Saturday, October 27, 2007

October is coming to an end

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." - Albert Camus

Intereting article regarding napping ("Napping doesn't impair nighttime sleep, research finds") which I am glad to see. As the semester wears on I find myself taking more and more naps since I am such a night owl.

The weather here in Michigan is definately fall like. The tree leaves have changed and are falling fast. The temperatures are hovering in the 50-60s. There have been a few chances to wear sweaters - much to my excitment. I was shocked to realize that October is almost over! Where has the fall term gone? School has been busy with midterms (taking and grading). Projects and research are moving along. So much to do...

Well, I better get back to work!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Cold Snap

"Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight." - Benjamin Franklin

The weather has definately changed around here. Last weekend it was in the upper 80s. This weekend it is hardly 60. Of course, the great part has been getting out all of my sweaters :-)

Stargate Atlantis was on last night. An interesting episode with two story lines and some interesting action sequences. There was a lot of funny dialoge (especailly over the fruit basket).

I don't have much exciting to talk about. Because of the recent climate change (and temperature drop) my allergies have been acting up. However, I started taking my allergy medication before the temperature drop so I haven't been that bad off - just some coughing and occational sneeze!

My life is pretty much filled up with research. Two research projects (one for a class) is keeping me busy. I have been hunting down articles from the 80s. Interestingly, most of these articles have only been archieved online back to the mid 90s. Therefore, I have to find either authors who have posted copies of these articles or libraries that have bound copies. Scare part is when the closet library is in a different country (and they actually give you the distance from said library).

Finished another interesting mystery book "Murder of a Botoxed Blonde: A Scumble River Mystery" by Denise Swanson. This is the most recent book in the series (I haven't read the other yet but I am planning too). The book is like many of the others I read - young unmarried woman solving crimes. I liked the humor in many of the scenes and the fact that the main character was often concerned with what other people might think of her or her behavior. This gave the character a much more down to earth feel. Also, the plot was complex that I actually didn't figure it out until the end when the main character figure it out. (I always like it better when I can figure out the whole plot before the end, but that is just my personal preference).

Well, I better get back to work since those research papers are not going to read and summarize themselves. Hmm...maybe I could invent some sort of artifical intelligent agent that could do that for me...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sciene, can't live without it

In the news:
  • Nobel prize winners Albert Fert and Peter Gruenberg (in Physics) for their contributions regarding smaller hard drives with great space ("Small is beautiful: Incredible shrinking memory drives new IT"). Without these technology advances there would be no iPods or MP3 players!
  • Even Jupiter has seen a climate change! ("Jupiter Caught in Rare, Calm Period") During a recent "fly-by" from The New Horizons spacecraft has changed the way scientists view Jupiter and has helped them gain important informaiton about the planet.

Not much else to share. School is keeping me pretty busy. However, I am trying very hard to remeber to update my blog! Tonight tv shows Bones and Boston Legal are on. Both are excellent shows and I highly recommend them. Well, I better get back to work...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wednesday, Wednesday

So I am sitting here eating (I kid you not) a salad made up of baby spinach, kiwi, strawberries, almond pieces, and a poppy seed dressing. The poppy seed dressing is kind of a cross between ranch and yogurt - odd I know but actually tasty. I never would have thought there was a dressing you could use on both kiwi and spinach and actually taste good.

News items of the day I wanted to point out: It is the 50th anniversary of Sputnik (see article: "50 Years Ago, Sputnik Changed Technology") and the new 1-800-Goog-411 appears to be available (sounds interesting, but not really a service I have ever used).

I can't believe that it is already October! Where did September disappear too? It also means that the semester is almost 1/3 over! I can't believe it. Of course, the weather has not been nearly as cold as I would have first guess. The evenings have been almost cold since it usually drops around 20 degrees. However, they are predicting it will be in the 80s for the end of the week (instead of our current 70s). Of course, I am not complaining in the least. I am totally enjoying the warmer weather while it lasts.

Well, I better get back to my work. I have a ton of reading to do and a lot of thinking to do. Ain't research grand? I also have to write the midterm for the class I am teaching. Each time I teach the class it is interesting because I have to come up with questions that test over the same material as before - but are completely new questions. An interesting challenge that I greatly enjoy. Well, until I get around to updating again - Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Another update - I know shocking...

I want to point out a interesting news article I saw: "Sharp to offer Blu-ray recorder with 1-terabyte HDD". Cool. Then I want to point out a "study" which I believe could have been done without the actual study part: "Study: Employers benefit from treating depression". However, if it gives the issue news coverage, then I guess the study was a good idea.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's About Time...

Well, I am back. I know I have totally not been keeping my blog up. Bad me. I took a couple of months off this summar and found it very relaxing. School has started back up and I am getting back to my old routine. Maybe this will include a blog every once and a while. We shall see.

There was a couple of interesting things I wanted to point out:

iPod Touch: Could the world get any cooler? I am seriously considering getting one. (Actually, I can't decided which of the iPod family to get). The fact that it has WiFi is a huge "neat-o" factor - plus direct downloads from the iTunes store (I just love iTunes). But the iPod video does have tons more storage space. Choices, choices...

SYNC My Ride: A joint venture between Ford and Microsoft that allows people to connect their phone or digital music player to the car. The system includes voice-activation and other interest features. The SYNC is available on 7 Ford, 3 Mercury, and 2 Lincoln models. Ford Motor Company did choose excellent models to include the features - like the Focus and Fusion - which apeal to a younger more digital crowd.

What have I been up to? Not much. Started my research. Over the summar I watched a lot of older movies staring the very interesting and before her time Katharine Hepburn. She was quiet an interesting actress.

I also spend a lot of time reading. I read the recently published Kathy Reichs book "Bones to Ashes" - excellent, absolutely excellent. I have also started reading three additional series: Nancy Martin's The Blackbird Sisters Mysteries, Kate White's Bailey Weggins mystery series, and Susan Kandel's Cece Caruso mystery series. All of which I highly recommend.

The books by Nancy Martin are about three sisters (although mostly focus on the one sister Nora). The books are an entertaining who-done-it that is fairly complex especially when the character Mick gets involved. Some actually have a pretty surprising conclusion. Nora wears great designer vintage clothes from her grandmothers closet (which adds interesting side plots to the stories). Totally worth checking out. Each book has some very funny parts.

Kate White's books are focused on the magazine writer Bailey Weggins who always accidently gets involved in murder cases through either her job or her friends. They too are complex but are done a little more like traditional mysteries since the main character goes about things very logically (like any good investigative reporter). I like the pace of these books and how many characters don't always turn out the way you thought they would.

The books by Susan Kandel are a bit different. Cece Caruso (the main character) writes biographies about famous mystery authors. The book is packed with true information about the current biography Cece is working on. Again, complex plots but a little less traditional mystery style. Any of the books with a bases in an author you read or are familiar with makes for additional interested. Vintage clothes are also mentioned a bit in the plot.

Come to think of it all of the series mentioned above (Kathy Reichs, Nancy Martin, Kate White, and Susan Kandel) are all about woman who are single (some get engaged several books in). Hmmm...well isn't that weird. I swear it wasn't intentional.

This week is the start of the new season for three excellent tv shows: Bones (check out the new look to the website), Boston Legal, and Stargate Atlantis. I am so looking forward to next week!

Well, I better get back to my research and reading. I do a lot of reading these days. Thanks for stopping by. Hope everyone is doing well. Enjoy the last days of summar and the early days of fall!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

TV, Book, Etc

"Kudos on the childrearing. Let me know how the therapy goes." - Shawn (Psych)

This week is the final episode of Stargate SG-1 - <>. Such a good show. I look forward to the DVD movie in the fall. Anyway, I will so be watching Stargate SG-1 on Friday. Actually, they are running Stargate SG-1 episodes all this week if you are looking for good tv.

Which reminds me that the next Sanctuary episode is available. You can see it for free at Sanctuary Fans. Graphics are wonderful - even in low res. If you are looking for the lastest news on the show check out the blog written by Damian Kindler. You should so check out the promo for episode 4 - isn't that player super cool?

I recently finished Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes. The plot has an excellent twisted in the middle. It took a few chapters to figure out what was going on. Excellent read with plenty of funny parts.

Doesn't the new Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille look really funny? Not to mention how great the computer graphics look? If you are an iTunes user you can see some interesting stuff about the movie via the podcast. Plus, there is an excellent 9 minute sneak peek. Anyway, the Ratatouille website has a lot of great stuff to look at and explore. There is even a pinball game.

Well, I better get back to work. The class I am taking is starting to finish up. There is only this week and next week left. I am looking forward to my vacation :) Not that I am going anyway, I am just not taking classes.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Still Having Fun

"I want to commission a scientific study of how news travels in this building!" - Harriet (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)

Current music obsession: "Have a Little Faith In Me" by John Hiatt

I recently watched the latest episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Great episode. Yes, it did contribute to my current music obsession. If you have missed the recent episodes you can watch them online here. By the way that is such a great feature.

This week is the second to last episode of Stargate SG-1 on Sci-Fi channel. There are several interesting interviews, etc in the Grand Finale Countdown section.

Wanted to point out this article: "Ancient Rome Is Rebuilt Digitally". Cool ain't it.

Saw a link to this article: "Buy A Loft, Get A Land Rover" on Digg. I felt obligated to point out that Royal Oak and Detroit are not the same city. It is near Detroit (and is considered a part of the metro-Detroit area) but is not actually Detroit which would be why it is called Royal Oak. Let's just move on shall we?

Since we are on the subject of Michigan, you might be interested in reading about the comic strip Frazz and the author Jef Mallett on Wikipedia. You can read the strip itself here. Often there are some interesing (and funny) little Michigan tidbits in the comics. I like the characters and the drawing style.

Of course, I have to mention that Safari is now available on Windows (as announced that the WWDC 2007)! Wow. Excellent. Made my day. I love the Safari web browser.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I'm Getting Old...

"I think friends should always encourage friends to get their heads examined." - Alan (Boston Legal)

I recently celebrated my birthday. It was quiet fun - I went shopping. I think I have purchased 4 pairs of shoes in the last couple of weeks. As you may remember I love shoes. However, I did have to face the fact that I have gotten another year older. Of course, I am not really feeling all that much older. (I guess I will have to give it a few years).

Current song obsession: "Walking in Memphis" by Marc Cohn: Honestly I can't really explain why I like this song so much. I just do. It has very interesting lyrics actually. But I think the thing that really gets me is the fact that song is the heavy piano parts. It is simple while being complex and elegant.

Not much else to report (hence the lack of blogs). Well, until next time...

Interesting news articles:
"Researchers Find 2,100 Year-Old Melon"

"Algorithm could help chipmakers work with tangles of nanotubes"

"Hitachi Ships Quarter-terabyte Laptop Hard Drive"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Music, Quantum Computers, etc

"Just a little bit louder, because this song is intended for humans, okay? Way Back Into Love, take two." - Alex Fletcher (Music and Lyrics)

Current Music Obsession: Soundtrack for Music and Lyrics

I recently watched Music and Lyrics on DVD. Excellent funny movie. If you haven't seen it, rush out and get it. Seriously. I don't see you rushing ;-) Just kidding. It is quiet funny. If you are into romantic comedies, this is one of the best. Plus, you get to see Hugh Grant sing and dance 80s style and if that doesn't make you laugh you are seriously not trying.

I then rushed out to purchase the soundtrack. A couple of really catchy songs. My favorites are: "Don't Write Me Off" and "Way Back Into Love". Both songs are quiet important to the plot of the movie.

Complete side note: Interesting article: "Scientists demonstrate quantum state exchange between light and matter"

My class is going well. Summer classes are so weird. You do in for the day which is really like a week in the normal term. Since I am only taking the one class it is kind of fun to just be focusing on it. Of course, I am suppose to also be narrowing down what I want to do research-wise. Unfortunately, that is on the back burner. Why? Because I like too many areas! I simply can't make up mind. (Yes, I am completely aware of my insanity. Moving on...) By the way this comic and this comic perfectly explain thesis.

Spring has arrived in Michigan. It is sunny and warm today. As normal we have had a bit of rain, but the temperatures are finally starting to pick up. Normally we are in the 70s at least and on often in the 80s. I can finally get out my short sleeve shirts and summer clothes.

I have been enjoying wearing sandals. I have my eye on a couple of interesting pairs at the store - but I have yet to buy any...yet. Of course, any of you who know me well know that it won't be long before I am buying new sandals. I did buy some clearance shoes the other day. Not sandels, but I need something to wear the other days of the year. (Yes, that is my story and I am sticking to it). I got this really cute pair of flats to wear with these pants that I recently got on clearance...

Enough about my shopping "issues" ;-) I better get back to my school work. I have a bunch of exciting reading about histogram algorithms (and other fun pattern recognition topics.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Until next time I remember to update my blog...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Back to the Grind..

"Objection, your Honor. You can't preface your second point with 'first of all.'" - Alan Shore (Boston Legal)

Sorry for the massive lack of updates - yet again. The last weeks of school were horribly busy. Then I left for a week of vacation (at the warm and sunny beaches of Florida). Last week was the first week of the summar term (and then I caught yet another flu bug). I am taking only one class this term and not working which I am finding quiet interesting experience. The class is lots of fun - no honest. Well, I should get back to my reading. I shall you leave you with the following links:

Current DVD obsession: Season 2 of Boston Legal on DVD
Current Song obession: "Babylon" by David Gray

Interesting News:
"Numbers follow a surprising law of digits, and scientists can't explain why"

"Why Mathematicians Now Care About Their Hat Color"

Thanks for stopping by and reading. Hope I get back to regular updates, but I am not holding my breath ;-)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Stargate, Greeks, Music

"Think about it, Bala. Do you really want to be Mrs. Raving Lunatic?" - Z (Antz)

Count down until new episodes of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis: 7 days

Speaking of Stargate, there is going to be a special about the mythology behind Stargate on at 7 PM before the airing of the new episodes. Doesn't that sound really cool? I thought it sounded really cool.

In the news I say an interesting article I wanted to point out: "Seats helped ancient greeks hear from back row". It seems that limestone filters certain sound waves. Cool 'eh?

Music obsession of late:
"The Freshman" by The Verve Pipe
"Everywhere" by Michelle Branch

It has been snowing in Michigan! We got a little under an inch of the west side last night. From the traffic reports, I was glad that I left school when I did. Mostly traffic was bad becuase the snow was coming down hard and people were not expecting the snow. It was in the 70s earlier this week for crying out loud. But that is the way with Michigan springs. Hot and cold - it's stochastic.

Yes, I just used stochastic in a sentance...I know scary...lets just move on shall we?

Well, I just want to wish you a happy weekend. For those of you how celebrate Easter, Happy Easter! Say warm. Well, I have to get back to preparing my presentation on swarm intelligence. Very interesting topic.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Old Made New Again...

Back when I was trying to finish my master's project I wrote a blog entitled: 10 Ways to Know You are Working to Hard on Your Project. Since it was funny then I decided to write another list which I have high hopes of being equally as humorous. If it isn't - forgive me.

15 Ways to Know You are a Grad Student:

1. You are really tired of people asking you "how many more years are you going to in school?!?"

2. Anything cool you hear abou you put on your "To-Do-After-I-Finish-Grad-School" List (and it now has more than 10 items on it).

3. You actually have a "To-Do-After-I-Finish-Grad-School" List

4. You own more than 4 shirts with the name of a college you have attended

5. You start looking like the horrible picture on your student ID

6. Eating health is a goal. But the pizza at the university cafe looks soooo good...

7. By your diet plan, caffine must be a food group

8. You get in arguements with other graduate students that very few other people could understand or follow

9. In a given day only having one presentation or homework assignment to work on (but due tomorrow) is considered a "light day"

10. You have friends that tell you about their lives and you realize how different yours really is (and then you realize that you don't really have a life, but you pretend you do)

11. You make horrible jokes that relate to your field of study.

12. When discussing your summar plans you include research

13. The kitchen in your apartment hardly gets used except for the storage of take-out food bags

14. When reading material to preparing a presentation for a class you are realize you own some of the books on the reference list

15. You understand all the jokes in the Piled Higher and Deeper comic

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Interesting Trailer

"I suppose I'm a lemon!" - Hannah Brown (Easter Parade)

I saw an interesting trailer recently for a movie entitled Martian Child. You can see the trailer (QuickTime) here. The song at the end of the trailer sounds a lot like "Ordinary Day" by Vanessa Carlton. But it doesn't quiet sound the same. What do you think? (Here is a link to a music video of "Ordinary Day").

I know this sounds crazy, but it is really bugging me. The first time I watched the trailer I just knew that I had to figure out the name of the song. (Yes, I know I am crazy). If you are familiar with the lyrics, then the song seems to fit the movie. Hence, I concluded that it might be the song. Anyone else what to wager an opinion?

Not much else exciting to report. It is warm (n the 70s) today. Tomorrow is forcast for the 40s. There is even talk of snow showers later this week. Spring was here and it has left the building ;-) Well, I better get back to work. Lots and lots to do.

Friday, March 30, 2007

All Goodness...

Have you heard about the new Sci-Fi show called Sanctuary? (You can check out the corresponding blog here). Looks very cool. Most of the show is taped green screen and hence the backgrounds are mostly computer produced. One of the show's main characters is played by Amanda Tapping (from Stargate SG-1). Anyway, the show looks very cool and I thought I would point it out in case you hadn't heard about it. But I am guessing you probably had.

I am still amazingly busy with school work. However, I have been able to catch up on my sleep which has been excellent. The weather has continued to be quiet amazing. Although, I have seen reports that the temperatures will be drop again by the middle of next week. But it seems that spring is trying to make an appearance here in Michigan.

I recently aquired an I-CY penguin. So very cute! He flaps his little wings and bops from side to side with the music. I know, I am weird. But I think it is just so cute and fun. I agree I didn't really need him, but I just couldn't help myself. I have decided to name him Pengy. (Yes, I hear you laughing). It's OK. I know I am a few eggs short of a dozen ;-)

Have a great weekend! Hope you have been enjoying the beginnings of spring!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

No, the blogger is alive

"You aren't going to fire me. My face is on buses." - Jack Taylor (One Fine Day)

Sorry about the lack of blogs. Two words: compiler project.

The weather here in Michigan has been absolutely beutiful! OK, so it rained a few times, but the temperatures have been in the 70s. I have been loving it. Sandels are just itching to be brought out of the closet. Did I mention my obsession with shoes recently? I got this really cool pair a couple weeks back at 75% off - chocolate in color. So very comfortable. Anyway moving on...

My recent music obsession has been Regina Spektor. Her new CD entitled "Begin to Hope" is excellent. I have several favorite songs on the CD - "Fidelity", "On the Radio", and "Hotel Song". Check out the music (or music videos) on the website if you want to hear it for your self. I got "Fidelity" off iTunes first and loved it so much that I got the CD from Target the other week and have been listening to it quiet a bit.

The other week I was sitting in class listening to a presentation. Since it is a class about theory, there are always a lot of greek symbols and what not. I realized that even after all of the years (and math, theory, and statistic classes) I still have trouble remembering my greek symbols. Anytime I give a presentation I look them up ahead of time. Seriously.

A couple years ago a friend suggested (while discussing homework for a theory class) that we make up names when I mentioned I couldn't remember the name for a symbol. It was a trick she had used in undergrad. The symbol in question at the time was the alternate version of phi that you often see in textbooks.

Anyway, my sleep deprivated brain said the first thing that came to mind (which is always a mistake) "butt on a stick". I realized after I said it that it was totally the wrong to say. However, it did cause my friend to laugh and even more amazingly to actually use my horrible name. Of course, whenever I see that symbol it causes me to giggle in memory. Did I mention I (and my friend) were seriously sleep deprived graduate students? We would have laughted at anything. Oh wait, we did.

This past week I was equally sleep deprived. The fun never stops here in grad school land! I love it, but if I got a few more hours of sleep some weeks I would love it even more :-) Speaking of sleep, I am giving a presentation in the morning. I better get to bed so I don't sound any more confused than I absolutely have to tomorrow ;-)

Oh, I am giving a presentaiton on probabilistic Turing Machines. Cool and fun stuff. But I better quit rambling and get to bed. My bed is calling me.

Yes, my bed is calling me. I hear you laughing at me...go ahead is pretty funny now that I am reading what I wrote. I could change it, but I am way to lazy...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Post #500

I noticed when I logged in that is my 500th blog. Boy-o-boy to I ramble!

Anyway, the temperature is getting warmer recently. It is currently in the 50s. The only downside is my allergies. I have been taking my allergy medication which seems to be helping. Unfortunately, everytime the medication begins to wear off I start sneezing a lot. Anyway, I am enjoying the sunny and warm weather. Tomorrows forcast - 65 :-D

Because I lack anything that could be considered a real topic I decided to toss up some links regarding music and books I have been reading recently. (I figure that will work until I actually finding some sort of profound topic to discuss).

Music of the Day:
The Guide by Borne (warning site plays music)
Why I like this song: I am a sucker for any slow songs that you can easily mouth the words to. I know I can't sing, so I don't ever try. The song has a surprising music "twist" starting about half way through that I like. The first time you hear the song it is unexpected. I dare you not to start bobbing your head.

Going Nowhere by Wynoona Judd
Why I like this song: Another song that I find myself mouth the words to. It's a little rock, it has a little country 'twang, the lyrics are fun. I love the chorus especially the line: "I'm chasing my tail/spinning my wheels".

When You Love Someone by Bryan Adams (from MTV Unplugged cd)
Why I like this song: It is at the end of the movie Hope Floats. That was when it first came to my attention. To me the song has an inner power to it. I can't exactly put my fingure on it, but it's just there.

Books of recent:
Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs: This book was so good, I had a hard time putting it down. I just had to know how it turned out. The twists and turns of the plot take you on a wild ride!

Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella: This book is quiet funny. The adventures of Becky continue with all of the fun the last books have ofter. Definately "chick lit". Excellent fun time reading.

Well, that is all I have time to share right now. School started back up this week and I have a project for my compiler class due on Friday. So I better get back to it. Hmm...but first I need food. Actually, I need chocolate. Yummy chocolate. Thanks for stopping by and reading! Hope you weather is getting warmer too!

P.S. The real truth about thesis is denoted in this comic...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Talk of Songs, Phones, and Things

"What we in the news business can never forget is that we are only as good as the stories we tell." - Tally Atwater (Up Close & Personal)

I am sure that everyone is blogging Apple's new iPhone commercial to death to I figured I would join in :-) If you were like me and trying to recongized the background song look no further - it is "Inside Your Head" by Eberg

Other news I thought was interesting:
Shoes, Ships and Sealing Wax: "Wash. Artifacts Show History of Old Fort"

What would we do without math? "Mathematicians unlock major number theory puzzle"

Most surprising (and interesting) headline I read this morning: "Termite digestion findings could lead to new strategies for ethanol production"

On a completely off topic side note: It appears that the former MacHall guys have a new comic Three Panel Soul.

I found this article amusing: "28 Days? Why February gets the shaft."

On another completely un-related side note: A new book in Shopaholic seriesShopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella came out this week. I haven't made it to the book store yet, but I am hoping to later this week.

Blogs will be slow after this week through next week because it it Spring Break! Yippee! I am sooo looking forward to it. Nope, I am not going anywhere. However, I will be sleeping in, shopping, and doing a little relaxing on the side. My big plan is to get a lot of work done - well it's the plan anyway. I always come up with plans, but the execution part is not always there ;-)

Thanks for stopping by a reading my rambles. Now if you will excuse me I have to get back to writing a presentation on LR parser (or also known as LR grammar depending on whether you are taking a compiler course or a theory course).

Friday, February 23, 2007

It Has Arrived!

My new Dell XPS M1210 has arrived! I am typing on it currently. It is very cool. I love the set up and the size. The screen is just amazing!

My thoughts I Vista so far:
Vista is different then any of the Windows version that came before it. The interface has a nice look and feel to it. It feels way more modern than XP ever did. I have even tried out a few of the games - completely for testing purposes of course ;-) I downloaded Visual Basic 2005 Express any have tested that out. Visual Basic even looks better in Vista.

Some of the new "security" features are interesting. I like that there are options. However, I get a little tired of answering similar questions over and over again. I figure once I get all of the settings for programs worked out then I won't notice it nearly as much. I do like the look and the placement of these messages. Long gone is the ugly window in the middle of the screen asking you a question. Now a nicely matching and intergrated message box appears. The placement and description don't leave you wondering: Should I really click on that?

I am enjoying testing out my new laptop. I even (and this is coming from a huge fan of iTunes) the Media Player. It will actually collapes into your toolbar so you can control it from there. Which is great if you are like me and almost always have music playing in the background. Each time it does to a new song a little window pops up giving the name of the song, album, and artist.

While I am not the subject of toolbars I would like to mention another great feature I noticed. If you hoover over a minimized program it shows you a small "preview" of what it looks like. Then you don't have to keep clicking on things looking for the window you want. Anyway, I give the toolbar two thumbs up :)

Now I just have to get using a two button mouse again ;-) Before, I was rarely using anything but my PowerBook (except when I had to use Visual Studio or another software requiring Windows). But, I have a feeling that I am going to be using this laptop a whole lot more.

I still love my PowerBook - don't worry :) I haven't switched sides or anything. I just like to see both pastures. Why? Because I think as a CS student I need to have experience on several of the major technologies out there. If you only ever use one, then you are not well rounded. But realistically, I know each person has their favorites (and they will battle anyone who says otherwise).

Well, that is preliminary report on the laptop. As I discover new and interesting tidbits I will of course blog about it! Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by and reading :-)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wow! Cool!

“Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.” - Alan Turing

I was excited (and happy) to see this headline on Google News: "Turing Award goes to female for first time: IBM'S Frances Allen Wins Computing Honor". All I have to say is: "Wow! :-D"

There is an interesting part of the article that I want to especially point out:

"According to the Computing Research Association, only 17 percent of college graduates getting computer science and engineering degrees in the United States and Canada were women during the 2003-2004 academic year, the most recent year for which data is available."

OK, so I knew the numbers were surprisingly low. I am surprised every time I see them. I really shouldn't be, but I am. It is one of those statistics that I just don't understand. Why don't more women go into computer or engineering? I love computer science and I can hardly imagine not being in CS. Of course, I can't tell you why women don't go into computers or engineering since I did :-) However, I can make guesses from my experiences. But that would be a whole 'nother blog...

Some additional reading on the issue:
"Solving the gender equation: Study shows stereotypes hurt women's math"

"Studies show female engineers needed"

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"We've been rambling all the night..."

"We've been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
we bring a garland gay" - Loreena McKennitt (The Mummers' Dance)

Current Music Obsession: "The Mummers' Dance (Single Version)" by Loreena McKennitt (If it you haven't seen the music video or you want to the lyrics for it you can find it on this page).

Currently Reading Obsession: Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs

I thought I would post up a quick blog and say hello. I have good and exciting news. My computer may arrive ahead of the originally scheduled date! So soon I may actually have something fun and exciting to actually blog about ;-) I look forward to getting the computer. Spring break is in a couple of weeks, so I will have plenty of time to play...err study the laptop in great detail.

The weather has finally gotten above freezing the last couple of days here. It has been sooo nice. We have even seen a little sunshine. However, there has been some assuming side effects - like the snow falling off of the roof outside my window. I heard this load crashed and looked out to see a pile of snow...well there was already a pile of snow, so maybe larger pile of snow would be more accurate.

Well, I better get back to my homework since I don't think the induction proofs are going to write themselves. Thanks for stopping by a reading!

Articles I wanted to point out:
"Toshiba Plug Loophole in Security of Quantum Cryptography"

They always cancel all of the good shows: "Final Curtain Call for 'Studio 60'?" (Now what am I going to watch on Monday nights?!?)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's a Dell!

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backward." - Lewis Carroll (The Queen, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

Currently Listening To: "Mo Ghile Mear" by Celtic Woman

Currently Reading: Better Than Sex by Susan Holtzer (which happens to be the final book in the Anneke Haagen series).

Will be reading soon:
Deception Point by Dan Brown
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs

About a week ago I tried to turn on my (Windows) laptop and it seemed to get "stuck" on the Windows sign-in screen. I thought it was a bit odd. Anyway, after several hours of analysis (and digging out all those disks that you get with a laptop by never use until something goes wrong) I have discovered that a portion of the hard drive is bad. The computer is about 4 years old and has received quiet a bit of wear.

I decided that it was time to purchase a new laptop. I probably won't have purchased a laptop midterm like this since I do have my PowerBook. However, I teach a Visual Basic 2005 and well not having a Windows machine is a bit inconvient. So after great consideration I purchased a new Dell XPS M1210 last night.

It is scheduled to be delieved in a couple of weeks (they gave me a date, but I can't think of it off-hand). Once I get it, I am sure I will force onto you, the reader, to learn all kinds of informaiton regarding the laptop that you really don't care about ;-) On a side note, does anyone know a good place to get a replacement hard drive for my old Dell laptop? If I can find a reasonable priced replacement then I have geeky plans for the old laptop.

A Bit of New:
Survey's can say anything: "Health written in the stars?"

On the quantum front: "Scientists Dubious of Quantum Claims"

This comic will be enjoyed by any grad student who teaches :)

Well, I better get back to working on my presentation for one of my classes. I am presenting a section of the book focusing on proving 3SAT is NP-Complete. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Logically Speaking...

"'Contrariwise,' continued Tweedledee, 'if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic.' " - Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There)

Current Music Obsession - the 90's:
"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers
"What is Love" by Haddaway

Did you know that today is Darwin Day? No I didn't either. Of course that is what things like Wikipedia are for! So you can find out all kinds of interesting informaiton like that - information you didn't know you might need to know.

New's Evolution:
Computer Science meets Medical: "Virtual reality is therapy for injuries"

"The Landscape of Parallel Computing Research: A View from Berkeley" (found via Slashdot).

One large step for woman-kind: "Harvard Expected To Name First Woman to Lead University"

I wish I lived in the east: "Plan Ahead: Total Lunar Eclipse March 3"

Study says: "To sleep... perchance to learn". I am so going to have to start sleeping more ;-)

It's a beginning of a new week. Michigan is still a frozen mess. The roads have improved vastly and temperatures have started to warm up a little (which is really nice). The snow and icicles hanging off of buildings is pretty wacky.

There is nothing I like better than hanging out inside with a good book and a warm blanket in this kind of weather. I am currently reading another book in the Anneke Haagen Series. This time it is "The Wedding Game" by Susan Holtzer. Of course, real life often pops up and I spend my time doing homework. Not that its a bad thing - I find it highly rewarding especially when I get the homework completed!

Well, thanks for stopping by and reading. I better get a move on. The program isn't going to write itself!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Little Bit of Nonsense

"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." - Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

Music Obsession of the Day: "Breathe" by Melissa Etheridge

Fun filled news:
"Physicists Unite Light And Matter (Update)"

"Battlestar Galactica Game Hits Live this Fall"

Not much to report. Well, nothing interesting to report or complain about. Although, I am quiet excited that Cheesy Bites pizza is back at Pizza Hut. I am currently reading "Silly Season" by Susan Holtzer - another exciting book from the Anneke Haagen Series.

The sun is (shockingly) shining brightly through the windows making the world seem less like winter. The outside temperatures leave a little to be desired (20s), but the sun makes it seem so much warmer. None the less, I am enjoying the (what I am sure will be a very short) break from the snow.

Well, I better get back to trying to work with JavaCC. Yep, my life is so exciting ;-) Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Current Rambles

"If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there." - Lewis Carroll

Current Music Obsession: "Trouble Sleeping" by Corinne Bailey Rae

The icey roads are starting to melt! It only snowed for part of the day and it wasn't nearly as cold as it has been. So life is continuing on. I only slightly notice the passage of time. But that's the way it is during the middle of a semester. Busy, busy, busy.

Current readings:
"Bleeding Maize and Blue" by Susan Holtzer. (More information, I suggest looking here). This is actually the third book in the mystery series. If you are familar with Ann Arbor (or the univerisity there), you will find the references in the book even more interesting. (For other books set in Ann Arbor check out this list). Great mystery series with the main character being a female computer programmer! Hail to the Victors.

New Bytes:
"Forensic photography brings color back to ancient textiles"

The Bubbles! Just sounds so cool: "Flow of tiny bubbles mimics computer circuitry"

"Vista Makes PC Sales Pop"

I'm thinking of a fork: "Scientists becoming mind-readers"

Now if you will excuse me I have to get back to trying to show that the class of languages in P is closed under inverse homomorphism. (I know you are jealous because that just sounds like so much fun). Thanks for reading. Stay warm!

By the way, I feel like this comic a lot.

Monday, February 5, 2007

News At Sloth Pace

"I don't know about you guys but we are the weirdest herd I've ever seen." - Sid (Ice Age)

Wow. February. Where did it come from? (I think it must of have been hiding). January went by surprising quickly. I think I must be getting old - because time has started to move faster. Anyway, still on the 80's music kick. Not that had anything to do with anything.

Most of the west side of Michigan is shut down due to the cold temperatures (and the blizzard on Saturday - that I thankfully missed by being on the opposite of the state). It was -7F (wind chill -14) this morning when I got up to check if school was closed and lightly snowing. The major problem is the wind and drifting snow. Anyway, I happily went back to bed and sleep for hours when I saw my school on the list :)

Old news I meant to post days ago:
"15,000-year-old ground sloth footprints found in Argentina"

If real life was a TV show, then I would say that it was aliens, but I am guessing there is a better, more scientific explaination: "Hubble humbled by power failure"

Unless you have been living under a rock Microsoft has released Vista ("Review: Microsoft Vista, Ultimate Edition"). It's release seems to be compatable to the Vulcon/Human relationship on Star Trek Enterprise. It looks interesting. But I am sticking with my rule of no changing of OSs in the middle of the term. Also, by the time I ever get around to updating the little "issues" will be worked out. Yes, there is methods to my madness! ;-) However, I do have to ask one question - why? "Apple warns iTunes users to delay Vista upgrade". I understand that they are technically competing, but still...

Newer news:
"Songs from iPod Commercials" (and you can wach the new adds here).

Two words: Free & Pirates: "Disney in uncharted waters with "Pirates" game"

Completely unrelated to anything:

I finally watched a couple (and by a couple I mean about 2) episodes of Boston Legal. I know I am behind the times. I just never got around to watching it. I have to say I find the show fairly funny in a completely off-the-wall kind of way.

Well, I have homework to get started on. Thanks for reading. Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

80's Music Kick

Just a quick post (I am still around, just busy). I noticed that I am on this 80's music kick at the moment. So I figured I would share my last iTunes purchases with you. (Also, because I really don't have anything else to talk about). My last two song purchase off where "These Dreams" by Heart and "We Belong" by Pat Benatar. See, as I said complete 80s music kick going on.

The song I purchased before that was "Faith Alive" by The Wish. I first heard it in the commerical for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Great song. (You can now get it on iTunes).

Now if you will excuse me I have got to get to bed. I am giving a presentation tomorrow on Cook's theorem wish should be interesting. It is a cool theorem considering that it is the core to the whole NP-Complete concept. Well, that's what I think anyway :)

Oh and yes it is snowing bucket fulls on the west side of Michigan since like Sunday. There are many inches (and by that I mean there has to be more than 5) of snow on the ground. Therefore, it has become my goal to move to a (even slightly) warmer climate after I graduate. Seriously, Michigan is the only state that can boost have four different climates in one state. At least I don't live in the northern part of Michigan!

Thanks for stopping by and reading. Stay warm!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Billboards, etc

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Each week I do a far amount of expressway/highway driving getting back and forth from school. Now for anyone who wasn't driven across the middle of Michigan let me fill you in on the details. Are you ready?

There is absolutely without a doubt nothing! That's right. About every hour or so you come across a town, but otherwise there is nothing. Not even a gas station or a fast food resturant. However, there are tons of billboards. There is so little to see, that I know when they have updated any of the billboards. OK, you can stop laughing now ;-)

But seriously. I read the billboards. My favorite are the The Foundation for a Better Life billboards. (OK, so the fact that I have favorite billboards just sounds weird, but you should all be use to that by now right?) And just to prove how much I like these billboards I even have one as my desktop background for my laptop.

On my desktop I proudly have the picture of the Optimism billboard. If you haven't seen it, it is the one with Thomas Edison and the light bulbs. Why did I choose this one? Several years back I heard the original quote the billboard is based on: "Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won't work. " - Thomas Edision. There are several other Thomas Edision quotes with similar themes (and you can find a nice list here if you are interested).

There are lots of these great billboards out there. So if the weather isn't too bad and you are driving along the highway keep an eye out. Pass It On.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Finger's Crossed

"There never was much hope. Just a fool's hope." - Gandalf(The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

Current food obsession: Milk Chocolate with Smooth Caramel Godiva Bar

New Bits and Bytes:
I know I promised no more lists, but I totally had my fingers crossed when I typed that. I am giving you let another list, but whatever. We all knew I wasn't really going to stick to that promise...

Stephany's Song Obsession Lists:
Starting the Day List:
Especially good for late nights and snow (Yep, it is snowing again) List:
Fun Study Break List:
Well, when I started writing this blog I thought it was going to be a couple of short lists because I had a couple of songs in mind. Then I got started and the lists just keep getting longer and longer :) You know me and my rambling ;-)

Thanks for stopping by! Stay warm.

Obsession Week

"You are the best of us, Miss Montenegro. You discern humanity in the wreck of a ruined human body. You give victims back their faces. Their identities. You remind us all of why we're here in the first place - because we treasure human life." - Dr. Daniel Goodman (Bones)

Song obsessions of the moment:
I have noticed that because I really don't have anything to talk about I have been making a lot of lists recently. Sorry about that - but here is the last one (I wait I don't promise...It's my blog, I don't have to promise anything).

My Current TV Show watch (obsession) List:
  • Psych: Funny show. I mean how could it not be? There is a guy playing a psychic for the police with his friend/partner solving police cases. See, how could that not be good?
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Very good 'show-in-a-show'. Great dialog and walk'n-talks. If you aren't watching this show on Monday nights you are seriously missing out.
  • Bones: Wednesday nights - be there or miss out. In the last episode the show took a dramatic turn. Surprises left and right. Can't tell you or I would ruin the whole thing. Summary: Excellent show!
  • A Nero Wolfe Mystery: This series aired on A&E a couple years back. I got the 2nd season DVDs. If you are a fan of the books, you will not be disappointed. The show had the right combination of seriousness and silly. The show was also done with a repertory cast which was entertaining in itself.
Well thanks for stopping by. Hopefully, I will actually start having real topics to talk about. Or atleast as close as I ever get to real topics anyway...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Rambles: Take One

"It's amazing. You speak Chinese like a native." - Rowlf (The Muppets Take Manhattan)

Stuff you might want to take a gander at:
"40,000-year-old skull shows both modern human and Neandertal traits"

Check out: "A Brief History of the Home Video Game Console for some nostalgic fun. (My blog would be completely unreadable is it wasn't for

Nothing all that exciting to talk about. Gave a lecture today - that was fun. Although it is pretty cold (20 degrees) outside it was nice a sunny most of the afternoon. It was a nice change from all of the overcast days we have been experiencing.

Current Movie Watching (Obsession) List:
  • The Da Vinci Code: If you haven't figured out that I have an obsession with this movie, you haven't been paying attention. I have watched the DVD atleast 8 times so far. Great, great, great movie.
  • The Devil Wears Prada: Fun, light movie. See I keep telling people that not all black shoes are alike! If you get the DVD watch the gag reel - it is pretty funny.
  • Nanny McPhee: Great movie for kids and adults. Great cast and great makeup!
  • The Pink Panther: LOL! I dare you not to laugh :-D
  • The Muppets Take Manhatten: Oh come on admit it - Muppets are classic!
  • Disney's Robin Hood: My favorite movie when I was little. It's cute, it's funny, it's Disney...
  • Superman Returns: Wonderful movie. I would say it was the best of all the Superman movies hands down. The graphics are excellent. The look of the movie so matches the originals. Yep, I watched all of the Superman movies over the holiday break.
So run don't walk to your nearest video store and pick up this great films if you have not already done so :) Thanks for stopping by and reading. Try to keep from freezing!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow Bunnies Strike Again

"When you need me, but do not want me, then I will stay. When you want me, but do not need me, then I have to go. " - Nanny McPhee (Nanny McPhee)

Current music obsession: Soundtrack from the movie Finding Neverland

It is of course snowing. Not that it is a huge surprise or anything that it is snowing in Michigan. The ice rain Sunday night was a bit of a surprise. However, we haven't gotten that much snow. But it is a bit on the chilly side :-P

However, lets move on to discuss much more pleasent things. My obsession with two board games: Authentic DaVinci Dilemma Board Game and The Da Vinci Code Movie Board Game. I came across these wonderful gems at a bookstore (which I was there purchasing a textbook for one of my classes - honest). I had an change to play both of these games over the weekend. They are great!

Authentic DaVinci Dilemma Board Game: In this game you answer trivia questions and riddles to collect pieces of art work. The trivia questions are divided into 4 categories and cover a wide range of knowledge. Knowledge of Da Vinci a plus. Great low key fun for all.

The Da Vinci Code Movie Board Game: This game reminds me of a cross between clue and logic puzzles. So I was instantly attracted! It takes a little bit to get use to the game play. If you have read the books or are familiar with historical events surrounding the events of the book/Movie you will be at a slight advantage. Great fun - and lots of surprises!

In the news:

Honey, someone shrunk the wires: "Can HP fool Moore's Law?"

This just looks so cool: iPhone

Well, I better run along :-) Thanks for stopping by and reading. Keep warm!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

OK, so I am going to brag for a minute...

"The details of your incompetence do not interest me." - Miranda Priestly (The Devil Wears Prada)

Over the holiday break I got a new cell phone. After great debate I purchased one of those cool Chocolate phones (warning: site plays music). Can I just say "I love it!". Being a new phone it works so much better than my last cell phone. I haven't put any music on it yet, but I am enjoying it none the less. It is a great size. I got a black one. I could claim becuase it would go with more of my shoes...but I think it would be best not to.

I seem to have come down with a cold. It has made the past couple of days interesting. I had to give the first lecture today for the class I teach. It is weird to lecture when you have a cold. Just trust me on this. But lets move on shall we? Before I start sneezing again.

My current music obsession is the soundtrack from The Devil Wears Prada. The official soundtrack is missing the wonderful song from the beginning of the movie - "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall which I downloaded from iTunes. The movie was great, the soundtrack is great, the book is great...I give it two thumbs up all around.

Well, I better get back to doing actually work - inbetween sneezes that is ;-) Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Happy New Year!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very happy new year! Wow - 2007. It is hard to believe another year has come and gone. The holidays have been a fun time for me. I have been watching movies, reading, sleeping, and shopping. So I decided to share with you my current reading obsessions.

Angles and Demons and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: These have to be two of the best books I have ever read. I loved the movie, but the books are just amazing. You are so missing out if you haven't read them yet. Love the fact that the main character wears a Mickey Mouse watch - it just so works. Anyway, hightly recommended!

Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot: It is one of those click-lit/mysteries. Wonderfully entertaining. I like reading these books on vacation or at the beach. Highly recommended!

My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary: I remember reading Ramona books and who can forget Dear Mr. Henshaw? In this book Beverly Cleary discusses her life and what lead her to writing children books. Interesting book.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!