Archive for February, 2010

I must say that when I wrote about the snowmen I did not expect them to last nearly this long. But I think they are finally dead, or will be tomorrow. Here is all that remains:
Snowman carcass

Don’t worry Rachel. I still love you, and I wrote you a poem (of sorts). I think it might even be chiastic (if you squint).

Avery’s Mom (and soon someone else’s)


Oxytocin inducing

Peerless among women



Sweet (and Steadfast)


Significant other (mine)

Maybe I should stick to Maths.


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For anyone that’s interested, as a New Year’s resolution I decided I wanted to get better at taking pictures. Mostly I stumbled upon an idea on the blog Winos and Foodies called Project 365 and thought it was a neat idea. The project is just that you take a picture everyday and post it somewhere, preferably where other people can see it and with some kind of caption explaining it.

I’ve missed three days so far, and my pictures are kind of pathetic some days, but it’s been kind of fun. So, if you’re interested, here’s the link to my Picture of the Day Picasa album (it’s also on our blog roll), and if you’re not interested I hate you forever :) Just kidding. I’m almost as afraid someone will look at it as I am that no one will, so if you’re not interested, bless you. If you are, bless you as well.

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Blog Stats

So I was looking at our blog stats today and there’s this section called “search terms” that tells you what people were searching for when they found your blog. Today’s most recent search terms were by far the winners.

First Prize: “raven spray controllers market share”

Second: “pinguinos”

Two runners up were

“dowel to make kürtőskalács”, and

“kindle stand hanger.”

It’s nice to know search engines are so amazingly misguided.

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I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills, I love, wait… SNOW!!!

I’m also a fan of shoes. My own are my favorite because they mean I’m going somewhere, but I’m not really all that particular when it comes right down to it.

Mommy’s pregnant. I have no idea yet what this means for my future plans at being the center of attention, but for now I’m okay with it.

We took on a giant apple… and won!!! Daddy brought home apples one day and there was one nearly as big as my head. Daddy and I battled it to the death. It was pretty tasty. Even with random knife holes in it.

Daddy’s hat is a great toy.

This drawer is a great place to play when it’s available. Most of the time it’s behind the bed, but today it was out and a perfect place to read Benjamin in Budapest.

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Family Picture

Since we’re really bad about taking family pictures and getting them to people, here’s a picture we had a friend take on Sunday. It happened to have all three of us in it, so I’m posting it for all of you who like such things. Sorry it’s so casual.

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I thought about titling this “Glenn Beck and Michael Moore are Mass Murderers” which would have been both inflammatory and potentially truthful, at least if Randolph Roth’s theory is correct. Granted things are not like in Rwanda openly advocating violence, but they (and many others) foster misunderstanding and hatred. Personally I find the theory plausible and extremely scary. Scary because I see no end in sight to the hatred, but also because I find myself hating these hate mongers. By saying things like “Glenn Beck and Michael Moore are Mass Murderers” I am contributing to the impotent rage felt by many.  How ironic.

Continuing in the political vein (though moving into the religious) I recently read Julie M. Smith’s thoughts about Mormons’ take on presidential inspiration. Good stuff in a humorous shell. Of course I’m only posting this because I agree with her on many points, and so I assume she must be inspired :-)

And just to challenge one more deeply held American belief, read about the problems with a meritocracy. Jeremy Beer has some interesting points, but I like our meritocracy (quite irrespective of the fact that am on the upper half I assure you :-) and have benefitted greatly from the “strip-mining” of America. I would love to see a response from someone like Paul Graham who understands the importance of mobility in a meritocracy.

I’ve actually been thinking lately that perhaps I would rather teach in a community college in a small town, than in a large research university. I think I might be happier even though I might not “contribute as much to society.” Such a thought would have been heretical to me even a few years ago, and I’m still not quite ready to accept it fully. I look forward to people’s thoughts.

Finally–on a personal note–it turns out that I am allergic to celery rather than peanut butter. Last night I ate a stalk and reacted. This makes more sense in many ways since I used to eat peanuts quite often (I haven’t had Thai food here yet). I had never heard of anyone being allergic to celery, but apparently it’s fairly common in Central Europe, and foods have to be labeled if they contain it, much like peanuts in the states. Rachel joked that I must have caught the allergy when I was in Prague in 2004. It’s associated with allergies to birch and mugwort pollens in case any of you are allergic to either of those. I find it interesting that celery was associated with death by the ancient Greeks. It might also be a contributing factor to my eosinophilic esophagitis.

I had actually meant for this post to simply be a few links, but apparently I can’t help writing mini-essays. “I’m Sorry”, or “You’re welcome” depending on how you feel about that.

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With the Kindle SDK soon to be out in beta, I’m hoping that someone will port TeX to run on the Kindle like River Valley Technology made TeX run on the iPhone.  Then I can finally have beautiful mathematics with resizing on the fly.  Seriously, watch the video if you are interested in this sort of thing–the demo is pretty neat.

The biggest drawback that I can see is that, in order to keep the display real time, it only supports basic TeX, not full blown LaTeX, and certainly not TikZ.  Though I have looked a few times in the past, I have never found anything to translate LaTeX to a simple (i.e. easy to render) TeX version by expanding all but builtin macros.  I did notice that version 0.0 of LuaTeX could print back to TeX which suggests it is fairly easy (if it doesn’t work out of the box).  If it were powerful enough (e.g. if you could specify which macros to expand), it could also be very useful to remove dependencies on packages or homegrown macros.

I feel slightly guilty blogging about this when I have homework to do, but it’s so exciting that I can’t stop thinking about it.  I hope that writing this post will help get it out of my system. :-)

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