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Robotic Cat Herding
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Date:2011-06-24 23:05
Subject:The Fists of Delia

Somok Fellson retired from this plane
Having recovered his memories of love and loss
He chose to sacrifice himself to save those he cared for
And to ensure that tomorrow would bring a better world

"Today was my day to call the shots, so I did."

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Date:2011-05-16 02:30
Subject:Schools and Churches

Today, I found out that my church was one of the 2/3 majority vote to pass resolution 10-A, an amendment to our constitution. That is, the constitution of PCUSA, the group of Presbyterian churches that mine is a part of. Basically it changed the language on one line, the one detailing requirements for deacons, elders, and ministers. Previously, it said that they either had to be a man married to a woman, a woman married to a man, or single. Now it doesn't. Each church now gets to make their own decisions individually about the kind of people they ordain. I just thought that was cool.

Also today: I graduated. After seven years here at CMU, I've graduated with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, a B.S. in Computer Science, and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering. I have no more classes to take, no more research to do, and no more bills to pay (well, from CMU, anyway). My dad and my brother even flew down for the ceremony, and helped me move my furniture about 10 feet straight up into a new apartment.

All in all, I had a pretty good day.

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Date:2011-04-22 05:19
Subject:I know it's not nice to hotlink images

but it's far too late to upload it correctly. Anyway, I found this, and I'm leaving it here.


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Date:2011-02-28 22:19
Subject:On the subject of my deteriorating sanity

The video is nothing special, per se, but I think it might be worrying that my reaction to it was to "awwwww" at the hand like it was a box of kittens. Especially towards the end when they start playing with it and the ball on a stick; that was just adorable!

Nah, I'm sure it's fine.

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Date:2011-02-14 22:12
Subject:My name is Potat-O

I really have no explanation for this.

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Date:2011-01-29 01:35
Subject:Jonathan Coulton Concert

"Giggling at Nothing" is the name of my Paul and Storm tribute band.

Excellent show. Paul and Storm are the best! Mr. Coulton was pretty good too.

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Date:2011-01-10 15:01

I had a highly enjoyable break. Here are some things that happened:

I played a lot of World of Warcraft with my brother.Collapse )

I played some Team Fortress 2 with my brother. I can't win DeGrootkeep to save my life.

Graduate school applications seem to be going nicely, although because of my timing some of the letters of recommendation haven't been received yet.

I got some Christmas presents. The list of pertinent software includes Ace Attorney: Investigations, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Syberia 2, Darksiders, Professor Layton, and Chrono Trigger. I finished Layton already, and I'm partway through Investigations, but I'm not sure whether to start Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Syberia 2, or Darksiders first. Now taking nominations?

I spent a lot of time with my family. My immediate family, my mom's brother and his family, and most of my family on my dad's side. It was really good to see them all again, even if it was briefly. I don't know how many more years I'll be able to spend that much time at home, so I'm really enjoying it while I can.

I got to go up to the mountains to our cabin just as it was snowing on new year's eve. It was excellent.

I didn't get any work done on my research paper. Oh well; two out of three academic objectives accomplished isn't bad, right?

I got some books.Collapse )

I saw Eclipse, the third Twilight movie.Collapse )

Finally, I landed here at about midnight last night because of a last-minute snowstorm as I was leaving Colorado, and it's been about 24 hours since I've eaten. Huh. I should probably do something about that.

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Date:2010-11-27 22:19
Subject:A brief update

Things that happened over Thanksgiving break:

I saw Harry Potter 7.1, and a movie called Red. Both were pretty good, definitely worth the price of admission.

I got about 3/4 of the work I hoped to get done done, which I think is pretty good. Still not sure about Maneuver-based motion planning with obstacles, though.

My brother convinced me to buy World of Warcraft for a month so we could play together past level 20. I paid five bucks for about a day and a half, but I think it was worth it.

I saw most of my extended family over Thanksgiving day, including a lot of people who I don't get to see very often. It was really fun being able to talk to everyone, although I never seem to have enough time to talk to everyone as much as I'd like.

Later that day, my dog Racer who my family has had for about 11 years, broke her front leg because her leg was infested with tumors. I guess normally the solution is amputation, but because she'd damaged her back legs so much previously (torn ligaments and lots of surgery), the only really humane thing to do was to put her down.

I've had that dog for nearly half my life. I first met her when she was just a puppy, and I got to be with her when she left. I miss her.

Sorry for the downer post. I'm gonna end it here for now.

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Date:2010-10-31 03:31
Subject:Now I just have to convince myself


Either way, I think we should make these posters and then put them in places.

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Date:2010-10-24 23:02
Subject:Augmented Reality

Man, I haven't posted here in a while. Haven't really been keeping up with my friend's posts, either, or at least not as much as I should. I'm really bad at this whole internet thing.

Anyway, there's been something sort of bothering me lately, so I thought I'd talk about it here. It's sort of a natural philosophical point based on how technology is progressing.

This is me philosophizing; four paragraphs worth is 75% of your daily recommended thought for the day, guaranteed not more than 25% bs/self-aggrandizingCollapse )

So, enough philosophizing. Here are some anecdotes from people who can actually write.

two paragraphs of brief summaries of short storiesCollapse )

I have more to say, but it isn't relevant to this post.

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Date:2010-09-24 00:42
Subject:Here's an interesting philosophical conundrum.

I've been reading some guy called The Jabberwock as he examines Jack Chick's evangelist tracts. If you're going to look at the tracts without internal hemorrhaging, it's definitely useful to do so through a proxy. I haven't read the other stuff on his site, though, so no comment on his religious/political views. Anyway, I was reading The Accident and I came across an interesting idea.

Note: this is all hypothetical, and really doesn't reflect what I believe about God at all.

Consider: God, as a sentient being, has a nature. A nature which differs depending on what you believe, but in fundamentalist Christian fare is loving but also intolerant of sin, to the point of punishing people eternally if they haven't accepted Jesus. Consider also: God is an omnipotent being with the ability to do anything. I postulate the following dilemma:

God cannot change God's own nature.

Normally you don't want to change your nature, but if part of God's nature is loving, then perhaps God has a motivation to change the part of God's nature which is intolerant to sin, in order to accommodate more people into heaven and not punish them eternally for a finite lifetime's worth of sins. In that case, the only reason for hell to even be a thing is because God can't change God's own nature. Which sort of raises questions as to why God has that nature in the first place, but I guess that's part of the whole origin of the universe problem.

It's sort of interesting (or scary) to think about a God that does the whole 'hell' thing because God can't help it. It'd be like having an alcoholic for a deity.

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Date:2010-09-15 22:45
Subject:Research paper: due date: IN ONE HOUR^W^W^W FIVE MINUTES AGO




Well, maybe it got submitted. The grad student I've been working with said he'd submit it and that when he did, I'd get an e-mail about it, but I never did... It's possible my account in IEEE is set up incorrectly. If nothing comes up in the next hour or so I'm going to go to bed - I've really already done everything I could for the paper, anyway; the only point in getting the e-mail was to see if anything was egregiously wrong and re-submit if necessary.

Mostly making the post because (a) paper's finally done (well, for the moment) and (B) he said that since I did so much work for the paper, I get top billing.

No, really, my name is supposed to be first on the authors list. Which made me go:


Still can't figure out how things get submitted. It almost looks like you just e-mail someone rather than having some kind of digital dropbox system on their website. More as it develops?

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Date:2010-08-13 13:08
Subject:New movie

Suckerpunch appears, if nothing else, to be a movie wherein a giant robot fights a dragon. I'm sold.

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Date:2010-06-08 12:32
Subject:Androids was the hardest, but police (which you see here) was particularly annoying.


And, because I just found this article and think it's a good one, I'm editing this to include a link to that, too: My four-year-old son plays grant theft auto. Short article, good read.

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Date:2010-06-02 02:44
Subject:I have nothing to sell, but I'm shouting nonetheless!

On the 3.5 edition Dungeon Master's Guide, there is a table called 'one hundred traits', as part of a section on how to flesh out NPCs. I was looking through this because recently I've been thinking about running a DnD one-shot based around the classic style. So no PHB2, no tome of battle, no book of exalted deeds or complete anything, just the good old player's handbook, monster manual, and a dungeon master's guide.

I actually came across some really cool campaign notes I had from back in high school that I never got to use (who knew I used to be good at world-building?), but that's a separate post.

The point is, page 128 of the 3.5 dungeon master's guide has table 4-24: One Hundred Traits. If you own a copy of the book, or have a digital copy, look at entry number 100 in that table.

Congratulations, Wizards of the Coast. You got me.

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Date:2010-05-12 22:34

This. This is amazing.


The author does a really good job of aping Rowling's style, although Dumbledore really comes off as more insane than eccentric - but maybe that's the way he likes it? The premise is basically: what if Harry had been raised in the loving care of scientists? So we get Harry Potter, someone whose goals can be summed up as, "To understand everything important there is to know about the universe, apply that knowledge to become omnipotent, and use that power to rewrite reality because I have some objections to the way it works now." Or at least that's the way it is after he learns about the wizarding world. There are some fun bits when Harry turns out to actually have some science background, common sense, and genre-savvyness ("At least tell me there isn't a prophecy... Oh, come ON!"). Lots and lots of quotable bits and if I start quoting them now I'll never finish this.

The degree with which I empathize with this Harry is stupefying terrifying.

Professor Quirrell is so awesome. I hope he doesn't die. Or... be evil.

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Date:2010-05-12 02:12
Subject:I think, therefore I push carts.

That's really all there is to say on the matter.

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Date:2010-04-29 20:41
Subject:The Passing

is the new Left 4 Dead 2 campaign. As a campaign, it's pretty good. The finale with the original survivors was cool. They sit up in a tower, provide cover fire, and toss down supplies every now and again. It's another one of those scavenge-the-gas-cans things that the game seems to be really fond of, but whatever. Short campaign, too; only three maps, I think.

One of the original survivors dies. This is a much-hyped feature of the campaign. It is also arbitrary, annoying, and pointless. I mean, the person in question gets killed off-screen, before you even meet the original group. You can totally miss them if you're not paying attention; the person in question looks like any of the dead dudes you've passed previously, except that they have the old character model. And they have a gun you can pick up, but whatever. There was NO GOOD REASON to kill that person off. Why bother?

Grr, annoyed annoyed.

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Date:2010-04-12 21:39
Subject:Just finished taxes

And it occurs to me that even though I voted in the elections, it's this act of filing my taxes that makes me really feel like I'm a part of the system. I kind of like it - the system works!

I think I need to pick up on this line of thought when I have more time.

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Date:2010-04-07 00:45
Subject:A short post that I didn't put a lot of time into

I realized just now that my religious beliefs can be summed up in a pithy phrase, or so is my reasoning now at 12:40 AM. I may be wrong - I didn't think about this too hard yet, but I wanted to get it written down. Also, this will be the third page on the internet to have this particular phrase: "We have met the deity, and he is us".

I swear this picture is unrelated; I found it months ago and meant to post it then, but never did. Anyway, I thought it was funny.

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