March 23rd, 2006


Brandenburg Incompleteness Theorum

In my Bioinformatics class, I am starting to see Differential Equations play a large role in understanding the concepts. This is somewhat worrying to me because while I still have a strong conceptual grasp of Calculus, I have forgotten much of DiffEq, and while I roughly understood what was going on, I don't think I could, right now, solve any of the problems. I should probably sit down either with a good book for reviewing the stuff, or find myself a math tutor of some sort to occasionally invite to lunch when I need help on this stuff. There's no way I can dodge this bullet -- he has made it very clear that this will be on the final (and possibly starting in the next quiz!).

Right now, I have two things to look forward to. First, Shabbat 1000 is on this coming Shabbat, which sounds interesting and fun. Second, I am hopefully having tea with two rather interesting and cool gals sometime this weekend (not a date! It'll be the 3 of us checking out a "new" coffeeshop). In the slightly longer-term, I intend to visit my mom and grandparents in the Cleveland area soon, and not long after that, I will greyhound or amtrak to visit (separate trips) Columbus and New York, both to visit friends. I think, unless I find someone to date anytime soon (which I kinda doubt), I will probably do a vacation to Nova Scotia in June or July, and Wikimania this year is in August. It's good to have things to look forward to.

Also right now, in a different sense, I am doing my first backup for the critical work data for a long time. For various reasons tied to growing capacity and hardware issues, we haven't been doing backups of the RAID for many months, and I've been growing increasingly worried. I trust the hardware not to die in a stupid way, but RAIDs are designed to cope only with hardware issues, not typos or mistakes by users. Every terabyte of data that is copied to the second (backup) RAID is another weight off of my shoulders. I have a lot of rearranging to do once I have good backups of all this stuff.

I am increasingly irritated at the way, on Wikipedia, people love importing entries from old encyclopedias that are out of copyright. The information from those articles is almost always horribly out of date (inaccurate at best), it often has poor grammar, and a lot of it also has editorialising and political opinions that really don't belong. My gut feeling is that, for example, the 1911 Brittanica was an incredibly crappy encyclopedia not worth the paper it was printed on.. and I need to keep reminding myself that for its time, it was probably a good thing given that standards for intellectual/scientific integrity were not well-established at the time. In any case, even if it was good for its time, I wish people would stop being so eager to incorporate it.

I get musical crushes -- sometimes I fall in love with a song or artist's music for awhile, and roughly 60% of everything I play is either that song or by that artist. This has been the case for a very long time, since my old Diamond Rio (the original portable mp3 device!) .. or maybe before. It's been awhile since I've gotten a musical crush within the realm of classical music today, and admittedly I've been skipping past a lot of my classical music for awhile when it comes up randomly (although part of this is because I've put some "out there" classical music in my collection that I'm realising I don't like). On the way to work today, I suddenly got an awesome and deep musical crush... on Bach's Brandenberg concertos (or at least the more lively ones). Listening to it for much the rest of the day, I got the feeling that something isn't quite right with the renditions I have, so I grabbed some more, and found them similarly lacking. I have the impression that there's a wonderful joplinesque understanding of Brandenburg that's waiting to happen -- there's a deeper understanding of the way some of the pieces (particularly but not exclusively Number 3 in G major/Allegro, Adagio of the same, and Number 4 in G major/Presto) fit together that I have not (yet) heard anyone make a recording illustrating. Does anyone out there know of interesting renditions of these? It would be interesting to hear out-of-style renditions of Brandenburg Concertos too...

Mhh.. *yawn*


Consulting the Crumpled Paper

There is a sadness in completion, I was told. He sat at the fireplace, staring emptily into the flames, eyes already too stubborn to respond to the flickering. He moved his hand over the floor, the large stones flat and polished, then in parallel lines, evoking the stone and wood of the walls of the room. It is nearly done, and I nodded approvingly, the transition from house to home already occuring in my mind as I mentally placed my belongings around the rooms. He sighed, and with eyes alive again, studied my face. Having found what they sought, he turned away, discarding the fire and eventually settling on the door. Tommorow, I will be done, and will be elsewhere. I have mastered my craft, but never have I mastered Anicca. I tilted my head, and considered asking, but I could tell he was not really there anymore.

Some time ago, at a party, I took some markers, and traced the lines that felt right to make, filling the page. Patterns in the paper reflected the kinds of marking I am likely to make. I wonder at the information content in such a thing. The lines were not meant to communicate -- the moment of transition exquisite. The paper now is, while marked, as dead to me as could be. I think I must keep it only as a memory of the making, for it means nothing more.

My hair is now long enough to reach its full, naturally curly self.

I have more to say.


Slightly less-offensive posters

Of all the tales I have to tell, there are none more poignant than the tragic story of Fifi the cat's ill-fated romance with a Fire Hydrant..

Behold! I have updated the media section of my website, with some new photos. Behold as well, below, the amusing things that flowed from my markers while at aforementioned KGB party some time back...

I hereby assign the task to you, dear readers, to start riots and start killing random people because of my posters. Try to make the deaths artistic.