SurprisesPosted: October 24, 2011
[Disclaimer: I’m a little scattered – typical “I need a vacation to recover from my vacation” state – so this post may be a little disjointed.]
I was thinking today about things I’ve been surprised by recently:
It Rains Inside in Mexico
Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration – maybe not everywhere in Mexico. The resort where we stayed in Cancun had a really impressive open entryway and skylights running the length of the hotel. (Note to self: Put more picture in posts. People like pictures.) This seemed pretty reasonable, given that someone told us they only got something like 30 days of rain a year in Cancun. Well…we happened to get 3-4 of those days. As it turns out nothing in that hotel was particularly water-tight, resulting in towels lying about on the tile for the majority of our stay. But hey, it was still 80 degrees, so no complaints.
Turns out, there are some bits of Artificial Intelligence that are fairly tricky. Particularly if one hasn’t taken a statistics course in 10 or so years. And particularly if one is out of the country sans PC while the online courses are taking place, giving one a single day to watch all the video lectures, take all the quizzes, and complete the homework. It begs the question: Why on earth couldn’t they have done the easy unit on depth-first search while one was on vacation?
Not that Blizzcon took place – that happens every year – but what was announced at this year’s con. Specifically: The next expansion, Mists of Pandaria. Again, it’s no surprise that they’re releasing another expansion; I’ve come to expect that about once a year out of Bliz. I figured they’d probably tweak around with the talent trees and all of that stuff. Pretty much par for the course for an expansion that adds new levels. …but panda monks? Seriously? This one might be where I call it quits with WoW. I mean, I loved the movie…but…seriously?
Yes, that’s actually Donald Knuth
A buddy of mine sent me a link to a video of Randall Munroe speaking at Google in 2007. I hadn’t seen the video before and I love xkcd, so I figured I’d go ahead and check it out. Well, it just so happens that one of the Googlers had arranged for Donald Knuth – yes, the Donald Knuth – to be present at the talk. In fact, she went so far as to get hime to ask Munroe a question about a comic he had drawn about Knuth. It took me a minute to realize what was actually going on. I actually thought they were just kidding around – “ha ha, the guy who asked the question must be Donald Knuth.” Not kidding around…that is, in fact, him. In the flesh. Awesome.