Something Similar 2004/7

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2004-07-30

Music To Live In

So last Saturday I went to this charity concert at the local UCF here in BG called No RNC. The UCF rather well known for its use by many groups, including the meditation classes at BGSU. There I met some great people and heard some amazing local music. The night began with some experimental/electronic music, on to Mechanical Cat, Anadonia and Bulletteeth. Great stuff all around. Afterwards, I hung out at what apparently is called the Web House. For those of you who know Bowling Green, its the house with the red and rainbow columns on their porch. I stayed the night there and in the morning got some great pancakes made with soy milk which was an incredibly pleasant experience.

At the moment, I'm listening to the Anadonia cd that the band dropped on me. They played a fucking great set which included a cover of the Pixies "Where Is My Mind?" Their take on it was wonderful. I don't know how to describe it. The music took a softer more thoughtful tone but was able to take on the abrasive, more amplified sound of the original when it was really needed. This cd has some amazing music on it (only 4 tracks) and I'm just going to have to rip and distribute. Their original work is better than their covers. I hope Jeff N. can convince his friend, the non-singing guitarist, to get them to come back down from Detroit. I suppose this was really "pseudo-local" then, eh?

I at one point knew the names of all of the people in the band.. but then I started drinking. I remember that I really had trouble that night with the only woman's name, and somehow I've managed to make it the only name I can remember. Also, she's the only name that came up when I started googling for Anadonia. Found a short bio on Teri but nothing about the band itself besides some outdated playing times. Heh, I remember why I remembered it. She's allergic to the wheat and couldn't drink the awful keg with us and no one had any of the alcohol she could drink. Most interesting drunken conversation I saw was between the drummer and Jacqulyn about whether being forced to take a college course which is merely a repetition of material know to you is worthwhile. I happened to have a loaner laptop and a blank CD-R for Jacqulyn and Jack to get a copy of the Anadonia cd. Considering the impression they left on a lot of people down here, I'm fairly certain that Anadonia will be making another appearance down here.

Of course, I would be remiss to not say that Mechanical Cat and Bulletteeth fucking rocked as well. I merely make note about Anadonia because everybody in Bowling Green knows that Bulletteeth and Mechanical Cat kick ass and I've only recently discovered this myself. I feel silly saying how much they rock when everybody here figured that out loooong ago. If you want to see a awesome punk band and a singer getting stripped out of his clothes by the audience at the same time, then look no further than Bulletteeth. If you desire rhymes about Bigfoot and politics over electronic beats coming out of an old 8-track machine (if I remember correctly), then find yourself a Mechanical Cat performance. And make sure you comment on his costume. He loves that thing.

Sidenote: "Anadonia" appears to be a misspelling (sort of, it seems to have some history of usage) of "anhedonia" which is "the inability to gain pleasure from normally pleasurable experiences." Is that not an great name pick or what?

posted at 22:05:52    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 
2004-07-29

Linear Regression

I never knew how easy it was to make a linear best fit line.

posted at 10:15:28    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 

"Hope is on the way."

Edwards had a fantastic speech tonight. I'm hoping to find a video link of it and of the speeches from last night. I heard some of Clinton's, and Carter's but missed Obama's entirely. Damn.. must find.

posted at 00:01:04    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 
2004-07-26

Alien Hominid Site

Holy crap. Great use of Flash. Maybe its the testosterone in me but the use of explosions is freaking awesome.

Er.. the game looks cool, too.

posted at 17:15:44    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 
2004-07-24

Clubs

I really wish I understood the politics of dancing and attracting the opposite sex in dance clubs. My god. It's not like it's a difficult process. I just don't get it. Alright, I need to find a nice group of male friends to go out with, if only to observe their behavior. I feel like I'm an anthropologist trying to figure out native customs. What the fuck. It's my damn civilization. What the hell could I be missing?

posted at 02:28:16    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 
2004-07-23

Hawking and Preskill Lose Black Hole Bet

Best article I've seen so far describing the bet and how Hawking and Preskill lost it. With quotes from Hawking and an quick overview of how he solved the issue.

posted at 08:56:32    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 

ECT

Fascinating and funny first-hand account of electroconvulsive therapy. It's certainly a useful procedure. A good heap of evidence demonstrates its viabilty. As a last resort, mind you, but it can be life changing. I can only wish Moose the best.

You rock, Nukey. \m/

The rest of you should take the time to peruse the earlier posts. His writing ability is amazing.

posted at 02:19:44    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 

Deadline

Make that the 1st of August for fixing Incompletes. I really know how to fuck myself. All summer I had the chance to clean up and I start getting my act together in the past week. Damn. Options and work. Need to find some options and work my ass off. I'm so going to do this.

posted at 00:54:24    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 

Conference!

I desperately want to go to the SciPy conference even though until recently I thought "SciPy" was merely the hip way all the cool kids were talking about Scientific Python these days. Why do I want to go you ask?

Cal-motherfuckin'-tech.

The same university that has an entire institute devoted to quantum computation is holding a conference on a Python library that is really handy for working with genetic algorithms. Of course, I want to go. The airfare is free (thank you, Dad, your love of piloting has done good, once again). The accomadations and actual ticket to the conference is not. The family I have living in Cali is far north of Pasadena (it's even fun to type, not just say!) and, well, I'll be damned if it won't be $150 out of my own pocket to get in.

It does look fun though. I would fly in on Tuesday, hit up some professors and talk about their research and graduate school opportunities on Wednesday and then hit up the conference Thursday and Friday. That would be fucking awesome.

Unfortunately, I have to worry about other things. I'm just moving in to a new field of research, struggling to figure out and finish the work I need to do to get rid of the Incomplete in Wave Mechanics and trying not to freak out about how soon the deadline is for that. Yeah, that looks real nice on my transcript and my prof is going to be so happy to see me come in tomorrow. I froze up tonight thinking about it, just like I did during the school year. Yeesh.

August 6th. Fuck. That's a lot sooner than August 21st.

Sidenote: The links I posted here are actually informative instead of the normal top-level "what-the-hell?" links I normally put up. Here's to a hopefully new trend in my posts.

posted at 00:35:12    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 
2004-07-22

Scary Ballon Photoshops!

Seriously funny.

Bowser Balloon

posted at 21:57:20    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 

Quantian

Going to have to look into this one. Might be handy for those "working on the go" times. Would be nicer to have a laptop on hand instead of a bootdisk (even if the bootdisk is fuckin' A) but I can't invest in one.. yet

A scientificly remixed Knoppix with clustering capabilities (through OpenMosix). What more could I want?

posted at 19:08:48    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 

Genetic Alogrithms and Me

I'm looking into doing research with Prof. Xi this next semester under the heading of genetic algorithms (related to evolutionary computation, evolutionary strategies, genetic programming, evolutionary programming and so on). It's being used in everything from art to artificial intelligence. Xi appears to be interested by neural networks but says that the field is "wide open" to me. He handed me a book called An Introduction to Genetic Algorithms by Melanie Mitchell and told me to copy the first and last chapter of it.

"If you read the first 30 pages, you will understand 70% of the field," he told me.

Do I really need anymore motivation than that? The application of GA (or EC or ES or EP or GP) in the world of physics is not a very well-studied issue or, at least, that is what my seach for information has led me to believe so far. I'm really hoping to find some interesting uses of GAs to solve physical problems and not just engineering issues, like most efficient wing shape (though that is an interesting application).

Anyone seen anything? Oh, I should note that there are lots of libraries for working with genetic algorithms. Scientific Python SciPy seems especially nice, if only because I really enjoy writing Python code. Unfortunately, it depends on ATLAS and since I'm a developer at Lunar Linux, I'm trying to build ATLAS from source so that I can write up a BUILD to add to our moonbase. As of yet, ATLAS is kicking my ass.

I think I might just cheat when I come home from my study time and install one of the binaries at the SciPy site. Ah well. The things I must sacrifice for the sake of science.

Update: Scientific Python and SciPy are not the same. Yeesh.

posted at 17:37:04    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 

ATLAS' Make

<rant>
I hate ATLAS' method of building from source code. It's the most cumbersome, pain-in-the-ass system I have yet to meet. Instead of being able to pass what kind of optimizations I want through a normal ./configure; make, I have to use this thing they call xconfig that requires you to interact with it. Not only that, but it doesn't automatically add in LAPACK support if you have the libraries. You have to fucking run ar and cp by hand to get the "complete" ATLAS install but depending on what architecture (Athlon/Pentium/etc) you compile the library for, it goes into a different directory. Argh! What is this? 1976?

I appreciate the amount of work that went into this, but couldn't they have made it just a bit easier for those who need/want to use source based distributions?
</rant>

posted at 00:01:04    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 
2004-07-21

Do More With Less Python

I always manage to forget about map() and reduce() when writing code and I managed to be totally oblivious to filter() and list comprehension. I feel very silly for missing these wonderfully elegant bits of code but very happy to see them all elucidated in one article. Wee!

posted at 19:00:16    #    neural activity []    trackback []
 
2004-07-20

How to Be a Good Graduate Student

Excellent article. I especially like how its organized like a HOWTO. It goes deep into what is expected, what should be expected, questions to ask, information to get, and things to do while becoming and being a graduate student. This one goes in my Solved Problems bookmark folder.

posted at 22:10:08    #    neural activity []    trackback []
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Tearing at the veil between art and science with every poorly written post.

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© 2004, Jeff Hodges