jump to navigation

Seaweed, marshmallows, phantom hands, and other science tidbits July 9, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

How a mistakenly-hired seaweed scientist helped win WWII. (Bletchley Park tried to recruit a cryptogramist…well, a cryptogamist is a biologist who studies seaweed, mosses, and ferns.)

According to my mother, my missing pectoral muscle was noticed almost immediately by the doctor who delivered me. There was no diagnosis of any cause for the defect, and I’m not sure if she even asked. It was just missing, and I accepted that absence as a simple fact for most of my childhood.”

“RN’s case is interesting because the hand that was amputated only had three fingers to begin with. One would expect that her phantom limb would be a replica of the hand she lost. But that’s not what happened. RN reported feeling five fingers on her phantom hand. They weren’t five normal fingers—her thumb and index finger felt shorter than the rest—but there were definitely five.

“While students of all categories suffered from class-induced jet lag, the study found that night owls were especially vulnerable, many appearing so chronically jet-lagged that they were unable to perform optimally at any time of day.”

“Ultimately, the new study finds limited support for the idea that being able to delay gratification leads to better outcomes. Instead, it suggests that the capacity to hold out for a second marshmallow is shaped in large part by a child’s social and economic background—and, in turn, that that background, not the ability to delay gratification, is what’s behind kids’ long-term success.”

And the laptop Negroponte was pitching in 2005 simply didn’t exist. [One Laptop Per Child]’s prototype was little more than a mockup. It hadn’t signed a manufacturer, let alone priced out a sub-$100 product. Groundbreaking technologies like the crank and mesh networking system were still mostly theoretical.”

“Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it — Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record.

Advertisements

Yahoo email is…fixed, maybe? February 4, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags:
add a comment

Update: I started getting emails again, though some of them are heavily delayed — as of the morning of February 4, I’m still just-getting some things that were sent in the evening of February 1, and there are at least a few still to come.

Tech support said “The engineers let me know that they’ve fixed the issue and everything should be working now.” I kinda suspect this is BS and they have no idea what happened.

But new emails appear to be showing up in realtime. Which is good, because some of the sites where I switched to a Gmail address are still happily sending things to Yahoo.

So, yeah. Go ahead and send things to whichever address you have on record, I guess. They’ll both work, probably.

My Yahoo email just…flat-out stopped working. February 2, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags:
add a comment

I haven’t been getting emails since early afternoon, judging by the comments on Leif & Thorn that didn’t make it through.

Figured it out when I tried to send one, and got the error message “Some information below is incorrect. Please double check each field.” In a reply to an email chain where previous replies, same subject and address and everything, had gone through just fine.

Oh, and googling the error gets a ton of abandoned forum posts with long chains of un-addressed users pleading for help to the empty void.

So I’ve spent the better part of the past two hours updating my email with every account I can think of. That includes Leif & Thorn, But I’m A Cat Person, Shine, AO3, ff.net, Lulu, Dreamwidth, Deviantart, Twitter, IFTTT, Tagpacker, Patreon, Project Wonderful, Siteground, 8tracks, this very WordPress account, the NYTimes daily digest, my book club, and my French Word Of The Day. (Still gotta tackle Facebook, TVTropes, ComicRocket, and Neopets…)

The new email is also sailorptah, just on gmail. It’s been around as a backup for a while now. Looks like it’s about to take center stage in a hurry.

So, yeah. If you need to reach me by email for any reason, this would be the time to update your address book.

(Update: Fixed, probably.)

I created a Photobucket account on November 29, 2006. July 28, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Over the course of more than 10 years, I uploaded almost 6,000 images.

A month ago, Photobucket broke them all and demanded I pay $400 to fix it.

Wish I’d taken a screenshot of my Account stats page before I started deleting, but here’s what it looks like as of right now:

And I’m about to hit “delete” and make it go away entirely.

It took a bunch of exhausting busywork to get to this point, but I gotta say, now that I’m here, it feels pretty good.

My keyboard went fwoomph, so I got a teeny computer. September 9, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags:
1 comment so far

Cheapest lil’ model the Best Buy had in stock. Doesn’t weigh much more than an actual paper notebook. I haven’t worked on a screen this small since the era of the text-only interface. (And/or had the screensaver that this usericon mimics.)

My main computer has the biggest screen a laptop can handle, and a huge chassis to hold it up. It’s a tank. It could eat this thing for breakfast.

(All my devices get sci-fi names. The big laptop is Homura. The bitty one is now Nagisa.)

It was advertised as having a 32GB hard drive. Which, in practice, means 28. Which, since it has an operating system installed on it, left 15 for…using. I installed a couple programs and copied over about 2% of my music collection, so within an hour of being started up, it was down to 10.

So, yeah, I’m going to be light on the “new art” front for a week or so. The main laptop is nigh-unusable for art programs when half my keyboard shortcuts are muted, and I’m not even sure the tiny one could handle the weight of a Photoshop install, let alone find space to save the art afterward.

But I can keep on top of the Internet in the meantime, and get a backlog of actual drawing in physical sketchbooks…and maybe do some writing for a change?

Seriously, it feels like I could snap this thing in half with my bare hands if I really tried. It’s adorable.

BICP/L&T website downtime November 25, 2015

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn.
Tags:
add a comment

My hosting provider, A Small Orange, is having domain nameserver issues. Which means that both webcomics, But I’m A Cat Person and Leif & Thorn, will be intermittently failing to load until it gets fixed.

Everything is still registered, bills are paid, and all the data is still there! Just…temporarily unreachable.

ETA: aaaand we’re back! Praise be to tech support.

oh no, not this again September 12, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags:
add a comment

Laptop had a major does-not-want-to-be-a-computer-anymore failure a couple of days ago. Tried to run chkdsk /f on startup, it errored out and said it wanted to go back to an earlier system restore point. Tried to do a system restore, it errored out and said to fix the drive by running chkdsk. Tried to reinstall the OS from scratch, the reinstallation media wouldn’t even boot. That was the point when tech support said “okay, we’re sending you a new hard drive now.”

The good news is:
1) it’s under warranty, so replacement hard drives are a free thing
2) the computer was still operating enough to back everything up (it just wouldn’t run half of its programs anymore…I’ve got my Firefox settings, but not my Photoshop ones)
2) I was able to keep up with reading on the Internet, using Previous Laptop, in the meantime.

(Previous Laptop is…serviceable. All the programs run. It just bluescreens once every couple of weeks, and the frame is literally held together with duct tape.)

I’m typing this from the new laptop with the even-newer hard drive. All my data is back in place; still working on reinstalling programs. At this point the number of installs-from-scratch this purchase has gone through is as follows:

1) New machine, first installation
2) New machine has bizarre sound/freezing error, hard drive replaced
3) Bizarre error returns three months later, hard drive replaced as part of a sequence of trying to replace basically all the parts
4) Tech support gives up, sends a whole new machine with new hard drive
5) New hard drive gives up the ghost a few days ago, is replaced

…At the beginning of the installation process, Windows asks you to give the computer a name, which is used to identify it on things like your wireless network.

This computer is now dubbed HOMURA.

Five things make a post (tech support, TCR, and turduckens edition) September 2, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

(1) I’m having the most aggravating computer trouble.

It freezes. Unpredictably. And in a way I’ve never seen on any other computer: the sound doesn’t cut out, it gets stuck endlessly repeating the last fraction of a second it was on. That means a different droning hum every time, depending on what song or video it was in the middle of when it locked up.

The machine is under warranty, and tech support has been trying their hardest, but it’s not doing much good. So far it’s had the hard drive, the memory, and the motherboard replaced. And something unrelated was botched during the motherboard replacement, so that’s going to be replaced again.

I’m trying to get in the habit of saving things (art, writing, whatever) every minute or two. It really sucks when I forget.

Tech support is still trying to come up with more things to try — here’s hoping one of them takes. Or that they decide to put the whole thing out of its misery and send me a replacement computer.

***

(2) Welcome to Night Vale is doing its best to yank my heart out, I swear.

I’ve been doing episode reaction posts over at Night Vale Dog Park, if you’re interested in hearing about the shock and love and fear and wonder in greater detail.

***

plant(3) I got a plant!

It sits on the cabinet next to where I work. Grows toward the light from the window. I get to watch it putting up new leaves in realtime. It’s a pretty good companion.

(Anyone know what species it is? It didn’t come with an ID.)

***

(4) My Firefox spellcheck didn’t recognize “turducken” as a word, so it suggested “turnbuckle” instead.

How do you get a dictionary that’s expansive enough to know “turnbuckle” is a word, but that’s never heard of turducken? It’s kind of a silly concept, sure, but it isn’t uncommon.

***

(5) So happy for Stephen and the Report staff, finally winning themselves an Emmy.

It still doesn’t make sense that they didn’t win the year they broadcast from Iraq. Or the year they did such amazing things with SuperPACs. This year was good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t one of the years where they so clearly blew it out of the water in comparison to everyone else.

Honestly, I think the Academy just wanted to give TDS the glory of a ten-year streak. With a possible side of “oh, geez, we can’t snub Colbert this year, his mom just died.”

But even if they were awarded it for the wrong reasons, they did deserve it, and I’m glad they got it.

Chibis and Sketches to replace a Malajusted Mouse September 16, 2012

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags:
add a comment

My computer mouse is dead. Gone kaput. Given up the ghost. It’s dead, Jim. All I have left to draw with is a trackpad, and that’s already making my hand sore.

Help me buy a new one? They’re not expensive, but I’m actually possibly going to be late with rent next month, and need to be making more money than I spend. Send PayPal donations to sailorptah@yahoo.com — any amount will help, even as little as $1. Anyone who donates will get a chibi and/or a sketch, as soon as possible.

(Technology just isn’t going my way lately — my scanner broke down last month. At least in that case I don’t need to rush to a replacement, since I can borrow the ones at school.)

Thanks in advance to everyone who can chip in!

Whoops… February 23, 2012

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
Tags:
add a comment

Great. I seem to have gone and broken The Zen and The Damaged.

I’ve outlined the situation on the WP forums, so hopefully help will be forthcoming soon.