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## The most depressing day of the year, or not

A graduate student I've started to work with told me today was considered the "most depressing day of the year", for a variety of factors that he couldn't remember most of.

*Google Google* Ah, here we go (source: MSNBC).
The model is:
       [W + (D-d)] x TQ            M x NA
where W denotes a weather term; D, debt; d, monthly salary; T, time since Christmas (probably some unimodal curve representing post-holiday blahs?); Q, time since failed quit attempt; M, low motivational levels; and NA, the "need to take action".</i>

ETA, 12:00 CST Tue 25 Jan 2004 - A few questions:

• 1. What's a quit attempt?

• 2. Does anyone know how to do the equivalent of LaTeX \frac{numerator}{denominator} in HTML?

• 3. What's with "x TQ"? Either write TQ (W + (D-d)) or T * Q * (W + (D-d)). The above, if I read it aright, is just reinforcing 's meatbag theory.

Well, it didn't feel like the most depressing day of the year, to be honest, but that's for several reasons:

• 1. Research is starting to kick into a higher gear. W00t!

• 2. A student came in today with a computational geometry, vision, and pattern recognition problem, then asked me to be on his M.S. thesis committee. It's not every day you get such a project just dropped in your lap!

• 3. After a few... tangents (heh), the Ubergrafix project of and is off to a rollicking start! (Guys, remember to get me that technical writeup to read this weekend.)

• 4. The spring classes, while small (6 and 3 students), are looking good. I'm really excited about the courses (computer graphics and advanced AI) and student projects this spring!

• 5. I got the house cleaned in record time. The hour from 19:45 to 20:45 was a tour de teunce if I do say so myself! I think I went positively supersonic. My gran, who had watched me slide into admittedly severe "bachelor mode" over the last month while visiting with her son, was amazzled. She looked at my dad with this "wow, and I thought he was hyper before" expression. :-D

• 6. I have more food from Taiwan than I know what to do with. My mother just flew in from Taipei and is bestowing goodies left and right.

• mo ji - desserts of glutinous rice filled with sweet red bean paste or peanut butter

• Crisped rice treats

• The best egg custard pastries on the face of the earth, I kid you not. Works of art to behold, prize foods to eat, tragedies to remember!

• Hot and sour soup mix

• Little dried tofu snack squares

• Melon seeds

And once again, there are three generations under my humble roof. W00t!

In other news:
Happy birthday, !

ETA, 11:50 CST Tue 25 Jan 2005: Wasn't Jay Leno's Tonight Show tribute to the late Johnny Carson magnificent? On such a short deadline, too.
( asked me what ETA meant, and I finally looked it up: "edited to add")

--
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 05:30 pm (UTC)
My mother just flew in from Taipei

...and boy, are her arms tired?

Jan. 25th, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
ROFL
*rimshot*

There's a lot of humor in the aether today.
Johnny must be smiling.

--
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 06:01 pm (UTC)
Those things are actually prepared in advance, especially when someone has reached a certain age. IIRC, Mr. Carson was ill, so they definitely would have been ready, sad to say.

btw - I think January's just the most depressing month of the year, period ;)

Jan. 26th, 2005 08:02 am (UTC)
Makes sense
I actually hadn't heard that he'd been ill.
Emphysema, some Google News sources are saying, but I hadn't seen even the cause of death disclosed when the news first broke.

You're really making me less lazy again about looking things up! It's amazzling!

--
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC)
You didn't know what ETA meant? Even though you were using it to indicate edits that gave additional information/thoughts/wibblings?

Wow.

My guess would be that the "quit attempt" referred to in the depressing day formula is probably for smoking. (Or some other bad habit, but smoking would be the most likely target.)

For the numerator/denominator issue, do ASCII codes work? alt-keypad stuff?

       [W + (D-d)] x TQ
────────────────
M x NA


It's a bit of a kludge, but alt-196 might do it.

Bachelor mode - LOL!

/me makes note to ask when Banamum is next going to Taipei in the hopes of getting red bean paste mo ji... Lovely carby goodness. Yum.

Jan. 25th, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC)
Replying to myself, because I can't edit the original reply!
Another way would be to give up the fixed font, and to underline the numerator, while centering the denominator with non-breaking spaces.

[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

As for the use of 'x' rather than '*' or '()' to indicate multiplication, I suspect that that's the writing level/intended audience they were going for. The text seems to be at the standard 7th grade reading level, so it isn't surprising that the mathematical symbols are the ones used in elementary school.

Just a thought.

Jan. 25th, 2005 06:48 pm (UTC)
Underlining the numerator and imminentizing the eschaton!
OK, fine! I'll do it! :-P

Thanks,
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
Bachelor mode, or, Bana see, Bana do
You didn't know what ETA meant? Even though you were using it to indicate edits that gave additional information/thoughts/wibblings?
Wow.

Well, I usually use "Edit", but from context I had inferred that ETA meant some kind of edit that was synonymous with "post-script".

Bana see, Bana do. :-D

[quit attempt == alcohol, tobacco, other drugs]
Probably so!

For the numerator/denominator issue, do ASCII codes work? alt-keypad stuff?

[W + (D-d)] x TQ
────────────────
M x NA

LOL, and here I thought you'd figured out some nifty horizontal line thingy. \frac makes it just the right length. LATEX is really a tronkie's typesetting paradise.

It's a bit of a kludge, but alt-196 might do it.
Hrm, wozzat?

Bachelor mode - LOL!
Yeah, I was surprised that you came up with that term independently. :-D
(I had said it in the chat just before you arrived.)

/me makes note to ask when Banamum is next going to Taipei in the hopes of getting red bean paste
mo ji... Lovely carby goodness. Yum.

Every January.

<FOAMY>I want that waffle sundae,
gimme my carbs!</FOAMY>

--
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
gotta love css
[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

M x NA
[W + (D-d)] x TQ

...but you need to knwo whiche one would be bigger, though that's fairly obvious.

Jan. 26th, 2005 07:48 am (UTC)
Re: gotta love css
Hrm... actually, knowing which is bigger is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

LaTeX really spoils you for markup and other formatting languages, and no mistake!

--
Banazir

Jan. 26th, 2005 07:55 am (UTC)
Re: gotta love css
if you were using php/perl/etc it'd be trivial to determine that, though...

anyways, i just had a thought...

[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

Jan. 26th, 2005 08:04 am (UTC)
Re: gotta love css
fuckers. that worked in the preview.

anyways, the thought was to use positioning to have concurrent overline/underline overlapping.

hm, how does this work?

[W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA

it still requires you know about how wide it's going to be, though.. i'm sure there's a way around that, but i'm just too brain dead after spending my afternoon getting my css to work out right in most browsers...

Jan. 26th, 2005 08:10 am (UTC)
Re: gotta love css
fuckers. that worked in the preview.

LOL, if I had a nickel for every time I've said that!
(Well, actually, just "it worked on the server" or "the last time I put this online".)

Yeah, CSS is definitely "BYO" and "pays as you go".

--
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 10:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Bachelor mode, or, Bana see, Bana do
Wow. You see, the first time I saw you use ETA, it brought me up short.

A bit of reflection gave me the meaning, though. I figured that the E stood for some form of 'edit', and from there, it was pretty easy to guess the rest.

alt-196. Try it. Make sure numlock is on, hold down the alt key, and key in 1 9 6 on the keypad. You should see something like this:

Like an m dash. Goes side to side completely. If you string several of them together, there are no gaps as with ordinary dashes.
Ordinary dashes: -----
alt-196 dashes: ─────

Jan. 26th, 2005 08:14 am (UTC)
ETA and Alt-196
Ah, OK, fankoo vert muchly!

Alt-196 sounds like Blink 182 after it assimilated the Company of Thorin.

And there's your hobbit geenk humor for todaz.

--
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
By egg custard pastries, do you mean don tot?

Oh man. They're so good that I've been known to polish off a box. I bet that sends my cholesterol skyrocketing, thought. :guilty grin:

-E.

Jan. 25th, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
I guess it means different things in the virtual world and in the real world cause i was taught that ETA meant Estimated Time of Arrival.

Jan. 25th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
cause i was taught that ETA meant Estimated Time of Arrival.

And that is exactly why I was too lazy hesitant to try to look it up on Google and instead asked the handy Post-Hole Digger over there in KS.

Plus...I figured since he uses the term, he should know what it means.... Boy, was I wrong. (^o^)

Jan. 25th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
http://www.acronymfinder.com/
Not perfect, but a pretty good resource.

Jan. 25th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
Re: http://www.acronymfinder.com/
You know, that's exactly the site that Google brought up for . LOL.

I'm glad you posted it, though, so maybe next time I'll remember it exists. (^_^)

Jan. 26th, 2005 07:58 am (UTC)
We're all memoryless fishies!
*Dory-from-Finding Nemo high-five*

Fishie pride! W00t!

--
Banazir

Jan. 25th, 2005 11:29 pm (UTC)
Less perfect still

Jan. 26th, 2005 07:57 am (UTC)
Re: Less perfect still
Actually, I used that before I brought up the acronym finder for . I then searched for "edit" on the page. Nope.

BTW, I have some Asian snack food and soup recommendations, which I will post in a few days.

--
Banazir

Jan. 26th, 2005 08:06 am (UTC)
Re: http://www.acronymfinder.com/
Thanks!

As says, that's where I found it.
There is another acronym dictionary that was developed and maintained by Ft. Leavenworth, KS, but I forget where that is now.

--
Banazir

Jan. 26th, 2005 08:05 am (UTC)
*sputter*
And that is exactly why I was too lazyhesitant to try to look it up on Google
<PEDANTIC_EXPRESSION>You're not lazy, you just need to apply yourself more!</PEDANTIC_EXPRESSION>

and instead asked the handy Post-Hole Digger over there in KS.
Post-Hole Digger?!

Plus...I figured since he uses the term, he should know what it means.... Boy, was I wrong. (^o^)
Wheeenh!

TRON, people are making funna mee...

--
Banazir

Jan. 26th, 2005 08:07 am (UTC)
ETA
I guess it means different things in the virtual world and in the real world cause i was taught that ETA meant Estimated Time of Arrival.
As did I, until I saw it being used on LJ.

--
Banazir