Grocery Store Wars


Here's a link to a cheese-ball parody of star wars called Grocery Store Wars. Its a viral video produced by an organic food association to draw attention to the benefits of organic food. Even though it has a hidden agenda it has some very funny puns. "Obi-Wan Cannolli" for example. (Thanks Nate)

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Jumper by Steven Gould


Jumper is the first book that I've actually read for fun in quite a while. It was a nice change of pace to be reading a book that I couldn't put down.

The book is about a young man named Davy who has the ability to teleport. Now, normally, I think that this would devolve into a stupid book very quickly, but the author, Steven Gould, does a great job of creating a character who is too overwhelmed with hard real life problems to start getting too goofy with his "super-power".

The plot builds slowly and gradually draws you into believing that this is a realistic premise, by the time I was done. I was surprised that I had suspended my disbelief for so long. It was a really fun read and I enjoyed it.

Now the caveats. It is a science fiction book, and although it was written well, it was clearly written by and about a geek. I happen to like that. It is also a dark and gritty book. Although it kind of presents itself like a young adult novel. I think that there are some aspects of it that require more maturity than I probably had until I was in college. There is an attempted rape, some terrorism related carnage, some sexual innuendo etc. Nothing too graphic, but not night-time reading for your 10 year old either.

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I was getting so sick of typing in passwords to log on to different machines using various terminals. At the same time we recently had a break in at the University of Washington featuring hackers from Romania. So I was stuck. I needed strong passwords and it was a hassle. Then I rediscovered ssh-agent! This program acts as a password wallet for your ssh sessions. You authenticate to it and then it takes care of future authentications. Strong passwords and convenience. This and some clever bash scripting has shaved time from my daily routine!

I guess it's not that incredible, but I sure am happy I got it working.

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Suzzallo Reading room

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Today thesis day is in the Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington!

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The Suz harkens back to an old-money, east coast university. Why the gothic look? Or is it mandatory for all universities to copy the original American U's? What is the history to UW?

Posted by: Nate at May 6, 2005 5:32 AM

Allen Center Elevator


We have an elevator here at the University of Washington Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering that bridges two worlds, EE and CS. I created this movie to celebrate the resulting confusion. It's just like being in the elevator.Download movie

Of course, you know that today is thesis day. Otherwise when would I have time to do this?

(Funny) Permanent Link made 10:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


Any other way for me to view this? I dont have necessary program to view .mov files.

Posted by: Nate at May 6, 2005 5:36 AM

Download Quicktime from Apple, it's free and not very annoying:

Posted by: Don at May 6, 2005 6:29 AM

Rich Dad, Poor Dad


Here are Amazon's statistically improbably phrases from this book:

educated dad, your financial intelligence, rich dad, safe secure job, financial literacy, fix toilets, cash flow pattern, asset columns, pay yourself first, expense column, poor dad

This book was a business/motivational financial book that encourages the reader to rethink wealth as "the amount of time that you could survive without working." Then the author goes through the implications of this definition and concludes (several times) that the best financial moves you can make involve buying assets that provide a return on investment rather than liabilities which cost money.

The author frames this in a story of two fathers that he grew up with, his own and his friends and demonstrated through the story of his interaction with these two men how conventional wisdom will put you in the poor house.

Its a good book to read for principles and to change your perspective on finances. It is clearly worshipping wealth above all else though, and I don't think that is healthy.

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The book's conclusion ("the best financial moves you can make involve buying assets that provide a return on investment rather than liabilities which cost money.) is incredibly elementary. That said, I'm sure it will connect with many. Amazing how many books can be written on the same topic.

Posted by: Nate at May 6, 2005 5:39 AM

It's an elementary concept, but he does a good idea of showing how the decisions that people make all the time aren't achieving the goal of building a portfolio of assets. The examples he provides are pretty convincing. He also has a game called CASHFLOW that isn't a whole lot of fun, but is very educational about how to make good investments.

Posted by: Don at May 6, 2005 8:00 AM

</car> bumper sticker

A little bit of XML humor for your car. This sticker is the closing tag for a "car" object. If you don't get, you probably shouldn't buy it. Buy this handsome and witty bumper sticker by clicking here. The quality of the graphics are much higher on the real product.

(Bumper Sticker, Crazy Bumper Stickers, For Sale) Permanent Link made 10:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


Awesome! I would buy one if I were a bumper sticker person, but I like my Element mostly non-adorned.

If you're disappointed that I'm not buying one, you could always make a "Non-bumper sticker people suck" bumper sticker to put on your car.

Posted by: Charles at May 6, 2005 6:32 PM