Friday, January 30, 2009

Running the Numbers

Courtesy Aaron Clauset, here is a link to some very cool art by Chris Jordan. Jordan's display, called Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait is meant to make an emotional point by combining art with statistics of our extravagant, wasteful lifestyle. And maybe that will work, but my reaction to the pictures mostly start and end with the fact that they're really pretty. (It helps a lot that I like fractal-like things.) The constitution one is pretty damn funny, by the way.

I suppose I am supposed to have a larger emotional response, but that was never my thing (as both personality tests and, more importantly, people who know me can attest).

Note (2/8/09): I apparently forgot to put a title on this blog post when I originally wrote it. I have now corrected this.

Tax Dollars at Work

Courtesy Yalda Sharif, here is a brief (roughly 45 second) news report that is both "awesome" and awesome. (I couldn't find a non-Facebook link for this video, so if somebody has one that I can post here so that I can pass that along, that would be great.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not more than two physical forces in nature

The October 2008 issue of Physics Today had an awesome article, in which physicist Lawrence Krauss discussed a hoax article that he submitted to Physical Review Letters claiming that he had found a new, overlooked force of nature. In contrast to what we typically see nowadays, the editors of PRL showed that they had a sense of humor and fired right back, responding with several fake referee reports (one for each force of nature). Both the hoax article and the referee reports were reprinted in Physics Today.

Here is the abstract for the Physics Today article:

When I was a young assistant professor at Yale University in 1986, a great deal of interest was aroused by a paper that had appeared in Physical Review Letters (E. Fischbach et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 56, 3, 1986). The paper argued that a reanalysis of data from the famous Eötvös experiment provided evidence for a force that violated the equivalence principle—the equivalence between inertial and gravitational mass. While many people were skeptical of that result, I reacted with surprise to the notion that the paper had survived the refereeing process, which at the time had very strict self-imposed requirements of general interest, importance, and validity.

I loved the following line from the Editor's response (that contained the referee reports): "Although all advise publication (after some revision) the Editors, in their usual arbitrary and capricious manner, do not come to this conclusion."

I approve!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Friendships in Baseball's Minor Leagues

Courtesy Rob Neyer's blog, here's a very nice post by baseball player Randy Newsom at Dugout Central about the intensity and often fleeting nature of friendships in baseball's Minor Leagues. The movie Bull Durham has a lot to say about this as well. (For that matter, so does the Major League series of movies, though there are certain important differences between the minors and the majors here in terms of a collection of people struggling level by level without having the major stars around.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This is wrong on so many levels

Occasionally, I find interesting things with boredom-inspired google searches. Here is the latest curiosity. The page is an eBay listing for a yearbook from my sophomore year in high school.

I have a very good guess of who the seller is (given the user id). Part of me is amused, and part of me thinks it's kind of pathetic to attempt to hawk an old high school yearbook with a minimum bid of 10 dollars. (To say nothing of thinking that the phrase "Mason Porter, the famous Oxford University mathematics professor, is pictured in a sophomore portrait." will actually help sell the yearbook.)

The auction is apparently going to close within the next day (if it doesn't get recycled), so if the link doesn't show what I've described, I hope my words above will prove sufficiently amusing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Great Britain is a very strange country.

Great Britain is a very strange place. Just consider some of the location names you can find around here. I couldn't make this stuff up.

I remember having a discussion with (Mike)^2 a year ago during my first visit home from the UK. I pass a town called Maidenhead on the train between Oxford and London, and Mike pointed out mountains (I think it was mountains) called something like Greater Cockup and Lesser Cockup.

Tip of the hat to Justin Howell for sending along this blog entry that linked to the New York Times article above. (Also, I agree with the blogger that this is the: Best. New York Times. Article. Ever.)

Comment on "Bifurcation Analysis of Parametrically Excited Bipolar Disorder Model"

A while back, I blogged about a letter to the editor a collaborator and I wrote regarding a paper that was suspiciously similar to our work. Here is the published version of that letter. Notice the snarkiness at the end. Here is my old blog entry.

By the way, I don't remember if I blogged about this previously, but the ending ended up being a happy one: Because of this whole business, the previously-unpublished article by my collaborators and me (which had been on the arXiv preprint server since 2003) has now been accepted by the very same journal that published the article that raised our ire.

OSCAR Nominations (2009)

Here are this year's OSCAR nominations.

I've seen very few of the films that have been nominated (fewer than the past couple of years), so I'm going to forgo my usual fearless predictions this time around.

Tonight I am planning to see the long-awaited (for me) third film in the Underworld series. I wonder if I'll be the only one in the theatre? :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hmmm... I guess being a math professor is not so hot after all.

Or rather, according to a Crooked Timber blog post that Justin Howell passed along to me by e-mail, it's the mathematics professors who aren't all that hot.

At least we beat the chemists.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jeff Kent to announce retirement from baseball

ESPN is now reporting that LA Dodger Jeff Kent will announce his retirement from baseball tomorrow. Next stop: Cooperstown.

This is the latest in a continuing installment of blog entries in which I seek to expand the baseball knowledge of network scientists everywhere (well, and everyone else too). Just wait until my paper on baseball networks comes out. (The current plan is to submit in spring.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recent Annoyances

In honor of George Carlin, here are a couple of things that piss me off:

1. Weekly seminar announcements in the form of .xls attachments with 5 pages (one for each day). This now appears to have been fixed. (I complained loudly that I wanted to receive this information in the main text of an e-mail.)

2. The following keeps happening over and over again with numerous different people: When I schedule a meeting involving N > 2 people and I cc the relevant people, I want the response to include them because their preferences/opinions are also necessary. Is 'reply to all' so hard? (I understand if somebody forgets on occasion, but why is this so widespread?)

Notice that (1) annoyed me immensely with just one occurrence, whereas (2) required multiple occurrences in quick succession to really get on my nerves.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wikified Classmates

I now know of two of my fellow Beverly High classmates [in this case, people who I actually know] from the class of 1994 who have been wikified. (Maybe there are more, but I just found out about the second one today.)

I went to both Beverly High and Hawthorne elementary school (since 1st grade, if I remember correctly) with Dina Rae (though I know her as "Dina Franks"). I went to Beverly High with Saba Soomekh, whose sister Bahar has also been wikified. I took classes with Saba, but I don't remember whether I met Bahar (maybe I did), who has appeared in MI: III (among other films).

Then, of course, there is also Angelina (who I mever met, though my collaborator JP Onnela can tell you at least one story about her; she was one year ahead of me in school and apparently left after sophomore year) and this person (whose family lived a block away from mine and whose brother is the one who first taught me how to throw a frisbee).

So much for my sordid past. At least I can have second-order fame through the people I know.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

House construction using bananas?

Finally, there's a good use for bananas (which, as far as I'm concerned, are vile monstrosities that should be utterly wiped from the face of the planet). Namely, as this CNN weather report from Minnesota shows, they can be used to hammer nails if it gets cold enough. Nice! (The video also has a bubble demo. I'd be interested in seeing a version of that that works as well as advertised.)

This entry is dedicated to the locals who think it's actually cold in Oxford right now. I admit it's a bit nippy, but I've lived in Upstate New York, and what we're getting right now is much warmer than it is over there right now.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Abstract MadLib

Courtesy Aaron Clauset, here is an Abstract Matlab that Jorge Cham drew for a recent installment of Ph.D. comics.

It looks eerily familiar, both with respect to stuff I've read and with respect to stuff I've written. For shits and giggles, you might want to compare this with the abstract I posted in the blog entry right before this one.

Dissipative Solitary Waves in Granular Crystals

My third paper in Physical Review Letters was officially published yesterday.

Title: Dissipative Solitary Waves in Granular Crystals

Authors: R. Carretero-Gonzalez, D. Khatri, Mason A. Porter, P. G. Kevrekidis, and C. Daraio

Abstract: We provide a quantitative characterization of dissipative effects in one-dimensional granular crystals. We use the propagation of highly nonlinear solitary waves as a diagnostic tool and develop optimization schemes that allow one to compute the relevant exponents and prefactors of the dissipative terms in the equations of motion. We thereby propose a quantitatively accurate extension of the Hertzian model that encompasses dissipative effects via a discrete Laplacian of the velocities. Experiments and computations with steel, brass, and polytetrafluoroethylene reveal a common dissipation exponent with a materialdependent prefactor.

In English, the point of this paper is as follows: The common model for the dynamics of granular crystals (otherwise known as chains of beads) is a conservative model. It's not that anybody thinks that other effects aren't relevant; rather, nobody knows how to incorporate them correctly, and it's a not a simple matter of getting something mechanistic through measurement of response curves. Trying to get a correct first-principles derivation of effects such as viscoelasticity and plasticity in order to improve the state-of-the-art models is a difficult and important endeavor. A few papers have recently appeared that insert an ad hoc dissipation term based on a linear dashpot (i.e., using a basic dx/dt type of term, as one sees in textbooks for damped harmonic oscillators), and our paper uses fitting between numerics and experiments to show that this is bounded away from being correct. (The exponent for a [dx/dt]^m type term appears to be around m = 1.75 to get the best fit to the amount of dissipation one actually sees experimentally.) Of course, our paper is not a first-principles by any stretch of the imagination. What we are now doing in this direction is to look at (1) highly plastic situations (by basically firing bullets at the chain of beads to obtain large irreversible deformations) and (2) highly viscoelastic situations in order to examine "limiting cases" to try to improve the prevailing conservative model there. We will then do the same type of fitting as in the just-published paper and ideally we'll get a sensible term that we can try to obtain with a derivation by generalizing some relevant papers that propose some functional forms that have some chance of being reasonable but haven't yet been tested in the lab for these systems.

Friday, January 16, 2009

KH(Ax)N for x = 1, ..., 100

Courtesy Lemming comes this awesome link, which shows a plot of the number of Google search results for "KH(Ax)N" (I assume the quotes aren't actually in the Google search) as a function of x. Observe the broad spike between about 35 and 50 compared to the numbers outside this range.

This seriously needs to be repeated for "PRECIOU(Sx)" for x = 1, ..., 100...

Dodgers release Andruw Jones!

The Dodgers have just officially released Andruw Jones. It's been well-known for a while they we'd be jettisoning him, but it's still great to see him officially gone. Now we just need to also get rid of Juan Pierre, and then there will be even more cause to celebrate!

By the way, I thought the move was stupid from the moment we made it, though I didn't predict it would fail as epically as it did.

Andruw: Please close the door on your way out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Introducing the Pizza Patch

Check out the patch that the Mets are including on their uniform sleeves in 2009. Now that's amazingly "awesome"! (Tip of the hat to Rob Neyer's blog.)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Need for Good Item Recommendation Systems

As discussed in a recent study group paper in which I participated, the online item recommendation systems currently employed are really crappy. A major problem stems from data sparsity because people's actual preferences are determined by what is known as the "long tail," which refers to the idea of rare events (where data is quite sparse) being the most important determining factor of something. (OK, what I wrote isn't a mathematical definition. See our discussion in the paper.) For example, you can't reasonably tell very much about which Wii games I might like based on the fact that I bought Super Smash Brother Brawl because so many people bought it. (You can certainly narrow things down to the fact that I might want games for the Wii as opposed to picking a system at random.) Instead, you would need to go to one of my preferences that is much less common to indicate what my preferences actually are. Then the trouble becomes how to do this effectively because the data sparsity in such regimes makes it hard to do such things effectively. It's quite mathematically challenging. Anyway, the reason I write this now is that because of the fact that I bought Super Smash Brothers Brawl, I have just gotten an e-mail from Amazon suggesting that I might also like to purchase Onechanbara: Bikini Zombie Slayers. Um, no thanks.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame

Well, it's official: Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice are now members of Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame. Henderson, in his first year of eligibility, was named on 94.8% of the ballots. This means that 28 of the 539 voters are morons. Rickey should have been named on every ballot. And if you don't believe me, you can just ask Rickey. Jim Rice, on the other hand, was in his 15th and final year on the ballot and joins a bunch of other great players who should need to buy a ticket to get into the Hall of Fame. So it goes.

There are also some notable names who got shut out. Mark McGwire would already be in the Hall if it weren't for the whole steroid business. He blew it. Andrew Dawson inched up to 67.0% of the vote, and he'll make it pretty soon---maybe as early as next year though more likely in 2011. Bert Blyleven is at 62.7% and should already have been elected to the Hall years ago. Blyleven isn't even a borderline case. It's ridiculous. Also not borderline is Tim Raines, who was named on a paltry 22.6% of the ballots but is also a no-doubt Hall of Famer. How do the voters not realize just how good he was? Among other things he was much better than Dawson and Rice!

On this page, you can see which players are coming up for election during the next few years. There aren't any obvious first-timers in 2010, though Roberto Alomar deserves to make it. Fred McGriff, Barry Larkin, and probably Edgar Martinez also belong in the Hall, but I think that Alomar is the only one of them with a realistic shot to make it in 2010. Larkin will eventually make it, though he could easily get screwed over like Alan Trammell (who also deserves to be elected). McGriff is an underappreciated player who belongs in the Hall, and whose stats got drowned out from the gaudy numbers of the steroids era. Sigh... Anyway, the lack of obvious first-timers next year will help Dawson and Blyleven a lot and Tim Raines a little bit. (That's why I think Dawson has a chance to make it next year.) Among the 2011 crowd, Jeff Bagwell will make it eventually, though I doubt he'll get the first-time election he deserves. Rafael Palmeiro would have been an obvious first-time choice, but he's going to be following McGwire's path in the voting. Larry Walker will get some votes, but he's another great player who isn't quite good enough for the Hall. 2012 is quite a weak year. Bernie Williams will get some votes and may ultimately be elected. Tim Salmon will get a few votes as well, but he'll never make it. The fact that we have some relatively light years coming up bodes well for Dawson and Blyleven, and maybe we can get the campaign going for Tim Raines before people forget about him the way they've done with Alan Trammell. Here is one person's list of 40 future Hall of Famers.

Finally, let's talk about Rickey Henderson some more. Here is an excellent article with several cool stories about Rickey being Rickey. Tim Kurkjian also has a few Rickey Henderson stories. I am very eagerly looking forward to Rickey's acceptance speech. And I'm not the only one, as Jim Caple has anticipated what Rickey might say. Rickey's ego was just as prominent as his performance. He was also quite a character, and I expect this his speech will reflect that.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sacrificing Facebook "friends" for Whoppers

I am officially amused.

Here is an article about a new Burger King promo that allows one to get a free whopper if one removes 10 Facebook "friends". That's pretty funny. (Tip of the hat to Sham Kakade, a Scurve from one of my old D & D groups.) Best. Promo. Ever.

Friday, January 09, 2009

How to Interact with Airport Security


I think I am being uncontroversial in claiming that the following should be obvious: When at an airport (or dropping someone off at the airport), don't pick a fight with airport security. I'm not saying not to be annoyed with (or angered at, insulting by, etc.) some of the bullshit or to calmly ask for appropriate clarifications. I'm just saying that one shouldn't pick a fight when one isn't provoked. Simple.

OK, so one of my family members was dropping me off at the airport on Tuesday and our car was magically chosen for a very quick inspection (to open the trunk for a very brief look to make sure that we didn't have any dead bodies or counterfeit drugs in there). Fine. My reaction would be to have preferred not to be chosen but to take it in stride. The officer asked something like "Can I took a look in the trunk?" Notice the phrasing. It wasn't quite accurate because although he phrased it as a question, there wasn't really a choice involved (unless, of course, we were willing to just leave without my being dropped off). Now there are situations in which I might be anal if somebody phrased things this way (although in conversations I really only care whether I correctly understand the intended meaning), but this would not be one of them. My relative, on the other hand, decided to (a) try to answer no, (b) ask for a clarification and---in an extremely pissy manner---comment about the illusion of choice when there isn't any because of the inaccurate phrasing, and (c) be generally obnoxious. The officer asked very politely initially, so there wasn't any provocation with attitude, etc. (I have occasionally had interactions with rather insulting border patrol people, but my standard procedure even then is to suck it up and just do whatever action I think will get me through fastest. For such things, I am always attempting to do whatever optimizes how fast I get through---so not starting fights when they don't already exist is a good example of something I might do.) After the extreme pissiness, however, the officer was justifiably annoyed and was much less kind about things. We got through, and the look at the trunk took maybe 1/20th the amount of time as the unnecessary argument. Also, if one is going to express displeasure at such stuff (which I can understand), one can do it without picking a fight! Is it really so hard to be calm and polite when something doesn't quite go one's way? Sigh...

One of these days when I am at my parents' home, I swear I'm going to find the adoption papers that they've been hiding from me all these years...


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Rickey Henderson won't be a unanimous Hall selection

Why? Because at least one of the voters is really lame! That's why. Look at who that guy did vote for! Matt Williams?!? That's crazy talk!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"Mathematician" named top job in a America

I just found out from an AMS press release that "mathematician" is the top job in the United States according to the Wall Street Journal.

That's what I've been saying all along. I told you so!

Here are the best and worst jobs according to the article:

The Best
1. Mathematician
2. Actuary
3. Statistician
4. Biologist
5. Software Engineer
6. Computer Systems Analyst
7. Historian
8. Sociologist
9. Industrial Designer
10. Accountant

The Worst
200. Lumberjack
199. Dairy Farmer
198. Taxi Driver
197. Seaman
196. EMT
195. Garbage Collector
194. Welder
193. Roustabout
192. Ironworker
191. Construction Worker

The article showed the top 20 and bottom 20 jobs. Most of the top jobs are typically quite academic in flavor, although I was amused by the fact that physicist (13th) ranked just above parole officer (14th). I approve!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Fuzzy Case of Positive Substance Test in Baseball

Here is an interesting case. If the article has the facts right, then it seems that Phillie middle reliever J. C. Romero is going to get suspended and lose $1.25 million for testing positive for an over-the-counter substance that the Player's Union mistakenly indicated as OK to use. Right now, it looks like both the Union and Major League Baseball are going to let him roast. Again assuming the facts in the article are correct, he's getting screwed over IMO. A fuzzy case like this was bound to happen, and it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

Best. Baseball promo. Ever.

I just love Rob Neyer's latest blog entry.

As he writes, the Braves might want to take a look at who is actually on their roster before they start advertising their Spring Training games. Oops.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Another Caltech Media Star

I have to say that this picture of Jaideep Singh '00 in the New York Times is bloody awesome! Sweet! (Though I couldn't find either Tommy or Goodstein in the picture...)

(Tip of the hat to Jaideep for posting this link on his Facebook status.)

The Article that made Bill James Famous

Courtesy Rob Neyer's blog, here is a link to the 1981 Sports Illustrated article that made Bill James famous. It's also written by Daniel Okrent, who is a very familiar name in Rotisserie Baseball circles.

(For those of you don't know, Bill James essentially invented the science of sabermetrics, which I like to call "Jamesian statistics" (in parallel with Bayesian statistics, etc.).

Games I've recently played

Inspired by Zifnab's summary of his 2008 favorites, I'm going to belatedly blog about some games I've recently played. (Once I'm back in Oxford, I'll write an entry about some movies and plays. I have my ticket stubs there, and I plan to use those to remind myself about many of the ones I've seen. I'll also try to comment about rentals such as Annie Hall, which is a highly appropriate movie to mention if one wants to bring up good Woody Allen films. For some reason, my brother started out with Curse of the Jade Scorpion. I'll never trust his movie opinions ever again---not that I particularly trusted them before that comment.)

Anyway, here are some comments on a few games I've played in the not-to-distant past (several of which I am, of course, still playing):

N+: I had been waiting to buy N+ for the Nintendo DS since I saw this at PAX in August 2007. This was the game that excited me the most at that convention. I played this cooperatively with Lemming on his XBOX Live version, and we got through over 100 levels together. This was one of my best cooperatively video game experiences in recent memories. It was awesome how we worked together. On one particular level, we had given ourselves way too little time to get through things, so we had to rush and devise a strategy (one person drawing missile fire at appropriate times, etc.) to be able to get away with it, and even then it took several dozen attempts because we had so little leeway that even missing one jump was a killer. I also played the DS version a bunch; it seems much easier than the XBOX Live version, but that's probably partially because I developed a few skills while I was playing with Lemming. I should try making my own levels at some point---just like in Loderunner (one of the game's spiritual ancestors and the game it immediately made me think of when I first saw it).

Super Mario Galaxy: I finally started playing this a few months ago. It's extremely fun, and I like it much better than Super Mario Sunshine (which I enjoyed for a while but didn't find sufficiently different from Super Mario 64 for me to want to play it too much). I currently have 79 stars, and I plan to get a few more before I try to beat the final boss. I don't anticipate trying for all 120 stars because there are several that I think will be too much of a pain in the ass to get. Also, I don't play if I'm feeling even remotely bad (so I occasionally have really long gaps between play sessions), because this game tends to make me rather dizzy on occasion.

Zelda for the Wii: I must have blogged about this before, right? Anyway, I finished it a while back now. I still want to do the Cave of Ordeals, and one of these days I will actually be in the mood to go and do this.

Castle Crashers: I first played this at PAX 2007. There was one level that people were allowed to play, so I watched others play and then along with Lemming and two random people got most of the way through before a power outage in the exhibitors hall finished us. (Then we had another event to attend, so we didn't get back to it.) I had a lot of fun with it---it was the other game besides N+ that really struck a chord with me at PAX---but I didn't get a chance to play again until last night. Along with two of my pre-Caltech friends, we got a decent chunk of the way through the game last night. (There is a certain dragon boss which---along with falling rocks---is currently kicking our butts. The highest level among us is now 17. It's often difficult to figure out where you are during the game, but I had a lot of fun button-mashing last night.) Also, I really dig the CPR mechanism in the game and there is a lot of other humor as well.

Arkanoid DS: I bought this recently after arriving in LA. I was playing this on New Year's Eve when the clock struck midnight. Unsurprisingly, it's been spruced up from the arcade version, but its seems way too easy (especially in comparison with the arcade). I'll play some more later, and we'll see how things are at higher difficulty levels. Maybe it's just trying to balance out the ridiculous AI level in the DS version of Puyo Puyo?

Super Paper Mario: I also finished this one a while back, although I still want to do what I will call its 'Pipe of Ordeals' (a la the pipe of challenges in the previous iteration of this series) and I want to beat the Samar Guy challenge. I tried the Samar Guy challenge before and I got somewhere into the 90s before I died. Bloody Hell. That was so annoying that I haven't tried the thing again since then!

Super Smash Brothers Brawl: I played this for a while as well and then I started (finally) playing Super Mario Galaxy. I naturally still play on occasion when I have friends over, and I anticipate I'll do some more of the single-player at some point as well. I have several trophies I still want to get. I also want to do the two-player challenges at some point, and I would like to try my hand at making my own levels. Maybe I'll even play this with other people if/when I get around to connecting my Wii online again. I should also play this with my students and try to kick their asses. :) Oh, and Jigglypuff rules!

Rock Band 2: I played this when I visit Caltech in December. It seems to have taken an evolutionary step from the first game, though I definitely like the song list much better in this version of the game than in the previous one. There were many more songs in my paradigm this time around. My limited skills with the drums had eroded in my one year between playing, so I'll try to pick those up a bit during a future visit. I'd consider buying a version of this game for the Wii if customs and shipping weren't going to be such a pain to actually make it workable.

Super Munchkin: I bought this early in my visit as well. I had a chance to play with the Caltech gang over at 170 and also a bit with some of the Beverly Hills gang. It turns out that it only came out last October, so it makes sense that I hadn't actually encountered it before. My two favorite moments so far are a seriously-augmented 21st level Potted Plant---that was one dangerous beastie!---and my friend's turning himself into a woman so that the Amazon would ignore him. I'm definitely looking forward to playing this one more.

Other games that I am either playing now or soon will be playing: I'll be doing more Super Mario Galaxy once I am back in Oxford. I will also continue playing N+, Arkanoid, and Phantom Hourglass. (I have mostly played the last one of these while on the road, so I haven't gotten very far, and now I am planning to just sit down and actually finish the game. I'm currently at an annoying part that I don't have the heart to repeat more than once every few days because of how repetitive it is---I am back for my third trip in the dungeon where one has a limited time to do stuff---but I'll get past that eventually and then continue with my progress.) I also bought Samba de Amigo, which should be a nice game for when I have friends over. Finally, I bought Okami, which I will start working my way through after Super Mario Galaxy. The presence of this game may well delay my completion of Phanton Hourglass further...

I'm not sure if there are any other games I wanted to discuss here, but I haven't really had a big post about games for a while and I figured this would be a nice one to write (given that I'm not doing year-end reviews for 2008).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New to the Blogroll: Jingle Journal

I've added a link to Megan (Linnehan) Anderson's new blog. She has links to blogs by some old friends from Tech on her blog if you want to follow this graph's directed edges a bit further. (At the moment, I don't plan to link to them because I'm not particularly interested in reading about religion, recipes, or children---not that there is anything wrong with any of those things.)

Happy New Year!

It's now 2009 on the West Coast. It's just after 8am Oxford time. I was playing Arkanoid DS when the clock struck midnight.