2009-09-24 10:01 pm

Mandated coverage

Interesting short paper on the tradeoffs between mandated benefits vs public provision (not specific to health care, but directly relevant). More nuanced that most of the stuff we see today.


(from http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2009/09/is-mandate-tax.html)
2009-09-01 04:32 pm


It's amazing how little work I can get done without my email. (Gmail is down. Boo.) In other news, Google has an App status page: http://www.google.com/appsstatus#hl=en.
2008-11-16 06:20 pm


Tip 1: Next time you make hot chocolate, throw a handful of semi-sweet (or dark) chocolate chips into the cup before you pour in the hot water/milk.

Tip 2: make "next time" = "now"
2008-11-11 12:09 am

For anyone doing NaNoWriMo

Or otherwise needing to generate many words on a page.


ETA: dushai--this seems useful for WSLs :)
2008-08-05 10:30 pm

Optimization is fun

Ignore unless you're a CS nerd :)

A friend of mine has a program that computes a funky number theoretical function. Unfortunately, it was taking 5 days to run. I volunteered to take a look at it, and managed to reduce the runtime to about 5 minutes by adding 14 characters to the code. Huzzah for optimization! As part of my investigations, I got yet another reminder that trying to guess where the slow bits are is pretty much useless. The actual culpit turned out to be that the math package she was using decided for some reason to use really really slow symbolic computations of floor() and ceil() instead of just using the built in versions. A couple of casts, and voila--a couple of orders of magnitude of improvement. But I would never have suspected that just by staring at the code.
2008-02-29 04:47 pm

Mall Ninjas

This is amazing:


"I am a Master of three martial arts including ninjitsu, which means I can wear the special boots to climb walls"

Link from NG's blog.
2007-09-13 01:04 pm

Designed by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation...

An excellent phrase:
"When running ajaxWindows, one gets the distinct impression that the products' fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by its superficial design flaws."

2007-07-26 12:23 pm


I heard about Twitter a while back, but haven't actually tried it yet. Ran across this yesterday:


He makes some interesting points. Thoughts? Anyone here use Twitter?
2007-04-25 12:03 am


I believe that there are several people who read this who'll be interested to know that Kryptonite has been discovered:

2007-04-08 10:05 pm

Stolen from lithoglyphic

What would happen if one of the world's great violinists performed incognito before a rush-hour audience of 1,000-odd people at the L'Enfant Plaza station in the DC Metro?

An amazing article answers that very question in the Washington Post today. I highly recommend reading all of it, even once you've gotten the point.
2007-03-06 12:21 am

The Maze!

I'm going to Canyonlands[1] in 2 weeks! Woohoo!

[1] http://www.nps.gov/cany/
2007-01-23 10:18 am



1. Grab the nearest book
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.

Despite being at work, the book in my backpack is closest, and so...

"Can I?" the pilot asked hopefully.
"I'm not going to order you into a hostage situation. If you choose to volunteer, I swear not to abandon you in it."

From The Warrior's Apprentice, by Lois McMaster Bujold. That makes me, [livejournal.com profile] edgehopper, and [livejournal.com profile] cubby_t_bear who have her books handy. [livejournal.com profile] nanonicole, if you do this meme in a couple of hours, you too can have one by your desk :)
2007-01-08 11:45 pm

(no subject)

Is anyone who reads this as intrigued, in a strange sort of way, as I am by panel 3 of http://xkcd.com/c207.html ?
2007-01-01 11:57 pm

New Years!

New Years was awesome! Hiked up a couple of mountains, starting just before 8pm and finishing around 3am. A near-full moon and snow everywhere made for a great atmosphere--we hiked without headlamps the whole way up. A few pictures at:


I would have taken more, but it was cold enough that I had to keep the camera batteries in an inside pocket to keep them warm, and then was too lazy to take them out.
2006-12-24 02:43 pm

New Years?

If the weather is good, who's up for celebrating New Years at the summit of one of the presidentials?
2006-12-05 02:13 am

(no subject)

I think there are a number of people on my friends list who'll be amused by this: