Friday, February 27, 2009

Delicious bookmark resurrection #4 - Prime

This site examines spiral graphs of prime numbers. One of my friends at work was pretty excited about it because they exhibit patterns of prime numbers.

The phenomenon is apparently pretty well-known to mathematicians, though. Euler knew about it back in 1772. Still, it looks really cool.

Giant freakin' bugs

Wow some of these bugs are large. The giant wasp doesn't look very friendly. Good thing it's dead. Good and dead.

Check out that praying mantis crawling on that girl's face! Did she volunteer for that photograph, or did someone have to talk her into it?

Paul Nylander's bug collection

I used to see these giant water bugs in the Philippines when we went on-base to get potable drinking water from their water well that used to be somewhere around here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

15 of my favorite things to do in San Antonio, Texas

  1. The McNay Art Museum
    The McNay is one of the best art museums in San Antonio, and certainly the most distinctive. It is a treat just to wander its halls and outdoor pathways. Their events are usually very high quality and Thursday nights are free admission.

  2. First Friday
    At the beginning of each month is Southtown First Friday in San Antonio. After braving the congested throngs of people milling up and down South Alamo, you will find picnic benches, pitchers of German beer, German sausages, and German folk music at Beethoven Maennerchor on Pereida Street. It doesn't get much better than this.

  3. The Botanical Gardens
    What a simply awesome place! Music concerts every so often, and art exhibits make the already beautiful landscapes at the Botanical Gardens unmissable.

  4. Local eateries
    Twin Sister's bakery and cafe for breakfast on Sunday and local musicians often perform Friday nights.
    Niki's Tokyo Inn on Hildebrand road, and Fujiya on Wurzbach road are my two favorite sushi restaurants in San Antonio. They are both family owned and operated and have floor seating available. They have good Saki selections, a friendly staff, a cozy atmosphere, and fresh fish.
    Jasmine Thai is by far my favorite place to get Thai food.
    My absolute favorite Mexican food dish is called tacos al pastor and the mini-taquitos plate at Taqueria Datapoint is unmatched in San Antonio.

  5. Wine
    Wine's Best Buy is the best place to purchase wine and liquor in San Antonio. Rio de Vino also has a wine boutique with some hard-to-find vintages, and the owners will go out of their way to special order whatever your heart desires. The excellent tapas restaurant Bin Five Fifty-five over on Bitters Road would have gone in my local eateries spot, but their respectable wine list makes it more sense to mention here.

  6. Parks
    McAllister park is located in the North-central part of town and has a fantastic dog park and miles of shaded trails for walking or running.
    Eisenhower Park on NW Military is my favorite city park for hiking. It has a 4 mile circuit of paved pathways, and several additional unpaved paths that wrap around the ridges. Your hiking route can be as challenging or as relaxing as you like.

  7. Disc golf
    I'll be the first to say that this sport is not for everyone, but if you enjoy the game and you're looking for place to play in San Antonio, I recommend Live Oak Park, Brian McClain, and Universal City Park. Pearsall Park is a good course too, but it is in a remote part of town and the winds and topology are dramatic.

  8. The Landing
    The Jim Cullum Jazz Band plays Friday and Saturday nights every week live at the Landing of the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Losoya and E Crockett downtown.

  9. The city zoo
    The San Antonio Zoo is a great place to visit and walk around when it isn't summertime. Many of the animals prefer to remain inside their dens and out of sight in order to stay cool. Don't forget to visit Brackenridge park and the Japanese Tea Gardens while you're in the area.

  10. Dancing and music
    Limelight on N. St. Mary's is a fun place to go for dancing, some choice live music, and drinks. Just don't mind the scene kids. The DJs on Tuesdays and Thursdays make it easy to just get into the music.
    The mood isn't always right for club music so there's always Midnight Rodeo dance hall on Thousand Oaks and Nacogdoches. The people I've met there are very friendly and you can always find someone to dance with.
    One other thing, San Antonio's own local wonder band, Buttercup -- they often put on free shows around town, don't miss them.

  11. Historical landmarks
    The Alamo isn't the only Spanish mission in San Antonio. There are four others. Read about them, and then visit them.

  12. Pool
    If you shoot pool, the only place that beats the Fast Eddie's locations at Babcock and at Embassy Row is the Dave and Buster's at Crossroads Blvd. Just don't go on the weekends -- you'll never get a table.

  13. Movie theaters
    Most movie theaters in San Antonio smell bad. The Paladium Imax is new so it doesn't stink yet, but it is by far the most congested cineplex in the city. The Bijou @ Crossroads features some independent movies that you can't see anywhere else, if you brave its smelly theaters.

  14. Graffiti
    When I'm bored out of my mind, I like to go driving around parts of town I haven't been very often or ever before just to explore. My favorite places to drive around are the neighborhoods where I am sure to find quality graffiti to look at. Here are some of my favorite spots for graffiti viewing. Examples: 1, 2

  15. The people
    Seriously, I have no idea what to put here. Refusing to include common tourist traps, or attractions outside the city limits, or include too many restaurants, made it extremely challenging for me to come up with even ten things. I am positive that there are tons of other things to do here. Again, this is just a list of my favorite things in San Antonio.
    But to be fair, the best thing about San Antonio is its people. It's trite, I know, but it's true. Most of my friends, my family, and some extended family too, live in this city. I have lived here for 18 years now and it's home.
    Please let me know what some of your favorite things are!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Testing some Bash highlighting css by Nigel McNie

  1. #!/usr/bin/env bash


  3. [ -a /etc/*-release ] && grep -q "Ubuntu" /etc/*-release   && os="ubuntu";

  4. [ -a /etc/*-release ] && grep -q "Red Hat" /etc/*-release  && os="redhat";

  5. [ -a /etc/issue ] && grep -q "Debian" /etc/issue           && os="debian";

  6. [ ! -z $(which uname) ] && uname -a | grep -q "Darwin"     && os="darwin";


  8. case "${os}" in

  9.      darwin ) echo "Darwin!";;

  10.      ubuntu ) echo "Ubuntu!";;

  11.      debian ) echo "Debian!";;

  12.      redhat ) echo "Red Hat!";;

  13.           * ) echo "You're dumb and your computer hates you!";;

  14. esac

Editing mp3 id3 tags with Ubuntu

This is probably unnecessary for people who use Ubuntu, but for those who don't already understand what this post is about, I'll define some stuff.

An mp3 is a type of encoding for audio and music files on a computer.

Usually an mp3 file is encoded or "ripped" from Compact Disc track, or a less compressed (larger) audio file like a WAV or an AIFF.

These mp3 files have special information stored inside them called id3 tags. The id3 tags describe the artist, album, and track number of a song. The accuracy and amount of information included in the mp3 file depends on what information is available to the encoding software at the time the mp3 file is encoded or ripped.

For Ubuntu users, you can easily view this information from the command line by installing the following programs:
sudo apt-get install id3
sudo apt-get install id3v2

Ta-da! Now you can do stuff like this:
$id3v2 --list "Midnight Voyage.mp3"
TPE1 (Lead performer(s)/Soloist(s)): Ghostland Observatory
TIT2 (Title/songname/content description): Midnight Voyage
TALB (Album/Movie/Show title): Paparazzi Lightning
TRCK (Track number/Position in set): 10
TYER (Year): 2006
TCON (Content type): Electronic (52)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Radiohead and the Grammys

Apparently I missed the Grammy Awards yesterday. (A Sunday! What was I doing?) Honestly, I had no clue. I never watch it anyway. And their website sucks.

But things might have been different if I had only known I was going to miss this:

Also, Bill Chapin has cool stuff to say about Radiohead.

Update: The Grammys filed a copyright claim with Google/YouTube and had Radiohead's performance pulled. I've re-upped it here, and I'm sure Radiohead would be fine with that.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Delicious bookmark resurrection #3: The Danish Poet

Narrated by Liv Ullman is the story of a Danish poet who decides to vacation in Norway to cure his writer's block and winds up meeting the love of his life who is unfortunately betrothed to another man.


Old submarine cable maps

These maps showing the locations of the first undersea telegraph cables are fascinating. The maps have that weathered antique appearance but they are describing the beginnings of what is arguably the single largest technological advance in the history of the world, or at least the most important one.

Friday, February 06, 2009

TED Talks - MIT students create wearable computer

The TED 2009 Conference is happening this week.

One talk about MIT students who have developed an ultra-portable, wearable, and context-aware computer system has received a write-up in Wired Magazine. The online article has a couple of very exciting videos.

The computer is designed to respond to gestures made by the wearer (user). By recognizing gestures of indication, the computer can target an object to which you are paying attention.

The computer can then automatically search the Internet for information about the item of interest. Once the information has been retrieved, it is displayed on the surface of that item.

The computer interface design possibilities are endless.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Delicious bookmark resurrection #2: The Big Chart

The Big Chart is an introduction to the topic of recent developments in counter-inuitive comparison which was discussed at the Dwell on Design conference in 2007.

Now, when someone says, "You can't compare apples and oranges" you can tell them, "Oh yes you can."

Okay, how about this comparison: 20 minutes of your life vs. watching this video

Perhaps no contest.

The Internet is stupid

From a MetaFilter thread:
If you turned [the video] off 90 seconds in, then maybe fart humor is more your speed. Not that there's anything wrong with fart jokes.
posted by Plutor at 10:19 AM on October 30, 2008
I clearly said 1.5 minutes, not 90 seconds....

posted by HuronBob at 10:23 AM on October 30, 2008
This is not news, but I mean, why stop collecting the evidence?

The war on science

René Descartes: Cogito ergo sum.
Conservative Republican politicians and voters: Credo ergo est.