Category Archives: Whatever

You know, whatever…

Two proposals

For those keeping track, I made two proposals this summer: one to my now-fiancée and one to my dissertation committee. I’m happy to say that both went very well. This isn’t an autobiographical post though. Most of the people who would care are friends on Facebook, and that’s the topic of this post.

The engagement was first and when the news hit my Facebook profile, I was struck by how many more of the commenters were female. Eight people posted on my wall, all female. 42 people “liked” the news, females at twice the rate of males. My Fb friends are gender balanced (48% female, 47% male, 4% not specified) so I wondered what accounted for the difference. Are females more likely to be happy about an engagement? The comments were gender split 14/15, but counting up all 79 responses, 50 were female to 29 male, still almost twice the rate of reply.

When I passed my thesis proposal, the responses seemed mostly male, but once I counted them out it was less clear. Of 13 comments, 8 female and 5 male. Of 50 likes, 30 female and 20 male. So of all 63 responses, 38 (60%) female and 25 (40%) male. Are women just more supportive? (Or more specifically, my female Fb friends?) Hard to say. It is still striking that there were 8 wall posts from women on the engagement and none from men (and none from anyone on the less romantic proposal). Maybe women are more likely to make that stronger public support (that is the wall post) of love? Dunno, but I do know I managed to avoid working the last 20 minutes while still doing work-like activities.


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How was your 2010?

My good friend Jake sent me a batch of questions to print out and take to a New Year’s Eve party. I got to spend New Year’s 2009-2010 with Jake and really enjoyed answering these questions with a large group of great people. This year, I thought why not answer them with even more people!

Below are the questions for your rumination. Answer them however you like, sincerely or sillily. Or any -ly you like. Note that your answers will be visible (anonymously) to other people who’ve answered, but please don’t let that prevent you from honestly considering the year behind us and turn to the New Year ahead. Without further ado…
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Please resend mail March 16-26 (never got it)

Short version

If you sent mail to my e-mail address in the range of March 16-26 (inclusive) please send it again. My mail receiver was broken those dates and the mail sent then is lost in the ether.
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Mac tip: Title bar file icon is a proxy

Sometimes I could kiss my Mac.  I love the little icon in the title bar is a draggable proxy for the file.  I don’t remember how I noticed this, but it’s very handy.  Apple describes it on this Pro Tips page so I’ll use their nice graphic:

So that’s great but it gets better.  The file icon subtly indicates whether the file has any unsaved changes, by graying out.  (Reading that page, I also learned that the red close button gets a black dot if there are unsaved changes.)

Here’s the thing that moved me to write a whole blog post: right click on that file to see and navigate its hierarchy in the file system.  You ever need a file that’s in the same folder as the file you’re working with?  Just right click on that icon and click the containing folder.  So simple, sorta intuitive, and I can’t find it mentioned anywhere.

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Boycott Yaari

Recently I got an e-mail from a loose acquaintance, let’s say Vick Timlee,

Vick Timlee wants you to join Yaari!

Is Vick your friend?

Yes, Vick is my friend! No, Vick isn’t my friend.

Please respond or Vick may think you said no 🙁

Thanks,The Yaari Team

So, that’s a lie. Vick didn’t send me anything. He’s not waiting vulnerably for my attestation of our “friend”-ship.

What has happened is that he created an account on and they spammed everyone in his Gmail contacts. Further, they claimed that Vick sent these messages himself.

A nice blog post goes into this practice in more detail. The short of it is, stay away from Yaari.

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Greetings from Seattle

Hey everyone who cares,

I’m in Seattle now and for the next six weeks. I’m working at University of Washington with Prof. Tanimoto, a great guy. Here’s my new address for you to send gifts and attestations of the void created by my physical absence from your life.

Turadg Aleahmad
608 21st Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112

I write this from Victrola café. They got some good coffee. The vibe is like a less hipster hyper version of Ritual Roasters in SF’s Mission District.

It hasn’t rained yet today, despite the forecast, so I hope it stays clear through the fireworks. Well, clear as in no water falling from the sky. It’s quite overcast. Apparently, that’s something Seattleans get used to, mostly by mainlining caffeine.

The CS department has its own espresso machine. Not one of those press-the-button rigs like in Wean, but a real professional barista style machine. And everyone knows how to operate it. I hope I don’t return to Pittsburgh a caffeine addict, but I fear that experimenting with shots and foaming will be too seductive to forgo.

Ciao for now.

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my photos in the commons

my mosque photo

Originally uploaded by TfUnQ

My photo of a mosque in Esfahan made it into somebody’s blog post. Yay for Creative Commons.

Note, I don’t think Ahmadinejad is right about what the world needs.

UPDATE: I asked Ally how she found that web page and then I tried to find it myself. I did, along with this SFist page using one of my photos of Boogaloo’s. Fun!

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new source for links (no more in feed)

This message is to the 20 or so people subscribed to the feed for this blog.

I’ve been using FeedBurner’s Link Splicer to add into the feed a daily grab of my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia. I’ve been keeping those a while, and using the feed to share them with people who want to see the things I like to share.

Since Google Reader added sharing, and now notes, I find that I’m not using Ma.gnolia hardly at all anymore. For real bookmarks that endure, I’m using Foxmarks (which replaces Google Browser Sync because it works in Firefox 3). For timely sharing, that I used to use Ma.gnolia+Feedburner for, I’m using Google Reader.

If you want to see what I’m reading that I think is worth sharing, check out my Google Reader shared page. Better yet, load up Google Reader and add me as a Friend so my shared items will integrate into your other newsreading. While you’re at it, you can add the feed you’re reading, my personal about-me blog feed.


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Pittsburgh is good people

Tuesday I walked home and found my car up on the curb. I couldn’t possibly have parked that bad and forgotten it? Did it slide on the ice? Some damage on the driver side bumper showed it had been hit and pushed 2 ft onto the curb. No note on the windshield. Crap. Did I mention I don’t have collision insurance?

I go to my mailbox, and there is a note. The driver left their name, car make and year, their insurance company name and 800 number, and their own policy number. There are good people in the world.

And today Jack’s Towing came to tow it to Progressive’s repair facility. I don’t know if I got to speak with the Jack, but what a jolly Pittsburghy guy. And while I was standing next to the tow truck, hearing Jack’s story about a power tripping officer at the impound, a car pulled up with the window down.

“Is that your car?” “yeah, it got hit” “I saw her hit it! She was gonna write a note and I told her to call 911. What if that note fell off?” “Wow thanks! yeah, someone put it in my mailbox for me” “yeah I told her to call someone. what if it had fallen off!”

So I salut the good people of Pittsburgh.

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TV on the Radio in Pittsburgh

The TV on the Radio concert at Mr. Smalls was great. They began by sharing that the singer and lead guitar (the essence of the band) are from Pittsburgh themselves. Even though this was a sold-out show, it then became the most intimate I’d seen at Mr. Smalls.

And now I’m listening to “King Eternal” and at 2:20 in I hear them sing “Pittsburgh, let her shine”. I looked up the lyrics to see for sure, and it’s not what they say, but it’s what I’ll keep hearing.

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