Jeff Uphoff's blog

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

On Physics and Baseball

You'd think that someone who spent 5+ years studying Physics as an undergrad would realize, while teaching lads to catch fly balls correctly with two hands and centered, that a fly ball landing in the glove might transfer its linear momentum to the extra baseball held in the hand stabilizing the glove from behind, which might then transfer it directly to a nearby nose.

You'd think that, wouldn't you?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

For Tony, with love.

You may find yourself wanting to have your life back
You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself at the site of a large drilling platform
You may find yourself near a beautiful marsh, and a beautiful beach
You may ask yourself: well... how did I get here?

Letting the days go by/the small people get you down
Letting the days go by/oil leaking from deep down
Into the blue again/after the platform's gone
Once in a lifetime/oil leaking from deep down

You may ask yourself
How do I work this?
You may ask yourself
Where is that large drilling platform?
You may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful marsh!
You may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful beach!

Letting the days go by/the small people get you down
Letting the days go by/oil leaking from deep down
Into the blue again/after the platform's gone
Once in a lifetime/oil leaking from deep down

Unlike it ever was... Unlike it ever was...
Unlike it ever was... Unlike it ever was...
Unlike it ever was... Unlike it ever was...
Unlike it ever was...

UNLIKE IT EVER WAS!

Oil dispersing... and oil removing
There is oil... at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the oil
Carry the oil
Remove the oil from the bottom of the ocean!

Letting the days go by/the small people get you down
Letting the days go by/oil leaking from deep down
Into the blue again/after the platform's gone
Once in a lifetime/oil leaking from deep down

Into the blue again/into the silent water
Onto the rocks and stones/there is oil on the ground
Letting the days go by/into the silent water
Once in a lifetime/oil leaking from deep down

You may ask yourself
Where is that beautiful marsh?
You may ask yourself
Where does that pipeline lead to?
You may ask yourself
Am I right?... Am I wrong?
You may say to yourself

MY GOD!... WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?

Letting the days go by/the small people get you down
Letting the days go by/oil leaking from deep down
Into the blue again/after the platform's gone
Once in a lifetime/oil leaking from deep down

Into the blue again/into the silent water
Onto the rocks and stones/there is oil on the ground
Letting the days go by/into the silent water
Once in a lifetime/oil leaking from deep down

Unlike it ever was... Unlike it ever was...
Unlike it ever was... Unlike it ever was...
Unlike it ever was... Unlike it ever was...
Unlike it ever was...

UNLIKE IT EVER WAS!

Time isn't helping us
Time to start helping us
Time isn't helping us
Time no-one can get back

Time isn't helping us
Time to start helping us
Time isn't helping us

Letting the days go by...
Letting the days go by...
Letting the days go by...
Once in a lifetime...

Letting the days go by...
Letting the days go by...
Letting the days go by...
Once in a lifetime...

Brian Eno, Jerry Harrison, David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz -- I beg your forgiveness!

(The inspiration)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Irony in standardized testing.

The following gem is from the California Achievement Test (CAT) for Grade 2. It's found in the Language Mechanics section of the test, which covers, among other things, comma usage.

Read the sentence and look at the punctuation marks below the sentence. Decide which punctuation mark, is needed, fill in the circle that goes with that mark. If no punctuation mark is needed, fill in the circle that goes with the word "None." Mark your answer.


Here's a scan:

Monday, November 30, 2009

Up the Cyber?

So ya
Thought ya
Might like to go build this code.
To feel the warm thrill of compiling
That space cadet glow.
Tell me is something eluding you, runtime?
Is this not what you expected to see?
If you wanna find out how to use this old code
You'll just have to lick some psychedelic toad!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Maia's Thanksgiving Day poem.

My 9-year-old daughter wrote a poem today:

Uppie
Hilarious Uppie
Fast moving hands
typing on the laptop keys
My Dad

Monday, November 2, 2009

Geekin' it up on my last day in China

I spent my last full day in China wandering Shanghai with a former rPath coworker, Xiaowen, a Shanghai native who is now back in Shanghai as a Program Manager for Microsoft.

Our first stop? A Shanghai Linux User's Group (LUG) meeting in a restaurant across the street from my hotel! Along with socializing, the meeting consisted of two talks, one on iPhone application development and one on Google's Street View camera technology.

A familiar site at LUG meetings everywhere--geeks with laptops and projectors:



After the LUG meeting, we wandered over to the 1930s-era Shanghai exhibit located under the Urban Planning museum. (At least that's where Xiaowen told me it was--I got lost in the labyrinth!) I learned a little written Chinese from her and was probably overly amused that the symbols for "train" mean, literally, "fire car."

We then headed to the Huangpu River by taxi in order to cross the river by ferry. Interestingly, locals carry pre-loaded fare cards that pay not only subway and bus fares, but also taxi fares! Taxi drivers swipe the card as you leave--very slick! The ferry cost us 7 cents each, and we were surrounded by commuters on motorcycles and scooters. The view from the river at night was stunning:



We wandered around Pudong a bit (I'd already wandered there the day before with some classmates), and then we hopped the subway for her part of town, Xujiahui. It looked like a scene straight out of Blade Runner:



Dinner was at a nearby restaurant in a former convent with a 19th century royal rail car attached to it. We ate in the rail-car dining room (I'm a huge train geek). Soy-marinated duck and fish heads with chiles! Mmmm!



I was briefly concerned about getting back to my hotel--the subway system appeared to need a reboot:



A first sighting for me--a completely empty subway station!

More great lectures in Shanghai

We attended two more outstanding lectures at the CKGSB campus in Shanghai, one by Professor Jeongwen Chiang, "Strategic Marketing in China," and one by Professor Leslie Young, "Modern China's Growth: Comparison and Contrast with the US."

Professor Chiang:



(Unfortunately, I was a dolt and neglected to take a picture of Professor Young.)

Professor Chiang's lecture was fascinating, covering the market impacts of, among other things, demographics in China, economic growth, China's one-child policy, regional economic imbalances, cultural norms and relationships, an emerging consumer middle-class, and product branding. Of particular interest was the dramatic and wide-ranging impact of the one-child policy.

Professor Young's lecture was fascinatingly provocative--possibly the most provocative lecture I have ever attended.

(Where do I even start?!? Perhaps with the fact that he earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Oxford at the age of 20?)

Professor Young's lecture was a very wide-ranging comparison of the Chinese and US economic systems, with emphasis given to recent responses to the economic crisis (including assertions that some aspects of the structure of the Chinese economic system--such as government control over land ownership--gave it an inherent crisis-response advantage over the US), the nature of economic competition between the US and China over recent decades, and the structure of capital creation and government control of "Communist Capital" within the Chinese system.

Professor Young also tossed some bombs into the classroom with statements on touchy topics such as US policy and future competitiveness, religion, and the perceived and relative value of various types of freedoms, pushing most--if not all--members of the class outside their comfort zones.

I'm still astonished at how outspoken some of the professors were in their criticisms of various policies of the Communist government over the past 60 years. To be sitting two blocks from Mao's mausoleum on Tian'anmen Square and hear a professor describe aspects of life under Mao as "miserable for 30 years" was certainly not what I had expected!

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Charlottesville, Virginia, United States