adrian is rad


hackers fix monument

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:21 pm

This is awesome:

For a year from September 2005, under the nose of the Panthéon’s unsuspecting security officials, a group of intrepid “illegal restorers” set up a secret workshop and lounge in a cavity under the building’s famous dome. Under the supervision of group member Jean-Baptiste Viot, a professional clockmaker, they pieced apart and repaired the antique clock that had been left to rust in the building since the 1960s. Only when their clandestine revamp of the elaborate timepiece had been completed did they reveal themselves.

It reminds me somewhat of a higher art version of what I saw at the ‘tute’.

(via wax)


this is just dumb

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:29 pm

but I still laughed. Any dance based around the Tide To Go pen wins some points in my book.

Colin wiil (or should!) like the dance moves around 0:48 in.

percent vs percentage points

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:59 pm

Statistics lesson number 1, by me.

There’s a difference between percent and percentage points. People often get this wrong.

For example (bugmenot can help):

When it came to side effects, Effexor’s greatest liability was that it could cause hypertension, a side effect not shared by S.S.R.I.’s. Sussman showed us some data from the clinical trials, indicating that at lower doses, about 3 percent of patients taking Effexor had hypertension as compared with about 2 percent of patients assigned to a placebo. There was only a 1 percent difference between Effexor and placebo, he commented, and pointed out that treating high blood pressure might be a small price to pay for relief from depression.

Wrong. There was only 1 percentage point difference between the two.

3% is 50% more than 2%. (And 2% is 33% less than 3%). There is no form of comparison between the two of those percents that is only 1 percent.

(To the credit of the author, he points out that it can be seen as 50% more, though he doesn’t call Sussman’s version wrong.)


weekend in Taroko

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:03 pm

Despite it being near typhoon-like conditions outside now, it’s apparently going to be nice near Taroko this weekend and with only three weekends left, that’s good enough for me. I got a coworker to reserve a bed in the hostel (they don’t speak English–as I discovered last time I tried to call) and she’ll write out some things in Chinese for me. I’ve checked out the trains and route–for the more visually oriented I’ll take the train NE from Taipei to the coast and the down the coast to Hualien; the park is back up north a little bit around Tienhsiang–and will book tickets this evening. I’m planning on playing it by ear as far as local transport goes–either rent a scooter or take the bus + walk a lot. Apparently I’m fine to rent a scooter with an international driver’s permit (and if not, apparently the places there will rent scooters to just about anyone). It’s going to be chilly up in the gorge–I’m going to bring my yet-to-be-used hat and gloves.

Maybe this will go smoothly; I’m not expecting that though.

photo essay: muay thai

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:56 am

(note 1: I have a backlog of photo essays that I wanted to post. Here’s the oldest. )

(note 2: The lighting and social situation at the stadium were troublesome: the ring was brightly lit while the stands were dark. Taking photos of people didn’t seem to sit well with them and with the darkness, my camera used a secondary light to help focusing, so I had to switch to manual focusing and focus blind (by guessing the distance) much of the time while taking hip shots. Basically these aren’t all the best photos…)

(note 3: click to see bigger versions.)

Muay Thai is Thai Boxing. It involves punching, kicking, elbowing, kneeing and pretty much any other way to try to injure your opponent. It’s pretty violent. I saw a thing on TV on the science behind martial arts in movies with a panel of the top martial artists in various disciplines and found that a Thai Boxer could inflict the blow with the most force of any of them. His knee blow to your chest could pretty much instantly stop your heart. These are wiry and strong individuals.

When I was in Bangkok, I went to an event. Each night has a few rounds–mine had 9, with the welterweights being the heaviest of the day and in the 7th match. It’s well known that the boxing is a rip off; foreigners are charged somewhere between 3 and 10 times as much as locals to get in. They’re also highly encouraged to sit ring side, which isn’t all that much more expensive than the caged in 3rd tier. However, culturally, the most interesting thing going on is in that 3rd tier.

I made my way up to the third tier which smelled heavily of menthol eucalyptus, sweat, fruit and various drinks being sold and spilled all around.

When I got there, I found a spot and sat down. Fairly soon, a local began telling me that I didn’t want to sit there because everyone would be standing, shouting and betting during the matches. I told him I did want to sit there and that I’d stand when I had to. He told me I couldn’t sit there. I ignored this suggestion.

The prefight routines were highly ritualized: bowing to each other, bowing to their corners, circle punching slowly while walking in circles; high, sweeping knee lifts while walking around in circles and other similar activities.



bugging the crap out of me

Filed under: — adrian @ 5:05 pm

This logic puzzle is bugging me. I got a few steps in and now I’m stuck.

I’ve never been good at those logic puzzles. In fact, I’m probably the only person I know who was helped immensely by the GRE switching away from those. But maybe I’ll get better if I practice.

the year is 96

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:39 pm

And today is November 26, 96 to be exact.

(The oddest part is that lunar calendar has been dropped in favor of the Western calendar, officially at least, but the Western years haven’t.)


taipei golden horse; Interview

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:41 pm

I learned on Friday about the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. Pretty much immediately after I found that some of the movies I most wanted to see (“Darjeeling Limited”, I’m Not There, Persepolis) were either sold out or at times that I couldn’t go to. Doh!

Another one that I was psyched to see (Ki-Duk Kim made the amazing “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring”) is only showing in Korean with Chinese subtitles.

However! Not all is lost. I did go to see Steve Buscemi’s Interview last night and I bought a ticket for the Sigur Ros movie. I’m still undecided about whether to see This is England or not.

I wasn’t actually expecting a ton from Interview, as it seemed like a pretentious indie two-person character piece, but it turned out to be alright. It was pretty engaging and well-written and the ending wasn’t quite what I expected.

I also found out that Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is showing in at least one regular theater here (not as part of the film festival, that is) so maybe I’ll go see that in the next few weeks.

hello ditty

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:27 pm

That’s what this old gentleman’s pink jacket said under a stitched Hello Kitty outline.


do I get…?

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:22 pm

the Polamalu throwback jersey


the Hines Ward throwback jersey?

Polamalu is probably the player I’m most impressed with in terms of playing ability–he plays like a wild man–but I like the longevity and single-teamedness (10 years on the Steelers, stopped a contract stand-still by telling his agent that he wanted to retire with the Steelers) and constant smile of Ward.

life is so hard!


dear or the whale t-shirt

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:30 pm

dear or, the whale t shirt,

sorry I dribbled cola on you. I am sometimes careless at ensuring all the soda goes into my mouth; this was one instance like that. I also hate to inform you of the following: you’re going to stay besmirched like that for a while. I just did laundry last night so the next cycle is probably 10, 14 days off. I’d love to wash just you, but you know how these things are: all the others would claim I’m playing favorites.

I’d like to thank you for being comfortable despite all of this.


I’m pretty sure I’m the first person to say this

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:42 am

David Cross is brilliant in She’s the Man.

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