Here's some Facts about my home state, Connecticut. We had the first: dictionary, newspaper, constitition, public library, art school, revolver, public art museum, pay phone (we were also the last state to switch from 10 cent calls to 25), sewing machine, PhD, can opener, tape measure, lollipop, frisbee, vacuum cleaner, polaroid camera, FM radio station, helicopter, and color television.
We had the first submarine in both 1775 and 1900. (???) The first hambuger was served at Louie's Lunch in New Haven, 1895 (I've been there -- ask me about it some time.)
I am really digging epitonic tonight. Type in a band you like (maybe this will only work for indie rock, but that's good enough for me!) and then try some of the 'similar bands' or 'other recommendations'... unlike, say, All Music Guide (which, despite its thoroughness, is pretty dumb anyway), you can listen or download full-quality sample songs immediately. I've found several new bands tonight that I will probably try out.
I added another paper to my papers section: Programming with Recursion Schemes. It's mostly by Dan Wang but I've got some stuff in there about my experience applying these techniques to a large "real-world" program (the TILT compiler). We submitted this to the Journal of Functional Programming (they're having a special issue on functional pearls) back in September.
I made some farily long-winded comments to slashdot recently, and I figured that perhaps some of you would like to read them. (Some people might actually be interested in my opinions, others I know simply like to hear me get fired up about stuff!)
Most recent is a rant about people imagining that the DMCA bans [everything under the sun]. (Example incorrect thought: "Hammers must be illegal under the DMCA because they can be used to break store windows!") Of course I am a strong opponent of the DMCA due to my own legal troubles with it. But I think that the level of understanding of the law and the high-profile DMCA cases is tragically low. Contains several rebuttals. If you don't know about the DMCA at all, I urge you to at least read an introduction, such as The EFF's.
Right before that, I complained more briefly about how distributed.net's RC*-cracking challenge (an internet-wide attempt to crack one of RSADSI's popular ciphers by brute force) is a [waste of time]. (This was in response to one poster's assertion that we'd be "teaching the government a valuable lesson" about encryption.)
Finally, I posted my comments I submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee (comment here) on Digital Rights Management. Believe it or not, there are currently pushes to put special hardware inside every computer to prevent you from doing things like making MP3s of CDs you own, recording digital TV to watch later, etc. Indeed, congress is considering legislation that would require all consumer electronic devices to implement such hardware controls!! My comments, of course, say that [this is a bad thing], both because it makes computer research impossible (that's just me throwing around the "PhD student" and "Carnegie Mellon" terms), and more importantly because it endangers the ability for amateur content creators to be able to distribute their works on the internet freely. Believe it or not, it wouldn't really bother me if the major content producers made it extremely difficult and expensive for me to use their products; I just wouldn't do it. But if as a by-product I can't make my own stuff, and can't enjoy content created by other people who are just in it for the love of it, then I will be really upset.
On my birthday when I got my electric guitar (picture forthcoming, oops) and was feeling psyched up about playing it, I made a new album. (Album-a-birthday!!) Heather helped me out. This one is like the regular Tom 7 AAD series, except that it has electric guitar and a chick singing sometimes.