stormy weather

Raining and cold -- rather a dreary day, all told. Spent most of the day with a vague desire to curl up in front of a window with a book and a cup of soup. has an interview with Ilya Zakharevich of Perl5 Porters fame. Interesting takes on language design, education, and other things.

Thoughts on FrayDay4 from BackupBrain. (Not one of my regulars; scarfed from blivet.) The thing is, every gathering of bloggers is like that; hell, the first time I met someone in meatspace after meeting them on-line was over ten years ago, and I had the same feelings then. All I can say is that it does get better; after you meet people a couple times, things start to feel more symmetric, everybody is more comfortable and relaxed.

Thrilling story of a diving near-tragedy.

Late happy birthday to Graham.

Couple of CueCat links: the Reg's take on the distribution and privacy stuff, and an Advogato thread on practical uses for the hardware. I've got one (fake info to Radio Shack, thanks much), but haven't had time to hook it up yet. I'd really like to see a CDDB-like mechanism for scanning UPCs from different types of media: CDs, books, magazines. Don't have time (hmm, I see a pattern) to start a project, but if anybody knows of one that's looking for a tester or small amounts of coding, let me know.

Wacko alert: The I Ching Binary System And Natural Phenomena. I get this spam at work, by the way.

Wired News overview of proteomics, the Next Big Thing in the bioinfo world. In about ten years or so, we're going to run out of these massive single-shot solutions, and people are going to realize that the totality of information (mRNA levels, protein levels, protein and mRNA localization, etc) is where the killer app is (IMHO, of course).

Okay, some conservative "leader" up in America's Dairyland held a demonstration to show people how to correctly spank their kids. Leaving aside my rather conflicted feelings about the whole corporal punishment issue, what I want to know is what the teenaged target demonstratee did to deserve the whuppin'. And do they have to wait for some kid to mis-behave before they schedule these things, or what?

Researchers at Stanford are taking a distributed computing approach to the protein folding problem. I'll accept that their algorithm works for smaller proteins, even though I haven't looked at their data at all. My question: is there any evidence at all that the algorithm is going to scale? Are they planning on crystallizing things to check the folding predictions?

New TLD that I'd like to see: .om

Hey -- would the person hitting genehack and leaving a referral of http://localhost:1234/Select?FOO drop me a line and let me know what you're doing? It's not causing any problems or anything; I'm just a curious git.

Warning: Personal crap and whinging ahead.

I'm giving a lecture Tuesday night, on information retrieval from the Entrez databases. I've been working on it for the past several days, and I'm still not completely happy with it. However, I'm also getting pretty tired of thinking about it and tweaking it, and I'd like to get back to my "real work", so I'm kind of relieved that it's going to be over in about 23 hours or so.

Anyway (here comes the whinging) the lecture has been keeping me rather busy, and I've been short on sleep, and had other Real Life crap intruding, which is why things were quiet over the weekend. I'm also really behind on mail, so apologies to all my correspondents. I'll (hopefully) be getting to you sometime this week.

And now it's time to hit the hay, so I can get up nice and early, to finish my slides for the lecture. Might not have much tomorrow or the day after that, but I will have at least one more update this week. If you'd like a short-yet-strangely-compelling email when that happens, join the list.