(0xc)0de

We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams.
World-losers and world-forsakers,
Upon whom the pale moon gleams;
Yet we are the movers and shakers,
Of the world forever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world’s great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song’s measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Ninevah with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o’erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world’s worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

– Arthur O’Shaughnessy

"Boston Business Trip" or "Your Tax Dollars at Work"

First off, I would like to thank all of tax-paying America (those of you who don’t pay their taxes suck and get no thanks). Because the US government is so flush with your cash, they saw fit to give JPL (Jet Propulsion Labs) such a huge travel budget that they could afford to send my girlfriend, who is interning there, on a four day business trip to Boston. Since you, the tax-payer, contributed so much to our trip, I thought I would share some of the highlights so that you can vicariously experience it (it’s only fair).

I’ven’t been to Boston in forever (I can’t really remember when, but I’m sure there was a field trip there in middle school at one point or another). It’s a strange place. Very historical, or course. Though I must say that Philadelphia has taken care of it’s historic buildings better. The ones in Boston, especially Faneuil Hall, have really been swallowed whole by the city. Surrounded by skyscrapers that dwarf these sites, the tourist has a difficult time believing that they were ever important.

Boston Aquarium –

We didn’t do the tourist thing all that much. I suppose we walked the Freedom Trail a bit with Ying Zong (who is at MIT getting his Ph.D. and whom we met for dinner one evening), and we had planned to do the Duck Tour, but the tickets were sold out. Worthy digression: a while ago some bus tour company in Boston bought up a lot of amphibious troop carriers from World War II and started offering tours of Boston in them, punctuated by a ride up and down the Chuck. This is the Duck Tour. I guess the buses looked a little like ducks and apparently one is expected to quack whilst on one. Ok, back to the aquarium. It was neat. There were some very cute penguins and a 200,000 gallon Grand Old Tank that had 600-some species of sea critters in it. Famously, the tank is the home to Myrtle, the 70 year old giant tortoise. In the end, though, I must say that the Boston Aquarium’s got nothing on the one in Monterey.

Chinatown –

Looking for a place to eat, Joanna, Ying Zong and I decided to wander through Chinatown searching for a restaurant that had been recommended to us by a random passerby. This didn’t take too long because Chinatown in Boston is about four blocks total area. The restaurant was good and Ying Zong and I split half a Peking Duck. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t see what the big deal about eating duck is. It’s chicken–;

Harvard Profro Tour –

An offhand comment by Joanna (this is Joanna, Joanna’s friend from Harvard) inspired Joanna and I to go crash a Harvard profro tour and ask ridiculous questions. “I’m the prince of Persia, will that help me get into Harvard?” or “My dad went to Harvard and his dad went to Harvard, but my dad married someone from a state school. Will that hurt my chances of getting into Harvard?” When we arrived on campus, there were tours everywhere. The tour guides looked like they really had their hands full, so I guess we pitied them a little bit and neglected our plan. We did see the Science Center at Harvard, though. That’s where all those crazy people who believe that the Earth orbits the Sun study {Biology, Physics and Chemistry} (but not new-fangled things like Electrical Engineering which have no value for constructing literary allusions, which is the only reason science is studied at Harvard). Yeah, so all those things were studied in the Science Center. It was very very sad. Harvard, the future 0wnz j00.

Science Museum –

With nothing in particular to do after completing our quest to find ice cream one afternoon, we went to visit the Boston Science Museum. They have a really huge Van DeGraff generator there, but it wasn’t on at the time. I did see a computer that plays flawless tic-tac-toe, which would not be remarkable except for the fact that it was constructed entirely out of Tinker Toys and fishing line. There were some neat things in the computer exhibit there, including ENIAC-etched-upon-a-single-chip and the stack of punch cards that NASA used to plot courses to the moon (a single mistake in which would have spelled doom for the astronaut crew of these missions – they must have been religious men).

Legal Seafood –

Our last night there we ate at Legal Seafood, since I was curious and it seemed to be the thing to do while in Boston. I don’t normally go out of my way to eat seafood, but for this I made a special exception. Apparently the restaurant is now a chain that has locations from Maine to Florida. One would think that it would negatively impact the quality of the restaurant, but we didn’t find this to be the case. Flipping through the menu, I noticed that they advertised that their clam chowder has been served at the past seven presidential inaugurations, so I decided I had to try that along with some tasty rock fish. Jo had some nasty-looking slimy soft shell crabs that didn’t look like any crabs that I’ve ever eaten, but she said that they were delicious. So, in summary, if you are ever in Boston, you should try this place.

Beyond that, I have some photos below. I’d like to thank everyone who made this trip possible. Next time some politician wants to raise your taxes, just think of how well it’s being spent!


Faneuil Hall


Faneuil Hall swallowed by modern Boston


A very fancy 7-eleven


Boston is a charming place


Hoards of Harvard profros wandering around campus


The “Science Center” at Harvard…


Myrtle, the 70 year old giant tortoise at the Boston Aquarium


An amphibious Duck Tour bus cruisin’ the Chuck


A Tinker Toy computer that plays tic-tac-toe

The things my site is apparently about:

Top 200 search keywords for http://www.stanford.edu/~jjshed/

(This, I think, is a very interesting collection)

c
code
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Five hundred billion dollars


Potential Projects

The US government is awash with cash. You are in a position to devote 500 billion dollars to research in one of three areas: combating global warming, doing a manned mars mission, or cancer research.

Which do you choose?

iPod == PWNED!!!


This MP3 player measures .99 inches on each edge

Not only that. It holds 1 GB of music and has 10 hours of battery life. Oh yeah, it’s a radio too. And it has a high-res OLED display. USB 2.0 connectivity? Check. FM/Voice recorder? Check. Plays both WMA and MP3? You better believe it. Signal to noise ratio? 90 dB! It’s also a clock. PC/Mac compatible.

$130 at Walmart.

Happy *campers*


Happy *campers* are best

“First the VUX, but they are such *silly cows* … they ask so much about the Androsynth we must *dance* with them.”

“*Happy campers* not going to *heavy space* *slide* near Chandrasekhar. Especially not ever! These are *fat* words.”

“Arilou can *slide*. Also Taalo.”

“Finally we find you, the *happy campers* and the Taalo *playground* for sliding through.”

Open source makes me a happy *camper*. Do not become *frumple* with my cryptic blog *bubbles*.