Friday, November 27, 2009

Swipe! (Belated)

- - -
Pretty glittery kitty! With a ball of yarn =D Mreow!

And... enantiomer Whiskers =) Or maybe they're two ends of wormhole portals, or opposite spins of an electron?

Campus-wide Thanksgiving lunch/dinner

- - -
The president of the school hosted a catered Thanksgiving lunch/dinner for students who opted to stay around on campus. Very generous of him. I have had lower and lower expectation about generosity from the people around here, so this was quite a nice surprise.

They had to divide the students into three groups: 1:30pm, 3:00pm, and 4:30pm. I went at 3pm so it was neither a lunch nor a dinner... and was totally stuffed. That pumpkin pie did me in.

Another online quiz... this time on religion

- - -
Belief-O-Matic, lol. Not too surprised there.

1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (97%)
3. Secular Humanism (94%)
4. Neo-Pagan (87%)
5. Theravada Buddhism (84%)
6. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (82%)
7. New Age (77%)
8. Mahayana Buddhism (74%)
9. Taoism (71%)
10. Reform Judaism (61%)
11. Nontheist (60%)
12. Orthodox Quaker (59%)
13. Baha'i Faith (54%)
14. New Thought (52%)
15. Scientology (51%)
16. Jainism (48%)
17. Hinduism (45%)
18. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (43%)
19. Sikhism (40%)
20. Seventh Day Adventist (32%)
21. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (29%)
22. Orthodox Judaism (27%)
23. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (23%)
24. Islam (21%)
25. Jehovah's Witness (17%)
26. Eastern Orthodox (15%)
27. Roman Catholic (15%)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Biologically-inspired choreography

- - -

This made me speechless. One could go about analyzing what each move and each gesture signifies, but the overall message is elegantly presented. Evolution aptly represented.

Reminds me of the Cirque du Soleil with their exquisite motion of artistry.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Parodical homage of classical music

- - -

Apparently a lot of songs follow the same progression! Oh man, those descending fifths. ROFL.

This is rather silly... Perhaps Igudesman is bow-poking fun at the dual Russian/Ukrainian tradition of violinists and balalaika players running in families? Aside from the example in Dr. Zhivago. And the people in the video are actually violinists :-P

Classical music needs people like him and his buddy Richard Joo... check out more of their performances on Youtube. I would go for their live concerts.

* * *

And there is of course Victor Borge, who's a classic on his own... (more Youtube videos!)

I particularly liked the Beethoven and the Mozart versions. Spot on. I was hoping for a good Liszt version, sigh... too bad. I suspect his Hungarian Rhapsody has seen many renditions of randomness in Tom and Jerry already. Aaaand we have the circle of fifth again in the J.S. Baaaaaach version at 3:15...

Farmer's market

- - -
I got some romanesco cauliflower :-) among other things. Oh, pears. Mmm pears. The Asian kind with lots of fructose.

Gonna try to be good about making my food nowadays... I think that my creative muse activity is correlated with my nutritional intake. Hmm!

[In progress] Numb3rs chronicled - WARNING: spoilers galore.

- - -
It's refreshing to see a TV series that's not all about doctors, lawyers, politicians, or a combination thereof. And it's also nice to see that certain characters' nerdiness is not objectified as an easy target for humor as in a few other TV programs. Even though the technical details are glossed over for the sake of maintaining the abstraction barrier (and for having commercial breaks), the writers have done an overall good job in presenting said technical details.

The premise is using mathematical techniques to solve crimes, but the show is not just about math -- the characterization and relationships among the characters bring life to the math and the science. As the seasons progressed, the audience can see how the characters develop, how they gain wisdom (or cynicism), and how their relationships grow.

Organic designs

- - -

Good designs should be simple, functional, and aesthetically pleasing. No surprise that many of them are Nature-inspired, considering that Nature has been experimenting for millions and billions of years... even if by trial and error.

That car design has potential. Although it'll be a whole other matter to deal with the petroleum industry and the whole infrastructure reformatting.

It's refreshing to hear him shoot down the myopic view of the corporate representative in such colorful vocabulary.

And... Work should really feel more like play. That's the ideal. I would love to visit his office, from what it sounds like.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So this is how it's gonna be

- - -
I've decided that if the Silicon Valley culture is even colder than NYC, then I will seek out everything it has to offer and take every advantage of it.

So basically, in order to stay intellectually competitive, I'll have to regimen my diet and activity level. Such as biking to the farmer's market on Sundays to get fruits and veggies. And actually eating them on a timely basis. And traversing all over this gigantic campus in whichever muscle-powered methods of locomotion imaginable. I must remember to bring camera next time.

Ugh, that ketchup stuff is really bad. No kidding. I'm not getting the fries again. Salads only. The burger itself seems okay though. Lean chicken with whole bread, lettuce, tomato, onion, and no cheese.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gratuitous nerdy cuteness

- - -
Quoted from a forum I visit.

For Valentine's day last year, he got me a website, and since he was hosting it, this following conversation occurred:

Jacque: “And you’ll have shell access to my server.”
argyl3: “That’s really really sweet, even if it is incredibly nerdy.
Jacque: “Can I have shell access to your heart?”
argyl3: “You can have root access to my heart.”

In Perfectly Imperfectly Parallel Motion

- - -
Upon the windowsill where dreams

Reach out for the branch
Descend into the mainframe
Into the symmetry of space and time

When my poetry muse has a freaking bad case of ADHD.

Why is that Touhou Bad Apple!! music video so addictive... So. Addictive. It's the Eb-minor techno thing. Emo, daaaahk and mysteeeriousss. Just like the characters in the video, even though I'm not familiar with the game. And the lyrics. I mean, yeah. Emo with a vengeance.

Need. To. Surf. Down a hydrodynamic band potential, flyyyy over the forbidden gaps, and accelerate until velocity saturation. Way too much device physics, and apparently not enough...

Going over quantum mechanics pset with a bunch of crazy people until almost 2AM does funny alterations to my state of mind, which has degenerated into a superposition of confabul-conjugated modes... none of which makes sense on its own...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Big question, turn-off, unrealism in TV drama

- - -
I realized that to create the most impact, I would have to (1) maximize job utility (i.e. not waste my life) and (2) maximize off-job utility (i.e. keep sane)...

Within (1), there are components (1a) earning potential and (1b) job satisfaction and (1c) intangible factors. I suspect (1a) and (1b) do not completely overlap, and their intersection might actually be small.

In that case, I shall have to work on (2), which translates to hobbies. As being an adult with multiple responsibilities would mean minimal time for hobbies, this is not a viable option once I'm officially in the "real-world".

Which goes back to (1). If I had Prof. Charlie Eppes-level math skills I could totally make a math model of this stupid rat race.

* * *

The only female professor in my department has blown me off twice now, after two separate attempts of trying to establish contact. I heard from one student who told me that she's quitting and going abroad for (what I deduce to be) a more lucrative job. Another student told me that she once told him to "listen to everyone and believe in no one."

Both of the aforementioned students are male. This professor only had two female students in her 10+ years of tenure. I should have known... but I wanted to give people benefit of a doubt. But this experience has really turned me off regarding a career in academia. This plus two of my respected industry mentors told me that they were disillusioned by academia, shortly after I sent my PhD applications.

* * *

Prof. Larry Fleinhardt from Numb3rs is such an idyllic dreamer and scatterbrained hippie-type that I seriously doubt someone like him would succeed as a professor in the real world. I mean, he doesn't have a house and he lives in the... steam tunnel on campus... and the new dept. head saw him coming out from cellar doors... )

Well, he's megawatt intellectually and a fav character of mine, but realistically only if he had an awesome secretary would he be able to keep track of all his professorial tasks (not to mention his FBI consulting...) A secretary who is not shared by many professors as in my department due to the economic downturn.

See, I keep my facts straight and not mixed up with fiction. But I'm increasingly incredulous at how I ended up on this giant hamster wheel with hundreds of clawing and gnawing... fellow hamsters.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Narrative shot [001]

- - -
"Alright, I'll see you around."

"Yeah, laters."

KT rotated his handlebars and pedaled off into the distance.

AV watched him. The bike turned a corner around the fountain and disappeared.

"Now, where was I?" AV shifted his field of view toward his next steps, a mesh of tuned and timed sequences of events about to cascade into explosive reactions.

His hands inched into his jacket pocket and stroked the hard smoothness inside. A creeping smile was all that's keeping him from bursting into maniacal laughter.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Muse oh muse where are you

- - -
I keep wanting to write some poems about the nanophotonics class I'm sitting in on, but I have not found the right motif...

Some keywords I thought of were:

quantum well traps, confinement, resonator, superposition modes, total internal reflection, distributed Bragg reflection,

Some possible entities for metaphoric representation:

Mirror, dreams,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Numb3rs chibi style

- - -

Ahahahaha... what an irresistible combination :-P The next best thing to plush dolls for this rabid fan anyway... I think I'm getting a little better at drawing on the tablet.