Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: December, 2001

Now this is a strange article I stumbled upon: Man finds dead burglar in his home. How many times has this ever happened?

Some techer blogs: Caltech Peaceful Justice Coalition (PeaceBlog), green gabbro, and Hesitant Firmness.

NoMoPoMo – The science equivalent of this must be the squirrely grad student moldering in a corner of the lab.

And sombody’s attempting to write a whole novel during the month of January. Best of luck. You’ll need it.

Yet another test: The Obscure Website Test
You are most like You are a very tongue-in-cheek person. It’s often hard to tell if you’re being serious, and you have almost a kinda spooky vibe. You’re also very inquisitive, and like to question what most take for granted.

I rarely look at my “snail mail”. I hardly get any as it is. But guess what came today? The second (and belated) issue of CURJ which publishes undergraduate research. There’s some excellent technical writing in there, and I know most of the writers (at least in passing acquaintance) in the journal so I can vouch that it’s talent and not extensive editing skills. However, I find it sort of odd that the first time I’ve seen the guy who founded and is the editor-in-chief of CURJ on campus in months was today lurking around the student mailboxes. He’s brilliant, but weird.

Whoa. The King of Spoons beat me by three hours for the longest timed final. 9 hours. He said he spent most of his time banging his head on his desk. I’d imagine. I spent my six hours wishing it was just some twisted nightmare and that in actuality I was asleep on some hammock in Tahiti.

Anyway, I’ll be going home soon for break. Slower connection, yeah, but that’s not the only thing that will be slower. Traffic will be slower. Life will be slower. Ahhh. But people will also speak slower. And the twang that permeates their speech! I know I’m getting pretty spoiled out here in California with people who can actually enunciate correctly.

When someone asks me where I’m from, they’re always rather astonished at first because I have no southern accent whatsoever. I don’t have any other accent either which gives people a heck of a time trying to place me. I blame my speech on moving around a lot and my parents (who learned a bunch of other languages before English). I like the fact that people can’t automatically categorize me. But still, there’s something to be said for a quirky accent.

So finally the NaNoEdMo site is up. Supposedly there will be a message board for writers to get help and critiques on their work, but I haven’t visited yet to make sure.

Viking Name: Dagr the Apocalypse
Cereal Name: Sugar-Coated Peanut Butter Balls
Hillbilly Name: Billie Sue Carter but everyone calls you Mabel
Exotic Name: Busty Terri Berri

The final day of finals, 7 AM started with Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries (a.k.a. The Ride). Today’s Ride Chasers: (1) something by some Russian composer (can’t remember his name right now) (2) an awful country/western song (3) sounds like rock but never heard it before.

I feel out of it. People are getting duct-taped to the ceiling and the Hawaiian shirt is becoming a ubiquitous symbol of freedom (for bad taste?). Somebody’s a toynapper, what used to be a normal bathroom has been transformed into a ‘gentlemen’s club’, bad music abound, voices are lost, and people want to buy a flashy new car because they are in a mid-life crisis. Wait a minute. Nobody’s in a mid-life crisis. They just want the new car.

Bizarre. So everything I heard about him is true. Will Wheaton has a blog. He sounds like a normal guy though. I guess it’s just the media that hypes everything up to make everything look surreal.

I found this creepy thing while browsing through Harmonica Curiosities. Some other things: The Virtual Toilet Paper Museum that is part of the Unusual Museums of the Internet Web Ring and a Glossary of Folk Instruments.

No sleep. Which means finals week is finally catching up to me. It’s not a good thing when you start seeing things. I’d better conk myself out for today before I start hallucinating. From personal experience I can say that hallucinating is a bad thing.

Third day of Finals and what do we hear at 7 AM? The Ride, of course.
Today’s Ride Chasers: (1) a rap/alternative song that kept on having the refrain “sweet as gold” (2) a reggae and pop mix that brought to mind the opening song for Cowboy Bebop (3) something that sounded suspiciously like Aerosmith.

Sorry I can’t tell what the songs were exactly. My brain’s been getting fuzzy around the edges lately.

So housing says that they’re just going to enter all our rooms and stick insert slips on the backs of our doors. What the hell are insert slips? People e-mailed housing asking, but so far, no response. Speculation was that it was akin to exit signs. But my room already has exit signs above the door, both inside and out. Perhaps it is the evil res-life director’s scheme for getting back at us for the little stunt we pulled this afternoon.


I was getting ravioli from the cafeteria. The chef was babbling about disgusting fake meat he saw at a food convention when the Yellow Biker burst in yelling, “Come outside! Down with the patriarchy!” Well, he does tend to be a little extreme when roused.

Outside on the lane that runs through the cluster of student houses, a horde of students had gathered despite the edginess of finals still hovering in the air. There was perhaps over half of the undergraduate student population present. A bunch of amplifiers and a mike was set up and a lot of people took turns voicing their opinion. Why are they making us pay for things when there was a recent $600 million endowment for research? Why strike down our traditions when the administration doesn’t even know what they mean? Why did they not consult our opinions earlier? Who exactly are these people who say they’re representing the students on these committees?

This was not a rabid protest with signs and banners, shouting and ranting. There was an attempt at civilized dialogue between the students and the administration (although more than half of them didn’t bother showing up when invited) which proved that we’re responsible adults. Perhaps they had sought to avoid such related “shenanigans” by selectively picking “passive” students. Certainly nothing of this magnitude ever occurred the past twenty years at this institution. Trying to crush the students? Maybe academically, but surely not in spirit.

I got a piece of weird news in the mail. Something about archaeologists and historians arguing over the location of an 18th century French village that no longer exists. At first I was sort of incredulous since how can an entire village just disappear? But then again, it’s over two hundred years old. Time enough to have it completely obliterated.

Here’s the beginning of the NaNoEdMo site. The owner says that the domain name will be active in a couple of days.

Forgive me, but I’ve become addicted to them the past couple of days. More test scores:
How British Are You? I am 47.5% British, just like Catherine Zeta Jones. A true English rose, but you know where the money is.
Lord of the Rings Character Test: Celeborn
What Kind of Frog are You? I’m a Common Toad.

The second day of Finals started with a bang at 7 AM with guess what? The Ride.
Today’s Ride Chasers: (1) techno remix of some Celtic ditty (2) “Sweet Hoe Down” by Renner Skinner (3) something by Rage Against the Machine (4) Mars: The Bringer of War from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.
Brought to you by the guy who convinced the registrar that DDR was a legitimate PE class.

Wow, I found Neil Gaiman’s blog. I’m probably the last one to find it given my general ineptitude for not discovering interesting things first. But I must admit that I’ve never read Gaiman’s stuff except for rifling through a few Sandman comics at the local bookstore to look at the art. It’s actually my roommate who’s the real comic junkie (she knows that the worst color for a green superhero is yellow whereas I completely goofed on that trivia question).

Sandman is to comics as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is to sci-fi. Cult classics that everyone’s encouraging me to read. Well, I had followed up on the Guide, but I got sick of the whole series after the third book in the five book “trilogy”. But maybe I’ll catch up on some of his stuff during winter break, after I’ve finished An Instance of the Fingerpost, To Say Nothing of the Dog, and The Amber Spyglass.

Here’s an odd little site I stumbled onto: Not Martha. This is just like watching those domestic television programs about cooking and making crafts and doing home improvement projects. Strangely mesmerizing.