Apr 032013

Below, a verbatim transcript of Joe’s trip to see the USS Hornet in Alameda CA., recently re-discovered.

Visiting the Hornet


Day 1 — June 27

I got up early and had some breakfast with my brother, Sammy. Then Mimi drove us to the airport in Boston.
The flight lasted 6 hours. On the flight I played games and looked at the Rocky Mountains.
We met my cousin, Tiger, at the airport in San Francisco. Then we got on the air train. Then we got on the BART. Then we took the ferry to our hotel in Alameda. Then we ate dinner. We could see the USS Hornet.


Alcatraz– our ferry to Alameda went by the old prison


Day 2 — June 28

We had breakfast at the hotel. Then we took a taxi to the USS Hornet. Then we took a tour of the USS Hornet. Then we saw the flight deck. Then we took a taxi back to the hotel. Then we took a taxi back to the Hornet for a party. I had steak for dinner and I had cheesecake.
Then we went to the Captain’s chair one more time then Benny took us back to the hotel.

Captain's chair

Captain’s chair


Day 3 — June 29

We got on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and had some lunch. Then we went to the Exploratorium. We saw a vortex and played with gaint bubbles. Then I had some icecream; we went to the apple store, where I drew a picture on a ipad.
I played on ipods and ipads in the Apple store with my cousin Tiger.
Then we took the BART bac to the hotel.


Day 4 — June 30

I played Facebook games and played in the Jacuzzi while Aye-Dye fixed the fan in his computer.
Then we went to the new Hotel, we played around a bit, then we took a stroll to the famous Castro district.


Day 5 — July 1st

  • Took a street car.
  • Fishermans warf
  • had ice cream for breakfast
  • took a cable car
  • Went the cable car museum
  • played air hockey and pool
  • had fish and chips at fishermans warf then we went back to the hotel.

ice cream for breakfast

ice cream for breakfast

Cousin Tiger and Aye-Dye  and me on a street car

Tiger and Aye-Dye and me on a street car

Day 6 July 2nd

Took the BART
Took a bus to Treuse [Treasure] island. Went to a place where Tiger and Aye-Dye tasted wine, then we tool the bus to the new hotel.Then we went swimming in the pool at the hotel. I had fun in the pool then we went to a Japaniese restrant then we went back to the hotel.
I had mochi ice cream for dsert. I like mochi.

Tiger and Aye-Dye tasting wine on Treasure Island

Tiger and Aye-Dye tasting wine on Treasure Island

Our motel pool

Our motel pool

(pool day) – July 3rd

We waited a few hours for the pool to open. The pool opens at 11 am and closes at 5 pm.
At 11am the pool was not open so we had to tell him to open the pool. We got in the pool long time then we got out bout some goggles then we got back in the pool for the rest of the day.
The we went to a restrount then I had mochi for desert.
I made two new friends

Me and Aye-Dye in Mochi war

Me and Aye-Dye in Mochi war


finl day July 4th

We wached the 4th of July prade. We took the BART. We left Tiger on the Bart to the airpor then we went to the ferry building. At the ferry building I had a big mint choclate chip smoothe. Then we took the BART  to the airport. At the airport I had a burger and a vnilla ice cream.

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade

July 4th Parade




Apr 022013

74111101– yes, my eldest insists on representing himself as the ASCII decimal code point values for his name– and I have been watching the History Channel’s The Universe. Below some of 74’s questions (typed verbatim from his notes) that he hopes to have answered after writing to some of the presenters in the series.



  • If the Universe keeps on expanding will it eventually rip apart the things that make up dark energy?
  • Is there a known limit to the repulsive effects of dark energy in the way that we know gravity does operate above or below certain distances?
  • Is dark enery strong enough to rip apart:
  • If there is antimatter, is there antiDARKmatter?
  • Once the sun becomes a white dwarf, is it possible to combine all the gas in the planetary nebula and the outer planets to form another sun?
  • Is it possible to use the sun’s energy to start nuclear fusion and as the sun gets cooler to add more hydrogen to make it hotter and launch it into space?
  • If dark energy is driving the expansion of the Universe will it eventually destroy the particles that cause dark matter? Will this then cause a big crunch and possibly a new big bang?


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Feb 182013

Since summer I’ve been running a little minecraft server on a VPS in the UK. It is a pretty low-end system, and I didn’t imagine more than a handful of the primary school chums of 74111101 playing on it. A nice, secure, white-listed place away from the craziness of the net. As is inevitable with such things, numbers grew and shrank. I was waiting for a stable population before setting something more concrete– allocating relevant resources, branching out into mods and so forth.

Well, the population is yet to stabilise. I neglected to factor-in the the volatility of elementary school relationships, and how flat-out nasty little boys can be. Some of the wonderful worlds created by x player have been thoroughly destroyed by y and z…. and on and on. EVERYONE wants to be an ‘op’, and of course it just take one rogue op to spoil the fun for all. Why a single user on a multiplayer server would want to ban everyone else is beyond me. OK, so you have the server to yourself. Have fun. Next time try playing off-line.

I’d like to say that my boys have not been involved in this miniature world politicking, but they have not. They understand the power of root, but still 74111101 has handed out op privileges like candy, and has frequently found himself banned from the server I set up for him. And even with recognition of confirmation bias, I think I am right to say that I ‘picked’ those kids who were going to be trouble IRL/AFK as being trouble online. If I were a sociologist….

Anyway the following mathematica code came my way via email… a cousin’s friend. It is a little sluggish using Mathematica 32bit on OS X 10.8.2, but then I am giving over a fair amount of CPU/GPU cycles to CERN’s computing grid, and that is also taking about 25% of my network throughput right now.

This is the Mathematica code.

Oct 252012

A running list of the boys’ favourite jokes.

  • Q: Why did the tachyon cross the road? A:Because it was on the other side.
  • G. A. Custer wasn’t murdered; he committed Siouxicide.
  • Oh yeah? Well, what’s the speed of dark?