Thursday, April 28, 2011

Final Elevator Update

I've been blogging about the Marshak Elevators for almost the entire 1.5 years they've been under renovation. It seems, though, that they've finally finished the work:
And have settled into a not-temporary numbering scheme:
Alas, I think this epic series might now be completed. Although, maybe they'll do the elevators in the engineering building next?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Nelly Carreno and "Normal" Temperature

An interesting graph from NECN weather with "normal" temperature a flat line at 45 degrees. Thanks to the wonderful internet I was able to send the following note to Nelly
"Dear Nelly, I enjoy viewing you efforts on informing the public of the current weather predictions. However, I would like to point out a small technical mistake that perhaps you are unaware. Please be more careful when using the terms "average" and "normal" and avoid saying temperatures are above or below normal unless they are far away from the standard deviation for that time of year.
Let me know if this makes sense to you,
While she never replied to my message, so far she has not said "Highs a few degrees above normal" again since I sent it. Thanks so much Nelly!


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Growing half an onion

I needed half an onion for some food, and didn't want to waste the other half, so I put it in a zip-top plastic bag and stored it in the fridge. And promptly forgot about it. We recently came across it again while cleaning the fridge:
The back half still has its peel:
But the roots and leaves are growing happily, unaware, it seems, that they've only half an onion.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yuri Gagarin

Yuri Gagarin.  Nothing I can write gives true merit to what his flight of Vostok 1 means to me and to the people of this earth. Выпьем за Гагарина! (Let's drink to Gagarin).

Happy Yuri's Night to you and a good World Cosmonautics Day to all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Exclusive Credit Card Image Designs

I have a "Platinum" credit card ... don't ask me what this rare metal has to do with my credit, I think its kind of funny how these companies try to make their cards sound appealing. Capitalone was nice enough to let us put our own image on our card (Eli has already taken advantage of this) and so I decided to create my own exclusive club. The invitation only "GOLDEN SAPPHIRE ROYAL BLACK CARD" with not one, but two AmEx Centurions. It also sports a gold encrusted wooden frame. The use of a competitor's logo is blatantly against the policy - but I'm hoping that my image will slip through the sensors (you will be sure to find out if it does).

Once I get my card, I plan to try to get into luxury airport lounges, and act incredibly surprised at any business notaccepting credit cards even though I have a Golden Sapphire Royal Black Card.

I would also be glad to receive any suggestions for more antics to pull off with this incredible card.

UPDATE: The censors have rejected my request
Sorry the image you submitted for your Capital One® Image CardSM has been rejected. We will not approve any images that contain the following: Material that could infringe on the copyright or trademark rights of another party, including branded products, marks, or business names.
Can anyone think of a good, exclusive-posh-sounding bank name? Maybe even a recommendation for an obnoxiously swanky looking logo not under copyright?
  • American Epxerss
  • Wells Fargone
  • Goaldman Sax Group
  • Organ Stanley
  • American Regal Bank
  • US Imperial Bank
And some possible icons

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Angel In The Crosswalk

Happy April first (thanks to Sergey who had a camera on him when we saw this).

Sunday, April 03, 2011

How long it takes to get to work

For most of the months Dec-Feb (2010-2011) I recorded the times I left for work and the times I got there (excluding days that I stopped for gas etc).

I took almost exactly the same, route each trip, driving from my personal parking spot next to my apartment to the same spot in my office lot. I worked from home on snow days (except for one ... see the outlier). I usually covered the clock in my car so I could not be biased into a different driving pattern.

The curve fitting was done with my log fitting Matlab program (which you should all download if you ever need to fit a scatter plot of points to linear, exponential, logarithmic or power law curves). The slope of the line is 0.9589 which is very nearly 1. This means that for these months that traffic had a surprisingly small effect on the driving times.

photo seen previously on the blog: Cairo at night

This goes against my intuition and anecdotal experience of it taking longer to drive in when I leave during rush hour (8-9). I think part of the reason for this is that I took a good chunk of these data during the winter break of a few universities, so traffic would have been lighter than usual. Also, I don't have enough data to get a good error bars around these numbers. I'd expect traffic to be less predictable during rush hour.