Doggie Dance

Akira has really good balance. He dances! This is a good example of how to train your dog. Just before the video starts, I issued the "up, up!" command, and you can see him turn and come to perform the trick. He gets constant reassurance with what is essentially "good noise", and he gets a few repititions of the "up, up" command. If I continue to repeat "up, up" he will stand for as long as I want, within reason (this video is pretty long for him at this stage). If I do not say it, or stop giving "good boys" he will know that the trick is over, and it's time for his reward. He gets lots of petting and he got a treat after I turned off the camera.

This was a natural ability that I observed, and I simply trained him to do it on command. At first, I could hold a treat above his head, and he would do this, while I repeated the "up, up" command, and he got the treat if he stood up long enough. Over time, I increased the amount of time it took for him to get the treat. After a while, I stopped doing it with a treat in my hand, the treat would come out of my pocket after he was done with the trick. All during this, I constantly repeat the "up, up" command, and give him lots of reassurance. In this video, I am not raising my hand (I'm holding the camera), and he is doing the trick just because I said so. He knows he will get a treat, but after a while, he will only get the treat sometimes, but he will always get lovin if he performs correctly. This will allow him to perform without constant treats, and be able to do several things in a row without losing attention. Of course, he would get a treat when he's done.

He likes Newman's Own Peanut Butter dog treats. They are organic, and taste a little like peanut butter on toast. (BTW, you should always taste your dog's treats... they should taste good to you. If they taste like cheap dog food, they might not motivate the way you want them to. Anything that is safe for your dog to eat, will be safe for you to try as well)

An open letter to IT recruiters

Wherever you found me... I'm positive that my resume was available to you. If you were capable of doing your job you would have seen that I am not qualified on Acme Widgets (or whatever). I get 10-20 SPAMS a day from losers like you. Do your god damn job and quit SPAMMING people. I didn't post my resume online so you could harvest the email and ignore everything else. I am a geek, I expect people to be intelligent, and when people demonstrate an inability to read, I assume they are not intelligent people, and not the kind of people I want to work with. I realize that you do this so you can be lazy, but it would be much better for you to just do the work of actually finding people, instead of asking me to do your job for you.

Thank you,
Jasmine D. Adamson


Akira is such a good name for this dog

As I mentioned in my previous post, Akira is a name meaning intelligent in Japanese. That's one of the reasons I chose it for my 6-month-old Chinese Crested puppy. After the first few days with him, I'm happy to report he's the most well-behaved and intelligent dog I've ever had, and I've had quite a few dogs over the years. He's doing so well with housetraining I can't believe it. He's done "both things" on the carpet once, and been scolded for it and taken outside. He pretty much understood after that. I've never had a dog that didn't piddle on the carpet at least 5 or 6 times. He's also very happy and well-adjusted. If you are interested in this breed, contact me and I'll turn you on to a good breeder. I called her to thank her for such a great dog and she basically said "they're all like that." That's why she loves them so much, and why I do too!


Mmmmkay... that's a new one

This came in my inbox today:

Subject:  I've got a 8 inch.. cervix
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 10:02:59 -0500

You've Seen Them On TV...

Bigger pen1s, better s3x! 

CHeck it out 


blight biggs jensen cervix tupelo quo birgit.blat ad.
ideal job acts.turing.

Now I don't know about you, but I for one, could really use a bigger cervix.


So you wanna get a dog?

Update: we have a winner - 明 (Akira), or Aki for shortness. It's a popular Japanese name meaning "intelligent". I think that describes him pretty well, and it's a favorite film of mine, as well as a favorite film director of mine, so it's appropriate for me too!

If you like dogs, get one of these. I'm taking suggestions on his name. He's officially called "Royal's British Brass O' Ebon Will", but hell if I'm gonna shout that out at the dog park. The lady I got him from calls him "Cosmo", but he doesn't seem to answer to that, so it's up for grabs. So, what's a good name for this little guy? I like Japanese and Chinese names, and for training purposes, something ending in a long E sound is good. Either gender is ok... Post your suggestions.

He does seem to like the footballs :)

Yeah, I'm pretty...


Arrgghhh... Dammit! Who shot me?

OK, I'm officially tired of crashing into walls, going down in flames, and getting my head blown off by enemies that materialized from nowhere, in some cases, literally. I'm a practiced gamer and consider myself to be pretty good at video games in general. I have good reaction times, good decision-making skills, and pretty good situational awareness in some types of games. I'm best at flight sims, which is what's got my panties in a bunch today. I'm a pretty good pilot, and in the ultra-detailed realistic flight sims, I probably do as good as our boys in uniform. In real life I would probably be almost as good as them, meaning I would probably not come back alive, where they would be safe on deck. I have a lot of experience with flight sims and I can out-fly most people I've played online. The point is, I can handle a pretty tough situation in a fighter plane.

So I recently went out and bought an older flight sim game for XBox: Air Force Delta Storm (aka Deadly Skies in Europe). It's a pretty good flight sim overall, and things are mostly as I would expect them. The controls are standard, allowing a choice between "Beginner" and "Expert" control styles. The Expert mode operates like a normal plane, and the Beginner mode offers a self-leveling flying style. I prefer the Expert mode, since many of my repertoire of moves involve loops, flying sideways and upside down, and so on. These "moves" include standard aerobatic maneuvers and some I've invented over the years which seem to work well in sims. The Half-Cuban-8 and (less often) Reverse Half-Cuban-8 are my favorites actually. This works quite nicely in situations where you need to make multiple quick passes over a ground target. To get from a bombing run into a higher-altitude dogfight, I usually use an Immelman Maneuver or a simple climb, depending on my enemy's relative position. I consider things like altitude and its effect on relative energy and the effect of that on the outcome of dogfights. If I want to win, I prefer to have an altitude advantage, or a serious power advantage.

Now, those are all the things that make battles easy. What's fun is when a battle is hard, so I appreciate a challenge. However, I've noticed a disturbing trend in all games lately, not just flight sims: forty-five-on-one is one thing, but 145-on-one is another thing altogether, and nearly impossible to deal with in most games. Games have gotten too hard. Normally I love a mission where I have to fly down a canyon and kill things on the way, but in Air Force Delta Storm, they take the magnitude of enemy forces way over the line.

In this mission, I have an altitude ceiling, supposedly above which I'm shot down immediately by some kind of super-powerful anti-aircraft system (it works too). I'm also hobbled by a choice between an F-4 and an A-10, both notoriously difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. In case you're not familiar with these, the F-4 is a Strike Fighter from the 1950s, and the A-10 is a CAS-specialized attack craft from the 70s. Both are still in use today and they are very capable aircraft. Very capable that is, as a Strike Fighter and for Close Air Support, but not very capable as a multi-role fighter on a canyon run with a deadly altitude ceiling. I need an F-18 for this, or maybe an F-86 or something with a tight turning radius, hell I could do this thing in a Zero, but there's walls on the sides of this canyon, you know? How dare you send me in there with a slow-turning thing like an A-10? Come on now... give me a chance!

Now, it may sound like I'm just whining about a hard mission in a game, but that's not it. What I'm whining about is the total lack of respect for the laws of physics. Flight is a physical activity, and you are bound by those laws, you can not escape them. If those laws are programmed into the simulator, then they are just as inescapable as in real life. In a canyon with a limited altitude, you are basically flying in a box. That means your energy levels are finite and limited. In dogfighting, energy levels are a very important thing. If you don't have more energy than your target, and can't "catch-up" by using your engine, you are not going to be able to turn to shoot the target. Period. That's a law. There are complex calculations you can do that can give your likelihood of success in a given situation. Now, these calculations never converge to the point of "impossible", but there's a point where it's impossible for practical reasons. In this game and in this mission, you are approaching that limit. This is not fair, particularly for a beginner who doesn't know any of that stuff I just talked about. Also, if I can't do this mission, it's pretty freekin hard. Did I mention there are things shooting at you this whole time?

Now some people may say, Jazzy you're just gettin old and you can't keep up with the whippersnappers anymore. I disagree. Expertise should always win out. If it doesn't, then it's not a realistic simulation. Also, my kids are teenagers and they agree with me - games are getting way too hard these days. So game programmers, can we dial back the difficulty just a bit?


Origami with Jasmine - Penultimate Modules

Here's a quick video on how to make Penultimate Modules. You'll need to read the PDF here: http://dev.origami.com/images_pdf/polyhedra.pdf

There are other origami videos available on my web site


Geek sex is not a myth

Geeks are a little different from nerds in the sense that geeks actually get laid. We're smart and interesting and we usually have good jobs too! Here are some of the geeky things I've never said after sex.

"We should try this in anti-gravity"

"Was that a Dutch half-twist or a Polish 2 quarter turn?"

"Don't forget to give me your playlist before you leave!"

"I hope that was just the beta version"

"That was really cool the way you made it into a perfect circle like that!"

"You should try to optimize that for faster performance."

"I really didn't have time for that"

"We should take multiple measurements of that over a long period of time and average the result..."

Why I don't like cats.

Number 1, I am allergic to cats.

Cats suck. I hate them. Did I mention that?

Cats won't hesitate to scratch the fuck out of you and give you a nasty infection and they don't even feel bad about it later.

They shed all over the place, and they are constantly losing their hair, too.

Cats make me sooo mad!

They shit in the house and you have to take it outside yourself.

Cats could be a lot better pets if they tried as hard as dogs do. They've got it in 'em, they just don't care.

Hundreds of other reasons.


Size What?!

So, every woman has her "truth jeans". This is the pair of jeans that fits you exactly, but only when you are the perfect size. You use this pair of jeans to judge your weight. Everyone does it, I'm not going to hide it, I have a pair myself. Anyway, one day I was wearing them and I happened to go to the bathroom, and while I was sitting there, I looked down and saw the tag on my 100-dollar designer truth jeans.

SIZE 10?! WTF?!

I am fucking skinny, ok. There is no reason why I should be in a god damn size 10! My measurements (and I checked), are 34-30-35... that's thin. I don't understand why I should be in the double digits, and why I should have to pay so much for it too. Some things I have are size 4, and one dress is a 14... I don't get it. Why can't I be average-tall-skinny-woman-size? I'm one size - why can't my clothes be one size too? Sheesh.


This is super-boring.

OK, I like statistics. I've always been interested in statistical applications and there's a good reason why. Here's a few of the interesting aspects of the problem of statistical analysis software.

Most people don't understand the complexity of statistical analysis in the first place and those people will never be capable of describing their analysis needs to a tool that starts with raw data manipulation procedures and builds an analysis from there. Business Intelligence is often built-up in a complex heirarchy that many people in an organization do not understand. In many cases, it is not important for them to understand it, yet they still need to be able to produce new analyses and presentations based on those analyses, without the help of a programmer.

Many people do not view their statistical information in the same way. They visualise it differently, and some people do not visualise their statistics in any meaningful way which could apply to a software program. Some people visualise their data in ways which can not be presented accurately by any software program no matter what you do. This means the challenge of presenting statistical data will continue to be interesting in the future, as we invent new presentation technology and require software to support it.

Some people require different modes of presentation to understand the same statistical information. Some people work well with static visual information (graphs, charts, spreadsheets), but others prefer richer presentations such as animations, and interactive charts. Some people may even require audio or tactile information, particularly in the case of people with limited visual ability.

Often these people are attempting to understand the same information at the same moment in time, and they are limited to a single mode of presentation, meaning everyone has a varying degree of understanding, even though they are all looking at the same thing. This means some people may not be able to contribute in some situations even though they may be capable of groundbreaking insight given the proper presentation. It would be nice if we could have a way for multiple people to simultaneously view the same data in their personally preferred manner. This is virtually impossible with current technology unless you have prior knowledge of the type of data which will be presented. It is possible with current software if you have that prior knowledge.

The way that programmers see data and others see data is vastly different and a method must be found to bridge that gap, because in the end, the software must be capable of doing the work the user wants, and the software will be made by a programmer using a programming language. The computer has to bridge the gap between the way it works and the way a human works. This is the basic mission of all software, but with statistics, there are unique aspects to the problem. This leads many to believe that meta-languages like Mathematica, will always be required to do anything but the most basic statistical operations. There is reluctance to get too far away from the silicon, so to speak.

The underlying problem with all of it is that statistics is hard. It's complex to begin with, and so many programmers assume anyone capable of doing the analysis is going to understand a complex programming language as well, so they write such a language and consider the problem solved. Then, the people who the language was supposed to support have to deal with a big learning curve, or hire a programmer to get the problem done, and we're right back to the initial problem - you had to get a freeking programmer to do the thing! It's not because you're not intelligent enough to design the program, it's because in order to use the 'new' language, you have to think like a programmer and visualise things like a programmer, and you're not, you're a statistician!

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