Mars Orbit Achieved

I have touched down in Salt Lake City, our stand-in for the Orbiting Mars Way Station that will receive future visitors to the Red Planet. Still don’t know if we’ll have email, but things are getting closer and closer. Our crew is forming up:

And we’re getting ready to hop in our Mars Orbit-To-Surface transport vehicle (the big old MDRS van) and send our first crew out to the station! More news as it happens.

Ad Ares!

Dual Update Pending AND Return of the Centaur

Just so you all know… because I’m late, and because I can’t guarantee that I will be able to post while I’m out at the MDRS, I’m going to put up a dual update this week… and also return to posting my own art, now that my arm has healed!

Up today: Clarke and Cleopatra

This one is a dual page spread — sorry it may be a bit difficult to view, but I’ve not yet figured out how to take this large format comic (which splashed across two pages) and make it still legible when shrunk.

Up tonight: Amber and Xiao

Back to your normal format.


Trying to decipher line noise?

Try the Regex Coach — this looks like a way cool way to figure out the comic-book cusswords that Perl, Awk and their friends use for regular expression matching (finding strings in longer strings).

I particularly like the tool’s ability to translate what a regular expression means into human-readable language:

Check it out!

-the Centaur

Ad Ares

Good news, everyone. I’m going to Mars!

Or, more accurately, the Mars Desert Research Station sponsored by the Mars Society.

I will be the Crew and Computer Engineer for Crew 35, which will serve from February 19th to March 6th. More news in a bit as soon as the final crew complement has stabilized …

Ad ares!

-the Centaur


Yea verily, she be frozen in the ice. Arr.

No-one in Atlanta was going much of anywhere

on Saturday … it was locked down from pretty

much morning to evening under a drizzle of

freezing rain.

So why was it much easier to get work done on

my class outlines on Sunday, when I was free to

indulge in distractions such as going out to

dinner with friends? I’d say I easily got

twice as much done on Sunday than I did on

Saturday, when it was just me, a stack of AI

textbooks, and my word processor.

Perhaps my brain needed more incubating. Or

maybe I work better under pressure. Or maybe,

just maybe, I need a fricking studio instead

of my kitchen table.


The Worst Possible Good News

I had my doctor’s appointment and the results were good though discouraging.

My bone is healing perfectly, but slowly. Clinically my arm is healing perfectly

— scar closed, swelling gone, good range of motion and promising strength —

but on the x-ray you can clearly see that the bone isn’t healed at the site of the

original break. My doc told me that while I could “return to the activities of

daily living”, it could be up to two to three months before the bone is healed

to take the weight of handstand or a nengi (taido’s spinning floor kick).

The super good news, thank God, is that my arm looks like it will completely

heal, so I don’t want to screw that up! I’ve done some research on my own,

and the doc’s projections are right on the money for what other physicians

project for a forearm break. According to my initial surveys if I was on

schedule for a break then around 10 weeks I’d be starting range of motion

therapy and at 12 weeks back to limited strengh training. I’m past 8 weeks,

so if anything I’m progressing ahead of schedule.

While I may talk to my doc about doing an early followup appointment,

realistically I’m not going to be able to go full out for at least a

couple of months. SO … while I’m having a lot of fun at taido with

nengi and handstands and such, especially with the new ideas for the

upcoming tournament, it looks like I’m going to either have to miss

the tournament entirely or have my slot switched to do a less

intensive technique than throwing my head at the floor, missing,

and catching myself on my hands.

This sucks, but my arm looks like it’s going to heal almost

perfectly — and I plan to Do The Right Thing and keep it that way!


Classnotes forthcoming

For all the students in my Introdution to Artificial Intelligence

course … never fear, the coursenotes are coming. Check out the

classes link to see where the notes will be…

right now this is a placeholder, but I’ve got more content built up

now and will get it up, hopefully, by the end of the day Monday.


Excellent Anatomic Reduction…

Since some have asked … “excellent anatomic reduction” just means “your bone is set well.” 😉

Actually, what it *really* means is that the doctor was able to match the bone ends together and return the bone to its original anatomical shape:

Reduction, Alignment, and Fixation

Now, anatomic reduction is what the doctor achieved while I was on the operating table, even before the plate was screwed in. What the doctor hoped (and got) to see was that the good reduction they achieved in surgery (where all the pieces fit together the way they were originally anatomically aligned) remained in place over the intervening two weeks thanks to the plate-and-screw fixation.

And it did. Yay! No news on when my ACME springloaded metal spike attachment will arrive, though.

-the Centaur