elwen: (Default)
I have almost defeated the plague! Or at least enough to go back to work tomorrow. Kinda sucks to have three work days down the drain like that, but given the number of other people I've seen who are sick, I think I did good in staying home and not exposing my co-workers. I needed to work harder next month anyway -- now I just need to work extra, extra hard.

Anyway, some linkage:

Dangerous Wands - Harry Potter and Dangerous Minds. Who would think? It's pretty awesome.

They're going to promote Vampire Knight "at select Twilight conventions nationwide." - LOLZ. It's probably an insult to Vampire Knight, but I kind of got annoyed by its crazy, angsty plot, so I don't think their levels are that different. I think the Edward fangirls might like Kaname, even though personally I hate Kaname but think Edward is okay. Never got far enough to know what Jacob is like, so I can't compare him to Zero. Do non-anime fangirls like the same kind of tormented prettyboys? Oh, I guess I'm forgetting the whole cast of Night Class prettyboys. Maybe they are on to something with this marketing strategy after all.
elwen: (lol internet)
Someone on [livejournal.com profile] japanese posted a link to Kanji Clinic, a regular column in the Japan Times. There's also a section of book reviews, which I immediately turned to, as I have been looking for a good Japanese-Japanese dictionary and a good synonym/homophone dictionary.

The reviews of Japanese-only dictionaries were not that numerous, but there were a few recommendations for synonym/homophone dictionaries, at least. Along with this observation:

While native speakers often disagree on the correct kanji to be used in a given context, as Mr. Jack Halpern notes on his web site, foreigners will almost certainly select a kanji that all Japanese will agree is inappropriate.


...yep.

[I know, I suck at wind-ups.]

Something to look for in my next trip to Kinokuniya. Though the only 使い分け辞書 I've seen there in the past are the ones with definitions in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean, and I don't want to pay for all that extra paper that is useless to me.

FAIL Blog.

Nov. 23rd, 2008 05:04 pm
elwen: (lol)
Thanks to mole-spam leading me to discover FAIL Blog, I turned in yet another assembled-at-the-last-minute-and-not-as-coherent-as-I'd-wished response paper for my originalism class. It's my last one, too. Perhaps I am counting too much on the class being graded off-mean... But what am I going to do about it now?

But now I can keep going back through the archives without any additional guilt.

This one made me giggle like a madwoman. Oh, the power of inertia.

Lots of other good stuff there, too.
elwen: (reading)
Tom Campbell, a Republican, opposes Prop 8. Why? Because Republicans don't stand for meddling in people's personal choices (questionable, if you're a social conservative) and because marriage of any form is good for the economy. Also, I never knew he clerked for the Supreme Court. Neato.

Apple donates $100K to fight Prop 8. So did Google, apparently. Maybe that supports Campbell's point that it's good for business.

JKR won, apparently. I'd kind of stopped paying attention after posting about it last time. The court's decision is kind of disappointing, but at least they rejected the argument that the encyclopedia would interfere with her own. I don't really know what "companion books" they're talking about, so whatever.

Fair use analysis is required before sending a DMCA takedown notice. (Maybe.) Lots of hedging in the opinion, looks like, but at least it's pointing in the right direction. Judge Fogel is one of the most awesome judges in the world, of course, as are all of the other judges in the N.D. Cal. San Jose Division. \o/
elwen: (V)
OMG, you all have to watch this video by Eepybird, the Diet Coke and Mentos people. It's so colorful and springy!

I mean, yeah, I even saw the Diet Coke and Mentos at Maker Faire, but it just can't compare to colors plus office supplies and cascading motion.
elwen: (lol)
Stolen from mole-spam, as always:
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1823766

Apparently I don't even have Zapf Dingbats on this computer...
elwen: (Default)
Yet more interesting stuff stolen from mole-spam:
Who needs Etch-A-Sketch when you have a GPS?

Incidentally, Google Maps plus GPS on a BlackBerry equals awesome.
elwen: (Default)
I discovered Scrapblog yesterday. It's a site that lets you create "multimedia scrapbooks" with your digital photos and videos. The page transitions make me think of them as glorified PowerPoint presentations, although the individual pages are dynamic only to the extent of clicking on embedded video links, I think.

Scrapbooking is one of those things with which I have had many occasional flings but to which I have never fully committed. My various adventures in scrapbooking. )

That brings us to Scrapblog, which I started playing with last night. (And if my sleep schedule is still screwed up when I wake up for work tomorrow, it will be why.) I figured that since I never ended up posting about Mexico, because I spent all of January whining instead, I should gather up my pictures and give the site a try. Photography-wise, Mexico was a lot less exciting than Hawaii, but I think the scrapbook turned out pretty well. [I'll post it in its own entry after this, just to separate it from this flood of text.]

A Mini-Review of Scrapblog.com

Scrapblog is really, really addictive. All editing is done in a big flash applet, whose interface is pretty similar to PowerPoint. Scrapblog provides a lot of themes, which are collections of backgrounds, frames, and "stickers", which are basically clipart. Each theme also comes with a few pre-made pages, which are good for inspiration or cannibalization. Editing basically proceeds by drag-and-drop. The interface makes it very easy to achieve certain common effects: drop shadows, circular and star-shapped cropping, image borders, rotated elements. It's really very well-designed for the scrapbooking application. In addition, the thing ran very fast and stably on my computer, though I assume it's quite bandwith-heavy.

In sum, they make it very easy to make things look great. It took me about two hours to make my first three pages, but after I got the hang of it, things go pretty quickly. The themes are seriously a godsend.

The one major turnoff for me was that their borders extend inwards from the edge of the image rather than outward. That means the thicker your border, the more of the image you are obscuring. Given that there's a crop function, I don't see why they wouldn't have the border extend out. I guess it's so you can adjust the border thickness without the size of the image changing, which might screw up your careful placement of things.

There are some other minor things that bug me -- like the fact that even if you set the border to 0, images still have thin border, which can screw up use of sticker borders -- but overall I'm impressed. Scrapblog is truly an exemplar of Web 2.0. If you enjoy any kind of graphic-y endeavors (web design, Winamp skinning, etc.), you should give it a try.
elwen: (english the bully)
Stolen from mole-spam, and I can't do better than the original subject line:
Lesbians angry at gay women

Basically, people from the island of Lesbos are claiming that use of the word "lesbian" to refer to gay women is a demeaning human rights violation.

Next, are people from India going to sue Native Americans, because they don't want to be associated with scalping and trippy vision quests?

I mean, I feel their pain, but . . . you're not going to transform language with a lawsuit. Words will have the meanings they've evolved to have, even if those grew out of prejudice or dumb mistake. Like "sinister" lefties and "vulgar" commoners.
elwen: (Default)
How many elements can you name?

I didn't know any of the Lanthanides. D: (Except lanthanum, of course, and luthenium, because that was Lucy on our Periodic Table of Students in high school.)

Yeah, it's been too long since I've been chemistry-y.

It's a neat little applet, though.
elwen: (Default)
Entirely stolen from mole-spam. Is it sad that I get more entertainment out of a mailing list from my former institution than any at my current university?

Real-Life Dungeon Crawling! Complete with LotR reference. Reminds me of my high school AP Chemistry teacher, who always said things like, "Eh, just have a grad student do it." I didn't even know what grad students were, back then.

Lolhamsterbunny Mitosis! (They really mean meiosis, but I guess you can't expect hamsters bunnies to know the difference.)

Awareness Test. It blew my mind. O_O

...okay, bed time. ._.;;
elwen: (lol internet)
I sporadically check a blog called Google Blogoscoped. It's interesting enough for the stuff about Google, but it's sheer awesome for the stuff that's not. Here are two recent discoveries:

Color Pencils Reviewed
Colored pencils treated as digital (?) devices. Not enough color depth! And poor font rendering. But, full international character support! [livejournal.com profile] nendil, have you checked these things out? ;P

Extensis Typecaster
Romantic compatibility for typefaces, complete with short videos. I don't think I got through all (6 choose 2) variations, but I saw enough to ROFLOL. Do try all the girls with Comic Sans -- there are LotR references! :D I couldn't really tell the difference between the other two guys, though. ._.;;
elwen: (lol)
ROFLOL: What if Gmail had been designed by Microsoft?

I thought the first iteration wasn't too bad -- I like preview panes sometimes, except when they're poorly implemented like in the "new" Yahoo! Mail. As someone who uses both Gmail and Outlook, I'm not really sure which is better. Hotmail, though, is another story entirely. I do have an account, mainly so I can bug my sister on Live Messenger, and I'd even consider using it sometimes . . . except they keep deleting everything in there for inactivity. D:

I love the part about the URL. Reminds me of the days when Passport got axed for trying to take over the world.

...alright, alright, back to work.

Word-ness.

Nov. 14th, 2007 09:06 pm
elwen: (Default)
Found off of a Facebook group: FreeRice.com donates 10 grains of rice for each word you match correctly with its synonym. The futility of donating 10 grains a click is rather striking, but I have to admit it is addictive to test my word-ness. I think I'm stuck around level 42, though -- every time I get up to 43, I get the next one wrong and drop back down again.

ETA: I've gotten up to 47 and have hovered around there for a while on occasion, but more often when I get there I get smacked with 6 words in a row that I don't know and drop back down to 41. D:
elwen: (thought!)
Amen.

[For those of you who don't click on links unless you know what you're getting into: Ian Rogers, who works at Yahoo! Music, says "no" to DRM: "I won’t let Yahoo! invest any more money in consumer inconvenience. I will tell Yahoo! to give the money they were going to give me to build awesome media applications to Yahoo! Mail or Answers or some other deserving endeavor."

I also rather liked Phillip Lenssen's comment on Google Blogoscoped: "Maybe one day we’ll look back and laugh about all this... the dark period of the late 1990s and early 2000s, right between after cassette tapes (allowing easy remixing, sharing, recording from radio etc.) were lost and real digital music (allowing easy remixing, sharing, recording from web radio etc.) arrived."]
elwen: (gaming)
If you like OC Remix (or even if you don't), you should check out their new album, Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. It's a ridiculous four discs long and looks like it will be good. (Still downloading it myself, at the moment.)
elwen: (Default)
People with too much time on their hands.

Seriously. This isn't some wussy Mousetrap rip-off. It goes on forever and has so much variety.
elwen: (Default)
I . . . don't know how to describe this video, but just . . . go watch it.

http://thatvideosite.com/video/2376

[It appears to be from a Japanese game show, so that might give you an idea as to which segments of my flist this primarily addressed to.]
elwen: (Default)
...yeah right, no it didn't.

But apparently Bessel functions are useful in printing images on water with waves, which is super-cool. [Link stolen from [livejournal.com profile] maoware.] I want to see it print simple kanji! Maybe later I'll attempt to navigate the Japanese research lab's website in search of more photos.

What timing, considering I just recently sold off my copy of Mathematical Methods for Physicists, whose only use to me ever was as a reference about Bessel and modified Bessel functions. (And even then I never figured out whether it was actually more useful than the Mathworld article.)

Then again, I've always found all orthonormal basis sets rather neat, in a dorky, "Really? Any function?" kind of way. [But, of course, the answer is, not any function...but I've forgotten the conditions. :P]

In other news, it seems I chose the wrong summer to bum around at home rather than find an air-conditioned job. Every day I get excited that the next day's temperature isn't supposed to go above 90, but it always does. I'm kind of tempted to make my mom take me with her to school tomorrow -- the forecast in Hayward is only 83. I've heard much complaining from other Bay Area residents (and visitors :P) but nothing from the LA contingent. Is it because you guys are jaded? Or is it because you guys are wise enough to have AC?

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