Friday, February 29, 2008

4 years from today

in 4 years, we'll have another leap year and the whole presidential campaigning will be in full swing once again. it will be interesting to see if (1) my blog is still in effect then (2) who will be the incumbent presidential candidate and (3) where progress will have taken us in a very short amount of time.

as for this phd thing, work was progressing along really well, but have been slowed recently. i'm still trying to right the ship, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. i guess that's what the weekends are for right.......*sigh*

p.s. - the riaa is bullying (mostly) college students for illegal downloads, but the settlements are not reaching the artists who the riaa is supposed to be representing. and now, the artists are upset and want there money. will they start suing the riaa?

p.p.s. - the riaa is in the news AGAIN today. the u of sf school of law is allowing students to assist in the cases of non-university students against the riaa.

think - to reason about or reflect on; ponder (a very powerful word for a VERY powerful tool)

here's another thought-provoking blog entry:

why is there not a white history month? be careful of the free gift bag. most times it is just a functional (but PHYSICAL) i.o.u. for others to cash in at a later date. the carrot at the end of the stick can be so blinding at times that we fail to SEE the path we traverse in hopes of consuming the prize. isn't black history just as much american history as the american revolution? without black people, there is no america. without the revolution, there is no america. why is one portrayed as more relevant than the other? look through a high school american history textbook and say that they are equally weighted in terms of content.

just some food for thought this afternoon.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

walls hurt

i ran full speed into a wall today, and it halted some really good progress. however, this wall has shown me a possible flaw in some previous conclusions/results i have had. i have since shifted gears to further investigate the matter and to get things back on the right track. the clock is now REALLY ticking, and i really have to hurry up and get this work done and write this stuff up. what's life without a little excitement huh? yea, always. we'll see

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

the student life

with nothing lengthy, coherent topic to write about, i decided to express my enjoyment of still being able to live the student's lifestyle. i know i take for granted the freedom to set my own hours and work pace. it is very nice, and i really do appreciate it. the challenge now is to project this lifestyle onto a fruitful and satisfying career path that brings me the success i am always dreaming and talking about.

Monday, February 25, 2008

exercising the mind

i had the pleasure of sharing some really challenging thoughts/ideas with a good friend of mine this past weekend. i had no idea how interested i was in psychology, but i see that i have a much stronger passion and interest than i knew. the mind is such a powerful tool. it's almost scary the potential that we have. we just need to tap into it. so often, we restrict our potential (in the form of limiting our minds) without even knowing it. i have said for the past few years that the subconscious is a powerful thing, but i am beginning to realize the sheer magnitude of its capacity. in the same regard though, our conscious minds offer ability beyond belief, but we get distracted so often that we cannot take advantage of things right there in our minds. coming here to cambridge has really helped me to see how many ideas we can process on a daily basis without so much distraction in our lives. i never thought that quiet time alone could be so beneficial. i am now understanding the habits of great thinkers more and more. i know i am just beginning to exercise my mind and push my thoughts to the limits, but i am very excited to be on the path to trying to follow in the footsteps of the greatest thinkers and brilliant minds of the past and present in hopes of becoming one of the great minds of the future.

Friday, February 22, 2008

lovin' it

i love computer science/engineering research..........PERIOD!!! seeing some promising results and had a potential breakthrough idea about 30 minutes ago. let's see where things end up.

p.s. - i would like to participate in this

Thursday, February 21, 2008

crazy day, all over the place

it's not how you start, but how you finish.........just ask the ny (football) giants and the new england patriots. besides being tired and short of ideas earlier on in the day, i struggled to get some slides together for a short talk monday. the day just ended with an intense, hour-long discussion for data analysis, interpretation, and understanding of current results; and what more experiments i need to conduct for an upcoming paper. tomorrow should be pretty productive.

p.s. - an interesting perspective on the us's satellite destruction

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

thought-provoking randomness (from yesterday and this morning)

let me apologize in advance for the lack of continuity of this entry, BUT.....i think you will find a lot of the contents VERY thought-provoking and stimulate good conversations.

1. in this "internet-age", social-networking via the web has really taken off. it is no new idea, but, for whatever reason, it has really taken hold of many worldwide. from blogs, to facebook, to myspace, to linkedin, to flickr, to youtube -- user-generated content is prevailing on the web these days. right place, right time i guess. that seems to be the only valid explanation. with that said, the notion of privacy seems to be dwindling. why are people so quick to post personal info on the web that they would be reluctant to share in more personal interaction? although the article is wordy, the point is raised that we must find a way to retain the personal value of the information we disclose and not let it be eclipsed by the commercial worth of the data the site now has.

2. i attended a lecture yesterday evening titled "why do humans share food" by Cambridge Professor of Archeology, Martin Jones (here is his book). the email advertising the lecture contained an abstract that went on to say that humans are the only species to "share" meals. this is what sparked my interest and made me want to attend and hear more. obviously there was some skepticism floating around in my mind as i listened to this guy say with some sense of confidence why people did what they did so many tens of thousands of years ago, but a few things were really interesting. early in the lecture he mentioned how tense situations are when two strangers just stare at one another eye-to-eye without saying anything. it feels very antagonistic. food, however, helps to quell this uncomfortable scenario. further into the lecture, he mentioned being able to see when people started cooking things over fire by investigating the fire-bed remains. he was also able to kind of pinpoint in history when people began "dressing-up" for meals by finding jewelry and "make-up" in these fires. the last interesting point before i continue this post is when he came to present times and explained how television has started to reverse this idea of meal-sharing because it provides a virtual fire. back in the 40s and 50s when people on television started looking into the cameras versus at the other actors, is when people felt they could "share" meals with the tv versus actual people.

3. lastly CONGRATS to Sen. Obama for another big victory. plezWorld has an excellent guest blog about Mrs. Obama. here it is

Monday, February 18, 2008

where did last week go???

i didn't get president's day off, so i was back to the grind this morning (i would say bright and early, but i would be stretching this past weekend was here before i knew it. i do not know where last week went, but it came AND WENT really rapidly. i was able to cap things off friday pretty well, but i needed to come in today and make a lot of things happen to get the ball back rolling. i got off to a slow start today, and i am hoping that it is just due to the monday blues and the rest of the week will flow better for me. i really need to get the thoughts back up to pace. i am back in one of those moods where i am kinda just going through everything in zombie mode. i need myself to be much sharper. i feel like the work i am getting done is a bit dull and lacking top-quality creativity. maybe the rest i got this past weekend will help.

Friday, February 15, 2008

a little sleep goes a long way

the lest few weeks have been absolutely brutal here in the lab, but productivity has been very pleasing. all the hard work and long hours finally caught up to me this week. i found myself VERY tired after leaving the office, and i couldn't seem to get enough sleep. i got a few extra hours today, and that seemed to make all the difference. i guess the plan this weekend is to really catch up and let my body and mind rest, then, hit it full speed ahead come monday. we can only go a million mph for so long. the challenge is maintaining that level of sharpness and accuracy for extended periods of high-intensity.

have a good weekend!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy valentine's day

i hope everyone has a happy valentine's day. it makes it that much more special of a day when you have someone to share it with. be thankful!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

catch up hillary, obama's not slowing down

as the adage goes, go hard or go home. your husband can't save you hillary (and honestly, he probably has hurt you a lot by way of offering untimely distractions from you--the person actually running for president). obama pulled off some impressive victories yesterday, and i think it is safe to say that there is no turning back. he is gaining support thought to have been secured for hillary, and it seems like he is only getting stronger, more confident, and more comfortable. traits that will manifest themselves in so many ways to gain even more support from the undecided , fence-riders, and once-fans-of-hillary. the upcoming weeks will be interesting to see what acts of desperation the clinton campaign pulls out of the hat. there are only so many "we'll get 'em next times" until you run out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

slow motion monday

it was one of those sluggish starts to the work week today, and i honestly wish i could start the day over. it took too long for the mind to get going, and, subsequently, i wasted a lot of effort. i am just now (6:15 pm) getting the sharpness i wish i had at 9 am this morning. more interesting though is the reason why i am sluggish today.....

2 of my REALLY good friends were in london this past weekend, and needless to say, we made the most of every waking second. it's amazing that we remember as much as we do. great people, great times!!! i really miss those guys. the friends i have made since being out here really and truly are like family. they are some of the most intelligent, inspiring, hilarious, motivating, and sharp individuals that i have ever met. they have become such a crucial part of life. i wish nothing but the best for all of them. there are a lot of major moves on the horizon. you heard it hear first. failure is not an option for us and there are no limits.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

happy 26th anniversary

lots of good news today:

1. it's the 26th anniversary of the lambda delta chapter (georgia tech) of kappa alpha psi fraternity, inc.
2. senator obama had a good showing yesterday and is showing signs of growing support in what had been "hillary states"
3. my phd research is coming along well. i am making a lot of progress and things look promising. (i do have these periods of doubt at times though about my upcoming deadlines. maybe that is just natural?)
4. i am just generally blessed and cannot complain.

"when you are so focused on what you don't won't have" - Kanye West

p.s. - interesting article on language acquisition in babies (has computer science slant)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

super tuesday

there's no excuse not to exercise your right to vote. get out there and make it happen. if you are left out in the cold for the primaries, then make sure you are registered and participate in the november elections.

Monday, February 04, 2008

random rant

so i was reading cnn today and came across this article about the budget president bush has proposed to congress. the opening sentence reads: "president bush introduced a $3.1 trillion budget on monday that supports sizable increases in military spending to fight the war on terrorism and protects his signature tax cuts."

i stopped reading IMMEDIATELY after this. (funny thing is, i just read the "protects his signature tax cuts" bit. i guess i was so frustrated with the name "war on terrorism" that i didn't even finish reading the sentence until i started this blog entry) so, to my rant........... why the heck is this mess in iraq still being called a "war against terror"? why isn't it called simply what it is--"the mess in iraq." i would even be satisfied if president bush's name wasn't attached to it. just stop claiming such a well-planned and well-executed "war" effort when it is simply not that. it all started from mis and embellished information. and now, the administration is trying to patch things up by throwing more and more money into this mistake. this fiasco is not going to end anytime soon (i can't see even a beginning of an exit for 5+ years) and is going to continue to cost more lives and money until the time someone is responsible enough to say enough is enough. we have mucked things up so badly for these people, and any reconstruction efforts seem almost futile. how much longer will this continue? and how much longer will the government keep trying to convince us that this is a "war against terror"? it didn't even start out as such, but turned into this after no weapons of mass destruction were found. what ever is convenient, right president bush? just tell us anything.

you can only feel for our service men and women doing their duty. let me be clear, i am thankful for what you do in protecting this nation, and i understand that you have a job to do. and that that job is totally INDEPENDENT of the politics that go into decisions made about what is your next duty. this is no way an attack against the men and women of the armed services. it's just sad that the people making the decisions couldn't care less about the people they are supposedly protecting.

Friday, February 01, 2008

i really love what i do

yesterday, this wonderful feeling/thought hit me: i REALLY love what i do (computer engineering/computer science). there is no doubt about it. the pure enjoyment of defining a problem space and having to figure out a solution. fulfilling doesn't even begin to describe the feeling. this nonsense came about as i was stuck with the challenge of searching for needles in a hay stack in a very large data/text file (about 500 MB). i started to open the file and begin looking manually, then, i kind of laughed to myself and thought: "why the heck don't i just write a simple script to do this for me. this is gonna take ages if i don't." as i wrote the script, i really reflected on just being blessed to have the ability and know-how to quickly write this simple program to do this work for me.

through all the ups and downs, i can say with all confidence there is nothing else (short of playing major league baseball) that i would rather be doing than engineering/computer science research.