Thursday, May 31, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Now, I don't care what anyone else says, these people should be honored members of society. Even though it's purely for money, I love them for helping recycle what the rest of us are too lazy to do. Unfortunately, even this isn't enough, and we still fall short:
In California, redemption rates remain below the state mandate of 80%; in 2005, Californians recycled 61% of the bottles and cans covered by the redemption program, according to the California Department of Conservation.So, we need more of these wonderful people, or we need to get off of our fat lazy behinds and recycle for ourselves.
Ok, now, you might be thinking that people who go through your trash aren't the type of people you want in your neighborhood. But, these people really are polite and friendly. There are several examples:
Isn't that nice, they even folded the box back after they took the bottles. Heck, my best friend probably wouldn't do that if I gave him something worth much more than a couple of bottles and cans. Heck, I probably wouldn't see that box again. I also have my own personal anecdote. Every morning, when I walk to my bus stop, I pass by someone who wakes up bright and early to sort the recyclables he collects. I have never failed to say "Good Morning" to him. It might mean more if I said, "Buenos dias" but the principle still stands. As far as I know, he's a positive contributor to civilization, and a really nice guy. And someone who gets up at 7:00 has to be a good guy, right?
Yoli Sheridan, also of Windsor Square, leaves her bottles and cans in a cardboard box outside her trash bin to make it easier for scavengers to get to. She usually finds them gone hours later, with the box neatly folded.
Ok, this was awkward, because it's my first post on social commentary. I feel like I rambled. Oh well, it's my blog, I get to praise people who I want to praise.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Officially, this is the end. Congratulations, you now have an ssh server. How do you use it? Who cares, you have an ssh server. However, having a server and not knowing how to use it is kinda useless. So, here's a brief synopsis of how to connect. There are a lot of different ways to connect to your computer via ssh. One is through your local network (typically 192.168.x.y) x and y depend on your network. Another way is though your ip address (you can find that out at ipchicken). However, for most home users, your ip changes every time you log on to the internet, so that's not very practical. A way you can circumvent this is by using a Dynamic DNS service.
Dynamic DNS basically gives you a host which keeps track of your ip address instead of you having to. Some popular ones are DynDNS, no-ip, zoneedit, and easy DNS. I personally use no-ip because it sounded cooler, but be creative. If something else works for you, leave a comment! So yeah, basically all you have to do is sign up. After that, you'll get a chance to download a program. Do it! You should get the tar.gz file. After that, unzip it, and do the configure, make, install cycle (or, whatever you do to install from source, or follow this guide). If you don't want to install from source, you can get the no-ip program from the ubuntu respository. However, the direct program calls itself noip2, while the ubuntu one calls itself noip, so make that distinction. After you install it, log onto the no-ip web site. In the left-hand column, you'll see Hosts/Redirects, then add. Click add. For Hostname, put whatever you want your hostname to be called (mine is cactaur). Pick a server, particularly one you can remember easily (I chose bounceme.net. After that, leave the rest as defaults and press "Create Host".
Now go to a terminal, and type in "sudo noip2 -C". You'll be prompted for an e-mail, put the one you registered on no-ip with. Same with the password. This sets up noip to get your ip address, and all other network information. After that, type "sudo noip2" to set up the daemon. Now (ideally), you can ssh into your machine by putting "youraccountname"@the.host.address (for me, it would be firstname.lastname@example.org). Now, you want to run no-ip every time your machine boots, first type "whereis noip2". This tells you where the binary is located (typically /usr/local/bin/noip2). Next, use that location in this command "echo '/usr/local/bin/noip2' >> /etc/rc.local" Now, it should (ideally) work. But if it doesn't, don't act surprised, I probably can't even troubleshoot most ssh problems.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The list of programs looks extremely intimidating, but they really aren't that big. However, some links are broken (the ones that have notes), so you'll have to download from the Linux From Scratch FTP server. But, don't overuse it. Only download what you need from the server, because I don't think it's meant to take that much of a beating.
The patches are all working and are straightforward.
The next chapter, we'll be doing a lot of compiling. So, stick around (and I need to actually do it).
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Why would I want to install Ubuntu -- or any form of Linux?
Linux is free -- in many senses of the word. It costs nothing, and it's also free of corporate control and restrictions on how you can use your media. That recently prompted digital-rights advocate Cory Doctorow to switch from Apple Computer software to Ubuntu. He was concerned, for example, about Apple's proprietary software locking up his personal data. "Every day, I add thousands of e-mails to my e-mail repository," he said. "And for so long as Mail.app is using proprietary stores, that's an ever-growing liability."
Compared to Windows, Linux is also relatively free of malware attacks. For example, security company Panda Software records about 300 pieces of malware targeting Linux systems, versus more than 100,000 for Windows machines.
This is a very important question, because it answers, "Why bother", and this answer is fairly accurate and I would probably say something like this. However, something to add is that it gives you total control of your own computer, and by using it, you'll learn a huge amount about how your computer works. If you look, linux reveals the intricacies of how your computer works, and by the nature of open source, you see how many other things work. In proprietary software, you have no idea how it was built. All you have is an instruction manual which tells you how to use it. However, the instruction manual may be sufficient for basic usage, but in order to tinker and improve, you need to be able to get INSIDE. That is my $.02.
|You scored as Scientific Atheist, These guys rule. I'm not one of them|
myself, although I play one online. They know the rules of debate,
the Laws of Thermodynamics, and can explain evolution in fifty words or
More concerned with how things ARE than how they should be,
these are the people who will bring us into the future.
What kind of atheist are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
However, I am not quite one. I still go to church and have some theism left in me (42% apparently). I think it's funny that I would be extremely calm if I were an atheist. My #1 is Scientific, a fairly obvious one. My #2 is Apathetic, so if I was, I would really care (seems a bit like me also). Militant and Angry are wayyy down on the list. Yay, my years of being a Gravyist have paid off. I'm not really that angry.
(Thanks to PZ for finding the survey.)
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
This chapter is basically setting up the filesystem. There are several ways to set up a linux system if you build it yourself. You aren't confined to one partition, in fact, you could set up several linux installations in the same partition and they'll coexist peacefully (however, I think you'll need to know quite a bit of GRUB editing).
So yes, the first step is to actually set up your linux partition. I am lucky, in that my hard drive is already partitioned ideally. I am setting up the linux partition in /dev/hda4. The next thing is to create a swap partition, something that has also been already done, and that is /dev/hda5. There, the planning is done.
The next step is to create a filesystem on the partition. I'm doing this from within Ubuntu (a REAL enthusiast would probably work entirely clean, probably from a Knoppix Live CD). However, I'd rather stay inside Ubuntu, so I do. Now, the filesystem that is given by default is the ext3 filesystem, the most popular one in linux. However, I feel extremely bold, so I'm doing ext4. The steps to upgrade are detailed in the June 2007 edition of Linux Magazine (the article is not uploaded). However, I'll do that AFTER I build it. So yes, the creation of the filesystem was successful, and fortunately, as warned on the page, Ubuntu didn't do anything crazy to the filesystem.
Now, we mount the filesystem we've created. In here, we store a path in the variable LFS. They chose /mnt/lfs. I chose /mnt/scratch because I was feeling kinda contrary. So yes, this marks where the new filesystem will be, so it's fairly important, and it's easier to type $LFS instead of /mnt/scratch. Again, Ubuntu thankfully didn't do anything weird.
So yeah, next will be Chapter 3. I hope this was entertaining.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
While I was there, I also happened to walk by the room of the UCLA LUG, and the door was open. So, I walked in and there was a student there, doing his own thing. I introduced myself and we started talking about Linux and what he was able to do with it. Now, this guy (Dan, I believe) is REALLY advanced, I'm serious. He uses Gentoo (which there are several jokes about its usability), which is all about source code. He also gave me a tip to REALLY learn linux well, Linux from Scratch. It's basically all about building your own linux operating system completely from scratch. All you start out with is a blank partition (and an existing installation or live CD to work from), and you build up from there. To me, that sounds like a totally awesome project. In fact, I think I'll post my progress on this blog from time to time.
You know, I think I might start visiting LUGs over the summer. Unfortunately, for some reason, all the LUGs around me meet on Tuesdays, and I can never make Tuesdays. However, I might try to work something out over the summer. This is definitely a community I want to be a part of.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
The basics of the experiment, a sample of wet food (an apple slice) and dry food (a Skittle) were used. The foods were dropped on a floor of a food court and swabbed at intervals of 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds. Turns out, after one minute, the apple picked up bacteria, so that's the top bar. And the skittle, well, you have five minutes.
After years of people castigating me for picking food back up and eating it, I finally have proof that it is safe. I feel so right now! Beware...
(Thanks to Sciguy)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Wow, after reading some of the other essays, I learned some more. I never thought of symptoms being actual evolutionary adaptations, but now that I read it, it smacks me in the head, "DUH!". Well, this contest has been a real experience for me, and I'm glad the Alliance for Science hosted it. Thank you!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Thanks to Wired Science for finding the video.
Monday, May 14, 2007
I'll give you some behind-the-scenes commentary. I had a super tough time cutting that essay within the word limit. I had to get rid of an entire section about the Tripoli Six (
So yeah, the prize is $300 and a free subscription to SEED (what I REALLY wanted), plus a bunch of stuff for the school. Well, here I am, bringing glory to the Los Angeles Unified School District. However, my achivement is kinda dwarfed by El Camino Real, but some potential glory at school might not be so bad (of course, I can't show off my OWN glory). And what do you all think I should do with the prize? My current plan is to deposit it in a bank account until I can come up with something to do with it. That way, I still make interest off of it, yay!
Ok, I know this post is getting kinda long, so I'll cap up by saying, I love you all! Oh yeah, and there's also my teacher to thank, Ms. Chung (who I then spent a week with in Costa Rica, which was a very good break from this). She helped revise and polish the essay, which I think made a huge difference. And I'd also like to thank PZ Myers, 'cause, he's awesome, and I wouldn't have found out about the contest without him. Oh, and my parents, for making me revise it, like 20 times. The Panda's Thumb was also an invaluble resource for this essay, thanks for covering the Michael Egnor affair so well (I found out about PZ's Egnor superlist AFTER I submitted the essay, unfortunately). I swear, he was so well timed. Now I'm wondering if anyone else used him as an example.
Ok, I'm ending it for real this time. Thanks to all the people I cited in my essay (duh, that's what citing is kinda for). OH! and the Understanding Evolution web site was extremely helpful. Wow, I never knew I had so many resources. Ok, well, bye everyone, and make sure your science is open source (?!) Hey, that could be my new motto. Or, make sure your open source is scientific. Meh, I like the other one better. Oh, and Fundies Say the Darndest Things, of course (does anyone else get an RSS feed for them, I think mine's broken), for uplifting me during times of stress, and making me laugh my face off. I swear, that place is funnier than any comedy show ever. Ok, now bye!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
#1. I use linux.
#2. I'm not that big of a gamer.
#3. Very few people know that much about me.
Here are some thing's I'll need to work on.
#1. I need to meditate.
#2. I need to wear sandals.
#3. I need a beard.
#4. I need a penguin.
I wish I had a penguin.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
A new book is coming out, called Punctuated Equilibrium written by Steven J. Gould. Steven J. Gould is a palentologist who writes a lot about evolution and all that stuff that I love. However, he's kinda dead right now, so you may be wondering, how is he writing a book? Well, I'll tell you, or else, what'll be the point?
So, when he was still alive, he wrote a book called The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (which I have). However, this book is freaking ginormous. It's over 1,400 pages (I'm on like, page 400), so there's a lot of content in this book. As far as I've gotten, it's basically a description of all of the contributions to evolutionary though (it was much more than just Darwin), with a pretty detailed description of nearly every contributor (and even some opponents). So yeah, this book, Punctuated Equilibrium, is basically chapter 9 of The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.
I can't tell you anything about the book, since I kinda didn't reach there. I got discouraged on the way, but now maybe I should continue again. So, if you wanna learn about punctuated equilibrium, buy that book. If you wanna learn every-freaking-thing about evolution,
[Nod of gratitude to PZ Myers, one who I admire]
Monday, May 07, 2007
I personally would prefer my own computer to a Dell one, but hey, I know a lot of people who shop at Dell. I'm sure it'll make preaching much easier.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
If you're still skeptical, they have samples of their songs on their web site, which you can hear for free. If you're still skeptical, they've put some of their videos on YouTube, however, they're much better on stage than on the computer. On stage, they add certain things that are much funnier.
One of the best acts is Lirty Dies. The speaker basically gives an entire speech, but flips the beginning of some words, sometimes having hilarious consequences.
We left to shee a sow, and we ended up thrying bee DCs. And as far as I can tell, they've been a date greal. As you nalready ow, I righly hecommend this show. You don't be wissappointed.