Divide by Null - undefined

Infinitesimals

Voicemail has its uses, for example, when one won't be able to pick up the phone for awhile, but needs to relay a message immediately, or when other forms of communication are not possible, i.e. e-mail or texting is inconvenient or irrelevant.

However, I still usually end up ignoring it, thus rendering most of the pros as moot.

(1) Oct 10, 08 - 11:18 AM

On the subject of high school friends, just because you're different, doesn't mean you can't be friends.

(0) Jun 17, 07 - 11:41 PM

Pi is wrong.

Well, actually, maybe it would just be better to use what is currently known as 2*pi. I've always thought it would be easier if sine and cosine had periods that were just pi, not 2pi.

So should pi be 6.283185...? Should pi be the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius, instead of diameter? If so, it would take about 50 years for this to gain any momentum in the mathematical community.

(0) Apr 20, 07 - 1:07 AM

On New Years Resolutions

Thursday, January 3, 2008 | 3:20:44 PM
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Happy new Gregorian calendar year! I thought I should specify in case anyone is using a different sort of year, Roman calendar, lunar year, etc.

Anyway, a new year means new years resolutions, right?

Well, why wait for an arbitrary date that effectively changes nothing but the year to do something?

For instance, if you're a smoker and you want to stop, you probably realize that smoking is bad for your lungs. Why wait for new years to stop? Why not start the process of quitting a bit sooner?

The new year gives people an excuse to do things, because it's a new year! Well, what comes with that? You write "2008" instead of "2007" now. Otherwise, the year is just a way to measure time; it allows people to identify a specific moment.

And many people who make new years resolutions are unable to keep them in the long run. Why? They don't have the determination to go through with it because it's just something they decided to do on an arbitrary date. People know that they should do it, but people know that they should stop procrastinating and that never stops (consider how I'm posting this on the 3rd of January...).

So don't make a new years resolution just because it's a new year. Resolve to do something you want to do and commit to it. Don't even wait for the new year; start working on it as soon as possible.

So I guess my new year resolution might as well be post on here more... let's see how that plays out.

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Two Weeks' Hypocrisy

Monday, October 23, 2006 | 2:45:41 PM
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This is something of a two weeks' notice. A notice of my disdain.

One of the rules in band is that any schedule conflict that would require a missed practice must be notified before hand with two weeks of padding.

But this rule is one-sided, it seems.

Numerous time throughout the season, we have been confronted with added practices, new schedules events, more things to do. A week before, ten days, five, even three. We were "notified" of this practice extension on Friday, three days before this practice on Monday.

"Notified". It was a Friday when he spread this information. A B day. Around 1/3 of the students, then, got this information. I don't recall hearing about it at the pictures on Friday or even the competition on Saturday. So not only is this sudden, but it was poorly disseminated.

Finally, there are now rumours that this is a marching rehearsal, contrary to the Monday norms of music. I, at least, would not be prepared for this if it was. Jeans, loose casual shoes, all that. Even if it's just music, this shows how a lack of information will lead to panic.

So, while we are required to give two weeks of notice, the reverse is not necessarily true.

Sure, chain of command has its place, but that doesn't completely dismiss the hypocrisy.

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On Procrastination

Monday, September 25, 2006 | 1:25:00 AM
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So. Everyone knows that procrastination is bad. At least in the long run. "Hard work pays off later, but procrastination pays off now", or something to that effect.

But anyway, right now I have homework to do. Namely, I need to read and write entries about the book Wuthering Heights. I had other homework to do, and I completed that first, but still at a slow pace. I had been far too distracted by the internet. And now, it's 10:00 and I have over 150 pages to read. It's not a small book with large print, either.

And still, I am avoiding doing the work by writing this entry.

I realize that this is something I will need to get over. I have made some progress, in fact; however, it is often lost after a few days.

I did my other work. That interested me more. Enough to make me at least start it. This, however, I have yet to even read a word. I only opened the book to see how many pages I needed to read. That was only for the purpose of this entry.

And so I am ranting instead of working. Illogical, yes. A confusion of priorities, sure. But does it bother me? Well... somewhat. I realize that I need to get to work on this. All I need to do is pick up the book and read a sentence (and turn of the monitor of the computer). Starting it is the hardest part.

I'm sure I could slither by and not put forth a full effort, but that would simply make it harder for me the next week, compounding the work I need to do on this book. Plus, next week is a cutoff, as we will have finished the period and need to turn in our work.

And so, procrastination bites us in the end. The far and and the near end. Because of procrastination, I'm losing sleep tonight (or not, as I may have stayed up late anyway). And then, I'll be losing sleep next week (definitely working to get it done due to the incoming deadline).

Why do people procrastinate when they know that it will just cause problems? By this stage of development, people are able to understand that their actions have consequences. Regardless, they continue to do the actions that will have negative consequences.

"If you have to, you might as well want to."

But too bad I don't even pretend I want to do this work.

Well, I might as well get started now. (Riight. Like that'll happen.)

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omghi2u - On online chat-speak

Sunday, July 30, 2006 | 4:03:30 AM
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AOL speak. How infamous. It can be summed up in this quote: "Relationships are so easy on the internet: it all starts with 'asl' and ends with 'stfu'." That's not exactly verbatim... but still. I've heard "wtf" be used at school and "brb" on occasions, both jokingly and not. "wtf" I can see used as a euphemism, "brb" I can see used as an abbreviation (but it's 3 syllables still, unless pronounced "burb"... which I've heard). But when one gets to "lol"...

I may occasionally abbreviate words when typing. "brb", "btw", "imo" and "wrt" are examples of ones that I use... relatively often. I never use "lol" though. It never seemed right to me since I would always read it as "lohl" or "lawl" or so. I said that I didn't use it because I wouldn't say it in real life. Which is true, but I was incorrect with my reasoning.

When I type, I'm thinking of what I'm typing. If I encounter a phrase that could be initialized or otherwise abbreviated, I'll abbreviate it. One would (hopefully) not laugh by saying "laugh out loud! laugh out loud out loud out loud!" My abbreviations are just shortened formats of the words that I'm thinking of. In addition, I only abbreviate using initialisms, unless I would otherwise speak it in an abbreviated form ('cuz, wha, etc), and in general, I type how I talk.

Being on the internet so much, I'm used to reading posts with internet abbreviations. Oddly, I read them slightly slower than those with proper grammar and such. It's actually harder for me to type like that because I have to think about it. It's just natural for me to type out everything. It's become habit.

Now, as to why I do the same for texts (yeah, apostrophes too), I don't know. It's more proper? It looks better? In any case, I'm willing to go the extra mile. I can understand why people would shorten their messages for texts. Space limits and the general inconvenience to enter messages are convincing arguments. Regardless, I don't.

And as for abbreviations on the keyboard, is "u" that much better? "cu l8r" is code-like to me. If it's speed that's the problem, practice proper typing! Such abbreviations would likely actually hinder typing speed, at least for formal documents.

In any case, that's how I use it, and I don't muchly care if you do it differently. As long as I can read it, it's fine... for IMs and texts. E-mails and forum posts should have proper grammar. Those are asynchronus versions of communication, giving plenty of time to spell check. It's just a pet peeve, really. I can live with it... but not contently.

Strong Bad and Mr. Period agree... scalawag.

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On MySpace and Online Safety

Monday, June 26, 2006 | 3:29:26 AM
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Awhile ago, I put forth my view on MySpace from a web design standpoint. This will overview why myspace is not inherently bad.

You may have seen it on the news: Woman Raped by Man She Met on MySpace, Man Robbed by 14- and 15-year-old Girls He Met on MySpace, but is that really because of MySpace?

All personal information is optional. It's not necessary to put your name, age, location, income, favorite movie, job, school, and favorite type of smoothie. Would you just give out your social security number? Sure these pieces of information aren't as telling on their own, but by putting the pieces together, dedicated people can find out a lot of information.

So maybe you didn't put your city or true age on your profile. What if you put up a survey that asks your western and eastern astrological sign and your school. You've just given off enough information to guess age and city. Typing your full name backwards or with your nose, etc. just revealed your last name. Now they can try to look you up in the phone book. The problem is, people may not realize that they're giving this much information away.

You know the password request information on e-mails? "What's the name of your first pet?" Well, someone can start a conversation, lead it into animals, and stealthily ask that question. One probably won't remember that they put that question up. Now this social engineer has access to someone else's email.

That seems like a digression, but it's the same principle. People need to realize that trivial information in the hands of one that is dedicated can reveal too much information.

Now, is that the fault of MySpace? No. It's the same idea that follows when parents (who take no notice to the ESRB) blame video game developers that their 7 year old son is playing Grand Theft Auto. People need to learn to accept blame rather than rely on a scapegoat.

Now the educational section. How to have a safer myspace.

  1. Make your profile private.
  2. Don't accept friend request from strangers.
  3. Don't send any personally identifyable information to the internet in (public) blogs, bulletins, and in the public profile.
  4. Don't go over to the house of a person you just met online last week.

The reward of making new friends is accompanied by the risk of getting hurt. If you break these rules and wonder why you are the victim of robbery or rape, don't blame MySpace.

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