Friday, September 28, 2012

Limiting One's Own Enjoyment With Equipment Snobbiness

Not too infrequently, I've noticed how some people say, "I would never (X) without (some inconvenient/difficult-to-use piece of equipment designed specifically for X)," yet say they dislike carrying (said item) around with them and don't do (X) anymore because of it. The most frequent example would be the DSLR lover who hates bringing it around, yet 'loves' photography too much to take photographs with, say, a mobile phone camera.

I see two problems here:

  1. They invest quite a lot into their ideal tool, only to stow it away for it never to see the light of day once they realize how 'inconvenient' it is.
  2. They never partake in their favored activity anymore because they're too snobby to accept a more 'convenient' alternative.

Why invest in the 'inconvenient' device and never use it? That's just plain wasteful.

Why prevent yourself from your own enjoyment this way? If you enjoy it, don't keep yourself from doing it because of how snobby you are about the tools you use.

I personally do know the value of a discrete camera, and frequently use a 'consumer-level' point-and-shoot that's comparable to a mobile phone in girth when I plan on taking large sets of photos, but use a mobile phone for a quick shot here and there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Alternative Throttle Vehicle

After having become adjusted to the bicycle, I've found that power control via peddling is a very reliable and easy-to-use system. However, actually providing the power via said means, while very efficient, puts an upper limit on what one can do and for how long one can do it.

Seeing this, I periodically consider the idea of a vehicle which uses peddling to control the output of, say, an electric motor. Shifting could be accomplished via a scaled-up bicycle hub gear, to handle the increased torque, yet still keep shifting fairly simple. Alternatively, a CVT could be used with set "gears" or even a fully-continuous ratio selections without getting "stuck" in a gear. An electric motor would also prevent stalling if one selects too high a gear, and would not require to be idled when the vehicle is at rest. It would have to incorporate a bicycle-style freehub as well, since coasting is coasting regardless of the power source.

Using pedaling instead of a pressing down a pedal or pushing a button would additionally act as a sort of dead man's switch, which would make it safer. To allow one to shift down when in too high a gear, there would have to be some sort of mechanism to prevent motor damage.

The end result would be a vehicle as easy to operate as a bicycle, yet with increased speed and range. It would additionally remove what I perceive to be a disconnect in control associated with a throttle button or pedal, which is an issue I see with current electric bicycles.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The History of My Odd Interest in Valerian

I used to watch a children's show (as a grown adult, no less) called The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog, which is shown on Qubo, a channel I receive with my antenna to this day. A certain episode revolved around the dye properties of valerian, which is also used as an herb.

Later on, I learned from @LilligantLuna that this herb is also used as a tea, particularly noted for its sleep-aiding traits. I first looked at one of my local tea shops to see if they carried it, and they sent me to the local apothecary (imagine that!), which does carry it in an herbal tea blend.

I don't know if the tea really helps me sleep, but it does taste interesting (in a good way).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wikipedia Graphs

Back when I was a college student with too much free time, I decided to make a set of scripts to operate on a Wikipedia database dump, which would create a directed graph of all of the inter-page links. Here are some results:

Anyone with an interest in 'wikidiving' would appreciate this sort of thing.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Nico Nico Douga Download

Here's some new stuff.

Oh, and you should go check out Shiroko on YouTube.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Music Statistics as of Today

Well, I've been gathering BPM statistics about my music collection, and here's what I have.

NOTE: "Vocaloid" refers to Nico Nico Douga music in general; the name "Vocaloid" is vestigial.


中島みゆき4801st Qu.96.60
大塚愛1133rd Qu.109.96

These are some general statistics about my entire collection. The quartiles and so on are about overall BPM, not per-artist.

The following graphs show the frequencies of BPMs grouped into "buckets" of 5 BPM each. The second graph is a probability distribution of the BPMs, with the blue line representing a normal distribution and the red line representing a density distribution.

Major Artists

This is probably the most interesting plot: I took all artists in my collection who have at over ten tracks and created a boxplot comparing their BPMs:

More detail after the jump…