My aunt started an e-mail thread in my family. I’ll include excerpts here periodically.
I am cleaning the house of more pictures — so many. In the album Grandma Omma left, I found some pictures your mom. I will send another email of your mom and dad’s wedding that you probably have seen already.
My mom, like her father before her, loved science. She started in physical chemistry like her father but her heart condition caused by rheumatic fever led her to work in biophysics studying the neural network of the heart and heart arrhythmias.
Ken Rockwell goeson a tear with his new camera, a medium format digital.
As his habit, Ken Rockwell exhibits a bad case of selection bias. For example, let’s take this quote from the first article:
All the 35mm rangefinders and DSLRs look pretty much the same, and the point-and-shoot is the worst.
I’ve also shown the fallacy of falling for claims of 12-bit, 16-bit or 24-bit image processing in-camera.
As those of us who have done this for a living since the 1980s know, the noise level of any of these sensors is much larger than even 12-bit processing. Throwing more real bits at the ADC only serves to quantize the noise more accurately; there isn’t any meaningful image data needing that precision.
Something strange I ran across reading a book last night:
Tom Fink was my roommate in college. He got me in trouble with the instructor when he got caught with my lab notebooks in physics lab. I’ll always remember him as the guy who didn’t know the difference between EGA and VGA. 🙂
BTW, this is the book that the above refers to. I see he’s written this book also. You have to gone to school with him to understand why we’re tickled pink to see this.
The Wired cover article this month is worth a read but brings me on a big rant. The article covers how people trained in theoretical physicists migrated into Wall Street over the last 30 years and created the math that lead the financial bubble bursting.
I was trained as a condensed matter theoretical physicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My advisor created the company that built software similar to the ones that powered this disaster when I was there (mid 90’s). Half of my advisor’s students ended up “quants” on Wall Street.
Robert noticed that I had the Bible Verse app installed on Facebook. I installed it when Jia mentioned it, but haven’t touched it since the first verse that came up was…
John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The motto of my alma mater is: “The truth shall make you free.”
Back when I went there, you could get a shirt that looked just like the ones sold in the Caltech bookstore: With the torch logo and the true motto of that Institute: “The truth shall rape you over.”
Thank you, Caltech, for taking my entire last year there to secretly indict me for an honor code violation which you only resolved seven days before my graduation. (Tip: if you call in 20% of the student body as KGB informants on me, it isn’t going to be a secret.)
To view them, you had to unfocus your eyes a bit and then stare at infinity. I could never do this so I never saw the fucking giraffes, giraffes fucking, or whatever that others claimed they saw. This caused me to develop quite an elaborate conspiracy theory around the Magic Eye corporation.
When I walk to work, I have this insanely long internal monolog. During a twelve minute walk, I create at least one blog entry I’ll never write and come up with three clever turns of phrases of which maybe I’ll remember one of them in the future and someone will say, “I’ll quote you on that”—but they won’t and we’ll forget it together forever.
However, if you stuck one of those posters in front of me right then, my eyes are so unfocused, I’d probably be able to see the fucking giraffe fucking and finally dispel a conspiracy theory of my youth.