Tuesday January 12, 2010

...and we're back

If you happened to visit in the last day or so, you may have noticed a change in the style of the blog and some unfamiliar links in the blogroll.  I got hacked!  However, with some help from Six Apart I've managed to regain control of the blog, hopefully permanently.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled lack of posting.

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Thursday October 29, 2009

A Star on my Diploma

As I mentioned, I defended my dissertation this spring and graduated with my Ph.D.  Woo-hoo!  (If you're interested, you can find my dissertation online.)  When I attended the graduation ceremony, they handed out nice sleeves to hold the doctoral students' diplomas, but inside there were only dummy diplomas.  A couple of days ago, the real one arrived in the mail.  You can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that it contains a grammatical error.

Continue reading "A Star on my Diploma"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Saturday July 18, 2009

Re: Jizz

"The packaging of the recent Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes action-figure 5-pack refers to the band's music as 'jazz', which may indicate that 'jizz' is being phased out of Star Wars canon or more likely that Hasbro did not want the term on a toy package."  (from here)

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Thursday May 28, 2009


OK, so I haven't posted since January.  Yes.  Fine.  But I did write a 263-page dissertation that I successfully defended today.  So I've got that going for me.

And, to answer your next question, yes, Dr. The Tensor is the proper form of address.  (Um, after I file.)

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
06:05 PM in Academia | Comments (21) | Submit: | Links:

Tuesday January 27, 2009

This I Believe #35

...that Michio Kaku and Michiko Kakutani should get married, so they can go around being announced as Michio and Michiko Kaku-Kakutani.

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Monday January 19, 2009

Don't Forget the Robots

"They are used for competition and popular Sports Entertainment and in some cases they are featured alongside Motocross races, mud bogging, tractor pulls and car-eating robots."  (from here)

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Sunday January 4, 2009

LSA 2009

I'll be attending the LSA 2009 meeting in San Francisco next weekend, and as in previous years, I think we should get together for drinks or food or something.  Now, if you read those posts about our previous gatherings, you'll find the following, which I still believe to be true this year:

  1. Some of us may not have arrived on Thursday
  2. Friday evening is the grad student mixer, which some of us will want to attend
  3. Saturday Friday evening is the ADS Word of the Year event

Given this, the last couple of years we haven't tried to organize a single event, but instead have designated a corner of the hotel lounge as the spot to hang out, if you're so inclined, after the day's activities wind down.  I plan to reconnoiter the hotel to find a good spot and announce it here Thursday evening—and unlike previous years, I'm just going to update this post rather than adding additional posts, so watch this space.  I see the Hilton has a place called the Urban Tavern, but it apparently closes at 10:30 every night, which is...disappointing.  I'll let you know what I find out.

Did you notice the antecedentless "we" in the first sentence of this post?  Who, you may ask, are "we"?  "We" are a loosely-defined set of linguistics bloggers, language bloggers, and blog readers, along with our colleagues, friends, and others (signifcant and otherwise).  Basically, if you're reading this, you're invited.  There's no minimum unique-visits-per-week or posts-per-month requirements.  (Whew!) 

Thanks to Claire and Russell for reminding me about this, and my apologies for taking so long to get around to it.  I've been busy, I swear!

[UPDATE:  Fritinancy points out that the ADS Word of the Year event is actually on Friday this year.  That makes Saturday evening more open than in previous years—maybe we should consider going to dinner after all?]

[UPDATE:  Well, I explored a bit.  The Urban Tavern is nice, but the tables do seem to be under hostess control, so we can't just wander in and stake one out.  The only other alternative I can see is the "lounge" area near the registration desk.  It gets of lot of traffic and is kind of noisy, but at least it has wireless.  What do you think?  Tavern or lounge?

Friday evening is going to be busy: in addition to the ADS WOTY vote, they're apparently giving an award to Language Log at the LSA business meeting.  Afterward, I'm planning to attend the computational linguistics session, possibly followed by the grad student mixer (because I'm frankly feeling a little old for grad student mixers).  I suggest we focus on a plan for Saturday.  Is there any good Chinese food within walking distance?

Oh, and did I see Semantic Compositions wandering around earlier?]

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
04:03 AM in Academia , Linguistics | Comments (8) | Submit: | Links:

Sunday December 21, 2008

The Tensor Explains It All, 2008

It's that time of year again!  Slate's Explainer column has put up its list of unanswered questions from this year.  As always, Explainer is asking readers to vote on which question should be answered, and as in previous years, I've decided to take up the slack by answering all the questions preemptively (a policy I refer to as "The Tensor Doctrine").

Continue reading "The Tensor Explains It All, 2008"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Friday November 7, 2008

Android Considered Harmful

The new Google Phone's Android platform apparently has a very serious (but hilarious) bug.  When the phone starts, it opens up a command shell with root privileges in the background, and everything you type on the keyboard is sent to that shell.  For example, if you type "reboot<enter>", it reboots the phone.

Does it make me a bad person that the first question that occurred to me upon reading about this was, "Hmm, what would be the best way to get a G1 user to screw themself over?"?  Here's my suggestion, which uses chat:

Q: Hey, got a minute?
A: Sure    [or whatever -- gets them to hit <enter> and prepare for a new command]
Q: Somebody told me, but I forgot: what's the worst thing you can type at a Unix command prompt?
A: rm -rf /    [and hilarity ensues]

This only works with people who know Unix, though—a non-tech-savvy person can only respond, "Hell if I know".  Can we come up with things that we can reliably get a non-geek to type?  Here's a thought: if you can get someone to type "<enter>yes [anything]<enter>" (which must happen all the time in messaging and chat) it will start up the Unix yes command, which will run forever and peg the processor.  I'll bet that runs down the battery really fast.  Fun!

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Friday October 31, 2008

Punk Rock Name Quiz

Punk rock names are an established tradition.  Why should an aspiring musician have to put up with an ordinary, workaday name when he or she could be Johnny Rotten, Jello Biafra, Siouxsie Sioux, or Captain Sensible?  No reason at all, that's why.  Sometimes, though, somebody gets lucky and is born with a name that's already perfect for punk.

This leads me to today's quiz.  Which of the following members of the band X is not using a stage name?

Billy Zoom (guitar)
DJ Bonebrake (drums)
Exene Cervenka (vocals)
John Doe (bass and vocals)

Answer after the jump.  No peeking!

Continue reading "Punk Rock Name Quiz"

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
04:56 PM in Music | Comments (5) | Submit: | Links: