Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The first single by The Subverticons : KillJoy


Monday, July 30, 2007


I am trying to take the buddhist approach to emotions, the Babaji
approach, of not identifying with the emotions, but just letting them
come and go, becoming aware of when I feel happy and when I feel sad,
and trying to not get all bound up in that.

It's really difficult, partially because I'm a very emotional, heart
based person at the core, but mainly just because I'm human, and all
humans have that problem. It's part of that inner dilemma of being
human, we're halfway in between the body and the spirit, the mind and
the soul, it's a really unique place to be, and is a great learning
experience, for our eternal souls.

GTD in Emacs


ttyshare - ttys rock!


How to Predict the Weather Without a Forecast. Yes. Totally. Outside is good, smell, feel the air, look at the clouds, listen to the birds and insects, the trees. Growing up on a farm in the praries, I became really aware of the changes in the weather, the wind flowing across the plains, the smell of the grass in the summer before a storm.

iTunes for you


myxertones.com is a new website that helps you to turn your songs into ringtones.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

select in rails

An excellent post about the poorly documented 'select' in Rails: at shiningthrough.co.uk.

Friday, July 27, 2007


better web apps with an undo button. Wow, this is so right, I love the undo button in Gmail, and of course in Emacs, and I want to do this in my web applications.

It sounds a bit tricky, but it would be so powerful and useful.

the fontbook

ooh, i want a fontbook, only $99 for 1400 pages of font goodness.

i read about this in this article on subtaction.com.

mmmm. need.

time may not exist

An excellent article talking about how time may not exist. They talk about General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, and a new theory that is trying to bring them together.

The neat thing about their theory is that they posit that the entire universe exists as a superpositions of waves on a 1-dimensional point. That is a cool idea.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Cool! payscroll.com just launched! I was part of the team for this startup for a couple months, and it's a really neat idea, it's a website that tells you how much you should be earning, based on your experience, job type and location. Check them out, it's cool and it's free. Filled with a bit of yummy sness goodness in there.


yslow is a new Firebug (which is in turn a plugin for Firefox) plugin from Yahoo that tells you why your webpages are loading slow. Sweet!

working out to lose weight

When you look at how many calories you actually burn when working out, it's depressingly small, 20 minutes of bike riding will only burn about 200 calories, that's the amount of calories in one candy bar.

However, after a year and a half of working out hard 5 days a week at they gym, I find that the real change is the way I think about eating now. When I have the urge to snack, I think of how much sweat and pain it's going to take to burn off those calories. When I think about those big bags of chips that I used to eat, and think that it's going to take 2 hours of sweat and pain to burn them off, I reconsider my snacking urge.

Lots of people say, "ok, go to the gym for a month and see how you feel", but for me, it really was more like a year before my brain really started to change to this new way of thinking. So, while working out does burn caloires, I found that the real benefit that working out had for helping me to lose weight was the way it changed the way I think about food. Now, I think of food as a fuel, not as a distraction or something to make me feel better.

With all that said though, for me, working out is only partly about getting in shape, working out really makes me feel so much better mentally and emotionally, it's like the best anti-depressants you can think of, because it makes your body produce natural drugs and compounds, like endorphins, that make you feel really good.

For me, it's made all the difference, I just love it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

harry potter

I just finished the last Harry Potter book, and I really enjoyed it. I think it was the best of the whole series, and now I want to go back and read them all again. And also re-read The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, which is my favorite fantasy book of all time.

My favorite non-fiction book is Hackers by Steven Levy. My favorite sci-fi book is Neuromancer by William Gibson, especially as part of the series. My favorite programming book is the C language by Kernigan and Ritchie.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


I really like the way they display code samples at railsforum.org. Sweet, sweet CSS.

submitting multiple models in rails

I'm redoing the underlying code for Sunshine Organics, it's a great little funky company here in Powell River that delivers organic vegetables, fruit and groceries to your door. Sweet, eh?

I'm redoing the site in Ruby on Rails, and I want to keep the site as close to the original version as possible. One of the actions gives you a big long form with all fields for all the customers, so that you can quickly and easily update things.

I hadn't done this before in RoR, and found this excellent post about how to submit multiple models in a form.

Basically, you want to assign an ID to each form element so that when the form is submitted and the hash is created, a unique form element for each customer field is generated. Then, when you're processing the hash, you just loop over all the indicies in the hash. Neat.

Facebook addicted

Man, it's sure easy to get addicted to Facebook. I'm not sure exactly what they have that makes it so addicting, but it sure has "it", whatever "it" is.

I was thinking about this a lot this week, and I want to get whatever mojo they got going on there.

What is going to be the next thing past Facebook, for people in the vital 16-21 age range? Because Facebook is going to get old really fast for these people.

Interesting that Facebook just put out rewards of between $25,000 and $250,000 for new cool applications inside Facebook. They want to tap that energy out there that people have to create the next Facebook.

But why just settle for $250,000 when there is the possiblity of $6 billion?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ableton Live

I'm really getting into learning Ableton Live, it's got the most amazing user interface I've ever seen.

One of my favorites is that you can switch between Arangement View and Clip View with just the TAB key. I was thinking that would be fantastic for coot, you could switch between your electron density maps and reciprocal space data with the TAB key. I'm not sure how useful that would be to actual crystallographers, but it would be an amazing teaching tool, to get people more aware of the actual data that is going into their structure determination process.

Something that would probably be more useful would be to have the TAB key switch between the 3D view of your proteins, and a sequence alignment viewer.

That's one big problem with both crystallographers and people working in genomics, crystallographers often just think about the one protein in 3D, and genomics researchers think about a whole bunch of sequence, without relating it to the 3D proteins. The next wave will be to combine the two of these, combining traditional genomics with structural genomics in an application on scientists desktops. This application would be totally web aware, it would seamlessly allow you to query databases all over the world right inside your 3D/genomics application.

And it wouldn't be within your browser, that works great for some applications, but for hardcore researchers, it just doesn't cut it, it won't be within your browser, but it will connect to the web, just like a browser.

That's the new direction. I would do that right now, but it's going to take a big team to do it, and I just don't think that there is any way to actually make a living doing it, unless you are a researcher at a university or genomics lab with people who know how to do hardcore coding for Linux, Windows and MacOSX. It will happen someday, and it's gonna rock.

list styles in HTML

Learning about list-style in CSS/HTML.

lemon balm pesto

I've got so much awesome Basil right now, I've been making lots of Pesto. When I was over in Courtney, visiting their amazing library, I was reading about the Herb of the Year for 2007, Lemon Balm. I've got lots of Lemon Balm, so I decided to make this yummy sounding Lemon Balm Pesto

This pesto is the perfect condiment for the Corn Fritters above, and it also pairs well with fish, chicken and seafood. Toss 3 tablespoons pesto with 2 cups cooked rice for a zesty side dish.

2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup almonds
2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh lemon balm
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil

In a food processor or blender, combine garlic and almonds. Process
for 20 seconds or until chopped. Add basil, lemon balm, cheese and
lemon zest. Process for 30 to 40 seconds or until chopped. With motor
running, add lemon juice and 1/4 cup olive oil in a steady stream,
adding more olive oil until pesto has reached desired
consistency. Taste and add salt as desired; process 3 seconds to
blend. Store tightly covered for up to one week in the refrigerator or
up to three months in the freezer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Sweet, after a bit of playing around, I got Marsyas running on my laptop.

Some things that might help you:

1) You need qt4 for some of the GUI tools - In Fedora Core 7, just use yum:

yum install qt4-devel

2) Some soundcards only support playback at 48000Hz, if you try to play a file that isn't at 48000Hz, you'll get a strange error from RtLib:

RtApi: no devices found for given stream parameters:
RtApiAlsa: error setting sample rate (22050) on device (hw:I82801CAICH3,0): Invalid argument.
RtApiAlsa: pcm device (hw:I82801CAICH3,1) won't open: No such file or directory.
RtApiAlsa: error setting sample rate (22050) on device (hw:Modem,0): Invalid argument.

3) When you're trying to record from the microphone, you need to set the capture device to be the microphone in alsamixer. You want to type:

alsamixer -V capture

Then move the selected device to the microphone with the left and right arrow keys and then press SPACE to select the microphone device. The spacebar was not the key that I was expecting to use, but the Wikipedia page for alsamixer helped me out. Thanks wikipedia!

(by the way, that's interesting, that's the first time that the Wikipedia page for a program was more helpful than the man page or "-h". Maybe Wikipedia will be the best manual for programs in the future. Neat)




I had a great time in Victoria, and when I got back, a whole bunch of flowers had bloomed! Here's some pictures of my lilies and sunflowers.

While in Victoria, I stayed with my beautiful friend Parm, she's so cool, it was so much fun staying at her place, really relaxing. I also met with one of my collaborators, George Tzanetakis, he's a computer music researcher at UVIC. I also met up with Simon Emrich, one of my high flying finance friends who works at a huge investment bank in New York.

Also, I saw the new Harry Potter movie, and it totally rocked, the battle between You Know Who and Dumbledore was probably the best wizarding battle in any movie ever.

All in all, a fantastic little three day holiday, I'm recharged and refreshed and am ready and rarin' to work.
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Thursday, July 05, 2007


Understanding DOCTYPES - Lots of great information about Quirks mode on different browsers. I always aim to write fully validating and compliant XHTML 4.0, so that I don't have to deal with Quirks mode, and this article is a great help to understanding things.

tracks on mars

Tracks of the Opportunity Rover on Mars around Victoria Crater.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Loading content with JSON - Another great little article from particletree.

von neumann

von Neumanns long farewell - An excellent little blog post about how we are moving from programming languages that are designed around what the computer needs to languages that are designed around what is more natural for humans. Ruby was designed from the ground up to be a language that was fun for people to program in, and it shows. The future will bring more and more languages and systems like this, that try and make designing things fun. That's neat.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

time to ubuntu?

The apt-file command is amazing:

The apt-file command will tell you what Debian package owns any given file.

# apt-get install apt-file
# apt-file update
# apt-file search libg2c.so.0

It tells you which package includes a file that you need. It's been about 7 years since I used Debian, and after some really bad pain with apt-get upgrade, I swore off Debian and apt-get. Nowadays, I use yum and apt-get all the time with Fedora Core, and after learning about apt-file, I think it might be time to finally switch back to Debian.

So, I started with Slackware, first on a whole stack of 3 1/2" floppies, then on CD. Then I went to Red Hat for some time, then Stormix and Debian, then back to Red Hat and then to Fedora Core. For a while I flirted with a bunch of other custom distros, and used SuSE to get my laptop wireless card working. Now, it might be time to go to Ubuntu.