l33tminion: (L33t)
As a parent, there are some words and phrases I've found myself using more often. Here are a few of them:

Hygiene - Restoring the baby's environmental containment to normal operating parameters.

Containment failure - At the very least, the baby needs a change of clothes.

Good end / bad end - Ranked based on whether a noise emanating from that end is likely to cause us more work in the immediate future, e.g. "Did that noise come from the kid's good end?"

Discombobulated - Efforts to fix whatever is causing discomfort are impeded by just how uncomfortable the kid is (e.g. she's too tired to eat or too hungry to sleep or too generally or just needs to calm down before she can feed properly).

Hangry - That baby-carrier ride had better come with food, or else. The emotion that leads the kid to try wildly ineffective nipple-seeking techniques like head-butting whichever parent is in range or wildly thrashing her head from side to side.

#badmom ("Hashtag Badmom") - Running joke about whether one thing or another would lead us (or, society being what it is, Julie in particular) to be judged unworthy by this generations' parenthood commentators.

Crankster - "Nice day you're having. Would be a shame if some inconsolable crying were to happen to it."

Working on something - Reason why the kid is making funny faces or otherwise acting uncomfortable, generally the "something" is a challenging bit of digestion.

Babingress - Taking the kid for a stroll around town while playing my favorite mobile territory-capturing game.

Adventure mode - In a hold that allows for an excellent view of whatever interesting thing is in sight. In the last week or two, the kid has started to really like this sort of hold.

Little bear - The kid, when she is full of determination (mind the claws!) but also cuteness.

The cutest barnacle - The kid, when she really wants to be close.
l33tminion: (Mad Scientist)
This week at work: All Flights Summit, a team event for everyone on the broader Flights team. Unfortunately, this lacked one key element of an offsite for those of us in Cambridge, but it was cool to see more of our Mountain View and Zurich colleagues in person, and maybe we'll get a farther-away offsite next time. Still had a lot of interesting talks and fun team social events.

This Saturday evening, went to BAHFest, a science comedy event organized by Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic artist Zachary Weinersmith. Contestants compete to put forward the best (and funniest) ad hoc evolutionary bio theories, supporting their hypotheses with a quantity of SCIENCE and quality presentations. The winner receives a trophy of a skeptical-looking Darwin saying "I guess so?", among other prizes. The winning hypothesis this time was that brain development in humans originated as a way to mitigate the negative effects of alcohol, setting off a virtuous cycle as more intelligence made it possible to obtain more alcohol. Others included the theory that the evolutionary benefit of prominent nipples is to act as eye-spots that intimidate predators, that fish whose larvae grow up far from the parents improve their fitness via this adaptation mainly because fish are terrifying (and cannibalistic!) parents, and that sleepwalking evolved as way of providing prehistoric endurance hunters (and stressed-out modern humans) with some additional nocturnal exercise.

Also managed to get in a brunch under the grapevines at Neighborhood before things get cold and their patio is closed for the winter.

Paperwork marathon continues. If all goes well (and we're really getting to the point where all had better go well), I will officially have a new place to live come Friday. Have started in on the earliest stages of pre-moving chores.
l33tminion: (Criminal)
For those following the story of crooked Jon Corzine or the state of Wall Street in general, read this. Damon Runyon would be proud.
l33tminion: (Hee!)
The Onion has been on a roll with their politics coverage lately. Some articles:
Democrats, Republicans Celebrate Pitiful Excuse For Common Ground
Drunken Ben Bernanke Tells Everyone At Neighborhood Bar How Screwed U.S. Economy Really Is

And finally:
Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition

(Edit: It occurs to me that my definition of "light-hearted" may be a bit distorted given the context of the past few weeks.)
l33tminion: (Doom)
Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has recently come under criticism for being on vacation during the country's severe flooding.

Contrast how Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia is handling the current spate of wildfires: He's extinguishing them personally.
l33tminion: (Caffeine)
Back from Cleveland and, since I was at work late and unable to resist the sweet allure of late-night iced coffee, up late. As usual, there are lots of things I want to blog about, but so little time, so mini-stories with links, GO!

Here's a video about expected value, why people are bad at estimating it and therefore bad at making rational economic decisions. But the guy misses something big when discussing the lottery, namely the Kelly Criterion, highlighted in the article Do Not Play the Lottery Unless You Are a Millionaire. Basically, if you're gambling with a good expected value (say a coin flip where you win twice your bet when you win and lose your bet when you lose), you shouldn't invest too much of your money. Obviously, if you bet 100% of your bankroll, you're flat out of luck the first time you lose. When applied to the lottery, it means that the answer to "when you should play the lottery" is not when prize times odds is more than the cost of a ticket, it really is never unless you're already exceptionally rich.

Two very different musical YouTube links: One on a young piano virtuoso (next Mozart is probably overblown, but it is awesome) and one... well, just watch it.

About GM, now a subsidiary of USCo, evidently (which is giving the Republicans a stroke): It seems that this crazy variant of Chapter 11 bankruptcy is going to be heinously expensive and probably just a stalling measure... but possibly a more effective stalling measure than Chapter 11, which could be good, a rapid collapse of GM would really ripple through the economy in a bad way. More interesting is the question of what the reorg means for (more) fuel-efficient cars (summary: it's decidedly mixed). But that may be missing the point a bit, are Americans going to be really gung-ho about buying new cars en masse anytime soon, Congress's proposal to throw more massive amounts of money at the problem aside? (I'm not sure whether to be horrified at that one or hopeful because at least some dramatic options are being considered, although there's no chance in hell the government will use it's influence to convert that spare industrial capacity to making windmills or trains or something crazy like that.)

Magic: The Gathering is doing a major rules rewrite for Magic 2010 (their major core set change, core sets now get new cards, are treated as full sets, and are numbered by year). It's actually a pretty great example of game design. Interesting Only If You're Familiar With the Game )

Slacktivist has a long-running series deconstructing the Left Behind books, and this post is particularly good, because it gets at the curious subtype of the belief in "salvation by faith alone" (a sort of "salvation by faith in salvation by faith alone") that some American evangelicals seem to hold. Be very suspicious of anyone who quotes Ephesians 2:8-9 but not 10.

If you have more time to burn after reading the above, I suggest this game, it's good.
l33tminion: (Default)
I know I've posted too much on the bailout situation, but Wondermark has the best take on it yet, so good that I had to share it:

l33tminion: (Evil Laugh)
Jack Thompson, that raving, unprofessional, maniac of a lawyer has been disbarred forever. How disbarred is he? I have compiled and edited the best answers from the previous for your edification:

Jack Thompson is so disbarred, he's not allowed to approach the bench at a picnic table.
Jack Thompson is so disbarred, he can't file briefs in his underwear drawer.
Jack Thompson is so disbarred, he's not allowed to read Shakespeare.
Jack Thompson is so disbarred, he can't practice in a basketball court.
Jack Thompson is so disbarred, he can't even subpoena colada!
Jack Thompson is so disbarred, he had to start drinking at home. :`-(
l33tminion: (Lies)
The internets have informed me that the Large Hadron Collider has yet to destroy the world. I am most relieved. (I have also been informed that it is not currently Christmas, and that Barack Obama is not a Muslim.)

Fortunately, the good folks at reddit have made sure that CERN is well equipped for the worst-case scenario.
l33tminion: (Default)
I forgot to mention that on Friday I saw a comedy show by these guys, and it was hilarious.

I also forgot to mention that I'm applying for a job at IBM (and I really hope I get it). I still have no job offers, unfortunately, but I'll figure things out.

Same Old

Nov. 29th, 2005 12:54 am
l33tminion: (Default)
Back from break. Hanging out with friends (and meeting some new ones) was awesome. Losing my cell phone, not so much. But no matter, I'm back at school now, and I've got a lot to do. The end of the semester is coming up pretty fast.

A few things to point out:

Carlos Mencia- offensive or hillarious? Yes.

A post on liberals and language.

And one on the critics of peak oil.

Core Dump

Nov. 24th, 2005 12:28 am
l33tminion: (Caffine)
Stuff to mention, delayed too long:

  • I saw Paradise Now with Dan on Monday. That was pretty good.
  • I saw Advent Children again with Dan, Markos, and Noah yesterday.
  • My sister, Mel, checked Dungeons & Dragons out of the library, and we watched that today. The movie has has nothing to do with the game (a more accurate title would be Generic Fantasy Setting: The Movie), and it crosses the line from bad over to hilarious. This effect is amplified by the fact that the movie's plot is totally Star Wars (and I mean the bad movies): Emperor Palpatine Profion tries to gain control of the clone army red dragons so he can rule the universe kingdom. To achieve this goal, he tries to manipulate the galactic senate mage's council into negating Queen Amidala's Empress Savina's power by imposing a blockade taking away her staff of power. (Queen Amidala Empress Savina pleads for their support, but this just plays into the hands of her enemy.) The bad guy's main enemies are a white boi "chosen one" and a annoying alien black guy as the comic relief sidekick. The movie culminates in an epic clash of starships dragons and lightsabers magic swords. (Advantages of this movie over Star Wars: Annakin wins, and Jar-Jar Binks dies.)
  • I was in the store today before lunch. I bought a tin of anchovies on impulse (or got my mom to buy them, anyways) and ate them with lunch. Why I had a sudden craving for anchovies, I have no idea. They're pretty close to the bottom of the list of foods I'm willing to eat.
  • Golden Cheshire cheese is really good.
  • I had a dentist appointment today. Heading home from Shaker Square, I bought an ice cream cone at East Coast Frozen Custard. I ate it as I walked home in the blowing snow.
  • Pandora is a pretty cool internet radio service. It uses the Music Genome Project to make music recommendations.
  • Last.fm does the same thing with social software and data collected through AudioScrobbler.
  • How to Write Unmaintainable Code. As a programmer, I found it hilarious, but it's enough to make anyone's head explode.
  • Book-A-Minute. For those who don't have the time for Cliff's Notes. T3h funn3h.

Plus, Mel broke my headphones, so I'm now headphoneless again. I go through those things far too fast...

A Miracle?!

Aug. 6th, 2005 02:43 pm
l33tminion: (Lulz)

Also, the story of "the miracle of flight 358". I didn't share this story in my recent "happy news" post, because I don't find barely averted disaster to be really that happy, but John Stewart's take on the media's take on this story is absolutely hilarious (that segment is on the second half of this clip, although the first half is also extremely funny).


Aug. 6th, 2005 01:12 am
l33tminion: (Caffine)
I felt very fidgety today, but at least that was better than yesterday. (Despite the icon for this post, I didn't have an excessive amount of caffeine... well, not more excessive than usual, at any rate. Also, yes, I did get more icons; I'm a sucker for wasting money on the internet.) Work was all right, anime club was good, DDR afterwards was totally awesome.

A quick poll. A lot of my journal posts lately have just been rambling, without much of a focus. Since my blog is read (presumably) by other people, I was wondering what sort of posts you all want to read:

[Poll #546818]If you have other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

A few links to share:

First, one on the natural gas peak in North America. According to Exxon (and this is from a while ago), this has already passed. (If you've heard politicians fussing about liquid natural gas (LNG) terminals, this is why.)

Second, two on the Shrub. One talks about his recent endorsement of Intelligent Design. On a related note, the second talks about how Bush thinks.

On a funny note, I found this response to the Intelligent Design story, suggesting that our existance would be better explained by the existance of a creator that is just plain dumb. (Although, to give credit where credit is due, that idea isn't new.)

I'm all for teaching DUH
in America's schools!

l33tminion: (Default)
Life is good. The weather has been pleasant (very sunny, for the most part, with the exception of last night's storm). I had the chance to meet Maya ([livejournal.com profile] blackmoonlight), Patti's friend, in person yesterday. Work has been quite interesting lately. My Linux-fu continues to gradually improve.

Now to share some bits of the news that aren't so depressing:

First, the IRA has ordered a ceasefire, hopefully putting an end to decades of pointless terrorism.

Second, some of the provisions of the Patriot Act have been found unconstitutional by a federal judge.

Third, the second district special election in Ohio. This district is usually solidly (~70%) Republican, but the GOP candidate seems to have barely squeaked by with only 52% of the vote. It's still a loss, but perhaps this is a good sign for 2006.

Also, some non-news links:

First, I want to go to this store.

Second, another good reason to take the stairs. :-P

In a Hurry

Jul. 14th, 2005 09:20 pm
l33tminion: (Default)
My flight for Confluence leaves at 7 AM tomorrow. The earliest I can get to the airport by train is 6:10 AM. Taxis are expensive. So...

A few things to share:

First of all, something random. I feel vindicated. :-P

Second, most of you have probably heard about Karl Rove's little bit of treason. But the Republicans seem to think it shows guts. I doubt anything will come of it, but I hope Rove gets fired (at least). (Apparently, Rove was fired by the senior Bush for doing just the same thing.)

Third, some atheist humor. Well, I think it's funny. (Long, though...)

More during Confluence. (Or when I get back, depending on if I can get internet access.)


May. 7th, 2005 11:21 pm
l33tminion: (Default)
This weekend has been quite fun. On Friday was the LARP Snaf U, which featured a ghost killed by three different people at different times for unrelated reasons, the Scottish mafia, incompetent idiots secret triple agents, Donald MacDonald Snaf, and the Loch Ness monster.

Today there was DnD and the Time Traveler convention. DnD was fun, although I'll post about that once the plot has advanced a bit more. The Time Traveler convention was too packed for me to attend, but I got to see some of the pre-convention madness, including anti-time-travel protesters, chanting ("Carpe Diem, / Seize the day! / Future people, / Go away!") and shouting slogans ("The present is NOW!"), and a dude with white hair impeccably dressed in a dark purple shirt, black and white stripped tie, and brown suit with white pinstripes.

My commuter rail ride home was also made more interesting by the large and clearly wasted group of baseball fans also on the train. Didn't find out if the Sox won or lost, though...

In economics, S+P has reduced bonds issued by GM and Ford to junk status.

Finally, I'd like to share this post from the [livejournal.com profile] daily_kos.
l33tminion: (Free Speech Zone)
The weather has been real nice today.

Some people in Congress have introduced a bill that would allow Americans to sue OPEC and the like for "anticompetitive activities". Now how could we possibly try to enforce such rulings, I wonder... *sarcasm*

This news story. Oy...

Also, check out this game. It's hilarious.


Mar. 3rd, 2005 06:28 pm
l33tminion: (Default)
Clearly, I need to care less about truth. Heh. Imagine... a hardened empiricist like me looking for faith... Philosophy finds you in the oddest places. One or more conscious beings exist in the universe. Consciousness is a beautiful thing. Can something temporary truly be significant?

But enough of that. I'm on top of my work for the first time in weeks. I've been able to be a bit more social in the past few days, and that makes me happy.

Also, I found another rather nifty place on Livejournal: [livejournal.com profile] deadmentalking, an RP community. It's rather like [livejournal.com profile] milliways_bar but for historical nonfiction instead of fiction. One of their posts was just quoted in [livejournal.com profile] metaquotes, and I thought it was hilarious...
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