We are the championsSun Jan 11, 2009 22:54 (UTC -5)
Ah. Victory is so sweet. Even if it is vicarious.
So my university’s football team went to the national championship game on Thursday night and won their third national championship. It was a nail-biter but a good one in the end. The last national championship was only two years ago, and the first was ten years before that. Not bad, I say. Yeah, I do like football, and whenever I feel like I picked this school because of its superior sports programs, I remember that even after I had been accepted, I wanted nothing to do with college sports. Remember? This is me not wanting to watch the basketball championship!
I still don’t care about basketball, but times have changed, so I was glued to the football game Thursday night. I could have watched on semi-big screens with thousands of other fans in the basketball… arena?… but I stayed at the dorm and watched it with this one guy Jon and some other people who weren’t paying attention. We ordered a pizza during the game, and when we went outside to get it, the streets were basically empty. Sure, it was a college campus at night, but it was still kind of eerie. It was strange to know that almost everyone was inside watching the game on TV.
“But Jordon,” you ask, “how do you know that so many people were inside watching the game on TV?” Oh, easy. When we won, they all went outside. I had heard that after recent football and basketball championships in the past, students would storm University Avenue, one of the main roads through town, and engage in general merrymaking get crunk. After the game, Jon and I set out. It was kind of cold, but people were pouring out of the streets and onto the avenue, which I think had already been blocked off.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in such a crowded crowd of people in my life. People were singing fight songs, chanting cheers, climbing poles, blaring horns, waving signs, getting amorous, throwing toilet paper, taking pictures, shooting off fireworks, and who knows what else. I’m misrepresenting the crowd, though. A lot of people were just mulling around, including me when I wasn’t shouting “It’s great to be a Florida Gator!” I stayed till about 1:30 in the morning and was hanging around with some other acquaintances after that.
Oh yeah, there are classes going on too. That brings me to an unfortunate development. As you may know, I’ve been getting by using Linux exclusively for almost two years. This semester, it ends. At least, I think so. For my digital logic class I have to use a program called Quartus from a company called Altera. I’ve done a little bit of searching and it seems that running it under Wine won’t work for what I need to do (programming logic things). I think I could accept having to virtualize, especially if I’m going to need Windows again later, which is likely. I really, really, really, really, really, really, really don’t want to dual-boot. Really.
Oh. Man. I think I have just found what I am looking for. Turns out there’s actually documentation about running Quartus in Windows in VirtualBox in Ubuntu. And I think my school has a deal with Microsoft so I can get Windows for free or a low, low price. I guess that’s what I’ll have to do.
Pretty cool from the BBC: Ancient Supernova Mystery Solved. Apparently it’s possible to learn about a past supernova by detecting the faint echoes of light it leaves behind.
Here’s evolution at work. This guy named Roger Alsing created a program that would start with some random polygons and, over many generations, approximate a predefined image, discarding the results of mutations that looked less like the image and keeping those that looked more like it. After about 900,000 generations, the program came up with a good re-creation of the Mona Lisa. He then released source code and binaries and posted some other results people sent in.