What the …? Trees? Seriously?

I was reading hacker news when I’ve seen this post and I’ve seen this:

In Lisp, should lists be replaced with trees?

I’ve read that and all I can say is: Who comes up with this things!?

The idea of using lists as data structures on lisp wasn’t because of we didn’t knew trees. We had trees. McCarthy wrote the paper using lists because mathematically makes more sense. Functionally makes more sense to generally think about lists and particularly about trees.

And further more using data structures is a science, isn’t something you come up while you are waiting in a movie theater. Lisp should have a bigger data structure library, but the fact that the language is written using list doesn’t mean you should use lists everywhere. If you are, you are doing it wrong.

If you think that lisp is ¬dead because it doesn’t output a tree-like structure, seriously, you need to write a lot more code, particularly meta-programming code.



I have some ideias about developing a bio memetic robot, I was needing an anatomy compendium to see how the arm works.

This was a message bellow the medical classic Gray’s Anatomy on iTunes Store:

* Note: this application was not written by McDreamy and the illustrations in no way resemble any characters from the television show Grey’s Anatomy 😉

Acceptable in the 90’s

I’m starting to get this weird feeling. Everything these days is going down the crapper. Earthquakes in Japan, world wide economic problems, governments falling, civil unrest from Europe down to northern Africa.

Back in the nineties everyone could see brighter future ahead with the web, the economic development from the dot com boom, and the new millennium was the promises of peace and prosperity. I like seeing movies from back them, and see how happier they were. Check 40 days and 40 nights, You’ve got mail, Jerry Maguire, Forrest Gump. Even blockbuster action flicks were happier: Men in black, Jurassic Park, Air force One, etc..

Maybe is just me, but with all the CGI, remakes, comic crap and silly chick flicks, I feel cinema was more uplifting 15 years ago.


Apple has a iPad-like Mac in the works

How do I know this? Well I don’t but I’ve found something particularly weird on the recent build of Lion. The video that once was in this page you could see some of 10.7 new features. Particularly what caught my eye was the “view as…” buttons. Check this image from my Snow Leopard Finder:


See the highlighted buttons? Now check the finder on Lion:


That wasn’t a simple cosmetic change. You can drag the nob instead of simply clicking a button. Also this kind of control is present on iCal, and probably other applications.

This kind of control doesn’t improve the usability of finder, actually is harder to drag the nob using a mouse. Why did Apple make such a change?

The multi touch conundrum

In one of the keynotes Steve said touching the screen doesn’t make much sense:


Although there must be occasions where touching the screen and still maintaining a physical keyboard might be helpful, for the most part I agree with him. Using multitouch this way should induce arm fatigue and pain. But the multi touch that Steve presented, by using the touchpad, doesn’t make sense either. Moving the mouse to use that kind of controls is quite gimmicky and I doubt apple would make such a thing. That Apple has a iPad-like Mac for test purposes I think is a given. Maybe hidden from view inside a disclosed location in Infinite Loop, but I would be amazed if they didn’t researched such a possibility. But inserting such controls in Lion is a preemptive move, in preparation for some kind of future hardware where you interact with OSX applications using touch.


What would happen if you put your hand in the Large Hadron Collider beam?

According with the movie below, no one who works there really knows:

I’ve been curious about this subject for some time, mostly because no one knows what happens. Every physician working there knows that micro black holes are highly improbable, but if the beam touches live matter, the results are unexpected (I got my fingers crossed for some kind of Altered States freaky stuff).

Yesterday, during my all night insomnia, I’ve found the case of a Soviet scientist that got struck from a synchrotron bean. A synchrotron is essentially similar to the LHC but less energetic.

The radiation absorbed by his head was in the region of 1000 gray. 5 gray worth of X-rays is generally considered fatal, but Bugorski survived and went on to complete his PhD (a proton beam moving near the speed of light has different characteristics from an X-ray!). The side of his face that was burned by the beam’s exit has not visibly aged in the years since the accident.



Nazi 3D movies

The title sounds like a B movie, but they did some movies using stereoscopic recording.

were made … for Goebbels’ propaganda ministry and referred to as raum film — or space film — which may be why no one ever realized since that they were 3-D

Nazis made a 3D musical.



I’ve got something stuck in a hole and how I got it out.

Right around christmas, I was seem an episode of House on my bed when I moved and listen a sudden snap. As it turned out, my headset jack just had snapped inside the hole. Half of it was inside. I thought, no problem, the next day at work I get some tweezers and remove it. Well trying to remove it make it go in even further. The problem was that the audio hole has a constriction so that the jack doesn’t come easily. Also, because the jack now was so inside, it had turned on the digital out and no audio was coming out from the speakers. The next step was to use something to remove it, but what?


I needed something that I could stick inside that hole and with enough length for me to pull. I got the idea of using a toothpick with some superglue on cut tip to remove it.


Well that didn’t work, the contact surface was just too small to create enough grip to overcome the constriction. Next on the list was the same idea, but using a Q-tip. Maybe the glue could melt some plastic and create a harder connection between them. But no, that didn’t work either. So the next obvious step was to disassemble the computer and try removing it from inside.


As I was reaching it, I just remembered that the audio jack serves both analog and digital audio. That means that the jack is a complete assembly connected to the motherboard, impossible to remove easily. So I’ve reassembled the computer (and in the process I forgotten to connect the CD-ROM ZIF cable, so now I don’t have a CD-ROM drive).

I searched for a solution but from all I’ve read in blogs and other sites the only solution from here was to replace the motherboard, or work without audio. What do you do in a case like this? Well, you play the MAcGyver theme (which I religiously carry in my iPhone for situations like this) and go all balls out.

I went to my father and said that I needed to get this out of the computer. Use of extreme force was authorized. So he offered me one choice. He has a precision drill bit 2 mm thick that could use in a electric or a manual drill. I choose the manual because the electric has so much power that actually would remove the jack but also half the motherboard, the speakers and the power unit. This manual drill was from my grandparent and you literally have to crank it. For stability I placed the laptop in a clamp. The image looks even worse than it sounds.


I drilled enough to create a small hole and then with some patience I used the drill bit protrusions to pull it out. I almost shredded my laptop but the jack did came out.