•April 21, 2014 • 1 Comment


Oh, dear Canon iP3500 color inkjet printer. You served us for seven years, unflaggingly printing every web comic, and every scientific paper we threw at you. Yes, your colors became increasingly muddy, and your black text less crisp than your younger, shinier, lasery sister in the other room. She may have been fancier, with her wifi, and her built-in scanner, but you were tough, and light, and, well, we were either too damned cheap or too lazy to get around to replacing you, especially since you still worked just fine, thank you very much.

You lasted so long, through so many ink cartridge changes, that we just assumed you would continue on forever. When finally, one afternoon, you released your spirit, we were shocked, and inconvenienced. We grieved, unable to find any closure in your final, cryptic error message.

Today, I lay you to rest, mostly in the garbage. But not before dismantling the crap out of you and harvesting your weird-ass components. Seriously, what kind of printer doesn’t have any stepper motors in it? Ya cheap bastards.


Yearly Post

•February 9, 2013 • 1 Comment

Grad school seems to have really sapped my desire to write. :/

I went back and read the last few things I posted to LJ back in the day, and I was amazed at my verbosity, and willingness to expound on any and every little thing. Holy crap.

Who are blogs for? Are they for others? Are they for myself? Does anyone care what I write on here? More importantly, does that matter, and should it matter?

My initial gut says that it should matter, that I should write what others may care to read, but on deeper reflection, no, I shouldn’t care if other people read this or not. Ultimately, these writing jobbies serve more to remind me of the things going on in my life at any given time. A kind of externalized memory, populated with the things that mattered enough to write down.

This is not to say, however, that non-personal blogs aren’t awesome, and that I shouldn’t have one. So… yes, I’ve made ANOTHER wordpress blog, which will be devoted to slightly more worky things, like my research and art projects.

Ideally, this will give this blog some space to breathe, free of whatever bullshit expectations are holding me back.

Guest Post at BEACON

•January 30, 2012 • Leave a Comment

This week, I contributed the weekly “Researchers at Work” post for the BEACON Center Blog.

Virtually every new graduate student has experienced that flash of panic when confronted by a well-meaning relative, asking that dreaded question, “What do you do?” Even if your topic of interest isn’t particularly specialized (and whose isn’t?), formulating a non-technical “elevator pitch” can be a daunting task. And when you start that pitch with, “I study evolution,” things can get dicey pretty quickly.

Read the rest at the BEACON Blog.

An Open Letter to the US Copyright Office

•January 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Copyright Office’s 2010 exemption to the DMCA for jailbreaking of cellphones will soon expire. EFF and the Software Freedom Law Center are encouraging people to submit comments to the copyright office in support of renewing the exemption, and also extending it to all other general purpose computing devices such as tablets and gaming consoles.

Read the letter I submitted below the cut.

Continue reading ‘An Open Letter to the US Copyright Office’

Compiling py26-pyqt4 in Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) with MacPorts

•October 17, 2011 • 2 Comments

(…when it just doesn’t fucking work)

So, I was trying to install ETE to do some phylogenetic tree visualizations. The recommended method, MacPorts (sudo port install py26-ete2), kept failing while attempting to install the py26-pyqt4 pre-req package. Noted in the log was the following unhelpful error message*:

configure couldn't open "/System/Library/Frameworks/Tcl.framework/Versions/8.5/Resources/tclIndex": no such file or directory

*HINT: This isn’t the actual problem.

The problem is that sip (a prereq to py26-pyqt4) is not being properly referenced.

To fix it, run the following:

sudo ln -s /opt/local/bin/sip-2.6 /opt/local/bin/sip

which will create a soft-link between the installed sip binary (sip-2.6) and what is being called by py26-pyqt4 configure script (just sip).

Then, when you run the macports install command again, it will succeed in installing py26-pyqt4, and the rest of the prereqs.

(keywords: MacPorts ETE ete2 Mac OS X Leopard Python py26-pyqt4 QT4 sip)

Light Interactions

•October 5, 2011 • 1 Comment

So, because of various (not really at liberty to discuss) stuffs happening, plus epic cat health drama, bright points are a little hard to come by. But today, this thing happened, and it made me happy.

Continue reading ‘Light Interactions’

In The Service of Euphemism

•August 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

You have a beautiful smile means
You have spent thousands of dollars
On a thing
No other creature in the universe
Could look upon
And think beautiful