Aug 9, 2009

Enjoyed MIT 8.02 Lecture 1. I wonder why electron and proton have the exact same charge. Of course, "fundamental charge" and what not, but that "explanation" doesn't explain anything. Also, what happens when an electron collides with a proton? I guess all the answers are on the internet and I just need to search around. Also I read that neutron decays into proton, electron and neutrino. I am now going to have lunch at Gainsbourg restaurant which is near my apartment, since UrbanSpoon rates it very high. [Update : I liked the food. I liked the place even more.]

Aug 8, 2009

Art Supplies

I went to a traditional art store today. We used to buy from that place when my sister and I took drawing lessons long ago. We bought supplies there out of last minute necessity and we didn't buy much anyway. I wanted to buy some water colors to try. Yowww isn't that place a rip off! Sure it is awesome to look around and everything but the prices are crazy to me. Definitely not affordable to the stereotypical 'starving artist'. I bought just a small drawing set which had sketching supplies (graphite, charcoal, sanguine etc). Amazon seems to be a far cheaper place for water colors. I'll be buying from them. I wonder where real artists buy their supplies.


I am learning. I drew it seeing the pic. Settled down at about 9:15 and drew for an hour. Next time, something less negative-spacey.

Jul 22, 2009

Ferry Ride to Bremerton

Weather has been amazing. I was going home from work yesterday evening and I didn't have the heart to just head home and waste the warm evening. So I took the Seattle Downtown to Bremerton ferry and came back in the same boat. It was a two hour ride and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was fun to focus on little details like the pattern of wavelets on the water. There were many layers of them and varying levels of intensity and size. Observing things like that for more than a few minutes at a time gives a thrill as mind is relieved from drifting to current issues and running thoughts about them in an infinite loop.

Since it is a commuter ferry, it is really inexpensive. It cost me just $6.75 for west-bound travel and all east bound travels are free.

I went to Bainbridge Island couple of weeks ago like that and walked around in the island for an hour. Bremerton route was more fun.

Jun 30, 2009

Sad about MJ's :-(

My favorites of his are:
  • Billie Jean
  • Smooth Criminal
  • Bad
  • Beat It
  • They Don't Care About Us
  • Black or White
(pretty much in that order)

Though 'Billie Jean' is my most favorite, it makes me sad when I listen to it too many times... all the crazies he had to deal with even back then.

Recently watched movies: (in the past few months, most recent first)
  • Up (awesome)
  • Hancock (piece of shit)
  • The Hudsucker Proxy (enjoyed)
  • 3:10 to Yuma (enjoyed)
  • Vitus (i loved it. awesome.)
  • Primer (wow + whoa)
  • Rat Race (very few funny bits)
  • The Truman Show (yup, watched it so late. enjoyed.)
  • The Darjeeling Limited (enjoyed it)
  • Dogma (seeing it again. of course i liked it)
  • Tropic Thunder (enjoyed it)

I bought a Kindle DX. I love it. It is amazing.

Currently Reading:
  • The Annotated Turning
  • GEB
  • ANSI Common Lisp [pg]

I am now doing an "hour of learning" every day, where I spend 15 minutes each on 4 different subjects. This reduces my senseless browsing around that leaves me fatigued. I am finding that I am spending more than the 15 minutes and in more than 4 different subjects, as I am getting too engrossed. This activity feels awesome. I am keeping detailed log but I don't plan to publish them for privacy reasons. The subjects I touched in my today's session were : lighttpd,, pg' ansi cl, emacs, linux, python, analysis of genes and genomes. I ended up spending way more than an hour ;)

May 13, 2009

Changed the title to something more appropriate.

It used to be "Just Curious..." which was kinda huh?, kinda blah, kinda meh and kinda blah again. "a primate on a blue planet" is more in line with my current perspective, which no doubt will soon change.

This is not to be particularly taken as an attempt to brag about my opposable thumbs. I just use them to hit the space bar.

May 12, 2009

I cleared more than half of the storage space that I am renting. It was quite a workout, hauling stuff, sorting them and donating as much as possible. Then, after picking up pizza and some immediately needed groceries, I stopped by my friend Prakash's house to pick up something. It was quite late. Still he force fed me. He had his mom and wife on his team. I was out numbered. I am sure I could have convinced the baby to be on my side but he was fast asleep, not caring about the noise of our lousy jokes and unmusical laughter. Chapati + garbanzo beans curry combination was delicious, but it didn't take long for my eyes to start rolling into their sockets on being over stuffed. That was taken as a cue to serve more. I am a fat penguin today.

There is something about showing love through food. It works.

I slowly hobbled back to my car more than an hour later. Only then did I remember that I had parked on the fire lane, with blinkers on, as I expected to be back well within three minutes.

org-mode marathon

Few days ago, I learned emacs org-mode for almost 10 hours straight. It was FUN. It felt like org-mode was loaded into my brain Matrix-style. I saw couple of videos, read through the manual and tried out my made-up examples. I read the manual cover-to-cover, metaphorically of course. If you are a more of a literal kind of person, I mean that I read the manual first-link to last-link. I skipped only the sections that described features that I thought I'll never use.

org-mode is beautiful. I had a lot of omfg moments. I believe it is going to have a significant positive impact on how I get and keep my ducks in a row. I won't go into the details here, but I'll just say why org-mode is better than all the other organize-your-stuff / project planning softwares out there: It is notes-centric rather than task-centric. Learn more if that makes you curious. Some people have learned Emacs just to be able to use org-mode, I hear!

I've become a fan of marathon learning sessions. There was a time when I prided my multi-tasking skills. I was just fooling myself. Interrupted time makes for pretty low quality time. I'd like to try this Quality Recluse Time type of effort on few other things I want to grok. 'Lisp Macros' is what comes to mind first. I've put off learning Lisp Macros for long enough, I suppose. I kind of know it but I want to learn it well. I mean, *really* learn it well. Ironically, that is how I've put it off for this long - I should just start.

May 7, 2009

Notes : Technology & Courage

I reread 'Technology and Courage' [pdf] last Thursday, making effective use of the time waiting to go to my weekly motorcycle meet. I took notes this time. By the way, I had an awesome time at the meet, at Pike Place Brewery. The Kilt Lifters did live up to their name.

These notes were a result of liberal paraphrasing... So read the original for accuracy.
  • It is all about courage. We almost never look at it like that.
  • Do warm up projects. IMPORTANT
  • Identify your failures of courage. This is difficult as it comes well disguised.
    • "I am too busy with a more important task"
    • "No one will be interested in my work"
    • "Can't show. It is not quite done yet"
    • "I have to analyze this further"
    • "Let us be just reasonable here"
  • Long vacation / Sabbatical is great for good work because:
    • Change of location
    • Rest
    • Lack of distractions
  • Harness pride.
  • Anglo-Saxon names for things stick, more than Roman names <==
  • If you use parenthesis in writing, either you are too lazy or your thoughts are still muddled.
  • Blogging is good. Ivan called it "display file". It gives you an informal start, which is important.
  • Have courage to abandon unsuccessful projects.
  • We have a finite reserve of courage. Use it well.
  • He has more tricks to bolster courage.Device some of your own.