A Wild Quote Appears

From the classroom to the restaurant to the bulletin board to the marquee, there seem to be a lot of people who like to post quotes. These days, quoting pretty much nearly always fits one of two purposes: (1) making oneself look deep and (2) screwing with context. How many times have you seen someone quote a popular figure and rooted the advice’s legitimacy in the fact that it was uttered by that person? Or apply a quote to a field the quote is clearly not intended for? Or seen a quote that just sounds pretty but is really quite meaningless when you actually think about it?

Let’s start fixing pointless Quotes of the Day and motivational posters. Let’s help people realize there is not really much gravitas that can be afforded to a quoting, and remind people that they shouldn’t blindly adjust the way they live to a quote someone made. Contribute something to such quote collections that points things out. Here, have some examples.

“I believe in one thing only, the power of human will.” —Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili

“John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith.” —Barack Obama

“Silence!” —Lao Tzu

“I keel you!” —Ahmed the Dead Terrorist

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful coconut.” —Abraham Lincoln

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, it’s not true! It’s bullshit! I did not have sexual relations with that woman! I did NAWWWWT. Oh hi, Mark.” —Bill Clinton

“Words build bridges into unexplored regions.” —Adolf Hitler

“Kids these days playing Pokémon Go, how they fail to question the nature of the world around them.” —Socrates

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” —Minitrue

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” —Donald  Trump

“Toronto.” —Watson

“Bituminous coal.” —William Barton Rogers

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening.” —Groucho Marx


Pokémon Go: Stats Upon Level 33

This post is in the format of and an extension of my Level 30 stats post from three months ago.

Around 0100 Eastern Time today, I evolved a Pidgey to reach 3750334 XP, thus levelling up to Level 33.

I started playing Pokémon Go on August 26 last year. Using this baseline, this is when my level-ups occurred:

Day 87: Level 29
Day 92: Level 30
Day 102: Level 31
Day 138: Level 32
Day 181: Level 33

My buddy is currently a Lapras. My buddy has previously been a Dratini, a Bellsprout, and two different Charmanders.

My Pokémon are currently at 383/400.
My eggs are currently at 9/9.
My items are currently at 308/350, specifically:
3x Super Potion
68x Hyper Potion
87x Max Potion
40x Max Revive
2x Incense
11x Great Ball
20x Ultra Ball
1x Lure Module
16x Razz Berry
5x Nanab Berry
39x Pinap Berry
Egg Incubator ∞
1x Metal Coat
1x Dragon Scale
1x Up-Grade

(I have still only used Max Potions where Hyper Potions would also work. I now have several Pokémon with over 200 HP, but the situation still hasn’t arisen for the two to have different effects from singular use yet.)

(At some point since the Level 30 stats update, I actually accumulated 272=0xGG max potions, and then decided I’m done hoarding them and letting them hog space.)

(Parentheticals in this section show change from last update. For comparison, the XP change from the previous update is +87.5%.)

Pokédex: 146 (+33)
Pokémon Caught: 8794 (+88.3%)
Evolutions: 1358 (+85.0%)
Pokéstop Visits: 11593 (+69.9%)
Distance Walked: 742.9 (+73.3%)
Eggs Hatched: 159 (+43.2%)
Gym Battles Won: 1305 (+35.7%)
Gym Trainings: 365 (+45.4%)

All 383 of my Pokémon are currently fully healed.

Strongest Pokémon:
Gyarados (CP 2945)
Vaporeon (CP 2766)
Vaporeon (CP 2650)
Flareon (CP 2499)
Snorlax (CP 2393)
Flareon (CP 2339)

(Strongest Pokémon at last update)
Gyarados (CP 2805)
Vaporeon (CP 2351)
Vaporeon (CP 2288)
Flareon (CP 2177)
Vaporeon (CP 2158)
Vaporeon (CP 2138)

Pokémon Caught by Type
(Parentheticals in this section show change from last update. For comparison, the XP change from the previous update is +87.5%, and the Pokémon caught change from the previous update is +88.3%.)
Normal: 6510 (+102.2%)
Flying: 4059 (+104.2%)
Poison: 1922 (+70.8%)
Bug: 1547 (+69.4%)
Water: 896 (+56.1%)
Psychic: 327 (+52.1%)
Ghost: 202 (+32.0%)
Electric: 169 (+116.7%)
Fairy: 157 (+241.3%)
Ground: 155 (+40.9%)
Grass: 109 (+73.0%)
Steel: 92 (+130.0%)
Fire: 86 (+100.0%)
Rock: 49 (+88.5%)
Ice: 43 (+79.2%)
Fighting: 38 (+26.7%)
Dark: 15 (+∞%)
Dragon: 13 (+8.3%)

Continue reading “Pokémon Go: Stats Upon Level 33”

Want You Hosed

Looking through my old notes, I found these lyrics that I wrote for 5.12.

5.12 had a tradition of having a poem- or songlyric-writing contest at the end. Unfortunately, I was too hosed to write this before the contest deadline, but I did complete it after the class ended, nearly four years ago.

These lyrics are, of course, sung to this.

One more semester went
5.12, aren’t I a pleasure
Remember when you tried to pass me twice?
Oh how we punt and tooled
But you did all the tooling
I just sat there and learned to be
A slight bit less nice.

You want your free time? Have it.
Your scores will really show.
I used to want you failed but
Now I only want you hosed.

A lot of kids like you
(Maybe not quite as dense)
Have tried to play the hosing game here too
One day one of them woke
Just kidding; actually died
Like a t-butyl group
I blew his skull up too wide.

Go drink some LiAlH4
While I fail more bozos.
I used to want you failed but
Now I only want you hosed.

Goodbye my favorite derp
(What? No, of course I meant you.)
It would have been a joke if it weren’t so true
Too bad you’ll be replaced
With more dim-witted students
Their ways to fail the Wittig
Will resonate of you

Go live your short hosed life left
Time here; it quickly goes
Soon you’re 5.13’s problem
Now I only want you hosed
Now I only want you hosed
Now I only want you hosed

(Just to confirm: I never went ahead and took 5.13, but time here, it indeed quickly went.)

For the Force of Fascination, the News Fails at Science

There are now several news articles going around generally spouting “Zealandia? Eighth continent! Betcha didn’t know!”.

Most of these articles bother to go into what a geologic definition of a continent looks like, and shows that Zealandia would be categorized as such, but two of the ones linked above never manage to take a step back and realize that it’s completely preposterous for Europe and Asia to be considered geologically the same continent, despite many of them actually including a map that says ‘Eurasia’ (and the others mostly mention this as just a convention, and not something that is as geologically decidable as the topic they are bringing forward).

(I’m particularly saddened that my favorite bastion of journalism, The Guardian, one of very few media sources I actually respect, joined in on this train. At least it mentioned Eurasia.)

If they actually bothered to consider Eurasia beyond mention, they would realize that Zealandia really wouldn’t be the 8th continent, but the 7th. (Rather ironically, the first article is the only one that manages to get to this, despite being written in the most flippant tone.)

But beyond this, not a single one of these articles managed to point out that Zealandia is not the first proposed submerged continent. I’ve ran Ctrl+F through all of them for Kerguela. None of the articles return finds. Some of the maps on the articles point out Kerguela, but evidently none of the authors of these articles decided that was something they might want to take note on when they chose to include that map. This news, that Zealandia is a new continent, really isn’t that earth-shattering when one considers that this idea isn’t new. And since among these articles the demotion of Pluto has been mentioned, this is like how Pluto’s demotion from planetary status isn’t really that unprecedented given this happened to (to give one example) Ceres prior.

And really, this is what most news on science is like. Much of it just exists to catch people’s attention at the cost of any semblance of scientific legitimacy. It turns out most the public is too ignorant on science to realize lacks of background that really change what articles on science are putting forward. This is why ‘Science’ is usually one of my least favorite categories of news.

Ingress: Stats Upon Level 10

Just a few a minutes ago, I reached Level 10 in Ingress, by glyph hacking the portal ‘Sonia McGee Tree’, in the southwest of MIT’s Building 26.

One of the great aspects of Ingress as a game is that it comes with a comprehensive dashboard of statistics; I don’t even need to make one myself!

(Since leveling up, I have performed one recharge.)

One Institutional Memory Ago

At MIT, we often talk about the institutional memory: the fact that, for instance, undergraduate students are only here for about four years means that many things are quickly forgotten. Just to jog the forgotten past a bit, here’s a list of things at MIT that I can remember to have changed while I was here. If you came to MIT later than I did, you might learn about some things that you may have thought have always been that are actually really new. (And I guess, on the other token, if you left MIT a short number of years ago, here’s what no longer is.)

7.015 and 7.016 didn’t exist.
18.03 taught Laplace Transforms.
No class numbers had ten-thousandth places. 6.0001 and 6.0002 were the first ones. Soon after, Course 18 and then Course 15 joined the party.
Course 1 had only three degree path options: 1-C, 1-E, and 1-A.
Course 14 had only one degree path option.
Course 15 had only one degree path option.
18.100 had three versions: A, B, and C.
Course 21G was called 21F.

The EECS undergraduate lounge was 38-201.

Building 12 existed.
Building E33 existed.
Building E34 existed.
Building NW62 existed.
Building W13 existed.
Building W64 didn’t exist.

MIT didn’t have buildings in the EE sector.
MIT didn’t have Building E94.
MIT didn’t have Building N50.
MIT didn’t have Building NW32.
MIT didn’t have Building NW98.
MIT didn’t have Building W97.

Building 2 underwent a renovation. (As did all of its classrooms.)
Building 9 underwent a renovation.
Building 35 underwent a renovation.
Building 66 underwent a renovation.
Building E52 underwent a renovation.
Buildings E17 and E18 underwent two renovations.

4-270 underwent a renovation.
4-370 underwent a renovation.
6-120 underwent a renovation.
24-1’s classrooms underwent renovations.
26-100 underwent a renovation.

Building 2 didn’t have a name.
Building 9 didn’t have a name.
Building E52 was called Sloan. (Often referred to as ‘Old Sloan’, in comparison to E62.)

The lobby of Building 32 wasn’t named the Charles Vest Student Street. (And Charles Vest was still alive.)

All of Random Hall’s bathrooms had two toilets.

Students of dorms worked their front desks during the day, exclusively. (Allied Barton workers weren’t there yet.)
In all dorms but Random Hall, all you needed to say in order to be allowed inside a dorm was that you’re visiting someone.

2-032 was an Athena cluster.
2-225 was an Athena cluster.
12-182 was an Athena cluster.
37-312 was an Athena cluster.
38-370 was an Athena cluster.
56-129 was an Athena cluster.
The W20-575 Athena cluster was larger.

LSC’s main office was W20-469.
LSC ran films during the summer.

Both ESP’s main office and its secondary office were accessed by numerical code rather than card reader.
ESP’s secondary office was in Building 50. That meant that if one was doing things there in the summer one was doing so in searing heat.
All of ESP’s Splark Teacher Appreciation Dinners were at Royal East.
The members of ESP endlessly squabbled over which juice was better rather than what the name of the printer was (and that printer wasn’t there yet (or the other printer)).

The card reader in front of SIPB’s office wasn’t there (not that it does anything these days).

The Tech published twice every seven days.

Saté was called momogoose, and vegetarian entrees were $4.
There was Sepal, which was replaced by Sonoma Greens, which was soon after replaced with Shawarma Shack.

Centrifugues didn’t exist yet.

MIT Gangnam Style happened.

Sean Collier was shot and killed, and a memorial was built for him near where he was shot, between Buildings 32 and 76.