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WEEK 10 2006

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Saturday 11 March 2006

Saturday - not too much going on - cold and threatening. In late afternoon - snow!

Friday 10 March 2006

Friday - it was cold. Indeed, it actually snowed! All day, out on the base, we could see snow flurries about the valley, in the distance. No snow at Edwards itself, but excited phone calls from friends in town reported: snow. When I got home there was just a dusting going on.

More cold is predicted for tomorrow.


I've discovered that there may be a licensed accessible copy of Gridgen on an Linux box here at Dryden. If I can get access to it then I should be able to do more than run CFL3D test cases pregenerated by others...

Thursday 9 March  2006

Thursday - home, sick. Went to the dentist, and then just felt blah, so I stayed home. Oh well, it gives me time to surf the blogs...

This is cool. Or creepy. You can be told, can intellectually understand, that you don't actually see the world; that vision is really just a construct of the remarkable computer in the optic nerves, and of the brain itself. But to see it demonstrated so clearly!

Book #14 is Black Bodies & Quantum Cats, by Jennifer Ouellette. It's a collection of science writing, given to me a Christmas by my sister V, and I've been working my way through it, a few chapters at a time. It's good reading - most of the science stuff is at a lighter level than last years Schrodinger's Kittens, but the biographies and historical parts were also interesting. You don't get that part of science in school, or at least, not much.

Though in the early years, grammar school, you do get a fair bit of bowdlerized science history, now that I think of it. It makes the subject a little more human I suppose, a little more approachable, for kids.

Wednesday 8 March 2006

Wednesday - ran across an interesting page, showing the location of ships worldwide. It's fairly slow to load, but interesting. [via Marginal Revolution] At first I thought "What a lot of ships", but then, "That's all? For the entire world?" You can zoom in on the plot, select different categories of vessel, look at tides, and so on. Neat.

There was a similar page for aircraft over the USA that I linked to once, but I think it went away.

Aviation Week Magazine has an expose on the Blackstar, supposedly a super secret two-stage-to-orbit launcher. Cool article, though I'm not sure I actually believe it. [via Hobbyspace]

Tuesday 7 March 2006

Tuesday - back at work, running some test cases. The results match fairly well, for several test cases, but the parallel speed up isn't as good as I'd like. The published results showed a super-linear speed up with the number of cpu's, and I'm only seeing about half that speedup. The published results were for the most part done on clusters of large-cached SGI Origin 2000's with a very high speed interconnect, whereas I'm using a cluster of relatively small-cached Northwood 2.4Ghz Pentium IV's over 100Mb ethernet.

That may explain it. I think I may email the code maintainers to see what they have to say.

The Celestron Sky Scout. Somebody was reading my mind last year...

 Monday 6 March 2006

Monday - on the road back south again.

Sunday 5 March 2006

Sunday - up at my Dad's. It was a nice day to travel yesterday - broken clouds with sun sparkling on the snow in the pass, and on the green grass in the central valley. I finished Book #13, The Pirate Coast, by Richard Zachs, on the way up (an audio book). A good book - having read Lydia Bailey many years ago I cringed at times, knowing what was coming next. But there was a lot of historical insight into Jefferson the president, Captain Bainbridge, the politics of the time, and of course, the self-doomed William Eaton. There is a problem with audio books- the lack of maps to follow, I have to say. It would have been nice to follow Eaton's path from Egypt to Derna on a good map. Eaton's own map (of French origin) was apparently terrible, and caused him to mis-estimate distances repeatedly.

My brother and I were to move the boat to a new marina this weekend, but it's storming, with gale warnings out. Some other time.

Picture of the Week

red hulled sail boat

Photo Notes: Oddly back-stayed sailboat ripping along on SF bay.

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