Monday, June 30, 2008


An example of why my job is so cool

I just submitted a report to DARPA (actually to the project prime who'll ship it on to DARPA) that showed via a derivation from Heisenberg's uncertainty principle (specifically the energy-time formulation) that a secondary research objective of a multi-billion dollar military R&D program was impossible. Impossible by several orders of magnitude impossible, actually.

Getting paid to do work you find fun - there's nothing better. [insert crass prostitution joke]

If it becomes public domain, I'll post the report. (It's not classified, but it's now the prime's data, so it's their call.)


Friday, June 20, 2008


Easily the most disturbing thing I've seen

It's work safe, but holy mother of God this video is disturbing. Makes the Britney episode of South Park quasi-believable.


Friday, June 13, 2008


CBI No More

Thason was going to blog this and many of you who attended either Walt's or JP's wedding learned of it this weekend, but CBI is no more.

After 31 years of collaboration with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), the College Bowl Company is suspending the College Bowl campus program, effective immediately. College Bowl will no longer produce question packets for campus, regional, and national competitions.

While the program experienced periods of growth throughout its history, costs to maintain the program have increased. Although changes were made to offset the increasing expenses and avoid raising the price for campus participation, the program can no longer sustain itself.

As a generalist (read as a player who a) majored in a field from which virtually no questions were drawn other than Ohm's Law -wheee!!, b) didn't really want to study, but c) was pretty good at remembering what he heard before and d) was pretty quick on the buzzer) I always enjoyed the CBI format. Now I had my problems with game officials (which is not really something under CBI's control), but I liked the question styles and content. It seemed less ... trivial (it also had business trivia which I think is sorely lacking in other formats)

I even liked the variable-valued bonus as it made tossups (the part I found the most fun) that much more important. While I realize that "purists" didn't like that feature, you should realize that I am so unpure [ed - well at least you showered today] that I approve of steroids and other performance enhancers in sports [a) beyond rooting for my team, I watch sports for the spectactular almost superhuman plays and with fewer performance enhancers, there's fewer spectacular plays and b) if you know about my sugar and caffeine binges at quizbowl matches, it would be just a wee bit hypocritical of me to condemn performance enhancers in other competitions].

I also liked that CBI a) had a real intramural stage, b) was more inviting to smaller schools and c) made attempts at feeling like a professionally run tournament (particularly nationally). Now NAQT has tried to do something similar with two divisions, but I never played D2 so I don't know if that will work the same. (I also really like NAQT's power tossup innovation)

So, let's tip some 40s (10 + 30) to the passing of CBI.



Monday, June 09, 2008


Open Office Comment Revision

Yesterday during JP's wedding reception (congratulations to JP and Laury and in the immortal words of Rob Schneider in the Waterboy, You can... well you get the idea) (also congrats to Walt and Kate who got married the day before - hectic weekend), I said that one of my issues with Open Office was that it doesn't do macros.

Well, today as part of doing a laptop recovery w/o handy CDs, I installed open office. Turns out it does have macros, but won't easily record my favorite macro (launching and formatting equations). I don't know if I overlooked this before or if it's a recent addition, but they're there now.

That's the upside. On the downside, it just crashed and won't restart. Had about 12 documents open (NSF proposals require a mad number of independent documents). We'll see if rebooting helps.


Thursday, June 05, 2008


Celebrity blogging

Don't normally do it but I couldn't pass up commenting on this:

Gwyneth Paltrow is going to get pregnant again - or else! The wife of Coldplay singer Chris Martin and mother of two had this to say in the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar: "I may force myself to do it one more time because the result is so worth it."

I'm not certain what Chris is doing, but I'm sure he's doing it wrong.


Monday, June 02, 2008


For he is the Kwisatch Haderach

or the Messiah or something... From an interview with Obama...

GG:Do you believe in sin?
GG:What is sin?
OBAMA:Being out of alignment with my values
Gold, frankincense and myrhh shall be His.

(Pic from reuters)

(FYI, I'm voting Barr / Root. Found out a write-in for Fred wasnn't likely be reported in any meaningful way.)


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