Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Goodbye, Pandora (?)

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Apparently I've listened to almost 34 hours this month, and that means they'll soon stop my free stream and start charging :( SIGH! I'll miss Ryan Farish and Enya, etc.

I guess I'll fiddle with the playlist of the campus music library streaming instead...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nerding out at the 'Tute

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From a Facebook wall post and subsequent commentary.

recently described someone as a perfect Lowpass filter (this person "flattens/smears" any impulse!). I am a perfect BandReject filter (I listen and act on most stuff, unless you're in my sh!t pile). I know there are many Highpass (one... who follows the micro-trends of life) and Allpass (one ear in, the other ear out. Sounds familiar who started teaching again this semester?) My question to you is: What filter are you?

it is unfair of you to make me use my brain this early in the morning - shame on you....what would Ralph think?!?

Can I be an amplifier? I make all your impulses greater.

I think our Ralph the ceramic dog would be an All-pass filter :p

does it ever get unstable?? :p

You are a nerd.

I am a washing-machine lint filter.

This is interesting--I tend to think about people in the time domain. People have different time constants of decay in response to an impulse, and all are over, under, or critically damped. And yes, sadly, some are unstable and will explode when presented with certain stimuli. This, of course, is assuming linearity and time invariance, both of which are pretty big assumptions given the complex nature of human behavior.

It'd be nice to be a Kalman filter.

To MR: I think you're definitely not a symmetric filter (in the time-domain), because you're a COMPLEX filter... (this is getting nerdier by the minute...)
To CS: Wow... Kalman filter.. that's pretty good. I think the optimal filter would be a NON-CAUSAL Weiner... I'll buy lottery tickets all the time :D

A quote from Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" (1974):
"Personal density," Kurt Mondaugen in his Peenem... Read Moreünde office not too many steps away from here, enunciating the Law which will one day bear his name, "is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth."
"Temporal bandwidth," is the width of your present, your now. It is the familiar "[delta-] t" considered as a dependent variable. The more you dwell in the past and in the future, the thicker your bandwidth, the more solid your persona. But the narrower your sense of Now, the more tenuous you are.

I am a comb filter. I perceive the world as constantly pulsating and flanging.

You need to make this a facebook quiz :)

Clearly, you also have nerdy friends :)

I'm gonna pick butterworth filter because it reminds me of pancakes. Yummm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


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A couple of old-timers here (> 4 years) said that fenders on bike is a must if biking when raining. Else it'd be like "this one girl who was wearing a pristine white dress... with a line of mud from her neck down..."

Also heard many a story about biking while carrying precious circuit projects... and two possible outcomes of subsequent accidents: (1) One guy saved his project but got really bruised and bloody (2) The entire circuit board was dragged for 50 feet, with teammate screaming in the meantime...

Those are stories that might rarely happen at the 'Tute. The following one also... probably not.

And... 25 drunk undergrads once crammed into a dorm elevator meant for 18 people. And were stuck in there. For two hours. From 1AM to 3AM... At least the help button worked.........

Monday, September 21, 2009


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It appears that things run less than smoothly here. Well, compared to the Beaver Institvvte anyway. Fifty people got ditched on the first day of class by going to the original classroom rather than the updated-at-the-last-moment one. How phenomenal is that...

The dorm plumber also made the bathtub faucet leak WORSE than it was before... it now drips into the kitchen. Apparently it was like that before I moved in. Then my roommate asked to have it fixed, but it still dripped. So I asked to have them fix the dripping and now it's a flood...

Am still putting off laundry... by washing socks this time. It's just annoying having to go to another building. Need to work out a system to maximize effective use of time...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Onani Master Kurosawa

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I was reading this series that has been dubbed a "parody of Death Note" by many, since the protagonists have the same mentality at least in the beginning... down to that particular scene...

It starts out with a perverse premise, but by Nature's folly it grows into something with surprising psychological and emotional depth... which I wasn't entirely prepared for... Apparently this has been compared to Catcher in the Rye as well.

(I seem to have a particular soft spot for moments where characters attempt to reach out but only to come short... same thing happened in One Hour Photo...)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Almost impulse-bought

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I almost bought this toy from the campus bookstore. But (1) it's magnetic and might screw up my laptop, (2) it was $30 which I consider a tad too expensive. Sigh! Although if after a few weeks I still want it, then I will buy it.

More nerdiness (physics)

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I was reading "Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics" and came across the following poem:

Cosmic Gall by John Updike

NEUTRINOS, they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
and painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
and pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed-you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.

... Hmm, sounds like someone is being a prude! Or mocking one wahaha :-P

I also love how the author of the book said that he decided to study physics rather than art history because he finds Nature's parity violations so much more seductive than any artwork.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Power naps.

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I wanna be like this.

The profs at grad orientation today talked a whole new level of nerd puns, (e.g. half-wave rectifier circuits... diodes and breakdown voltages, positive and negative cycles and feedback, VLSI architecture, network theory...) dare I say I enjoyed them? Though my favorite nerd puns are even more abstract. I feed on multi-dimensional abstractions.

When I next get a chance...

... I should totally check out NY Philharmonic at its recently renovated home. I heart orchestras. Especially really good ones. This new conductor seems refreshing. :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Life is purr before classes and stuff.

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Yeah... it's very open, this area. Like your very being can spread out comfortably on the soft grass. I haven't had any strong urge to engage in dark works of fiction like I usually do... although it's a little to early to say it now, methinks. But at least there are many serene and quaint corners around... a different kind than I experienced. More organic, I think. Less angular and gray.

A bunch of my friends from camp got together... haven't actually seen each other in like, seven years or something. Great Indian food just outside of campus. The other three people were all vegetarian/ pescatarians, so I ordered fish and we all shared dishes. It was very yum and I ate too much. And we talked about nerdy stuff and it was awesome. Funny that they called the rain last week a thunderstorm... I was like, what thunderstorm? :-P And gelato was purry. I got my fill of the Asian flavors.

I guess now I just need to feel more comfortable biking around, and also knowing when I can ride fast and when not...

Random aside: (catchy song)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rodin sculptures

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I took some photos of the Rodin sculptures...

1. Meditation

2. Martyr

3. Fallen Caryatid with Urn

4. Fallen Caryatid with Stone

5. Torso of the Falling Man

6. Seated Woman (Cybele) (Thankies <3)

7. The Three Shades (Thankies <#)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A recent dream (that was actually not a nightmare)

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'Twas in a beautifully lush and green mountain range, with ancient forests and poetic mist. A bunch of friends and I from undergrad were leap-frogging over wooden poles, and it was as easy as skipping... so I was actually having fun! I wonder what this means.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The "tall mast" yonder

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(1) Awesome song requests on the local classical station. These people have similar tastes as I do :-)

(2) Accessible Jamba Juice stores - makes me purr!

(3) The campus bike store salesman was afraid I was gonna crash the new bike... since I haven't been on a bike for at least 13 years.

(4) The architecture all looks very sandcastle-like.

(5) Trees galore, grasslands galore, flowers galore.

(6) Fresh fresh fruits and veggies galore. :-)

(7) Racks and racks of wine... :-P