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September 2003 Archives

September 2, 2003

Hamilton moving to Phonak

Tyler Hamilton has had an eventful year. After breaking his collarbone in the Tour de France and gutting it out to a top 5 finish, healing, then crashing at the Tour of Holland, gashing his finger, and breaking his leg (Hamilton journal entry), it looks like the ironman will be taking up the helm of up-and-comers Phonak. I've only seen Phonak in a race once, but it looked like they are trying hard to get their name in the spotlight, and according to Hamilton's journal entry, their focus will be the Tour de France. Cool

September 3, 2003

Yes, California, We Got Screwed

The energy companies finally got fined for manipulating the energy market. So how much is the penalty for such actions that cost California $9 billion? <dr-evil>ONE MILLION DOLLARS</dr-evil>. You see, ladies and gentlemen, if you are an energy company, you can only get fined for the amount that you get caught stealing.
- Another Friday Outrage


- US inviting UN to come help it out in Iraq
- Ticketmaster wants to auction off the best seats

Big Lies

Who is the biggest presidential liar?
- "The Mendacity Index" by Washington Monthly Staff
(via heerforceone)

Foxes guarding the henhouse - Houston teams with McDonald's to fight fat - Sep. 3, 2003

The 12 Monkeys are Upon Us

Yahoo! News - Scores of Freed Mink Feed on Farm Animals

(via Dave Barry's Blog)

This cotton ball has a mouth

The way Christine talks about these, I thought they would be adorable, but after looking at this, I'm very, very afraid. I can also see why Anya is afraid as well.
(via Dave Barry's Blog)

The King of Junk Food

Some of you might think that a Jelly Bean Elvis is cool, but a toast Elvis seems more appropriate, especially if served with peanut butter and bananas.

September 5, 2003

Jets 13, Former Jets 16

The Redskins took the NFL season opener 16-13. They looked good offensively for a little over a quarter, which was long enough to hand the game over the Redskins defense. It also helped that the Redskins had the Jets former kicker to kick three field goals.
- Off on the Right Foot (

Last day

Hey y'all - today's my last day at PARC. Next up: three weeks of vacation (inc. Maui), followed by my new job at SRI.

September 6, 2003

USC beats BYU 35-18

BYU rallied from 21-0 to 21-18, but two more scores by 4th-ranked USC put the game back in control.
- Two late Trojan scores blunt Cougar rally

September 7, 2003

Moaning Caverns

this entry contains a photo, click to view After Jeff's great stories from his previous visit, we decided to venture with him back to Moaning Caverns, which is halfway to Bear Valley along highway 4 (east of Stockton). This was my first time (a) visiting a limestone cavern and (b) rapelling, and I had a lot of fun. The rapelling only lasted 5-10 minutes, but it's definitely the way to view the cavern. The photos can speak for the rest.

Continue reading "Moaning Caverns" »

UI Design

Will described Amanda as a "theoretical UI designer," which immediately made me think of this cartoon:
this entry contains an image, click to view

September 8, 2003

Land of the Lost

After reading about the London tube stations in Gaiman's Neverwhere, I really enjoyed rummaging through these sites that were linked to off of Making Light:
- Abandoned Stations
- Forgotten NY

September 9, 2003

Warning: Do not view this entry if you have a headache

Saw these cool rotating illusions linked to on Boing Boing. Maybe I'll make one of them my background to keep all but the staunchest visitors away.

I really liked the black hole illusion, but then I viewed it on a different, smaller screen and it didn't work anymore. Oh well, the pincushion illusiono is very similar. For more illusions you can also check out Illusions and Demos by Ted Adelson.

Survivor: California

The Republican tribe has voted another member off the island. After extensive polling of home viewers, Ueberroth came in last among the prominent Republicans with only 5% of the vote. With the Terminator and McClintock splitting the major votes, we can be that Arnold's camp is crossing their fingers for a physical challenge.
- - Sources: Ueberroth to leave California recall race - Sep. 9, 2003

September 10, 2003

Notes: Little Harmonic Labyrinth

book image

Amanda's posting of her Ant Fugue notes reminded me that I have a bunch of GEB notes lying around. It turns out that my "Ant Fugue" notes are rather worthless, but I did find some other notes that were a little more complete.

The "Little Harmonic Labyrinth" was a pretty interesting essay with a lot of deep structure and detail that I thought was interesting, so I've posted my notes here. As always, notes are rather useless unless you've read the piece yourself.

Continue reading "Notes: Little Harmonic Labyrinth" »

Notes: Crab Canon

book image

The "Crab Canon" is by far my favorite side-story in GEB, so I'd be remiss in not posting my notes on it.

Continue reading "Notes: Crab Canon" »

Notes: Aria with Diverse Variations

book image

Last set of GEB notes for the night. Yet another essay/side story from the book.

Continue reading "Notes: Aria with Diverse Variations" »

Zelda Complete!

The first sign that my vacation is productive: I finished Zelda: Wind-Waker today. I got far really fast in the game, then I stopped playing. I think I was really, really bored of sailing from island to island. Note to developers: at least let Link get an outboard motor or something. Even with the warp tune you still spend WAY to much time sailing around. For example, to get a Triforce shard you have to 1) sail to the island with the map, 2) sail to Tingle's island to get Tingle to read the map for you, 3) sail to the location on the map to pick up your piece. Given that there are 8 triforce shards, this just seems like an artificial way to make the game longer.

My verdict: while the game is beautiful, and the game play is fun, there simply is not enough content to justify how long it takes to finish the game. Although I think the other Zelda games had plenty of travel time, its a lot more interesting to be walking on land where there's scenery than it is to be sailing around with nothing but blue around you.

Celebrity Look-alikes

photo photo
The Daily Show had a hilarious segment on last night showcasing the latest debate for the Democrat Presidential candidates. The debate was quasi-bilingual, as the questions were first asked in spanish, then translated into english. This required, of course, that each of the candidates do their best to butcher a spanish phrase of their choice. Lieberman's attempt at spanish was absolutely horrible, and he gave this look that just reminded me of Gollum during the memorable Gollum vs. Smeagol scene in the Two Towers. But rather than trust my opinion, why don't you decide?

Update: If you want to see Lieberman's muchos spanish skills, On Lisa Rein has posted the segment (it's about a minute or so in).

September 11, 2003

The Exponential Falloff of Musca domestica Populations Due to Joblessness

My house has had a lot of flies. I mean, A LOT of flies. I think a bag of potatoes I bought at the market must have been a larvae bed for them. During my vacation time I've been spending ten to twenty minutes a day walking around with a spray bottle of 409 and a roll of towels and disposing of them. I would prefer to have an electric fly swatter, but they don't seem to carry those at Albertson's.

I don't know the exact data, but I have been roughly keeping track of the fly population in the house since I've become my vacation, and I've noticed the following statistics:
Day 1: 50+ flies disposed of
Day 2: 20+ flies disposed of
Day 3: 5 flies disposed of

This trend would tend to indicate that the flies are losing the battle, or they've begun to burrow into the walls where I cannot see them. I have also noticed that the flies I am disposing of are younger and more sprightly. Hmmm... I guess I'll have to wait out another pupal cycle to see whether or not I've truly won the battle.

I bent my wookie... er $239M satellite

NOAA-N accident
- Earth Science Missions Anomaly Report: GOES/POES Program/POES Project: 6 Sep 2003 | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference

FYI: the NOAA-N satellite is a weather satellite that will monitor climate conditions (weather, vegetation, drought) for four years. It will be used to receive distress signals from wayward hikers and boaters.

(via Making Light)

September 12, 2003

Survivor: California - The Ballot

California Recall Ballot

They should hook this thing up to an eye-tracker. It took me forever to find Georgy's name on this. I mean, duh, the letter R comes after L and before W, right? How stupid of me.

On a side note: I wonder how many votes "Dan Feinstein" will get?

(via Boing Boing)

Coldest temperature ever

ScienceDaily News Release: Biggest Chill: MIT Team Achieves Coldest Temperature Ever

RIP: Johnny Cash

I honestly hadn't heard much Johnny Cash until metamanda introduced me to more of his music. Before that he was just an old folk singer who had done a really awesome cover of Soundgarden's Rusty Cage.

Now that I have heard more of his music, and I've been able to look back over the course of his life in which he produced it, I can't think of any other musician who was as productive and influential the entire course of his life - five decades of music. Who else, at 71, could get nominated for seven MTV music awards for a moving cover of a Nine Inch Nail's song, and his early days be breaking ground at Sun Studios with Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis?

September 13, 2003

Testing new site configuration

I've updated to mysql to try and speed up the authoring of this site as Berkeley DB couldn't keep up with the number of entries on this site. If you notice anything different, please let me know as that probably means that something is wrong. Thanks!

September 14, 2003

Tibet vs. Beijing

The NYTimes has an interesting article on how China is using immigration to slowly secularize the Tibetan region.
- Beijing Sends In the Masses to Make Tibet More Chinese

USC annihilates Hawaii

61 points and almost double the score of Hawaii? Also, four of their touchdowns came from their freshman running backs. The other top four teams crushed their opponents as well, so USC will probably sit tight in the four spot for another week.
- - NCF - College Football Recap

T-Mobile International

I spent all day at the T-Mobile International bike race in San Francisco. The main attractions were Armstrong, Vinokourov, Simoni, and Garzelli. However, despite all this star power (which is awesome to see in an American race), it was the local teams that came to play. Armstrong, suffering from a stomach flu, dropped out after 50 miles, and Saeco largely stayed under the radar. It did appear that Telekom was trying to do it's sponsor right and placed riders in the main breakaway groups, but Saturn managed to deliver an excellent one two punch with McCormack (current US champion) and Horner each attacking on the final laps.

Horner, who suffered a flat tire bridging up to the breakaway group, took on a tire from the Mavic neutral support car and quickly caught the leaders. McCormack then attacked, was reeled in, and then quickly followed by an attack from Horner. Horner's attack turned out to be the last as he was able to build up a sizable lead and cruise to victory. McCormack also attacked again and sat in the second place position.

US Postal managed to launch a last minute attempt by Ekimov to try and catch McCormack, but it was too little too late. Compared to last year, US Postal looked very disorganized and never controlled the pace, except for a single lap where Armstrong took control of the pace... and then promptly dropped out. With Tour riders Hincapie, Landis, CheChu, Beltran, and Heras serving duty in the Vuelta, and at least two riders (Armstrong, Padrnos, and possibly one other) dropping out, this was about all that could be expected. It was impressive to see Ekimov motoring around Embarcadero Plaza, and it's too bad that he couldn't steal the day.

- Horner and Cooke win in San Francisco (Velonews)
- Race Summary Minute-by-Minute
- Race Summary

Update: added cyclingnews summary, and I also wanted to note (now that I've watched my TiVo recording of the event) that Armstrong predicted Horner to win the race while being interviewed at the start of the race. Not bad.

Fun 'n Gun emerges

So that's why the Redskins bought Coles. Didn't get to see this one b/c I was at the T-Mobile International, but it sounds like it was a fun game to watch if you're a Redskins fan - and were also lucky enough to miss the first half. Ramsey unloaded for 356 yards of passing, including 180 to Coles to fuel a 17-point comeback.
- Last One Standing

Concert: White Stripes in Berkeley

I got to see the White Stripes perform in Berkeley. It was one of their first shows back after Jack White broke his finger, and it was fun, good, and rocking, though as a note to self, the show probably feels more energetic if you probably aren't sitting down on a hard concrete slab - the pit is where it's at. As a tribute to the late Man in Black, Jack read the lyrics to "I Got Stripes" between songs (I've posted the lyrics in the complete entry).

We were also treated to an opening act by Ima Robot, which seems to be a revival of nearly every 80s act that we could think of (Cure, Cars, Duran Duran), combined with a bit of Johnny Rotten. I didn't listen to music in the 80s, so I don't have much else to say about this.

Continue reading "Concert: White Stripes in Berkeley" »

September 15, 2003

Survivor: California

Loved the current season of "Survivor: California" and wish it it didn't all end on October 7? Well, the federal appeals court has just granted your wish. Looks like we'll have plenty more of more fun episodes from Schwartzenegger, Georgy, Bustamante, Davis, Coleman, and the rest of the gang as the season has been extended to Mach 2004.
- - Appeals court blocks California recall - Sep. 15, 2003

WUSA folds

In a sad day for women's sports, WUSA will be shutting down after three seasons. Even with another World Cup approaching, they couldn't find enough sponsors.
- Women's Soccer League Is Folding (

September 16, 2003

Annotated 1602 #2

New annotations are up for the second issue of 1602:
- Julian Darius' version of Annotated 1602
- Jess Nevins' Annotated 1602

(thanks to "Mike" who posted a link to Julian's version on this site)

Ed. Note: I have edited this comment due to it's high Google ranking. Hopefully Google will fix their algorithm and push the real annotated sites back up.

Two more for the field

Looks like Clark won't be endorsing Dean anytime soon - he's officially launched his campaign for presidency. The announcement seems most unfortunate for John "Gunboat Captain" Kerry, who's carrier-filled announcement loses out to Wesley "NATO Supreme Commander" Clark.

Also, John Edwards has officially announced that he is running. I only make note of this because I was depressed to see that there was no mention of the fact that he made the announcement on the Daily Show first, in order to keep a off-handed promise that he made when he was last on the show a year ago. I do have to give Edwards points, though. First, he actually kept his word to a small Comedy Central Show. Second, with all the news filled with reports of a Cat 2 hurricane headed straight for his state, he still went down to North Carolina and got the high school band to trumpet his announcement.

- - Clark to launch 2004 presidential bid Wednesday - Sep. 16, 2003
- - Edwards formally launches presidential campaign - Sep. 16, 2003

B/c Amanda was too slow

... and translated into gangsta:

fO shizzle
Mack Daddy.
I'll pop a cap in yo' ass
you biotch

(via pqbon, SomethingAwful and BoingBoing)

September 17, 2003

Bye-bye Grasso

NYSE's Grasso Resigns Under Mounting Pressure (

The only cool thing Saturn ever did...

... is over. Saturn, which sponsored both the best men's and women's US cycling teams, has decided that it's days of team sponsorship are over. This is especially unfortunate given the awesome 1-2 showing that Horner and McCormack put in for them at the T-Mobile International in San Francisco.
- End of an era? Saturn pulls plug on cycling team

September 18, 2003

Off to Maui I go

I'm leaving for Maui to go watch metamanda run her marathon. Wish her luck!

September 24, 2003

Bye bye Galileo

JPL News -- Galileo End of Mission Status

Don't call it global warming

It's been there for three millenia, but don't link the breakup of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in Canada to global warming, nor the breakup of ice shelves near the opposite pole as well.
- - Report: Giant Arctic ice shelf breaks up - Sep. 22, 2003

Survivor: California

Oh the drama - it's on! it's off! it's on and we won't appeal! So I guess the final decision is that there won't be an extended season of Recall 2003, and all will be decided two weeks from now.
- - Appeals court reinstates California recall vote - Sep. 24, 2003

Update: wow, even more plot twists - 1010Blog: Issa says: "vote no, on recall!"

Do I still get an employee discount?

AMD has released the consumer version of the Sledgehammer/K8 processor. Maybe I should have taken a couple extra weeks to do another quick internship there so I can get a discount :).
- AMD unveils details of its 64-bit chip | CNET

Plenty of drama, but Redskins lose

We were trying to choose a restaurant after metamanda finished her marathon and I noticed that the Redskins were playing the Giants on TV, so the choice became much easier. It was already in the fourth quarter with the Redskins down 21-10, so I didn't have my hopes up. Suddenly, though, by the time the entrees came out the Redskins had tied it at 21-21 with a touchdown by Rod Gardner, a two-point conversion, a great defensive stand, and a field goal in the closing seconds. However, it was not to be as the Giants couldn't manage to screwup a second straight overtime game.
- A Kick in the Teeth

Teppanyaki photos

We went to a Kobe restaurant, which is a teppanyaki grill in Lahaina on Maui. The food was good, and the chef was nice, but there weren't as many "tricks" performed with the cultlery compared to other teppanyaki experiences I've had.

The chef made a cool onion volcano, which I managed to get a couple of shots of.
this entry contains a photo, click to view

Continue reading "Teppanyaki photos" »

Marathon photos version 0.9

Here's the first round of photos of metamanda's marathon. The only photo I have of Amanda crossing the finish line is on my 35mm roll, so I plan to repost once I have those. Joey also has a nice photo or two that I would like to add.

- Maui Marathon Photos

Posting madness!

I just got back from Maui, so expect a ton of posts over the next day or say (at least until I start my new job on Thursday). Sorry for the old news links, but I like to use this blog to keep track of stuff for personal use... On the positive side, where will be a lot of cool photos I took in Maui being posted, on the negative side, there will be a lot of photos from Maui being posted (we took over 500 photos).

Guess this photo

While we were descending down Haleakala on bike I took photos of this massive smoke plume over the middle of the island. Ten points to whoever can guess what it is (anyone who's ever lived on a tropical island or has relatives on a tropical island is not allowed to guess).
this entry contains a photo, click to view

Continue reading "Guess this photo" »

Sunset on the beach photos

This is one of my favorite series of photos that I've taken, so I thought I'd post them. They were taken in Kaanapali during sunset, though you can't tell the time of day very well from them.
this entry contains a photo, click to view

Continue reading "Sunset on the beach photos" »

September 25, 2003

Clap on, Clap off, Clap on, Clap off

Wow, it's like the California recall of telemarketing. First it's in, then it's ruled beyond the FTC's mandate by a federal judge, then congress puts it into the FTC's mandate, and now,
the do-not-call list has been blocked by a federal court on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment.

September 26, 2003

Talk: Author of Quicksilver

The author of Quicksilver gave a talk at a bookstore in Menlo Park to promote his latest book, Quicksilver, which is part of the Baroque Cycle. In an interesting social experiment, he will be running a Wiki for the book at Metaweb.

If you're wondering why I'm using pronouns and allusions to the identity of the author, it is because he began his talk by requesting that a new social convention be honored and observed during his talk. The author hopes that this convention will be called grith, which is an Old English term referring to protection/santuary. In modern parlance, he hopes that this term will spawn a new convention. In essence, if a person invokes grith, he is asking that he be able to speak frankly without fear of being recorded in any manner.

In the future he imagines that people will become more and more reticent to speak openly in public settings (much like politicians nowadays), and more and more information becomes accessible and free. Anecodotally, he spoke of his fear that his off-the-cuff remarks being videotaped and immediately placed on the Web, where it will remain until the Earth spirals down into the Sun. The fear makes it much more difficult for him to be open with audiences, as he knows that anyone might be carrying a small deck-of-cards-sized camcorder. He also related the story of another person who had someone ten thousand miles away take issue with an off-the-cuff remark he gave in a guest lecture.

In accordance with his invoking of grith, let me state that what follows in this entry is not a transcription of this author's talk; rather, it is a partial transcription of my imaginings of what he might say if these questions were asked of him, and I have not taken the time to note the many gaps. Also, as with anything that only occurs in one's mind, I didn't have a tape recorder or TiVo to replay my thoughts, and anything with "quotes" should not be construed as an actual quote of a fictitious character in my head. Instead, it should interpreted as the faulty transcriptions of an imaginative mind.

Finally, please also note that anything up and to this point was before he invoked the right of grith, or made permissible -- He was asked if it was alright to blog about grith, to which he responded, after some wavering, "go ahead - but don't quote me on that." I'm sure that anyone who was audience to this imaginary talk in my head will be intelligent enough to search google for "grith" if they wish to find me notes.

Continue reading "Talk: Author of Quicksilver" »

September 29, 2003

Frank Gehry - Disney Concert Hall

gehry.disney.1.jpg gehry.disney.2.jpg gehry.disney.3.jpg

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is complete and they'll be letting visitors in soon. I like most of Gehry's work so I wanted to get some photos while I was down there for the weekend.

I also had the opportunity to visit a Gehry exhibit just across the street at the MoCA, which was really interesting. I imagine what they do with this exhibit is whenever a new Gehry building opens, they transport this exhibit over there to help promote the opening. They had tons of models of (none of these projects have finished construction, and some may never be constructed): - Le Clos Jordan winery in Ontario, Canada - Corcoran Art Museum extension in DC - NY Times headquarters - Marques de Riscal in Elciego Spain - Princeton Science Library - Puente de Vida, Panama - Stata Complex in Cambridge, MA - Gateway to Venice - Astor Place Hotel in New York

And by tons, I means dozens of models, large and small from various stages in the planning, from unintelligible preliminary sketch (not a single Gehry sketch was understandable to me), to final working models (where available). If your name is Mr. Tyler and you happen to like architecture, you might enjoy seeing this exhibit if you happen to be in LA...unless you really dislike Gehry.

I wasn't allowed to take photos of these models, but I have posted my Disney Concert Hall photos.

You win some, you lose some

Being a Redskins/Trojans fan, this isn't the season start I expected. The Redskins improve to 3-1 by beating the Pats 20-17, giving them their best season start in four years, while the USC Trojans, who had high hopes of a national title, lose to Cal in triple OT. Hang Time for Redskins
- USC Recap

September 30, 2003

Style Invitational: Week 521

It's Monday, which means that I'm one day late in posting the latest Style Invitational. This week's entries had it pretty easy, as they were asked to take the first part of a hyphenated word in a newspaper story and combine it with the second half of a different word, and define the new word. Here's my favorites:

Dis-sissippi: What Alabamians do because there's no one else to feel better than. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Smack-doleezza: Trash talk done in the name of national security. (Drew Knoblauch, Falls Church)

Mex-ecution: Getting refried in the electric chair. (Chris Doyle, Forsyth, Mo.)

Cre-tinguished: Remarkably accomplished, for an idiot. (Tom Witte, Gaithersburg)

- The Style Invitational Week 521 (

Survivor: California

To be honest, when I first chose the "Survivor" metaphor, I don't think I realized how much it would really resemble the TV show. After plenty of catty exchanges between Ahnold and Arianna, Huffington is the latest to drop out of the series. You really could package this race up into a series of 30 minute episodes with a ticker on the side showing the latest poll results. Arianna's dropped to two percent, and she decided that was enough. - Huffington withdraws from recall race - Sep. 30, 2003

Tiny bubbles

It's already been posted on 1010, but given that 5 out of the top 10 links being tracked on blogdex right now are all about it, this blog would be remiss without having at least one link to it:
- Justice Dept. Launches Criminal Probe of Leak

and, heck, here's one from Instapundit that will give you plenty of reading if you care:
- Plame/Wilson Story

what is this?

This page contains all entries posted to kwc blog in September 2003.

August 2003 is the previous archive.

October 2003 is the next archive.

Current entries can be found on the main page.