daydream revelation: in space, nobody can hear you postulate

April 30, 2008 under Daydream Revelations

Dr. Stephen Hawking recently theorized about the possibility of life in places other than Earth. And while lately it seems like Dr. Hawking is in the news for pop-science opinions rather more often than for actual scientific research, he brings up a few good ideas. For fun, I’d like to add a couple more. Life, in places other than our lil’ blue planet, possibly…

  • …is less intelligent/evolved than us and haven’t invented any modes of transportation, communication and other technology that we’re using in space exploration. Perhaps they’re still in a prehistoric or even single-celled stage.
  • …has already nuked itself.
  • …is vastly intelligent and want nothing to do with our meager selves and our ass-backwards planet.
  • …have a dominant species (like Earth’s humans) that share a lot of traits with Dan O’Bannon’s Geiger-inspired aliens and we’re better off not discovering them…or being discovered by them.

The universe, and what lies beyond, might be infinite – there must be something somewhere.

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on to round two

April 23, 2008 under Hockey, NHL playoffs

Now that the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs are in the books, let’s see how accurate my predictions were. I correctly chose Montreal, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Colorado, Detroit and San Jose to win their first round matchups. Dallas and the Rangers were surprises, resulting in me going 6-2. Allow me to present my predictions for the second round in bold.

East
Montreal vs Philadelphia
Pittsburgh vs New York Rangers

West
Detroit vs Colorado
San Jose vs Dallas

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people can come up with statistics to prove anything; 40% of all people know that

April 21, 2008 under Hockey, NHL, NHL playoffs, statistics

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is almost complete, with only a handful of series lingering (go Flames!). At this point, the sports writers and commentators whip out what I call “the historical ass chomper” statistic – inevitably history should come back to bite a given team in the ass.

Take, for example, this article on TSN’s website and this one from the CBC which set the stage for Game 7 of the HabsBruins series.

The CBC article notes that:

In over 80 years of existence, the Bruins have never come back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits, while Montreal as a franchise has never seen a 3-1 lead fall out of its grasp.

The Canadian Press on TSN.ca reports a plethora of those “historical ass chomper” stats such as:

  • NHL teams have trailed 3-1 in a best-of-seven series 224 times and have come back to win the series 20 times, or nine per cent of the time.
  • Since the NHL introduced the best-of-seven format in 1939, the home team has won 76 of the 120 playoff series that have gone to seven games, or 63%.
  • Boston in 0-3 in Game 7s played away from home.
  • Montreal is 10-8 all-time in Game 7s, while Boston is 9-7.

Mathemtically, Montreal should take the series tonight. My opinion is that this makes the setup of the game more exciting. If your team’s on the benficial side of the stat, you as a fan feel confident in your team’s ability to lock up the series. On the other hand, you appropriate some sort of feisty underdog mentality in the case where history’s teeth are mere seconds away from taking a chunk out of your team’s collective gluteus maximus. But like most thing’s in life, nothing is a sure bet. This stat may be a resonable predictor; stats are supposed to be because that’s the whole reason for statistical analysis – duh! But stats don’t govern willpower, team chemistry, morale, mitochondrial performance in athlete’s cells and the many other factors that influence the outcome of a game. However, stats are easier to digest in the pre-game show. Now excuse me while I seek cover from Montreal fans who’d prefer that I shut up at this point in time.

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hopefully better than it sounds

April 18, 2008 under Jeff Atwood, Joel Spolksy, StackOverflow.com

It seems like 10 “hot” startups hit the Web every week now. With so many, it’s hard to get excited about one (or more). Yet there is a new site about to launch, which I don’t know that it would classify as a startup per se, that I’m excited for. StackOverflow.com, a brainchild of Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, is in the works. According to Joel, StackOverflow.com will be:

…a programming Q&A site that’s free. Free to ask questions, free to answer questions, free to read, free to index, built with plain old HTML, no fake rot13 text on the home page, no scammy google-cloaking tactics, no salespeople, no JavaScript windows dropping down in front of the answer asking for $12.95 to go away. You can register if you want to collect karma and win valuable flair that will appear next to your name, but otherwise, it’s just free.

I enjoy the written word of these two guys; I subscribe to their blogs’ feeds and I even purchased a copy of Joel on Software a couple of years ago. A developer community site like this could prove to be invaluable. Most developer-oriented sites are, for some lame reason, dreadful to read. Most of my information gathering consists of referencing MSDN and Google and Krugle code searches. I trust that Jeff and Joel will put together something, anything, that’s better than what’s available right now.

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best time of the year

April 9, 2008 under Hockey, NHL playoffs

It all starts tonight. The first day of the NHL playoffs signals the beginning of one of my favourite times in any given year. Here’s the first round matchups and my predictions are in bold.

East
Montreal vs Boston
Washington vs Philadelphia
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa
New Jersey vs New York Rangers

West
Minnesota vs Colorado
Detroit vs Nashville
San Jose vs Calgary (still cheering for the Flames)
Anaheim vs Dallas

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april fool-ish

April 1, 2008 under April Fools

When it comes to pop culture, I’m admittedly not an avid follower. I could care less about the lives of Hollywood personalities or pop music divas and giants. However, when it comes to Web culture and Internet memes, I eat it up. Being April Fool’s Day, announcements of phony products and odd couple corporate mergers have become commonplace. I used to enjoy this day, but this year, I’m left feeling somewhat jaded. None of these jokes are all that entertaining, since it’s all been done before.

I think the failure of fake written announcements common today could be likened to the an old-time radio program trying to lure our attention away from our TVs, iPods and computers. While it involves a fair amount of creativity, the written word has a hard time “selling” the hoax. For example, on this blog o’ mine, I could’ve easily posted something touting that I’m giving up the software game, throwing my Computer Science degree away (or at the very least, putting it into storage) to go back to university to finish off my Pharmacy degree like my parents wanted me to. I would cite the fact that none of my family members understand what I do for a living, but everybody has some inkling as to what the people in white lab coats behind the counter at pharmacies do, as my primary reason for doing so. And if you believe that, I’ve got a copy of Duke Nukem Forever to sell you.

Here are a few examples of this year’s hoaxes that bored me:

----------- sarcasm snip -----------

Hardy-har-har.

----------- sarcasm snip -----------

Truth be told, there were a couple that I did like:

Were there any other good finds today?

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comments: 1 »