April 8, 2009

I was reading a paper the other day, decided to check the references, and lo-and-behold this is what I saw.


I have been cited.  I am pretty sure this is the first one, although I guess there could be many others out there citing my work as instrumental in the fight to cure cancer and stop global warming, but I kind of doubt it.


August 23, 2008
New Computer

Well the pictures pretty much says it all, my new computer is enormous and I like it.  This is the first Mac I have had since I started buying my own computers, this is also probably the first time I could afford one.  It is a lot to get used to and so far it is about a dead heat between PCs and the Mac:

Mac PC
Networking and File Sharing Actually Work! Games Actually Work
Nicely Designed and Quiet Maximize Button Maximizes the Window
Plays DVDs Out of the Box ??

Ok well I guess the Mac is winning by a little bit, which is a good thing as it is brand new.

Victory for Zim!

July 14, 2008

The PhD qualifying exam for biomedical engineering at Wayne State is a five week long crucible of pain.  You are asked to write a grant proposal on a topic you are not familiar in four weeks without getting feedback from your peers or faculty, you are however allowed to interview experts in the field.  In short they are asking for the impossible: it is nearly impossible to write a grant in four weeks, practically impossible to write a grant on a topic you aren’t intimately familiar with, and completely impossible to write a good grant without having it reviewed by colleagues.  Putting all three together is a recipe for mediocrity.  It is extremely frustrating to know that something isn’t right but not having the time or expertise to do it right.  It is by far the hardest thing I have had to do so far and I would rather write another Master’s thesis than have to retake the qualifier.

Because of this it was with great relief that I recently found out I passed the qualifier.  I didn’t pass initially, I was asked to do a 10 page follow up report which took another week extending my time invested in this monster to six weeks.  This was followed by three weeks of nervous waiting as the slowest grading process in the history of the world took place.  The good news finally came through late Thursday night.

My emotions have run the gamut during this, from disappointment and anger when I found out I didn’t pass initially to elation on Thursday night.  Most of my friends have had to listen patiently on the phone while I railed about how the test was written, designed, and graded.  The reason I didn’t pass initially was simply that I thought I had clearly stated an idea in the proposal that was actually entirely absent.  Unfortunately the solution to this type of problem is to have colleagues read and comment on your grants which I was not allowed to do.

Most of what I have said over the last few weeks about the exam has been venting over my frustration and anger due to my inflated sense of entitlement and the possible wasted effort.  Now that I have calmed down my largest criticism of the test this year is also what I thought was good about it, the question was open ended.  This was great as it allowed us to choose a topic that is in our field of interest so the 200+ hours we spent on the exam won’t be completely wasted.  This was also terrible for two reasons, it allowed some of us to misinterpret the question (causing myself and others to almost or actually fail) and it setup a situation where members of the committee didn’t know much about a student’s chosen topic.  If the student misses a key technical concept in a paper they are relying on no one will catch it as they are not experts in that field.

It is over and I passed, what a relief.

Ludwig’s Dude

June 15, 2008

This second attempt went much better than the first.  All the images were taken on a tripod so they didn’t have to be lined up and the only differences were the rope moving and lighting changes caused by  Tony’s shadow.  Overall I think the effect is very cool, can’t wait to try it out on more routes.


December 27, 2007

Well I got an iPhone for Christmas. I have been having a lot of fun playing around with it at my Grandma’s house (she only has dial up Internet) so the Internet on my phone is actually faster! I am beginning to fear that it will give me an Internet addiction (if I didn’t already have one). The touch keyboard is better then I thought it would be although a keyboard with real buttons is still better. The applications it comes with allow you to do a lot but there are still some notable exceptions (no copy paste, no saving pictures from the Internet) hopefully these will be fixed with software updates. Here is to hoping.


October 14, 2007

I guess third try really is the charm. After two years of unsuccessful tomato growing I think I finally got it right this year. The missing ingredient, pollination. I had made half hearted efforts in previous years with a Q-Tip and it didn’t seem to make a difference so I gave up.  This year, determined to get tomatoes, I took to the internet and found this article. It said that to get the flowers to pollinate you have to shake them. This is normally done by the vibration from bee’s wings so to mimic this it recommended using an electric tooth brush. So I took my Sonicare in and vibrated all the flowers, sure enough I could see pollen coming out.  I repeated this every day and after a week or two success.


My first teeny tiny tomatoes.  I am looking forward to fresh garden tomatoes come Christmas.

I have also finally posted pictures of my new apartment on Picasa, please feel free to check it out.

Oooo Shiny!

August 12, 2007

We got a nice new computer at work, and I convinced them to let me use it. By nice new computer I mean large behemoth that makes me wonder if we are starting to regress to the days of a computer filling an entire room. The monitors are even bigger, it has something like four feet of monitor. I feel like I am in a cubical only I am surrounded by monitor, its like being in a digital isolation chamber. I also figure that there is at least a fair chance I will get a tan sitting in front of these things. You can feel the light and heat on your face, it is like sitting in front of a campfire all day. If the heat goes out in the winter no big deal, I’ll just scoot my chair a little closer.


I am moving in a few weeks! This is exciting for a few reasons. The new apartment is practically three times the size of my old one, but more importantly it is allowing me to stick to the man, twice. I get to cancel my Comcast service (I use the word service loosely) and I get to move out of my retarded apartment building. I am moving out because they wouldn’t let me sign a 10 month lease, they demanded a year. Now could someone please explain this to me, they could have me move out now or 10 months from now hmm… which of those is better for them? It isn’t like the building is full and they have a waiting list of people dying to move in. It is the idiocy of it that offends me more then anything, I am actually getting a much nicer apartment for almost the same price. It reminds me of the saying “a fool and his money are soon parted”, which in turn reminds me of my stock portfolio, but that is another story.

I Love Google with My Whole Body

February 15, 2007

I recently have aquired two new items, one free, one not so free. The first and most exciting is a new camera. I am excited to have it but I was nervous buying it, what if I never use it? Or what if I use it too much and become a camera nerd? Horror of horrors. Photography could also be a very expensive habit. I could get this 50mm lens for $70, orrrr I could get the professional 50mm lens for the bargain price of $1600. I also found out, much to my disgust, that the clear plastic underwater housing for the camera is almost TWICE AS MUCH as the cost of the camera. It’s plastic, can’t they stamp it out in China for like two dollars? Between that and the lens it has made me decide that professional photographers obviously have way to much money.

The second acquisition is Picasa. It is a photo organizing program that lets you easily upload you pictures to a very nice site. As the title inplies, I like it a lot and it is by Google. If you click on the picture below it will take you to my album with a few pictures from my new camera. I am still figuring out all the features, but there are a few good pictures.

New Camera

I Was Never That Small!!

January 19, 2007

What is it about childhood cartoons that evoke such warm and fuzzy feelings? If I turn on the TV and watch some cartoons that are on now, they range from lame to merely ok, but even watching the intro from cartoons I used to watch provides me vast amounts of amusement and enjoyment.

Everyone insists that the cartoons they had when they were kids were Sooo much better then the junk they have on now. While I tend to agree, I have to admit that it is about as likely as the known fact that freshmen get smaller and younger every year.