Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday: The Google Reader-pocalypse

Apparently it dies on local time?  It's after 9pm here, which means the west coast is after midnight, so I assumed my reader would be unresponsive by now.  In any case, I spent a large chunk of this afternoon migrating everything into my tt-rss install.  It took a bit of time to get everything caught up, but I kind of like this reader better.  It doesn't pre-load posts, like the way google reader did, so there can be some delay loading posts with images served from slow hosts.  However, since each post is independent, it seems like the memory footprint is lighter.  I do need to keep a daemon running to fetch updates, and it somewhat seems like that's doing a lot of extra traffic.  The advantage of this is that I can keep the reader in a pinned tab, and watch for the tab flash to indicate when there are new things to read.

So, disappointing that google decided to shut down one of the most useful tools they ever stuck together, but I guess self hosting a replacement in my own cloud isn't a bad thing.


  • I don't understand why Republicans can't see that a lot of their people are crazy.
  • Sithrak.  The comic is fine, but the ads that are invisible to me may be NSFW.
  • MSU carillon.  After one concert, they opened it up, and had a quick tour that went all the way up to the belfry.  I didn't have a camera phone back then, so I have no pictures of it.
  • Fireflies.
  • I got the announcement for a conference in Taiwan, and was somewhat surprised at the prices.  $5100?  Holy crap.  Then I asked google, and it told me that 1 NTD = 0.033 USD.  That led to this comparison.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday: Sushi stories

I forgot to take pictures, so I went with this strategy:
The one in back is garlic ahi.  It has X-y eyes because it's cooked.
 And here's a topical series from Buffy that I saw yesterday that also has to do with sushi:

I went to sushi at regular dinner time, which meant I had to wait for a seat to open up.  This is why I usually go mid-afternoon, so I can skip the crowd.  While I was waiting, something odd happened.  A couple came out of the movie theater (at least I assume that's where they came from).  The GF asked an old couple if they could take a picture of the two of them on her iphone.  They posed (while a half dozen people walked through the frame).  Finally, the picture was taken, he kissed her, and then went one way, while she went back into the theater.  I have no idea what was happening there.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday: Fucking space jellyfish

I mean honestly, can't they just go the fuck back to space?
I decided I wanted a panini kind of sandwich for dinner today, and came the a brilliant realization: cast iron pans are heavy.  Step one: turn oven on to preheat, ensuring cast iron pan is inside.  Step two: wait like an hour.  Step three: make sandwich, wrap in foil, put into oven, put pan on top.  Step four: Wait until cooked.  Step five: eat squished toasty sandwich.  I probably should have flipped it halfway through, as the pan cooks far hotter than the oven rack.  Still, nice strategy for hot sandwiches.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday: Snow Day!

Not a real snow day, obviously, as snow in Honolulu would be unprecedented. It wouldn't take much to shut down the city, though.  With all the steep streets around here, just a dusting of snow or ice would make it impossible to drive.
Kind of like this.
The Hawaii form of a snow day usually comes in one of two forms: potential tsunami or power outage at work.  Today was the second case.  They're still doing some sort of electrical grid work, and that requires them to shut off the entire neighborhood.  I was able to use the work-from-home time to sort out some math that was bothering me on Wednesday.  Basically, I tried to solve something using an M*N*(2 * K) algorithm, when I actually need to do a 2*(M*N*K) algorithm.  Big-O the same, but the mathematical results didn't work in the first form.  This is also significantly faster than the standard M*N*K^2 algorithm.

Yes, today is snowy picture day.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday: The Supreme Court

Specifically, killing them.

Hang on there, Secret Service.  We're doing it statistically, so it's just an math problem.  No one is actually getting hurt, and I mostly did it to see how soon it's likely that there will be a vacancy due to death.  Someone could resign at any time, and that would make a vacancy, but that's not something that can really be predicted.  Death is a bit tricky, too, but due to the fact that despite the best attempts of some people, we still have a government that collects piles of data, so we can use the cohort life expectancy data from the Social Security Administration.

From that data, we're going to use the "High-cost" columns, and use the "at age 65" data.  The logic behind this is based on two facts.  First, the majority of the difference between the "at birth" and "at age 65" expectancies is due to infant mortality and things like that.  If you survive to 65, you didn't die as a baby.  The supreme court is universally comprised of people who did not die as a baby.  The choice of the "High-cost" is that being a supreme court justice is a pretty good job, so they're likely to have good health care.  The final assumption I have to make is that people born before 1940 have life expectancies similar to those born in 1940.  The table only goes back so far, and I don't really want to extrapolate it.

The next assumption is that the probability of surviving a year is based on the logistic function, largely due to a lack of better options.  The form I chose was P(age) = 1 / (1 + exp(-(expectancy - age))).  This sets the 50% probability at the expectancy age.  I could scale it, but I don't have any good idea of how to do that, so I'm just letting that be 1.0.

Using this table of birth dates and ages, we can make the following plot:
This shows the probability that that justice is alive.  I'm sorry that this claims Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 52% dead.
Ok, using these probabilities, we can plot up the number of justices statistically alive by simply summing these curves:

This suggests that (barring the Senate being absolute dicks), Obama is likely to appoint two justices.  His successor falls into a generational gap between the Breyer and Thomas, and isn't likely to appoint anyone, even in an eight year term.  It's fairly linear over the next five terms, with about one each term.  This assumes that all newly appointed justices are younger than the current youngest, and that we're only concerned with the current set.

So again, barring the Senate being absolute dicks, we should have a significantly more liberal court within the next four years.

Batman and Robin are happy about that fact, too.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday: I'm gonna go build my own function, with blackjack and hookers!

It turns out that that's the easiest way to solve the problem at work.  The base is done, now all I need to do is ensure that this simple solution accepts and returns the same inputs and outputs as the trillion line hydra it's replacing.

"No, I'm sorry. I frankly don't care who you're listening to, I just needed something to break the ice and get you to take out one earbud.  I don't care if they sound great live, I just want to know if you have some food."
This is a mosaic.  Unfortunately, a google search tells me that it's modern, and not a wonderful relic from antiquity.  

  • Given that twitter claimed it had been defeated, and now even CNN agrees, it probably would be good for the NYTimes to remove or update the story with the title "Texas Abortion Bill Appears to Win Final Approval".
  • A lot of times, QC is just kind of meh, and I don't care about it.  Then there are times where this wonderful joke happens.
  • Twinkies.
  • Katamari Damacy!
  • I'm sorry, Martha Cheng, but you're simply wrong.
  • My first thought: "I wonder if this will actually help people not be utter fucktards at that intersection."  Second thought: "Even not at the worst of rush hour, that's going to fuck up traffic."  Third thought: "Maybe they could just send the whole state back to driver's ed."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday: pi/(2 * sqrt(sigma)) != 1 / sqrt(2 * pi * sigma^2)

That at least explains one of the three "WTF is this doing?" things I discovered today.  I'm now wondering if the errors that were observed have a clear sqrt(sigma) dependence, as this would nicely explain it.

In other good news, I think I have a decent picture queue for this week.  So much so that I'm going to throw two out today.

That's...that's just not right, Diana.

"Or, you know, you could give me some food, and then I'll give you your foot back."

  • That's not a photoshop.  They actually printed a story where Wonder Woman has to use your super powers to babysit animals.  WTF?
  • Baby Totoro.
  • I'm not even hungry and I want to eat this sandwich right now.
  • Isn't this kind of the thing that the security clearance screening is supposed to prevent?  Like, at the very most fundamental level, shouldn't the screening identify someone who only wants the job to steal secrets?
  • This happened, and this person found him.  I am devastated that I could not be the one to find the escaped red panda.  Although, knowing what I do about red pandas, it was probably less of an "escape" and more of a "got lost on way to bed, ended up outside, got confused."
  • I disagree with a lot of this article, and a number of the comments.
    • Yes, having a pantry with things is useful, but those things still don't last forever.
    • Celery doesn't keep that long in the fridge, and you can't just buy one stalk.
    • Canned soups are good to have for when you get sick.
    • Buying fresh things is good, but as above, a lot of recipes don't need an entire bunch of celery or other things, and those things are not always available in reasonable sizes.
    • Cooking all on one day is a good strategy, but it can lead to leftover burn out.  If you've had the same thing for three days, it's kind of boring.  
    • "I just don't get it when people say it's harder to cook for one than two. Just use half the portions! Duh!" Shut up, you idiot.  Not everything is easily divisible.  You can't really use half a can of tomatoes, or half a potato.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday: sushi day

Nicely cooked kalbi in the Texas roll.

Bright ruby ahi along with the other favorites.


  • Unpaid internships shouldn't exist.  Are you an accredited university? No? Oh, then you're not teaching, you're employing.  If you can't do that, you probably shouldn't be in business.
  • I'm not much of a fan of the Pussy Riot music I've heard, but their message really needs a wider audience.
  • Today's art was by Thomas Cole, as part of his "The Course of Empire" series.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday: I was going to have original pictures here, but

This is what it looks like in my neighborhood right now:
So I'm not going to be taking any pictures of the moon tonight.
Things I realized as part of this supermoon crap:

  1. I already did it once.
  2. I can use my astro 101 knowledge to point google sky directly where the moon would be, if the moon were visible through the rain clouds.
  3. I bought a mini desk tripod for my camera to replace the one that got lost in the move.  I decided when I bought it that I was going to keep it with the camera at all times, since that's really the only thing it's useful for.  I've once again lost the damn thing, which suggests I need to clean up everything to prevent myself from buying another one.

I'm pretty sure the face on the obelisk is sad because it's thinking about how that musician is totally falling to his death in a few minutes.  Alternately, it could be sad because its top is lying in front of it.  Also, what's up with the sphinx statue being cut in half?  How did that happen?

What are you doing, Buffalo?  That trampoline isn't even set up correctly!

  • Two points on this one.  1) Did you think that the average weight of the people in that picture would be pretty much exactly what it was?  2) My mom is only three years younger than Deen.  I'm pretty sure she knows that some things really aren't appropriate.  "[S]imply a product of her era," is shorthand for "doesn't feel she needs to live in the present."
  • This is the best bedroom ever.  I need an Ice King on my wall.
  • Hubert Robert drew the ruins picture above.  I guess he had some sort of fascination with painting shit all fucked up.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday: Data packing

Why would you ever pack data into an array such that for a variable length set of X_i, each of which contains a set of x_ij, would you ever pack things x_00,x_10,x_20,x_01,x_11,x_21,etc.?  That is the least intuitive way to put things together, since the location of each element of X_i is separated by the number of X_i that exist.  Because of that, today was largely spent like this:

Basically just guessing how things are arranged to figure out what's going on.
I still don't believe my results, either, which is always wonderful.  Grumble.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday: diagramming someone else's code sucks

As does not having any pictures.

  • Pandas.
  • Liberating the baked good proletariat.
  • I think this falls under the "duh" category.  Of course going from six major carriers to three over the past decade or so reduces competition and increases prices.
  • Except Pyramid Head is never found outside, if I recall correctly.
  • Other than the odd story problem wrapping, this is a pretty good problem.  The equation given in the description should make it obvious that the solutions a(t) and b(t) are sine and cosine, based on the trigonometric identity.  That also points out that the solution is an orbit on a circle.  Part (a) is just the chain rule and algebra.  The hint in (b) is just the consequence of a(t) and b(t) being sine and cosine, and tells you that b(t) is the cosine one.  (c) is just more algebra, and (d) is basically making the plot.  I like this problem.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday: I should have saved the TCBY picture

This represents the absolute nothing I have in the picture queue. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday: Choose a car name

It can either be a superhero by adding "Captain" to the start, or a robot by adding "Unit."

  • Captain Civic
  • Captain Fusion
  • Captain Celebrity
  • Captain Suburban
  • Captain Outlander
  • Unit 300
  • Unit RLX
  • Unit F150
  • Unit 4-2
  • Unit X-3
Sometimes I forget that all those damn dots at work are actually giant balls of stars millions of light years away.  Comparison of a tiny section of an image I've been working with this week and the wikisky version.  Basically everything that shows up in my image (the B&W one) that don't in the wikisky one are distant galaxies.

Well, that seems like an odd place for a TCBY.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday: After noticing that sqrt(V) looked a lot like I:

Notebook humor posts are best posts.

  • Politics links.
  • Not politics links.
    • Koffing is great.
    • Adventure Time is great.
    • Knowing that that really loud plane was probably a FedEx jet is great.
    • I haven't read this entire thing, but it seems that asking kids to "come up with solutions" to math problems is dumb.  Knowing how to add isn't really an opinion kind of thing.  I would think that any kind of math should involve two steps: first, you define the concept (draw a number line, note the position of one number, A.  Add another number, B, to that by drawing a new number line for the second value, and seeing that the sum is equal to the position of A plus the position of B), then, you explain the algorithm that provides the numerical result (you could count marks on the number lines, but by grouping things into numerals in base 10, you can skip the counting by summing each column.  Again, this can be directly related back to the number line form, so kids have both an idea and a method, and can use the idea to check the method.  This also implicitly teaches that addition is associative and commutative, and provides the identity proof).  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday: can this just be blah part 2?

Too late.
Somehow I suspect this isn't the actual quote.

  • Cats.
  • Judi Dench.
  • This is the kind of free press you'd expect from the country that Assange went for asylum.  Oh wait, maybe he's not actually all about free speech.

Because fundamentally misunderstanding physics annoys me

I just read an article where some moron is writing that people should build their own anti-satellite system to blind spy satellites using laser pointers.

Thinkgeek sells this laser pointer with a beam divergence of 1.2 milli-radians.  

Ok, fine, this page lists a few others, and it looks like the best they can come up with is a 0.5 mrad.  Geosynchronous orbit is 35786 kilometers up.  Using the power of tan(x) ~ x for small x (and noting that 5e-4 radians is fucking small), this gives a beam diameter (assuming a point source at the laser) of 17.893 kilometers.  This seems to work out to the irradiance at that satellite is something like a factor of 3.1234e-15 smaller than it is at the source.   In conclusion,

Thank you, Lois.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday: blah

Japan has fancy trains that have cats as conductors.

  • I agree.  The recent Charlie/Chocolate Factory movie was kind of lame, and didn't have the style of the Wilder version.
  • Economics.
  • "With Sanitary Paddle."  Before this, did people just scoop mustard out with their fingers?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday: simulations sometime tell you useful information

I've been trying to answer a question at work, and while waiting for a very long computation process to return a result that I can simply directly measure, I decided to write a quick script to generate a simulation.  Basically, combine a series of Gaussians in two ways, and determine how the similar the methods are.  It looks like they are actually quite different, with method A giving something reasonable looking, but method B giving something terrible that looks like the results from the previous long computation.  I think this answers the question, although I'll need to confirm with the long computation process.

It's unfortunate that method A introduces other errors elsewhere.  Wonderful.

See, this is what gay marriage is going to give us.  Space gay marriage.  Is this awesome? [Y/Y]

"I know you don't like sleeping on the floor, but I'm pretty sure there's like a whole 'let the bear sleep where it wants' aphorism.  So think of it like a philosopher.  Or something.  What I'm saying is 'go away, I'm tired.'"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday: I wrote a script today named ""

It did math.

"I'M A BEE!"

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday: Apparently pizza pictures.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday: Kamehameha Day

Hawaiian holidays are always nice.  It means I get to have a day off while the rest of the world pretends it's a regular day.  I decided this was a good enough reason to make pulled pork.
It was delicious.
Slider buns are clearly the best way to eat this, with a bit of cheese to mellow out the spice.  I think I'm finally happy to say that my pulled pork is better than any other pulled pork I've ever had.  No BBQ sauce necessary, as the rub seasons it nicely.  I suspect this is partially due to the fact that I can only buy sliced pork butt, so the meat is at most an inch and a half or so from the edge.  It's not smoked, but I think the oven way works better as it keeps all the moisture in so the meat is tender and juicy.  I did use smoked paprika to get that flavor.  Smoked paprika in addition to salt, brown sugar, and eight other spices: chili powder, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, coriander, fennel, onion powder, garlic powder, cinnamon, ginger.

I'm pretty sure supporting these points would get you thrown out of today's Republican party.

  • Only Pokemon links today.
    • The new type is fairy type.
    • Ok, that sounds cool, but Pokemon Channel was the true sequel to Hey You, Pikachu.
    • Iris's Dragonite.  I watched another episode with him today, and suspect I may need to start screencapping every scene.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday: Power Outage Day

Power outage day is the best but most random of holidays.  It's similar to a snow day, but tsunami days are also a lot like snow days.  In any case, I was able to stay home, do some errands and things, and then do statistics at things to get a result that looks good.  I still need to put words to that result, but I have the outline done at least.  Wording math is always far harder than mathing words.

Today's images for the theme: "Mid-Century Modern Is Trying To Kill You."

I wonder why the television pendulum went out of fashion.  You'd think putting a heavy appliance on a cable would be perfectly safe.

"I chose the thinnest glass, and made sure that it was curved, to ensure that there's no way for stresses to be shifted away from the point of impact.  What I'm saying is that if you breathe too hard on these windows, you'll fall to your death."

"The emptiness of this room illustrates my soul."

I'm sure that that the railing on that top level is up to code.  You could only fit an entire child through those uprights.  Plus: they have the added benefit of falling directly onto a staircase that leads directly to a dock on the water.

"I bet you a dollar you can't fit your head between the steps!"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday: Middle of four day weekend

Therefore, it's really just like Saturday, and not Sunday.

I got some groceries today, and when I came out, this Mini was parked next to me.  The dog on the left was not really happy that I wanted to put my groceries in the trunk, and continued to be unhappy as I got in and pulled out.  Calm down, dog.

The other dog just didn't care.

"Hey guys, what's going on here?"

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday: Sunset

I glanced up, saw that the sky was pink, and decided I should capture it.  This isn't as good as it was live, but I didn't want to bother futzing with levels.
I discovered how to take screenshots in Android.  Apparently if you hold the super-intuitive combination of power+volume down for a second or so, it takes the shot.  I did this because the new google search/cards thing is a bit silly.  Dear Google, I don't need to you to do follow up work on my searches.  I rarely need to "continue researching" things after that initial search.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday: Actually made it to work today.

Other than some persistent stuffiness, I think this week of feeling like crap is finally over.  Being able to cough without bracing my entire face is refreshing.

Because my DVR puts things out of order sometimes, I just saw the episode in which Iris gets her Dragonite today.  I think Iris's Dragonite may be my new favorite character on the show, as pretty much every scene he's making his "not this shit again" face.  It's like he's the only one to understand how silly things are.

Because I have nothing else to put in the picture spot today.

  • This is stupid.
  • This is stupid.
  • Apparently this is the best cleaner according to the Test Kitchen people.
  • Maybe I'm being blase to stick this in as a link instead of a post, but I was already pretty much working under the assumption that the government was spying on all the communications.  Remember how we all were unhappy about this with Bush, but the Republicans told us that it was all for making us safe?  This program was started under Bush as well, so it probably would have been nice for Obama to shut it down, that's kind of unlikely.  Picture the NSA as a bunch of kids with a cool toy.  You take away the cool toy.  They're going to be unhappy.  Duh.  I don't really think this is a step towards tyranny, although it would be a nice thing to have if you happen to already have a tyrant in place.  It is annoying? Yes. Is it perfect? Obviously no.  If you really want to be a terrorist, you don't need to have a vast network of agents communicating via secret codes and encryption.  You need two brothers, a couple pots, some explosives, and a better fucking plan than those two had.  
  • Pokemon cupcakes are cute.  I...I really want cake.
  • I'm glad I'm not the only one who has problems with this.  They can only speak in metaphors.  How do you develop a society from that?  I hate that everyone thinks this is such an interesting and deep episode.  It's shit.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday: Links

  • Pokemon
  • Not Pokemon
    • Nice to see it covered in the NYTimes, but I still think that museum looks like shit.  
    • Police dog.
    • They recently put in new chairs in the conference room.  I perpetually feel like I'm about to tip over like this.  I've also noticed that no one else takes advantage of the fact that the chairs swivel and tip.  They sit there in a fixed position, while I'm twisting around like I'm on a tilt-a-whirl.  Chairs that move are the best.
    • Interships.

Thursday: Almost healthy -or- Way too much about Pokemon

I had planned on going to work today.  Then I woke up, was beaten up by the sinus infection, and realized that wasn't going to happen.  I then spent ten minutes coughing up everything in existence as my immune system realized that although it'd won the Battle of the Bronchi, it now had to deal with all the dead crap.  Woo.  That was lots of fun.  I got ramen, which is again the perfect food for sick days.  I then did some work, although still not nearly enough for me to count this week as being productive.  Thanks, lungs.

I then worked through my DVR, and that led me to watching the episode that this gif was taken from.  Here's the summary of one of the most cracked out episodes in a long time.  I'm putting it after the break because I have 50 screenshots.

The Light of Floccesy Ranch!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday: Sinus headaches are basically the worst things ever

The theory I came up with this morning: sloths move really slowly.  When I woke up this morning, I had to move with basically the same constant velocity slow motion tactic or my sinuses would bash my skull with a hammer.  Therefore, sloths, despite being super cute, are perpetually suffering from sinus headaches.  This is a terrible fate for them.

The good news is that the headache has been going away all day, and I think I'm going to claim that I'm no longer really sick.  The unfortunate aspect of this is that I now have to try and cram four days of work progress into two.  Being sick is inconvenient.

Those people are really pissed at that squirrel.
  • It is a sad part of the movie.
  • Republicans are trying to break everything and lie about it.  Again.  Still.
  • I'm posting this just for the smile on the rocket's face.  Because rockets have faces.
  • This is a travesty.  If this happens, it will basically just be Snyder selling everything at the DIA to a bunch of rich collectors, essentially privatizing a public resource.  This isn't just the standard level of anti-democracy that he seems to love, this is a brand new level of robbing the people.