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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 80 most recent ones recorded in
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|Sunday, February 8th, 2009|
This is some mediocre animation
I drew (in pencil on notecards) for the cheesy learn-about-animation class I'm taking: The first frame is something I drew, the last is something someone else drew, and then I drew a transition animation between the two frames. And ... yeah, I did it in the cheapest possible way. Boom.
|Saturday, February 7th, 2009|
|Excerpt from a news story
Bill Gates, the billionaire founder of Microsoft and a renowned philanthropist, let loose a swarm of mosquitoes at a technology conference in California to highlight the dangers of malaria.
‘Malaria is spread by mosquitoes,’ the Microsoft founder yelled at a well-heeled crowd at a technology conference in California.
‘I brought some,’ he added. ‘Here, I’ll let them roam around – there is no reason only poor people should be infected.’
|Saturday, January 31st, 2009|
|Look Around You
Apparently Look Around You is showing on cartoon network now ... at sunday, 1am ...
So I was rewatching it on the internet. It is still awesome.
|Tuesday, January 27th, 2009|
About health: I am probably fine.
About optional workshops titled "Unlearning Racial / Gender Bias in the Classroom": I wonder who goes to these?
|Excerpts from "The Psychology of the Child" by Jean Piaget and Barbel Inhelder (1969)
... these questions seek reasons for phenomena which we see as fortuitous but which in the child arouse a need for a finalist explanation. "Why are there two Mount Saleves, a big one and a little one?" asked a six-year-old boy. To which almost all his contemporaries, when asked the same question, replied, "One for big trips and another for small trips."
To questions of origin, so important to children in that they are related to the problem of the birth of babies, the young subjects reply with a systematic artificialism: men dug the lake, put water into it, and all this water comes from fountains and pipes. The stars "were born when we were born," says a boy of six, "because before that there was no need for sunlight," and the sun started as a little ball which somebody threw into the air and which grew, for it is possible to be both living and manufactured, as babies are.
... many subjects between four and six believe that the moon follows them or even that they force it to follow them ...
|Tuesday, January 20th, 2009|
|Falling down on the bathroom floor
So I collapsed yesterday and was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, where they said I was basically fine but had experienced "acute orthostatic syncope" ... subsequent googling about leads me to these pages:http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/811669-overviewhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthostatic_hypotensionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasovagal_syncope
I will set up an appointment with the tang center this week to follow up, and hopefully make sure it is not a problem with my heart (the doctor said he didn't think it was). Today I feel more or less fine. Am drinking a lot of fluids, eating more.
Anway, here are some notes about the day:
It felt just like the temporary loss of vision I get sometimes on standing up. Except it happened a bit after standing (I had walked all the way to the bathroom entrance), and I noticed it didn't seem to be going away like normal. Then I was waking up on the bathroom floor, surrounded by worried roommates.
- Blood pressure on waking:
50/30. They said, "you look pale". Kyle later said it was the most blue-green he'd ever seen a person. (Blood pressure recovered relatively soon after ...)
- Conversations about cutting your shirt off:
So the nurse tells me she can either cut my shirt off, or pause the IV and take it off normally. The assistant (in training?) nurse says it's fine to just take it off normally. The nurse looks annoyed. "I know," she says, "that's what I'm telling him." She asks me again which way they should do it.
"Um ... normally?"
They take my shirt off normally.
- Repeatedly asked questions:
Do you smoke marijuana? You can tell us.
- Finding the veins:
I've been thinking my veins shift about and hide themselves, only coming to the surface of the skin when they like the sight of whoever is looking at them. I've been thinking that ever since about two years ago, when I had blood drawn and the nurse fiddled around a bit before declaring that I "don't have blood" ... a claim which triggered just the right nerves in me to send me in to dry heaves. They sent me to a 'specialist' to take my blood after that, who, they said, would use some kind of device to take the blood from the hand. The specialist took one look at me, and took it from the arm like normal in a few seconds, without problems.
Yesterday, all kinds of people had a chance to find veins on me. First the paramedic, who had a bit of trouble -- understandable, given the blood pressure thing -- but I make a fist and he figures it out okay. That vein gets my first IV, as I'm lying on the couch by the TV.
Then at the hospital, the nurse looks at my other arm and just can't find anything. I ask if she wants me to make a fist, and she ignores that. Sticks me I think twice, gets nothing. Then the other nurse (in training?) says she sees a vein in my other arm, and they decide to use that. This is the arm with the IV in, mind. Nurse-in-training sticks me, and it seems to work this time. "Is it okay if it's coming in clear?" she asks the other nurse.
I guess they think it's fine, because they take the same and leave. Then a new nurse comes in, quite a bit later, and starts telling me how my potassium and calcium levels are incredibly low, and I could have a heart attack at any minute, and I should eat better. I'm terrified. She leaves to get me some vitamins. Moments later the doctor comes in and says he does not believe the test results, and they're going to retest. So the nurse comes back in, and finds a vein in my non IV arm. She notes the previous failed attempt, and wonders at it. Apparently my veins are plenty visible to her! The sample is taken, no problem.
Then she pours the potassium ... juice? Some sort of vitamin concotion. Kyle told me afterward that, as she gave it to me, she had this smirk on her face that said I would not enjoy drinking it at all, but she would enjoy watching. I failed to notice. I did think it odd when she said, "cheers!" She pauses after I drink it (as fast as possible), and then cheerfully asks, "would you like some water?"
I thought I was going to throw up.
Anyway, the second tests came back, much later, and apparently I was fine -- calcium levels and potassium levels both pretty much normal. I guess the first sample would have low levels of, well, anything: it seems a bunch of it was just the IV solution.
I was on the way to the hospital (carried to the ambulance) at about 7:08. I got a ride back from the place at 11:40. The great majority of the time spent at the hospital was spent waiting around for someone or other to show up. Thanks so much to Kyle, who sat around with me and talked about random things. Seriously nice. The whole incident makes me quite happy to not be living alone.
Like ... a theory that 'spontaneous combustion' happens to large people who smoke: their fat acts as candle wax, and their clothes as a wick.
Okay, actually, that one bit of conversation probably could have been skipped.
So at some point the nurse is trying to get me to relax as she measures ... heart rate? or something. And she starts saying, imagine a tropical island, and the breeze is blowing, and in the distance, you hear monkeys chirping.
Apparently some monkeys do chirp. I did not know.
F? Why do these test results say I am a girl? I will have to ask tang center if there is something surprising I don't know about myself ...
|Saturday, January 10th, 2009|
|Wednesday, January 7th, 2009|
|Sunday, January 4th, 2009|
|Saturday, December 20th, 2008|
|Monday, December 15th, 2008|
|Sunday, December 14th, 2008|
|Saturday, December 13th, 2008|
|Let's belabor the point
I cannot argue with this diagram from "Recognition-by-Components: A Theory of Human Image Understanding" by Irving Biederman.
|Saturday, December 6th, 2008|
I'm not entirely sure why I love this Russian animation called "Hedgehog in the Fog"
|Friday, December 5th, 2008|
|Friday, November 21st, 2008|
|Research methods are important
I just wanted to paste a post from 538's comments section about this Ziegler poll thing
A truly bizarre thing happens when survey makers try to enter the field of experimental research. They fail, miserably.
First of all, the results actually make sense from two different perspectives. The vast majority of American voters are uninformed. I ran a set of voter knowledge studies for my lab for the 2004 elections and found that 90% of people did not know the NAMES of the two legislative branches, much less who was leading them. Thus, the results actually show a slightly higher amount of knowledge then would be expected from voters (with something like 88% of people not recollecting Harry Reid).
Moreover, neuroscience has repeatedly shown that voter's are much more likely to remember certain things based on their innate set of beliefs and biases. I.e. an Obama supporter is, of course, more likely to remember bad things about McCain, and vice versa. This occurs because of psychological constructs like the fundamental attribution error, personality biases, and even things as basic as race, socioeconomic status, etc.
Because of these two factors, the results obtained in the study would be expected...
However, what I find most frustrating about all the coverage of this survey and Nate's subsequent interview is the lack of comments about the true, fundamental issue that is in this study: the inference of causation from what tries, and fails, to be correlation.
As a psychological researcher, it is impossible for a study which simply asks people questions about what they know to infer that media coverage was the cause (which is the principle purpose of this study as I understand it.) You must have such amazing things as "control groups" and "causation questions." Moreover, even with those things it is difficult to ascertain cause. It remains, just as likely that, even assuming the data is correct - which may be a stretch, the discrepancy in knowledge arises out of the inherent biases or low voter knowledge that I just spoke of. Or, possibly, people are just more likely to attribute negative things to the opposition (notice most negative things were attributed to Palin, rather then McCain, following data plots that indicate more people have an unfavorable impression of Palin then McCain). It is possible that people just think badly of Palin, and not knowing what is true, are more likely to attribute bad things to her. Whereas with positive things about people, they just don't remember (this follows with psychological research that shows people are more likely to respond to negative then positive stimuli under certain conditions).
Any of these explanations are in line with the data collected. It is...incredible to me that Zogby would stand by these fundamentally flawed data and the inferences that Ziegler tried to draw from them. It is also incredible that people are assuming that "media coverage" is the cause.
Anyway, that's enough about that.
|Friday, November 14th, 2008|
|Wednesday, November 12th, 2008|
So this is a throw-away movie quote I heard in some trailer:
"Any problem on earth can be solved with the careful application of high explosives."
Since hearing it, I've been wanting a story about a character who really believes this claim. "Oh, you want to know if P=NP? Yeah, I recommend TNT." "Trouble with procrastination? We can solve this with dynamite!" "Having acne? Let's just apply some ammonium nitrate/fuel oil mixture ..."
It's like MacGyver with bombs.
|Tuesday, November 11th, 2008|
I was running home yesterday (because ... I usually try to run when I have the energy) and someone shouted at me: "Run, white boy, run!"
I kept running.