Gideons

There are some Gideon's hanging out in front of MIT handing out Bibles today. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I love getting free Bibles from religious people on the street. I am now up to 1 Complete Bible, 1 New Testament in Russian and 1 New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs combo. It's only a bit of a start so far, but it's still a fun hobby and I plan to get more as opportunities arise.

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate"

"Plurality should not be posited without necessity." Such is what is commonly referred to as Occam's razor, which, I have to say, is a great little piece of philosophy. It turns out to be a central element of the thesis in a paper I'm in the middle of writing for my Justice class. My thesis is essentially that John Stuart Mill adds no necessity and a bunch of plurality to Jeremy Bentham's utilitarianism and that Mill's revision should be discarded.

Occam's razor is really great for arguing things like this because it's so well known and not too many people will directly argue against it. People are more likely to argue against your application of the razor instead of the razor itself.

Oh man, I love writing philosophy papers.

Ninja Gaiden: Destroyed

As of a day or so ago, I have finally destroyed the heck out of Ninja Gaiden. I have collected all 50 Scarabs to unlock the original Ninja Gaiden and I have shot the clock tower to get Ninja Gaiden II and found Ninja Gaiden III in the Aqueduct. It has been a long time coming and it is now done. Of course, I did beat the game on normal difficulty so I may, sometime far off, end up playing through again and beating it on a harder difficulty.

Victory is mine, time to go back to trying to destroy some other games, like Project Gotham Racing or such.

Things I found on my hard drive

I was rooting around my hard drives looking for amusing things to play with and I came across a couple of things I wrote in the past. One night I was driving around at 3 AM and then wrote me up a short little thing that I called At 3 AM. Another one I found was something that I wrote about having a Bad Day where one or two bad things happened to me and then I exaggerated a bunch of other stuff on top of it. The third, and last, thing that I found was something that I started writing which was meant to be an experiment in writing with a lot of side phrases in Parentheses.

I make no assertions about the quality of these compositions, but the first two are kind of fun and the third is kind of different. So yeah, stuff I wrote; enjoy.

Crummy Void Hard Drives

My main hard drive in thevoid died a few days ago. It's not a terribly bad thing because I didn't have any important data on it (that's kept on other drives), but it does mean that I'm out a 30GB hard drive and I have to reinstall my OS before I can use the computer again. Thankfully, I found an extra 20GB drive lying around in my room so I don't need to hunt a drive down before I can do anything. Basically it's just a pain in the neck and I have to wait for the weekend to do anything about it.

Being without a working computer in my room would be inconvenient if it weren't for Athena clusters on campus and balls-lounge in Senior House 433.

Osigwad is showing signs of trouble too, with occasional hard lock-ups and screen corruption. Also, my Xbox is being a fuck right now. All in all, my computer hardware is in the general mood of failure. Thankfully r-type is still working right now (otherwise you would not be reading this).

R.I.P. Tickles

Today is a sad day for the world, Mr. Tickles has died. Mr. Tickles was a friendly fish, loved by all who made his acquaintance. To some he was just a fish, to others he was always bigger than the time before, but to me he was my dear friend Tickles.

Tickles, I will remember you fondly for all the amusing times we have had. I will remember how I would sit and watch you swim around. I will remember the time you bit Kurt. I will remember how you would eat guppies with such glee when you were given the opportunity. I will remember how you would watch me at my computer. I will remember how you would swim around so excitedly at feeding time. I will remember how you would change colors so subtly, confounding me until I realized that you could change colors. I will remember your ability to be constantly larger than you had been before. I will miss you Tickles.

Mr. Tickles was a Tiger Oscar Cichlid and died of a fungal infection this afternoon, Saturday, September 25th 2004, at about 1PM. Mr. Tickles died at the ripe age of 1 year old; he was 9 inches long at the time of his death, far more than the 3-4 inches of when we first met.

100% White, 75% Damp

Today was a horrible day for me; it started out good and then just went downhill real fast come about 5p. The details of why it was a bad day are unimportant as I got a great story out of it but suffice it to say, today was REALLY BAD. Just to precurse things, I joined the MIT sailing team just a little while ago.

So, I was out sailing FJs with the team. I started out as crew but then my skipper had to switch to another boat in order to practice for a regatta this weekend with her partner for this weekend. When my skipper switched to another boat, I took over as skipper of my boat and another person was switched over to be my crew. My new crewman wasn't terribly experienced and I'm not very good at racing, but such things happen. Anyway, we were practicing (or rather learning how to do) roll tacks, which are like normal tacking except that you roll the boat a whole bunch and then straighten it out. Roll tacks are good because you turn faster and accelerate out of them but they're a little complicated and a little risky. Now, if you're doing a roll tack and you keep the jib in really tight on the wrong side, it will shove your boat right over; this is, incidentally, what my crewman did.

It's odd the things that you can perceive sometimes, for instance, I manged to be acutely aware of the point where just righting the boat became futile, almost in the same manner you can catch yourself when you start to fall over. In this split second, it occurred to me that, since I was dressed in khaki and white as I often am, I really didn't want to go in the Charles (no amount of Goretex pants is going to keep you dry in the water). Not wanting to get soaked, I hauled my ass right over the side of the damned boat. So I got up on that centerboard, grabbed the side of the boat and started pulling to get it back upright. Incidentally, having gone over the boat, I was completely dry save for the cuffs of my pants. Sadly, I couldn't right the FJ on my own and it proceeded to turtle.

I want you to take a moment now to picture what it must have looked like; there's an upside down boat in the middle of the Charles, one guy swimming next to the boat and another guy standing on top of the boat, dry, wearing a button-down shirt under his life jacket. Then I got back to trying to right that boat and just tired the Hell out of myself so, one of the coaches offered to help from his motorboat and we started getting the thing back up. The boat's just about righted and I'm still hanging from the side, dry save for my ankles. It comes the time when I can climb over the side as the boat comes round and have survived a capsize without going in the water. Then my foot slipped. Luckily I was close enough that I could start pulling myself up and I only fell in the Charles to the middle of my torso. My head, shoulders, upper chest and right arm didn't touch the Charles.

So there's two morals to this story: one, your crew can put you in the river and two, if you climb over the boat you can stay dry during a capsize as long as you don't slip.

The Beginning of the End

It is now officially the beginning of the end, today was the first day of the first term of my last year as an undergraduate at MIT. It's kind of funny; wasn't long ago that I got here and it was even more recent that they handed us our Brass Rats. It's kind of funny how fast time flies. At this rate, I'll be getting my Ph.D. before I know what's happening.

KMFDM is coming to the Middle East!

KMFDM is doing a 20th anniversary tour this year and they're going to be at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA on November 1st. The Middle East is just a few blocks up Mass Ave. from MIT. KMFDM is my favorite band, I have not yet seen them in concert and they are going to be in my city in just a few months. I'm going to have to see if I can find anyone else to go with me and make it to the concert.

Middle East Downstairs
Monday 11/01/2004
KMFDM, 18+ $22

Oh yes, I will see KMFDM on this tour, it will happen.

Watson (of 'and Crick')

Watson, the DNA guy, gave a talk, which I attended, at the MBL last night. It was an interesting talk even though it was mostly just an autobiographical sort of talk. I was actually kind of pleased that it wasn't a talk about something scientific because I wasn't really in the mood for that, as such.

Autobiographical talks are always kind of nice because they let you get an impression of the kind of person that someone is, and I like that stuff. Turns out that Watson spent some time in Woods Hole and experienced the Woods Hole thing. He mentioned things such as the Captain Kidd, which is the local bar that tends to be frequented by MBL sorts. It's kind of fun to think that I'm going to the same bar with my to-be-scientist friends that Watson used to go to with his scientist friends. Ah Woods Hole, such great traditions you have. I also have a little quote that I took from him, which I would like to reproduce here, "They were the sorts of parties where you got drunk and the person you went home with was probably not your wife." He is, of course, discussing parties in Woods Hole of his youth and is probably admitting to fornication and not to adultery. Incidentally, if you can picture the 76 year old, co-discoverer of DNA making this remark, imagine the response of a huge crowd of educated people.

It was a good talk, and there are more important and insightful ways in which I could discuss it, but I'd rather not because plenty of other people will have that bit covered. The key thing that I took from it was that J. D. Watson was just another young scientist in Woods Hole, like so many of the rest of us.