Friday, July 28, 2006

Funny Balloon Hats For The Win!

So, this is a funny picture and a fun story (no surprise, but alcohol was involved)

Sue and I were bored last Saturday night (after seeing Wicked, the cool musical in NYC that afternoon), so we decided to go to our Gym's member appreciation party to sate our love of free food. The theme was Mardi Gras and it was supposed to be at the outdoor pool, but somehow it ended up being in their basketball court (way too prom-like depressing, if you ask me). We get there and are pleased to find open bar for beer and wine, but mostly depressing older people packed in to the space. The DJ is predictably lame, so we decide to slam one or two, get some dinner and get out of there. Semi-cool is the person on stilts with long pants who is making balloon hats and animals for the adults (no kids allowed at party). After her second glass of wine, Sue suggests we get some hats before leaving. I'm a bit buzzed too, so I agree and ask the balloon lady to make me "anything w/ horns, viking, devil, bull, I don't care." (wanted to say, "I'm horny tonight," but didn't want to make the hired entertainer uncomfortable). She gives me a contemptuous look, but goes ahead w/ her version of a viking hat (below). Sue asks for whatever she wants to make and gets a cool twisty snork (remember the snorks!?) thing.
We proceed to get many compliments from party goers on our hats, even though I keep hitting ppl cause my damn horns stick straight out to the side (Sidenote: 10 min later the DJ plays the lame electric slide, but the highlight was seeing the chick in stilts doing it too!)

We ditch the party and decide to go to blockbuster and have "Hot chicks kick ass movie night" renting Aeon Flux (a'ight) and Ultraviolet (bit lame), but wear the hats inside the store. Made the clerk laugh and that was worth it enough for me.

In life, you have to make your own fun (but not your own balloon hats)

ps - as an added bonus, feel free to make this a "caption this picture contest" =)

pps - note the chic plastic stars sue stuck on her temples she got from the party

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More stupid spam

I received the following spam email today. It was amusing enough that I felt the need to share:

One of our agents has been trying to contact you regarding your home.We have some awesome news. Although it has taken some time, our agent havefound 0 companys that are able to r e f i n a n c e for you.

Well, that's sort of depressing. I was all excited and ready to refinance. No really! Its all I think about! And then you go out of your way to tell me that you found zero agents. That's just mean. How do you live with yourself? Couldn't you have just ignored me? Or just offered me some low cost drugs and girls getting raped by some sort of barnyard animal? You know, to sort of ease the blow? Now I will have to live vicariously through all my other friends refiancing while I just sit here and cry over this email:(

Screw you spam emails!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Good lord I am drunk. I'm in bed at the hotel watching something on some channel that is really funny. I really wish I knew what channel I was watching and what time it is. The show is about the fact that chicks do not like being called a cunt. And in a way that is completely beyond me, they are making it really funny:)


They just said what channel I am on: HBO. And the show is Lucky Louie. Just so everyone knows, that show is hilarious!

Drinking with the boss is awesome. Gambling with the boss, not so much. I lost a bunch at some Indian casino here in Wausau.

I'm too drunk to write a good rambling blog.


Fox news is depressing. Time to change the channel back to something fun.

Nothing on worth watching. I give up. Time to give up and go to sleep. Sorry for the lack of any point.

Monday, July 17, 2006

40% of you will never get this

Apparently my egotistical rantings about how you either are great at software programming or not was not just my ego talking. According to this PHD paper, a group of researchers have come up with pretty simple test that can weed out the (and I swear their PHD paper actually includes this line), "programming sheep from non-programming goats."

Basically, they decided that there are three models that people need to be able to conceptualize:

  • assignment and sequence
  • recursion / iteration
  • concurrency

They claim that even good programmers have great difficultly getting a good model of concurrency (which I will attest is one of the most difficult concepts to wrap your head around in CS). But they also claim that simply testing students for a mental model of assignment and sequence before they ever see a single programming book is an excellent predictor of CS aptitude. For example, this is the very first question on their test:

Read the following statements and tick the box next to the correct answer.

int a = 10;
int b = 20;
a = b;

The new values of a and b are:

[ ] a = 20 b = 0
[ ] a = 20 b = 20
[ ] a = 0 b = 10
[ ] a = 10 b = 10
[ ] a = 30 b = 20
[ ] a = 30 b = 0
[ ] a = 10 b = 30
[ ] a = 0 b = 30
[ ] a = 10 b = 20
[ ] a = 20 b = 10

As someone who does this for a living, I have trouble believing anyone could get this wrong (the correct answer is (2) by the way). Yet when these UK researchers ran their students through a set of questions like this, fully 39% would fail the test. 39%! And weirdly the things you would expect to affect this, like overall intelligence, GPA, or access to computers has absolutely no effect on this number! Its almost like the good programmers are different not because we are smarter, but because we have a natural ability at creating consistent models of machine logic. Moreover, this number appeared to the researchers to be very difficult to move. Even after 3 weeks of tutoring, "there is very little movement from consistent to inconsistent". That is, either you have a consistent model of assignment, or it is very likely you will never have one!

Ok, all well and good so far. But it begs several questions

  1. If this really is a great predictor, would it be ethical to require it from freshmen CS?
  2. What if the school decided that this test would be their entrance criteria for beginning CS classes?
  3. Would your answer change if I pointed out that the test was not 100% accurate (It's more like 80%)?
  4. Given this information, is it fair that most engineering schools now require at least one programming class on all students? If we know that at least 30% of students are not wired to understand this stuff, is it fair to make Mechanical Engineers learn Java?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It Really Works!

Sue and I hate cleaning. We hate it with a passion. So anything that can help us reduce the number of times we have to clean anything in the house is just plain awesome in our book. Enter our newest bathroom contraption:

Automatic Shower Cleaner

I was wholly convinced this thing was going to be completely worthless, but Sue's intuition told us to give it a try (or it may have been the large amout of lime buildup in our shower that she had just cleaned). I figured if it meant we only had to clean the shower half as often, it would be worth it.

Well, it has been almost 3 weeks so far, and let me tell you that this thing is worth it! Since we started using it, I have not seen a single water mark or lime deposit anywhere in our shower. Ah sweet technology! How did we ever live without this?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Better Mac Ads

Mac Ad Spoofs

Safe for work as long as you have some headphone:)

I know that lately all my blog is good for is links to other people being funny. However, I am once again jet setting to some fabulous destination for work next week (Wisconsin!). So rest assured that I will make some sort of wildly personal, angry, and bitter post next week based on the Wheel of Rambling (tm) while in nothing but my boxers from a hotel room in the midwest at 3:00 in the morning (just like every other trip!).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Friday, July 07, 2006

Photoshop Fun

When nerds, photoshop, and movie posters come together:

Computers in Movies

First Party Pictures

Paul and Sue Pics!

Pictures from the party start at the seventh picture in the series.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cell Phone prevents late-night "I never should have left you you stupid B$%$" drunken calls

ABC News: New Cell Can Tell If You're Drunk

I love this additional feature that the engineers thought to add:

The LP4100 also allows users to set up the phone so on certain nights and after a certain time they do not call certain people in their phone book. Think ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.

If you have a blood alcohol level over .08, the phone will not let you dial that person. So it not only promotes sobriety, but chastity - and probably your dignity, as well.

Sadly, I have to say that I have never made a drunk call to an ex-girlfriend. But I have said some amazingly stupid things around people when I drunk. So I think what this phone needs is a way to prevent from talking to certain people AT ALL after a certain time and alcohol level.

I'm thinking something like a Tazer system! Something that could give me a large enough shock so that I am knocked unconsciouss (or at least left as a smoldering pile of club wear on the floor for a few minutes). And remember that it has to be able to cut through the fog of drunkenness: we are talking about a pretty good zap here if we are basing it on how invincible I usually feel when I am drunk. You would probably need something like those portable defibulators. Now I'm thinking! It could shock you unconscious, and then revive you when the person had left the immediate vicinity. It's the perfect plan with no side effects! Now all I need is investors and a way to work the words "Web 2.0" in somehow and I will have a gold mine!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

House is Offically Warm

Our house warming party was a huge success if I do say so myself. Drinking, food, beer, shots, and more karaoke than you can shake a whole Japanese auto company at! Oh, and we also established beyond a reasonable doubt that I am the greatest Apples to Apples player alive. Pictures will be coming soon (just as soon as everyone sends them to me or ours are processed by; whichever comes first).

A few people missed our party for reasons as yet unknown. Know that you are on THE LIST now! And also know that THE LIST is not easily appeased.

I also received my official invite to my 10 year high school reunion today. Sue asked if I was sure I wanted to go. HELLZ YES I’m going. Time to get a new suit and get rid of some of these feelings of uncoolness I have been carrying around since the day I left high school. Well adjusted living, here I come!