Archive - May 2008


May 28th


Alexey Titarenko ‘s stunning images of St. Petersburg:


pure art


May 27th

biggest drawing in the world

via Core77:

Erik Nordenankar uses a GPS tracker and an extremely detailed set of delivery instructions to enlist DHL help in sketching his mug across the surface of planet earth.

Link to official website carrying detailed videos and other cool stuff.

update: Professor Nate Clark writes in to point out that this is a hoax.

May 25th


I meant to write a thank you note
for something you said last year
I wrote it out, then thought a bit
and tore it up, in fear

that maybe my words of indebtedness
may somehow be misconstrued
as frivolous attempts to reopen books
of our life that you’d rather exclude

from memories, thoughts and sentiments
that you live your life by now
some framed, some talked of, some celebrated
some quietly disavowed

so here’s to every thought around the world
that failed to reach a heart
one can only hope, and idealize
that they have a counterpart.

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May 25th

Delicious Nerdery

This is what happens when you host a BBQ with mostly Computer Science people.


May 22nd

reaching out

  • Russel Davies painted his laptop to work as a blackboard. I think the acrylic casing for the iBook makes an excellent whiteboard too.
  • Friend and mentor Cong Yu just got an honorable mention in the SIGMOD Dissertation Award:
    …Two other nominees receive Honorable Mention recognizing their outstanding work on theoretical foundations and development of algorithms with great impact on important practical problems: Cong Yu, for his dissertation on “Managing Complex Databases in a Schema Management Framework” at the University of Michigan, and, Nilesh Dalvi, for his dissertation on “Managing Uncertainty Using Probabilistic Databases” at the University of Washington.

    It’s interesting to see the hiring trends : the Award was won by now-MSR researcher Ariel Fuxman. Nilesh and Cong are both Yahoo! Researchers.

  • Natalie Du Toit’s “wonderful story of courage, determination, discipline, hopes and dreams”, becoming the first amputee to qualify for the Olympics.
  • It’s not every day that the White House asks you to become a Vampire Slayer.

May 18th

DIY iPhone amplifier

I was cleaning up my home directory when I found this amusing picture I took a while back:
iPhone amplifier
I like to listen to music while cooking, but since most cooking is inherently noisy, the diminutive iPhone in-built speakers need some form of amplification to find good use. Enter the Arnab 2000: Zero-power amplifiers for the Kitchen! Built with oven-safe glass and ceramic, this incredible invention creates a nice little acoustic chamber that projects out the sound with a richer and louder quality! Can also be disassembled to be used as mixing and serving bowls!

Note: Keep away from the primary cooking area, especially when you’re frantically looking for a receptacle to pour fresh-cooked hot curry.

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May 18th

root three

The root three poem from Harold & Kumar 2:

I’m sure that I will always be
A lonely number like root three

The three is all that’s good and right,
Why must my three keep out of sight
Beneath the vicious square root sign,
I wish instead I were a nine

For nine could thwart this evil trick,
with just some quick arithmetic

I know I’ll never see the sun, as 1.7321
Such is my reality, a sad irrationality

When hark! What is this I see,
Another square root of a three

As quietly co-waltzing by,
Together now we multiply
To form a number we prefer,
Rejoicing as an integer

We break free from our mortal bonds
With the wave of magic wands

Our square root signs become unglued
Your love for me has been renewed

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May 17th

life update

Was in Seattle last week. Highlights:

Microsoft Research Building (above); UofM CS Building (below)

Microsoft Research’s new building is fancier than our new department building, but our offices are much better.

Lunching at the Space Needle is worth the high price. You get to sit and eat your lunch while downtown Seattle, Mt. Rainier and the lake revolve around you. The food is good, the view is spectacular on a good day and the service is eager and efficient.

Jidori Chicken with Roasted Garlic-Mashed Potatoes, White Zinfandel

There is an On Stage interactive exhibit at The Experience Music Project that lets you pretend you are a rock star, complete with simulated audience, fully set up stage (with monitors) and instruments that play themselves. The 20$ video they took of me was a little pricey in my opinion, but if you’re going as a group, this is totally worth it.

Art installation at the EMP

photocredits: me, rob scoble, eduardod

May 11th

linked list