September 29, 2005

{} Usefulness

All right, all right. I shall try to be more useful in the cyber space. Perhaps, throwing a cyber touch-typing party wasn't such a great idea. So here we go:

Today's lesson (motivated by Toronto's crazy winds):
The difference between squalls and gusts

Squall (n.)
A squall is the rapid onset of strong winds with speeds increasing to at least 16 knots and sustained at 22 knots or more for a minimum of one minute.

Gust (n.)
A sudden significant increase in, or rapid variation of wind speed. Usually a gust lasts less than twenty seconds.

And of course, wind is the horizontal movement of air in relation to the earth's surface. Wind direction tells where the wind is blowing from. For example, a "north wind" is coming from the north and is blowing towards the south. There are four components of wind that are measured: direction, speed, character (i.e. whether it's a gust or a squall) and shifts.

Source: The Weather Network

Right now, we have a 61 km/h wind blowing from NW with gusts of 76 km/h in Toronto. The crazy autumn's back. Soon will super crazy winter be.

September 27, 2005

{con.cen} trate and study or eat

How fast do you type? Here is an online test. Take the test and tell me, I am curious to know.

I shouldn't be surfing the Net, nor taking online tests, when a missed deadline is still chasing me (or perhaps I am chasing the deadline). As I mentioned before, nothing serious happens (except for the nightmares and/or hallucination) when an academic deadline is missed. It actually is very difficult to say that an academic deadline can be missed. It's similar to your shadow, it goes farther as you approach it. Anyways, I have to meet it sooner or later. Maybe I should change the direction of light rays and catch the shadow. Wait. It's not exactly a shadow. Then what should I do? For now, I will grab a pizza for dinner, because I am hungry.

September 26, 2005

{daily.zen} Everything slow

This highspeed Internet sucks. It's so slow today. Takes a century to load a page. The stupid mouse accepts the clicks ten seconds after I press the left button. What is this pop-up menu that opens? Why is this stupid fairy animal confusing my left clicks with right clicks? This doomed PC is too slow, its nasty Windows OS is so busted with hotfixes that it takes em more than a decade to load a simple application. My CD player also runs at half speed or less, stretching the frequency spectrum of her voice. She is not singing, but roaring like a hungry lioness. When was the last time I ate rabbits? Even the students in my lab were quite slow today and it took them more than everyday to finish a simple procedure. Oh look at these funky clouds in the sky! The wind is blowing crazily, but the lazy punk clouds don't move a bit. Why is it dark already? What time is it? Even the clouds around people's silhouettes are moving ecstasily slow today. I don't even remember if everybody carried a cloud around himself before. Who are all these peeps in my room anyways? I can't even blink as fast as I used to, my eyelids feel s o h e -- a -- v -- y -- I s------------ h ZzzzzZzzzzzzz ouldn't YAAAAAAAAAAAAK ha Zzzzzzzzzzz ve studi ---------- ed all way through morn --------- mourning? I am happy I am not mourning, I just need to get some ZzzzzzleeeeeeeppppZzzzzzzz zzzzzzzz zzzzzzz

{} Abbreviations

"Another notion of the image Jacobian is the interaction matrix as used by Espiau et al. [6]."

It may seem obvious to all of my readers, but to me it still is a bit ambiguous how to correctly write the above sentence in a scientific document (even after checking The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing)

RULE: If an abbreviation ending in a period comes at the end of a sentence, do not attach an additional period to the sentence.

So, should I write it as follows?

"Another notion of the image Jacobian is the interaction matrix as used by Espiau et al [6]."

Soliciting help here, ne1? BTW, have I used "notion of" phrase correctly? I am starting to suspect everything! Is this air I am breathing now? Do I really exist? What is existence? Ahhh, midnight madness!

September 25, 2005

{daily.experience} Deadlines

Although the name suggests that a missed deadline would cause some sort of death, experience has it that nothing very important happens when it comes to academic deadlines. You may not get a paper published, or you may have to ask the editor for an extended deadline, which is quite common in academia.

In other contexts, missing some specific sorts of deadlines may eventually result in permanent casualties. To give you a glimpse of what I mean, just imagine a jobless husband when he is given a hard deadline to find a job by his wife. Avoid missing deadlines of such nature at all costs (legally, of course).

September 22, 2005

{} Movie Mongers

Flightplan opens in two days, but we saw it today thanks to Tibby and his Movie Mongers club at our school. I don't know how I sneaked into their club, but they offer some pre-screening promotional tickets (yes, for free!) and this time it was a movie I would have even paid to watch in my favorite theatre, Paramount! Their announcement came into my mailbox half an hour before the club's deadline and somehow magically there were still tickets left. Strangely enough, I wanted to watch another movie tonight, Ten by Abbas Kiarostami, which was played by our school's Iranian students association. I assume I can always watch the other one (perhaps will borrow the DVD from my friends). It feels so good to watch a big hit movie for free. If you liked Panic Room, you would definitely like Flighplan as well. Jodi Foster is perfect as always. Though, the ending is way too happy.

September 21, 2005

{exciting.research} Elephantese

If you would ever wonder what it would take to understand the elephant you came across in the zoo (or perhaps in a rare street festival or a circus), worry not any more, because computers can translate Elephantese for us!

Hidden Markov model (HMM) algorithm-based PCs can interpret up to 85 percent of "elephantese," or elephant-talk, according to an article from Computer Magazine. A bioacoustics team from Marquette University, in conjunction with researchers from Disney's Animal Kingdom, say elephants, whose vocal range is 7 to 200 Hz, produce simultaneous rumbles in herds that are inaudible to humans. A trained HMM program extracted distinct elephant vocalizations through a sequence of "distilled data reductions, "which were strung into a chain to study new sound sequences, or individual elephant voices, for social context, language, and grammar. Once the program was trained to differentiate between voices, it could produce a record of individual elephant vocalizations. Read more in the article "What Jumbo Tells Dumbo".


September 18, 2005

{poets.corner} Raven

Have you read Edgar Allan Poe's Raven? There are many words that I have to look up in a dictionary; there are some words their meaning/nuance I don't grasp exactly (even after checking my dictionary), but still, I enjoy the poem very much:

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.' ..."

Read the complete poem and tell me what you think about it.

September 16, 2005

{phd.comics} Almost

I was aksed to do a 'new' study to see the potential of a not-yet-established and not-related-to-my-thesis research topic just three days before a conference deadline. I was too scientifically weak and mentally weary to generate a paper in only 3 days. The deadline is now passed, but it is sadly extended to what appears to be 5 days later. I still can't think of any new idea with a 'quick' implementation 'modifying the previous code' and a short time-to-conference. Who would read such a paper (generated in 8 days) anyways? Besides, WHAT ABOUT MY THESIS WORK? :-) I do sleep a lot these days.

September 13, 2005

{} The Gymnast Kid

I could never hide my happiness when seeing this photo of the Gymnast Kid, the 9-month old Shervin. Just look at his facial expression, his strong muscles, his round belly, and his shoes! Lovable! One of a kind! Lovable!

This dear friend of mine is some sort of a manager of some sort of a company in Tehran right now. The photo is taken some 25 years or so ago.

The rumor has it that he has been seen on Tehran billboards, advertising some product of the company. Sherv as a celebrity? It's a pitty that I have not seen that billboard. Has anyone of you seen that advertisement? I just can't imagine how puzzled my face might have looked, if I accidentally saw one of those billboards when driving in Tehran highways.

September 09, 2005

{books.math} L'explosion des Mathematique

The significance of math in different aspects of our daily lives is highlighted in L'explosion des Mathematique. This book (originally in French) has been recently translated to Persian and is now made available online through the Iranian Mathematical Society website for a broader audience that may not speak French. This book is strongly recommended to all enthusiastic people in Iran, or any other Persian speaking country, who may have once asked, "what is math good for anyways?"

September 06, 2005

{favorite.quotes} Education

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

-Will Durant
US historian (1885 - 1981)


September 05, 2005

{holidays.labourDay} Losers

If it's the labour day holiday and one works that day, he/she is definitely a loser! Big time loser.

Hey, wait a second! I will be working tomorrow (after waking up in the afternoon I think)! Would I be a loser then? I think (I sometimes do think) that I am not a loser, cuz I have been enjoying the last days of summer to the fullest by spending time with the few I like to visit in this mega city. I still would be working tomorrow though. That makes me a loser. I am a loser. Thinking again. No, I am not a loser. I am a loser. I am not a loser. I am a lo-- am not a l-- Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

September 04, 2005

{holidays.labourDay} Not bored yet?

Wasn't my blog boring that way? I have lost half of my readers. Hopefully, the anonymous ones.


September 02, 2005

{} On the Run

There is a link on the right of the screen which you probably have neglected so far. The miniclip games. I have always had a passion to trash cars, so naturally I love On the Run. The opponent cars are nasty!

Taftestan remembers my both severe accidents. So do many others. Not that I am proud of my accidents. No. But, I wish life was a game and I could reck a car as in the game! I wish life was a game in many other respects. Unfortunately, life is a well-written joke and most people, including myself, take it serious from time to time.

September 01, 2005

{} Change of Trends

How does this look? Change is good. Always. Unfortunately, some people have bad intentions and I cannot share my real reflections here anymore. They envy, they interfere in my personal life, and they do unpleasant things, which I don't understand.

Why did I fancy sharing my personal life in public in the first place? I do not know. Maybe, I thought that a blog is different, cuz friends and nice people would read my blog. I was wrong and I was warned by close friends and family. I am not saying that I am closing the blog for good, but since I have a feeling that some people I don't like are watching me, it would no longer be a self-reflection. I would limit the posts to very very general issues after this. If only friends and nice people were the only ones that existed on this cyber space ...