packbat: Wearing a open-frame backpack, a pair of sunglasses, and a wide, triangular grin. (hiking)
This mashup is seriously the most awesome thing I've seen all week. Thanks, [ profile] tacit! (And thanks [ profile] nationelectric, who linked tacit's essay the other day!)

EDIT: Substitute [ profile] remix79 in the parenthetical - goes to show why you should check your sources...

packbat: Wearing my custom-made hat and a smirk. (hat)
Okay, so strictly speaking, it returned five hours ago ... but it's back!

No heat, though. And we're still so socked in with the weekend blizzard (over 20 inches) that school's closed tomorrow. And another five inches of snow is on its way Tuesday/Wednesday.

...yay, electricity!
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
I swear, there is no conceivable explanation for how I can be as stupidly lucky as I have been my entire life.

I am seriously tempted to start invoking absurd excuses for this.

In other news, hello! Don't follow those links if you value your time!
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
Screenshot )

Yes, I just spent hours of my life 'painting' a virtual car with a virtual skyline and a Maryland flag. But that's not the ridiculous part.

No, the ridiculous part is that I didn't plan on putting that Maryland flag on my hood. I was only making it so that I could put it on the license plate.

Second screenshot )

P.S. Many thanks to, for Maryland flag information.


May. 21st, 2009 12:32 pm
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
Stolen from [ profile] active_apathy, who swiped it from [ profile] laurenmitchell:

  1. Choose an episode of anime or television series you have on your computer. Make sure you're certain you want that one, you cannot change your mind once you skip this step. DO NOT TELL YOUR FLIST WHAT YOU CHOSE.

  2. Make note of how long the episode is here: 59:59

  3. Ask your flist to choose a time between 00:00 and whatever the length of your episode is. Be specific - e.g. 21:09, 02:42, 36:50. (No guarantees that times more precisely than the second will be respected, but feel free to try!)

  4. Make them an icon using THAT FRAME ONLY no matter what it is. And remember, you can only use that ONE episode you chose previous, even if the person posting isn't familiar with it.


Apr. 29th, 2009 06:54 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Inspired by [ profile] active_apathy:

This is the evolving Internet meme. Copy this text, change it in any way you like, and then repost it on your blog. Then come back here - - and post a link to your new version so we can see how it's changing!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
From my IRA trust co., a letter dated Dec. 29 (arrived a few days ago):

Dear IRA Investor:

In an uncertain market environment—like the one we've experienced over the past several months—it's more important than ever to continue to focus on your long-term goals such as retirement. That's why we would like to remind you that you have until April 15, 2009 to maximize your retirement savings by making a contribution to your IRA account(s) for the 2008 tax year.

From my IRA trust co., a Year-End 2008 Mutual Fund Statement (arrived today):

Activity Summary
This QuarterYear-to-Date
Beginning Value$3,402.22$0.00
Market Fluctuation-945.52-1,523.30
Ending Value$2,490.88$2,490.88
Net Change-$911.34$2,490.88

Of course, the real punchline is that they're doing a good job. (:
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
This is why I love The Internet Oracle.

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:

Oh most canny Oracle, to whom every function is integrable analytically,

If fifteen people get on a bus, and then twelve more people get on a bus, how old is the driver?

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

Aha! Trick question. It depends how many people were on the bus to begin with.

You owe the oracle more information.


Dec. 14th, 2008 05:36 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (music)
Yeah - should be writing a paper, way behind on my flist, but this old meme [ profile] active_apathy did looked fun.

Put your MP3 player on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results. The first line of the twenty-first is the title.

So, I present:

This flower is scorched, this film is on )

At least it's short.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (accept christ playstation)
I just got the most alluring email subject line in my Yahoo! Mail inbox: "GOD HAS DONE IT AGAIN".

Sadly, it's just a 419 scam.
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
Before: "Hmm, I need to take a crap. I should go to the bathroom."

After: "So I'll pack the running clothes and an empty water bottle tonight, and tomorrow morning I will stow them in my locker at the ASME lounge while I'm working. At 4 o'clock, I will knock off work, retrieve the items from my locker, and proceed to the Eppley Recreation Center. There, I will borrow a lock and a locker, change into the running clothes, and stow everything but the key to the lock and the water bottle (which I will fill before departing). This done, I will walk to the outdoor track and do intervals (400 m running, 200 m walking) until I have expended the water in the bottle. Then I will return to the ERC, shower, change into my street clothes, refill the bottle, and walk up to the Stamp to catch the 6:05 shuttle home. In the unlikely event that I am too late to catch the shuttle, I will take the bus or the subway, depending. Finis."

I amuse myself.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (tired)



May. 28th, 2008 12:38 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (nomicide)
A number of you are probably aware of the Nomic I am associated with - [ profile] nomicide. It's in that irritating between-games idle stage right now, the one where we should be trying to make new rulesets but we're just off doing our own stuff, but it's been a pretty successful Nomic while it's going, and I'm pretty proud to be involved in it. (Incidentally, if you ever want me to brag, ask me how I won the first game. It was brilliant.)

Anyway, I just opened a poll to vote for the Head of the Constitutional Convention (pretentious, eh?) where all the players could vote for any player to become Head. Being a player, I of course immediately voted myself for the players I thought would be good.

The next day, the second vote had come in (I told you it was idle), and I opened the post to see who was winning. A moment later, noticing I had two votes in the poll, I realized the horrible fact: I had voted for myself!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

Describe your perfect sandwich, layer by layer.

View other answers

Crisp chocolate wafer; thick, mildly sweet, slightly grainy but soft layer of filling; crisp chocolate wafer.

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Earth:Harmless/WikiGuide)
Imagine you're hanging out in a semipublic place, like the ASME lounge (because I just haven't mentioned that place enough). Suddenly a question springs to your mind.

"Hey, what's the capital of Alaska?"


"No, it's Anchorage."

"No, Anchorage is the largest city. Juneau is the capital."

"You sure about that?"

"Yeah. Yeah, hey, remember that bit in John McPhee's book, talking about the really strong winds in Juneau?"

Et cetera.

You see that dialogue up there? That's Wikipedia.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (chess)
  • The other prof of my class was absent this Tuesday-Wednesday, so I had to cover the whole two hours. Plus, I misread the homework assignment as being due Monday, not Monday a week1, so I thought I had to cover the entire thing, including the bits we haven't got to in class yet.

    Given that we bugged out half an hour early, I suspect I did not completely succeed. Discussion sections are the toughest audiences.

  • Picked up a bug somewhere that kicked in Thursday morning - sore throat, runny nose2, soreness of muscles ... well, no, actually that last is due to overstress on the "Lat Pulldown" machine at the school gym. Yay exercise!

  • Went to chess club last night after the gym, ran into a guy from my FEM class there. He talked me into playing blitz - 10 minutes per player - and then wiped the floor with me as soon as I slipped up and dropped a knight in both games. So it goes.

  • You see Friday's "Little Dee"? Panel four? So my brother.

  • This is the most absurd thing I've ever seen. (Well, today. So far.)

  • I'm seriously short of non-C items.

Well, that's mostly all. Cheers!

1. 2.8%, unless the missing "a" is highly significant3, in which case it might be as high as 11% or more. ^
2. I'd elaborate on the viscosity and color, but no-one wants to read that junk. ^
3. Or unless Irregular Webcomic readers are a nonrepresentative sample. Which, of course, they are. ^
4. Now with x% more meaninglessness, where x doesn't mean anything! ^
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
Something occurred to me a few days ago you might find interesting. You know how a lot of people, when naming impossibilities, will say "square circles"? They're wrong.

Now, I'm going to do this right, so watch.

1. Circle: the locus of points of a fixed distance (called the radius) from a specified point (called the center).

2. Square: a polygon (closed plane figure bound by straight lines) with four sides of equal length separated by equal angles.

You got that? All right. Now consider a chessboard with a king on it - somewhere near the middle, say, so the edges don't interfere.

Now, distance on a chessboard can be defined as "the minimum number of king-steps between two points". This has all the properties of a metric in mathematics - it's a valid definition. In addition, two kinds of squares can be clearly seen on a chessboard - the kind bound by four diagonals and the kind bound by two ranks and two files.

The locus of points one square away from a king - that is, a circle of radius one - is identical to a rank-and-file square with side length two. (Yes, it's three-by-three, but lengths must be measured from center to center if we're going to be reasonable about this.) Continuing, it is clear that a circle of radius two is a square of side length four, a circle of radius three is a square of side length six, and indeed in general a circle of radius r is a square of side length 2r.

Furthermore, there is no reason why a space could not be conceived of that is the differential limit of a chessboard - a continuous plane in which distance was measured by max(Δxy). You could even do a 'slow-rook' variation, where diagonal moves were not permissible and only one step could be taken along the ranks and files - in such a plane, distance would be measured by Δxy and the squares would be diagonal (but still of side length 2r).

Extending the concept to three or more dimensions is left as an exercise for the reader.

Oh, and by the way: if you need a self-contradictory term, feel free to try "married bachelor". I believe that one's still good.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (wtfcu)
From [ profile] ceruleanst: science brings us the most-wanted and most-unwanted songs, based on the opinions of 500 respondents to a spring-1996 web survey. If their assumptions are correct...

[Poll #1124531]

Enjoy! (Or don't enjoy!)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (butterfly)

Mithras Card
by *ursulav on deviantART - commentary on the season by [ profile] ursulav on LiveJournal.

(Yeah, I got nuthin'.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (wtfcu)
...are dangerous and scary places, respectively.

Beginning with the first of the two: yesterday, I went with my friend K and his family down the Gunpowder River (or "Little Gunpowder Falls" - I don't know which bit it was, although I think we passed under I-83). Just for a change, his father decided to start a little further upstream than before so we could go through a little of the Class III rapids. In spite of K's mom's reservations, I, being the guest and not experienced with the river, decided to go along with it.

Actually, correct that. I, being not experienced at all, went along with it. For what it's worth, K capsized first (and since his boat had the lunch and the dog, that was quite a major deal). That said, I capsized twice, and the second time ended up traversing the fourth of the four sections of Class III on foot. It cost me, first, my prescription sunglasses, and second, my watch and one of a pair of socks (the one with the smaller holes).

Other than that, though, it was a pretty nice day. Besides, the glasses were cheap, the watch old, and I was planning to get new socks anyway.

Thus segueing to the second item in the title: going to the mall to buy socks today. Remarkably, the 'socks-buying' bit was fine (although finding U.S.-size-16 socks was a bit of a hassle). It was coming out of the sock shop that I got in trouble.

I'm walking down the hall, minding nothing in particular (hey, I'm sleepy!), when suddenly I am accosted by a short, vaguely East-Slavic looking (not that I can judge ethnicity) woman who steps in much too close to me and asks if I'm married.

I, being too dumb to flee, reply with the it-seemed-clever-at-the-time "I'm busy."

She asks again. (Or maybe she asks if I have a girlfriend - I am an Unreliable Narrator™.) The scent of chocolate on her breath is both evident and oddly disturbing.

"Uh, who are you?"

She turns to her accomplice and pronounces that This Guy (meaning me) Is Funny. She then drags me over towards the table to offer me a demo of some plastic-and-thick-wire contrivance that looks vaguely like the ribs of a basket, and, in my bewildered state, appears inexplicably threatening.

"Uh, hey, I have to go, and I'm not buying anything..."

She insists that this is a free demo, and throws some lump of fabric into an inexpensive recent-model-year microwave that is incorporated into the cart-stand-thing.

I continue babbling ineffectually as the whatever-it-is nukes. Then, as she opens the microwave, I spot the box of aromatherapy pillows (or something) that this obviously is one of.

I announce I am leaving as I back away. (Aromatherapy, like chiropractic treatment, is as a rule too easily adopted as a cover name for pseudoscientific practices. It is a reflection of my lack of experience in the 'hard sell' that it is this that leads me to suspect chicanery, rather than the patently nonkosher actions of the salesperson.)

She thrusts the pillow in my face. (Literally. Physical-contact-with-nose-and-mouth literally.)

I, still babbling, flee.

And so I have two new rules.
  • When boating, everything you value should be either tied to you or tied to your boat. (My pack, which was the latter, survived wet but intact.)
  • When someone accosts you to sell you something, leave. Don't say anything, don't even break stride, leave. Even if they're zaftig.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
Actually, two Mormon missionaries on bicycles, but that's not as funny. I managed to escape revealing any of my contact info without too much discourtesy, and accepted their cards (one an invite to the Visitors' Center at the big Wash. D.C. Temple, the other an offer for a free Book of Mormon) and parted ways.

It got me thinking, though: what would science missionaries be like?

"Good morning! I'm Robin, this is Charles, and we just wanted to know: have you accepted methodological naturalism into your worldview? Is there some time we can come to your house and talk about the exploration of the universe?

Don't you ever wonder how birds fly, or fish climbed out of the sea to live on land? We believe that we can answer questions like these, that we can discover all sorts of beautiful things about our world. Please, accept one of our pamphlets on evolutionary biology! If you want to learn more, we have some programs you can attend...."
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
1. Just restarted my paper diary. Handwriting (well, printing) still terrible.

2. My community college campus shop seems to offer the best prices on printmaking paper. I still don't believe it.

3. Laptop's back! Did I mention that? I don't think I mentioned that.

4. Meaningless poll!

[Poll #997142]


packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

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