August 13th Movies

Michael Cere has a new film coming out in August: "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World". The tagline is "An Epic of Epic Epicness". It comes out the same day as "Eat, Pray, Love" (Julia Roberts) and "The Expendables" (Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, etc.), so we're going to have a commercial showdown at the box office of girl movie versus guy movie versus geek movie.

Which do you plan to see?

A Scriptable Equity Calculator

For all of your programming poker players out there, yesterday I made the Poker Sleuth Equity Calculator scriptable with bindings for C/C++, C#, and Python.

If you have easy_install or pip set up for Python, you can just do “easy_install pokersleuth”. It requires a 32-bit version of Python for Windows.

As an example, to compute the odds of winning when you have a pair of Jacks, your opponent has the Ace and 5 of diamonds, and the board cards are the 3 of diamonds, 5 of clubs, and 9 of diamonds:

>>> import pokersleuth
>>> pokersleuth.calculate_equity('3d5c9d', ('JJ', 'Ad5d')
[0.48225, 0.51775]

New Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the USDA

The USDA released their new nutritional guidelines (updated every 5 years). I thought it was interesting to read directly from the source, rather than filtered through the media.

For those with only a little time, you might just want to read the executive summary.

The full report contains more detailed information, including their methodology and links to the supporting evidence used to formulate the guidelines, as well as information on particular food groups (protein, carbs, etc.).

A few things that I found interesting:

Potassium reduces the effect that salt has on blood pressure. Go bananas!

A Lament for Palm; Praise for HiveMinder

Many years ago now, I had a Palm IIIxe. It's still the best handheld device I've ever owned. Palm invested countless man-hours in making sure that every operation could be performed with a minimum number of clicks and that the Palm's user interface was always zippy. No wading through layers of menus, and no waiting for an application to load. Palm understood that if a user perceived the device as a slow, they wouldn't bother to pull it out in order to take a quick note.

Holy Palm


Many of you know that I met my wife on OkCupid (and if you didn't know, you do now). I picked OkCupid over other online dating sites for three reasons:

  1. It's free and I was penniless grad student.
  2. Instead of the super-sanitized questions common on other sites, they use user-submitted questions, such as:
    • Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons?
    • How man books do you own?
    • Do humans and modern primates (apes, chimps, etc) share a common evolutionary ancestor?
    • Would you be willing to go shopping for sex toys?

Field Reports from Tatooine for @darthvader

I have to wonder how Darth Vader felt upon reading the field reports from the stormtroopers on Tatooine in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Days 5 and 6 must have throw him for a loop.

Day 1: Located droid parts near an escape pod, and two sets of tracks leading away from the pod. The tracks appear to be from an astromech droid and a bipedal droid. Based on the gait, the bipedal droid is likely a protocol droid.

Review: Buffalo NAS

I've been meaning to blog about the Buffalo NAS that I purchased and have finally been spurred into action by a post from Leaf:

I'm thinking of buying an external drive for backups for my home pc. Reviews online don't even suggest clear leaders, let alone a winner.

Wikipedia on Cats

Yesterday I stumbled across the Wikipedia entry on cats. I'm convinced that a cat wrote most of the article. Below are some choice excerpts, emphasis mine. I'm going to taunt my cats now by showing off my opposable thumbs.

The cat (Felis catus) … is currently the most popular pet in the world. A skilled predator, the cat is known to hunt over 1,000 species for food.

[The] female is called a "molly" or "queen".

… their small size, social nature, obvious body language, love of play and relatively high intelligence.

Star Wars Uncut

The people over at Star Wars: Uncut have cut up the original Star Wars film into 15 second clips and setup a web site where fans can re-film each clip in the manner of their choosing. Once all of 15 second increments have been re-filmed and uploaded, they will stitch them all together into one zany, geek-tastic movie. They have 50% of the film done already and have a trailer (below).

I wonder if this will turn into the newest Internet craze, with many movies being remade by fans (at least until the MPAA throws a hissy fit).

Health and Fitness

Around New Year's, when other people were posting their goals for the year, I meant to post some health and fitness goals for myself. And by "New Year's", I actually mean "New Year's 2008". I think it's a little late for me to post fitness my goals for 2008, or even for 2009, so instead I'm going to grade some of the tools that have and haven't worked out.