Protected: Meanderings on the Cradlerock Candidates Forum

Posted August 31, 2010 by Tom Comeau
Categories: Uncategorized

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Protected: PTACHC Meeting Notes

Posted August 26, 2010 by Tom Comeau
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progress chart

Posted August 14, 2010 by Tom Comeau
Categories: Home


I found a cool Android app that fits a trend line to weight measurements and predicts meeting a goal.

Getting my weight down is something my doctors have been bugging me about.  I’m using the same technique I used before, John Walker’s Hacker diet, but this time I’m tracking it with another Android app linked to the site.  What neither the site nor the app had was an easy graphing/trendline capability.  Now I have that, too.

Looks like I’ll get down to my goal just in time to ruin it over the holidays.


Posted November 24, 2009 by Tom Comeau
Categories: Home

Angie’s List is running a promotion I found amusing, but not for the reason they suggest.

Because nobody puts "re-gifted gifts" on their wish list.

I like the idea of getting something regifted.  It appeals to both my sense of irony and my sense of utility.

My wishlist, if anybody cares, is here.

But, if you have something you’re not using anyway, particularly still in the packaging, that you think I’d find useful or amusing, by all means regift it.  Got a strange kitchen tool you don’t use?  I’m trying all sorts of new things in my kitchen.  Have a set of cool wineglasses, but you quit drinking years ago?  I have a nice Pinot that needs a glass.  Did you misunderstand a DVD title, and it turned out to be some weird science-fiction soft-core porn?  Well.. I’ll give it a look, anway.

It just seems to me that having a gift whose only purpose is to demonstrate that gravity is still working is of zero, perhaps negative, value.  If nothing else, I’ll find it amusing.


How to think about using a smartphone.

Posted October 26, 2009 by Tom Comeau
Categories: Uncategorized

This is an issue I’ve struggled to understand. This seems like a good place to start.

(Renny Gleason’s TED Talk – 3 minutes.)


Silly, but funny.

Posted August 7, 2009 by Tom Comeau
Categories: Uncategorized

This was my first attempt.

Then I was surprised by a failure to converge!

But then I got it in one with my next attempt.

Mary found a nice one in an old favorite.

She thought lyrics might give good results, but not Penny Lane.

A base slander led to a three-part loop.

Some things just translate well!

We had a romance novel fail.

And this reminded me it’s time for bed.


Science vs Consumer Detectors: Thank you, Mary.

Posted August 4, 2009 by Tom Comeau
Categories: STScI, Webb Space Telescope, WSS

I have been trying to figure out recently why people don’t understand what IR detector data looks like, given that we have examples and studies and in a few cases specifications of what we’ll get from JWST, and examples and analysis of NICMOS, Spitzer and some Keck data.  My wife explained it to me, and then I looked at the numbers.  She’s right, and I wanted to publicly thank her.

We have some simulated data, a cutout of which is shown here, that gives you the general idea of what the data will look like if it’s pretty good.  Jay Anderson (STScI) did this simulation.

Simulated NIRCam Data with 1% bad pixels

Simulated NIRCam Data with 1% bad pixels

That picture is 1 percent bad pixels, which is pretty good.  For the roughly 4 megapixel NIRCam, you’d expect to get 40,000 bad pixels, before you add any cosmic rays.  That means one in every hundred pixels is a bad one.  It could be one in 50.  And still, that’s pretty good.

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