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The new version of Mathematica (6.0) is really kind of fun. (UW students can get it here, use a faculty’s e-mail to have password sent to said faculty member (or yoshi)) I’m liking the debugging stuff and the color coded input. I’m having a blast playing with the new dynamic functions, especially the one called manipulate. The ability to rotate 3D figures in their window is long overdue, but pretty nice too. For some reason, they’ve also decided to include ridiculous amounts of data, including a giant database of chemical formulas and properties, stuff from almanacs, and an internal dictionary and thesaurus. It can also import html data easily–for instance, here’s a silly little function that imports the html code from a particular webpage and checks for the frequency of strings made up of letters (i.e. words, not code…hopefully). My apologies for the ugly code.

As you can see above, I’ve omitted words under 5 letters to get a better sense of what people are writing about and just took the top 20 hits:

Aha! the function lalala correctly inferred that Dan C. (blogroll) wrote about policies (4 times) in government (8 times) and had ideas (well, just 8 ideas). I like that Offends is #1. Hell, the output practically reads itself. Now let’s try Adam’s website:

looks about right. Again, it practically reads itself, in that stilted magnetic poetry sort of way. Just for kicks, let’s make the above input into a tag cloud thingy:


Yes, I know I’ve been playing around with the look of the site a lot lately.  I half-jokingly claimed that it was a reflection of my mood swings lately, but I’ve decided to return to the old format with a new picture up top…mostly because Adam was starting to hyperventillate since he couldn’t add his ounce of wit to the last few posts.  The new picture is this tree outside the physics building that’s always fascinated me with its scaley bark.  It’s just starting to bud, so I thought I better take a picture of it quicklike before all those silly leaves obscure its scragginess. (scragginess is my new favorite word)

Well, I’ve decided to move the blog from UW to the wordpress server for a few reasons…I guess with graduation in the not-too-distant-future, I’ve realized that the old site was probably not what I’d like potential employers to see. Not that there was really anything too incriminating on it, I’m just a worrywort. I was also getting a little sick of the blocky catalyst format…if I ever get mysql to work on the UW servers I’ll probably use wordpress there…but for now, this’ll do.