Monthly Archives: December 2005

Geez, I'm not that dumb!

A post over at Church of Virus suggested that when I posted about super volcanoes that I was falling prey to a gamblers fallacy. I don't think that's correct. Here's the email reply I sent the poster:

To put the supervolcano into gambling terms, it's more like finding the ace of spades in a deck of cards. If each turn you get to pull a card and then discard it if it's not the ace of spades, then each turn that goes by, the higher your odds get of finally pulling that ace.

While it is true that ON AVERAGE every year has a 0.000001155 chance (I'm assuming your math is right), that's just the average. As I understand the geology, the odds of an eruption start low and go up slightly every year, which is what makes them go off "like clockwork" rather than with a more random distribution. Thus I am far more likely to see a supervolcano here than I would if I'd been born 500,000 years ago.

Or to give you another example, imagine a balloon. Blow it up to capacity and then deflate it. Then repeat. Then repeat. The first few times the odds of the balloon popping are slim. However, the more time that goes by, the greater the odds are of the balloon popping on that inflation cycle.

Live from Las Vegas

Dan and Marisa, c/o Rachel's live moblog of the wedding:


Most days I make breakfast for and with Nefarious. Since I'm usually up working when she gets up it times nicely. Anyway, today we made crepes. Here's what I consider a relatively ideal crepe recipe… You can vary it immensely (making it vegan is pretty simple).

1 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
cinnamon, sugar, and/or vanilla as you like it

Mix the above in a bowl until there are no lumps. Top it off with a little more milk and water to get it to the right consistency. Heat a pan and add a little butter or margarine. Ladel a small amount into the middle of the hot pan and let it flow out so it fills the pan with a thin layer. Flip it once and remove. You will have to add a little margarine or butter occasionally between crepes. The above recipe will make about six crepes.

Anyway, they're insanely easy to make and really yummy for breakfasts, deserts, whatever you want. It's one of my favorite breakfast foods, but today is actually the first time I've cooked any in years I think.

Hair be gone

As you know if you read ModBlog, we're over the hump on this insane rollercoaster of server problems, part man-made and part “act-of-God” (screw you Allah, this was really not a good time for this). It's been a stressful day for everyone, with unexpected hurdles (and the sheer size of the BME filesystems), most of them survived due to Rachel's clear head and hard work.

Other than that, today I started worked on a Jabber/IM interface for IAM today that would have two core purposes. First (and primarily), it would act as an administrative tool that would send you a message on Google Talk (or AIM, ICQ, SMS, and other messaging platforms) when buddies update, you get messages, and so on. Second, I'm working to see if I can build a full gateway, which would allow two-way communication with IAM via instant messaging client.

I've also been working on some moblogging software for Rachel as a thank you for all her efforts (ok, I admit, I'd build it for her just because I love her, work or no work). It's a really simple application that will run both on client computers or right on the server that listens for picture emails from your cellphone, and then downloads them and posts them to your website in a simple gallery format. I know there are already tools out there that can do this, but this one will be ultra-clean, and I think in part Rachel is humoring me because she knows it makes me happy to make toys for her.

Oh yeah, and I shaved. Still look kind of haggard and you can see some missed hairs (I didn't have a shaver so I just used a blade). Let's see what else… As far as I can tell, I forgot my only pair of shoes in Rachel's truck which is parked in Cabo right now. But I'm kind of a Shoeless Joe Jackson character anyway, scandal and all… Stay tuned for that. I'd tell you when it's coming, but I don't know yet.

Mini-status update

's sitting on a runway right now at O'Hare and should be in Toronto in a couple hours but it's going to be a little late to be able to do anything tonight still. First thing in the morning they'll be at the colo attempting a rebuild on the RAID array. With any luck that will be quite simple. If there's hardware damage, a drive gets swapped and the rebuild is re-attempted. If that fails (highly unlikely, but possible), then the filesystem is rebuilt from the backup drive using completely new hardware. So I think we're on schedule to be back online fully some time tomorrow.

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