Friday, July 31, 2009

And then 6 months later...

Here is an amusing divorce entrance, the sequel to the really awesome wedding entrance I posted a few days ago. The wedding entrance is funnier, but this one is still quite good. If you watch the divorce entrance, make sure you go all the way to the end.

(Tip of the hat to Jaideep Singh.)

Curiouser and Curiouser...

Somerville College automatically blocks access to various websites for various reasons, and is being blocked because Somerville classifies it in the category of "Pornography". The page is actually the home page of the bluegrass band "Mason Porter".

Experimental Results Related to DNLS Equations

The final version of this paper is actually over a year old, but it was just published as a book chapter in a monograph written by one of my collaborators (Panos Kevrekidis). Panos wrote the first sections of the book, and then he invited a number of people to contribute individual chapters on more specific topics. He asked me to write a paper based on experiments relevant to discrete nonlinear Schrodinger (DNLS) equations because of the fact that I work closely with experimentalists on a number of topics. Hence, this paper is a review article that covers a theorist's view on experimental results. (Note that I purposely ran the paper by several experimental colleagues in relevant fields to ensure that I didn't say anything stupid.)

The title of the published version of the chapter (which you probably won't be able to download for free, which is why I included the link to the version on my website) has "DNLS" because the acronym has already been well-established by that point in the context of the book.

Keep your eyes on this spot for a number of additional papers. I have a bunch of stuff that's about to come out. Also, I have a comment to make related to the first-mover scientific advantage, but I'll leave that for a different blog entry because it relates to my networks research rather than nonlinear waves research.

Electromagnetic integral equations requiring small numbers of Krylov-subspace iterations

I was looking at Cat's website, and I found the page proofs for this paper, which I believe is Lemming's first publication. Congrats!

I only have one question: What happens if you consider random cracks?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dodgers acquire reliever George Sherrill

The Dodgers have acquired reliever George Sherrill from the Orioles for two minor league prospects. Sherrill is a useful piece for our bullpen and should be pretty helpful. I'd rather have Roy Halladay, though. :)

We'll see later if I complain about having traded away these prospects. It all depends on how well they pan out. ;)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Journal Title of the Day

Courtesy mini-AIR comes a pointer to the following article:

"A Continuing Education Course For Physicians Who Cross Sexual
Boundaries," Anderson Spickard, William H. Swiggart, Ginger
Manley, and David Dodd, Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity: The
Journal of Treatment and Prevention , vol. 9, no. 1, 2002, pp.

You can find the article here.

And also from mini-AIR comes this masterpiece in PRL.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Congratulations to Steve Van Hooser!

Steve Van Hooser (Caltech, Lloyd House, class of 1998) has accepted a faculty position at Brandeis, which he'll be starting in July 2010.

$150,000 per song?

Um, isn't $150,000 per song just a little bit steep a price for music piracy?

(Tip of the cap to Christopher Voyce.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

"I want to boot some head, too."

I just watched a few videos on YouTube related to the two skits by The Frantics in which heads get booted.

First, here is a pretty amusing World of Warcraft version of "Tai Quan Leap". (When I write "version", I am referring to the graphics that go with the soundtrack.)

Second, here is an awesome Phoenix Wright version of "Last Will and Temperament".

Finally, here is a live version of "Last Will and Temperament" which isn't very good. The YouTube label claims it's actually being done by The Frantics, but I have trouble believing it.

Also, I started watching a Super Smash Brothers Brawl version on which I gave up pretty quickly. It didn't look like it was going to be worth watching.

Best. Wedding entrance. Ever.

This wedding entrance is just awesome. Wow! I guess there's nowhere to go but down. (Tip of the cap to Jimmy Lin.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mark Buehrle pitches perfect game!

Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle pitched the 17th regular season perfect game in Major League history. (There has also been one postseason perfect game.) This is his second no-hitter. Buehrle also pitched to the minimum 27 batters that time (one person got picked off). Nice!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

RIP Gidget the Taco Bell dog (1994-2009)

The celebrity world has taken a major hit today, as the dog from the Taco Bell commercials (whose name in real life is Gidget) died of a stroke today. In case you don't remember, the dog's famous tagline was the dubbed "You quiero Taco Bell."

(Tip of the hat to Bonnie Harland.)

Weirdest baseball exhibition game ever?

Back in the day (in 1926), there was an exhibition game between a KKK baseball team and a Jewish team. Apparently, it also turned pretty ugly after the game. I suppose the game was intended to help mend things, but it clearly didn't work.

(Tip of the cap to Rob Neyer.)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Headline: Derek Jeter makes easy play look easy

According to an earth-shattering news report from that respected source known as The Onion, I can now reveal that recently Derek Jeter made an easy play look easy. (I love making fun of jeterating...)

(Tip of the cap to Rob Neyer.)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nature versus Science

It's not quite the epic battle of ninjas versus pirates or even pirates versus ninjas, but there is at least some pizzazz to the battle of Science versus Nature. Here is a recent depicted of this battle in PHD Comics. (Check out a particular square on the Monopoly board. Ouch!)

(Tip of the hat to Peter Mucha.)

Best. Press Release. Ever.

I thought this was a joke when I first read it, but apparently this is a real press release.

The money quote comes at the end of the press release (bold words were bold in the release):

“We completely understand the public’s concern about futuristic robots feeding on the human population, but that is not our mission,” stated Harry Schoell, Cyclone’s CEO. “We are focused on demonstrating that our engines can create usable, green power from plentiful, renewable plant matter. The commercial applications alone for this earth-friendly energy solution are enormous.”

Wow. I'm at a loss for words---well, except for the fact that one of the sites that promulgated the flesh-eating robot news was apparently I hate to break it to you, guys and gals, but she already works for you.

(Tip of the cap to Francisco Gutierrez and Heidi Eldenburg Bramlet.)

Name of my New Computer

Unless somebody changes my mind quickly, I have just decided to name my new computer "Trefoil" (well, technically for the current hard drive). The use in both mathematics and for the biohazard symbol is just too good to resist. I was thinking of using a "sweeter" name (like the name "Duende" I used for one of my old hard drives), but this was the first name that came to mind that I really like.

Now I just have to finish setting up the new computer. I am copying older stuff in a piecemeal fashion that was necessitated by the issues with the old computer. Sadly, this takes a lot longer than a simple user transfer. I also need to register the Mac address with Somerville's IT people to get online directly without at least some monkeying (or going to a different location), so I won't be finished with the setup until at least tomorrow. I'm sure it will take me a while after that to reinstall software, so I'll probably stick with immediate needs. I already have stuff to do that needs LaTeX, and I expect to need things like Matlab, MS Office, etc. soon. I also have the urge to start a new game of Civ IV, but given all of the urgent work I have right now, that really ought to wait for a long while. (Let's see how well I do with that.) I also plan on downloading a bunch of music via the iTunes store. I have taken advantage of not having my playlist on the old computer by listening to a flashback alternative station that I really like (that I hadn't listened to in a while but which I enjoyed during iPod gaps in the past). Every time I listen to this station, I hear songs I forgot about or that I otherwise really like (and that I hence want to acquire), so one thing I really need to remember to do this time is to occasionally listen to that station rather than my own playlist. Some of the songs will likely be very hard to acquire, as this station plays lots of deep cuts, many of which I suspect are from sources that unavailable via iTunes and often just no longer available without scouring for used material. Once I get my new computer online, this is on the docket. Then I can enjoy some of these songs while I get some of my urgent work done.

I'm now online with the new machine using internet sharing (Thanks, Lemming!), though admittedly faking my old computer's Mac address would have been a cooler way to solve the problem. :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pictures from Sevilla trip

Here are a bunch of pictures from my Sevilla trip.

More from Sevilla

I am sitting in the air-conditioned hotel lobby. I will shortly be calling a cab to go to the airport. Here are some more things to report from the last couple of days:

1. Today I walked through a rather large local park for a while. (I assume this is listed among the tourist attractions.) I encountered two museums on the other side, so I looked around in those for a while. One of them concerned archeology and the other concerned art and lifestyle. I took an awesome picture of a cat chilling in the shade outside the later (Saturday catblogging!), and that will almost certainly make my photoblog today. I have some great picture of buildings and scenery as well, but this particular picture is so damned cool that I don't care that it isn't particularly Sevillian. On the way back, I naturally got lost and even started walking in the exact wrong direction at some point---I was even on the exact right street, but my direction sense is so bad that I was 180 degrees off with my subsequent choice of direction---but I eventually figured it out, walked back, accidently found a cafe in the process, had coffee and read for a bit, and then made it back to the hotel. (The cafe had lots of chocolate drinks too, but it's bloody hot here so I wasn't in the mood for a hot chocolate, and I figured trying to ice the drink would screw up the consistency.)

2. Several people asked me for directions (in Spanish, of course). They didn't realize how doomed they were. Naturally, I responded that I didn't know and was not from here.

3. Outside the conference room there is a fire extinguisher with the label "UNIX". ("This is a UNIX system. I know how to use this.") I will post this in a directory with other Seville pictures so that you can see some things aside from what I put in the photoblog. Stay tuned...

4. On a few occasions, I did some translating for other conference attendees when they were asked questions in Spanish that baffled them.

5. Several of the streets had a walk signal that consisted of a green animation of a person walking. In such cases, the animation would start to walk much faster just before changing to red. (There was no yellow signal.)

6. Wednesday night's social event was a boat trip on a local river. I have already posted one picture from that, and I will post a few more.

7. Thursday night's second social event was the banquet. Almost none of us got enough sleep that night, which made giving my talk on Friday morning a bit harder than it otherwise would have been. It also lowered attendance somewhat.

8. Just before the banquet, we had a tour of the Alcázar of Sevilla. There were a lot of us, so we split into two---not each person; half of us went with one tour guide and half went with the other. We had a choice of a tour in Spanish or one in English, and naturally I chose the former. I would have never lived it down if I hadn't and I wanted to test myself anyway. I had to concentrate much more than I would have with the other choice, but I understood almost every word that was spoken. The hardest parts were when it was a label that I couldn't apply without context (such as in a couple of cases indicating what material something was made of) or when it was a word that was different in Spanish Spanish than in South American Spanish. (The Spanish I know is partly generic Spanish and partly South American Spanish.)

9. The conference ended yesterday with a psychoceramics talk in which the speaker attempted to develop his own version of electromagnetism. I looked at his website, and he's actually written a lot of serious papers in top physics and applied math journals, so I guess he just jumped the shark at some point (or, if you prefer, contracted Josephson Disease). I hope this never happens to me.

10. Dinners in Spain are bloody late. Granted, this has a lot to do with having siestas when the sun is at its peak and being out late at night instead. Our conference dinner on Thursday started at 9:40 and I got back to the hotel at 12:30, and I was one of the first ones to leave.

11. I left for Thursday's events at 7:30 pm. When I came back at 12:30 am, there were 30 work e-mails waiting for me. Sheesh. Some of my collaborators work very hard. Naturally, I went through these before crashing, though my page proofs will have to wait until my return to Oxford. (Actually, because I am setting up my new computer tomorrow, I will probably start on them on Monday.)

12. After the conference ended on Friday evening, we probably had over ten people from the conference in the hotel lobby doing work or other stuff of various forms on their computers at around 8:30 pm. What a bunch of nerds! :)

13. I think I might have been the only American at this conference. There were people from US universities.

14. I seem to have procured a visit to Singapore on someone else's dime. This goes along with the trip on someone else's dime to Belgium that I procured at the last conference and the invitation to Germany I already had. (Actually, I also have been invited to stay with a friend when I visit Berlin, though she's usually located in Oxford, so that one will require some coordination.) Anyway, it looks like I have some good opportunities in the near future to add to the countries I've visited. I will be in Poland next month, and of the others I expect to knock off Belgium first.

15. One of the conference attendees was someone I had met in grad school (and whose wife was a fellow CAMster). I had heard of him but didn't remember him at first. As is usually the case, he knew exactly who I was immediately. Another attendee had been a grad student at Georgia Tech when I was a postdoc there. Conferences are always good for encountering people one hasn't seen in a while.

16. There were more demands from my professional colleagues for pictures of me in my Oxford cap and gown. I am going to be an Examiner this Friday, so that's the next time I am wearing that stuff. One of my friends has offered to help with the picture, though I need to check whether the timing this Friday will be workable. I'll let you know if such a picture becomes available that quickly.

17. And on the third day of the conference, we were interrupted by ninjas. Sadly, they were way too fast, so I couldn't get a picture of them. I wish I had had my camera out. They took advantage of the fact that we were having our coffee break so that the girl who was filming them could catch them running out from behind the posters. Interestingly, most of my colleagues didn't seem to notice. I should have gotten my camera out as soon as I saw the girl preparing her camcorder---I hadn't notice the "ninjas" going to hide amongst us. Ah well, they were ninjas, so I guess that gives me a decent excuse for not being fast enough to take a picture of them.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


As promised, I am starting a new photoblog now that I have a digital camera. (Props to Arcane Gazebo, from whom I shamelessly stole this idea. I believe he might have done the same thing, but anyway I got it from him. Perhaps he got it from Agnes?)

I am hosting these pictures on Facebook, but I have arranged the settings so that one does not need an account to view the pictures. (Let me know if this doesn't work.) The link for the first album in the photoblog is here.

Each Facebook album supposedly can hold 200 pictures, so I'll give you a new link once I get to picture 201. My plan is to post my "best" picture from each day. The basic requirement is that I have to take the picture, though I anticipate that there might be exceptional circumstances from time to tim in which there is a subsequent photographer. I will post one picture for each day. Thus far, I have only posted my 7/15/09 photo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A list of things for physicists to know

Here is an interesting essay about all the things physicists really need to know. It appeared in Physics Today in 1993 and can easily be adapted for any subject, because none of it really has anything to do with physics. I follow some of these, but I certainly don't do certain ones. :)

(Tip of the cap to John Preskill.)

Quote of the Day

Main conference organizer (upon meeting me for the first time): "I thought you were older."

Me, in response: "I hope I will be some day."

His reaction: He didn't know how to react and the conversation abruptly ended right there

(Note that I am going to choose to view his comment as a compliment---in reference perhaps to how well known I am for my work. I don't actually know if that's why he thought I was older.)

In other news, our conference package included a cap (advertising the university) and a bottle of olive oil. WTF?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Seville so far

The conference doesn't start until tomorrow, but there are already several good signs that this one will work out better than the one in Venice:

1. My hotel is much nicer. We've got wireless in the lobby (as opposed to no internet at all, which meant I only had access during the day) and we actually have a tub instead of just a shower.

2. Several of my collaborators and others I know are all staying in my hotel. Granted, I do know more people at this conference than at the last one in general, but this is still a very good sign. It will also ease discussions and food acquisition.

3. It helps a lot that I more or less know Spanish. (I'm not as good as I ought to be.) I actually got completely through the airports in Spain without speaking a word of English. I understood the people perfectly and while I made some mistakes, I didn't have much trouble. I was able to get a proper iced latte by explaining what it is I wanted, and I never succeeded in getting a proper ice espresso drink in either of my two trips to Italy. Also, I had a nice steak sandwich at the Madrid airport. The default option was plain (as in meat and bun only)---I approve!

4. In Sevilla, I found a gelato place where I ordered a really good (apple) thick, practically-invertible milkshake. I was worried about the thickness, but I was pleasantly surprised by this. Yes!

5. I very much like having the opportunity on this trip to practice my Spanish.

6. I am really enjoying having a digital camera, and I expect this to continue.

7. There is some weird word usage and pronunciation here. For example, people just drop the final consonant in a word, so (for example) "gracias" sounds like "gracia". I had heard about this but didn't realize that it was so pronounced. Also, I see a lot of "os" in places where it should be "as". For example, the word for shoes is "zapatas", but I saw a lot of store signs for "zapatos". I still haven't figured this one out.

8. I knew what one particular menu item was specifically because of the nickname of a baseball player---"pulpo" (octopus) for Antonio Alfonseca, who has 6 fingers/toes on each appendage instead of 5.

9. I need to remind myself what the words for things like "menu" and "reservation" are, but I am remembering some long-forgotten vocabulary very quickly. Getting some of my Spanish ability back (and also testing it for the first time in a real situation rather than just practicing) was something I was really looking forward to on this trip. (OK, upon looking this up, it turns out that I do remember one way to say "menu" correctly and---despite how the guy at the hotel reacted---it turns out that I did use a correct version of "reservation". The thing is that I specifically used one that was American---as in South American---which is perfectly forgivable given that my father is from Argentina! (I said in Spanish that I had a reservation and the guy immediately switched to English because he apparently decided that I couldn't speak Spanish. Bah!)

Stay tuned for more updates...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Digital Camera Tips?

Now that I (finally) have a digital camera---which arrived while I was in Venice---I am planning to steal AG's idea (that I suppose he stole from others) and try to keep up a photojournal with one picture a day for a year or more. (Ideally, I'll keep it up for longer, but one consecutive year is a good goal.) I am not planning to wait until January 1st to start, but I do need to practice more with my camera before I start. (That said, if any of the pictures I take in Sevilla are fantastic, I might well start right away.) In my practicing, many of my pictures have been blurry, and I am trying to adapt to holding this camera differently than I did with previously-conventional ones. Any pieces of advice for helping me with this transition?

The Porter of Seville

AKA: Lo que pasa en Sevilla se queda en Sevilla. (I'm pretty sure that one should use quedarse here rather than quedar. An online Spanish-English dictionary seems to back me up. Let me know if I got this horribly wrong.)

AKA: What happens in Seville stays in Seville.

Also, while my upcoming status as the Porter of Seville isn't as cool as The Rabbit of Seville or even The Barber of Seville, I think it's pretty damned good. Naturally, I earmarked that title for this particular blog entry when I first decided to attend this conference. (I don't normally come up with entry titles several months in advance, but this one was just too good to pass up.)

Early tomorrow morning, I will get on the bus to head to Heathrow airport for a morning flight to Madrid. I will then stay in the Madrid airport for a several-hour layover before I take a "one hour" flight to Seville. (I seriously should have found a better configuration.) I suspect that only about 30 minutes of that flight will have actual flying. I will be attending LENCOS, a conference on "Localized Excitations in Nonlinear Complex Systems". In practice, this will entail lots and lots of talks on solitary waves and allied concepts. This is rather narrow in scope mathematically, though a wide range of applications will hopefully (and likely) be represented. One thing I really like about the conference is that there are no parallel sessions and that it is a level playing field---every talk is 20 minutes + 5 minutes for questions. My past experience with relatively small conferences in which everybody sees every talk have been quite good. This format is usually quite conducive to meeting and have lots of chances to talk to other people, which can be particularly beneficial for young scientists who might otherwise be virtually ignored by their senior colleagues. There are supposed to be some posters as well (for people who chose to do things that way), but I can't see any reference to them on the website.

Interestingly, the conference venue was supposedly the inspiration for Carmen back in the day. I need to find a way to get "The Toreador Song" (or maybe "The March of the Toreadors", which would probably work better) into my talk. I will be presenting a talk on granular crystals.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How Vin Scully got hired

Here is the transcript of an interview with former Dodger broadcaster Red Barber that tells the story of how Vin Scully got hired. This text appears on the blog Dodger Thoughts, which is hosted by the Los Angeles Times website.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Venice Roundup

Here is a belated roundup of some of my misadventures in Venice. I had been looking forward to the conference, but sadly it didn't work out very well. Here are some highlights and 'highlights':

1. One thing that partly amused me and partly made me uncomfortable because of my proximity were the geriatric boat lesbians on my boat ride to the area of Venice where my hotel was. It was of course nice that they were crazy about each other, but in general I prefer not to be so near anybody who can't take their hands off each other, especially when I get slightly bumped in the process. I guess Venice really can be quite romantic for some people, though the city didn't strike me as overly romantic when taken as a whole.

2. On the first night of the conference, I was going to join a bunch of fellow NetSci attendees at a private tour of a the San Marco Cathedral that the conference organizers had arranged. Sadly, I missed several obvious signs when walking there and ended up at the other side of the city instead. Who knew that the city had more than one giant domed building? So I paid 10 pounds for the privilege of getting hopelessly lost and stressed out in a hot, humid place. Thankfully, knowing Spanish eases communication with the locals quite substantially, and I took advantage of that when I finally realized how hopelessly lost I was and tried to get directions to get back to the hotel. (Venice is a really easy city in which to get lost, which bodes poorly for people like me who have a horrible sense of direction. As it turns out, one of my problems was that the direction that I thought was east turned out to be south.) I ended up having gelato for dinner and being depressed for a while, although the three hours of novel reading I did that night eventually got me out of it. My inability to find the cathedral also provides an excellent illustration of the difference between the concepts 'All Roads lead to San Marco' (which is what fellow conference attendees insisted when I explained to them that I got lost) and 'a set of measure 1 of roads, in the limit as the number of roads tends to infinity' leads to San Marco---namely, I managed to find some roads that would have measure 0 in such a limit. :( Also, Venice has the shortest mean free walking path of any city I have ever been in.

3. Our conference dinner was on the third night of the conference. I was not very impressed. Also, I ended up sitting on my own for quite a while and talked to almost nobody for 3.5 hours during the event, so my mad social skillz really helped me out as well.

4. The lead organizer of the conference technically still owes me gelato. I needed to pay an extra fee to my bank in order to be able to wire money to register for the conference. (Such a transfer was the only payment mechanism.) He promised to buy me gelato and even brought it up again during the event, but I guess this will have to happen at a future conference.

5. We had our group dinner the night after the conference dinner. Four out of the six Oxford people attended. We had a much lower showing at this conference than we did in Norwich for NetSci 2008.

6. I walked around Venice with one of the Oxford grad students on Saturday before I headed off. There were a couple of neat stores, such as one with some fancy chess sets. We also saw some of the art exhibitions.

7. I seriously considered buying a funky jester hat---if for no other reason than to wear it at High Table at some point---but I didn't end up getting one. I'll try to pick one up the next time I'm in Venice.

8. I dropped my laptop onto a quite solid, 200-year-old marble surface. This provides an excellent example of an exogenous shock, as my computer was functioning quite effectively before I did this but not afterwards. My new laptop is on its way... (Also, this was the straw that broke the camel's back. I already wasn't very happy because of a couple of the items above, but then after this I basically really just wanted to go home.)

9. I gave my talk in a church. It was really pretty inside, but I felt the need to be somewhat blasphemous.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Obscure Baseball Rules Quiz

Here is a quiz on obscure baseball rules. (Note that this is a quiz about obscure rules rather than an obscure quiz about rules.) It is apparently part of an advertisement for some book about how to become an umpire. I found the advertising statements in their descriptions of the correct answers to be rather annoying, but the quiz itself is cool, so I'm passing it along anyway. I only got 4 right out of ten, though a couple of the ones I missed are rather cheap and depend on the interpretation favored by the book being advertised.

(Tip of the hat to Rob Neyer.)

A promising career move?

You know, I could increase my salary by becoming a witch.

(Tip of the hat to Rachael Hampden-Turner, who sent this link to Oxford's RPG mailing list.)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Optical Illusion of the Day

You might remember that I posted a link a while back to this awesome optical illusion of a spinning silhouette. (I can't find my blog entry on it at the moment, so I must not have tagged it very well.) Here is a more generic but still cool optical illusion that I mentioned previously.

Well, here is another really awesome optical illusion, which was posted on Bad Astronomy. Damn! It's probably not as cool as the silhouette, but I still really like it. It also makes me thing of the green/blue paradox (or whatever that's officially called). :)

Also, here is an aural illusion that I can't get to work. I get exactly the same thing whether or not my eyes are open or closed. Can somebody explain this one to me?

(Tip of the cap to Rob Neyer.)

Transformers Go Hollywood

Here is an amusing video on YouTube called Transformers Go Hollywood.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Mathematics Employment Task Force

The the results of the Mathematics Employment Task Force have now been published. The 68 departments surveyed had 40% fewer doctorate-required positions to offer. This aligns rather closely with my expectations based on anecdotal discussions, but ouch is still an appropriate word to use.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

2009 Baseball All-Star Teams

The 2009 baseball all-star teams have been announced. Well, that isn't entirely true because there will be 5 National League Players and 5 American League players for whom the fans can vote. There will also invariably be injured players (and perhaps even "injured" ones) who will be replaced by other people.

At any rate, here are the current National League and American League all-star rosters.

The possible additions for the AL are Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge, Ian Kinsler, Adam Lind, and Carlos Pena. My choice here is Adam Lind. My second choice would be Ian Kinsler.

The possible additions for the NL are Christian Guzman, Matt Kemp, Mark Reynolds, Pablo Sandoval, and Shane Victorino. The way I see it, there is one excellent choice (Sandoval), two choices that are not as good but not horrible (Kemp and Reynolds, with the latter more deserving), one choice that is somewhat worse than that but still not horrible (Guzman), and one choice that seems to be rather nepotistic (Victorino, who is a fine player but is not having anywhere near the 2009 as the others).

Equation of the Day: Laptop + Marble Surface = Bad

So, it turns out that computer hard drives tend to have some serious issues after a computer is dropped onto a 200-year-old marble surface. (This week's life lesson: laptops + marble surfaces = bad.) Does anybody have any name suggestions for the name of my new computer? (As you might recall, my current one is called "Hourglass", in honor of a certain character and very much with a pun intended on its lifespan.) Applecare is still going for the current computer, so I am going to try to get that repaired as soon as the new computer arrives. I'll thus need a new hard drive name for the present machine as well. I should also mention that my last hard drive failure occurred right after my only other trip to Italy, so I might need to stay away from that country.

By the way, here are the specs for my new computer (I hope it's readable even with the copy and paste):

MacBook 15 inch 1 Z0GH

MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen 1 065-8668

Keyboard (US) & User's Guide (English) 1 LL065-8482
Country kit 1 065-8484

500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm 1 065-8667

Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter 1 065-8472

SuperDrive 8X (DVD+R DL/DVD+RW/CD-RW) 1 065-8466

Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter 1 065-8468

Apple Remote 1 065-8476

8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB 1 065-8458

3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1 065-8455

EMEA CC-HE contract uplift MacBook 1 S2366 (aka, Applecare)

HP Photosmart C4580 all-in-one 1 TS420 (my first ever printer!)

This computer is the most expensive Mac laptop ever purchased from Oxford's Mathematical Institute. (I am paying for it with money from my McDonnell grant that was set aside for a high-end laptop.) It is almost the most expensive laptop purchased through the MI, but one from back in the day when laptops were much more expensive slightly trumps it. It is nowhere close to the most expensive computer purchased through the MI, so I'll be sure to let you know if I ever approach that.

Oh, and why I am so giddy right now even though I was just in a shitty mood from this conference and am now spending lots of time getting my data back-up situation in order (there was a bit of comedy of errors involved there as well): Simple. It's because I'm getting a fucking powerful computer that will probably give me my biggest performance jump ever when compared to my previous computer.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New to the Blogroll: "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks

I have mentioned this site in a blog entry before, but now I have decided to add The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks to my blogroll.