Friday, January 26, 2007

Mélange

High-definition Video:

I just acquired an amazing HD version of The Matrix. This is the first movie that I actually have to downscale in order to display on my monitor (its resolution is 1920x1080, while my monitor is only capable of 1280x1024). Here is a screenshot of the video playing in its original resolution, spanning across multiple desktops on my Beryl cube:


Mysterious Function Update:

It turns out that the graphs I made in my previous post were actually bifurcation diagrams of the logistic map. Wikipedia has a great explanation of the equation and how it is related to chaos theory.

Summer Internship:

I have been very busy looking around for summer internship positions. So far I have been applying to the big tech companies like Google, IBM, and HP. I am not very happy however, because most of these positions do not sound very interesting. I do not want to become a code monkey. What I really want is to be able to work on some interesting AI research. Unfortunately after examining the job market these sorts of positions seem to be rare. I also attended a career fair on Thursday, and applied for an internship position at Microsoft.


Das Experiment:

This afternoon I participated in a psychology study. It had the following experiment description: "This study will explore the manner in which an herbal extract, 'Salin', can affect memory." The experiment involved drinking a glass of iced tea flavored liquid, and then filling out some surveys. I soon realized that the forms were doing a terrible job at actually testing any of my memory skills, and I became suspicious. After handing in my forms the experimenter asked some questions - one of them being "did you notice anything unusual about the experimenter?" I answered no. He then let me know that he was actually a different person then the original experimenter. Half way through the study they actually switched people without me noticing. This was the real purpose of the experiment, to see how I reacted to a change that I didn't expect or consciously notice. The purpose of the forms was to determine if the switch might have had some sort of subconscious effect. The drink they gave me was a placebo. I wanted an actual memory enhancing drug!

Magic:

This evening I went to a magic show at Norm Theatre. I was disappointed since it seemed mediocre, and I knew how *every* trick performed actually worked. After the show they played the movie The Prestige. I think this was the best of the three big magic movies of 2006 (the other two being Scoop and The Illusionist). I thought the best aspect of the movie was its plot, and how it kept the viewer constantly guessing at how the magicians performed their feats.

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