Friday, February 20, 2009

How Science Works Today

Please find for your consideration an article by Steve Quake describing how science works today in the modern university system. Unfortunately, it's factually accurate.

The guy has some interesting research accomplishments, so he must be a good scientist. It's funny though, as soon as he enters the political realm in his discussion, his scientific method goes out the window. He actually trots out the expression "the exception that proves the rule," which is possibly the most deeply stupid idiom in any language. Why does that dumb expression even exist? A true exception disproves a rule. Period. Stupidity.

Challenge 1: Disprove my rule regarding true exceptions disproving rules by finding an exception.

Challenge 2: Become a snake and eat your own tail.

Heading Home

I really do know better than to blog while intoxicated... well, I'll pretend I do anyway.

Finished testing in Taiwan. Turns out that adaptive structural control on wireless systems is really hard. I cam here with two approaches I thought would be slam dunks, but only one worked. Also did some wireless market based control. That worked great. Kind of pisses me off though since I spent a week from start to finish developing the market-based control while the adaptive control that didn't work was the product of a month of my effort. Stupid research... Got enough for a paper though.

I celebrated my going home by drinking alone at an outdoor bar near my hotel. They have Hoegarden on tap... here in Taiwan. Go figure. Don't worry, I only had one... one 1000 cc glass of beer. 1000 cc's of beer is really the only sensible size glass of beer to drink... provided your stomach is 4x the size of mine. Oooo. 20 hour plane trip tomorrow. 4:30 AM wake-up time. Should be fun.

I worked pretty much every waking moment this week. It helped me not think about how much I miss the official wife of the sarcastic weasel and how guilty I feel being gone for two weeks in the winter with her 8 months pregnant. It also helped me avoid the television. There are about 9 English language channels out of the 100 or so that I get in my room. Three are sports, 2 are news, 3 are educational, which leaves movie channels as the "entertainment". The movie channel choices are bizarre. Cinemax Taiwan treated my to Final Destination 3. That has to be the most deeply stupid movie I've ever seen... and I've seen stuff with Julia Roberts in it. Cripe.

If you find yourself in Taiwan. be sure to visit Ding Tai Fong for dumplings. Holy cow, I thought I'd had good Hong Kong style dumplings before... nothing compared to these. Paper thin wanton wrappers around soup filling. Great stuff. Those of you with access to Los Angeles, you have the U.S.'s only branch of the restaurant. You need to go. It will rock your nads... provided you have nads... if you have other stuff, it will rock that too.

OK. Time for sleep... broken up by about 20 trips to the bathroom, I can tell already.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Don't touch my dream with your dirty hands

Some real blogging to come later. In the mean time, here are some Pavel Datsyuk interviews. He's actually hilarious.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 2 is must-read. "Don't touch my dream with your dirty hands."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Yogurt Craziness

I thought I was beyond surprise.

I thought wrong.

My yogurt I bought for lunch, was chock full of extra firm, flavorless, gelatin cubes.

Just plain crazy, I say. Crazy.

(That's all I can say. It made no other impression on me either bad nor good. I would not seek it out again, but I didn't dislike it either. I believe this is what the term "meh" was invented for... but it's crazy meh.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Breakfast of Weaklings

I always lose weight on these trips to Taiwan. It's not that I dislike the food, but my stomach always feels off, so I never want to eat very much at a time.

Breakfast is the hardest for me. I can eat chinese food for lunch and dinner every day, but my western stomach is conditioned for a certain set of foods for first thing in the morning, and that set does not include chow mein or fermented tofu, bean... things. You might read this and accuse the Weasel of being soft and provincial, but I am a victim of my decadent western upbringing. I AM A VICTIM! So having my stomach be off at breakfast then screws me over for the rest of the day.

I believe now though, that my problem up till now, has been that I have not been getting breakfast at 7-11. No wonder they're replacing their shrines with 7-11s here; their freaking awesome. This morning I had an egg and ham sandwich (with mayo too, but whatever), some actual milk from a damn cow (not from a soybean), and real orange juice.

Now the orange juice part may not seem particularly miraculous to you being that Taiwan enjoys a very warm climate, but my experience has been, even at the better hotel restaurants, the orange juice here is about 90% water, 7% sugar, and 3% juice. I found, hidden in a separate cooler on the other side fo the store from the crappy juices, 100% juice juices. OMFG! 100% juice juices.


I'm back in Taipei again.

It's been about 6 months and generally, everything is where I left it.

The little street-side Taoist shrine I used to pass on my way from my lodgings to my work has been replaced by a 7-11. I shallower man than I would try to make something of that fact.

It took about 2 hours of my 20 hour plane trip to realize I was coming down with a cold; coughing, slightly sore throat, sinus pain, and body aches are the symptoms. Though the body aches may be the result of 20 hours in the torture device Northwest Airlines has the effrontery to call a coach "seat". Apparently, the changeover to Delta includes repainting the outside of the planes, but the "seats" are as crappy as ever. I guess since waterboarding is no longer on the table as an enhanced interrogation technique, might I humbly propose a minor substitution: two or three pacific crossings on that miserable plane ought to be about equivalent and, you no one can accuse you of violating Geneva because hell, some idiots (me) actually pay for the experience.

Anyway, good thing for me is that, like Coca-Cola and McNuggets, Robitussin exists anywhere that a meager profit might be had. I got 15 doses for the equivalent of about $4. That's not too bad. But I also wanted some more acetaminophen to augment what was in the 'tussin, and I finally found a product that had just that (it's not called Tylenol). Apparently an Australian subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline sells a nice little box of what are, essentially, six extra-strength Tylenol, for the same $4 equivalent. They must still be laughing uproariously in Australia over that one.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Neil Gaiman Pimps Coraline

Those who know me should know I'm stoked. I almost wet myself when I first saw the Corpse Bride trailer (sadly, the trailer was better than the actual movie).

Though, I'm less stoked that I'll probably have to wait a while to see it since I'm going away for a while on Saturday.

UPDATE: The title of this post, "Neil Gaiman Pimps Coraline", is meant to imply that Neil Gaiman is pimping Coraline, the movie (for profit), not Coraline, the fictional little girl (for profit). So don't even start... jerks.