Monday, March 31, 2008

I choose door #1

I saw the movie 21 over the weekend which was based on the MIT blackjack team. It was fun to watch although a bit predictable. Kevin Spacey plays an MIT professor who leads the blackjack team, and there's a scene in the movie where Spacey is lecturing a class and proposes an interesting statistic's problem. Let's say you're on a game show, and there are three doors, and behind one is an awesome car but behind the other two doors are donkeys or something like that. The host asks the contestant to choose a door,and the contestant chooses a door. After the contestant makes a choice, the host reveals one of the doors that has a donkey behind it, and then asks whether the contestant wants to change his or her answer. Should the contestant change their answer?

Monday, March 24, 2008


This past quarter I was responsible for teaching an electromagnetics lab that used some pretty old equipment that might have been even older than me. Anyways, I got an email that gave me some comments from the online student evaluation, and some of them were pretty amusing.

Q: What do you feel were the weaknesses of this instructor?
A: Although Kungfucius was knowledgeable, he was still not able to predict which piece of equipment was going to give us trouble that day.

Q: How do you feel the instructor could improve his/her teaching?
A: He could learn psychic powers.

Q: Was the instructor thoroughly familiar with the equipment and experiments? Please explain.
A: Actually Kungfucius was pretty familiar with the common types of glitches that would occur with the equipment and he would be able to magically cure the problem. Sometimes I think that he could communicate with the archaic pieces of equipment and they would tell him which button he would have to push for them to work right.

Q: Was adequate assistance available during experiments and were the procedures/techniques properly explained? Please explain.
A: At some points even Kungfucius was unable to tame the 30 yr old oscilloscopes and other equipment and sometimes was unavailable to the other groups during these malfunctions

Time to learn some psychic powers!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Road Test

Today I took my parents down to Aberdeen to do some apartment hunting, and I figure this would be a good opportunity to break in my new CR-V as well. My dad has always been old school in preparing trips with maps and such, but even he was really impressed by the Honda GPS and how easy it was to navigate around with it.

At the end, I found a new apartment about 5 minutes away from the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, so transportation won't be too much of a hassle for work. The CR-V did a good job of sipping gas as well, averaging about 27 MPG for the trip. Apparently, the GPS also allows birds to track your car better as bird poop managed to hit my car three times on the way back -_-

Some quick makeshift pictures of the CR-V

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Are you kidding me....

As much as I've enjoyed the Guitar Hero franchise, this is going a bit over the top as Activision is introducing Guitar Hero on Tour on the DS. Now you might ask how it'll be played, so check out the video...

I mean, it was fun to pretend to know how to play guitar on a fake plastic guitar, and younger DS owners might enjoy it, but I doubt (though I could be wrong) that the older DS owner would want to be caught playing this...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Good Carma

So this weekend, my parents and I went car shopping since I figure I'd be getting one soon. I had my eye on a Honda CR-V since I've been driving my parent's Honda Odyssey for so long, I've gotten use to sitting up high and being able to see a bit further than the average driver in a sedan. So with that in mind, we went to the Honda dealership near my house to do a test drive. I ended up liking the car after the test drive, and they had a white one that I would have considered buying, so we did some talking with the dealer and got a pretty nice discount since my brother had bought his Civic there two years earlier. But dad insisted on checking out more dealerships, so we went to another dealership near Harrisburg.

The dealership in Harrisburg had a "Green Tag" sale going on where they had these green tags hanging on the rear view mirrors with the reduced price. So my mom and I got out onto the lot to look around, and I saw a white CR-V in the lot, so I naturally went over to see what it had. Whoa! The CR-V was pretty much fully loaded, but the thing that caught my eye was the Honda GPS navigation system, which is pretty rare to find as my brother had to wait a couple of months for the dealership to get a Civic with the navigation system. So I looked at the tag hanging in the car just to see what it was priced at, and I had to do a double take because the price seemed waaaaaaaaaay too low. For comparison, the CR-V next to it basically had the same things as the white one minus the navigation system, and it was priced EXACTLY the same! o_O I showed this to my mom, who was quite surprised as well, and we both agreed that someone probably put the wrong tag in the car, but she figured if the dealership would sell it to us that day at that price, we'd probably buy that CR-V.

Long story short, the dealership said that someone had put the tag wrong inside the car and insisted on selling it for 1K more than the tag price, but my mom, being the master haggler, wouldn't budge and continued to insist that we would buy the car if we got it at that tag price. I personally thought this was an impossible proposition for the dealership to take, but they said yes at the end! I don't have the new Kungmobile yet, but I'll be picking it up on Thursday, so there will be pictures to come :) I looked up the price later on and found out we got it just over $500 the invoice price.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Surfing at the speed of light

My parents have been pretty late adapters technology-wise, but they finally took the leap and upgraded their stone-aged dial-up to Verizon FiOS. M was fed up waiting 3 minutes for each webpage to refresh, but she's pretty happy now with the new speed upgrade. Verizon even threw in a free wireless router to sweeten the deal.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Don't see these too often...

I wonder how many omelets you can make out of one egg :P

Monday, March 10, 2008

This was a Triumph!

At 4:30 pm EST today, I passed most likely the second to last exam of my academic career: The Doctorate Candidacy exam. It's been a long road in graduate school with its up and downs, and there were times when I thought of quitting, but with the encouragement of family and friends, I stuck with it, and now I'm another step closer to finishing up.

Time to hit up research again and get that thesis going...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Blizzard '08

Blizzard '08 002

When I went to sleep the night before, I had no idea that there was an impending snow storm coming, so I was really surprised to wake up the next morning to see almost a foot of snow on the ground through my window.  The snow wasn't really coming down hard, and the flakes weren't that big, but the the snow just kept on coming at a steady pace and continued to accumulate throughout the day till maybe about 4:30 pm in the afternoon.  The blustery wind also made the sight quite a bit more intimidating to watch through the window.  Strangely enough, once the snow stopped, the sun came out and the sky cleared pretty quickly, so it was actually quite nice to step outside after the snow passed.

For some reason that morning, I foolishly thought about driving out to get some groceries, but after seeing the 2 and a half foot mound of snow behind the Kungmobile, I turned around and went back inside...

The copious amount of snow reminded me of a blizzard back when I was in high school.  Not only was there 3 feet of snow on the ground, but Mother Nature decided to make the situation extra difficult with a 1 inch layer of freezing rain on top!  Needless to say, my brother and I had that entire week off from school, but we had the time of our lives playing and sledding on the ice (once we dug out of our house).  It was like the Jade Sea in Guild wars, except it was all white :)

Blizzard '08 004

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Big Red Leap

While I was at Cornell, there wasn't much to cheer about in terms of sports like here in Ohio State (ok, people cheered for hockey, but the team never seemed to be as good as people made it out to be :P), so I was pleasantly surprised to read on the ticketer on the bottom of the ESPN channel this morning that the Big Red basketball team is the first team to punch a ticket to the Men's NCAA tournament by having a perfect record (so far) in the Ivy League conference. I remember back in the day when I could go to a basketball game for free and there were like 10 people in the stands, but that's not the case this year. It'll be interesting to see what seed they get in the tournament, and I'll be rooting for them to win at least one round :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

This year's American Idol contestants are lucky...

that this girl isn't competiting in the competition... does a little asian girl sing like that...