Archive for April, 2007

Links for 2007-04-27

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-26

Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-25

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-24

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-23

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

Links for 2007-04-22

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Links for 2007-04-20

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-19

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-18

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-13

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-11

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-10

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-09

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Charles in space

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

with Charles Simonyi Few people with an interest in space travel have the resources to make that dream a reality. In a few minutes, Charles Simonyi will be one of those people. He’s among the few space tourists who’ve paid the $20-$25 million for the experience. He has been chronicling his adventures at, an interesting and informative Web site where users can get answers about the various aspects of his preparation and travel. (You can watch the launch live here or click on the link above to choose your preferred player.)

I had the opportunity to meet Charles Simonyi last October when I was in the Seattle area giving a talk at Microsoft Research. I consider my experience a classic case of cultural capital at work. Both of us having grown up in Budapest – and it turns out just a few blocks from each other, although a few decades apart – likely was not enough of a reason for him to bother responding to my email. Rather, I suspect it was our shared interest in the Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely that prompted him to invite me for a tour of his house. It was super fun, Charles Simonyi has some wonderful works by Vasarely and others, and I very much enjoyed the opportunity to see his collection.

We also took a brief tour of his library in which he has some interesting original documents related to space travel. His passion for the topic is obvious and contagious. I look forward to the updates on his site about this amazing adventure.

In the above picture, I stand next to Charles Simonyi (he’s holding my father’s book The Martians of Science) with a Vasarely sculpture behind us. Photo credit goes to Marc Smith who kindly invited and hosted me on this visit to MSR.

Links for 2007-04-07

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

Photo updates

Friday, April 6th, 2007

I’ve been doing lots of fun things recently much of which I’ve documented, of course.:)

So here are some links to photo sets on Flickr. I also link to the slideshow version. I think those work best if you tweak the timing to no more than 2 seconds per image, just slide the bar in the upper right corner of the tool.

Links for 2007-04-06

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-05

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Links for 2007-04-04

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

From Firstborns to Chewbacca in between matzo ball soup and matzo munchies

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Who says there are no benefits to blogging? If it wasn’t for my participation over at Crooked Timber then I would never have met Matt Gordon and would never have been invited to his wonderful Seder last night. Thanks, Matt!

We talked about lots of things, among them how most Haggadahs lack enough information for a newcomer to really get the Passover story while making the central role of He Who Has No Name unmistakable (even while the rest of the story might remain a bit blurry and I don’t just mean because of the amount of wine consumed).

But we also talked about other things, for example: how one comes to name machines in one’s lab. Perhaps not surprising given my previous post, the machines in my lab have Star Wars references. This idea dates back to the machines in the offices of one of my college mentors: Joe had a big black Next machine that was called Darth and the little white Mac I used was called Yoda. So when I started populating my lab with machines I named the white one Yoda and the two black ones Darth and Vader.

Thanks to recent expansions, I’ve been buying additional hardware so I’ve had to come up with new names. I finalized these yesterday: the iMac is R2-D2, the new Dell desktop is Chewbacca and the two ThinkPads are Han Solo and Falcon. (Jacob will be happy to note that these are all real Star Wars characters.)

I’m curious: what names do other people give machines in their labs? This is not about being silly, by the way. It becomes incredibly tedious to talk about “the computer that’s next to the back wall near the printer” so having names serves an important function.

Regarding the Passover meal, the food was wonderful all around. Thanks to Matt’s friend Love for bringing some great matzo munchies, a treat I’d never tried before. Matt’s (and CC’s) cooking was awesome, too, as was the flourless chocolate cake by another guest Lisa.