Thursday, June 30, 2005

Caml light

"You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person I'll guarantee you'll win." - Hunter Patch Adams (Patch Adams)

In the one class I am taking this summer I am learning a new language ML. We are going to use Caml Light for Unix. There are lots of versions of Caml Light (PC and Mac) available out there.

What is ML (or Caml)? "Caml is a general-purpose programming language". Basically it is all about the functions. There aren't variable names - everything is a function. Everything has a return type. Of course, ML's equivalent to C's void is unit. So when you read in a file it actually returns 'unit' to you. Which the first time it happens is a little wacky.

So today I am hanging out at the union - the sun is shining and within a few minutes a horrible storm begins. And by storm I mean flooding hard rain. It doesn't appear to be letting up very much either. The only plus has been the wind stopped blowing as hard. The rain has let up a little (when it first started people were coming in soaked). I am just hopping it completely stops by the time I head to class at 1 PM.

Of course, while I was at the union Ken and I had had an interesting experience you can read about on his blog. By the way, I would like to thank his for linking to my blog. Ducky!

For those who are talking an AI course this semester: an article about Warren McCulloch.

Someone who won't get elected next time. Favorite part of the article: "he mistakenly sent out an e-mail message that referred to his constituents as 'idiots.'".

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Peano's Postulates

"Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things." - Jules Henri Poincare

In my class (Automata and Computability Theory) on Tuesday we discussed Peano's Postulates (also known as Peano's axioms. Giuseppe Peano was a mathematican from the late 1880s (he died in the 1930s). He is best known for his work in the area of set theory.

There are 5 Peano's Postulates.
1. 0 is a number
2. If n is a number then the next number after n is n' = n + 1
3. n' = m', iff n = m
4. There is no natural number before 0
5. If P(0) is true and P(n)=>P(n') then for all n, P(n) is true

The 5th statement actual leads us to doing proofs by mathematical induction (assuming that I didn't get any of the axioms wrong). Now I know you are sitting there thinking - what the heck does this have to do with computers? Using these and a proof by induction we can prove that the square root of 2 is irrational and that real numbers are uncountable. Finally, (after a lot of wondering) we can show that there exists numbers that can not be output from a computer program.

OK, so I am sure you know think I am completely nuts, but I hate to tell you I am not. The proof is easier to understand if you know about the while computer language and a few other things - but it true never the less. Maybe at some future date I will post more of the proof if people are interested.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Lack of a Title

"I thought you had to be convicted of a crime before you lived somewhere like this." - Soren (when they enter the dorm room from The Prince and Me)

On Monday (after getting my cable and internet access fixed) I watched The Prince and Me. OK, so I like watching these kinds of movies. Why? Because they are nice background movies and there are some funny parts. I had seen the movie before (so that's why it could watch it while I worked on other things). However, I like the ending the girl doesn't give up her goals for the guy. It's the fairy tale, but with an altered fairy tale ending.

OK, so now that I have tortured you with that lets move on to things you are probably more interested in reading about:

Apple iPod information (and a little about podcast. Looks like they are only going to make color screens from now on. Nifty ain't it.

NASA just doesn't get any breaks does it? It appears that NASA has not "met the full letter of recommendations made by Columbia accident investigators". The NASA Administrator (Michael Griffin) must decided if they are going to launch the space shuttle Discovery next month.

Vitamin C may not prevent the cold. However, during the study they found that "people who take regular vitamin C suffer slightly shorter colds than those who take placebos". So, it appears that taking the vitamin C isn't a total loss, plus there are other benefits of taking vitamin C.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Miss Congeniality 2

"And I am Gracie Hart and at this moment I am also big bird" - Gracie Hart (Miss Congeniality 2)

On Friday evening I watched Miss Congeniality 2. It is extremely funny with a very interesting cast. Although the part were Gracie Hart gets the feathers of her outfit stuck - they would so pull of easier than that. The material is not that strong nor are those feather - but that is a minor detail. They successfully cover up the fact that one of the actors didn't return for this movie by transfering him to another office. The best scene is were Hart is trying to get into and out of the car with the large feather head dress. If you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend it. It came out on DVD this week.

The weather has centainly changed a lot recently. The last two days have been in the 90's (yikes) and sunny. Of course, it is suppose to change in the up coming week (thunderstorms are scheduled). Also, Monday marks the beginning of classes for the second part of the summer. Anyway, happy weekend. Hope yours is as relaxing as mine.

Friday, June 24, 2005

News You Might Find Interesting

"Oh, you only fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting!" - A.J. (The American President)

It's to bad about Cosmos 1. They believe the problem was during the rocket staging part of the launch. The concept seemed quiet interesting - having the spacecraft get "propelled by the pressure of sunlight".

Survey says... I only have one question - who would actually admit that kind of stuff on a survey? Plus, who on earth thought up that survey in the first place? Not that the results aren't interesting - says a lot about IT in large size corporations. However, if there are "10% of firms never changed their central administrative passwords" that means that 90% of the companies do change the administrative passwords. Which when you think about it is a rather significant percentage. But that kind of information doesn't make headlines.

Either someone is making this up or there are some really confussed people out there. I am just not sure which.

Another reason I don't eat meat. It's like going to Sea World to pick out your lunch. ::shudder::

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Batman Begins

"Sir, whatever is the point of all those push-ups if you can't even lift a log?" - Alfred (Batman Begins)

Yes, I went and say Batman Begins on Wednesday evening. And yes if you go to a movie on a Wednesday night at 7 PM there is hardly anyone else there. I am sure that Wednesday night is not a big "lets go to the movies night", but I was surprised at the lack of people. When we left over 2 and a half hours later it was even emptier. Anyway, back to the movie...

I like the movie - really liked the movie. Of course, I recognized Gordon as Gary Oldman, but I couldn't place Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale). When I got home I looked him up. He was Laurie in Little Women (one of my favorite movies) and he was in Swing Kids as well.

Michael Caine makes a wonderful (and funny) Alfred. Liam Neeson plays the bad guy (I think he must have joined the dark side...alright that was a bad joke). Cillian Murphy plays the scary Dr. Crane really well. OK, so now that I have cleared up who is who I can actually tell you about the movie.

The graphics were excellent, Batman's car is cool, and there were some excellent fight sequences. Did I mention the really cool car? Plus the bat cave is interesting will a waterfall (that he drives the really cool car through). It is one of the few movies where the guy doesn't quiet "get the girl". Anyway, I like the movie and totally recommend that you see it. This movie covers what the title implies - how Batman became...well Batman.

There are several humor lines injected through the movie - which helps with flow and keep it from getting to intense. This isn't a kids movie (it's rated PG-13) but it doesn't have much blood or anything. It is really "dark" but we are talking about Batman. If I tell you much more than I might ruin the movie for ya - so I won't mention much else. One thing I will say - I drink bottle water and will continue to do so.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Who of Integrated Circuits

One of the professors I've had once commented that the really cool part about studying computer science is a lot of the original people are still around. Unfortunately, may of these people are starting to be in their 70's and 80's. But there are still a lot of them out there.

On Monday the computer world suffered a loss - Jack Kilby passed away. He invented the integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments in the 1980s. Of course this curcuit was extremely simplistic, but it is a major influence on computers of today. Without his circuit I can't even imagine what would have become of the computer field. But that's one of those tricky 'what if' question that I would rather avoid.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Stuff to Read (if you want)

Dave Barry for the Star Wars fan (written back when Episode 1 came out). My favorite part: "On the day this movie is released, millions of Americans will flock to movie theaters to share in the excitement and wonder of being told that the theater is sold out through October because all the tickets have been snapped up by crazed, drooling ''Star Wars'' geeks wearing officially licensed Han Solo underwear".

Space News: The Planetary Society is launching Cosmos 1. It is powered from light reflected off mylar sails. Ducky.

Google's latest: Google takes on Paypal by launching a new service. Google's secure online payment system (which might be called Google Wallet) is suppose to help small businesses and individuals becuase taking credit cards can be difficult and expensive. Of course, that sounds a lot like Paypal. A little competition is always a good thing.

On the health front: A brain scan that can predict Alzheimer's disease is in the works. This brain scan may give people a 10 year forwarning (before people begin to display symptoms). It isn't a cure but it can help in studying the illness.

There is good news for those who want to smell like grapefruits. I am so glad there are studies done to tell us this kind of stuff - aren't you?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

"George Washington Slept Here" (and other things)

"Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy." - Josh (The West Wing)

Today is "throw-it-out-there-because-you-don't-have-anything-else-to-write-about-day". Yes that's right. Don't you feel privilaged at this moment?

OK, so now that you have finished laughing (which I know was more at me than with me) we will get to why I have decided to write this blog in the first place. If you don't recognize the blog title it is from a movie a really funny movie. There is this great part where Jack Benny falls through the floor and then he does it again later in the movie. If you are familar with The Money Pit, George Washington Slept Here is a simialr idea only black and white and of course Tom Hanks wasn't in it.

Note: This movie contains sterotypes that might not be appropriate for all audiences. I don't agree with these sterotypes and they are not a part of what makes this movie so funny. When watching this movie on AMC or TCM or whatever other channels run older movies like this please keep this warning in mind. (No, I haven't lost my mind and giving the warning seems funny to me because of these Disney special edition DVDs I have been watching. But now I am completely rambling again and I feel I should get back to my point - sorry about that).

Back to the actually blog. George Washington Slept Here is very funny movies from the early 1940s with Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan. Ann Sheridan's character purchases a run down house because she believes that George Washington once slept there. Like all housing projects, repairs cost a great deal more than planned. Plus, there are several problems involving digging a well.

I know what you are think "Gee Stephany that's nice, but what does that have to do with your blog?". My answer: absolutely nothing, except that is the title of todays blog. Now you are beginning to understand the first paragraph more aren't you?

Other stuff I want to point out before I get back to working on my project and hanging out with my family:

A funny article by Dave Barry. It will give you advice on what sock color to wear. Which might be helpful to you, if you have trouble with that sort of thing.

A very interesting movie is coming out (Howl's Moving Castle) - I know one of my blog readers will want to know abou it. SInce I watched Sprited Away (in English and it's original language) with this person - plus all of the special features I am sure you will want to see this one as well. The movie came out on June 17th if you didn't know that already.

Food for thought, presented in a funny sort of way.

Seriously, what is people's fixation with Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? Google News has links to 700+ articles relating to there engagement. Mean while, in the real world, congressional Democrats "are insisting that the White House provide more information about what led to the decision to go to war in Iraq" (400+ articles on Google News) and Bush starts campaign to get people to use the Medicare prescription-drug benefits (300+ articles on Google News). I am sure that the whole Cruise and Holmes relationship makes interesting reading, but isn't the other stuff just as important? If we are not informed of the issues how can we be productive and active members of society? Just a thought on my part. Not that I have anything against Hollywood or Cruise or Holmes or anything else.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

More Little Black Rain Clouds

I have decided that rain is going to be a permentant state of Michigan this June. It was sunny a little the other day - but it has rained on and off everyday. Not that I mind - I like watching the rain (yes I am weird). However, the gray sky can get to be a little boring after a while. Of course, it does delay any yard work my parents are thinking about doing so it has it's good points.

I haven't written many blogs as of late. I have been working on my project a lot. Trying to get it moving in the correct directions before June 27th when I start going to actual "school".

I am actually looking forward to the class (yes again, I am weird). Last year another grad student told me that "the honeymoon stage will end soon" when I mentioned how much I was enjoying grad school (over undergraduate) and getting a be grad assistent for the CS department (which mostly involved sitting in the lab all day helping students). Last summer was my second semester so I was still considered the "new kid". What was my response? "I highly doubt that" and went back to working on the assignment for the class. Anyway, I thought I would mention - that I still like it and can't imagine not being a grad student. I like everything about graduate school especially the chance to learn new things and try new things. Anyway, I am getting to the point where I am just rambling so I will move on to something else.

For the history geeks: This is so cool. They have taken DNA from a skeleton believed to belong to one of the founders of Jamestown.

Older news, Microsoft is working in the world of peer-to-peer. Yikes, I didn't see that one coming. The good part about peer-to-peer is the ability to serve millions of users all at the same time and save on computing costs.

Yahoo's new thing - called "deep web". This is a subsciption search that allows you to "access-restricted paid-for content subscription sites". Interesting.

Google is having difficulty on the library front. It appears that "privacy issues are the latest wrinkle in Google's plans to expand the universe of Web-searchable data". (The University of Michigan is one of the libraries they are working with if you are wondering why I am following this).

Well, I think I am going to call that a blog and get back to that project of mine. I have stuff I want to try and get through before Monday. Plus, if I don't finish writting it you would never see it and then it would have been a total waste of my efforts.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Little Black Rain Cloud

Wow. I just realized that I hadn't posted anything for close to a week. Well, I didn't intend to - just been busy. Yes really (and not just shopping). I have been working a lot on my project. I am actually trying to get it pulled together before classes start on June 27th. I have even signned up for the presentation on July 28th (use the drop down menu to get to July). It is weird to actually be getting closer and closer to "done". Actually, it feels wacky.

As a non-Bush supporter I felt the need to link to this article - the title was just too funny. Key quote from article "President Bush repeated that the science is unclear". I can't imagine why I find that so funny, but I do.

After about 2 years NASA may start launching space shuttles again and have begun to move Discovery back onto it's FL launch pad. Speaking of space, it seems that a planet similar to Earch has been located. Ducky.

Well, I should get back to work. I went shopping earlier today because lots of stores are starting to have big summer sales before they start getting in the new stuff for fall. I got two shirts from the Gap for $1.97 each (and I bet you think I am kidding right now, but I am not). Shopping is a lot more fun at that price :-D It fits in my under $5 dollar rule: if you will wear it and it is under $5 buy it - don't think just buy. Oh and possible buy two if it is a "basic" or "classic" piece - like a white dress shirt or a pair of black pants.

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Meet Me in St. Louis

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself." - Eleanor Roosevelt

I am "blogging on the road" - well hotel room. I am near St. Charles, MO. My mother wanted to go to this book sale. Therefore, I am claim that I am on a "business trip". Currently, it is raining and an hour earlier than I am use to. Anyway, the hotel has free wireless high-speed internet and of course I have my laptop with me (like I would leave it behind). I am suppose to be writting my abstract for my project, but I decided to take a short break and type this blog up really quick.

Deep Impact mission on July 4th will help us study the "very birth of solar system". The comet is believed to be from this time. Speaking of space it appears that Cassiopeia A is not quiet dead yet. Recently, an echo was detected for the star which has been "dead" for 325 years. The Cassiopeia A went supernova in 1570s.

Since I was in an engineering program and female I can tell you that this is a bit of a strech, but pretty true. Oh and this comic is pretty fun and I felt that I should blog it (Star War fans will find it amusing).

OK, well I should get back to "real" work.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Stephany Hates Mulch

I have decided that I either want to live in apartments or condos for the rest of my life. Why? Because I just don't like yard work - actually I hate yard work. I am staying with my parents for a little bit - until I start my class at the end of June. This comes with great advantages: free parking, free food, free laundary, and other free stuff. My parents have decided to put new landscape cloth and mulch down in the flower beds. (Just to mention, 5 years ago when we moved in we paid someone else to do the landscaping because it was a new house and there wasn't any grass).

I never realized how large our flower beds are until we were purchasing the 125 bag of mulch. Several different evenings and weekend days have been used for this and I have been helping a bit with this little project. Those darn bages of mulch are heavy, especially when you are trying to toss them either up into the back of an Explorer Sport Trac or down from the back of it. They weigh a lot, plus it is difficult to get a good grip on them - you know?

So that is when I decided that condo living (or apartment living) is really for me. I don't like doing hard work. Getting someone to do it for you can be expersive. Besides, I have a hard time keeping a couple of orchids, some random green plants, and a cactus alive. Can you imagine trying to keep a whole yard of stuff alive? Yep, condo living is looking really good right now.

So now that I have rambled and ranted about mulch here is what you really came here to read:

It looks like Apple is going to try and beat Microsoft (Thanks Chad for the link). Although I like Apple dearly (and I think they make significantly better products) catching and passing Microsoft is going to hard not to mention expensive. Plus, it is hard to teach old dogs new tricks. Many companies already use Microsoft products and it will be difficult to get people to change. Most find technology difficult enough to use without it changing on them. Of course, I am not opposed to the change :-) Doesn't bother me in the least. Although, this might keep prices down and get some new software out there with Microsoft getting more competition. OK, so I have mixed feelings on the whole thing and now I am starting to ramble so I will just more on.

Microsoft doen't even get a break on holidays. Hackers have gotten "access to passwords of the users on the site" - the MSN Web site in Korea that is.

The Final Frontier News: NASA is planning on putting Phoenix Mars on the launch pad in 2007 (and reach Mars in 2008). They are planning to continue studying Mars for "water and possible signs of life". Ducky.

"Rapid-Scanning Doppler on Wheels Keeps Pace with Twisters" is a very interesting article. This (Doppler on Wheels) allows for better collection of data regarding the tornadoes and therefore people can better study tornadoes.

What happens when people taking reading an advance copy a little to far. Of course, it makes good news.

You can buy anything on the internet including Inspirational Scripture Shoe Inserts or coming soon clothing for your chicken.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

The Oddest Blog Topics

Proof why it seems the government never gets anything done: They are busy trying to "give people more choice". While, state senator Gilda Jacobs is at it maybe she can do something about those annoying commercials on the local Detroit channels...

This just made me laugh. OK, so this is not an easy article to write, but I just started laughing at this point "enabling customers to find the sites more easily". However, if they think that people will be able to stay clear of the sites - well those people haven't hear of the little internet trick called redirect. But, people can believe whatever they want.

Like Star Wars? This is for your entertainment so you can "learn the ways of the farm".

Space the Final Frontier: Sprit saw a shooting star, the first one seen by the Mars rovers. The private Spaceflight group has picked a base near Cape Rich in Canada for the launch sight. It will conduct "engine test fires, escape system shakedowns and ultimately the first flights".

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Is it June Already?

Music to Blog By: Stargate SG-1 Soundtrack
Quote for Today: "It's always suicide-mission this, save-the-planet that. No one ever stops by just to say 'hi' anymore." - Jack O'Neil (from the TV show Stargate SG-1)

I was shocked to realize that it was already June. Really, really surprised actually. I guess I hadn't really thought about it. I been living in what seems like a different world recently - one that involves a lot of working on my project. Anyway, there just isn't that much to blog about today nor do I have much to talk about. Well, there are the few things I could find:

This is just a little wacky, but I guess some people might find it...err...interesting or even useful. I wouldn't, but thats me. Oh and if you don't like that one there is another.

A new way of sniffing out lung cancer has been developed. It can detect which people have lung cancer by specific compounds found in their breath.

"Music CDs from Sony to have anti-piracy technology". Ugh, not this issue again.