Sunday, February 24, 2008

New's of Random Topics

"I tell you what I envy about people in love - I'd love it if someone knew me, I mean really knew me. What I like, what I'm afraid of, what kind of toothpaste I use." - Rose Morgan (The Mirron Has Two Faces)

I realized that I hadn't done a blog with a bunch of links to interesting news articles in a while. Therefore, I thought I would fix that situation (OK, so it didn't need fixing exactly, but it sounded good didn't it?)

The question I know we have all asked at some point, but you didn't think would get answered (least of all with a study): "Why Does Popcorn Cost So Much at the Movies?"

How much push can an atom take if an atom could be pushed? "Scientists Measure What It Takes to Push a Single Atom"

Firefox celebrates a milestone: "500 million Firefox downloads: complete; 500 million grains: in progress"

Luckily thieves are usually not very smart: "Police bust chop shop — for snowmobiles"

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Hope your weekend weather was a lovely as it was here (there was actually some sunshine)!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Interesting Article

I saw this article ("Sorry, Boys, This Is Our Domain"). Very, very interesting. 27% of women in computer and math industry?!? Well, that explains a lot. Interesting article overall. I am not sure I agree with everything in it, but interesting article anyway.

I only have one question, why was it in the "Fashion & Style" section of the The New York Times? Oh, wait that must have been related to that "it is difficult to shake existing stereotypes" part....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Funny Times

"So, what, nobody argues with the landlord?" - Fanny Brice (Funny Girl)

As I stated before I am going through this weird "older movie" phase. Plus, TCM has been running 31 days of the Oscar. Anyway, I was surfing channels and caught the end of Funny Girl. So recently I have watched Funny Lady and Hello Dolly. Yep, all Barbra Streisand films. I love the music and outfits from all of the films.

If you haven't seen any of these films you really should. Although Funny Girl was considered better than Funny Lady - Funny Lady is quiet good. The part with the disaster show is my favorite part. I have numerous favorite scenes from Funny Girl - including the wedding dress scene from the Ziegfield show and the funny comments made during the song "You Are Woman, I Am Man" by the Fanny character. Hello Dolly is funny all the way through. The iconic scene where Dolly goes to the resturant is one of the best. Especially, the rapid conversation that occurs in the scene following it.

Wow, will you look at that? I wrote a whole blog that had nothing to do with the weather! Hehe. ;-) Thanks for stopping by and reading. I better get back to my reading.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Randomness Continued

"Wow... Dad. Tell me you're wearing that shirt because someone has to spot you from space." - Shawn Spencer (Psych)

Friday was another fun tv night. The season ender for Psych was on and yes the mummy did it. It was quiet funny episode and an interesting lead-in for next season (which will start in the summer).

The fourth to last episode of season 4 of Stargate Atlantis was also on Friday night. The wraith try to get onto earth. The whole midway station was pretty cool - while it lasted. Totally recommend watching it if you have not already done so. I just love the part where the guy faints. The look on the wraiths face - priceless.

I went shopping Friday to get gloves to match my new coat! I did find a wonderful pair that are so soft and match perfectly. I also got a pair of jeans and a shirt (all on clearance 75% off). I have my eye on some shoes, but I am waiting for further mark downs. However, I am excited to see that spring clothes and shoes (sandals - my fav) are starting to be advertised and in stores! It helps to forget about the winter wonderland outside.

Well, I better get back to my reading. Lots to do for next week. I also have a bunch of grading! Spring break is coming up and I am so looking forward to the week off. I have a bunch of books just waiting for me to read them! Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A blog not just about the weather...

So I am going to finally write a blog that doesn't mention snow. Of course, this could be because this is the first time we haven't had any. Don't worry we had 2.5 - 3 inches on Tuesday afternoon and evening. However, I was excited to see a little bit of sun this morning when I woke up (instead of the typical gray-ness). Maybe finally some of the roads will finally get cleared of the packet snow. The expressway was just a little wet when I was out this morning - which is wasn't when I went home yesterday.

This morning I was reminded of an interesting topic that I hadn't thought about in a couple years - Huffman coding. This method is used in compression for jpegs and mp3s. It is funny how we use these things all the time, but we don't really think about it. The method is very simply and very effective. Basically, you rank each item by the number of times it occurs. You give the fequently repeated items a short encoding. Things that occur less often get longer encodings. Therefore, reducing the over all space by approximately 25%. Simple. Straight-forward. Ducky.

Complete side note: I purchased a salad for lunch. It came with a packet of dressing (1.5 oz). How on earth do they pack 210 calories into that thing? The dressing is no where near 210 calories of yumminess. Therefore, I only used about 1/2 of the package. But still. Next time I am bringing my own light dressing from home.

Well, I better get back to work. I have to read a book on fuzzy logic - not my first book. I have been reading several on and off. However, I figured I would try to read this one (Fuzzy Logic: Intelligence, Control, and Information by Yen and Langari) all the way through.

I also need to create a help guide for my students for functions and sub procedures. They have an assignment coming up and I know this concept always causes confusion. It is the nice thing about teaching a class again. You have a better idea some of the issues before hand. Of course, each term they manage to still surprise me!

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Happy sunshine (and lack of snow)!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Snow?!?

"Good God, Holmes, she was ripped apart by crocodiles!" - Dr. John Watson (Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls)

It is snowing and icy out on the far side of Michigan today. There are wind gusts blowing the snow all over everywhere. The worst is the -15 wind chills. Last night there were several inches of snow. The weather service keeps extending the winter weather advisory. First it was until 4 PM and then moved to 10 PM. The last update was until 1 AM. Hopefully, the winds will die down a little bit. Roads are not very good. If you don't have 4-wheel drive, then the roads are almost impossible. Trust me, I was out in it. All I have to say is ugh!

Recently, I have been watching a 1990's movie Sherlock Holmes: Incident at Victoria Falls. This movie stars Christopher Lee as a retired Sherlock Holmes and Patrick Macnee (yep, John Steed from the Avengers tv show) as Dr. Watson. The movie is very funny overall. It is a typical "who-done-it" with all the characters having secrets and mysterious actions. Although this is not based on original Sherlock Holmes stories, it is a fairly good movie overall. Christopher Lee makes a very good Sherlock Holmes. (Side trivia note: Christoper Lee was in another older Sherlock Holmes movie, but didn't play Sherlock Holmes).

Well, I better get back to work! Lots to do on my research. Well, I have lots of thinking to do anyway ;-) Try to keep warm and un-snowy!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Weekend Fun-ness

"Think of the safety. Think of the sense of well-being. And, at last, your family can be protected from the heartbreak of gorilla invasion." - Dr. Bunsen Honeydrew (Muppet Show)

Is fun-ness even a word? Probably not, but whatever. That has never stopped me before...

The other day I saw this comic on PhD comics. Funny I happen to be grading that day too. I can so relate to that comic :-) Although, it didn't take me nearly that long. But I have to be carefully that I don't do that to the later papers. It is more frustrating to grade the end one, especially if people keep making the same errors over and over and over again. Oh the joys of grading. (Actually, I like grading most of the time. Seriously, I must have issues or something).

Weather is going to get crazy again and cold. Tomorrow we are going to have single digits and very cold wind chills. Yikes. Oh and there is going to be more snow (2-4 inches). Just what we need, even more snow.

Well, I should be getting back to work. Lots of research to do. I have a paper to read. Then I have to figure out a way to apply weighted mean to my problem while maintaining certain properties. However, I will spare you the details - else your eyes may glaze over ;-) I know I find it interesting, but I am guessing that everyone else only finds it minorally interesting.

Thanks for stopping by and reading! Keep warm :-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow, Fraggles, etc

"I was in bed, my pajamas were on, my eyes were closed; what's your guess?" - Red (Fraggle Rock: The Secret Society of Poobahs)

The snow has returned to this side of Michigan. This morning we had a rain/freezing rain mix and now it has changed over to snow. I think we have already gotten an inch or two. Wow! It is icy from the morning rain. It is coming down pretty fast right now. The temperatures are hoovering around freezing - so it is definately not melting! (The local channels around here have cut into regular programming and are doing special weather reports).

I am currently watching season 3 of Fraggle Rock (available via HiT Entertainment). This is the season with the excellent Christmas episode (The Bells of Fraggle Rock ). This episode features the songs "There's a Promise" and "The Festival of the Bells". I remember watching the episode as a kid. Gobo goes looking for the Great Bell of Fraggle Rock and realizes the true meaning of the holidays. I love the part where Sprocket is trying to break the pinata.

Side note: There is a new Disney DxD site for the Muppets. Ducky.

Well, I better go fix some dinner. Something nice and warm I am thinking. Thanks for stopping by and reading! Hope you are having better weather!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Old Movies, Snow, ect

"How about making me vice president in charge of cheering you up?" - Peter Joshua(Charade)

It has snowed even more here in Michigan. Around 3 inches! Many schools are closed today state wide. I don't actually have any classes today (so of course today is cancelled). We are scheduled to possibly have more snow! Then on Monday we are suppose to warm back up - briefly.

I am on another "old movie kick". Recently, I have watched Charade and Everybody Sing. Charade stars Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Funny movie and Audrey Hepburn wears some of the most interesting outfits. The surprising twist at the end was quiet good. Also the scene where Cary Grant takes a shower in his suit is really worth seeing. Everybody Sing stars Judy Garland and Fanny Brice. The singing is marvy. OK, so it is your typical "B" movie of the time. But worth a watch anyway.

Tonight another new episode of Stargate Atlantis is on! Ducky. Replicator come to earth is the short version of the basic concept of tonights episode. I am looking forward to see it. A new episode of Psych is also on tonight. I am so glad that each show is run twice in the evening.

Of course, there is some irony that of the few tv shows I do watch they tend to be on the same evening (although this is a first for being on at the same time). I only watch four shows right now (Stargate Atlantis, Psych, Bones, and Boston Legal). And the first two are the only ones running new episodes right now. I will get to add another show to the list next year - since the Sci-Fi Channel has picked up Sanctuary! Very interesting and very different show.

Well, I better get back to work. Lots to do before Monday. Thanks for stopping by and reading.