Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Drew's Vinegarette

I just made this very nice dressing for salad. You may want to try it:

  • lots of vinegar
    a bit less olive oil than vinegar
    lots of garlic powder
    lots of pepper
    a good amount of italian seasoning
    a good amount of salt
    a little bit of tabasco sauce
    a little bit of honey

  • Sorry, I don't formulate exact amounts.
    Anyway, it's great. So are those bagged salads in the grocery store :-)

    I Got Towed

    I went over the girls' apartment to study, and I come out and my car's not there. Turns out I misread the sign. Most of the signs there are white with red text that reads "No parking here to corner" but this one said "No parking this side". Christine drove me to the police station to get the release form, but I didn't get my car back yet. I just have to go to the tow company tomorrow, pay the $80 towing fee, and pay a $15 ticket. ::sigh:: Not a big deal, just a pain in the butt.

    I need to be more detail oriented...

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    Problems with Sony

    This Wired article is about Sony and their invasive copy protection software that is on 20 of their new CD releases. Being aware of information rights is important, and putting your trust in anything a technology company gives you is not a good idea(even if it is Sony). Another important point this should make one aware of is to always know everything that is installed on your computer.

    I first saw this issue discussed on Slashdot, and of course most people were disgusted at Sony's actions, which pretty much amount to installing the worst kind of spyware on a person's computer. It will comprimise your computer's security in a way hackers could take advantage of, besides it being an invasion of privacy. As the article suggests, I would also recommend not buying Sony music until they change their stance on this issue and remedy the damage already done.

    I think Sony makes excellent ultra-lightweight notebook computers. Feel free to buy those. They are probably not the people involved in the music end of the company, except at the very highest levels.

    What the heck, Sony? Get your act together and stop being evil!

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    Grad School, and the holy pursuit of scientific truth

    The reason you go to grad school is because you care about what you're studying in an academic sense. That is, you want to gain knowledge of your field for knowledge's sake.

    My interests are in the study of pragmatics, semantics, and computational linguistics. Actually, my pragmatics class gets me excited sometimes. In pragmatics you study how the outside world affects language in terms of context and assumptions and things like that.

    I've also started learning Japanese. I have a very good teacher, but I get a little tired(like literally tired) from it because we have it 5 days per week.

    I went to a lecture on Monday at Newman Hall(the Catholic Center here). It concerned the harmony between faith and reason. Basically, he was showing a perspective on interpreting scripture that has been forgotten by many people these days.

    These days you get many fundamentalists who read scripture first, and then interpret the world through the lens of scripture.

    On the other extreme you get scientists who see people doing this and use science to claim that religion/faith is ignorant/non-thinking/obsolete, take your pick.

    Before about 300 years ago, interpretation of scripture happened much differently. It was reasoned that scripture is never mistaken, but interpretation of scripture is. Additionally, Christians(particularly, the Catholic Church) took the laws proven by science to be one and the same as God's truth. Thus the pursuit of science in order to discover truth was considered a holy venture.

    Given this, interpretation of scripture should be done through the lens of laws founded in science. Scripture should be made to fit science, not the other way around. If a new discovery in science is made that conflicts with a previous theory or a current interpretation of scripture, "proof" must be given for it to be taken seriously. Then interpretation of relevant scripture is changed to fit the best "vision" of the universe that we have.

    I hope this explanation has inspired you in some way, because it did for me :-)

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    Gichin Funakoshi

    A short biography about the founder of my style of martial arts, Gichin Funakoshi.

    From the article:

    'Whenever the name of Gichin Funakoshi is mentioned, it brings to mind the parable of "A Man of Tao (Do) and a Little Man". As it is told, a student once asked, "What is the difference between a man of Tao and a little man?" The sensei replies, "It is simple. When the little man receives his first dan (degree or rank), he can hardly wait to run home and shout at the top of his voice to tell everyone that he has obtained his first dan. Upon receiving his second dan, he will climb to the rooftops and shout to the people. Upon receiving his third dan, he will jump in his automobile and parade through town blowing the horn, telling one and all about his third dan".

    The sensei continues, "When the man of Tao receives his first dan, he will bow his head in gratitude. Upon receiving his second dan, he will bow his head and his shoulders. Upon receiving his third dan, he will bow at the waist and quietly walk alongside the wall so that people will not see him or notice him".

    Funakoshi was a man of Tao. He placed no emphasis whatsoever on competitions, record breaking or championships. He placed emphasis on individual self-perfection. He believed in the common decency and respect that one human being owes another. He was the master of masters.'