Archive for May, 2009

French Open 2009 Midpoint Notes

15:28 31 May 2009. Updated: 20:25 31 May 2009

I started thinking about writing this post on Friday, and also mulled it over yesterday. I certainly didn’t expect to be writing about the biggest upset of the year: Nadal losing in the fourth round of the French Open to Robin Soderling. Soderling took it in four, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (2). It still seems crazy.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, ]    

Random Bay Area Photo

22:58 29 May 2009

Just a photo from Berkeley that I find amusing.

Fire Not Rated

Permalink     1 Comment     []    

Zipf’s Law

22:06 28 May 2009

I’d heard of Zipf’s Law before, but was still astonished when a friend sent me this New York Times article about some of the things it applies to. The parts of it that really got me:

[T]he largest city is always about twice as big as the second largest, and three times as big as the third largest, and so on. In other words, the population of a city is, to a good approximation, inversely proportional to its rank. Why this should be true, no one knows.
“Guest Column: Math and the City”, Steven Strogatz, The New York Times, 19 May 2009


Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

1000th Post

14:26 26 May 2009

This is the thousandth published post on this site. It’s not the thousandth blog entry per se, since some of the entries on this site predate the blog (some predate the site itself, and indeed my awareness of the web). Still, it’s a fairly major milestone, and (working off a suggestion of Jeff‘s) I used Wordle to create a kind of commemorative graphic.

Permalink     4 Comments     [, , ]    

Back to Tennis

22:27 25 May 2009

Despite having written at least twenty-one posts about tennis over the last two years, I haven’t really been playing any. I’ve been on court several times with Monika, which is fun, but she’s a beginner and we don’t play actual games, and seem to have reverted to playing squash instead. Several years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long) I used to play with Lara, who was at about my level (although her technique is better than mine).

Yesterday an ex-colleague, Jeremy, got me out on court in Dolores Park to play, and I remembered how much I love the game.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

Fiction Organization

15:04 24 May 2009

I made a WordPress page containing a list of all the fiction I’ve published on this blog. I had to do this by hand, because it appears difficult to get a reasonable list using various WordPress approaches (such as tags). The page I created is hardly a masterpiece of user interface design (I hope to improve it significantly over time), but it’s better than what was there previously.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , , ]    

pafib #6

22:00 22 May 2009
Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]    

Second CrossFit WOD

22:31 21 May 2009

No, I’m not going to write about every WOD I do (hopefully I will soon be doing them almost every day), but I think that yesterday’s WOD was interesting because it was so different to Monday’s. This time, the WOD was:

  • 378m run (should have been 400m)
  • 50 squats

Repeat four times.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

First CrossFit WOD

11:34 19 May 2009

I took my first Intro to CrossFit a while ago (2 Mar) and then failed to go to another for a while. Even though it really wasn’t a tough class.

Despite this lack of commitment, I quite like the philosophy of CrossFit (summarized in the “World-Class Fitness In 100 Words” section on this page), and the reading I’ve done around it suggests that it’s quite effective. So yesterday I pushed myself to go to another intro class.

Permalink     Comment     [, , ]    

YouTube, Linkrot, and Blogging

22:04 18 May 2009

While randomly looking over one of my older posts last night, I realized that the YouTube video that it was centered around had been removed, making it pointless. This is extremely annoying, not just for me but for any reader of that post.

Permalink     3 Comments     [, , , ]    

Federer Beats Nadal in Madrid

13:05 17 May 2009

In straight sets (6-4, 6-4), no less. It’s a big win for Federer, who finally wins a Masters Series event after nearly two years without one (his last was Cincinnati 2007). This brings his career Masters Series win total to 15—catching him up to Nadal, with the pair of them trailing Agassi’s all-time record of 17.

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

S. L. Price on Federer and Nadal

22:38 15 May 2009

This Sports Illustrated article is one of the better articles I’ve read on the Federer-Nadal rivalry.

I don’t agree with everything in it—for one thing, portray Federer as being less willing to fight than I think is the case—but it covers the bases pretty well, and it’s hard to argue with this key section:

From mid-2006 through ’07 Federer took five of his seven matches with Nadal, including both Wimbledon finals, and he seemed to have mastered his young rival at last. But Nadal took a major step by pushing Federer to five sets in the ’07 Wimbledon final. As the challenger he had the psychological advantage of chasing, and unlike Federer he was determined to keep adding weapons. To beat Federer on grass and hard courts, Toni and Rafa were methodically upgrading Rafa’s game, making it less reliant on defense and more geared to dictating play and conserving energy.
—S. L. Price, “How Nadal humbled Federer”, Sports Illustrated, 14 May 2009

Permalink     2 Comments     [, ]    

Solo Set and Mental Exercise

22:35 14 May 2009

I recently started playing the daily Set puzzle again, and was thinking about other ways to play the game without other players.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]    

Le Wrath di Khan

22:30 12 May 2009

I saw this Robot Chicken clip on a mailing list I’m on recently, and I just can’t resist posting it:

Direct link: Le Wrath di Khan

(And no, I haven’t seen the new Star Trek movie yet.)

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

The Front Line Review

22:30 11 May 2009

I came across The Front Line while surfing Netflix for heist movies recently, and decided to watch it on the basis that it was Irish, relatively well-rated, and also that I’d never heard of it. I ended up being fairly impressed, with some reservations.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , ]    

I Think I Think, Therefore I Think I Am

13:59 10 May 2009. Updated: 23:45 01 Dec 2009

The title of this post is hardly original, but it’s been a favorite of mine for many years. Underneath the smartass exterior, however, the aphorism packs a fairly significant punch that’s not necessarily merely a variant on solipsism.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

My Take on Twitter

15:45 08 May 2009

I’ve been using Twitter for about three months now. I was fairly skeptical about it, but decided to try it out, and while I don’t think it’s now a completely essential tool, I do find it useful.

Permalink     1 Comment     [, , ]    

Email Service Interruption

23:33 07 May 2009. Updated: 01:35 08 May 2009

My email server was down earlier this evening, and when it came back up, it didn’t like something about my procmail setup. My brother noticed and shut off my procmail after a while, but for some period, emails to me were getting bounced.

So, if you happened to send me an email this evening, you should send it again.

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

Deception and the Rapture

23:51 05 May 2009. Updated: 01:51 06 May 2009

The Rapture might turn out to be a fake; also, certain books about the Rapture might be fake but contain real Rapture-related messages.

The second link is a lot more fun to read than the first link, but that’s just my opinion.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]    

Version Control Recovery

23:40 04 May 2009

Last year, the server with my Subversion repository on it died suddenly. I’ve made several attempts to revive it, none of which have worked. I tried to get the data off of it, but had trouble doing this as well. Having been frustrated a number of times, I gradually got used to not having it… which is something I should have fought harder against.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , , ]    

The Crimes of Ferris

23:48 03 May 2009

Detailed in this excellent Ask MetaFilter thread. I’m not sure why I don’t own that movie.

Permalink     Comment     [, ]    

The First of May

22:40 01 May 2009

It irritates me, every year, that May Day isn’t an official holiday here. It irritates me further that US Labor day is tucked far away at the other end of the year. It just seems petty. And today I discovered that, indeed, the US Labor Day was a deliberate attempt to gain distance from the “radical left”.

Permalink     Comment     [, , , ]