Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend To-Do List

Erin occasionally makes "to-do" posts on her blog. I though I'd try it.

Here's what I want to accomplish this weekend:
  • Attend Joanna's baby shower
  • Go to library
  • Pick up glasses (but they're not going to work... watch this space for a summary in the coming weeks)
  • Complete Cyclopath tasks #740, #760, #805, #807 and partially complete #632, #653, #701
  • Shovel walk
  • Sweeping and mopping
  • Fix the toilet
  • Fix the pasta machine clamp
  • Set up automount for backup USB disk(s)
  • Clean out e-mail inbox
  • Launder sleeping bags
  • Watch Obama's speech
  • Call mother, father, sister
  • Get gum out of pants
  • Post pending blog posts
Feel free to post encouragement or derision, or set up a betting pool, in the comments.

Also, I hear that mentioning Jessica Simpson in blog posts generates a lot of traffic.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hulk Hogan's Pastamania (2)

On Friday morning, February 20, Hulk Hogan's Pastamania had fallen off the building. I am pretty sure it was still attached on Thursday morning, but I'm not 100% sure.

Project 100, #36.

Home Sick

Last Wednesday, I was home sick. It was awful. However, I felt good enough around suppertime to take a couple of sunset photos out the window. The above was taken with my Tak 50mm.

This was was with the 10-17mm fisheye, at 10mm.

Unfortunately, the feeling good didn't last and I felt pretty crummy for several days still. Only now (a week later) do I feel mostly back to normal.

Project 100, #34, #35.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Worst Error Message in the World

SVN's new merge tracking in version 1.5 is really neat, but it's got a few nasty warts still, one of them being this very opaque error message:
Some revisions have been merged under it that have not been merged into the reintegration target; merge them first, then retry.
Uh... which revisions? Merge what? Huh? @#%^&*@#&$^*@#&^!!!!

Googling this error message yields a bunch of conflicting advice. In my case, this thread was the fix. Use:
svn propget svn:mergeinfo --depth=infinity
at the root of the branch working directory. You should get mergeinfo for only the root ("."). Delete the mergeinfo for all other objects (using svn propdel svn:mergeinfo) and commit.

Note that this is with SVN 1.5.4. I think perhaps it is fixed in 1.5.5???, though problem situations created in <= 1.5.4 will persist.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunset on St. Paul Campus

Caught this image on my way over to class on the St. Paul campus.

Project 100, #33.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009


This is my friend Bill expressing his opinion on my sticking a 10mm lens in his face while he's trying to eat pizza.

Project 100, #31.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Campus Connector

I ride the free Campus Connector to get to my statistics course on the St. Paul campus. Here's one of the slinky buses that are articulated in the middle.

It's a rather wild ride standing up in the back of one of these things, as the back half has only one axle and gets pretty wiggly.

I have also determined that I don't like riding in the rear-facing seats. They mess with my head (and tummy).

Project 100, #30.

Science Classroom Building (6)

There's more destruction remaining for the science classroom building (I thought they'd finished). I do recommend clicking through to the bigger photo on this one, as capturing the whole scene makes everything in it rather small.

The new fisheye lens doesn't fit through the fence like the 50mm Tak does, so you get the fence too. It's "artistic", so you'll like it or you have no class.

Note that the lens was nearly touching the fence (the tiny lens hood was). It's pretty wide at 10mm.

Project 100, #29.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fisheye Fever

Today, I received an extremely wide-angle lens in the mail. It is a 10-17mm fisheye, with a 180-degree diagonal field of view. Above is Coffman Union (all of it), at 10mm. I didn't even have to step off the sidewalk to get it all:

That's where my tripod was set up. This image was taken at 17mm.

Project 100, #28.


Earlier today, Max, one of my colleagues, e-mailed my research group (in response to my earlier offer on the same mailing list) as follows:

From: Max Harper
To: Reid Priedhorsky
Cc: GroupLens
Subject: Re: [Grphack] Armless


My chair has fewer arms (2) than I would prefer (my ideal is somewhere in the 4-6 range). Please attach more arms to it, using your leatherman.



I was happy to oblige:

Project 100, #27.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mystery Photo

What is it? Post your guess in the comments.

Project 100, #26.


One of the things I love about my life is that Jess the cat, who came with Erin, is in it. Unfortunately, she's hard to photograph, being a black cat. Here she is sleeping in a sunbeam this morning.

Project 100, #25.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Science Classroom Building (5)

Sorry, can't get enough. More of the reptilian death machine at work.

Project 100, #24.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More Publicity for my Wikipedia Work

I received an e-mail from a British dude wanting to talk about my Wikipedia work on Friday. I spoke with him on the phone for about 45 minutes that afternoon. That and his other resulted in this article in The Independent. There were two passages which quoted me:

How big is the problem really? Reid Priedhorsky, who studies Wikipedia and similar social projects at the University of Minnesota, estimated in a recent paper that the chances of any one visitor seeing a damaged Wikipedia page are about one in 140, as the average time it takes to repair damage is less than three minutes, and even less for heavily tracked pages. However, there are still more than 100,000 damaged pages at any given time, vandalism appears to be on the increase and it is impossible fully to measure the scale of the problem.

"It's the monster in the closet. You know that it has not grown bigger than the closet and busted down the door, but you don't know exactly how big it is in there," Priedhorsky said. However, the most startling fact about Wikipedia remains how accurate it is, not how inaccurate.

"As a researcher, I'm baffled that it works, but Wikipedia is one of the wonderful things that has happened in the 21st century. Many hands make light work. There are millions of people who edit Wikipedia, and many of them track changes to the pages they are interested in. I have 43 pages on my watchlist, for example, covering subjects I know things about. Any controversial edit is likely to be quickly seen by many people."

The long quote is an amalgam of various things I said during the interview... when I said those things, they weren't all together and didn't read so oddly.

Also, the 100k pages damaged at any one time didn't come from my paper, and is surely wrong. I'm not sure where he got that figure.

Second passage relevant to me:
The foundation's finances are the biggest single threat to Wikipedia, according to Reid Priedhorsky. "A successful community artefact like Wikipedia requires strong buy-in from the community, which I'd wager is much harder to achieve under a for-profit model," he said.
The monster-in-the-closet quote referred to ax-grinding (i.e., the people whose views on Wikipedia are those who have the most time to edit), not vandalism. I liked the description of who I am, which noted that I study Wikipedia but also other things. I don't want to be typecast as someone who just works on Wikipedia.

Science Classroom Building (4)

This clumsy reptilian machine was hammering away at the science classroom building yesterday morning.

Project 100, #22, #23.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Manly Things: Fixing the Toaster

Today, I disassembled the toaster. The door wasn't staying closed all the way, so it wouldn't turn on. Erin had jerry-rigged it with a magnet, which was rather ingenious, but a bit fiddly.

The problem was this spring, which had come out of alignment and was preventing the other spring from closing the door properly.

So, I removed it.

The door now closes right, but it turns out this spring is what holds the door open when it's opened (so you can put toast and things in and out). So, we'll see how that goes. My toaster is downstairs in a box (this one is Erin's), but Erin thinks it's horrible.

Project 100, #20, #21.