This Day In History: 03/04

Monday, March 04, 2002

The first of three composition faculty candidates was at school today trying to convince people that he was right for the job. Emphasis seemed to be placed on his morning session teaching secondary dominants to freshmen, reinforcing the general consensus that composers are just retarded theorists who happen to write in their spare time. He seemed to be an amicable enough fellow despite his tendency to overexplain and not look people in the eyes, but I can't really judge his qualifications for the job from just a couple hours of contact.

First Ginger and now this... why don't people just stay home?

The cynic's approach to lyric poetry :
"The poet William Matthews (1942-1997), ... once offered ... what he called 'a short but comprehensive summary' of all the subjects for lyric poetry.

    1. I went out into the woods today and it made me feel, you know, sort of religious.
    2. We're not getting any younger.
    3. It sure is cold and lonely (a) without you, honey, or (b) with you, honey.
    4. Sadness seems but the other side of the coin of happiness, and vice versa, and in any case the coin is too soon spent and on we know not what.
    "

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Tuesday, March 04, 2003

What numbers do you see in the random dot patterns to the left?

If you're normal, you'll see 25, 29, 45, 56, 6, and 8, although some may be easier to see than others. When I look at this same test, I can see 25 clearly and a thin-line outline of 56. The rest of the circles are just filled with random dots. That's because I'm red-green colour-blind.

It's hard explaining colour-blindness to people sometimes because they just don't get that concrete concepts like red and blue could ever be seen differently. I've always wondered how to show colour-normal people what I see when I look at tests like this and finally came up with a solution. I put the image into Photoshop and isolated the image into channels of red, green, and blue. When I isolate the red channel (the receptors I seem to be missing), I can see all the numbers clearly, as you all probably see it normally. When I remove the red channel completely, I get the image that I normally see.

Follow this link to see the test through my eyes . Note that this isn't a perfect solution, because the channel isolation does not give a full colour picture. Instead, it creates a black and white contrast shot that shows the varying levels of a particular colour. So when you follow that link, realize I don't see things in black & white -- there are definitely visible colours, but its anyone's guess as to whether my interpretation of red matches yours. For comparison, here's the contrast shot for a 'normal' person .

tagged as random | permalink | 0 comments

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Something about this situation rubs me the wrong way: . If you're living in a link-free environment, the news story is about an underage drunk driving death in which another student was charged with buying beer bong parts which the driver used.

Ignoring the death, which I'm not trying to argue was deserved, these charges seem to be a weak attempt to place the blame somehow to appease the living. Yes, the 18-year-old bong buyer plays a small part in responsibility for the accident and subsequent death, but it also seems like people are not willing to fault someone who has died, as if they become a saint as soon as they're gone (and not just in this specific example).

Here we have a girl who should be old enough to know right & wrong or smart & dumb. She's a member of Students Against Drunk Driving, and yet she drinks five beers out of a beer bong and drives off, seriously injuring an innocent driver on the road who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. People can argue that the bong buyer was at fault, or the beer company was at fault, or her friends were at fault for letting her drive, or peer pressure was to blame, but at the end of the day, this girl was the one who made the conscious decision to drink. Her death should not absolve her of the responsibility for her actions. The bong buyer might be the shadiest character you'd ever meet, but racking up charges against him will change nothing.

And yes, I would feel differently if the bong buyer were replaced with a drug dealer or a direct source of something illegal, but we're talking about a funnel and some tubing here. At some point, our forgotten friend, common sense, needs to take a more active role in life and law.

Thoughts? Am I a leftist commie with no value for human life? Please share.

In lighter news, I archived the site Cheney Daily: Daily Thoughts from the Most Powerful Man in the Free World for posterity. The site closed over a year ago, and I put it back together from the Internet Archive. Sadly, I'm missing the last four months of the tale, but you can read what I have here .

Yesterday's notable search terms:

    miracles in the aeneid, aeneid miracles, "miracles" "aeneid", miracles "aeneid", miracles aeneid, miracles in virgil's aeneid, miracles on aeneid, miracles aeneid bible, marge schott bonuses candy, waiting at toll booths, antigone is not pusillanimous, hippopotomonstroesquipedalian

Looks like some high school teacher just assigned Aeneid as an essay...

His pants could have been down because he wasn't feeling well.
Election Judge in Baltimore County
Teacher resigns after duct-taping boy to desk
Sam & Max Freelance Police cancelled

Sam: "I'm Sam. He's Max. We're in a race against time."
Max: "And we're barefoot."

tagged as newsday, deep thoughts | permalink | 7 comments

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Afire: (adj.) Intensely interested; on fire

My Composition (0:28 MP3)

This was originally going to be a work for "Jay-Z and Violas", dedicated to Brianne's new tot, but most of Jay-Z's music tends to be a mishmash of beats and vamps underneath lyrics which he doesn't even write down. Since I am obviously not a lyricist , I realized I would have to take a different approach, so I crossed a house beat with a disco vamp, threw in a bari sax (because it's the coolest sax) and added a viola with Samuel-Adler-approved double stops.

No doubt, Jay-Z would be proud.

World surprised that autobiography about being raised by wolves is fake
Moms brawl at Chuck E Cheese
Monks told to get off the Internet

tagged as museday | permalink | 5 comments

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Busy at Work Day

A haiku for you:

This is not really a haiku
But I bet you will
Count the syllables anyhow.

Nokia phone still works after a week in a fish
Building frustration explodes into sex shop
Prank call leads to chemicals and urination

tagged as random | permalink | 2 comments

Thursday, March 04, 2010

The view from our balcony at the Casa Cubuy Eco Lodge, in El Yunque National Rainforest

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, March 04, 2011

List Day: Work Phrases That Need a Makeover

  • a "one-stop shop" for [features]: You never really needed to access all of these features at the same time, but now you can!

  • these slides speak to this topic: Holy crap, a talking muffin slide!

  • let's touch base tomorrow: This sounds slightly dirty.

  • we need to pull the trigger on this: Save two syllables with "Let's stop dicking around."

  • OBE (overtaken by events): This means that we waited long enough to solve a problem that it went away on its own and saved us some effort.

  • we'll leverage our existing resources: We're actually going to use our resources, not exert pressure on them until they quit.

  • do you have the bandwidth to support this?: If work is measured in throughput, then some peoples' latency is out of control.

  • let's take that offline: No one else cares about that.

Sony apology over Japan boy band Kishidan's Nazi gaffe
Letter arrives 66 years later
Spider web fire risk prompts Mazda6 recall

tagged as lists | permalink | 5 comments

Monday, March 04, 2013

Weekend Wrap-up

I had a pretty quiet weekend, during which I put in some overtime, had a parent dinner for my Dad's birthday, and finished the second season of Justified. Looking ahead, I'm excited about this potential snowfall we're expecting on Wednesday. However, I dislike this habit we've gotten into of naming our snowstorms before they even arrive, and picking crappy names at that.

I'm sure that it took all of two minutes to invent "Snowquester", but the official rules of the science of "mashing words together" require that the two words share a first syllable sound (snow + mobile = snobile). You can't just replace random syllables in the word, which is why the annual "Howl-O-Scream" event at Busch Gardens is not worth attending. Plus, "Snowquester" sounds like a failed Apogee game from the early 90s -- fifty years from now, when we're telling grandkids about the snowstorms of yore, we'll need temporal names like "Blizzard of '09".

How much snow do you think we'll get in Sterling? Vote in the Poll on the sidebar. Winners get an envelope of locally harvested snow hand-delivered to my trash can.

How much snow will Sterling get in the Blizzard of '13?

None (1 vote, 20.0%)


0.01" - 2" (1 vote, 20.0%)


2.01" - 48" (2 votes, 40.0%)


More than 48" (1 vote, 20.0%)


An earthquake (0 votes, 0.0%)

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 3 comments

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Invention Day: The Pedt Saver

In the days before domestication, dogs and cats knew that our fleetly fleeing feet were often the deciding factor between an empty stomach and a tasty human for dinner. Some of this knowledge has been genetically passed down since then, as pets today know exactly where to sleep on the bed to cut off all circulation to your feet. There is the direct pressure approach, where a pet sprawls directly across your feet and flattens them down into perpetual gymnastic poses, and there's the indirect approach, where a cat sleeps on either side of your feet, tightening the covers into a binding to eliminate any chances for you to get away or get comfortable. These tactics are a thing of the past with my new Pedt Saver device!

The Pedt Saver is a mattress attachment that ensures sufficient space and airflow around your feet at all times. The base is made of metal to prevent breakage, and the arm is made of plastic so you don't accidentally touch cold metal in the middle of the night. Simply insert the Pedt Saver underneath your mattress, and then adjust its height with that classic button-and-hole mechanism that always seems like it's going to hole-punch your thumb. Finally, make the bed normally and enjoy all of the extra foot space it provides!

You will marvel at how much better your feet and circulation feel in the morning after a refreshing night's sleep under the Pedt Saver. It will be the most fun you've ever had pitching a tent in bed.

Support my Kickstarter today!

tagged as inventions | permalink | 3 comments

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Memory Day: Poker

Nine years ago today, I had the first Texas Hold'em Game of the 2006 series. Poker was just starting to gain in popularity in my "circles" (which I invented before Google+), so this tournament was nothing like the highly organized games of later years. I originally expected this to be an eight-person game so someone must have dropped out at the last minute, probably Eric B.

2006 would ultimate end up being a 6-game series in which I never ranked higher than second place, as evinced by the game record I kept on the whiteboard all year long. To rectify this, I have reranked everyone who played in this historic first game in order of the last time I saw them.

I win!

tagged as memories | permalink | 3 comments

Friday, March 04, 2016

Stufff in My Drawers Day

This is an excerpt of Senior Superlatives from my high school newspaper.

In 1996, no one thought it peculiar that the blacks would be athletes and the whites would succeed. Also, the lone Asian winner was voted in for "Best Hair".

tagged as media | permalink | 3 comments

Monday, March 04, 2019

Weekend Wrap-up

On Friday night, we had a family dinner at Chuy's and got there in time for the free queso and beef dipping bar.

On Saturday, Sara and Carl came to visit after a four hour flight delay from Minneapolis. We celebrated with Car and Ben by drinking creme-brulee-themed craft beer and eating fancy cheese.

After a dinner of stuffed peppers, the night got wild with a 1000 piece puzzle full of earth tones. Maia acted like a Chaos Monkey in the logical sorting of puzzle pieces.

On Sunday evening, Sara and Carl were out and about so we went to Tammy's for a lasagna dinner amidst the rain-that-should-have-been-snow.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Construction Day: Screen Porch, Part II of II

Continued from Part I

The porch is complete!

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, March 04, 2022

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Encanto (PG):
Disney's latest animated movie tells of a Colombian family where every person has a magical power except the protagonist. The movie is pleasant and the music is clearly in Lin-Manuel Miranda's style. The rapid patter style is fun, but makes it much harder to learn the lyrics or relate the words to what's going on in every color-packed fast-cut scene. We finally let Maia watch it because some of her school friends had seen it. Her favorite character is Isabella, although she requested that we skip some "sad" parts towards the end. On Disney+.

Final Grade: B

Onward:
Onward is a recent (pandemic era) Pixar movie of two elves that go on a quest so they can spend a single day with their dead dad. I actually enjoyed this a little more than Encanto as it weaves D&D / Warcraft influences into a road trip movie. We will probably let Maia watch this once she's watched Encanto another 100 times. On Disney+.

Final Grade: B+

Dexter: New Blood:
The Dexter series puttered out with a horrible ending almost 10 years ago and, based on the fact that this is a continuation, it's no longer a spoiler to reveal that Dexter is still alive. I watched the first episode of this new season for free on Amazon Prime Video but found nothing intriguing that would make me want to continue with the rest of the season. Online reviews suggest that this season provides a better final wrap-up than the original series finale, but that is a very low bar, and not worth my money. On Amazon Video.

Final Grade: Not Rated

The Witcher, Season 2:
I gave the first season of this show a C- and only started the second season because there was nothing else new worth watching. I gave up after two episodes -- beyond some cool special effects and horror imagery, there's nothing in any of the parallel stories that pique my interest. On Netflix.

Final Grade: Not Rated

tagged as reviews | permalink | 1 comment

 

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