October 31, 2006
I stole the smiley face concept from my fellow Team Purpler Jan, who did a better job carving the right parenthesis in his version. Cole suggested that the colon should have been a semicolonhe was rightbut I had already put away the carving knife.
Putting the snarling cat behind a lit pumpkin always startles a few people:
October 30, 2006
Stay out of the Underground!
Either be your own hypervisor or have one chosen for you
From an ACM bulletin summary "Anti-virus software is ineffective":
* * *
Hardware virtualization, in [Joanna Rutkowska's] opinion, "has been introduced a little bit too early; before the major operating system venders were able to redesign their systems so that they could make a conscious use of this technology, hopefully preventing its abuse." Blue Pill operates by creating a hardware virtual machine and moves the native operating system to this virtual machine, becoming a "hypervisor" itself. The native system doesn't even realize it's been moved to a virtual machine. Rutkowska explains that operating systems need to be aware of such virtualization and have their own hypervisor.
October 29, 2006
I went to see the Diavolo Dance Company at Stanford, racing from a 1pm showing of the documentary America's Brutal Prisons at Cubberley, nearby. Cole met his friend Varun there, and after the performance Varun asked the artistic director Jacques Heim a question I'd thought of myselfhow do the dancers avoid getting crushed by that big rolling thing? "There's a lot of communication," one dancer answered, not entirely satisfying me or Varun, I think. They also complimented Varun on his excellent pronunciation of Trajectoire, but the boy speaks French, after all.
In attending these events, I missed Owen's baseball and soccer game. They won one, and lost one. Gloria and he both told me that he had a nice hit up the middle, but the shortstop was out of position near second base, fielded it, and threw him out.
October 27, 2006
Guess Your Hands
From the 23 Oct 2006 New Yorker (pg 44), "Thieves are Everywhere," by Jason Roeder:
* * *
This holiday season, millions of Americans will go on vacation, a gamble that plays right into the twitchy hands of the pickpocket and double-jointed brain of the con artist. [...] Keep in mind what the criminals have in store for you:
GUESS YOUR HANDS: You give a buck to the operator of the Guess Your Hands booth, and he says, "O.K., go ahead." Then you say, "Me? I thought you were going to guess my hands." Then he says, "Nope. The sign reads 'Guess Your Hands.'" Then you say, "But why did I just pay you? And what does it mean to guess someone's hands, anyway?" Then he says, "I figured you knew." Then you say, "Well, I don't want to guess your hands." Then he says, "You sure came to the wrong place, pal. Read the sign." At some point during this exchange, the booth operator's sidekick sneaks up and steals your wallet.
That last animated fractal? Well, it kind of sucked. This one is better, I think.
Here's a static image (and its CDFG code).
October 26, 2006
Context free movie making
Animation of a context free fractal drawing
Need to think of a title for this one.
inflationary hypothesiscontext free, a fractal drawing systemI guess that's what it isand giving the resulting images the most pretentious names I can think of.
Early results of Google AdSense experiment
One week ago, I inserted Google advertisements at the bottom of my company name generator page.
The bottom lineI've earned roughly $1/day on average, and $7.76 total, so far.
Google won't send me a check until the total reaches $100, though.
|Date||Page impressions||Clicks||Page CTR||Page eCPM||Earnings|
From a newspaper article I never finished reading
Once some popchick in a slutty outfit, Madonna yesterday emerged as one of the most potent critics of the hegemony of the industrial-media complex.
The retrial of Roy Garcia
I went down to San Jose this morning to witness the closing arguments in the first-degree murder retrial of Roy Garcia. He's accused (and previously convicted, in 2000) of murdering Deborah A. Gregg following a property-line dispute. It happened on rural property, just inside the southern border of Santa Clara county, where I live. I was a juror in the first trial.
I was interested to meet the victim's mother, who travelled from Connecticut to see this retrial. We had a nice conversation this morning in the courthouse for a few minutes after the closing arguments.
Thanks to Pamela Jones for suggesting this meeting!
October 23, 2006
So there are lots of ways to kill a drywood termite. Our neighbor told us they've used the microwave method. We're probably going to tent the entire house, but only because that's what was recommended.
The chemical used in fumigation is called Vikane. It's a colorless, odorless, highly toxic neurotoxin. They mix it in with teargas so that anyone who gets close to it knows they've got a problem. The tenting will keep us out of the house for three days.
On the bright side, I had a clean bill of health at the dentist: "Your orthodontist did an excellent job," she said.
There are zero people named Thane Plambeck in the USA
Good to know for future reference.
The Drywood Termite Zone
October 22, 2006
Police on Stanford campus
It captures the spirit of the event pretty well, I think.
Contractors buried in our neighbor's front yard
Their project was taking too long, and something had to be done.
It makes a nice Halloween decoration.
October 21, 2006
plambeck.org earns $0.53
Since the similar pages out there are mostly inferior to my already lame effort, and they have ads, I decided put Google ads on the page to see what I might be earn.
Earnings after one day: $0.53.
More than I expected!
October 18, 2006
My son Owen and my father, Vern Plambeck
Number 2, The Byrds, and JFK: a men's fashion visionary is vindicated
My brother-in-law used to run men's clothing stores. About three years ago we were talking about suits, and I mentioned that I thought suits looked bad for the most part and what was needed was a big return to the classic look of the 1960s.
DAVID: What, like The Byrds?
THANE: Maybe. I mean, you know, just a suit and tie exactly like John F Kennedy used to wear. Why can't I buy that? I looked for it, even at Brooks Brothers, but they didn't help me much because I was wearing what I am now, crummy jeans and a T-shirt...
DAVID: Well, yes, that would be hard to find....
Soyesterday he sent me a clipping from the Sept 2006 Esquire magazine with this note:
Thane, I found this article in Esquire while working out at the gym on the elliptical. Who knew you had such forward fashion sense?
The clipping says (in part)
STYLISH OBSESSION OF THE MONTH: The Brooks Brothers "Fitzgerald": In tune with the evolution of the current dressed-up, fitted mood in American's men's suits, Brooks Brothers has created an updated replica of the "Number 2" suit it introduced for a leaner, fitter generation of men in 1961. The suit encapsulated the polished look espoused by John F Kennedy, a look that prompted The New York Times to describe how Kennedy, after a day in the Senate, "walked to the floor, a model of Brooks Brothers perfection"...
October 17, 2006
This photo required me to lean in close to the mantis's face. Then there was a creaking noise in a tree over my head. I almost jumped out of my skin.
"Don't worry, that's just the gigantic mantis right behind you," Gloria helpfully suggested.
October 16, 2006
University of Iceland logo & flag
They are very nice designs, I think:
October 15, 2006
I had to leave this SLSQ concert at intermission in order to go to NJB kid's basketball evaluations at Palo Alto High School. So I missed the Shostokovich 7th SQ in F Sharp Minor, which I'm listening to now (Fitzwilliam SQ).
ThereI managed to use the abbreviation "SQ" three times in one paragraph.
At Gloria's 20th year college reunion, I met Buzz Aldrin, who said he doesn't have a Stanford affiliation (his wife does). I blogged it already, but it's surely worth mentioning twice. Somewhere I've got a bunch of Apollo 11 photos on this web site. OKI found them. And here's one of Buzz, on his way to the moon.
Now playingthe Lento of the 7th, another one of those scary S. movements. I'm sorry to have missed that in person. In the video Richter, the Enigma, one gets the sense that Richter pretty much had everyone's number, except Shostokovich's. "Tchaikovsky himself might as well have walked into the room," he says at one point.
Now the end of the 7th, a simple chord. It's like S. didn't mean it at all.
October 12, 2006
With Buzz Aldrin
THANE: In Kearney, Nebraska, as an 8 year old, I watched you walk on the moon!
BUZZ: Nebraska? I've heard of Kearny, New Jersey, not Nebraska. There's a Kearney in Nebraska?
THANE: It's right in the middle of Nebraska, on Interstate 80. You know what, you might not believe this, but in my office I have a copy of your Ph.D. thesis.
THANE: Right, MIT, 1963. I wonder if you can tell me what the dedication says in that thesis?
BUZZ: Something about "I hope I can join the astronauts, or I wish I could join them."
BUZZ (to Gloria): What's that blinking thing?
GLORIA: It's a Stanford Engineering button light they gave me. Here, you can have it.
BUZZ: (Takes light) How does it work? Neat. (Puts it on).
Curse of the Rosin Eating Zombies from Outer Space
DENISE: It's an awful noise. No---I don't want you to play that!
Spicy Indian Ringalos
I guess it's not a pumpkin (what is a "Ringalo?"), but it's hard for me not to see it that way.
Maybe I'll try wrapping a towel around the top of a big pumpkin and setting out in front of the house on the big night.
Toaster with "cancel", crossword clue, sixteen half domes
(1) Our toaster stopped working. The new one has a "Cancel" button. If you push it, the toast pops up. "All the new toasters have Cancel buttons," Gloria said.
(2) Clue in yesterday's NYT puzzle:
It may do your bidding (4): answer.
(3) Sixteen Half Domes.
October 09, 2006
Ian at the brink of a fissure
Colin and Chris survey El Capitan
Rock in fissure
Sign pointing the way to Yosemite fissures
October 05, 2006
Addictive game. I see from videos like this one that loop-the-loops are indeed possible.
October 03, 2006
Minivan full of dead or merely annoying tech stuffgreen citizen for proper disposal this afternoon. Together, it was easily 150 lbs of stuff.
Three dead routers. One dubious flat panel. One of those cube Mac things (worst computer I've ever bought). A couple linux rack-mountable boxes from Signio days. Lots of dead telephones and cell phones. Two digital cameras. Ethernet cables. Telephone cable. In the front left foreground, a color laser printer that was quite the cats meow in its day, but smelled horrible when it ran. That thing alone weighed 83lbs. An HP scanner. An HP fax/scanner combo. An HP Bluetooth-enabled printer.
I'm sure the green citizen people will give this stuff a proper burial.
Monday fish wrap
1) Finally got my copy of the "Games Issue" of The Believer in the mail.
How is that the (BitchPhD guest-blogger) Orange knew about this weeks before I received my copy? I'm clearly not one of those "in the know."
2) Gave Lenny a ride to and from Stanford for his quantum mechanics lecture tonight. People were asking him to sign copies of his book(s) after the lecture. Lenny knows how to say "Gerard 't Hooft" just like he was born in Holland, and in his lecture, he described him as "the greatest theoretical physicist of the last part of the 20th century." I'm always mystified by the pronunciation of Dutch namesI think, "well, if that Dutch name were German, I'd butcher it like this. But, then again, it's not German, it's Dutch. So WTF?"
3) Played tennis with Cole and helped him start making his planned Motorola Razr Halloween costume. Last year he was a iPod, and that was a big hit.
October 02, 2006
burnt computer with melted telephone on top
$20 software rebate form
$35 parking ticket
I'd feel better about it if I was up $15, instead.
October 01, 2006
The Phi values of various games
Aaron Siegel and I have finished a preprint of our work on misere games over the last year. It just appeared on the arXivThe Phi-values of various games.
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