Category ArchiveMiscellaneous

Miscellaneous 03 Jan 2007 11:22 pm

New Blog Software


Should old blog software be forgotten!

I finally bit the bullet and switched to WordPress. I like that the majority of the export in my blog was PING trackbacks from various slimy enterprises. Once I edited those out (thank you emacs macros!) I was able to upload the exported data in 7 or 8 fell swoops.

Now, after deleting 50,000,000 comment spams, and several trackbacks, I have set moderation on for comment posting. So, don’t be surprised if it takes a moment for comments to arrive.

I am also toying with the notification plugin. Anyone tried it? Experiences?

There is a lot that has happened in the last month of no-posting, I shall proceed in future posts to catch up.

Miscellaneous &Philosophy &Politics 27 Oct 2006 10:15 am

Yay! First Anonymous poster

This is very exciting. Today I got my first anonymous post. Daniel Dennett was so right on the money when he told me, “Bob it’s easy to draw web traffic, just take a strong position that can’t be proven wrong or right.”
“No way Dan, that is crazy.”, I said.
Boy was I wrong — that dude is brilliant.

Miscellaneous &Programming Languages &Software 09 Oct 2006 06:13 pm

Sudoku Solver in Haskell by Bird

Here’s a cool explanation of a Sudoku solver written in Haskell.

Via The Sudoku page on the HaskellWiki

Great Outdoors &Miscellaneous 10 Sep 2006 07:24 am

Spacecraft Strikes Moon


Spacecraft strikes Moon with intense flash. Just smashing! Also, it is interesting that the dust kicked up by the impact (only 5 to 10 meters) is expected to cover a one square kilometer area.

(Via Lemonodor.)

Math &Miscellaneous &Software 29 Aug 2006 01:00 pm

Unit Conversion in OS X (or any unix)

I never realized that there was such a handy tool available at the command line before. D’oh. That is great.

FOLLOWUP: It doesn’t do temperatures, only straight multiplicative conversions. Still handy.

UNITS(1)                  BSD General Commands Manual                 UNITS(1)
     units -- conversion program
     units [-f filename] [-qv] [from-unit to-unit]

[segovia:~] bobevans% units
500 units, 54 prefixes
You have: 2 pints
You want: cups
        * 4
        / 0.25
You have: 2 imperial pints
You want: cups
        * 4.8038
        / 0.20816853
You have: 4 quarts
You want: bushels
        * 0.10742088
        / 9.3091775
You have: .25 acres
You want: feet * feet
        * 10890
        / 9.1827365e-05
You have: 

Hardware &Miscellaneous 23 Aug 2006 11:16 am – Creation: The Time Fountain – Creation: The Time Fountain This is really cool! Freeze drops of water, or make them go backwards even! This looks like a nice simple little project to build.

Miscellaneous &Software 16 Aug 2006 12:41 am

SAXually Explicit Images: Data Mining Large Shape Databases – Google Video

SAXually Explicit Images: Data Mining Large Shape Databases – Google Video was a recent tech talk at Google by Eamonn Keogh. His research is fairly ingenious. He looks at turning various sorts of information into time series data so that the extensive tools available can be used to do data mining. In particular, they have a really cool set of techniques built to do mining of shape data sources.

Here’s the abstract

The problem of indexing large collections of time series and images has received much attention in the last decade, however we argue that there is potentially great untapped utility in data mining such collections. Consider the following two concrete examples of problems in data mining.

Motif Discovery (duplication detection): Given a large repository of time series or images, find approximately repeated patterns/images.

Discord Discovery: Given a large repository of time series or images, find the most unusual time series/image.

(Found Via Anarchaia.)

Be sure to check out the other Google Tech Talks, quite a few looked pretty good, though the video quality is not that great.

Apple &Art &Miscellaneous &Software 15 Aug 2006 12:39 am

Exposé Screenshot Fractal – or – OS X Navel Gazing

(Click to see a full screen shot with a code snippet in Haskell inside Emacs)

OK. This is pretty silly, but I realized that by using Expose, and taking successive pictures of the screen, and then opening that picture and repeating the process that I could create a little fractal image.

Great Outdoors &Miscellaneous &Politics 01 Aug 2006 12:26 pm

Grizzly Man

Last night we watched Grizzly Man, a documentary by Werner Herzog, about Timothy Treadwell, a self-styled eco-warrior, and protector of brown grizzly bears.

I recommend it highly. This is after I was dreading watching it, since Treadwell was eventually killed in a bear attack. Herzog made a really thoughtful documentary though, and while the issue of his death and the gruesome manner in which it transpired need to be dealt with in the documentary, he managed to do it better than I ever could have imagined.

We originally picked the movie up because we recognized Herzog’s name, and because after just having visited Yellowstone and Yosemite this summer, we were interested to learn more about bears. Mostly, it was to see the bears. We were not disappointed in the bear footage, or the other little animals that Treadwell met in his 13 summers in the Alaskan wilderness. Herzog edited down over 100 hours of Treadwell’s footage, and I feel he did an honest, yet subjective rendering of Treadwell. He balanced outtakes, and interviews with friends, family, native inhabitants, and the eventual rescuers.

Most valuable though was the way that Herzog, and Treadwell for that matter, really prompt reflection about nature and our role in it. Should we co-habitat with giant, ferocious, wild animals like bears? Does nature boil down to cold, heartless expediency when resources like food get tight? Are we as humans destined to follow those same rules? Along with these questions, we see first-hand how different people deal with the enormous, immediate fear that bears evoke. These ten foot tall creatures with razor claws strip away the self-consciousness of the people interviewed. Treadwell acknowledged that fear and yet he spent 13 summers living among the bears. That is a remarkable response to that fear, no matter what his politics or other daemons that he was confronting.

I’ll refrain from commenting any more so as not to ruin the movie. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not interested in bears.

Speaking of not-bears, the DVD also contained a short documentary of the two days spent creating and recording the music for the documentary with Richard Thompson and a collection of studio musicians. This smaller documentary was as engaging as the main documentary. It let the viewer in on how the music was built to support the movie, and how the director works interactively with the musicians to achieve his vision. The camera work was excellent, and the exposition of the iterative process of creation, along with some of the tedium in making music for a documentary were enlightening. I have a much more profound respect and appreciation for both Werner Herzog and Richard Thompson.

Great Outdoors &Miscellaneous 21 Jun 2006 10:45 pm

Proving I know nothing about making movies

I saw this great Wolf Spider outside tonight. It’s body was probably 1.5 – 2 inches long, and each leg was about the thickness of a toothpick, albeit a bit hairier.

I wanted to post a picture of it quickly, and so once again, an unedited Crappy Movie Productions short awaits you. Be prepared. It will suck, but try to see the humor in that.

WolfSpider(warning 77mb) or here is a small version of WolfSpider(1.6mb).

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