Yesterday, I finished up with the car mess after work. I was fortunate --on my way to the bus stop to begin the ordeal, I ran into a coworker, whooffered me a ride out to Monroeville. We went out there, and talked about anumber of interesting things relating Indian kultur (He's from India) andvegetarianism, with a bit of talk on Indian society. I stopped at the AAAout there, got the form for Fnord to verify my Vehicle ID (which incidentallymakes me wonder about custom cars and if they have VINs), and began to driveback to Fnord for them to fill it out. Except.. his car died in the middle ofthe road.. I felt pretty bad that it died while he was doing me a favour..I thanked him, hopped out, and ran the 4 miles (according to mapquest) toFnord, handed them the form, and drove my car back to AAA, where I renewedmy membership (was looking at more eco-friendly alternatives, but didn't findany that have coverage like AAA does), transferred the title, and got a new tag.It's just a temp tag -- I ordered a custom one that might take awhile to bemailed to me.. DACHTE. W00t! Anyhow, I then drove it back to Fnord, and theydid the safety/emissions test.. Booyah. So my car's now ready, with workingwipers... to sit for the long periods between when I typically drive it.Fun fun.
It's nice to have all my school stuff done -- normal work now feels like avacation... Some fun(?) stuff...
The effects on me of being caffeinated enough to feel it (rare for me):"I feel like a vampire is sucking my blood while gently patting my face with soft cotton."
"And thus, freed of meaning but left with the definition, the voicereverts to a musical instrument.. and as musical instruments come,it's one of the most beautiful" -- Thoughts on vocals in foreign languages
I've been playing again with voice-removal plugins for xmms.. Someoneonce explained to me how they work -- they attempt to remove certainfrequencies of sound that are characteristic of human speech. That's whythey almost invariably distort the music, and for some kinds of music,the vocals are sufficiently outside that range that they are pretty muchuntouched. Sometimes musical instruments happen to be close enough thatthey're chopped out... So that's why those manipulations are often spotty.Would it be possible to do better? Maybe. There's a topic in AI called auditoryscene analysis, where systems attempt to mimic the brain in its ability topull apart audio data into component 'sound streams'.. I took a class on it(and other topics in sensory-related AI) once at OSU.. Some of the cues normallyavailable in ASA, such as the 'sound parallax', would be unreliable orunavailable.. it would be an interesting problem, to come with a realtimeway of doing this. Maybe it's a well-understood problem though...
Some dreams..I was told by my boss to do my best to make a certain group of people happy,and they were having a meeting. He wasn't around, and there was a meetingthey wanted me to attend somewhere else, so I scheduled myself on a flightto go there.. and then I ran into my boss, and I asked him if I should go,and he thought for a sec, and decided not, so I went to travelocity'swebsite and cancelled..
Last night's dream..Howard Dean was my dentist, and I stopped by, largely because I was nervousabout something and wanted some human contact.. somehow the receptionist couldtell.. Howard Dean came in, asked me to show my teeth, and after a quick look,he said I was fine and could go, as I had been there just last week..So.. I went to my radio panel on religion, naturally representing theatheists.. there were fundies, and others, and we were all pretty casual offthe set. After the show, I was hanging out with them, and I mentionedbrother Jed, and kept trying to bring up his website,but I kept reaching other sites. One of the other panelists mentioned that theyknew him, and had fallen out of touch, but would like to hear from him again.
You never saw what you thought was there,it was just friendly wind, a bribe on nature.The chrome, the smooth surface, the clear glassrusted metal, could stop at any moment, youcould cut yourself.I wanted to be a lemon, but as appealing as it was,it was the wrong lie to tell. You actually wantedtruthful jagged edges, and I sit at the side of theroad, not sure what to make of things.
I've been chewing a bit on a particular issue in science -- theorizingbefore getting more data that confirms is considered more significant thantheorizing afterwards, to explain the data. Perhaps it's a mistake togeneralize like this, but if all the experiments possible to get at theunderlying regularities in the universe were done, with future ones justuninteresting variations on things done, would this hamper our ability to doreal science? Would we be better off going halfway, theorizing a bit, andstepping forward some more? Or is that such an alien possibility that itviolates some fundamental assumptions of science -- that our data onthings is still fairly distant from being complete.. or is there perhaps anissue with even the idea of 'sufficient for all regularities'? I'm not surewhere to go with this one.
Someone on Onion Personals had this as their headline..."To go against nature is part of nature too"Indeed.
Here's my GAIM away message that I had up while I wasworking on my term papers..In life, there are two kinds of people..The kind who trample people into a bloody pulp on their way tosuccess, and those who get stomped. Oops, and a third type who go aroundmopping up afterwards.. and a fourth, who loot the injured.. and a fifth,who try to help put people back together after they've been stomped..and a sixth, who suggest the whole stomping business is not a good way tolive life, and ... the lesson is, there are never just two kinds of people,and a lot of dualities are silly. The other lesson is that it's harder to bepithy or otherwise have a good slogan if you don't oversimplify. The otherother lesson is that I'll do anything to avoid doing work on my take-homefinal. The other .. oh, foo.
Another chewee... How are workplace relations different in academiathan in the real world.. It seems to me that, having worked for twosmall companies before coming here, I've had an unusual workplaceexperience, where I basically knew everyone in the company, and dealtwith all of them to some degree. The people at GoAntiques were probablythe friendliest people of the three, although I get along well with peoplehere, and with only a few exceptions, with the people at McLeod. Heck,even there, it was only occasional that I had problems. I'm guessing it'smainly the big businesses that one needs to watch out for, where peoplecan't get attached, and treat people like cogs in a machine.. interchangable.
A thought popped into my head a few days ago.."Love is lithmus paper for one's deep personality"Valid? Invalid? Thoughts? *chew*
A funny metaphor.."If life is a party, I'm the pinata"
I'm amused to see that Neil Gaiman has discussion questions on his website forpeople, presumably in school or book of the month clubs, to use whilereading his books. It's a good idea...
Oh, and in case any of you find my BLOG dull, try this one :)
I find complaints like this really interesting.From the same source, here's another concern about traditional valuesunder assault, in China. Of course, that phrasing has a lot moreweight for most people than for liberal folk like myself.. :)
With regards to the unofficial peace efforts between liberalpalestinians and liberal israelis in Switzerland, I haven't reallyfound it very interesting because they have little power to effectanything. Could it actually change some hearts, perhaps capture theattention of the people there? Perhaps.. and one can hope, but I'mnot going to pay too much attention until and unless the idea starts toresult in actual policy change on one side or the other.
When unions go too far..
Some more philosophy to chew on. I don't agree with the school of thoughtbehind this, but some of its consequences arn't too bad. Such is often the casewith philosophy, and like in politics when attacking a bill that does somethingdesirable badly, attacking it often looks, to emotion-minded people, likeattacking the consequences instead of the structure. Alas, some people arejust overemotional about philosophy.. it's a gross stereotype, but liberals andconservatives tend to have different ways they get disgustingly overemotionalwhen they do.. overemotional conservatives get stuffy, rigid, us-versus-them,and greedy.. yes, they turn into Ayn Rand (who, incidentally, I dislikequite a lot). Overemotional liberals, on the other hand, lose their ability tounderstand why people can disagree, value acceptance of absolutely everything,and become very fussy about language and its offensive capacities.Umm.. forgot where I was going.
Want to see something *TRULY* weird? Go here and clickon Pinpin-Land.
From a london newspaper,BRITAIN is breeding a generation of adults that will tend to beinfertile, obese and prone to mental illness, theBritish Medical Association (BMA) said yesterday.
In other words, they're making Americans.. heh heh...
Speaking of amusing comparisons, SUN, part of the coalition for theCDE (Crappy Desktop Environment, as we typically called it) on mostcommercial Unices, since deciding to adopt GNOME, apparently is nowready to take things one step further, actually marketing something thatthe open source community has been chewing on for awhile -- OpenGL-baseddesktop environments, where windows can be rotated and twisted aroundarbitrarily. They call their implementation Project Looking Glass(If you visit, be sure to see the demo).. Cool? Certainly. As innovative asthey claim? Hard to tell. I'd love to play with it, but it's $50. Hey SUN,send it to me, and I'll do a full review. That goes for anyone who has acool product, by the way.
It's so quiet here.