Archive for the 'Mudd' Category

The RotK experience

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Like Fellowship, Return of the King came out during Mudd's finals week. Despite the timing, 300 of Mudd's 700 students went to Ontario Mills AMC on Tuesday night. Tickets only cost $3 thanks to a subsidy from DOS and APC.

FNMG showed extended editions of Fellowship and Two Towers in a lecture hall on Tuesday, creating a private version of Trilogy Tuesday. I had a International Economics final Tuesday afternoon and a Microeconomics final on Wednesday to study for, so I only watched the first half of Two Towers. I liked the added rope scene at the beginning.

Theater 16 was almost entirely Mudd students and students from the other Claremont Colleges who bought their tickets through Mudd. I brought Set and started a game on the floor in the front of the theater. We quickly had 12 players. I still have all of my cards, and I was the only person to step on the case.

I liked RotK, but there were a few things I didn't like:

  • The ring had an immediate effect on Smeagol's grammar. It's easier for me to believe its effect on emotions than its effect on grammar... I blame the linguist in me. (Hmm, wasn't Tolkien a linguist?)
  • The battles were too predictable. During the battle for Minas Tirith, I was waiting for the army from Rohan and the army of the Dead to show up rather than wondering how well the good guys would hold the city/castle.
  • The steward of Minas Tirith seemed to be doing everything in his power to screw up his side. His actions didn't seem to be random, but he didn't seem to be under Sauron's control either.
  • There's no way an army of ents can keep Saruman locked in his tower without a strong leader like Aragorn or Gandalf around. I'm told they don't succeed in the books.
  • Aragorn ends up with Arwen rather than Eowyn. I'm told that the relationship between Arwen and Aragorn makes more sense in the books. (I only read Fellowship.)

The part of Two Towers where Theoden (King of Rohan) discovers his son's death is still the only part of the trilogy that makes me cry.


Friday, November 14th, 2003

"Is 'Oomph' a unit of impulse or a unit of force?"

"Hard drives are so fucking slow. Their seek times are measured in milliseconds!"

"Pass-by-name is like pass-by-reference on crack."


Sunday, November 9th, 2003

I went to SCAMfest without Helen because we broke up on Wednesday. But I invited my parents, who hadn't been before, and they loved it. My parents and I bought BOCA 2002, and I plan to buy the new Shades CD, "Phonogenic", when it comes out in December.

My favorite songs from SCAMfest were Hotel California (UCLA Random Voices), I Heard it Through the Grapevine (USC SoCal VoCals), Fields of Gold (Midnight Echo), Poisoning Pigeons in the Park (Midnight Echo), and Harder to Breathe (Shades). Of these 5 songs, I knew the original versions of the first 3.

SCAMfest 2003

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

The 8th annual Southern California A Cappella Music Festival will be Friday Nov 7 at 8pm. Last year's SCAMfest was amazing, so if you're in the Los Angeles area, you should come.

Eleven college a cappella groups will perform this year:

Tickets will be available starting tomorrow at the ASPC office (above Edmunds Ballroom at Smith Campus Center at Pomona College) for $5. If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to come, tell me so I can get you a ticket. Or call Lisa D'Annunzio from the Claremont Shades at [phone number removed after SCAMfest] to reserve a ticket to pick up the night of the concert. The concert will be in Bridges Auditorium aka Big Bridges on Pomona College.


Sunday, October 26th, 2003

I started seeing and smelling smoke yesterday. Today, the fire became visible on the hills north of the colleges. There was a fire on the same hills last year. But last year, smoke and ash didn't reach campus, probably because the wind was different. Last year's fire was fun to watch. But this time, being outside at all is unpleasant because of smoke and because of ash getting into our eyes. And this time, several suburban houses have already been destroyed, only a day or two into the fire.

My dorm room smells like smoke even though I haven't opened my window, so some smoke must be getting past the air conditioner's filter. Adam Bliss told me that even the underground Libra complex smells like smoke.

Most of the pieces of ash are tiny, but Jessica Nelson and I found part of a burnt leaf on the ground. It is about an inch long. supsends delivery service due to strike

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003

Retail clerks and meat cutters initiated a work stoppage at the three major Southern California grocery store chains, including Vons. This labor dispute has affected operations at stores that fulfill orders. As a result, we have suspended delivery operations for the time being. We will notify shoppers when deliveries will resume. Thank you for your patience.

The words "strike", "union", and "health care" are notably absent from this statement shown to customers.

I also tried signing up for, which I had never used before. has also suspended its service. Like Vons, Albertsons avoids the word "strike", but at least it doesn't hide "labor dispute" in the middle of a paragraph and try to blame its employees.

Unfortunately, due to a labor dispute, is unable to serve you today.

We are sorry for the inconvenience and hope to resume our online service as soon as possible.

I might have to beg for a ride (or walk) to a physical grocery store for the first time in a year. I haven't decided whether to cross the picket line at the local Vons or find a non-unionized grocery store.

Default major

Sunday, October 19th, 2003

Sara Saperstein told me that at Reed, students who don't know what major they are often become psychology majors. Partly as a result of this, the psychology major isn't as challenging or as interesting as it should be. Sara is no longer a psychology major.

At Mudd, engineering is the (unofficial) default major. Engineering is also the most difficult major in terms of course load: it has difficult labs, 3 semesters of Clinic, and allows students only 1 free elective for their entire 4 years. I don't know why it's the default major despite being so hard.

Do other colleges have "default majors"?

National Novel Writing Month

Saturday, October 11th, 2003

My girlfriend is going to participate in National Novel Writing Month. She assures me that I will see her at least once during the month of November.