The great secret in life ... [is] not to open your letters for a fortnight.
At the expiration of that period you will find that nearly all of them have answered themselves.
                -- Arthur Binstead
Beligan Waffle

Several Events

Chris and I finished off a party size Papa Del's pizza yesterday. This mass input of pizza has been feeding me for the past 24 hours. I think it could keep me fed well through tomorrow, however I'm not sure if I can keep myself from eating something. Not because I'm hungry though -- but because I like to eat!

A great tragedy against humanity has occured -- William Shatner has released his first album. OMGWTF.

It's time for another experiment in the kitchen -- turnip (daikon radish) cakes, ti pang (pork shoulder roast) and maybe a custard pie. ¡Excitomundo!

Chicago Surveillance Network

"When the laws kept men from openly doing acts of violence, it seems to me that they did them in secret. And a man--someone shrewd and wise--first had the thought to invent fear of the gods for mortals, so that there would be something fearsome to evil people, should they do or say or think anything in secret.

"Therefore, he introduced the divine as a daemon [in the benign, non-"demonic" sense of the word, sort of like a UNIX daemon], blooming with undying life, looking with its mind, thinking quite a lot, paying close attention to these things, and having a divine nature, one who will hear and see all that is said among mortals and will be able to see all that is done.

"If you plan some evil silently, you will not escape the gods' notice in these things, for there is much understanding in them... He set the gods in the heavens above... He placed such fears all around people, and... he well established the daemons in a conspicuous place and stamped out lawlessness with laws." -- Critias, Fragment B25. (Note that some attribute this fragment to Euripides.)

Read more from the NY Times, quote taken from an Ars Technica post. Or, read about why there cameras should be available for everyone to see, in an article by David Brin.

Television Viewing Habits

So apparently having more education makes your life more exciting, as does watching less television. The average american watches about four hours of television a day! Chris and I also found this interesting graph:

Percent of Americans Finding Life 'Exciting'

What we were really looking for was a graph of TV viewing habits by state or region in the US. If anyone knows where this information can be had, please leave me a comment!
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Wait, how did you get into college again?

The lack of normal knowledge in people never ceases to amaze me. I was sitting in LING 225 (Elements of Psycholinguistics) discussion section, and for some reason we were being taught about 'how to write a good hypothesis', despite the fact that none of this content is relevant to the course, and will not even be used in the course. The sorry state of affairs is that I've probably heard a similar lecture at least three or four times already in various courses. But I digress.

After the hypothesis discussion, we moved on to some sort of though experiment with a worksheet. It involved exercises such as the following, involving an input, a 'black box', and an output -- the goal being to derive what this 'black box' does. Easy, right?

1 -> box -> 5
2 -> box -> 8
3 -> box -> 11
4 -> box -> _blank_

Where you have to give the answer that goes into the blank. Anyway, a group of five people could not come up with a decisive solution. Now okay, I'm willing to give the LAS (Liberal Arts and Sciences) kids the benefit of the doubt, because well, this involves math. And even though math at UIUC is in the college of LAS, it's probably not their forte. Fine. So we come to the problem:

Red -> box -> Black
Yellow -> box -> Green
Blue -> box -> Green
White -> box -> _blank_

After some inane discussion, I pose the following question to the other four group members -- "So, red, yellow and blue mixed together make black, right?" And the kicker, some girl answers, "No, it makes some sort of brownish color." Now, I don't know about you, but this seems like the sort of knowledge that one learns in grade school. Even I know the answer to this question, and I'm a computer science student! Anyway, none of them trusted my correct answer. In fact, another girl proposed that perhaps _blank_ should be pink. Pink. Like somehow because yellow and blue both to go green, so red going to black means that white must go to pink. I don't know. (And if you're trying to figure out the solution, the hint the TA gave was that the green may be different shades of green. The answer should be fairly apparent without this hint, though, if you think at it from a color filter perspective.)

Chris' RebuttalCollapse )
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So I've just released mdnsproxyd, a multicast proxy responder daemon. It's based off of Apple's mDNSProxyResponder source code, but providing additional features. There's an integrated configuration file in /etc -- you can run a single instance of the daemon to advertise multiple services. It also handles multiple subfields in TXT fields, so you can advertise services such as ftp and telnet that advertise their login and password, and also printers that advertise their automatic configuration information. It's current version is 0.5, as I intend to allow control of advertisements across ethernet interfaces and such. It runs on Mac OS X, Linux and (presumably, although I haven't tested it yet, Solaris and OpenBSD).

Something tasty you've always wanted to try

I just got back from my trip to China (Beijing, Lhasa, Xian, Shanghai) yesterday. Pictures will be up in a bit.

Kao Ya DianBut what I wanted to post to about is something I saw in Xian. As you may or may not know, copyrights in China are not quite the guarded property that they are here in the states. But in this specific case, we see Donald Duck boldly promoting a restaurant -- "Kao Ya Dian," the english translation being, "Roast Duck Restaurant."

Yes, for the first time ever, you can actually taste that tender Disney meat that you've always wanted. Because in China, you can get whatever you can pay for, and in this case, it's Donald Duck, roasted over in a stone oven on a spit. The Chinese palate shows no mercy.

I apologize in advance if the audience finds this in any way offensive.