Posted by: bobwise | April 13, 2009

New Tattoo Idea!


This tattoo is written in binary (a number system in which the only characters are 1 and 0). Each 1 or 0 is called a bit, and 8 bits is called 1 byte. It takes 1 byte to represent a letter of the English alphabet. Binary is the language of computers. Computers communicate using this language.

I’ve spent the last 5 years studying computers and loving every second of it. I get genuine joy out of learning about and working with computers. I’m so excited to spend my life doing something I love.  If you look closely, you’ll see the digits “1101” (the second half of the M).  1101 is the room number of the computer lab where I spent a good part of my time in college.

These 7 bytes spell out the word, “Triumph”. “Triumph” was the final transmission of the Mars Phoenix Rover before it shut down on October 28, 2008 (just after my birthday). The Phoenix found water on Mars – marking the first time water has been found somewhere other than Earth. It is highly likely that mankind will begin colonizing Mars within the next few generations.

The Mars Phoenix mission was one of the greatest achievements in human history. We built a device capable of traveling through space for 10 months before landing on another planet and analyzing the soil and atmosphere. Phoenix is a testament to the capabilities resulting from human perseverance and passion, which strongly reflects my own personal views on philosophy and religion.

I am getting this tattoo close to my college graduation to commemorate my own triumph. College has been by far the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and also the most rewarding.

Finally, I am getting this tattoo on the inside of my left arm, just above the elbow. This is the same location that the character Rupert Giles has a tattoo in the TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is by and far my most favorite television show of all time. Aside from being genuinely entertaining, I have found the experiences of the characters to often closely mimic my own experiences, and I have learned a lot about myself from this show.

Posted by: bobwise | March 22, 2009

Mother’s Day

Last summer, on Mother’s Day, I watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica and then wrote this.  I never intended to share it with anyone, but I just saw the BSG Series Finale and was reminded of this. Read More…

Posted by: bobwise | March 16, 2009

Ranting About Something You Don’t Care About

So an unnamed professor for an unnamed class has assigned a project of which I am not a fan.  Here are the requirements, as paraphrased from the prospectus.

    1. Create a makefile. (We spent 1 day on makefiles in class)
    2. Populate a binary tree with random integers.
    3. Understand and implement exponential distribution (defined in 3 lines of text in the prospectus)
    4. Implement Quicksort.
    5. Implement Inter-Process Communication between 3 processes using pipes.
    6. Implement recursive calculation of Fibonacci numbers.
    7. Read and write from a file.
    8. The program must be designed so that it can be expanded easily.

    None of these is particularly hard on its own, but most of these are unrelated.  We also didn’t spend very much time on any of these.  IPC was talked about for about 20 minutes.  It took 2 weeks to get a solid understanding of it in CS 452.  Recursion is half a semester in CS 163.

    All of this combined is probably 12 hours of work and it’s only worth 8 points.  That’s 8 points out of 100 for the class.  The midterm and final combined are 60% of the final grade.  It’s possible to get a C in the class without even turning in any of the projects.  What a stupid class.

    Posted by: bobwise | March 8, 2009

    Movie Review: Charlie Bartlett

    At the end of 2008, I thought about writing a blog post titled, “The Top 10 Movies That Weren’t on Anyone’s Top 10 List”.  Charlie Bartlett would have been #1 on that list.

    Charlie Bartlett not a new movie.  It came out over a year ago.  But I recently got a hold of it in the 4 for $20 bin at Blockbuster, rewatched it, and uncovered some new insights.

    Charlie Bartlett stars Anton Yelchin (Alpha Dog, upcoming Star Trek) as the titular character – a wealthy teenager who craves companionship (ala Richie Rich).  After being expelled from his prestigious private school he enrolls at a public high school.  His natural desire to help people leads him to begin offering amateur psychiatric interviews and illegal pharmaceuticals to his classmates.  He befriends Susan Gardner (Kat DenningsThe 40 Year Old Virgin, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist), and makes quick enemies of her father, Principal Gardner, played by Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder).

    On the surface, Charlie Bartlett is about teen angst.  We’ve had plenty of movies about teeangers hating their lives and fearing for the future, but Charlie Bartlett approached it a little differently.  At times, the dialogue is somewhat reminiscent of Juno – the teenagers talk like adults think teenagers talk.  Classmate relationships are similar – obviously stylized for the big screen.  In a real high school, there would be no student riots, because there wouldn’t be any one issue that more than a handful of students felt that strongly about.  Students would never band together under a common banner, because high school is the most cliquey environment known to man.

    Yet beneath the fictitious relationships and imagined behaviors, there is genuine truth to the movie.  Charlie’s beginning and final monologues includes the assurance, “You are not alone.” – perhaps the most important message high school students need to hear.  Early in the movie, Charlie’s mother assures him that there is more to high school than popularity, but is unable to think of any examples.  Later, Principal Gardner informs him that what is more important than popularity is what you do with that popularity.

    I don’t know if it’s puberty, unreasonable expectations, or shifting lifestyles, but whatever the cause, high school is hell.  Charlie Bartlett captures that.  Teenagers spend so much time trying to fit into their idea of “normal” that they don’t realize that there is no such thing as “normal”.

    Charlie Bartlett depicts a clearly fictitious high school populated by imaginary teenagers, but beneath the quirky dialogue and moral ambiguity there are glimpses of what high school is really like.  Charlie Bartlett delivers a meaningful message, and is definitely worth watching.

    Posted by: bobwise | February 27, 2009

    Hey Bob, why do you have a Twitter AND a Tumblr AND a blog?


    The reason I maintain a presence on multiple communication platforms is because each of the platforms in the above image excels at a specific type of communication.  Twitter is great for very short text-only messages intended for a large audience.  Tumblr is great for sharing images and videos to a medium-sized audience.  My WordPress blog is where I share lengthy articles or images I’ve made myself, and usually fewer than a couple dozen people see each post.

    Instant messages, text messages, and email are usually directed at just a single person.

    Posted by: bobwise | February 26, 2009

    Busy Wait – in the style of XKCD

    Posted by: bobwise | February 3, 2009

    Conversations I have with myself

    kelly-kapurMe:  “Oh wow.  That girl looks just like Kelly Kapur from The Office.”

    Me:  “Why, because all Indian girls look alike?  You are SUCH a racist!”

    Me:  “Oh crap, you’re right.  Wait, no!  She DOES look like Kelly Kapur!”

    Posted by: bobwise | February 2, 2009

    This would have been funnier like 6 years ago…


    You know that scene in Ocean’s 11 where Rusty finds out that Danny Ocean has an ulterior motive in the heist, namely that his exwife is currently kanoodling with their mark?  And then Rusty tells Danny Ocean that he let it get personal and now he can’t do the job anymore?  And he kicks Danny off the team?

    I suppose one could refer to that incident as, “Demotion of D. Ocean.”



    I slay me.

    Posted by: bobwise | January 25, 2009

    Movie Review: The Wrestler

    There is a lot of hype surrounding The Wrestler.  It first premiered at the 2008 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion Award.  This year at the Golden Globe Awards, Mickey Rourke was nominated for Best Actor (which he won), and Marisa Tomei was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Wrestler” was nominated for Best Original Song.  Rourke and Tomei have also both been nominated for Academy Awards for their performances in The Wrestler.

    The Wrestler was directed by Darren Aronofsky.  Darren Aronofsky’s previous work includes Pi, Requiem For a Dream, and The Fountain (my favorite film of all time).  However, Aronofsky also wrote and produced his previous films, while The Wrestler was written by Robert D. Siegel.

    My full (spoiler-filled) review can be found after the jump.

    Read More…

    Posted by: bobwise | January 10, 2009

    I want…

    I want to watch her wrap a Christmas present.

    I want to watch her tie her shoes.

    I want to watch her pick out a toothbrush.

    I want to watch her butter toast.

    I want to read her favorite book.

    I want to listen to her favorite song.

    I want to laugh at her favorite joke.

    I want to start a fight so we can kiss and make up.

    I want to introduce her to my family at Christmas.

    I want all my little cousins to call her their Aunt.

    I want to buy a minivan.

    I want to carry a diaper bag.

    I want to poop with the door open.

    I want her to sneak a picture of me with a baby sleeping on my chest.

    I want to start a college fund.

    I want to wake up with kids bouncing on my bed.

    But I don’t know if I want her.

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