Skip to content

This blog is now being maintained at

QR Code



Embarrassing graph

Google reader has a feature that keeps track of when you read blog posts, how many posts at what time, what days of the week, etc. I was looking at my histogram (see below) and was trying to figure out what it says about me. One thing it says is that I very frequently wake up around 10:00am. That’s the embarrassing part. You can tell that I wake up and check email, and then check blogs; there is a spike right around 10:00a. Another this you can tell is that I often read blogs before bed which according to my histogram is around 11:00p to midnight. Sometimes I wonder what else Google could predict about me..

NASA thinks I leapt over the loop

I ran to the North Oconee River (which means “Nation of the skunk” in Creek Indian) this morning. It’s a long way down the river in elevation (well, relatively speaking for Athens) since I live in one of the higher elevation neighborhoods in town and everything runs downhill to the river.

I was mapping the route since I’m a map geek and I noticed something funny in the elevation profile. At some point in the run as I follow the river there’s a big spike in elevation. I looked closer and realized that the spike is exactly where the State road 10 (the loop) goes overhead (quite a ways overhead in fact, at least 60 – 80 ft it looks like from the ground, about 55 ft according to Gmaps Pedometer). So the elevation data is clearly not 3D. I wonder if we’ll ever see 3D maps that can tell the difference between a route underneath an overpass and a route which goes over the pass.

The descent from my hood to the river is about 155 ft. I looked up where the elevation data comes from and according to Gmaps Pedometer it was recorded by space shuttle endeavor in 2000. See this posting for details.

Netflix taste preferences

How often do you watch…

* Never
* Sometimes
* Often

According to the movies I’ve rated, Netflix’s patented movie prediction algorithm says that I “Never” watch movies described as:

  • Family friendly
  • Feel good
  • Romantic
  • Children and Family
  • Musicals

… go figure. Totally untrue. I watch so many “Children and Family” movies, it would astonish you. I just watched The Wrestler (by my favorite director — he also makes movies about math, drugs, and space) and I would say that it definitely falls into the Children and Family category.

AMS Notices Cover, March 2010

The cover of the American Mathematical Society’s monthly magazine ‘Notices’ reminded me of the header image I use on this blog. It turns out to be something very different, an image of the German Enigma machine converted to ASCII for mysterious effect.

In the magazine is a short article by Bill Casselman (whom I met in Salt Lake during graduate school and went hiking with) about 2D bar codes. These seem to be everywhere now. I didn’t realize the coding scheme was so involved, especially compared to ordinary bar codes which I taught as part of a course for freshmen my first semester at Georgia.

One reason to love Georgia

61.3 degrees and sunny on February 20. I just went and rode 25 miles in the sun, now I’m looking for a beer and porch to sit on.

** Update: New Belgium Ranger is great. No porch though.

Bike Stable

Bike Stable, originally uploaded by brunoj.

Finally, my stable of bikes has been cleared out, fixed up, and is now ready for battle. Recent work and changes include:

1. Swapped 9 spd 105 STI to my road bike (the Cannondale) and put the 8 spd Shimano 600 (with bar ends) on the CX bike (the pink Crosslight). I completely re-cabled, cleaned, and tuned-up the Crosslight in the process.

2. Re-assembled the Surly with a new polo specific wheelset that the polo group got me for my birthday (awesome!). I also switched up the bars for some with a bigger rise. This will be my polo bike for a while. I feel bad about using a nice, essentially new frame (with a CK headset) for a polo bike, it seems ridiculous, but I figure it’s better to use it for something rather than have it hang in my apartment disassembled.

The rare newfigator

The rare newfigator, originally uploaded by brunoj.

The rare newfigator, living primarily in the swamps of the Southeast, are known to be swift and crafty. They have also been known to f*ck your sh*t up!

RIP Vivitar Ultra Wide and Slim

My only film camera died today (when I got it out to take with me on an adventure out past the loop).

I’d like to get a hardier film camera with similar characteristics, especially the ultra wide angle lens. The Vivitar has a 22mm (plastic) lens which is really wide especially considering the 35mm file size (1.6x larger than the CCD in my DSLR for example). Any suggestions?

A numbered, centered text environment for LaTeX

While writing a paper I decided that I need a \LaTeX environment that resembles the usual equation environment, i.e. it takes some content, centers it on it’s own line in the page and then adds, flushed left, a reference number for later use. There might be some ready-made environment or package for doing this, but I couldn’t find one after googling for 20 minutes or so. So I decided to make one which was a nice exercise. I feel like I finally understand the point of the minipage and makebox commands. Here is some code for a new environment that I call numtxt.

\newcounter{txtctr}[section] \setcounter{txtctr}{0}
	{% This is the begin code
	\refstepcounter{txtctr} \vspace{0.2cm} {\noindent
	{% This is the end code
	\end{minipage} \vspace{0.2cm}}

Basically, I setup a counter (called txtctr, the name stolen from some other bit of macro code), start the environment by displaying the reference number in the format: ( section . subsection . # ). Next we start a minipage which is as wide as the line and center our content inside the minipage. Then to get that minipage aligned right (i.e. to ignore the space taken up by the reference number) I move everything 36 pts to the left. 36 points is about how long the reference number is. There’s probably a better way to do this…