Saturday, 12 August 2006

Annoyances of the day

A couple of noteworthy blemishes on my otherwise pleasant day thus far:

  • What logical reason could exist for using a different lock (which my key doesn’t open) on the door to a building facing the street when I can walk (but really wouldn’t want to while carrying a 50-pound box of books) through a breezeway and unlock the door facing a giant open space in 30 seconds?
  • People who get in line at Sam’s Club with memberships they know are expired to try to put something over on the cashier are, in a word, irritating.

I can’t say my day has been that productive, but I did unpack a few boxes of books in my office, flip through the (limited) amount of information I received about my advisees, and start to get the computer in my office pointed in the direction of being functional.

Fun with Pythagoras

How to calculate the effective size of a 16:9 television when viewing 4:3 material:

effsize = √((diag × 0.654)² + (diag × 0.49)²)

where diag is the diagonal size of your 16:9 television.

For example, the viewing area of a 27-inch 16:9 HDTV is about the same as that of a 22-inch 4:3 television when viewing old-school, non-widescreen material.

Reader exercise: solve for diag to figure out how to replace an existing 4:3 television with a 16:9 one that provides the same viewing area as that TV.