Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Fest of 40 Acres

Sorry, my creativity for post titles has gone downhill. So I ran a couple of booths at 40 Acres Fest yesterday and it was a lot of fun. One was for the ACM: Kersplash. It looked kinda like this except that it was smaller and there was a chair underneath. The idea was that a friend and yourself took turns pulling straws while the other was in the chair and there was some wiring to pop the waterballoons as they fell so that you got wet. It turned out well and many a person had fun. My other one was for NSC, for which we won 1st place in creativity! It was an obstacle course for all the sciences. First you spin around with your head on a baseball bat to the ground five times (Physics), then you put on a lab coat (Fashion), then you go to this big cardboard body where there are holes for you to pick out computer keys a doctor left in there (Biology), then you put the keys where they go on a keyboard (CS), then you put together the food pyramid puzzle (Nutrition), then you do a mental math problem (Math), and finally you burst a balloon (atom) with your butt (Chemistry). The prize was candy and a surprising number of people came. It was meant for kids, but a ton of students were at the event so we got a lot of those. The whole festival was bigger than I thought it would be so if you didn't go this year then be sure not to miss it next year. Also this weekend I did a scavenger hunt I'll talk more about Wednesday.

I have a sizeable chunk of technology news today so let's get to it. Cheapos like me may feel a tinge of joy or sadness at Best Buy's decision to end mail-in rebates, which will most likely trickle down to other stores as well. While the process of getting the money back is tedious, there's no telling how they'll pass the savings back to consumers if at all. A crazy Canadian company has created a service that tracks Adobe Acrobat files to allow sites to gauge the depth of their documents and decide better on distribution. While this is a good idea, I kind of worry about the possibly privacy violations. The programming language Python is on its way to breaking into enterprise software development. I have to hand it to Micrsoft: they do well with languages and I like the sound of Python, which hopefully I'll learn within the next year or two. Speaking of M$, Bill Gates is apparently on a mission against spammers. I suppose it makes sense for him to sue so many phishers since they make XP look bad, but it just caught me off guard. Cell phones are constantly evolving and the next step seems to be eBooks. Japanese cell phones have already started to allow reading books on the tiny devices, and it make come stateside soon, which I think is an awesome thing. And lastly, a couple of informational articles. One is about how motherboards are made, which is surprisingly complex. The other is a lecture that a Google engineer gavelast year about how the smart search engine works. It's rather interesting, but don't watch it if you're not CS or really interested in Google.

Guess who won the box office war? Sin City made back about 3/4 of its production budget over the weekend, which is really good. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a steep dropoff next weekend given the lack of women who enjoy the film, but they still have foreign sales and DVDs to justify a sequel. Master writer David Goyer (think Batman Begins)is making exciting things happen for The Flash and things look good for it so far. Also in comic book news, Joss Whendon is reflecting hard on who to cast as Wonder Woman in the new Wonder Woman movie. Everything else I have is multimedia. There are new tv spots for Revenge of the Sith that really do make it look as dark as Lucas claims it will be. There are also new tv spots online (scroll to the bottom there) for Batman Begins. It even inspired me to put up this picture:

I like the car too much

Just a few random notes left. Those of you who liked the VR missions in Metal Gear Solid may be thrilled to learn that one company is getting closer to that by creating a simulation that delivers shocks to the players. It's being marketed to military and police forces right now, and hopefully it'll hone their senses better. If you're even lazier than me you may also be excited about this voice-controlled tv remote. It's currently a pilot program but I wouldn't be surprised if yuppies nationwide started getting it soon. And lastly, I'd like to continue your economic education with this article about slow job creation. This has got to be worrisome for the Fed because wages aren't growing with inflation and job growth isn't picking up, and yet they have to deal with rises in consumer prices. I wish Bush actually cared about the economy.

Here it is, Unconscious Mutterings:

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Renewal::Library books
  2. Someone to talk to::My brother
  3. Count::Chocula
  4. Expiration::Orange juice my room mate forgets about
  5. Upload::Scavenger hunt pictures
  6. Publish::My blog!
  7. Holy::Week
  8. Change in the air::Rain is on the way?
  9. Titillating::Jessica Alba
  10. Glorious::Revolution (curse my nerdiness)

Stop reading if you don't care about my personal life. I just had to state my excitement at getting a perfect score on my second test. It wasn't as challenging as the first, but the grade distribution was worse so I was totally excited to learn about that because it encourages my choice of a major. My partner and I also finished our fourth project and I'm optimistic. The whole program was just creating the machinery for an environment that allows creatures to interact based on a set of instructions you feed into them. It's fun to play around with them, so comment on this post if you want to see the code.

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