I was given the rare chance tonight to see a talk by Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist and author of a bunch of books, two of which I’ve read (Hyperspace and Parallel Worlds). My roommate just told me that he was going about two hours after I made it back into the city today, and I figured it was too rare of a chance to pass up. He spoke about his new book called The Physics of the Future, mainly focusing on predictions about the technology of the next 10 to 100 years. The focus was largely on how the internet’s increasing ubiquity and the increasing processing power and reliability of computers is going to spawn new technologies that involve everyone being constantly connected. Stuff like contacts that project augmented-reality 3D images onto your eyes and flexible screens/video wallpaper. The coolest thing about a lot of the stuff he was mentioning was the fact that pretty much all of the apparently futuristic technology actually exists already. He mentioned glasses-free 3D monitors and augmented reality video, both of which are used by the Nintendo 3DS (not to plug, but I did notice that the talk did make the 3DS look very futuristic). And the contact lens thing certainly reminded me of it being over 9000. It was cool to see Michio Kaku in person after reading and enjoying his books so much. It was a good talk – and free!
The last few days have been quite eventful. On Wednesday I celebrated my roommate’s birthday with him at a restaurant called Ninja. I’d heard vague rumors of the place before, something about the servers being ninja and jumping out at you from behind stuff and being all sneaky. It turns out that’s more or less totally true…we were screamed at and startled on five separate occasions, twice surrounding our traversal of the purposefully terrifying “ninja tunnel”, which we had to go through to get to our table. There were several occasions through the meal on which the servers would reach in the window behind my friends’ heads with their hand or a dull knife and startle the crap out of them. We also noticed on the menu that “If you find a prize in the miso soup, you may be assassinated!?” – so of course we all had to get the miso soup. Our friend Josh ended up getting the prize (a big carrot bit) and spent the whole night really jumpy. That was kind of the point of the place, to make you really really jumpy. There was also a magician who came by to do some sleight-of-hand, and he made a Dragon Ball Z reference which was totally awesome…London, amazed by a trick, said “his power is great!” to which the magician replied “it’s over nine thousand!” That was awesome. Also the food was really tasty. And we got free stickers. Good time.
I also got the rare privilege of attending the taping of the My Morning Jacket edition of VH1 Storytellers last night. Justin and I were in the second row, right on the end, so we’re probably in a ton of the shots. Once it comes out I’ll link to it. The show was incredible though – Jim James was a great speaker and they all completely rocked out. Highlights were “Dondante”, “Smokin’ from Shootin’”, and “One Big Holiday”, which was a huge shredfest of monumental proportions. And since Justin has the coolest father in the known universe, I got to go backstage after the show and meet Jim James. I told him he’s awesome. And I shook his hand. Get at me.
First of all, the last orange juice I bought only lasted two days. This is why I need to start stockpiling. Otherwise, I’ll buy a gallon on Sunday and it’ll be depleted by Tuesday morning. I’m going to dig myself a subterranean tunnel network beneath Coral Towers, put in a secret dumwaiter entrance behind the bathroom mirror, and connect the far end to the floor under the Food Emporium juice section. I’ll be able to use the tunnel when nobody’s around and just walk underground to the store, steal all the orange juice I want, store it midway through the tunnels, and then slip back up through the bathroom mirror without anyone noticing. Another plus is that I won’t have to spend any money to do this (apart from the initial capital investment that’ I’ll need for the actual building of the tunnel system. Or I could just pull a Shawshank Redemption and do it myself with a spoon. That way, it’ll be made with love, not with the money, sweat, and tears of greedy corporations.) This is a pretty good plan…it’s totally going to work. There’s no way anybody’s going to have a problem with me digging a tunnel network with a spoon through the New York sewers and two buildings, or with me not going to classes for months as I work on its completion. By the time it’s done, I probably won’t even live in the same building anymore.
This will not stop me – it’s like when the Chinese were building the Great Wall of China: the construction took so long that it spanned several generations, and noone who was alive when it was started was also alive when it was completed. That’s why the dynasty system was useful – they could have one common goal that spanned numerous lifetimes. They did it in sections as a morale boost to the foremen – once they were tired and soul-sucked from working on a section of wall for 5 years, they could go back home and pass by all these other sections of wall being completed, seeing the momentous progress their great civilization was making (at least this is what Kafka tells me). The time it would take me to dig my tunnel is probably comparable to the time it took several thousand Chinese to build a big wall, so I may need to get in touch with the residents of 9050 next year and get this dynasty started. It may take some convincing – I could resort to burning their women and raping their churches. Be that as it may…I will have my orange juice.
Let it be known that I’m awesome at Diddy Kong Racing for N64, as I beat the walrus, the octopus, and the dragon all in one sitting, with two other guys playing. I was the only one to actually finish any of the bosses, although my friends both fought valiantly. The octopus is such a jerkface…there were so many different times when I was within feet – nay, inches of the finish line and he shot a bubble in front of him and entrapped me in the nick of time. What a goofus.
I made it back to the zone last night, arriving at 9:45 totally exhausted and irritated from carrying my disgustingly heavy skateboard backpack apparatus. It was a long trip because of that. For whatever reason, I had an unfounded assumption that I would be able to grab some time to myself upon arriving at my room…no, people wanted to do shots. I didn’t, of course, but I ended up going to bed close to 2 AM after watching Amelie – fantastic movie, by the way.
My time to myself came when I woke up this morning, when I got to clean house obsessively, finally catch up on some Chrono Trigger, and grocery shop (meaning that I just bought bagels and cream cheese and orange juice. That’s pretty much what I mean whenever I say “groceries”). I’ve decided that I will hold myself to the rule of doing my own dishes as soon as I’m finished using them, and keep the kitchen as clean as possible on my own. Not because it’ll encourage people to be neat, more just because I’m compulsive about the kitchen being tidy for whatever reason.
I played EA Skate for more hours than I care to admit today, because I figure that’s what this part of my break is for. If there’s any time to play video games for way “too long”, it’s right now. Skate is a really hard game for someone used to playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater. There are no button controls; rather, everything’s done by flicking the two analog sticks around. It’s a really tough system to get used to, but interestingly enough, the difficulty of the controls makes it a lot more rewarding when you do land tricks in the game. I feel like the controls of Skate mirror the actual act of skateboarding a bit more than those of Tony Hawk, if only because it’s based on a system of mimetic motions rather than just button presses. That having been said, I am very bad at this game. I get hit by cars very frequently, as well as hitting curbs and “spraining my head”…I don’t know, but that’s what the game said. It said my head was sprained. Now, wikipedia tells me that sprains affect joints and ligaments, and I’m pretty sure your skull isn’t either of those. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they meant the neck. You can’t sprain your head. Come on now.
It’s wonderful to be back in “the zone”. “The Bro Zone”. “The Brone”. “The Chill Zone”. “Room Nine Thousand Fifty”. “Room Over Nine Thousand“. Now let’s just get my mind back here with my body. Ok, sounds…..great!
It’s over NINE THOUSAAAAAAAND! This is my dorm room door at school. Vegeta’s pretty angry about how high the number is; so much so, in fact, that he smashed his scouter over it.
Paying attention in class is tough when there’s so much you want to learn (ironic, isn’t it?) I spent a good portion of this morning going over a PHP tutorial and learning how it’s used to generate HTML. Having been discouraged from writing HTML in the past by how apparently daunting the process was, the knowledge that PHP can be used to speed up the process is quite encouraging. I learned from the a tutorial on devzone.zend.com the basic syntax, as well as how to use PHP in HTML pages to dynamically generate the dimensions of a table. I think it’s awesome to have the two so well integrated that all it takes to make a bit of content if for your program’s output to be in HTML format – and way less work than it could be!
It’s exciting to learn a new language. I remember being probably 8 or 9 and waking up really early in the morning to sneak to the downstairs desktop computer and page through my dad’s copy of “HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide” from O’Reilly. I think I built a website explaining how to do all kinds of different card tricks. It never went live, but it might still be on that home computer. I’ll dig up the source for it if it’s still around and put it up here…it’ll probably be comedy gold. Unfortunately, maybe due to my years with the School of Rock, I pretty much completely forgot how to write HTML and any other basic coding knowledge that I may have amassed; so when I started taking programming classes last year, it was all essentially new to me. The point is, I’m excited to get into making websites again, with much more enthusiasm this time! Hopefully this works out…
I just got within 23 seconds of finishing Ikaruga again. Before, I would feel pretty good about finishing around that area of the game, because it meant I was generally improving. But now, with success within my grasp, every time I make it to the challenge stage and fail is just a slap in the face. I know I’ll get it eventually, but the sting of defeat is a new and unwelcome sensation in my gaming experience. (In Ikaruga at least – in Team Fortress 2 it’s completely the norm, for example).
I listened to CSNY’s Deja Vu this morning – that is a great album. You probably already knew that. But they just have an awesome, classic sound. Check it out.
This is another webcomic that Justin turned me on to a few days ago. It’s called “Axe Cop“: written by a 5-year-old and illustrated by his 29-year-old brother. It’s so ridiculous (some would say…random?), and the fact that it’s written by a five year old may be what makes it funny, but hey….it’s funny. Check it out.
Thanks for reading!