Category Archives: Just For Fun

Today’s Embarassing Admission

For years I’ve been making fun of razor manufacturers’ ongoing arms race. Three blades! Four! No, five! Make that six! For the longest time I’ve used a three-bladed razor to shave my head, and even that felt excessive.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine gave me a free five-bladed razor she’d gotten through her awesome ninja couponing skills. I tried it out.

I got a better shave.

Man, don’t I feel dumb.

My Dragon*Con 2010 Schedule

Looking for me at Dragoncon? I move around a lot, but here’s where you can definitely find me. C’mon, stalk me at the con. You know you want to.

What the Cast – Live!
Saturday 11:30 AM, Hilton Room 204
Brian, Crispy, Stephen and Patrick (also of Dragon*Con TV) bring their chaotic and hilarious “What The Cast” back to Dragon*Con.

(These are always a lot of fun, since it’s us being geeky about random things and it’s far looser than our normal semi-scripted episodes.)

Physics of the Whedonverse!
Saturday 7:00 PM, Hilton 202
Picks up where Ouellette’s “Physics of the Buffyverse” left off by
covering Dollhouse, Firefly and Serenity, too.

(It’s me and three others (including Jennifer Ouellette, the author of “Physics of the Buffyverse”) trying to shoehorn physics and other science into Whedon-run shows. Come see if I play Mr. Grumpy Physicist and just shout “There is none!” before storming off!)

Make Yourself Invisible!
Sunday 10:00 AM, Hilton 202
Can we finally build an invisibility cloak via the wonders of metamaterials? Or will we never be able play Predator and sneak up on Adrien Brody?

(I’m excited about this topic. Metamaterials and transformation optics are hot hot hot right now.)

There Ain’t No STEALTH in Space!
Sunday 2:30 PM, Hilton 203
Sci-Fi is big on invisibility for space ships. We’re here to tell you it can’t happen. You just can’t hide a ship in space!

(Why, yes, I am trolling con attendees to have them come argue with me.)

Autonomous Technology in Robotics
Sunday 5:30 PM, Hilton 208/209

(There’s no panel description yet, as far as I know, but it’ll be me and a couple of other people talking about robot eyes and robot brains and OH GOD THEY’RE TAKING OVER EVERYTHING.)

Weekend with LanaBob

Alana has been visiting us this weekend and we’ve had some big fun. Friday we went to Build-a-Bear to celebrate 50 years of Sanrio.


From left to right: Alana’s new Yorkie, Rooney, My Hello Kitty, Eli’s Keroppi, Liza’s Tropical Kitty, Liza and Eli. Notice Eli’s band-aid on his forehead, that’s where the stitches are.

Having LanaBob here when Eli smashed his head was invaluable. She cleaned up dinner (since we had just finished eating when it happened) and stayed with Liza while Stephen and I took him to the Urgent Care on the corner. Thanks, LanaBob!


This is dip night. When Alana visits, we always make at least one dip. This time we decided to have a whole dinner of dips. Clockwise from top left: pizza dip, spinach dip, salmon spread, cheese dip and spinach artichoke dip. It is all awesome and I’m going back to eat some now!

4th of U2

We’re off for 4th of July celebrations, even if it is the 2nd. Here’s the song “4th of July” from U2 to get you in the holiday mood, assuming your holiday mood is fueled by trance-y instrumental pieces.

Changing Uptime to Use More Relevant Units


[stephen@sargent ~]$ uptime
8:58:08 up 10 Isner-Mahuts, 06:10, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

For those of you wanting to actually make the change to uptime.c, note that, instead of


updays = uptime / 86400;
uphours = (uptime - (updays * 86400)) / 3600;
upmins = (uptime - (updays * 86400) - (uphours * 3600)) / 60;

use something like


upims = uptime / 39900;
uphours = (uptime - (upims * 39900)) / 3600;
upmins = (uptime - (upims * 39900) - (uphours * 3600)) / 60;

(Note: it’s a tennis joke. And a Unix joke. I can only imagine the size of the overlap in that Venn diagram.)

We’re in the UK

Misty and I are in England! We’re taking a nearly two-week vacation in the UK, driving around with friends and being amazed at how old everything is. We’re mainly relieved to be done with packing. It took a while for us to turn our pants into trousers and our underwear into pants.

If someone wants to swing by our house in a week or so and refill the automatic dog food dispenser for Eli and Liza, that’d be keen.

Fourth Time

Coach Mike Krzyzewski hugs Lance Thomas after Duke wins the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship

That was far more nail-biting than I would have liked. Congratulations to Butler, which played an astoundingly great game.

I’ll be off now to recuperate from watching Duke win last night.

(Photo by Robert Deutch, USA TODAY)