, 1991

[by way of inluminent]
12:22:52 AM  #  comment []

 Wednesday 9 July 2003

Quatloos!: Scams, rip-offs, and assorted stories of woe.
11:37:23 PM  #  comment []

A 404 page featuring everyone’s favorite dancing banana. Note: naughty language. Not for the kids. By way of David Morford.
6:59:50 AM  #  comment []

Richard Dawkins smilingly wonders what the counterpart of a “bright” is. It’s a “true.”
12:02:24 AM  #  comment []
 Tuesday 8 July 2003

Though I’ve picked up everything she’s ever done since Girly Sound, hm. But then again, huh.
11:59:17 PM  #  comment []
categories: Hostage to Crap
 Monday 7 July 2003

I’ve just added Jeremy Kraybill to the sidebar. Based out of Texas, Jeremy Kraybill is the proprietor of Love and Casino War, a blog devoted to poker, gambling, and other topics of interest to those who enjoy risking the vig.

[Update: whoops, shifted the link up a block]
12:09:43 AM  #  comment []

 Sunday 6 July 2003

Church at Our Lady Star of the Sea. The celebrant was Vietnamese? He didn’t sound Filipino. I suppose in his own language, he would be a charismatic, but working with English, he couldn’t rile us up.

Took the long way back, through Burlington County, to avoid the GSP and Turnpike traffic.

Caught the Lucky finale. During the commercial break, I heard the familiar strain of... “Strange Powers,” as the backdrop to a... Southern Comfort commercial...? What the...?

...I can’t sleep, ’cause you’ve got strange powers...
11:36:49 PM  #  comment []

Borgata notes

I took the jitney over in the afternoon Saturday. I heard from two different sources that several of the machines were not working. I saw perhaps three or four banks with signs. The table games were packed, though.

Besides the buffet, there are several restaurants (steakhouse, Chinese, Italian [of course!]), most of them outside of my price range, on or off expensed client sites. The buffet in the back was full, and so was the Metropolitan. The gelato place next to the Metropolitan has a few cold sandwiches past all the pastries. The poker room/racing place, to the right and downstairs, also has some sandwiches, probably from the same kitchen. Noodles of the World looked affordable and never full, tucked away from the main restaurant strip and being what it is. I should have gone there, but I didn’t know about it until after my sandwich and gelato. The sandwich was good though. And the gelato (one scoop of chocolate and one scoop of hazelnut on top) was bursting with flavor. I was particularly impressed by the flavor of the hazelnut gelato. No cannoli though.

Living statues! Freaky. Didn’t get any pictures of them, though. They only seem to associate with each other, though I keep thinking that one of them, all in white, and a Borgata cocktail waitress in their signature brief black dresses and predominantly tan complexions, would make a very striking contrast.

The glass chandeliers and sculptures are fabulous. Most of them are the red and gold-themed ones, but off to the left (as you enter) there’s a gorgeous blue and green one. Next time I’ll take a picture of that.

If you’re going to apply for a My Borgata card, it is a much faster line if you’ve pre-registered over the net, or have a letter, or have a premium (ie, high roller) card from one of the other places. Having left those at the unit, I was stuck for quite a long long time on line. Name, drivers license, e-mail, SSN, phone number, and a Red Label card was mine, but my feet were so sore I just went home.
1:23:50 AM  #  comment []

 Saturday 5 July 2003

I laid out in the sun. Smiled at a girl, which is extraordinarily difficult for me to do. She did a double take and stared at me as if I were an alien. I shrugged and continued to sunbathe.

A woman lost her five-year old. I commiserated with her mother, then offered to help, having noted his outfit, going one way down the beach. Her other son went the other way, and up the boardwalk. One of the lifeguard stations found him. By the time I got back, the girl and her group were gone.

Half an hour later, I saw her on the edge of the boardwalk pier, looking my way. I smiled harder. Her visage remained impassive throughout. Not even a smirk quirked her lips.

Women. If I didn’t like ’em so much, I’d hate ’em.
3:45:03 PM  #  comment []

The fireworks this year were over the baseball field after the baseball game, about ten o’clock. This means that they were not viewable from the boardwalk. When did this happen? Whatever happened to the (old) AC Convention Center show over the water? I got a great view, though, by watching from the top floor of the Hilton (née Golden Nugget) parking structure, about four blocks seaward boardwalkward. There were some spectacular ones that I don’t remember ever seeing before, with rings of bright blue fire, and dandelion puffs of white, flashing red, then blue tips. Gorgeous.

Need to do some Photoshop™ editing on the levels on this thing.
1:57:28 AM  #  comment []

 Friday 4 July 2003

Flags, an appreciation

blatantly sentimental. read something else.

11:08:17 AM  #  comment []

Ugh, horrible traffic from about 105 to until after the Tom’s River tollbooth, then smooth sailing. GSP and You: Stuck together.
2:21:39 AM  #  comment []
 Thursday 3 July 2003

Gone to Atlantic City. If you recall from last summer’s commute from AC to Philly, I don’t have even a phone line there. So bye now.

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