Wednesday, October 31, 2007


More volley ball.

This is a fragment of the volley ball picture after I ran it through Photoshop and had a bit of fun.

Volley ball.

Fellow BU students are playing volley ball on a recently finished academic quad.

Another great video.

Sometimes really weird things happen when people play video games. This is a good example of such an event:

Happy Halloween!

To celebrate this holiday in all its bizarre and unearthly nature here is a new take on a beloved classic:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Another Web 2.0 site.

Ryan Reilly, an alumnus of my graduate program, pointed me to a new Web 2.0 site called Gcast. This site allows users to record podcasts right from their cell phones by calling a toll free number and post them on-line. This idea is similar to what Jott allows its users to do with reminders and emails. This is a new trend in web based services that turns a basic cell phone into a super gadget.

Red leaf.

I saw this leaf during my morning walk from work.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my father's birthday. When I was growing up we used to call him a young communist because his birthday fell on the anniversary of establishment of Komsomol, the Soviet youth organization. I thought my Dad was the coolest because he always took me on adventures and made up stories for me. When I turned 7, for my birthday he gave me a book of his poems and stories based on our adventures. He made it, including illustrating and binding it, with the help of his friends. This was one of the things I knew I was going to bring with me when I emigrated from the Soviet Union. I still look at it occasionally and can't wait to read it to Lili. Even if she doesn't understand Russian, I still want her to know that she has a cool grandfather. After Lili came along I felt closer to my Dad because he was my age when I was born. He taught me about jazz and classical music, about literature and film, about physics and physical fitness. But most importantly he taught me to be myself. I hope one day Lili will be able to say that her Dad is cool, too.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Two teeth in two weeks.

Lili sprouted her second tooth. It is a relief for all of us because my wife and I can be sure that the first one wasn't a fluke and now Lili is not in constant pain and sleeps through the night. The slightly odd thing about Lili's new teeth is that they were one week apart but she got the first when she was 9 months old and the second when she was 10.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The episode I have been anticipating for a week did not disappoint. The CSI cops chasing the killer virtually and actually was an interesting twist. Another deviation from the usual plot lines was the lack of a second case. Usually, no matter which of the CSI shows you watch, the team investigates a second murder. This time the team was chasing a professional killer and getting to her victims too late. And in the end she got away which probably means that there will be other CSI: SL episodes. The one aspect of the show I didn't like was the World of Warcraft style tournament Mac Taylor's SL avatar has to fight in to get information. But otherwise I think the episode was a successful blending of CSI and Second Life. For more CSI: SL check out this site, it has some cool SL tutorials and a link to the virtual CSI: NY.

Trick or treat.

Lili's Halloween costume arrived yesterday. So after I got home from class we dressed her in it. Your child's first Halloween costume is a big decision, that's why it took us a long time to agree on Piglet. The costume arrived faster than expected, it matches her toy Piglet, and the best part is that it says Piglet right on it therefore eliminating any possibility that people might think she's Eeyore.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rear window sticker.

I took this while walking through a parking lot on campus.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Second Life promo for CSI: NY.

As I mentioned before, tomorrow's episode of CSI: NY will feature footage shot in Second Life. This is a promo for that episode featuring Anthony Zuiker, the CSI: NY creator, that was filmed entirely in Second Life. Enjoy:

Monday, October 22, 2007

How not to be seen.

To brighten up an otherwise mundane Monday, here is a classic Monty Python skit filmed in Halo. This is truly priceless:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Kirk vs Picard.

As a wrestling fan and a Star Trek fan I found this video absolutely hilarious. My hat is off to whoever had the idea of creating Captains Kirk and Picard in a wrestling video game. This finally answers the question, "who is the better captain?". There is no audio, but the sounds of your own laughter will be a sufficient soundtrack as you watch this. You have to watch the whole thing:

Classic short stories.

I found the Classic Short Stories site while trying to help a classmate who, in turn, was trying to help his friend with a paper. As the name implies, this site is filled with classic short stories. It's worse a read if you like 19th, and early 20th, century authors.

American League championship.

The Sux and the Tribe are tied at 3 games each and I fear the Sux will beat the Tribe tonight in Game 7. I am not even going to watch since I don't want to see the Sux win. If they do win, I am going to avoid the World Series like I avoid American Idol. Besides, I have already seen the Sux win a World Series and once in a lifetime is enough.

Audience is from Latin "to listen."

I love Real Time with Bill Maher because the show is always full of highly entertaining debate and surprises. Unfortunately, I missed this particular episode and had to watch Bill Maher kick an audience member out of his studio via a YouTube video posted on the Ann Althouse blog. Here it is:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lili's first tooth.

Yesterday we took Lili to see her Russian pediatrician to make sure that her ear infection cleared up. He checked her ears and told us she was fine. He assured us that her nightly crying is due to teething pain and that he could see a speck of white on her bottom gum. Later that day, while changing Lili, my wife noticed a tiny protrusion in her lower right gum. She felt it and declared a dental holiday. Lili's first tooth has finally broken through! We were overjoyed because we didn't have to take Lili to our dentist to be fitted with tiny dentures as we feared we might. Now, after calling every relative to inform them of our dental holiday, we will buy Lili her first tooth brush and teach her to brush her only tooth.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Damn, Yankees!

Yesterday, while trying not to watch the Red Sux destroy the Tribe, I heard the two commentators talking about what was going to happen to the Yankees. Since I am a Yankees fan I paid attention. And here is what they, to my absolute horror, had to say. Joe Torre is no longer the general manager. This move is not surprising because I have been expecting George Steinbrenner to fire Torre for years. But I was surprised by how things transpired between Torre and the Yankees. Torre's contract is up this year and instead of simply letting him go they sat on their hands for a week and then offered Torre $5 million for one year. He politely declined since this was half of what he was making previously. Next round of bad news was about the players. A-Rod is going to the Sux, which neither bothers nor surprises me because he is a third, a half at best, of a short stop that is Derek Jeter. So this is actually a very, very good thing. The really, really bad part is that Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera probably won't report to spring training next year. The Yankees without their star catcher and closer might as well be the Mets. There is also the question of where is Torre going to manage next year and who is going to manage the Yankees. Regardless of who wins this year's World Series the post season guarantees to be interesting.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CSI: Linden.

Next week's episode of CSI: NY will include scenes shot entirely in Second Life. I have read that CBS was going to do this on Kapp Notes. But I didn't expect to see it on my favorite CSI show. There are a number of companies that operate stores in SL, so it only makes sense that a popular show would jump on the band wagon.

Web 2.0 telegraph.

I found an interesting article, actually a blog post, called "Twitter dot dash" by Nicholas Carr about Twitter, Web 2.0, and social networking. I am not exactly sure if Twitter has as much relevance in the Web 2.0 world as blogs and wikis, but it is definitely more interesting than MySpace because it allows the users to create a message-by-message history of the world.

The Tribe has spoken?

This post season is turning out to be interesting. The Rockies swept the Phillies and then the Diamondbacks to earn a chance to win this year's World Series. And now the Tribe leads the Red Sux 3 games to 1 and is one game away from doing away with them. I could start getting excited that the Sux will not make it to the World Series this year, but the last time they were in this situation, back in 2004, they came back and won the league championship and then went on to win the World Series. So, it is a little early to start celebrating the Sux not making it to the World Series, but Thursday's game is going to be an interesting one either way since Josh Beckett, for the Sux, is going to face off against C.C. Sabathia, for the Tribe.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The times they are a-changing.

If you read the New York Times in any way, shape, or format, stop right now and toss it into the nearest fire pit. The New York Times is not the paper it used to be. It's not even on par with publications such as the Weekly World News anymore. It has sunk into the filth that resides on the bottom of the Hudson River. And what, you may ask, did the Times do to deserve such high praise on my part? They refused to cover a Congressional Medal of Honor being awarded to Lt. Mike Murphy, a Navy SEAL from Long Island, who gave his life in Afghanistan to save his comrades. Here is the story from the New York Post.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


"My name is Fester which means to rot!" -Uncle Fester, Addams Family Values

Lurking Lili.

In training for Halloween, Lili practices lurking behind the hamper.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Going, going, gone!

I have been watching the baseball playoffs and wondering how much of baseball is skill and how much is luck. The Mets lead their division the entire season until they pulled a Red Sux type move and lost a seven game lead. Then there were the Phillies whom nobody expected to get anywhere near the playoffs but somehow they managed to get in only to be swept away like some debris. The Yankees and the Cubs did not do any better. Although the Yankees managed to win a game losing to the Tribe 3-1 instead of 3-0 like everybody else. It was sad to see the Cubs lose because now they haven't won a World Series in 99 years. So, next year they absolutely have to get in the World Series because a century is a long time without a win. If the Cubs don't win next year, the Red Sux have no right to complain about their 86 year World Series drought. This entry would not be complete without mentioning the fans, especially the fans that refer to the teams they root for as "my team". If you don't play for the team, have played for the team, or own the team, please do not refer to it as yours. These people drive me betty almost as much as those who say "we won" when the team is victorious.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Fifty years ago a massive rocket lifted off from the steppes of Kazakhstan carrying into space the first man made satellite. This was, and still is, a significant event in human history because the launch took place fifty four year after the Wright brothers flight. Fifty four years isn't such a long time in a life of an invention if you consider the fact that the wheel was around for centuries before somebody combined it with an engine, improving on the existing concept. That breakthrough eventually lead to manned space flight, Moon landings, the International Space Station, and countless satellites which constantly orbit the Earth. Ever since that first launch it has been easier, cheaper, and safer to launch unmanned probes to explore the Solar system and the rest of the galaxy. While mankind plunged bravely into exploration of the unknown that abounded on this planet, Space, to paraphrase Star Trek, has remained the one frontier where very few men have gone before. In the fifty years since Sputnik orbited the Earth, Space flight has not developed as much as regular flight in the same amount of time. Fifty years after the Wright Flyer took off from Kitty Hawk, I am talking about the year 1953, aviation become an acceptable mode of transportation. But Space travel is still the domain of governments and the very rich, not to mention that only three countries in the world launched humans into Space successfully. Anyway, getting back to Sputnik, here is a story about what happened behind the scenes before the Sputnik launch. And here is one about what happened after it reached the end of its useful life and fell back into the loving arms of Mother Earth.


I found this creature hiding in a shrub outside of a local Dunkin' Donuts. It seems that the neither world also runs on Dunkin'.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fallen leaf.

October has always been my favorite month because I love to watch leaves change. However, a dried up, brown maple leaf like this one is a very unusual sight in early October.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Momentous occasion.

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the phrase "In God We Trust" first being printed on a one dollar bill. Prior to that American currency was backed by a gold standard which required that the government keep enough gold around to pay for all the bills in circulation. Then eventually any mention of the gold standard was removed from the currency and "In God We Trust" put in its place. This meant the currency, which was printed by the government, was no longer the government's problem and that backing of the currency was God's responsibility.
Today also marks a change in the way Americans travel. The carefree days of going to the Bahamas, Canada, or Mexico for the weekend without anything more substantial than your driver's license are over. Starting today if you go to one of those countries without your passport you won't be allowed back in. This doesn't seem so bad if you think about the Bahamas, but imagine being trapped in Mexico or worse, Canada! Now I don't have anything against our neighbors to the North and the South, but as they say: home is where you keep your passport.