Tuesday, January 31, 2006

See Blog...

"Find a truly original idea. It is the only way I will ever distinguish myself. It is the only way I will ever matter." - Nash (A Beauiful Mind)

A student in my class asked me: What is the maximum number of characters can a string hold (in visual basic 6.0)? If anyone knows the answer could you please post the solution in the comments. Thanks. I did some basic looking and all I can find so far is that a variable name can have a mazimum of 255 characters in it.

"'First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement' Remembered"

Wait they still make a web browser? (just kidding...the real question: is there anyone who still uses it?)

Now they get good machines. I remember the old labs...oh do I remember. It would log you out when you didn't want it to and they were slow...I think I will just move on...

I saw these at the store the other day. I thought it was kind of cool. OK, all I have to say is "I am geek". You can check other interesting geeky things at the SciFi Tech Blog

Monday, January 30, 2006

Random, Random, Random....

"For Crying Out Loud." - Jack O'Neill(Stargate SG-1)

And you thought there had been a study done on everything and then you find out you were wrong: "Study details live television's appeal"

Even stars have a hard time getting dates: "Most Milky Way Stars Are Single"

Train has a CD coming out on Tuesday (site plays Cab, I really like listening to the song...which is also on the CD). I need something to so along with some of the random stuff I have been listening to. It is such a wacky list that I decided to subject you all to this list...of wacky stuff I have been listening to...yeah...on with the list...

1. Ordinary Day - Vanessa Carlton
2. Breathless - The Corrs
3. I Want Tomorrow - Enya
4. Cab - Train
5. Hero - Enrique Iglesias
6. A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton
7. It's In the Rain - Enya
8. Crazy - Alanis Morissette
9. Ice Cream - Sarah McLachian
10. If You're Gone - Matchbox Twenty
11. Escape - Enrique Iglesias

Now I have to go and study for possible quizes I might have in my two classes tomorrow morning. Ugh. Morning classes...what was I thinking? Oh and it has been snowing. It is going to make tomorrow mornings commute to school even more fun.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Here we go again...

"I came to this hallowed chamber one year ago on a mission, to restore the American dream for all our people as we gaze at the vast horizon of possibilities open to us... in the 321st century. Wow, that was ambitious of me, wasn't it?" - President Bartlet (The West Wing)

"Hi-Ho! Work for Disney or Go?"

So very sad: "NBC Cancels 'West Wing' After 7 Seasons". Now I will be down to what 3 TV shows I watch...what is the world coming to?

I almost forgot - "iTunes U". Also check out the related story about University of Michigan's School of Dentistry (and iTunes U). Wow.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Oh My!

"No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!" - Mr. Incredible (The Incredibles)

News you might find interesting: "Report: Disney in serious talks to buy Pixar"

Other stuff:

Not much to report. The week is coming to the close. I have a bunch of assignments to grade over the weekend. I am currently having office hours. Yep, I am not that busy. What is less then not busy? Anyway...

This morning in my algorithms class we discussed that if you have two algorithms as a solution to a problem. The first solution has a time complexity of O(2^n). The second solution has a time complexity of O(n^2). Is it possible for the first solution to be better than the second? I will post the answer as a comment so you can see if you are correct!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What Title?

"There has to be a mathematical explanation for how bad that tie is. " - Nash (A Beautiful Mind)

Someone pointed out this great article to me today ("Math Will Rock Your World"). You should sooooo go read it.

It is Tuesday and I still have writer's block of sorts. I have been spending my time doing homework - more graph encoding and polynomially related stuff. Also, calculating MIPS (which stands for Millions of Instructions Per Second) for my other class. I know it just sounds so exciting you are not sure what to do.

Oh and it started to snow a few hours ago. All day it rained and in the upper 30's. They think we will be getting 2-4 inches over night. I am so glad I don't have to do much on Wednesdays. Thursday is suppose to again in the upper 30's (the snow is so not going to last long).

If you so haven't noticed, I am using the word "so" a lot. Got to try and stop that....

Monday, January 16, 2006

Not a clue where this is going...

"Nobody has a clue. Least of all me." - Simon Templar (The Saint)

Here is an interesting article about Apple: "Apple's new direction takes foothold".

I really don't have much to say. I did watch The West Wing last night which left off at a very dramatic moment. Lots of character development in this episode. Next week's episode looks equally dramatic...

Ah...not much else to mention. Actually, I got 'nothing. Total writers block...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

For the Google-th Time...

I have been trying to write a blog for several days - but I never got to it or I couldn't seem to log in. So now that I finally can I don't really have all that much to write about. Of course when did that ever stop me? (OK, you don't really need to answer that).

Last night I watched Sci-Fi Friday. This week was total a "Captain-Kirk-week". If you wateched, I bet you know exactly what I mean. Don't get me wrong, I really liked this weeks episodes of SG-1, Atlantis, and Battlestar. And I won't ruin the end of the Battlestar episode if you haven't seen it yet - but that was a surprising twist to the whole thing. They really did a cool job cutting together the preview so that the surprise remained a surprise. By the way the Stargate Blog is being updated again.

I decided to put a link to the following article because it just sounded so cool: "Researchers to develop nano-size battery to be implanted in eye to power artificial retina".

Google is everywhere: "Google offers personal home page for mobile phones".

Well, I better get back to answering email from students, looking over the lecture I am giving Tuesday, and trying to prove that two equations (for encoding the edges of a graph) given as a practice problem by the professor are polynomially related. I know you are really jealous about that last one...

I am thinking about printing this comic out for my desk area at school.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

One of these days...

"Sorry, I said no meaning yes." - Wadsworth (Clue)

Today marked the beginning of a new semester for me. The good part - I have all my classes (and teaching) on the same 2 days. The down side - class begins at 8:00 AM. Yikes. I don't think I have gotten up that earlier in the morning for months. However, I took a nap earlier this evening. I am going to spend this evening preping for lecture next Tuesday and trying to finish up all those little semester class start up stuff that needs to get done. I ran across a few articles you might be interested in:

"Google Video Store goes live"

"Astronauts and Area 51: the Skylab Incident"

"Suffocation leaves a mark in the genes"

"Bang-bang: a step closer to quantum supercomputers"

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Happy New Year!

"My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here." - Jim Henson

Sorry for the lack of entries. I have been trying to avoid using my computer for long periods of time actually. At the end of last semester I was spending so many hours in front of the computer that I decided to just check my email a couple times a week. I know you are all very surprised...

Right before Christmas I was at Disney World (laugh all you want). It was tons of fun. So as I promised in my blog from way back in mid-December I will tell you a little bit about that. We flew on a no-frills airline, but spend extra to me in front of the plane. It isn't really first-class because they have some wacky name for it. However, this does mean you get a snack and everyone else does. Plus you get all the fizzy drinks and coffee you want. Yes, I am now calling soda/pop fizzy drinks but that is a weird story I will get to later. Because of the time that we were going most school-aged children were still in school - this fact is important to keep in mind or everything else events that follows won't make sense. (OK, so I was trying to channel a little Charles Dickens there but I can't quiet remember exactly how The Christmas Carol begins - anyway moving on...)

OK, so here is the really thing. There were tons of people with small children at Disney this time of year. Not that I am complaining that much because most of this kids are too small to go on many of the roller coasters. So I went on Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain more times that I can count. On some nights there were special evening hours for Disney Resort guests which was great because lines for many rides were really short. Also having been there many times we were basically going and doing the rides/attractions we like and really not worrying about seeing everything because we already have.

I could probably write pages on my trip - but don't worry I won't because that would be highly boring. I will just give you a short list of my favorite rides:

1. Aerosmith Rockin' Roller Coaster (MGM):
Basic summary: think Space Mountain but you go upside down twice and really loud (but good) music
Cool part: it's in the dark so you can't see what is coming ahead until it is basically happening

2. Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom):
Basic summary: a roller coaster in the dark from the 70's
Cool part: it was the first roller coaster I ever went on

3. Tower of Terror (MGM):
Basic summary: continuing to prove Newton's theory of gravity to be correct
Cool part: you now drop 4 times

4. Test Track (Epcot)
Basic summary: think Michigan driver but smoother roads
Cool part: if you ride at night you get a really nifty view of Epcot, but don't blink or you might miss it

5. Dinosaurs (Animal Kingdom)
Basic summary: you are in a jeep, it is dark, and a scientist is in control
Cool part: the dinosaurs are really well done they seem so "real"

6. The People Movers of Tomorrowland (Magic Kingdom)
Basic summary: sit back, relax, and see the inside of Space Mountain and other rides
Cool part: you get a wonderful view of Tomorrowland and there is never a line

7. Ellen's Energy Adventure (Epcot)
Basic summary: Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye - can you think of a funnier team?
Cool part: this ride is never busy because it can take so many people at a time

There are many other rides I could talk about but I need to work on a syllabus and some assignments for the class I am teaching. Teaching the same thing again this semester as in the fall and I am really excited! I love teaching.

Anyway, a summary of how I have been keeping busy otherwise during the break:
1. Cleaning/picking up/dustying my bedroom at my parents house so I can actually get to my stuff
2. Shopping
3. More shopping
4. And even more shopping

Now that school is starting back up I will start posting on a more regular basis. Hope everyone had a fun, happy, and safe holiday.