Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sig Figs

From the Sydney Morning Herald:
The north's military ''will continue to make merciless military attacks with no hesitation if the South Korean enemy dares to invade our sea territory by 0.001 mm'', it said in the statement carried by the official news agency. ''It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.''

I'm not sure what North Korea would better benefit from, a lesson on significant figures or minimizing the use of hyperbole.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Google Public DNS and Hulu

Usually my computer literacy helps. This time it hurt. I have spent the last couple hours trying to diagnose why Hulu hasn't been able to load videos lately. It has been spotty here and there. Oddly enough it loads the ads just fine, but today it just failed when loading the show, every single time. So, after I dismissed my conspiracy theories about Hulu trying to boost their ad views, I... I don't know what I did. I guess I called Comcast, complained, had them reset my connection twice, bypassed the router, realized it would work bypassing the router, and then somehow ended up two hours later realizing that using Google's Public DNS was the problem.

I had set up my Airport connections to use and as their DNS (those are Google's DNS IPs), however, I hadn't set my ethernet connections to use them. Somehow I managed to realize that it wasn't the router (after restoring to factory defaults), but that it was the DNS. I'm actually still impressed with myself for determining that and not getting carried away with my other possible solutions which included buying a new router and more drastically cancelling Comcast and switching to Verizon. But switching back and forth between Comcast's DNS and Google's DNS proved that for some reason Google's DNS was breaking Hulu for me.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see if the intermittent 2 minute blocks of no internet connectivity followed by a return to connectivity were also DNS-related.

Bye-bye Google DNS.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My new de-stressor

SpongeBob. I've been watching an episode or two every day. I think everyone's got 11 mins for a little sponge in their day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

X-Men is not real

Favorite line in my genetics text so far:
"Mutation and mutant, however, are never used to refer to human beings who carry mutant alleles."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Early Edition: Gmail-style

Found this in my inbox today:


On June 2, 2010, Align Technology Inc. announced its Invisalign® Proficiency Requirements...." (emphasis added)

Interesting. I'll let you know if I get any clues into the relevant future.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


My friend James had a sleep document that he shared with me on Google Docs. He would mark when he went to bed and when he woke up. Then he had some formulas that showed how much he slept, his 3 day average, and a few other stats. The most interesting part of the document was where he recorded his dreams. Hopefully he won't mind, but here is a quote from the document:

"I did dream that I was trying to figure out the modes of an oscillating drum head. I found that they all canceled one another out in the classical model used by most physicists, but later concluded that this wasn't right. A girl from the JC (K) assured me that it was, in fact, right to say that all the Bessel functions had canceled one another out and summed to zero. I was feeling quite pleased with myself for having figured out something so technical in my sleep. Half awake, I still believed that I was right. All the way awake, I realized that I was very wrong: of course they don't cancel out! That's why they teach you that model (though the modes are Bessel functions of the radius, r, they don't sum to zero in general no matter how many terms you add)."

Another entry describes his sleep the previous night as "Really didn't feel too great, was delirious during church, didn't nap though." I particularly like that one.

James no longer updates this document. Which is quite unfortunate, because I really did check it often, as I am sure the other 4 viewers did as well. In fact, I loved checking his sleep blog, just for the dreams.

Lately I have been having some wack dreams. Actually, I don't think they are that weird, I think it is just the fact that I am remembering them. I have no clue why, but for the last week I have remembered about a dream every night. I am almost tempted to start a dream doc like James.

So, here are a few tidbits I can remember. Last night I remember that I saw someone's belly button, but it was in the wrong place. It was offset to the side about 6 inches. And that's it, that is all I remember. The other day I had a dream where I was naked (a little embarrassing), but it also was a little groundhog dayish. The same series of events kept happening over and over. Last night I remembered flying around in the sky and that I was going to be living in a world similar to Narnia. I think someone was writing a book about me that I was going to live in. Akin to James' dream about physics, I've had numerous dreams about my teeth. They are rather frightening in fact, I've woken up several times since being in dental school relieved to find that I still had a full mouth.

There have been other dreams that I've forgotten. But perhaps the most striking one was a few days ago. I was being crowned king over a sizable constituency. I don't remember many other details, but I do remember how I felt. It was amazing. Completely, utterly, amazing. In fact, it was so amazing that it scares me a little. I've never thought myself a power-hungry person, but perhaps I should putting my monarchical resume out there.

It's amazing how real the feelings in dreams seem. James, I implore you, start the sleep doc again. As for anyone else, got any dreams you want to share?