Fractal planets

Excuse me while I get techy.
I’ve been working on my fractal program. There was a new algorithm that I had read about I wanted to try. The biggest thing stopping me was some of the advanced math. I drafted some mathematic graduate students to give me pointers. Unfortunately I gave them a poor description of the problem, and it ended up confusing me.
Fortunately I figured out a method. (Dumping the spherical coordinates equation for the plane was key.) So this evening I implemented it.
Well, it works…
I’m not that satisfied with the planets that get generated. A lot of them only have one Pangaea-like super-continent. The other landforms don’t really look interesting. And the darn thing takes a long time to produce a planet. I’m hoping to improve that; I have some ideas that should make it more efficient.
Still, I finally have this monkey off my back.

Acting class again today

It was slow because there were long discussions about the state of the Oilers, and the results of the Academy awards.
My experience with speed dating was used for the scene involving it. The teacher was fascinated by the concept, and would love to go and just watch. Of course, why stop there? Why not organize a field trip.
How to make an awkward conversation more awkward. A peanut gallery.
“I can’t believe he tried that line.”
“She looks slutty in that dress.”
“Don’t I know him?”
Any other bad things to hear from a group of commentators on your date?

In this corner…

Okay, here is my theory.
The switch from VHS to DVD came fairly quickly. I suppose because DVDs are smaller, easier to store, don’t require rewinding and are simple to use and jump around. When they first came out people purchased them more often than renting. I’m guilty of this as much as the next person. My personal reason was that a DVD could be trusted to stay working and not wear out, whereas VHS couldn’t make the same claim. And having the movie was my personal pledge that I liked it.
I’ve heard that the amount of DVDs being purchased is going down. I’ll assume the reason for that is that people are getting the idea that they no longer need to own everything and that renting is still a possibility.
Blu-ray and HD-DVD are out, cursed with each other so that no one is buying them until they settle their differences. I suppose it is possible they their existence is the reason that DVD purchases are down.
My theory is that whichever format wins, Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, that will be the last hard video format used.
This is based off of what happened with audio. There were records, then tapes, then CDs. CDs seem to be the pinnacle that people use. There are other formats since, but only true audio-philes use them; People who like to hear the spider crawling up the wall in the background while the band plays. For mere mortals, the CD is king. It has all the features most people need, at the audio quality most people will enjoy.
I am aware the MP3 and its derivatives are starting to take over. I consider those a soft format. They don’t have the same quality, and most people still get them by burning a CD. In any case it is stored digitally, not on a purchased piece of hardware.
That is the way I see video format heading. Blu-Ray or HD-DVD will be the pinnacle. After that, other formats will come out that have better quality and/or sound, but they won’t catch on. Until we get to holographic movies. Until then.
That said, I can see downloadable movies taking over. Only when people get hard drives big enough and the internet is fast enough. The same way MP3s exist today.
I could be wrong. For all I know, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will devour each other and DVD will be the last format. But I think we have room for one more.

Grain of sand on the back

I’m feeling a little down right now. I’m guessing part of it is the busy schedule that I have given myself. I say that, but I’m not in University, so it is probably nothing compared to a real student. I’m just tired, and the long weekend wasn’t enough.
Yesterday I decided to put my self esteem on the line again and try some speed dating. I have better hope for this time because the age categories worked more in my favor.
And I met some nice women. There was one that I really thought I hit it off with. She was easy to talk to and interesting. So my hopes were up. Then after the event, when it was just a social, I saw her holding court with a bunch of men. So I have to assume that she was just charismatic and everyone likes her. So, hope for the best, plan for the worst.
It is getting depressing though.
I just got back from an improv class, and it was nice today because a lot of people were missing. More intimate and more attention from the instructor. But once again there is a feeling of lack of progress on my part. The teacher can always point out something that I should have done that would have made the scene better. But then he has a lot more experience.
And when you are tired, everything piles up, and things that would normally wash off your back become the popcorn stuck in the teeth.
I’ll feel better tomorrow.


I assume there is a difference between plain stupid and Darwinian stupid. I decided to test that out.
I drove to the greater Calgary area yesterday evening. So I needed some food on the road. And I had a craving for A&W chicken.
Is eating chicken (and not nuggets) while driving just stupid, or would it be Darwinian?
Apparently just stupid as my genes are still around to tell the tale.
Of course, during speed dating I got zero matches, so the aforementioned genes may not be surviving. But, still not Darwinian, yet.

Go speed racer

Well, that could have gone better.
I did the speed dating thing. I should have stayed longer after it was all over; Do the mingle thing. But I hadn’t eaten dinner, and they were starting to play annoying music. And I have to pack for my trip tomorrow.
It might not have been the best idea to go for a run after work. It made me late and withheld my meal.
There were some nice people, but a lot of the women were older than me and/or with children. Actually the girl that I had the most connection with was supposed to be in the younger group, making her eight years behind me. She was sloshed and was determined not to accept anyone. I guess a total lack of pressure makes making a good impression easier.
Next week there is another one where I think the age ranges work more in my favor.


Acting class today.
I have doubts about this class. I mean, I don’t know for sure if I am learning anything about acting. I’m learning about thinking like the character and blocking, but not pretending that I care. It’s the pretending part I would like to get down.
I have a scene I’m in that I’m nervous about. According to the script, in this two person short, there is MAN (that would be me) and WOMAN, who is supposed to be beautiful, tanned and in great shape. It culminates in a passionate kiss. Normally this would be good for me. However, the student playing WOMAN is, and I’m sorry to say this, kinda dumpy and pale. (Hopefully she never reads this.) I have no attraction to her.
I really need help on that pretending bit.
Other people are doing a scene involving speed dating. I haven’t done that in over a year. I know there is one going on tomorrow, and I am tempted to attend. Just to see if it is as bad as I remember. Definitely not take it seriously, and see how far brutal level four honesty will get me.
Or I could get ready for a trip to my parents in Calgary this weekend.


I educated myself today.
At work I was going through some online training. At one point it veered off from the welcome to the company stuff, and suggested/insisted I take a different online course.
This course seemed targeted towards sales people. I did it, and all the accompanying quizzes. I was totally exhausted by the end. In the regular course, common sense was a good guide. In the sales course, nothing made sense. Especially when trying to tell the difference between two sales pitches. The pressure and the confusion tired me out completely.
I have no idea how those sales people do it.

Pan’s Labyrinth

I went to see this movie today. It was disappointing. I mean, it had been hyped so much, and Rotten Tomatoes gave it an obscene rating. And there are the people who have seen it eight times. I was expecting it to be the greatest film ever.
I’m assuming readers of this have seen it already so I will be spoiling parts of it, but I will still be mostly vague.
At the end, I was ambivalent. I couldn’t tell if it was a sad or happy ending. I’m personally leaning towards sad and that it was all a dream. I don’t like it when a director leaves you wondering about things like that. I am happy when they leave you with moral dilemmas, but not on whether to be happy or sad.
Visually stunning, but that is somewhat lost when you have to read the bottom of the screen. “Stop talking so I can look at you.” I have nothing against subtitles, but I prefer them to be in movies that you don’t have to watch everything going on.
And the characters were stupid. Little girl, if you want to be a princess and show how good a ruler you can be, then learn to follow the simple rules given to you. And if you are going to try and run away from an evil place, finish killing the person who can warn the guards to stop you.
Why did people like this so much?
It was good, but it wasn’t great. It might have been better if it wasn’t so hyped. If you are one of those people who have seen it eight times, it is your fault the movie sucked. Your over-enthusiasm ruined it for me.
I put this on the same level as Lost in Translation.

Sickness/Party update

I will admit that I am still a bit under the weather. But I felt good enough this morning that I went back to work. Unfortunately the air quality at my office sucks salmon. Half an hour after arriving my nose started clogging up. A quick dose of Neo-citran and it cleared up. Even stayed clear for the rest of the day. God bless weird medical substances that work creepily like magic.
I believe the party this Friday is good to go!
And it will be awesome! I’ve got supplies building up, including a large stash of hot chocolate (because it will probably be cold that day) with small marshmallows to complete the picture.
This party will be the defining moment in the history of mankind. Your ancestors will establish themselves as being descended from one of the original party attendees, and spit upon those soulless husks that can not claim such noble lineage. If Nero himself rose from the grave, he would lament that the burning of Rome did not compare to this extravaganza. Fun and entertaining and appetizing, in your sorrows you will look back at this time and your spirits will be lifted. Your moments of triumph will all feel a little less spectacular because you will have already seen absolute perfection. It will be the festive mirror in which all other events in your life will reflect in a duller shade.
So, uh, yeah. I’m looking forward to it.

The link to my “music”. It’s good. I recommend it.

In sickness and in health

I’m doing my best to update as often as possible this week. After neglecting the journal I feel I owe it to…, well I don’t know who I owe it to, but it is going to happen.
It didn’t help that ten minutes before I went to bed last night I got sick. I just started getting really cold. I huddled in bed, but I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. My brain was concentrating on a math problem that I could easily prove as being insolvable. But the stupid thing wouldn’t let it go.
I tried to go to work today, but after two and a half hours I packed it in and went home. Hopefully I’ll be better tomorrow.

A brief intermission

I don’t watch organized sporting activities. I find the Olympics to be a long period where my favorite shows get preempted. So the Superbowl is a complete non-event for me. The only reason to watch it is to see the commercials. Or the hope of a “wardrobe malfunction”. And the former is pointless in Canada, because all the commercials are edited out to be replaced with local ones. Ones that haven’t spent millions of dollars to make a memorable advertisement, but rather the change they found in the sofa cushions.
Driving out this evening I noticed that the streets were rather dead. I guess I am not in the majority.
My destination? A local cinema is playing the world’s best commercials. So, with a few friends I went to see good commercials.
Mind you, a lot of them weren’t that good. Some were outright depressing. I prefer funny to poignant. I do not need to see reminders that it is good to look both ways before crossing the street in graphic detail. I would much rather see fake public service announcements about counterfeit cars.
Hopefully I will be able to see the Superbowl commercials on the internet. I mean, these people are spending an obscene amount of money for thirty seconds. They are going to have good ads.
Mind you, if you need funny, there are websites that specialize in that.


I feel stressed these days. I only have one day a week to do the things I need to do to maintain my life. And it is bearing down on me.
But the thing that is stressing me the most is my vacation.
I have been mandated by work to take a lot of vacation days. I’ve been collecting them for too long and not using them, so now my uppers are telling me to get around to it. So I’m going to go and take a long European vacation.
But a vacation requires planning. And I don’t have time to plan.
I still have to figure out what I like to do on vacation.

Feasts of Mathematics

Okay, I’ve been horribly remiss in updating my journal. So I’ve got to try and be more proactive.
The biggest problem is that there is only one day during the week that I am free to do whatever I want. And usually that is taken up with chores I’ve been missing. Tuesday and Thursday I have acting classes. On Wednesday I have running. Friday is the Feast.
But the Feast was productive this week. I was able to get someone who knows math to help me with a complicated problem I’ve been having in the execution of my program. Now all I need to do is to check the work and make sure it does what I need. Implementing it will be another mountain to climb.
Next week the Friday Feast will be held at my place. So that should encourage me to get around to cleaning up the place. I’ve been lax. I really don’t feel like cleaning on Mondays.