Since voting has ended, I can now brag that one of my photographs was a finalist for the Wikimedia Commons (this is the part of Wikipedia that hosts free-only graphics for the project) Picture of the Year competition. Predictably, mine didn't win—some of those other pictures are way better. Still, it was a nice surprise to find myself in the finals (out of 500+ images that were featured this year) and to finish in the middle of the pack.
By the way, if you're an amateur photographer, and especially if you've got a fancypants digital SLR, I recommend Wikimedia Commons as an outlet for your best work. You do have to use a free license (meaning that anybody can use your work, subject to some conditions), but unless you're expecting to sell your photographs this ought to be easy to get over. It's (1) a nice way to contribute to a useful resource and (2) a good way to get visibility for your work. For me these kinds of chance encounters (like spotting one of my fonts on a poster somewhere or seeing my photograph appear in a Wikipedia article I didn't work on) are probably the most fun possible outcome from making something.
Well, I did it! There were lots of people that came (thanks!) and it went pretty well given the little amount of sleep. If you want to see what it's all about and for some reason didn't want to read the 396 page dissertation, you can take a look at slides from my talk: defense.swf. You need a newish Flash player to view it properly, or otherwise you'll know since all you'll see are monsters and rainbows.
I still have to do some revisions for my dissertation and then there is paper and signature shuffling and margin measuring, but basically this is it. Re: grad school, put a fork in it.
I will defend my thesis and none shall stop me!
(21 Jan 2008 at 01:15)
I'm defending my thesis in 9 hours. The slides are almost done, and while they are not as awesome as they were in my dreams, there's definitely still some awesome in there. I will post them here after the talk.
Hey everyone. Holidays and all that stuff happened. The reason that I haven't posted anything for a month or so despite being done with my thesis is that I have been (slowly) rewriting my weblog software to correct some dumb 8 year-old designs and add some features that I have always desired. (The reason that it is going so slowly is because I have also been catching up on the 15 video games that I banned myself from playing while I was writing!) Except for some of you who might have seen about 10 repeat posts in your RSS feeds a few weeks ago, these changes are almost invisible. Rest assured, however, that the backside is indeed being fancifized and that soon you will behold the effects of me being rather more able and slightly less annoyed to post on my own blog.