Online home of Jeremy Scheff

Vote and die: are you more likely to cast the deciding vote in the election, or to die on your way to your polling place?

Vote or die? Or, vote and die?

Here is a calculator that will compare the odds of your single vote swinging the 2012 US presidential election with the odds of you dying on the way to your polling place.


Find the RSS feed URL for a Twitter user

Update: June 2013: Previously, this post contained information about how to access RSS feeds of Twitter user timelines so that you could read them in whatever RSS reader you wanted to. But now, those RSS feeds are completely deleted because Twitter is evil. However, it is still possible to recreate the RSS feeds if you jump through some hoops. Probably the easiest way is described in this blog post. It'll take a couple minutes to set up, but then you can easily get an RSS feed for any Twitter timeline.


Butgers University

I like to read old scientific papers. They give me a broader perspective on how things became as they are today. So when I came across this paper from 1977 in the reference list of a more recent paper, I knew I had to read it. Unfortunately, even with my university-provided access to most journals and most certainly to a journal like Nature, the evil overlords at Nature Publishing Group do not include papers as old as from 1977 in our site license. So I had to send a request to the library and wait a few days for someone to scan in a copy of the paper and email it to me, a relatively minor inconvenience.

In the mean time, I read the abstract, all that was available at the time. I noticed the affiliation of one of the authors: Rutgers, my undergraduate alma mater and current graduate school! Awesome, I'm all for school spirit! Except, the affiliation didn't actually say "Rutgers", it said "Butgers". A humorous typo... or something more sinister?


Some notes on porting from PyGTK to PyGObject

These are some notes I wrote as porting my on-again off-again hobby project Basketball GM from PyGTK to PyGObject. I did this because PyGTK is dead and stuck on GTK+ 2, and PyGObject is the future and already on GTK+ 3 through the use of GObject introspection. So, others going through the same transition might (or might not) find this useful. You can see the code I'm referring to on the pygobject branch on GitHub.


A preliminary review of Cinnamon 1.2

I think Ubuntu is a practical joke. After several years of progress, they were finally very very close to the mythical usable Linux desktop. And then they just started fucking with things seemingly at random. At the same time, the GNOME folks started making similarly erratic design decisions.

In response, the Linux Mint folks are making a new UI for GNOME 3 called Cinnamon with the goal of creating a more traditional desktop. They recently released version 1.2. I've been using it for a bit now, and some thoughts are below.


The genius of Hieronymus Bosch

No, not the painter. The death metal band. You know, the perpetually unappreciated band that toiled away in hidden genius for two decades before they tragically broke up a couple years ago? Yeah, those guys.

Not that a split up band really needs more publicity, and not that my blog has a large number of readers, but I'm going to write a bit about one of my favorite underappreciated bands.


My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur - Part 6: The shadier the SEO, the bigger the profit

This is part 6 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous articles, you should start at the beginning.

At this point, I had a pure gold SEO tactic. I used this to make some quick cash and promote various side projects that I eventually sold off. That was all well and good, but I thought it was time to try a slightly more bold moneymaking approach.


My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur - Part 5: Getting fucked over, but still making a profit

This is part 5 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous articles, you should start at the beginning.

Previously, I discussed my website iTopsites (a remotely hosted version of my Aardvark Topsites PHP software). The software running iTopsites was quite unique at the time (and possibly still is today), so naturally there were people who wanted to license my software to make clones of iTopsites. My most notable customer was TopSiteLists.com.


My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur - Part 4: Avatic

This is part 4 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous articles, you should start at the beginning.

In the last article, I wrote about how I got into search engine optimization (SEO) and then had my first success ($$$) followed by my first failure (getting banned from Google). Subsequently, after recovering from that failure (getting back in Google's good graces), I began a more cautious SEO strategy. Instead of promoting random spammy websites, I created my own legitimate websites and used SEO to gain footholds in different markets. Imagining myself running an empire of websites, I decided to call my entire web development business Avatic.


Model predictive control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis


Very recently, I've been intrigued by control theory applied to systems biology. This strategy seems to often produce insightful and unintuitive results. In this blog post, I'm going to take a look at a very cool article by Ben-Zvi and coworkers that applies control theory to a mathematical model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and hopefully put it in a bit of a broader context.


« Newer
Older »