Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bit of a whinge, and some recommended links

My place is being surprise!renovated. Currently waiting on insurance, builders, etc. to call me back to arrange more appointments. Feel a little like home life is on hold until that's sorted. Very hard to get excited about tidying up the place, knowing it's all going to be mussed up again shortly.

My god, it's even a huuuuge effort to post a whinge on this blog.

Here, have some recommendations:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Remember Mathnet?

Anyone remember Mathnet from the old Square One TV series?

God, I love this show.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

absolutely nothing

Four years ago, I was fascinated with thermodynamics. Yep, the same thermodynamics you have to learn in school. What made it interesting to learn in adulthood was the absence of a teacher breathing down my neck about handing assignments in, and the idea that thermodynamic principles might translate to human behaviour.

Like how you are attracted to people "hotter" than you, because you like their "warmth" - generally speaking, and at a very basic, atomic level. I think if you only knew enough physics, you could predict the dynamics of most interpersonal relationships, and understand perfectly the mechanics of how they fail. But I didn't know enough physics - I just liked to study and suppose things.

ANYWAY, my interest in this subject came to an abrupt end one night. I was living by myself at the time, and not really in the best period of my life. I was a system isolated from my environment, entropy could not decrease.

In true "nerd introvert" fashion, I sought comfort in my physics. Sorry, I know I'm showing now what a boring person I am. Most people drink, party or watch movies - I sit and wonder what would happen at absolute zero.

Everything would just stop, wouldn't it. All it would take is one particle at absolute zero and all the heat in the universe would get sucked in to try an even out the temperature, but you can't even out the temperature because absolute zero is fucking cold and what if there's not enough heat to go around. You'd be frozen in time, and you'd have no control over it. What if you were really unhappy, or really trying to make your life better, only to get stopped.

You wouldn't die, you'd just be... stuck. Forever.

What happened next was a bit unexpected. I feel stupid telling you this, but sharing is somewhat cathartic, and will explain why I brought up the topic in the first place: I had a panic attack.

Not a big one. Just a little one. My heart started beating really fast, it was hard to breathe, and I was overcome by feelings of dread and paranoia. It was quite horrible.

In true "single girl in panic" fashion, I messaged a physics student friend and asked when the universe would freeze over. And in true "Chinese physics student" fashion, he told me plainfaced that absolute zero was just a theory, and it was unlikely that some mad scientist was going to accidentally freeze us all. So from my point of view, absolutely nothing would happen, because it just wouldn't happen.

I tell this story today because I found an article on New Scientist, which goes through what happens at absolute zero. As it turns out, THERE IS A PLACE IN SPACE THAT IS ONE DEGREE WARMER THAN ABSOLUTE ZERO.


Mummyyyyyyyy... :(((((

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

smoke and a pancake

Mum's duck & melon salad was a real treat on Chinese New Year. After getting my groove on at the Team Sprint Cup (38.19 seconds baby, yeah!), I sat on my furry, tired arse and watched a heap of Farscape.

Sorry if that offends you. I'll be the first to admit that Farscape is a bit shit. But I like it. I like it the way I like the original series of Star Trek. There's charm in the costume latex and muppetry, the formulaic storylines and cliché dialogue. It's a special kind of escapism.

Caught up with @ihavedirt last week for pancakes at Pancakes at Carillon. He had the potato au gratin with chips, I had a mushroom crepe with hash browns. I had no idea what a cathartic evening it would turn out to be, but I guess you can't help but feel relieved after a big crepe.

We updated each other on stuff that's been happening at work and at play, then somehow got to reminiscing about what cowboy webdevs we were back in the day. Back when all we had was goddamned Zope and whatever Python we could muster without compromising system security.

We were rebels, baby. Two chesty young bucks pioneering our own seat-of-the-pants web programming in a tiny 2 x 5 corporate dungeon (which, to be fair, had a lovely view and afternoon sun - but it was dungeon-sized). We didn't know much by ourselves, but together, we created from scratch a shopping cart & credit verification system using just a vision, a Google search engine, and a few choice swear words.

We built a customer feedback system for our support knowledgebase, a Flash feature (banner) rotation system, and awesomest of all... a broadband number checker, which was simply a screen scrape of results from the website of the company I now work at.


By today's standards, what we did was peanut work. Anyone in 2010 can do it, and just about all the 'innovative' brand names do. But back then, not knowing that much and having only curiosity and audacity to guide us, we did some pretty rad stuff.

At least... looking back now, I feel a bit proud of it.

@ihavedirt made that part of my career tolerable - I hated 2.5 out of the 3 years I worked there, but since that's now safely tucked in history and I don't program anymore, I can say feel glad to have been a part of the awesome & functional abomination that we built.

Man, I really like pancakes. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai (eve)

Those red and yellow things you see in the photo are karaoke microphones. The other yellow thing is my sister playing some very Asian looking computer game, complete with ting tong wing wing wong background music.

It's Chinese New Year's eve and it's good to be home. :)

(Hurry up, cousins, I'm getting hungry!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

hooray for not planning everything all the time

Some cool things that have happened in the last couple of days, that weren't pre-planned or anticipated.

Time for bed. Good night :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

paul van dyk makes good music for sitting around to

Most of my long-ish projects are at an end now. DJ NU launched "Feel The Tide" last week, today I finished a zine I've been working on for awhile, indoor football season is nearly over (finals soon - eek!) - I'm at a bit of a loss for what to do next.

Maybe it's a sign to take a break - recuperate, recharge. We'll see. I'm getting the fidgets already.

Meanwhile, here are some interesting links for you:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

what starts with F, ends with K, and means lots of heat & excitement?

Was supposed to go play some cricket today, but dos4gw didn't call, I couldn't have picked up anyway because I was asleep, and my goodness, I still have a headache that's been around all day. Not a hangover headache this time - there is a tiny angry pimple on my forehead, and it's making my whole face sore. Doesn't hinder my ability to complain, though, so here you have it.

I'm having trouble deciding what to do tonight. It happens every time I get a stretch of free time - my head gets so excited about the potential of how to use it, that I end up spending that time sitting around being excited. NOT VERY CLEVER, SANDY.

Okay, time to calm down and make a list:

  1. Finish this blog post
  2. Have a cup of water
  3. Put some laundry on
  4. Wash the pimple and brush its hair
  5. Do a bit of zine stuff
  6. Tidy room
  7. Watch some Farscape in freshly-tidied room
  8. Eat some noodles

OMgOmGoMG free tiiiiiiimmmmeeeee... Right, I'm done.

By the way, if you're still looking for the punchline for the joke in the title, you can find it here.

(Thanks, Chips, for the blogpost photo.)