Monday, April 18, 2005

Props For Profs

I don't know what I did to get on God's good side but I'm glad I did! Amazingly, I awoke today feeling normal despite the less than 6 hours of sleep I got last night, and I did pretty well on my Linear Algebra test. It was 7 free response, 5 true/false, and no real surprises. Then again, I studied for over six hours. Anyway, the new CS project looks like it will end up being easier than the Graph one, which we did end up finishing last night with 15 minutes to spare and much confidence in the end product. The new project is a DequeList and thanks to inheritance it won't take as much code as I previously expected. My Latin teacher cancelled class on the perfect day because I had to meet up with Sayali to discuss Props for Profs set up, and then I had to shower and stuff after the gym and start getting things ready for the event. For the confused, this is an event NSC puts on every year where students in the College treat their best professors to a semi-formal dinner at the Union in the Santa Rita Room (which is cool because it's big and has a quasi-Oriental style to it). I was kind of worried because we ordered food for 100 people and we weren't getting many RSVPs early on, but the room ended up being packed. The speaker was Dr. Brent Iverson who gave a lecture about how chemicals are evil, and though I thought I'd be bored it was quite interesting and funny. Eating a meal with Mike Scott was also a plus and I didn't run out of things to talk about like I had previously feared. The meal was great and Sayali was nice enough to recognize my effort with the event in front of everyone, which was nuts because there was a prolonged applause. It was so surreal because it was no only my peers and superiors in NSC but a lot of distinguished professors, and that was an honor in itself. It made the whole event even more worthwhile and I hope next year's events will go well under my leadership of Student-Faculty Relations.

As promised yesterday, I'm going to cover a whole weekend's worth of techie news and I'll try to only stress the good stuff. Byfar the coolest thing I encountered was this CBS special report on this guy's flying machine. He built a personal flying vehicle that can be produced for about $50,000 and with NASA's incipient support could become a reality to be used on air highways. It would be awesome for paramedics! Our future could also be composed of LED bulbs rather than the usual incadescent type because they're so much more efficient and the aesthetics will propel them into the home market. They're a bit pricey right now, but they'll come down over time. One part of our future that is uncertain right now is the possibilities of WiMax, which Intel has invested in and would be wireless broadband access for areas as large as cities basically. Maybe then America wouldn't be behind other countries in broadband internet diffusion. If you've been loath to get a PDA because using two hands is too much you may want to check out Microsoft's experimental user interfaces just for your thumb. I don't think it'll end up being a big deal, but I think it's funny that it would even be an issue; just grow out your nails like me if you don't want to use a stylus pen. Photography enthusiasts must read this article detailing a number of different photo vaults that are actually under $1000.

Movie media is just falling from the sky today. Yahoo! Movies put up a couple of new exclusive clips from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy including the revelation of the planet's most intelligent animals. You can check out a few new pictures from Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, featuring Johnny Depp, over here. There is a good amount of pictures from the set of Superman Returns including this one of Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh:

Preparing to run

If that wasn't enough superhero excitement for you though, Ray Park may once again be Toad in X3, but nothing is official yet. If you can't get enough of Wolvering though, there are a few new details on the direcion of the movie focusing on him over here, and it will apparently paint him as a berserker/loner type of character as the comic book seemingly intended. Fans of 24 probably know Aisha Tyler's character, Marianne Taylor, as the agent you love to hate. Now she, in all her hot glory, will be in .45, a movie with the same setting as Daredevil but a more workable plot.

And before I conclude I just thought I should share yet another viewpoint on employee blogs. I do think there's a fine line between what's personal and what actually hurts the company. Censorship should only be necessary when the company is painted in an unfavorable light or when anything insider about it is revealed. Otherwise, I would hope people would be free to write what they want.

And now, some Monday Madness:

From the time you get up in the morning until the time you go to bed at night, how many different digital/electronic devices do you use on any given day?
Here's the best I can come up with walking myself through my day:
My computer at home
Cell phone
Alarm clock
Refridgerator (does that count?)
Unix machine in the CS lab
My CS partner's PDA
Today I used a projector for Props for Profs
And that's all I can think of!

...and an optional random question, because I just cleaned my mouse...
How often do you clean your mouse?

Never because I switched to optical =) Back in the day I used to clean it every couple of weeks though.

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