Archive for month: May, 2004

Stereo Video Project

May 31, 2004 | Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

Ever on the lookout for nifty projects, I stumbled across this stereo video display. It works by synchronizing cheap board level video cameras with a rather simple circuit, and then using lcd shutter glasses on the display. I’ve seen broad descriptions of similar systems, but this one is very detailed and includes complete descriptions of […]

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Weight Watchers Progress

May 31, 2004 | My Projects | By: Mark VandeWettering

The project that I’ve spent the most time on lately is actually myself. Last December I was having some health difficulties and visited my doctor, who reported that my weight was as high as it had ever been (a staggering 323 lbs, ouch!) and that my cholesterol and blood pressure weren’t looking much better. I […]

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Who will Kerry choose to be VIP?

May 31, 2004 | Politics | By: Mark VandeWettering

John Moe weighs the pros and cons of some possibles on mcsweeneys.net. I particularly like the idea of choosing Clinton, if only to see the heads of Republicans twist themselves clean off their bodies.

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Still more baseball statistics, and a story…

May 30, 2004 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

Amazing what you can find when you dig. On retrosheet.org you can find box scores for lots of games. Pretty cool. For instance, I dug up the box score from an interesting game I attended. The date was Sept 5, 2001. I was anxious to go to this Wednesday game because this would be the […]

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More Baseball Statistics

May 30, 2004 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

Baseball-DataBank.org has statistics similar (identical?) to those from baseball1.com but has conveniently placed them in the form of a 33 megabyte file that you can import directly into MySQL. With it, you can formulate pretty simple queries in SQL and learn, for instance, the top 10 players of all time in ABs.. mysql> select sum(Batting.AB), […]

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The Mathematics of Baseball

May 30, 2004 | Baseball | By: Mark VandeWettering

I just finished reading Moneyball, and as I woke up this morning I was wondering what good online information was available on the mathematics and statistics of baseball. Such are the questions that Google was invented for. Little Professor Baseball: Mathematics and Statistics of Baseball Simulation is the first link a search on “baseball” and […]

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The Day After Tomorrow

May 29, 2004 | Movie Review | By: Mark VandeWettering

Well, this weekend’s movie extravaganza was The Day After Tomorrow, a classic global catastrophe film. Dennis Quaid stars as a paleoclimatologist who is the first to recognize that global warming can cause (and in the short span of the movie actually does cause) a global ice age. I could tell you that the science of […]

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Chernobyl Chopper Chick is a fraud…

May 29, 2004 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Apparently the tale of Elena, the young lady who did a photolog of her trip through the quarantine zone which surrounds Chernobyl is a fraud. Her photos are apparently real, but were taken during an ordinary tour arranged through a Kyiv travel agency. Motorcycles are banned in the zone. What a pity. Some urban legends […]

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Fun with Python and Cryptography

May 28, 2004 | My Projects, Python | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m a bit of a classic cryptography nut, and I also have had a lot of fun writing bits of Python code. Python is awfully good at sucking up text files and performing statistics and the like, so I thought I would go ahead and describe some of the fun things I’ve been doing. I’ve […]

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Software Potpourri

May 28, 2004 | Operating Systems, Python | By: Mark VandeWettering

Python 2.3.4 is out. Just a bugfix release. FreeBSD 4.10 was also released earlier this week. This is the first “Errata Branch”, which will include security fixes and other significant and well tested fixes.

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Please Excuse Our President

May 28, 2004 | I Kid You Not | By: Mark VandeWettering

Dug this brief blurb off of talk.origins this morning. From the pages of New Scientist: HERE’S one US company where “freedom fries” surely never appeared on the staff restaurant menu, even when Francophobia was at its height. One of its products is a laptop bag which bears a label in English and French. The English […]

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Beware the traitors that walk among us…

May 27, 2004 | I Kid You Not | By: Mark VandeWettering

Somehow I missed out that the NSA had banned Furby from entering their Maryland facilities. Can anyone doubt that beneath their furry exterior they are plotting the overthrow of the United States government? Well, perhaps not. But you can hack ‘em to do all sorts of stuff, or just go straight for the Furby autopsy […]

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Mini-FAQ Macro Photography, Frugal, mostly Digital

May 27, 2004 | Amateur Science, Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

Today’s useful link of the day is to Mini-FAQ Macro Photography, Frugal, mostly Digital. This page has lots of good ideas for getting images from digital cameras, microscopes and flatbed scanners. I’ll have to try this sometime. My Zeiss-Jena microscope I bought at a flea market for $15 isn’t getting enough use.

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Blondes Wrestle for Desirable Movie Role

May 27, 2004 | I Kid You Not | By: Mark VandeWettering

In entertainment today, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears are both battling to play that most challenging of thespian roles: Daisy Duke on the upcoming “Dukes of Hazzard” movie. It appears that Jessica will have spare time since ABC rejected her proposed comedy pilot in which she would play “Jessica Sampson”, a ditzy blonde who joins […]

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Next-gen VIA mobo touts speed, security, MPEG-4

May 27, 2004 | Toys and Gadgets | By: Mark VandeWettering

This website runs on a spiffy little VIA motherboard, so I was glad to see that VIA is about to release some new motherboards. You can read this preview on

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