Friday, November 30, 2007

Geeky Drug Videos

Wired Science has collected a couple of videos found on YouTube about drugs (the medical ones, not the illegal ones).

The first one is a video about a psychopharmacologist. This follows the traditional path of the science song by taking a well-established song (from Gilbert and Sullivan), and changing the lyrics. It's fairly entertaining, despite the repetition in it.

The second one deviates more from the traditional science song. This makes it a bit more interesting. It's called Paxilback and is based off of a more recent song (Justin Timberlake's Sexyback). So, anyways. See Wired Science for more of the details.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Alliance for Science, Part 2!

The Alliance for Science is having a 2nd essay contest about evolution. And no, I'm not going to be submitting this year, I find it to be better to have some new blood in the voice for evolution.

This year, there are going to be two topics: one is Evolution and Climate, the other Agriculture and Evolution. So, there's much more choice in this year than in the previous one. And plus, these topics are not very nailed down, you can vary quite widely in them. Just be sure not to write an essay on Linux and evolution, or something like that. I don't think that would float too well with the judges, as interesting an idea as that may be.

As I've heard, this year the Alliance is going to be more efficient and organized. Last year was a bit of a last-minute thing. The cash prizes for these year are the same, $300 for 1st, $200 for second, $150 for third, and $100 for fourth. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the subscriptions to SEED on the list of prizes. I hope they include that later on, it was one of the things I was most excited for. Well, with this post, I say, GOOD LUCK to the future entrants!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Scalzi visits the Creation Museum

I just started going through my RSS feeds again, and found that I missed some really fun articles. One was that John Scalzi finally went through with his promise and visited the Creation Museum. Actually, he was bought for $5,118.36 (which was subsequently donated to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State).

The report is actually a two-parter. First is the visual part; a snarky and sarcastic (not to mention highly entertaining) tour through the Creation Museum. At first it looks like a daunting 101 photos, but they go really fast. Once I reached the end, I wished that there was more sarcastic wit to go around. If you have enough time, and /or want some more fun wit, read the comments too. They're often sources of great insight and humor.

The next is the written part. This is basically Scalzi's reflections on the Creation Museum and what it says about our society. The esay is just as, if not more entertaining than the visual tour, so I highly recommend reading that also. This report was highly anticipated, and its composition is more than appreciated.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Back to Ubuntu

Ok everyone! I'd just like to inform you that I'm back on the computer and it's in a state of convalescence. Slowly but surely I'm getting my files and programs back and my computer is reaching as I say, it's former glory. However, due to this ordeal, fetching these programs and files is very time-consuming. So, I'll probably be inactive in blogging for another while. I'm so sorry, but that's the way I goes I guess. However, I am going to show you some of the things which I decided to improve from the previous installation.

More modular partitioning- Once my computer got fscked and my data died, I decided to just totally wipe it and start from the beginning. Now, I have two hard drives in my computer, only one of which I used. So, I decided to use both and make the design much smarter. So, I took my first hard drive, which had 120 GB, and made it my /home partition, which was what I intended to do before my computer got fscked. Then, I took my second hard drive which had 300 GB, and made a Ubuntu partition on it (I later realized that I DID make a backup and stored it on the second hard drive, but once I remembered, it was too late and it was overwritten. Too bad). Now, whenever I want to install a different OS, I can just add a partition to the second hard drive and have my /home files on it. So, I accomplished my goal anyhow.

Less mess- My previous installation was filled with programs which I compiled from source the manual way, before I used checkinstall. I think this caused some performance problems and did manage to screw with the OS a little. So, this time around, I'm going to be much more organized and not going to have files which are never used around. I've even noticed that I haven't even been hit with a kernel panic yet, so I'm hoping that will continue.

So, these problems have been fixed. However, the road to this installation was also a bit rough. I initially decided to install via Feisty, whose CD I had, and upgrade to Gutsy. That did not turn out very well. In addition to taking forever to upgrade, a lot of things were not functioning correctly. XGL was the worst. Certain sections of the screen would be garbled for a while and this got very annoying. Even worse, compiz would not run. After a while, I just gave up and decided to install Gutsy directly. However, I did not want to wait, so I decided to download it off of Torrents (which is about all I use it for). That download was SUPER-FAST, and I had the CD within a couple of hours. After that, everything went well. So, lesson for today, install EXACTLY what you want, try not to do unnecessary upgrades.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Ok, I have horrible yet somehow humorous news for all of you. I obliterated my Ubuntu system. Yeah, I know it's a really serious subject, but it's so laden with irony that even I'm cracking up. So, it began like this:

I decided to make a separate /home partition for myself, so that if anything were to go wrong (cough cough), my science music and general settings would be preserved. That way, I could even share the /home folder with other distros. So, I decided to get started on this, so I rebooted and popped in a Ubuntu Live CD. All was going well, until I decided to start GPartEd. I choose my repartitioning scheme and it started partitioning. However, it gave me an error and recommended that I check the filesystem in my Ubuntu partition. I thought that it wouldn't hurt, so I did so. I ran a nifty little tool called fsck (Filesystem Check, get it?). Well, it gave me a standard warning that I shouldn't run fsck on a filesystem which is mounted, because problems are just about guaranteed to result. But, I don't remember mounting the partition so I go ahead. After that, it gives me problem after problem with the filesystem, I didn't recall Ubuntu being so corrupt. Well, I just chalked it to my filesystem being old, however the prompts to fix things got so annoying, I decided to just put a roll of quarters on the key and leave it. Once it finished, I went back to GPartEd, and saw that recorded the partition being mounted at /mount/disk. That's when the though, "OH CRUD!!!!!!" Went through my mind. I looked through the filesystem, it was decimated. Hundreds of thousands of folders, all empty.

Luckily, I installed Sabayon Linux on a DIFFERENT partition which was safe, but I failed to transport my /home folder to. So, thank Sabayon, and its wifi capability that I am able to communicate with you right now. However, getting to Sabayon was not a piece of pie either. With the operating system scrambled, the MBR couldn't find the /boot folder. So, I had to bust out Super Grub Disk, and use it to have the MBR choose the Sabayon GRUB menu instead of the Ubuntu one. Well, and that's where I am now. Thanks to fsck, my Ubuntu partition is unreadable, and thanks to Sabayon, I'm still connected to the internet. However, it's not all bad, I think my system had one too many weird updates, I was thinking about reinstalling it anyways. So, I guess I'll now GET to it. The only thing I regret is not backing up my music. But that could probably be replaced over time. Well, if I don't post in a while, you'll know why. So, that's how I got "fscked!"

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What's wrong with you people?

I unfortunately did not have the time to post on this blog for quite a long while. I'm sorry, I was slightly somewhat extremely busy with stuff from school and such. At least, lets assume I was. However, you wouldn't be able to imagine the scare once I checked Google Analytics a couple of days ago. I was shocked to find out that during my period of inactivity, traffic SOARED. Well, not really soared that much, but was still significantly bigger. Here is the Google Analytics graphic:

As you can tell, the last post was on October 20. A couple of days after that, there was a huge spike in the number of visits which maintained pretty steadily afterward. Compare that with the beginning of October and you'll see why I was so surprised. Well, I'm going to try and keep up with the posts, but unfortunately, there's just way too much to do, I haven't even been keeping up on my RSS feeds very well, so I can't guarantee anything. But stick around if you can.