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October 2004 Archives

October 1, 2004

The faces of debate

This has no actual political value, but it is entertaining. The DNC has posted "Faces of Frustration," which shows some of the faces that Bush was making during the debates. I'm really trying to figure out the weird lip thing that he does at 0:39.

Know any good Jappy stores

action figure

Anybody know where I can find some of these Kurosawa-movie action figures? When I was at Comic-Con, I had Scott Morse draw me a kick-ass Kikuchiyo and it would be pretty bad-ass to have a Yojimbo/Sanjuro action figure to go with it. If any of you know of any Jappy import places that might have it, lemme know. This site has a picture of the box.

October 2, 2004

Tengo un plan

Alias season 2 and 3 and West Wing season 2 arrived today. I don't feel guilty shelling out $$$ as I have come up with a plan to justify it all.

While borrowing West Wing season 1 from Alyssa, and was facing 15+ hours of TV watching (in less than 1 week), I decided that I would justify my TV watching by viewing the episodes with Spanish subtitles. Given the large amount of dialogue present in each episode, I feel that I'm starting to get a grasp, though it helps that I can quiz my fellow Spanish speakers for help.

My plan is to now go through all the TV episode DVDs I have and watch them with Spanish subtitles. West Wing season 2 should help me understand Spanish/Mexican politics, Buffy seasons 1-4 should help me on chupacabra expeditions, and Alias seasons 1 and 2 will train me for my career as a Spanish double agent. Sadly, season 3 of Alias is missing Spanish translations; hopefully my season 1 and 2 lingo will be enough to keep my secret identity from being uncovered.

October 3, 2004

Office space paintball

photo

I first had this idea after frequently driving past the vacant Excite @Home building on 101, but this idea received new vigor after Mike (ln m) pointed out the abandoned, never-used Inktomi building in Foster City. Spanning two towers, each eight stories tall, and with the interior consisting of the bare minimum of insulation and concrete, I can't help think that it would be a beautiful setting for office space paintball.

We pondered this idea for a bit as we loaded up on beer at the somewhat lame Foster City Oktoberfest. Not satisfied with mere speculation, we wandered across the street into the vacant building, hoping to get a glimpse of the empty interior. We got much more than we thought we would, as the stairwell access was unlocked. We were able to wander the building with impunity, snapping the occasional photo, checking out sight lines, brainstorming missions, etc...

The idea is simple: two teams, each armed with relatively weak paintball guns for an indoors setting. Stick each team in one tower, give each a flag to place on a floor of their choice, and let the teams have at it. The towers are connected by both a multi-story parking garage and a third-floor roof. The third-floor roof is difficult to cross as balconies overlook it from each tower, but the parking garage, with its numerous columns, is suitable for a well-staged assault. Three elevators and a stairwell provide access to each tower. One variation would be to stage this at night, with each person given a flashlight to selectively turn on and off.

Who needs Counterstrike/Rainbow Six?

Korruption

Thanks to pqbon, kwc.org is now running with a brand new power supply. kwc.org was on its deathbed earlier tonight, only able to stay up for 20 seconds or less before failing. The old power supply might make a good discus.

My devices seem angry at me, as I had to replace the memory card in my camera today as well. It was happily eating one photo out of every 100, which could make an interesting art project -- handing out cameras that randomly delete photos. Would you still take the time to preserve that moment for posterity knowing that there was a 1/100 chance that the moment would disappear forever? Would the small probability of deletion remove the layer of mediation the camera creates, as the camera would no longer be a trustworthy mediator?

October 4, 2004

Hot laptop

x505

Dang Sony's got a hot laptop in the X505 (I know it's been out for awhile, but I just saw it at Fry's yesterday). I loved my old Z505, and at the time it was a leader in compact design, but it's been quite awhile since I've seen a laptop that's stunned me with it's design.

You have to be the type of person who appreciates a small portable laptop, as the screen is 10.4" (1024x768), but the base is barely thicker than a PC card and all total it's less than an inch thick. A composition notebook feels more bulky than this laptop. The keyboard response suffers a bit as a result, but I would sacrifice for that level of portability.

If only I had $3k to splurge...

October 5, 2004

Chocolate tasting

chocolateJed organized a group to go chocolate tasting at a class at Draeger's in San Mateo. It was run by Jason Garoutte, who had given a talk at PARC.

I have to say that chocolate tasting is a lot of fun. It's a lot like a wine tasting, and you can even supplement the tasting with wine, bread, and cheese (the latter being necessary for cleansing the palette). Prior to this tasting, I knew nothing about chocolate. I still know very little, but at the very least I can now start appreciating some of the more discerning qualities of chocolate.

Warning: chocolate tasting can be expensive to your budget. After we were given a sample of Hershey's to compare with the nicer chocolates, I'm not sure I can taste Hershey's chocolate ever again. Its hard to explain how foul it tastes with the memory of good chocolate still fresh on the mind.

If you want the experience of a chocolate tasting on your own and you live in the Bay Area, you can pick up one of Garoutte's tasting kits at Draeger's.

Continue reading "Chocolate tasting" »

October 6, 2004

Almost

Finished third in the fantasy baseball standings. For the first time I actually managed to stay in first place for a whole week, but I lost both Soriano and Guillen for the last month, which tanked my ranking in the runs category. At least I beat Kenji :)
 1	Oddvarks            88
 2	Club Me             84.5
 3	Blah the Ninjas     83.5
 4	Club Ninja          83
 5	Silly Name Changes  74
 6	The Downward Sprial 71
 7	cuddly munkees      64.5
 8	Ninjas Are Not Good 63.5
 9	Air Force Eagles    59.5
 10	The Oskersox        43.5

October 8, 2004

Debate Prep

Some stuff to view for tonight's debate, with heaping doses of irrelevance thrown in.

64% of people named "George Bush" plan on voting for Kerry

Electoral-Vote.com shows that Kerry is leading 280-239

Radio receiver or back brace?

Michigan Republicans ask prosecutors to arrest Michael Moore for giving away underwear and ramen, prosecutors decline.

Rudepundit's own version of what Edwards should have said

It's a Galactic Debate

dilbert_morons.gif

October 11, 2004

Retail

Bought a lot of stuff Saturday while hanging out w/ zealot in the city. There were the typical purchases (unread book count now at 58, some more DVDs for the movie list), but the real prize was a set of post-it notes with comic book characters on them. Each post-it has a picture of a superhero with an empty speech balloon that you can write the note in. Don't be surprised if your belongings get attacked by a band of superheroes speaking in my handwriting.

Other weekend highlights: Iron Giant/Eternal Sunshine at honeyfields, crepes with rcp, Presidential Debates spiced up w/ Daily Show footage

E-mail me if you want divx copies of recent Daily Show episodes, or of Stewart's infamous appearance on O'Reilly Factor.

Embarassment is

I went to the first of two acupressure classes I signed up for in order to deal with my back troubles. I got this weird, mini-cane with this knobs all over it that I can now us to hit all my pressure points, which will be nice.

With all the benefits of the class, though, showing up to a class where everyone else is a 50+ year-old white female is a tad bit embarrassing, not to mention the fact that you have to see your medical problems juxtaposed with that of 50+ year-old white women.

October 12, 2004

Robots!

I'm going to RoboNexus in Santa Clara on Oct. 23 to stare at cool robots. Anybody else interested? Expo passes are $15 free if you contact me early (I should be able to get a couple extras).

Bridge School, anyone?

Anybody else get/getting tickets for the Oct. 24th (Sunday) Bridge School Concert? Just checking so we can coordinate if we want. This year's lineup is Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Tony Bennett, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ben Harper, Sonic Youth, Los Lonely Boys and Tegan & Sara. Saturday was already sold out when I bought tix, so you may want to hurry if you're interested.

Me v. US

A little known fact: I fought the US all the way to the Supreme Court, but my appeal was rejected. Seeing "Kenneth Conley v. United States of America" brings back such fond memories.

ALCS Game 1

Red Sox 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2 0   7 10 0
Yankees	2 0 4 0 0 2 0 2 x  10 14 0


I only kept watching this game because I wanted to see how far Mussina would take his perfect game. It's a good thing that the Red Sox got five runs when they finally did break it, otherwise I would have missed an exciting finish. I can't believe how weak both defenses were; as bad as Shilling was, a couple of missed outs here and there would have made the score look a lot better than 8-0 in the sixth. Same goes for the Yankees: if Matsui was half as good on defense as he was on offense this game, there would have been no sign of a comeback.

This feels like it will be a good series, but why does it feel so familiar?

CNNSI game summary

October 13, 2004

Love 'em or hate 'em

Frank Gehry -- you either love his work or hate it. I, for one, happen to like (most) of his work, so I'm excited to hear that he will be designing the performance arts center at the NY WTC site.
- SignOnSanDiego.com -- Architect Frank Gehry to design performing arts center at ground zero

Patriotic duty

Is it more patriotic to watch the Pedro Martinez bean Yankee batters or to watch the Presidential debates? Both will be ugly, both will be repetitive, both will be decked in red, white, and blue, and both are conducive to ulcers.

I do think the dual scheduling puts Kerry at a disadvantage -- he might have to borrow Bush's radio transmitter to listen in on the score.

Woohoo! 'Skins suck! Really, woohoo!

Via snopes and a mailing list I'm on, I can actually be happy that the Redskins are so pathetic this year. I can even save face with my Packers friends as we are both unified in our desire to have Bush removed from office. I'll even wear a cheesehead if that helps this happen.

The Washington Redskins have proved to be a time-tested election predictor. In the previous 15 elections, if the Washington Redskins have lost their last home game prior to the election, the incumbent party has lost the White House. When they have won, the incumbent has stayed in power.

This election year, that deciding game takes place on Sunday, October 31 ... vs. Green Bay.

Because they haven't sucked enough

Not only have they put Toy Story 1 and 2 DVDs out of print, Disney is going to further wreck the series by making not one, but two sequels (apparently Disney gets the rights once they split).

Red Sox you kill me

I only got through about half the presidential debate, choosing instead to stick hope for America's future in the Red Sox. They failed me, 3-1, laying bare our collective unfulfilled idealism.

October 14, 2004

Puffin?

I'm glad that Google Desktop search is out (is this the secret Puffin tool?). In some regards it's nice that it looks just like your standard Google search page. I'm also sure that the search results that it provides will be very nice and useful.

After using Quicksilver for Mac, though, I'm not so impressed with it. The Web page metaphor is slow. I know that Quicksilver is not a real search tool, but I want something like it that you can pull up with a quick keyboard shortcut and, more importantly, shows you your search results as you type. Look at iTunes. Look at Mozilla Thunderbird. Both have search boxes in the main window that show you the search results as you type. Even Snap.com, which is a new Web-based search engine, allows you to refine your search results without having to resubmit. Why would I want to go back to the type in search, click submit, see results, refine search, etc... when there's clearly a better way of doing search on the desktop.

Also, the three most mind-boggling missing features are: * Not integrated with Google deskbar * Not integrated with GMail * Not integrated with Blogger

I know this is beta, but would it really have been that hard to be integrated with their own tools? I'm sure this will be fixed in the next release, but still. This is the tool that is supposed to circumvent Microsoft's attempts with Longhorn and WinFS to take over search, and so far I'm not believing.

Tit for tat

Wired is running an article about how Tit for Tat was defeated in a Prisoner's Dilemma contest. For those of you unfamiliar with the Prisoner's Dilemma is, you can read more on it here.

Tit for Tat was a strategy that had done well before in this contest: the idea is that your first move is to cooperate, and there after you do whatever your opponent does. BitTorrent uses a variant of this to determine who you exchange files with as you're downloading.

The winning team used a strategy similar to that of the MIT Blackjack Team or a bike racing team like US Postal: send in multiple players into the contest and then have most of your players sacrifice themselves to boost the score of your leader(s). The hard problem that the Southampton team had to solve was getting their own players to recognize each other.

Of course, now that other teams are aware of the Southampton strategy, they can try and send in agents that will impersonate the Southampton entries, turning this into a Iocaine powder problem.

October 15, 2004

Willie's back

William Gibson has returned to his blog, this time with a mission.

October 16, 2004

Wow

I finally got to see a video of Jon Stewart's quickly-becoming-famous appearance on Crossfire (transcript), and I have to say, if you want to see a guest rip into the show's hosts repeatedly, and deservedly, I encourage you to watch. It's not intentionally humorous, but I found myself laughing regardless.

Tucker Carlson bears the brunt of the blast (Begala stays quiet for much of the assault) and was the victim of exchanges such as:

CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you're accusing us of partisan hackery?

STEWART: Absolutely.

CARLSON: You've got to be kidding me. He comes on and you...

STEWART: You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.

and, as the they degenerate into outright insults going into the commercial break:

CARLSON: I do think you're more fun on your show. Just my opinion.

CARLSON: OK, up next, Jon Stewart goes one on one with his fans...

STEWART: You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you are on any show.

If you have trouble finding a copy (link 1 torrent link), send me an e-mail and I'll get you a copy.

Am I hallucinating?

I'm used to some of the links I post here overlapping with Slashdot, whether it be because I copied the link from there, or because /. readers mine the same sites I do for links. But seeing Jon Stewart's Crossfire appearance linked on the frontpage made me go, "WHAAAAAAAAA?!?!?!" I know that /. recently launched politics.slashdot.org, but the Stewart/Crossfire link isn't even posted in that section. Does this mean that /. readers are a bunch of stoned slackers?

October 17, 2004

Zombies and Puppets

I saw both Shaun of the Dead and Team America this weekend. Shaun of the Dead was 3/4 good, i.e. it started off well, but as the movie progressed, it seemed to forget the element of satire and became more of an actual zombie movie -- there are long sections of the movie, which, if shown by themselves, would be indistinguishable from a zombie B-movie. Still, as zombie movies go, its definitely worth watching for both the opening and ending.

As for Team America, I thought it was more of a South Park movie than the South Park movie was. I don't mean that as a compliment -- the movie reuses the same jokes, songs, celebrity mocking, and Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer parodying as the South Park TV show, but, as the ratings taglines say, "all featuring puppets" and with more crudeness. If you like the TV show, then you'll like the movie, but you may ask yourself why you paid $10 to see it.

On being part of the Red Sox nation

I have been extra cynical in my role as a Red Sox fan this year. I know that as part of the Red Sox nation, I'm supposed to say "believe" and have "hope" and know that "this is the year," but I say screw all that. I've been there, done that, and seen everyone else do that in far too many Red Sox implosions. I decided to give up hope, to not believe, but it was too hard -- there was still an ounce of it left in me. With Shilling and Pedro, I had to believe that the Red Sox would win at least one of game 1 or game 2. But Shilling had no resemblance to the mighty Diamondbacks' Shilling, and Pedro got no love from the Red Sox offense. Game 3 would bring the series home, though, surely the Red Sox would turn it around then; there was still hope.

19-8, hope is gone. Having sucked their way to 0-3, with no team ever having come back from that deficit, I had finally given up all hope in the Red Sox.

It was hard watching today's Game 4. With the Red Sox down by only a run for most of the game, there was temptation to hope, to believe, but then Johnny Damon would come to the plate, and I knew that he would help me stay hopeless. If their own leadoff hitter can't get on base to give Manny something to hit in (still 0 RBI in this series), then really, how are they gonna catch up? Even as Roberts did some excellent pinch-running to tie the game, I sighed, picked up my copy of the Daily Show's America, and used the media satire to laugh away the ridiculous notions of hope. They still left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth; they were still my hopeless team.

Escaping from a bases loaded in the 11th? Hope-check: nope. Manny finally swinging and hitting a pitch instead of walking or watching a called third strike? Hope-check: nope. David Ortiz, Mr. Division-Series-Walk-Off-Homer coming to bat next? Hope-check: almost -- this is also David Ortiz, Mr. Watch-Me-Strike-Out-in-Three-Straight-Pitches. Hope is still at zero.

Oh, Ortiz hits a homer and the Red Sox win. Well, giving up hope doesn't mean that you have to get embarrassed by a sweep. I guess they'll survive to play again later today, with their crappy bullpen exhausted, and with Damon still sucking. Mussina will be Pedro's daddy, and I'll still have no hope.

BTW: anyone else think A-Rod looked past his bedtime at the end?

October 18, 2004

Technical difficulties everywhere

kwc.org and movabletypo.net are having some technical difficulties right now. If you notice pages not loading or whatnot, we are trying to fix it. kwc.org's are being caused by a firewall upgrade necessitated by Windows XP SP2 breaking my previous firewall, while movabletypo got a little too worked up about that Red Sox victory last night and is a bit hung over.

The Anti-Hope Check

I'm here to provide the anti-hope check to Kenji's Hope Check, for I believe that There is Only Hope in No Hope.

Some of you in Red Sox nation may suddenly find yourself rejuvenated, your hope starting flowing out of its deep recesses and embedding itself in your heart once more, but to you I say, No Hope got us this far, let us not abandon it now in the face of two heart-stopping victories. No Hope says that the Red Sox will have to win two straight in New York, back in the place of their first two losses. No Hope says that Johnny Damon, while looking like Jesus running in for that game-winning run, is still the hitless, buntless Antichrist. No Hope reminds you that Shilling is being held together with duct tape.

You may say, but Big Papi is our savior. Big Papi has saved us three times now. Yes, but he is your only hope.

Do not believe.

October 19, 2004

Agony

Dell has $750 off their Inspiron laptops (minimum $1500 configuration). This means I can pick up a new laptop for as little as $750 + tax. The offer is only good for today and I can't decide whether or not to pull the trigger, given that I already have a work laptop (but would really like one of my own to bastardize).

My new precious

8600_front_314.jpg

I gave into the quarter-life crisis. Meet my new toy. It was hard to purchase, as I already have a swank work laptop, but I wanted to have a powerful personal laptop that I could keep in my room that would be quiet (which means I can use it as an alarm clock), be good for watching video (1900x1200) screen, be wireless, and cheap. In other words, as my co-worker phrased it, I wanted a $1000 fancy alarm clock that can play DVDs.

The Daily Despair

riot police

Now that's what a Yankees-Red Sox game is supposed to look like: police officers in riot gear and objects flying onto the field. Those are the games that I remember. Those are the games that bring tears to the eyes.

You might think, after winning three straight after being down 0-3, a deed no team has done before, that there might be a glimmer of hope, that I could cast my cynicism aside and once again 'believe.' Two extra-inning wins (aka the Boston Marathon) and Shilling pitching on a bloody leg gives plenty to inspire, but not enough to erase the past.

Today's Daily Despair is simple. I could talk about how David 'Our Only Hope' Ortiz was 0-4 tonight, or I could point out that pinch-savior Shilling will be warming that cold bench in Game 7, but no, today's Daily Despair is:

2003

Game 7

Bottom of the 11th

Boone (off Wakefield)

Remember: No Hope

October 20, 2004

MovableType 3.12, woohoo

I just installed the latest MovableType, version 3.12. I appreciate the numerous improvements and bugfixes (especially the bugfix that makes deleting moderated comments much quicker), but, sadly, it broke my MT Blacklist install even though I upgraded that as well. The problem is a known issue, so we'll see how quickly it gets resolved. Should've stuck with the tried and true.

Correction: Blacklist works, I just can't login to it/administer it

Neal Stephenson Interview on Slashdot

Neal Stephenson's Slashdot interview is good fun. Slashdot readers are still stuck in Stephenson's Snowcrash/Cryptonomicon days, but that's understandable, considering that even though I own all three, I still have not made it through the first of the Baroque Cycle books. Some pirate questions would have been fun, though.

No Hope Red Sox

ho hope red sox

Who would have thought Damon, the man I referred to as Boston's Antichrist, would be their Game 7 hero? Now there's a man with No Hope.

I'm storing up a bunch of No Hope for the World Series. meta (despite her loyalty for the St. Louis Cardinals) would like to see a Boston vs. Texas World Series. I would as well, though I don't know if that will help or hurt my No Hope posture. I have No Hope that Boston will win, but if Texas wins, then there certainly is No Hope for this country.

No Hope!

October 21, 2004

Zombie party

nt treated us to a zombie-fest for his 30th birthday party, and really, what better way to celebrate getting old than to watch images of the walking, decaying, dead? Unfortunately, the party turned ugly when tooch became infected and started attacking nt. I didn't get a good photo of it, but I also think that's Bernadette in the yellow ripping that poor girl's heart out.

photo photo

October 22, 2004

Thanks for a fun marathon

Night three of three was completed for the Star Wars marathon. Thanks to all those who came -- you all made the movies far more fun and entertaining than George Lucas is capable. Thanks to bp and joy, whose sangria still has me a bit tipsy, and thank you all for witty, insightful commentary, and for stocking my fridge.

Recent kwc.org breakage

My apache server keeps breaking and I can't seem to figure out why, so I am temporarily disabling comments as a last ditch effort to see if that might be the reason. So sorry, no comments today.

Anime personas

I'm posting these because I think you should all see how easy it was to generate a metamanda anime character. I generated these awhile ago using a tool that kenji pointed me at that lets you pick and choose clothing, hair, etc... (I seem to have lost the bookmark). Neither of these have been photoshopped, and I would like to point out that when I first showed this to meta over IM, she was wearing the yellow shirt.

Mine was harder. I need to at least take it into Photoshop to turn the pants green or blue or something:

The one's that kenji and justin generated are pretty good also.

Frick!

My desktop may be infected with a virus, which may be the root of all my problems here. If you receive a file called "document.com" from me, or any unexpected file whatsoever, please do not open it, and, if possible, let me know that you received it.

Many apologies. This is the first time I've been infected by a virus (that I know of) and it's rather embarrassing. Of course, I blame Microsoft.

Update: To put it in the words of Han Solo, "It's not my fault!" My computers came up clean for the Beagle virus, so I'll have to explore for other reasons my Web server keeps disconnecting.

Jon Stewart, media darling

Jon Stewart's Crossfire appearance has put him front and center. The Washington Post is now running a profile, he'll be on 60 minutes this week, and just several days ago the NYTimes did a profile as well.

October 23, 2004

Miracles

Top of the 6th, Red Sox up 7-5

me: rooting against the red sox
me: how can you?
metamanda: i've never been a red sox fan.
me: you gotta root for the losers
metamanda: the cardinals *are* losing right now. :)
me: yeah yeah, but we know the red sox will take care of that one ;)
me: the cardinals have 9 world series wins
me: they can give one to the sox
metamanda: grrrrr.
me: you gotta share the love
metamanda: grrrrr.
me: a vote for the sox is a vote for kerry :)
metamanda: hahahaa
me: are you saying your against kerry, that you're FOR bush?
metamanda: :P
me: you're either with the sox or you're against them, and i say you, are against them
metamanda: uh huh.
me: the security of our nation depends on a red sox win
metamanda: well, let's put it this way. cards are not going to just give this world series to the sox, nor should they.
me: b/c it's gonna take a miracle for kerry to pull this one out, so we might as well ask for two
metamanda: *but* if the sox won it all, I wouldn't feel bad about it because they do kind of deserve a world series win.
metamanda: go taguchi!

Still Top of the 6th, Red Sox up 7-6 (soon to be 7-7)

Robonexus

Posted some photos from Robonexus onto my flickr page. Some samples are below, but there are more. Robonexus was interesting, though I think that for staring at cool robots doing stuff Roboolympics was a bit better, even if it was a bit smaller. Robonexus had better robots, but for the most part they were sitting there doing absolutely nothing (there were scheduled demos, but they were often packed). What Robonexus was good for was finding out where to buy robot parts and other toys from. I really want to get one of the RF-controlled flying saucers that Robot Store was showing off, but it's not listed on their site yet.

Centibots
SRI's own Centibots looking for the pink box.

view profile

Swarm
Swarm robots from iRobot

view profile

Flying saucer
Definitely gonna get one of these. I wonder if it's possible to get a very light camera attached?

view profile

At least they're not going to lose four straight

Man, even in a win where they start off with a huge lead they make it agonizing :). That and buddy Manny's two straight errors are enough to keep the No Hope alive. It must have been that clip segment that made Manny look more like the team mascot than power hitter that jinxed him up.

October 24, 2004

Bridge School 2004

(photos over on flickr)
This is just a draft to get some stuff down before I forget. Assuming I have time, this will become a full entry later.

This was another fun Bridge School. Paul McCartney brought down the house at the very end, and in the three years that I've been there, I think only Billy Idol has come close to rockin' the place in the same way. McCartney does have the advantage with the entire Beatles catalog at his disposal, and he used it perfectly. There's something great about ending a long, all-day concert with a Beatles song. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that 20,000 people all know the words, so you get this tremendous chorus that gives you this buzz at the end of the concert. At the Bridge School Concert a month after 9/11, it ended with everyone singing a tearful "Imagine" (technically not a Beatles song, I know). This year the concert ended with everyone singing the na-na-na-na portion of "Hey Jude."

Tony Bennett was also awesome, and Red Hot Chili Peppers played a great set. I didn't care much for hearing Sonic Youth go acoustic, and Eddie Vedder's solo is a little boring, but hey, it was great to see all of them in one concert.

Continue reading "Bridge School 2004" »

October 25, 2004

Game 2 despair

Kenji reminds me that the Red Sox lost the 86 World Series after going 2-0, and the eight errors this far can only be seen as foreshadowing of another Buckner moment (which Manny and Mueller seem intent on one-upping each other for the honor). For some additional despair, I've transcribed a Daily Show segment from the day after the Red Sox beat the Yankees.

STEWART: An amazing night for the city of Boston, we're actually going to go right out there to Rob Corddry, who's in Boston. He joins us from outside Faneuil Hall. Now I want to point out, Rob, you're from the area, you're a huge Red Sox fan, I do congratulate you, and I wish you well. Rob, the Red Sox down 3-0 against their archrivals the Yankees, historic comeback to win the series, I mean, C'MON Corddry, what's the mood down there?

CORDDRY: The mood here is hopeful. Cautiously optimistic. The people feel the Sox have the Yankees more or less where they want them, but only time will tell. Jon.

STEWART: They have the Yankees where they want them? Rob, it's over. The Red Sox --

CORDDRY: Don't don't don't don't don't. Jon, Jon, Jon, you're going to jinx it man. You're gonna jinx it. Something could still happen. Um, there could be a forfeit, or the pennant could go through Buckner's legs. I don't know. Derek Jeter could fly counterclockwise around the Earth real, real fast until it's the night before like Superman did. It's the Yankees, Jon, they're always pulling [bleep] like that

STEWART: Rob, I would imagine that on at least this night, on this night, there would be jubilation in Boston.

CORDDRY: Jon, I'm a Sox fan. Failure is all I know. But after last night I'm feeling almost, successful, is that a word? I don't care for it man.

STEWART: Well are you at least looking forward to the World Series?

CORDDRY: Yes, yes, yes. Which we could still blow. And in some staggeringly biblical fashion. That would be... heartbreaking (smiles). heartbreaking.

STEWART: Thank you very much Rob. Enjoy it up there. C'MON CORDDRY!

Network Society

I'm currently reading a book that's blowing my mind, much in the same way Godel, Escher, Bach blew my mind, i.e. it synthesizes new ideas across a broad set of topics that I'm familiar with but never juxtaposed in that manner.

The book is The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells, which is part 1 of 3 of his Information Age trilogy. I never expected a book from a Spanish former-Marxist sociologist to be so cool, but it is. It combines the classes I took from Dower on the Meiji Restoration and post-war Japanese industrialization with economics classes I took from Krugman (and others) with specific references to both professors, and then throws in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley boom with references to Xerox PARC, SRI, and a little bit of AMD, while discussing the rise of ARPANET/Internet and the personal computer/microprocessor industry. There's also a dash of AI and MIT, as well as heaps of DARPA.

That's not to say that the book is just rehashing what I've learned. Rather, it's a book of entirely new concepts for me built up in a historical framework that is more than a little familiar to me, which helps me understand better the trends and analysis he is trying to present. I'm only a hundred pages into the book, and it may take a couple rereads given the relative unfamiliarity of the concepts, but this is about the coolest academic book I've picked up in the past three years.

Clip now available

For those of you who want to view the Red Sox/Daily Show clip that I transcribed earlier, I finally figured out that Windows comes with a movie editor, so I've trimmed it down for proper consumption: clip

October 26, 2004

It will be mine, but first, a name

I sense my laptop approaching, or perhaps it's the UPS tracking number telling me that the truck is on its way. Either way, it will need a name. Suggestions? (I have re-enabled comments)

The ones I've thought of so far:

  • triplemocha
  • nohope
  • chunk
  • goonley

It's so beautiful

The 1900x1200 screen... I see stars...

Chunky

Just to get an idea of how big the new laptop is, here are some comparisons between my work laptop and the new one.

Staggeringly biblical collapses

Alright, up 3-0, time to lose in seven just like the Yanks. It's culture. It's heritage. It's the way it is. It's No Hope.

October 27, 2004

No hope heartbreak

10-27-04.redsox.jpg

Well, fuck, they did it.

October 28, 2004

Talk: Cities in the Information Age

Manuel Castells Talk at Berkeley

My notes on this talk are fairly poor. Much of what he talked about echoed what I am currently reading in his works, so skipped transcribing a lot of that.

Update: I'm enhancing my notes with those taken by peterme (he did a better job of transcribing Castell's actual phrasing). I've gotta run, but hopefully I'll get a final set of notes before my brain crashes.

Continue reading "Talk: Cities in the Information Age" »

October 29, 2004

WoohooPod

The new iPod Photo is pretty much everything I wanted in an iPod. Beautiful color screen, photo storage/display, TV out, and sync support for Photoshop Album. Oh, and there's better battery life. When I go home to visit my parents I can now take with me my recent photos to show them on their TV, and when I travel with my Belkin flash adapter, I can offload images onto my iPod and view them later on. Now I just need to scrounge up $500.

Update: (10/29) It's a little less perfect. The new iPod cannot display photos that you've imported using the Belkin flash adapter, I guess because it is not able to create thumbnails for them. So while it's a cool iPod, it's not my dream iPod.

October 30, 2004

Go Ginfiend!

ginfiend

I wanted to congratulate ginfiend on finishing his marathon -- he and meta have both shown the extraordinary ability to punish themselves, both in practice, and in how they finish. In a test of style and determination between the two, I think I have to tip my hat to ginfiend. meta didn't get her alcoholic beverage until after she crossed the finish line, and her nipples weren't bleeding through her shirt either.

meta did, however, look more victorious:

meta victory

October 31, 2004

Halloween

Reprising an old last-minute costume, though my jacket was more appropriate this time. I blame bp for not having more costumes at the ready when I arrived unprepared :).

Ken as Pepe Le Pew
Well, it *was* better than nothing...

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