The last four days has been a frentic coding frenzy–coding for 12 or more hours a day on an assignment for Stanford’s CS448B: Data Visualization course. The final product is the Iraq War Incidents Browser. Screenshot is below (click to enlarge). Application and (pretty messy) source code, and a much more detailed description on my CS448B page. Taking the entire data set of the recent Wikileaks leak of Iraq War Incident logs, the application can filter by date and region, and display histograms satisfying each filter. I am willing to call this version 0.5, since the bulk of the interesting data is in the text itself. For the eventual version 1.0, I will be adding the ability to view individual [more . . .]
I almost expect something dramatic to happen right now. Perhaps the only dramatic thing is that I’m awake at 10:10 on a Sunday.
For a long time, I’ve resisted moving my web site to a CMS or blogging platform because I wanted to maximize customizability of my site, and also to practice my web dev skills. However, as time went on, I was finding myself reinventing the wheel with increasing frequency, and creating actual content with decreasing frequency, and eventually, updating the site became a chore necessitating far more time than should be needed. Hence, I have switched over to WordPress, with a customized Suffusion theme. My old Blogger blog and my old lekanwang.com site have been merged here. In the next few days, I will finish moving the content over to this site. Then, things should start to get exciting…
It has been three weeks and three days since I began my quest for a photo a day, for a year, and already, I have noticed how difficult it is to take a quality shot every day, especially when you often return from work after sunset. However, I have also started noticing all sorts of small details in my daily routine as I constantly search for interesting subjects and patterns of light for my daily photos. The way the light shines on the neighbors’ hedges as I go for a run, the patterns of steel girders on a building in downtown Palo Alto, the way the sidewalk seems to subtly change shades depending on the color of reflected light from [more . . .]
A little over a week ago, I decided to start my attempt at taking an interesting photograph a day, for a year. It’s a little frightening to commit to this, considering that I have never failed to renege on a majority of my summer plans, but I hope that by doing this, and announcing to everyone that I’m doing this, I will, (1) have an excuse to take my camera to even more places than I am already–yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s possible; (2) hopefully improve my photography, and practice thinking about the three D’s of photography: destination, determination, deliberation; and (3) quickly run out of the easy things to photograph–the cats, the housies, the flowers, [more . . .]
It looks like a rainbow, but it’s not. It looks to be a circumhorizontal arc showing its colors over Stanford and Palo Alto. Or it could be cloud iridescence. Any meteorological experts out there want to comment? In either case, this is beautiful, and a nice start to the day.
Life moves too quickly. A few weeks ago, I graduated, and moved off campus to a five bedroom house with a few friends. Sarah also got two kittens. Here’s Ada, the girl. And here’s Babbage, the boy. Here’s a virtual tour of the house: (These pictures were taken two weeks ago, so there’s more furniture in the house now, and things the spaces are much more cleaned up!) What you see when you first walk in the door: Looking to the right, the living room. The biggest differences now between the picture and real life are (1) there’s a couch behind the bean bag, and (2) there’s a speaker system set up on the mantle and the little entertainment table. [more . . .]
Thank you everyone for your help and concern regarding the 5 ER visits the last week or so. I feel like I owe a lot of you in many ways after this is all over, but for now, I think I at least should give you an update on what is going on. Here is the approximate series of events: Friday, March 27: I started bleeding in my right nostril in the morning while I was cleaning my room and watching the last few episodes of Battlestar Galactica. It stopped about an hour. It then bled several more times that day, and the episode that started at 4:30 or so caused me some concern because it wasn’t slowing down. I [more . . .]
Now this looks amazing. It’s for sale. Anyone have a few thou lying about and want to help me out?
Go take a look at Wolfram Alpha. It’s a “computational knowledge engine.” Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It definitely has the potential to completely blow away any factual search engine that has come previously, of which the most prominent example may be Powerset. The brains behind this, Stephen Wolfram, is an acclaimed computer scientist that has had many incredible creations already, including the heavily used software package Mathematica, which adds jaw-dropping features in every release, and the stunning if controversial book A New Kind of Science, so he definitely has the background and the resources to create a good factual search engine. In fact, Wolfram has frequently posited, both in A New Kind of Science, and other sources, that he believes [more . . .]