Test: Time, Space and Everything in Between: The Astrophysics Quiz

2016-09-02 19:15:55 PST

Time, Space and Everything in Between: The Astrophysics Quiz
I got:
You scored
28 out of 30

Blah…

2016-08-16 02:05:21 PST

Blah… <ramble, ramble> …

So, … haven’t been feelin’ so hot (as in good) lately.
Had a two week anti-vacation (think mostly opposite of
vacation, except it sucked up the time lost the time
from work, didn’t get paid for it, and it was much more
expensive than an excellent vacation, and it was about
two weeks of fairly close to hell – and least quite
sh*tty, anyway) … it’s been a bit over two weeks
since then some R&R & time with friends has helped, but far from fully recovered from the anti-vacation. Yeah, so earlier, friend was suggesting might take up to fair while to recover – even significantly longer than the anti-vacation itself. I sort’a blew that off, figuring I’d pro’lly recover in roughly about half the time of the anti-vacation. Well, … not so – already been more time than the anti-vacation itself, and, while certainly doing (much) better than immediately after it – still far from fully recovered. Anyway, I digress from main point I wanted to attempt to cover.

So, … yeah, not feelin’ so hot – most notably generally lack of interest in doing most anything. Sure, still go through the motions, but … what do I actually enjoy, what do I look forward to. Yeah, that’s a major problem. Mostly a lot of nothing – not to say that I look forward to (e.g. doing) nothing, but rather there’s mostly nothing that I look forward to. That sucks. Need to find stuff I actually enjoy doing and want to do, and look forward to doing. Unfortunately most of what I seem to find and/or think of in those categories is – or at least seems/feels, relatively unatainable. E.g. girlfriend/relationship – haven’t even tried very much on that, at least for the most part, in several years now – but despite lots of time and effort – especially earlier, really have little to show for it … very very little. I mean if I look at stats there, it’s staggeringly depressing. So often I try to even avoid thinking about the numbers … unless I see or can think of some way I can learn something useful from that data to improve things.

Sometimes (okay, maybe more like often perhaps?) I think I might just be better off coming up with stuff I can do that mostly or entirely doesn’t involve other people. Yeah, sure, do have some quite cool friends … but can only burn so much ‘o their time – they have lives too. Everything seemed so much better when I had a decent girlfriend … okay, so it was (very) long distance, and we spent way way way too much time apart, and not nearly enough together – but at least I had hope we’d get that long distance part fixed … ’cause except for the long distance part it was great, … though that’s a huge “except”. I mean when the relationship is almost entirely long distance … well, it’s mostly just a relationship with some data bits goin’ back and forth … text … voice, … maybe sometimes some pictures or whatever. It’s absolutely definitely not the same as being there … not even close … especially as the time goes on, and on, and on, and on – and it’s huge stretches of time apart. So, yeah, … not findin’ myself all that interested in much of anything. :-/ Oh, sure, no shortage of stuff to do. But most of it just stuff I’m not that interested in.

Yeah, anyway, need to “fix” all that … well, at least the more/most important bits, at least. Hard to get motivated though, … especially after so much of it flops. Better job would be good. Have had better – but sooner or later better changes, and no longer is – e.g. fantastic boss is replaced with horrible boss, companies have significant economic hardship (or they’re just stupidly and rather indiscriminately laying people off – and I find myself in an intolerable position, or unemployed – and have to find something all over again. Other depressing stat that I realized relatively late – with a bunch of expenses and other financial losses from recent anti-vacation etc., and thinking how hard and long it takes to recoup those losses … thinking about inflation and increases in cost of living etc., vs. what my income has and hasn’t done in the past … ’bout dozen years – anyway, when I take inflation / cost of living into account my income over about the past dozen years is not only pretty flat – it’s probably slightly worse than that. That’s definitely not good. So … not gaining ground, not holding ground … but actually losing ground. Seriously not good. How feasible it is for me to change how much of that – not really sure – probably can help that fair degree – but only so much so reasonably within my control. And I sure as heck don’t want to be chasing after the job just for the better income and taking some cr*p job or working in some sucky environment. Paralyzed? Immobilized? Naw, … ought be motivated … highly motivated even. But too damn pessimistic (or is it realistic?). That makes it damn hard to extract oneself from significant rut.

Ah well, … it’ll get better. Maybe only slightly, as I finish recovering from my anti-vacation (financially recovering that will take many months – at best – but at least the other recovery bits should mostly be faster).

Hmmm… I also find myself being very hard on myself … I don’t like making mistakes, missing doing things I should get done, forgetting to do, or not getting around to something I felt I should’ve gotten done … well, there’s been a whole lot ‘o sh*t to do (anti-vacation) – much of that’s all done, but there’s still some significant bits left to do on that yet, … plus there’s tons of catching up (or attempting to), from all that didn’t get done when anti-vacation effectively took well over two weeks away from me. Anyway, all this sh*t that’s been going on … in large quantities, and consuming much resource (time, money, energy, etc.) … I’ve missed some things, made some mistakes, forgotten some things … and I find myself (semi-)beating myself up over ’em … being my own nag, etc. upon myself for that stuff. Definitely not the optimal approach to improving the situation. Some stuff I just blow off – ’cause it’s just not feasible to do it all. Yet I still feel bad about it – if not even approximatley “guilty”. Yeah, … counter-productive and sub-optimal that. Yup, … don’t, e.g., need a family member or anyone else beating me up or beating me down, when I’m more than capable of doing that to myself.

Yup, … well … it’s mostly me that has to fix all this for me. Ain’t like someone else is gonna jump in and fix it for me … nor would that even be possible.

Some folks occasionally suggest, e.g. therapy. Hey, I’m happy they found it worked for them or whatever, but me – I mostly found it a relatively huge waste of time/money/resource for relatively negligible results. Seem to mostly do better just going out and trying random sh*t – and that’s also more likey to find me something I might even like to do. And friends are good – at least to the extent one has friend(s), and there’s some mutual time or whatever. At least that seems to be my general experience (your mileage will vary / individual results will vary). Tuesday early A.M. … and I’m thinking what am I looking forward to this week … weekend … heck, out a full 7 days. Unfortunately not all that much. Probably some bit ‘o time with some friends ‘n such. Probably a slight bit of hanging out with some acquaintances … if that even happens. Okay, … what else? Nothin’ I can specifically think of. Oooh, ooh, friends, what would I like to do with friends? Sure, like spending some time hangin’ out … what do or would I want or prefer to do or more specifically like to do with friends? … yeah, again, I fail to come up with hardly anything. I mean it’s like all better hangin’ with friends, than not … but … what would I most like to do? Can’t even really think what. I mean I’m *sure* there *is* stuff/activities/whatever … but that I can’t think of something – seems to indicate there’s some attitude adjustment needed in my head … or maybe “just” – or especially – burnt/tired/fried/exhausted (and still recovering) from my anti-vacation.

Yet another test: Prosopagnosia – face blindness

2016-08-16 00:20:55 PST

Famous Faces Test

Anyway, took the test 2016-07-09, I got:

Out of 30 faces, you correctly
identified 16.

You were familiar with 24 of the
people in this test.

If we exclude the ones yhou were
unfamiliar with, you got 67%
correct.

On our previous version of this test, the average
person with normal face recognition was able to
recognize about 85% of the faces they were familiar
with. If you missed more than half of the faces you
were familiar with, this may indicate face
recognition difficulties.

For more information about face blindness and
other face recognition difficulties, please go to
www.faceblind.org

Belonging?

2016-03-21 00:49:12 PST

Ya know, a whole lot of the time … most of the time, I feel there really just isn’t anywhere that I truly “belong”.

Just sayin’. Nothin’ new. Nothin’ to see here, move along, move along.

How *not* to run a business public web site – twoo.com

2015-12-03 07:26:18 PST

Egad, yuck, what a negative experience.

Here, folks, a set of examples of how not to run a business public web site – at least not if one wants to be successful and set a good impression.
All these examples from twoo.com within the last 12 hours (and very little interaction with the site to encounter all these issues and problems):

  • Do a major site transition with radical jaring changes, blast out an email to all your users of the old site that they should login to the new site and activate their account on the new site, and do this just before or right at the beginning of a scheduled maintenance outage … yes, they actually did that – jeez, what idiots (NARS – I think “Not A Rocket Scientist”). So, the user experience? – haven’t used the site in months or more, get this email, go to old site (hey, who knows if the email is legit – it was sent from new domain, not old), old site redirects to new, new … yeah, it’s down for maintenance – planned scheduled maintenance – ugh … idiots. So the new user experience is new site that’s 100% down when visited (at least for the first half hour or more). This also fails the “high availability” criteria – such sites should be high availability – not to mention their other idiocy.
  • At least security sensitive stuff should generally enforce https, or at least support it. And yes, also with valid good strong SSL certs. twoo.com and their ilk/history generally blows it. So, at some point, formspring.me became spring.me, and highly recently, spring.me became twoo.com. My login information I’d saved, was still for formspring.me … whatever, go to formspring.me, redirects to spring.me, redirects to twoo.com down for maintenance page. Retry some hours later … and look a bit more closely. https://www.formspring.me/ – certificate expired (like what, they can’t spend the $10.00 USD per year or so or can’t even bother?). So, if I ignore the expired cert bit, I then find it’s also incorrect cert – the site cert is not for formspring.me, but for spring.me. Not okay, whatever, so they suck, blow through that and see what’s next … I find both https://formspring.me/ and http://formspring.me/ do a 301 (“permanent”) redirect http://spring.me/ – drops the https when redirecting from https. Yet another screw up. So, let’s pick up at https://spring.me/ – egad, idiots! – yet another cert error – the cert on that site is for twoo.com, not for spring.me. So, if we blow past that error, their next idiocy – surprise surprise, yes, they redirect again, but this time only 302 – “temporary” (like what, they’re really planning to bring back spring.me after they’ve already effectively announced their killing of it?) – but not only that, it redirects from https, again to insecure straight http … on the http://twoo.com/ site. And if you go to their login/sign-in page … it’s http … though one can manually force it to use https, but everything on their site defaults to http, and often links back to http, not https.
  • So, finally login on their site and … Do a rough, disruptive transition. formspring.me became spring.me – whatever – not sure how long ago that was, and then highly recently, spring.me became two.com. Everything that was good/unique/interesting with formspring.me (and possibly also spring.me – not sure when that change was) is gone (quite unique question/answer forum & community, etc.), and it’s all been replaced with yet another dating/matchmaking site – pretty much an okcupid.com wanna be – at least as far as I can tell – but a much more stupid, limited version thereof – basically a half-hearted attempt … well, really, not even anywhere close to half, … more like 5 to 10% effort – if even that. A sucky poor version of what they apparently wannna be, and they dropped everything that was relatively good with what they are. Yep, that’d be a way to kill a business and be stupid and tick off customers/users.
  • So, what the hell, on the site, haven’t logged in in a long time, … not even sure when I last changed password on site, … let’s change password – and, bloody thing defaults to http – so manually force it to https. So, navigate to the password change section, paste in old password, and new password and a second time for confirmation, click the CHANGE button and … nothing. WTF? Click it a whole bunch more times … nothing. Did it change it? Hell if I know. Let’s check. Logout. Try login with new password, it fails – and they also so very unhelpfully and misleadingly, give a message that they’ve emailed me a link to instantly log in – bloody hell, the password change didn’t take, *and* they send me in clear plaintext unencrypted email a URL to instantly login – I requested no such email – after all, that’s what the dang “I forgot my password” links are for, right? But I’d clicked no such link. Whatever, I try the login another time or two – same damn message each time about it sending me an email … oh, which by the way they sent no such emails – so they’re not even consistent with what they say. Bloody heck. So, … try old password again … it authenticates. Try the password change exercise a few more times – each time, same results. Yet another time with the password change interface … and I eventually figure out if one pastes the data in the fields it ignores it – damn friggin’ idiots. Don’t they know smart secure folks use password management, and pick good strong secure passwords, and typically don’t type the damn passwords in? E.g. a typical password of mine might look like yflflwx0)7+CvT0t7y*g … oh, and “of course”, would be different for every friggin’ site, account, etc. – you don’t think I actually memorize and type all those in, or even manually type ’em every time? Now, if my password was something stupid like “secret” and I used it on every friggin’ site, maybe I’d type it … or program it into a hot key on the keyboard or such … but I’m not that stupid nor insecure. Anyway, so, have to actually type the passwords in – or, well, at least the last character of each string – bloody annoying … anyway, do that, and looks like it finally takes it – even has one of those “password strength” indicators – okay, so that very last bit not exactly bad. But then [insert drum roll] click the CHANGE button and …: Internal Server Error – Read The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Reference #3.4d42ddc2.1449152193.16f5aa53 UGH! You gosh darn idiots! Sites ought be able to take secure passwords – that means at least arbitrary ASCII printable characters plus [space] character, and if not arbitrary length, at least quite long – e.g. preferably at least 20 or more characters, and preferably quite a bit more than that (some folks use quite long passphrases), and certainly don’t limit it to something quite short (e.g. limiting to 8 or fewer is generally quite bad), and if one has some specific limitations – e.g. can’t take certain characters, or only allow certain characters, or has some minimum, or maximum, or must have some other construction rules, then preferably state those restrictions up front before one enters new password (like before one has bothered to pick or generate one that doesn’t satisfy the site’s limitations), but if one can’t do that, at least after rejecting a password, state exactly why – if one can’t state the limitations up front, at least state the limitations upon rejection. But bloody hell, don’t just friggin’ outright fail. Idiots. That generally indicates flawed – and often vulnerable code. Oh, geez, and with password input – a security sensitive area? Trust these guys? I wouldn’t trust ’em any further than I could spit ahead of me in a 100 MPH headwind. What a crap site.

“Always look a person in the eye when you talk to them.”

2015-11-29 11:33:15 PST

Always look a person in the eye when you talk to them.
Just sayin’.

Yet another test: Can we guess your age? … based on how well you can distinguish between colors

2015-11-20 07:43:05 PST

Can we guess your age? … based on how well you can distinguish between colors
I got:
“Wow, your color age is 17! Are you really 17 years old?”

More random tests – color

2015-11-10 21:17:22 PST

Color Blindness Test
“Color Blindness Test Result
Normal Color Vision
You were able to see the hidden shape in all or nearly all of the test conditions. This indicates a high probability of having normal color vision.”

Online Color Challenge
“Online ColorIQ Challenge Results
You have perfect color vision!”

Mary Hartman & The Pink Panther – characters I like – and some correlations

2015-10-26 08:24:40 PST

So, … interesting bit that occurred to me relatively recently.

Two characters I quite like, each from their own rather different show, it happened to occur to me that there are some particularly strong correlations between the characters. The characters – Mary Hartman, in the TV series _Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman_, and The Pink Panther – specifically from _The Pink Panther_ animated cartoon series.

Now certainly, at least ostensibly, those shows and characters are quite a bit different. But struck me in some ways they’re surprisingly very similar.

So … key similarities. Both quite nice, likable characters, but also a quite naive innocence to them. And they very much try to do the right thing, and quite consistently try to do so. But the circumstances and situations are often rather to highly difficult and challenging, and often very much almost or effectively even “conspire” against them. Rather like put the very real possible and quite likable person in the relatively unreal yet highly plausible and often problematic situation, and, well, despite best intents and efforts, things often go quite badly – often to very comedic effect, but too, often poignant, sad, perplexing, and/or preposterous effect – and often also managing to point out absurdities very present in reality. It’s like you see these wonderful characters. And they have these quite unwonderful circumstances and situations and events happen to them and unfold before them. And – can quite identify and sympathize with the characters … imagining being in quite same or similar situation as them – and also not knowing that which they don’t know, every step along the way seems a highly plausible reaction to and handling of what comes along – and all with best intentions. Yet they often end up in situations much more like one couldn’t even imagine, even not knowing what they didn’t/don’t know, it seems impossibly absurd that they could end up in such situation or predicament … yet there they are, and every step along they way highly plausible and believable for the often unfortunate situations and series of events, complications, etc., that gets thrown at them. It’s like can’t at all (or hardly/rarely) fault them for what they did, how they tried, what they intended, etc., yet they get to predicaments and having done things, which when looking at where and how they end up, looks like they very much should not have gotten to those points – yet there they are – with no better nor more logical alternatives effectively available to them to choose along the way. Seems often they try, and it doesn’t go well, they try and do better or fix or correct that – and it goes yet worse, and often ends up with rather to quite the predicament or absurdity. Perhaps part of it is the seeming paradox – can’t conceive how they could’ve ended up as and how they did – knowing the characters and decisions they’d make – yet what was thrown at them, step by step, decision by decision – it’s as if they could not possibly have chosen differently anywhere along the way and ended up anywhere other than as and where they did.

I also find similarity in often the juxtaposition of who the “civilized”, “sane”, “right”, or “reasonable” one is – often quite contrary to general societal presumptions, biases, or misjudgements by peers and others that often really just don’t have the full picture of what happened, but rather quickly draw their conclusions from one, even significant, bit they see – which they often totally misinterpret for lack of the more complete context that explains the observations – the more limited observations often implying things very different than what has actually transpired or even the basic fundamental facts of what actually happened and didn’t happen.

A few slight partial examples that come to mind. Pink Panther – an animal. “Vs.” human. Often, the Pink Panther, as “animal”, is far more civil, civilized, and effectively “human” than the human(s). Mary Hartman, often perceived or judged as “wrong”, “crazy”, “nuts”, irrational, uncaring, hurtful, when that’s anything but the case, while at same time the more real “villains” – or at least those doing the more hurtful, harmful things, etc., are often viewed and judged by many as being the “good” folks, when the reality is more like anything but. In many cases they’re often revered. I also like and note similarities where both are seen and viewed as imperfect and “flawed” – despite all their best efforts, they’re, well, “human” – even for a Pink Panther – and they make mistakes – “oops” – not really all that unlike any of us may make – at least under similar circumstances, and also not knowing that which they don’t know. Also both, to large extent, relatively strong characters – when they’re really pushed and challenged hard, they generally quite hold it together and well and strongly do the right thing (though how “doing the right thing” plays out, well, often varies anyway, due to circumstances and happenings).

Anyway, … it had just happened to occur to me – two characters I very much like – on the surface, they, and the series they’re in, seem very different … yet analyzing a wee bit closer, some very strong striking similarities between the two characters.

I wonder too, if somehow, they quite remind me, at least in some ways, of myself? Quite naive in some ways (e.g. at least socially – whole helluva lot of stuff I just don’t get (and perhaps never will)), try very hard to “do the right thing”, and yet, too often, things seem to turn out rather preposterously flawed, failed, or “bad” (or certainly not as expected by me, and I’d intended). Perhaps even absurdly or comedicly so? Well, maybe if I was able to laugh at more or most of it.

Quote … on religion, prejudice, etc. – from a perhaps somewhat unlikely source (_The Blacklist_)

2015-10-23 04:18:12 PST

Quote I ran across and quite like, this some from a perhaps somewhat unlikely source – _The Blacklist_ – episode: “The Djinn”

Raymond Redington: Honestly, is it just me, or is the human race, armed with religion, poisoned by prejudice and absolutely frantic with hatred and fear, galloping pell-mell back to the dark ages. Who on Earth is hurt by a little girl going to school or a child being gay?