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    This evening is the New Year's Eve party and one of my favorite times of the year.  I ended up with a fair amount accomplished in 2007 and I will leave the year with fond memories.  I hope 2008 is even better :)
    Pictured is Noah using my laptop.  Prior to the party, everyone was hanging out in the living room and working at a computers.  Despite being less then 10 feet away, we often spoke to one an other over IM :)
    A small group of us went up to Watertown to skate tonight.  Pictured is Ashley and myself at coffee afterwards.  Liz had driven and her car was having a problem with the dash lights--they didn't work.  Everything else seemed in working order--or so we thought--so I grabbed a flash light so she could see her speed and off we went.  Come to find out, Liz's tail lights were out as well.  Naturally, we didn't learn this until the return portion of the trip.  After coffee, Liz had me drive as she was too tried herself, and of course, we were pulled over.  This is only the 3rd time in my life I've ever been pulled over, and like all the other times, it wasn't really for anything I did wrong.  The officer told us to use our hazard lights and to get the lights fixed as soon as we could, and off we went.  Every now and then you find an officer who isn't on a power trip, and you have some restored faith in the system.

2 comments have been made.

From Ashi

Wisconsin, USA

January 15, 2008 at 5:11 AM

My eyes are closed... I look like I'm high. >.<

From Ashi

Wisconsin, USA

January 22, 2008 at 6:05 PM

Hey! That's me!

December 29, 2007

Scatter graph algorithm

    I've been working on a graphing project and I needed some data to plot on a chart.  One of the items I wanted to demonstrate was linear regression and I wanted a set of data that was centered around a line.  The simplest way for this was to run a line function (y = mx + b) and make b a small random number for each point.  That will give a uniform scatter from whatever the range of b is. 
f(x) = m x + b + s ( r - 0.5 )
Uniform scatter
    The above chart shows an example of uniform scatter.  It is easy to discern the boundaries of the scatter coefficient.
    That's alright, but I wanted something a little better--more centered around the line itself.  I first tried a sine-based function.  The idea is to weight the random data in a non-linear fashion, and the sine function will do this.  This just ended up giving a more narrow distribution band, but the band was clearly discernible... these are not the droids we're looking for.
Sine-weighted scatter
    This chart displays an example of sine-based scatter.  It offers a little better distribution, but it is still easy to to discern the boundaries of the scatter coefficient.
    For my next idea, I thought of a function with a strong curve and asyntope.  I came up with a inverted square root, and this turned out to be exactly what I wanted.
    Here is the function:

    Where m is the slope, b is the Y-intercept, s is the scatter coefficient, and r is a random number such that 0 < r <= 1.

    This chart shows an example of inverse square scatter.  The majority of the points tend toward the line function, but in theory the points can actually by out to infinity.  In practice, the range is much more limited.  For one, floating point numbers are limited in size.  Assuming a 32-bit floating point, the smallest number is 8.51E-38 which would result in an outer boundary of 9.2E+18 (9 quintillion) times the scatted coefficient.  The likely hood of this is 1:2,147,483,648 points.  However, the random number generator is sure to produce numbers with a more limited range.
    What's nice about this function is that with a fairly large scatted coefficient, the graph looks quite messy, but the mean average, slope and Y-intercepts still end up being relatively close.

1 comment has been made.

From Ericasaurus Rex


January 22, 2008 at 6:06 PM

In my chemistry class, we have something similar to this called the "Band of Stability." Laaaaaame.
    We received a large amount of snow yesterday, all while the temperature was around 35° F (around 1.5° C).  That made for very good construction snow and after shoveling the drive (because all my roommates get stuck if I don't), I went about constructing a snow person.  Meet Michael Snowpunk.  He stands about 7 feet tall, and like most punks, leans a little to the left (his left).  It's not my best snow person, but good enough for punk ;)
    I've been working with phpDocumentor and trying to generate some documentation for a project I plan on releasing soon.  The system is similar to JavaDoc, which I've used in my programming classes.  With the Eclipse interface, making comments that worked with JavaDoc was quite simple, so I got use to doing it.  I've used the results of JavaDoc and found I really didn't like the output--it was just clunky.  So I was happy to see the phpDocumentor had styles that could be applied, including one similar to how the PHP manual is laid out.  I'm a big fan of PHP's manual, so I've started down the path of creating documentation similar to that for my own work.
    For my return trip, the heat fan speed select on my dash fell apart.  So while I now had heat in my truck, there was no way of selecting how fast to blow it into the cab :(  Oh well, maybe I can build someone else a website for Craig ;)
    My Vinny cat sitting in the window.
    As usual, I travel in the evening on x-mass day.  It was nice to have heat in my truck again, thanks to Craig.  My heat stopped working at some point last year and travel was rather uncomfortable.  I had suspected my heat exchange was clogged and thought maybe a radiator flush might help.  Craig--our local expert on vehicles of all sort--and I used the barter system.  He flushed my radiator and got my heat working and I built a web site for his boss.  And life is good :)
    Noah's vehicle
    Self portrait.  At the party on Saturday, Wendy braided my hair.  It was one of the tightest and best braids I've had in my hair and when I took it down, it did this.  I thought it looked neat.

1 comment has been made.

From Wendy

December 31, 2007 at 2:05 AM

aww thanks :)
    An other random shot out my front window.  This was a bit of an experiment with balance.  The line in the center turns the image into a triangle--the base of the image has information spread evenly across it and the top at just the center.