Wednesday, December 26, 2007

iTunes Skip Algorithm

I use the Last Skipped date in several Smart Playlists in iTunes. However, a lot of songs that I think I skipped don't show up as having been skipped. I just skipped a bunch in iTunes and found that if you push next before 2 seconds have elapsed the track will not realize it has been skipped. I assume this is a feature in Apple's eye, and I don't really mind it... but I'd like to know the full algorithm. It appears there is also a boundary on the other end... if you let too much play it doesn't count as having been skipped.

Anyone know?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lemmings

I loved this game in the 80s - Lemmings

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Glassbooth

Glassbooth is a quiz that asks you your opinions on many presidential topics and that matches you up with the candidates based on their answers.

My results are:
1) Bill Richardson - 78%
2) Mike Gravel - 66%
3) Mike Huckabee - 65%

Other interesting results (for me):
Dennis Jucinich - 64%
Barack Obama 63%
Ron Paul - 60%

Most of the candidates were in the 61% range... with the lowest at 54%.

What did you get?

Engagement Bridge

Today Google released Street View for Boston and several other cities. Amy and I got engaged on a bridge near Harvard... here it is:


View Larger Map

To see the bridge located on a map, click here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

24 Hour Fast

I am going to start a 24 Hour Fast on Wednesday nights... Basically, I won't eat between dinner Wednesday and dinner Thursday. Just water. It shouldn't be too hard for me... I haven't eaten yet today, and its already 4:30. Here is an NPR piece on fasting.

NPR : Retune the Body with a Partial Fast

And here is a WebMD link that Amy finds more useful.

Friday, November 16, 2007

3 Point Layup

This is a question that has bounced around in my head for 20+ years. The NBA 3 point line is (at it longest) 23 feet and 9 inches from the basket. The world record long jump is over 29 feet. See where I am going yet?

Wouldn't it be neat to see a long jump athlete use their ability to travel through the air to shorten a 3 point shot significantly... maybe to the point of a layup?

Ignoring the practicality of it for a second... what are the rules regarding this? The 3 point "shooter" has to jump from behind the 3 point line, but they don't have to shoot from behind it, right? Do they have to be in possession of the ball when they leave 3 point territory? Or could another player pass them the ball after they take off? Maybe a player could have it near the basket and pass it to the jumper as they near the basket. Does anyone know the rules regarding this?

For the record, the high school distance is 19 feet 9 inches, International distance is 20 feet 6 inches, and the college distance (starting this year) is 21 feet 9 inches.

Backcourt Violations

In the NBA the teams have 8 seconds to advance the ball over the half court line. If, after advancing the ball over the half court line the opponents tip it back over the half court line it is not a violation. This is where my question starts... does the offense have a new obligation to bring the ball back over the half court line in 8 more seconds? Or can they just stay in the backcourt until the shot clock runs out?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Chicken Parmesan

Its no secret that we don't cook very much... but tonight we decided to - we made
Chicken Parmesan. It was pretty good, and not too hard.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Great Apes by Will Self

On our recent cruise I started to read Great Apes by Will Self (it was available in the ship library). It was an odd book, as the Amazon reviews suggest. I didn't get very far, and I don't plan to go back and read any more... but just in case I change my mind, I want to remember that I made it to Pg 49, Chapter 4, it starts "In the car-deck room..."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Amy and Toph Cruise in Canada and New England Movies


79 Best Pictures or All 659 Pictures

Now with Movies:
  Montmorency Falls: 1 2
  Halifax Bagpipes & St Johns Music
  Reversing Falls: 1 2 3 4 5 6 - About

Friday, October 12, 2007

Amy and Toph Cruise in Canada and New England


79 Best Pictures or All 659 Pictures

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Catching the Football at its Highest Point

Football announcers and analysts like to say that receivers are catching the ball at its highest point or at least they should catch it at its highest point. WRONG! The highest point occurs about halfway between the quarterback and the receiver (exactly where depends on many things, but, it is safe to say about halfway).

The thing they are probably trying to say is that the receiver should catch the ball as high as they can.

Does this annoy anyone else?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Once the Movie

Amy and I saw Once the Movie at Tivoli with the After Hours Film Society. We both liked it... but did not love it. I give it 3 stars. Here are some Amazon reviews, including one by a guy we know named Jim Hisson.

Here is a movie of a street musician I took when we were in Dublin that Once reminded me of:

video

And here are a few pics:




Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Bulls Season Tickets Discussion

As John has said... this is a possible location for a discussion about how to allocate the Bulls tickets.

Friday, July 13, 2007

HDMI Cable

I bought a 40 foot HDMI cable from Blue Jeans Cable. I haven't used it yet, but, they were easy to deal with during the ordering, shipping and payment processes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Space Shuttle and Space Station Pictures


The Space Shuttle undocked from the Space Station Tuesday morning. As of Wednesday night they were still near each other... I took a few pictures.

Monday, June 4, 2007

USAV Nationals Pictures


Best:20 pictures
Impact (my team): 22 pictures
Papakoa 60s: 45 pictures
Chicago Coast South: 12 pictures
Other Stuff: 56 pictures

Sunday, June 3, 2007

One Place Where Obama Goes Elbow to Elbow

This is a interesting story in the NY Times about Obama playing basketball.

One Place Where Obama Goes Elbow to Elbow - New York Times

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Movies from Tahoe Trip Now Online

They are here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Back from USAV Nationals

I'm back from USAV Nationals. I don't have any pictures up yet. But I will soon. Update here when ready.

Expensive Gas

I just paid $72.21 to fill up my Mo. That's 19.5 gallons at $3.699 per. Whoa.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Last Question -- Isaac Asimov

This is Issac Asimov's favorite short story: The Last Question

Friday, May 25, 2007

Amy and Toph Finish a Session at North Beach

Success. Here are the details.

Friday, May 18, 2007

NBA Playoffs Seeding Idea

I have an idea for improving the seeding in the NBA playoffs. In the first round let the team with the best record pick their opponent from the other 7 teams in their conference. Then proceed to the team with the next highest record and have them pick their opponent from the remaining 5 teams. Repeat as needed to complete the first round matchups. Repeat again for the later rounds.

I'm certainly no Mavericks apologist, but, didn't they earn the right to not play Golden State in the first round if they didn't want to? The intent of legislating 1 vs 8 is to provide them with the matchup that is to their best advantage. However, the Mavericks probably wouldn't have picked Golden State since Nellie's had their number all year. Another interesting possibility is that a top team might choose to take on another top team if they have significant short term injuries - say Duncan was out for the first round. Would Dallas or Phoenix choose to play San Antonio in the first round? Either way it would probably lead to much good discussion.

The main point I've heard against this idea is that teams 4-8 would have nothing to play for. I can think of 5 things they have to play for:

  1. Pride - simple as that
  2. The likelihood that most #1 seeds would pick #8, and #2s pick #7, etc.
  3. Maybe #1 will pick #2 and #3 will pick #4. Then #5 would get their pick of the rest. Not likely, but, you never know.
  4. Similar to #3, what if 5-8 beat 1-4 in the first round. Then #5 would have their pick of the rest.
  5. #7 & #8 are probably fighting off #9 & #10 just for the right to make the playoffs.
Another problem with this idea is that all the games (in a conference) from the first round would have to be complete before the second round could begin. This scheduling inflexibility is not TV friendly.

I sent this idea to Henry Abbott at ESPN/TrueHoop. He liked it and posted it. I also sent the idea to The Basketball Jones and they liked it enough to talk about it in the show (12 minutes in).

What do you think?

Amy and Toph Vacation in Tahoe






43 Best Pictures

All 328 Pictures

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Welcome

Welcome to my blog. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to use this... but my general intention is to not stick to a regular posting schedule or set of topics. I do plan on posting notices when I have new pictures at iToph.com. I have an idea about the NBA playoffs that I'll post soon. I might post work (SQL) related ideas from time to time.

Favorites from my Blogroll