Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Variations on an Original Theme for orchestra, Op. 36 ("Enigma")

Now, you know usually things like this don't interest me, but this does. Very interesting. Especially, and only because of this: "In 1995, Rob Dougan's hit song Clubbed To Death featured a piano part reminiscent of the Theme and variations 1 and 12, that could be seen either as a new 15th variation, or his attempt at recreating the enigmatic hidden theme. (An MP3 file with only the Elgar-influenced piano parts is available in the links for Furious Angels.) This song, and thus the Theme, was played on soundtrack to the 1999 movie The Matrix, during the "The Lady in the Red Dress" scene."

----------------
Now playing: Rob Dougan - Drinking Song
via FoxyTunes

Microsoft Expression Web

It really doesn't look that bad, and it certainly looks better than Frontpage 2003. However, I must say I notice some similarities. Either way, it looks more, shall we say Professional.

Just thought I'd share my opinion

=W=

Monday, August 27, 2007

Too, bored!

So basically, I can't seem to stop biting my nails. I figured out why, previously I was quite enthralled in my summer work and leisure time, but once I started classes, I got quite bored. Now I seem to bite without being able to stop.

I am now trying to stop and find other ways to handle my time. Of course I am trying to take notes, but even that gets boring. So I think besides note taking I will also jot down things to write blogs about. Or play tic-tac-toe with myself. I like doing that, except somehow I always lose, I mean sure I also win, but I also lose.

-w-

Funny

Arthur: What does it say?
Maynard: It reads, 'Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Arimathea: "He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the Castle of Aaaaarrrgh"'.
[pause]
Arthur: What?
Maynard: '"...The Castle of Aaaaarrrgh"'.
[pause]
Bedevere: What is that?
Maynard: He must have died while carving it.
Lancelot: [incredulous] Oh, come on!
Maynard: Well that's what it says.
Arthur: Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to carve 'Aaaaarrrgh'. He'd just say it!
Maynard: Well, that's what's carved in the rock.
Galahad: Perhaps he was dictating.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Only two more weeks of ignorant religiosity

So, a lady comes into the store today and asks for some wooden blocks that have "I love Jesus" written on them. We sold the aforementioned product, around Easter. Currently in the same spot are small, plastic molded Jack-O-Lanterns. So when I explained to the lady, that yes they used to be there, but that was back in Easter and if it had still been there would have been packed up anyway, because everything is being moved for our Halloween stock, she replies, "Yes to make room for this satanic stuff." Now, I am sorry, but how are small plastic molded Jack-O-Lanterns satanic? How is Halloween satanic?

A quote from Wikipedia: "Some Christian churches commonly offer a fall festival or harvest-themed alternative to Halloween. Most Christians ascribe no significance to Halloween, treating it as a purely secular entity devoted to celebrating "imaginary spooks" and handing out candy. Halloween celebrations are common among Catholic parochial schools throughout North America, and in Ireland, the Catholic Church sees it as a "harmless ancient custom."[cite this quote] Father Gabriele Amorth, a Vatican-appointed exorcist in Rome, has said, "[I]f English and American children like to dress up as witches and devils on one night of the year that is not a problem. If it is just a game, there is no harm in that."[31] Most Christians hold the view that the tradition is far from being "satanic" in origin or practice and that it holds no threat to the spiritual lives of children: being taught about death and mortality, and the ways of the Celtic ancestors actually being a valuable life lesson and a part of many of their parishioners' heritage.[30] A response among some fundamentalists in recent years has been the use of Hell houses or themed pamphlets (such as those of Jack T. Chick) which attempt to make use of Halloween as an opportunity for evangelism.[32] Some consider Halloween to be completely incompatible with the Christian faith, due to "its preoccupation with the occult in symbols, masks and costumes," its origin as a Pagan "festival of the dead", and the fact that it is also observed, albeit in a non-traditional form, by Satanists. In more recent years, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has organised a "Saint Fest" on the holiday.[32]"

So anyway, this lady was obviously confused and a little ignorant, but I would expect no more from the religious zealots in Tyler Texas.

I don't know, my two cents. Now I am glad I have only two weeks left. YAY!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Need To ....

I don't know

-B-

Who the hell is that? It isn't Star Jones

So I saw a commercial for a Court TV show called Star Jones, how original. Anyway, it showed this grotesquely thin black lady who is quite ugly. However, as we all know Star Jones is really fat.

=W=

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Walking Home


View Larger Map

Massively multicore processor runs Linux Aug. 20, 2007

A startup founded by an MIT professor claims to have "solved the fundamental challenges associated with multicore scalability." Tilera's first products include a 64-core Tile64 SoC (system-on-chip), PCIe Express add-in board for networking and video-processing applications, multicore-optimized Linux libraries, and an Eclipse-based multicore development environment toolset.

Fabbed on 90nm process technology at TMSC, the Tile64 chip is "the first in a family of chips that can scale to hundreds and even thousands of cores," Tilera said. The company plans to bake a 120-core version on 65nm technology in the future, it added.

The Tile64 is based on a proprietary VLIW (very long instruction word) architecture, on which a MIPS-like RISC architecture is implemented in microcode. A hypervisor enables each core to run its own instance of Linux -- or other OSes, once they become available. Alternatively, the whole chip can run Tilera's 64-way SMP (symmetrical multiprocessing) implementation.


Tilera Tile64 architecture
(Click to enlarge)

The crown jewel of the Tile64 architecture is a network-like "iMesh" switching interconnect said to eliminate the centralized bus intersection that in previous multicore designs has limited scalability, according to the company. Tilera's founder, MIT professor and serial entrepreneur Dr. Anant Agarwal, has experimented with mesh-like chip interconnects since 1996, the company said.

Each of the Tile64's cores clocks between 600MHz and 900MHz; each has its own L1 and L2 cache. L3 cache is handled in an interesting way, as Bob Dowd, director of marketing, explains. "We take all the L2 caches and consider them in aggregate to be the L3 cache," he said. "It's highly effective, because if you reference your own cache, and don't find the data you're looking for, a neighbor may have it, and that's faster than going off chip to external memory by a good ways."

The Tile64 is implemented as a a system-on-chip (SoC) with no requirement for external northbridge and/or southbridge chips. This saves power, at the expense of locking in a specific peripheral mix, essentially tying the chip to specific verticals, according to the company. Dowd noted, "We did a lot of research, and believe we have the peripheral mix right for the markets we are targeting -- networking and video. If we went into storage with a new processor, we'd add fiber and disk drive interfaces."

Tilera claims that the Tile64 outperforms Intel's dual-core Xeon processor 10 times, while offering 30 times better performance per Watt. Compared to TI's top-of-range TMS320DM648 DSP, performance per Watt is claimed to be 40 times better.

Another touted benefit is the ability to consolidate control- and data-plane functions on a single device, with "solid-wall" processor boundaries reinforcing security and licensing containment barrier. In this regard, the Tile64 chip resembles another heavily multicore MIPS64 chip, Cavium's 16-way Octeon.

Software environment and tools

Tilera claims that existing, "unmodified" Linux apps will build for the Tile64 processor using the company's toolchain. The toolchain includes a compiler licensed from SGI and based on MIPSpro.

Alternatively, developers can port their applications to Tilera's iLib C library, aimed at exploiting parallelism while still supporting standard system calls. The approach appears to resemble that used in Intel's Threading Building Blocks, recently released under an open source license.

Finally, for users wishing to manually tune multi-core application performance, Tilera will offer a full "MDE" (multicore development environment) toolsuite based on Eclipse. In addition to a full IDE (integrated development environment), MDE includes a parallel debugger, along with an application profiler aimed at helping developers figure out what parts of their code to optimize for multicore.

Tilera is in discussions with "all major Linux support providers," Dowd said, adding, "We'll have ecosystem announcements coming out as we line them up."

Early markets, customers, reference implementations

The first Tile64 chips target network and video devices that require significant application processing, such as surveillance systems, and firewalls with deep packet inspection. Early customers in the networking space reportedly include 3Com and firewall vendor TopLayer, while early video customers reportedly include U.K.-based high-definition videoconferencing equipment provider Codian, and BackupTV, a vendor of network-based video recording and other head-end services for cable TV network providers.

To hasten adoption, Tilera is offering processor daughterboards implemented as PCI Express cards with six or 12 gigabit Ethernet ports. The cards can be used in production systems with passive backplanes, or as targets in development hosts, Dowd said. He declined to specify pricing.



Tilera TILExpress-64 PCIe card and its architecture
(Click architecture diagram to enlarge)

CEO Devesh Garg stated, "This is the first significant new development in chip architecture in a decade. We developed this new architecture because existing multicore technologies simply cannot scale. Moreover, customers have repeatedly indicated that the current multicore software tools are very primitive because they are based on single-processor-core models. We're introducing a revolutionary hardware and software platform that has solved the fundamental challenges associated with multicore scalability."

Availability

The Tile64 is available now, in three variants differentiated by I/O mix and clock. Pricing starts at $435 in 10,000 quantities, the company said. Tilera's iLib and MDE tools, and TilExpress-64 board are also available at undisclosed pricing.


--Henry Kingman

Monday, August 20, 2007

School is back again

So, school is almost upon us again. The fall semester starts on Wednesday. Boo!!

I for one am not looking forward to classes.

At least I only have two classes that day, so it could be worse.

Thursday on the other hand will be worse, I am sure.

=W=

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hurricane Dean

Edit: Pictures Update Over Time

So this thing could be a bad one. I am not a meteorologist, but looking at the predictions, it doesn't look good for people sitting in coastal areas.




Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thank you so much

I just want to say that everyone has been far too generous. We have received so many wonderful gifts and frankly a thank you almost seems like it isn't enough. I feel so touched. I never knew so many people cared so much about me or Chelsea. That isn't to say I didn't know our families loved us greatly, but simply so many people showed up and were so nice and congratulatory. The gifts were all phenomenal and well needed, in our new little place. I am simply put too happy.

So once again, thank you.

=W=

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

mmmmm......Marshmallow!!!!

So, fat is good. That is marshmallows, they make me fat. I am good, so fat is good!!

The marshmallow is a confection that, in its modern form, consists of sugar or corn syrup, beaten egg whites, gelatin that has been pre-softened in water, gum arabic, and flavorings, whipped to a spongy consistency.

However let us not forget!!

The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is a character in the movie Ghostbusters and the animated series The Real Ghostbusters. He was the cartoon mascot of the fictitious Stay Puft Corporation which produced marshmallows. He was thought to be a parody of the real-life Pillsbury Doughboy and Bibendum, the Michelin tire man.[11] Jonah Goldberg of the National Review referenced the Marshmallow man as a popular culture symbol that people assume is harmless, but can be turned to evil in the right circumstances.[12] The costume was created by Bill Bryan using miniatures, optical compositing and Bill Bryan himself in the latex suit.[13] His image has been found in a microscopic etching on a 1988 Mac computer chip.[14]

In the film, an ancient Sumerian god called Gozer arrives atop an apartment building on Central Park West in New York City, where it tells the Ghostbusters that the next thing they think of will be the form Gozer will assume to destroy their world. Despite their efforts to clear their minds, Ray Stanz imagines the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. As he explains, Mr. Stay Puft "just popped in there" as "something that could never possibly destroy us." Moments later a giant (112 feet 6 inches [34.3 meters] tall) Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is seen walking towards the apartment building. The Ghostbusters shoot at Stay Puft with their proton packs, setting him on fire, but not stopping his advance. The Ghostbusters eventually stop Stay Puft when Egon suggests that the Ghostbusters cross their proton pack streams as they fire at Gozer's portal—although Egon himself had warned them early in the film that crossing the proton streams "would be bad," he does assure them that there is a very slim chance in this case that they could survive. The plan succeeds in causing "total protonic reversal", destroying the gate. The explosion generated by the event incinerates the Stay Puft man, raining molten marshmallow down onto the roof of the skyscraper they are on and the street below.

Kenner's Marshmallow Man action figure
Kenner's Marshmallow Man action figure

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man also appears in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters, contradicting the events of the original film. No explanation is offered as to how Mr. Stay Puft, originally the newest incarnation of Gozer, became his own entity. Although Stay Puft was portrayed originally as a mindless monster in "Cry Uncle", by later episodes he had become a kind-hearted, almost child-like figure. Again, this change is never fully explained, save a vague reference by Peter that he is "all better now" when a police officer reminds him of Stay Puft's previous rampages. Mr. Stay Puft soon became an ally to the team, helping the Ghostbusters defeat enemies too powerful to fight on their own. The character was voiced by John Stocker, and later by Frank Welker.

NECA's 15 inch figure
NECA's 15 inch figure

Over the years, a moderate amount of merchandise has focused around the character and has become an icon for the Ghostbusters film. A number of McDonald's Happy Meal toys have featured the character. To coincide with the film's release, Kenner released an action figure with limited articulation that included rotation in the head and arms in 1986. A Japanese vinyl kit of the character was also released by Tsukuda as was Kenner's plush Marshmallow Man.

In 2004, company NECA licensed the Ghostbusters franchise to produce a number of modern Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (and other Ghostbusters related) merchandise such as a Bobble-head toy, a resin statue and a 15 inch roto-cast plastic action figure. The NECA version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man displayed a more menacing and evil version of the character compared to that of Kenner's, which portrayed the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man as a more gentle looking figure. This was probably what he would have looked like as he was destroying New York, rather than Kenner's, which would portray him as the more consumer friendly version that would appear on packages of Stay Puft Marsmallows.

He has been referenced several times in popular culture. On the television series Lost, one of the nicknames Sawyer gives Hurley is 'Stay Puft', due to his weight. On the MTV Show Viva La Bam, Don Vito is referred to as the Stay Puft Man due to his weight. The movie Shrek 2 includes a scene with a giant gingerbread man named Mongo that is intended as a spoof of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. In the Homestar Runner Halloween toon "Homestarloween Party", one of the characters, Pom Pom, dressed up as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man for his Halloween costume.

The person inside the Stay Puft costume during shooting was the costume's creator, Bill Bryan. According to the Ghostbusters DVD special features, the 10 second scene of Stay Puft climbing the building while on fire cost almost $100,000. The first take was ruined when the costume caught fire too quickly and Bill Bryan had to be extinguished. A new suit had to be constructed, at the cost of around $50,000 a piece. Originally, when Mr. Stay Puft is destroyed in the movie, there was a scene in which, in addition to the marshmallow goo, Mr. Stay Puft's hat also falls to the ground. The scene was ultimately cut due to the "hat", a large cloth replica that works much like a parachute, was deemed too unrealistic. In the scene where the containment grid is shutdown in the first film, a Stay Puft poster can be briefly seen on a wall. The earliest design of Mr. Stay Puft had a different head design. it was the appearance of a cartoon like man with a scary looking face, but was scrapped and replaced with the more recognizable marshmallow-shaped head Mr.Stay Puft was also featured in several of the Ghostbusters video games.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back To The Grind

Well, my blissful first week of marriage is all but over. That is my vacation is gone. Today I must return to work, even though I don't wish to. However, it is ok I suppose, because I know my love will be waiting for me when I get home. YAY!!

This has been the best week of my life, so far. Though I know it will be very very difficult to do better than this week, but maybe it could happen, some years down the road, we'll see, what do I know.

We have spent the week setting up our cool new apartment. So I'd say we have a great place going on. Really we do. This is a good place, small, but good.

Life is good, more later.

=Ben=

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Saturday's Weather

1 AM 4 AM 7 AM 10 AM 1 PM 4 PM 7 PM
Temperature / Dew Point (°F)
78 / 70





76 / 70





75 / 71





83 / 71





89 / 70





91 / 71





88 / 71





Humidity (%)
75% 83% 88% 66% 53% 52% 57%
Wind (mph)
2



214°
SW
1



208°
SSW
1



202°
SSW
3



180°
South
6



158°
SSE
6



172°
South
5



188°
South
Conditions







Probability of Precipitation (%)
10% 10% 10% 20% 20% 20% 20%
Cloud Cover (%)
41% 41% 41% 44% 46% 46% 61%

Saturday Saturday Night
Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy
Partly Partly
Cloudy Cloudy
Hi 93°F Lo 75°F8

Things are looking better!!