Tuesday, December 19, 2006

One Picture A Day

So, apparently there was a one picture a day video making fad that I completely missed. (I think I miss them all, and that's okay by me.)
At any rate, this is definitely worth a minute or two of your time:


It's especially worth a couple minutes of my not cramming studying for exams time. 22 hours from now, I'll be done with all of my undergraduate studies forever! Woot.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Wacky Google and Saving $

1st of all, Happy Belated Birthday to me :)

I haven't posted much lately, I have a backlog of wacky web findings - I think I found something about DNA barcodes? - and also google not only now owns blogger somehow but increasingly the rest of the universe - but I'll have to dig them up at a time when I'm not just procrastinating. For now I will only indulge my bargain-hunter-ness :)

A certain thoughtful and generous Mossy Blog owner got me a thinkgeek gift certificate for the Bday! a Whoo-hoo event enough already, but then in the process of trying not to pay for shipping and googling for coupons, I ran across this.


At first I thought, this has to be a pyramid scheme? But I googled into it further, and it appears legit - and makes a lot of sense in the context of affiliate marketing.
Internet marketing is a wacky, complex, and often expensive business, it even makes a business out of advertising *itself*. Basically banner ads and ad-blogs and all sorts of permutations thereof exist.
I gather the idea here is, instead of paying a banner advertiser etc per click-through or per purchase, bigcrumbs pays *the customer*, and also lets the customer profit from further advertising.
And they gave me 6.3% cashback from my thinkgeek purchase. With a giftcard to pay for it, it's not just cash back, it's free money :)

Sunday, December 17, 2006


I was quite entertained by this movie, I would recommend it, but then again, I've always like Mel Gibson movies. (No, I didn't watch Passion of the Christ).

At anyrate, the movie opens with this quote:
"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."
- Will Durant

which I think, along with the general plot of the movie, is quite fitting for this day and age. Go Hollywood and your social commentary.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tom Bihn shopping

One of the things I take most seriously in my life are my bags. I'm not your standard purse toting sort of girl, and after putzing around with some canvas bags from the local army navy store, I bought a bag from Tom Bihn. The Medium Cafe Bag is awesome, it just fits a folder with my papers and one or two small books for class, as well as gum, cell phone, pens, flashcards, and wallet.

Now that I'm looking at finally getting my Mac Book Pro, I'm turning again to Tom Bihn for my laptop case, and found this interesting tidbit that has me completely sold: Apparently some of the bags have a
Treason Tag, which hides the statement "We're sorry our president is an idiot. We didn't vote for him." hidden in French amongst the washing instructions.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween from Indiana Jones

My halloween costume this year was Indiana Jones, which was remarkably easy to do since I already had boots, slacks, a button down shirt, a whip, and the hat. I went out and bought a couple belts and a Indy looking bag, and all was well.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Overheard in State College

Girl 1: "What are we going to do if the party is cancelled?"
Girl 2: "What party?"
Girl 1: "The one with all the floats."
Girl 2: "The parade?"
Girl 1: "Yeah.. the parade."

Ahh, homecoming, how I will not miss you at all.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Railroads will save the world

I was very excited this morning to read this article in USA Today. I spent all day excited about it, and even showed it to some people, who were decidedly Not As Excited (tm) about it. This is probably the best news that I've heard all month.

The article is talking about Norfolk Southern Railway, which is updating some railroad tunnels and bridges as part of a new rail corridor from Norfolk, VA to Chicago. Points to take home with you from the article: The federal government is paying for over half of the project out of funds earmarked for highways. (Various state governments are also contributing money to the project.) The new corridor can handle trains that are double stacked with standard size containers (the same ones used for shipping all over the world), saving shippers around 500$ a container. With double stacked trains, Norfolk can actually make money. One train "replaces about 300 trucks".

Now, why are trains so important? Trucks are a terrible and inefficient way to transport goods. (By inefficient, I mean both physically and economically) Trucks get involved in many accidents on the highways. Trucks cause congestion on highways. Trucks damage highways to the tune of millions of dollars a year: one truck driving down the highway does the damage of 10,000 cars (Schwartzman). [Think about this: 1 Train = 300 Trucks = 3,000,000 Cars = lots and lots of your tax and toll money saved] Tires on pavement are way less efficient than wheels on tracks, not to mention that you're basically moving each item separately and with a diesel engine. Trucks pollute orders of magnitude more than trains, especially when you look at pollution per pound of goods transported, and in light of global warming, this is especially important. Trains are cheaper than trucks, these days, cheap transportation is everything.

Really, I'm mystified by the fact that we don't use trains much more than we do, in fact, we use trains even less than we used to. It just doesn't make sense in any way. Trucks should be limited to local delivery, the rail infrastructure should be updated and expanded, and something really has to be done about Amtrak. At any rate, you can see why this made me so happy. I hope this is the beginning of a new trend. Thank you, Nick Rahall, keep up the good work.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Princess Layla the Bubble Killer

Just a quick post, to introduce Layla, hunter of bubbles. She has to catch every one, and we need more bubble solution to help burn off her excess energy.

This is one good photo I took out of 40. She decided to play Blur the Picture.

I think it might be a favorite game of hers. Others include:
  • Steal Stella's Shoe and Prance Around With It
  • Chase the Ice Cube
  • Run Flying Puppy circles Across the Room for No Apparent Reason
  • Leaping Lick the Face
  • Wrestle the Kitchen Rug.

Now all we need is the flying cars

The future is now! As we were just saying on the phone :D

First of all, Philips introduces "Lumalive" Fabric, which is just, as a concept...


There's also a youTube vid.

Now if only they could crank up the resolution... but still.

So as I was saying - the future is, kinda, now. Ipods have finally gone way down in price, *and* are with video. In 2003 my parents paid $500 for a 3rd gen 30GB! Playstation 3 and the next Nintendo system (HTH does one say "Wii" and not sound like an ass..?) are actually finally COMING OUT. Wikipedia is for better or worse becoming the effective repository of all human knowledge, which gives me oddly giddy geek I-told-you-so feelings for some reason, and mapquest and maps google have totally changed the way everyone I know navigates. And you can zoom in on your HOUSE. Our neighbors have some crazy pools apparently. Suddenly *everyone* has a site on the internet, thanks to MySpace & co., no matter how
Ba-Dong the design can be.

Google has become a freaking VERB.

And of course there's the Best ScreenSaver EVER - Electric Sheep.

Now you don't even have to download nuthin to see check it out, although personally I think in terms of sheer *pretty* the current flock WAY outstrips these videos. I just found that some of the sheep guys are now on MySpace - They have some youtube stuff, and some google vids. (Tons of free video and image hosting - yet another flyingCarsIsm.) Also hifisheep.com did what *I* was wishing for all along.

Creator of Electric Sheep on MySpace

He also has a google vid somewhere where he did a lecture at google, it was lengthy at an hour long, but so very informative. It answered a ton of questions I had about the sheep.

Awesome Sheep designer's myspace

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Opposite of a desert tree at sunset

I've been looking through pictures tonight, a little cruise down memory lane, and found this one, which I always meant to put up somewhere. I think it's a unique sort of play on the familiar desert tree picture. The background is the shops along college ave, picture taken in a winter storm twilight at penn state, 2005.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Research Project

I'm doing an undergrad research project on combining social bookmarking information with internet search. I'm trying to determine if adding tags to search results speeds up the process of finding the page you are looking for. Please help out by filling out this 5 minute questionnaire, I need all the responses I can get.



I've taken a couple Aikido sessions with Penn State's local Aikido club, and I have to say that it's a lot more interesting than I originally thought. I've always been big on cross training, but Gung-fu always has the sweet spot in my heart. Gung-fu and all the other circular arts resonate with me much more. (I guess I'm just not a brute force linear kinda girl) At any rate, Aikido seems to have perfected the circular-ness of martial arts. It's so good, that even having some experience in martial arts (though I'm still very much a beginner), it still seems like magic when you execute a move right, and your partner just falls over. (Likewise, when someone gets a move right on you, and you find yourself on the ground) I also really like Aikido manner: they don't have any aggressiveness to them at all, no hands up in guard position stances, they just chill out and wait for the attack to be their opportunity. I'll have to drill breakfalling more, so I don't break any more collarbones, but I definitely suggest anyone that's into martial arts to at least try Aikido out, or practice with an Aikido student and let them show you what it's all about.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Disturbing things in the newspaper

I picked up a copy of USA Today to browse over lunch. (Apparently the new policy of not eating or drinking in classrooms means that people aren't leaving newspapers around for me to read second hand) It's been a while since I had the time to look in a paper, and I was surprised as some things I found in there. The article on higher education statistics, for one: The US only has a 35% college participation rate, and a measly 17% completion rate. 17%! I assume that community colleges and the like are a larger part of this than Penn State, but that still seems like such a low number, especially coming from my point of view. Craziness.

The other thing that I thought ridiculous: A book review of 'World War Z' by Max Brooks (review by Deirdre Donahue). I've never heard of the book, but zombies are always interesting, unless you say this about the book: "Brooks' clever premise is that a virus has turned people into the undead. Hordes of flesh-devouring zombies roam the earth, hunting down and infecting the living. Governments, armies, doctors, economies collapse in turn." Wow, how original and clever! Wait.. I must have missed something, that's the same premise of every zombie story I've heard of. (Doctors collapsing?) I'm going to go ahead and assume that Brooks' way of telling the tale might actually possess "more creativity and zip than entire crates of other new fiction titles", but still.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The strange thoughts one has late at night

So, I've been really sick recently, one of those colds that hits you hard and takes you down before you realize what's going on. Also, I can't sleep. I'm a night person, so I'm actually feeling pretty good right now, and not sleepy at all.

Anyways, I got to thinking about drugs, which led to thinking about yuppies, which got me to thinking about the idea of 'normal'. I don't know if this is a phenomenon elsewhere in the world, my thought is that it's localized to the good old US of A. Now, everyone has different reasons for this, but I've never met a person who thought they were anywhere near normal. (If you don't believe me, name one person who doesn't think their family is crazy) I think this is the secret behind the Power that the Media has over people (Americans?). All these trends and things, the crazy stuff people will believe, people following the big names in entertainment closer than, well.. anything important that's worth following, you get my drift. It's just a whole bunch of people striving for some non-existant normalicy, which the Media will apparently show them, with the zeal of moths to flame. Okay, it's kinda obvious, but the key here is Yuppies, damnit. Or maybe it's the Tylenol PM.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Google Maps version 2

In a previous post, I complained that google maps only displayed points on one world map tile at a time, so if you had it zoomed all the way out, and scrolled around, the points would dissapear from one view of the world, and reappear on the next one over. They fixed that, so as you scroll across the pacific ocean, the points migrate themselves over at an appropriate time. It's nice, I like it. Actually, I really like everything they did in the version 2 API, at least as far as I've worked with it.

Hopefully my mysterious problems where the maps only seem to work reliably on my own computer will also go away.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Paul Graham: How to Do What You Love

Good article on .. how to do what you love. Okay, obvious bits over with, I've always liked Graham's articles. I wish more people understood that liking what you do it extra important. Especially this bit: "You have to like what you do enough that the concept of "spare time" seems mistaken."

It jives very much with the fact that I just finished the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (also, very good).

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

No Updates?!

Ah, it's been a while. I think I wrote a couple posts, but it must have been in my dreams because they are certainly not up here. Oh well. Life is busy, but good.
Python, my dearest, I have not forgotten you! (Even if I'm not dragging my butt to Texas for PyCon) Still letting that R.A.T. idea simmer in the back of my head.
In other news, Halo 2 is addicting.
In further, and also other news, I'm trying to muster up some inertia for a webcomic. I know you guys think I'm joking, but I'm serious. If these guys can make their own decks of cards, then there's gotta be some left for me.
Back to studying latin..