Fishbots

For the past couple of weeks, I've been hearing from a number of "Fishbots". If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, there's this service called Project Upstream which runs a network of AIM bots with names like ThemedSalmon and "SweptCoho". The idea behind these bots seems to be that they collect AIM nicks and then randomly connect pairs of people. It's sort of a cool idea, if you think about it. Random, and completely anonymous, one-time contact with a person.

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A Beautiful Day To Be Outside

CHWP

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. Clear blue skies, mid-70's temperature, low smog, completely perfect. So, like any other sane human being, I decided to take a walk. Specifically, I hiked up to the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, which is a nice little place a few miles north of campus. On the way there, I was really struck by life in California. Here I was, walking along on one of the most beautiful days of the year, and I didn't see more than a half-dozen other pedestrians on the two-and-a-half mile walk up to the park. Of course, I saw several hundred cars, trucks, and SUVs. I saw people driving from their homes on Mills down the street to Vons and back again. It's so weird here – on the one hand, a lot of people seem to be "fitness freaks" and very concerned with "wellness", but on the other hand there's this overbearing car culture…

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Andrew Bird - Noble Beast

Noble Beast

So, I picked up a copy of Andrew Bird's new album Noble Beast today. Yes, I know that today is January 18th and it's not released until January 20th. That's why this post isn't going to be published for two days.

Anyhow, the album is excellent. Everything you know and love from Bird's previous releases is here, but more polished. Some things that I thought particularly stood out:

  • The instrumental beginning of Effigy. And the double-stopping soloing in the middle. Really, the whole song.
  • Unfolding Fans. Makes me think of Brian Wilson, but in a more minor key

Yeah …

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Back at Mudd

Well, break's over. I'm back at Mudd. Hopefully, I'll keep updating as the semester goes on.

Ciao.

Air Travel

So, I'm currently in San Clemente for a couple of days before going back to Claremont. As usual, the trip cross-country was fun. Lots of hours in a tin can. Anyhow, something amusing happened at T.F. Green when I was leaving. TSA got confused by my backpack in the X-Ray machine (understandable, since it's got a zillion wires and such in it). So they start going through it and they find that I brought a copy of Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The guy then ignores the rest of my bag, pulls out the book, and runs it through …

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Long Day

NCFTA Demo Site

I just had a fun day. For some value of fun, at least. I spent most of the day fighting with CMSs for the Narrows Center for the Arts, which is considering moving away from their antiquated website that some guy hacked together for them. I mean, not that tables-based layouts aren't still cool and all. Oh wait, they're not. So I was playing with Joomla and Drupal to see if I could cobble together something slightly less ugly. I ended up spending most of the day withing with Drupal, the Drupal Content Construction Kit, and Contemplate. Joomla's admin …

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