Notes from a Medium-Sized Island [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Mar. 10th, 2002|07:42 pm]
First full day in princeton.
I woke up around 10:00, and took a shower. The water pressure
was kind of annoyingly high, but I've rarely had a hotel shower
I really liked.

Met up with some princeton grad students and faculty and headed
across the street to an italian place. I got the canonical
Chicken Parm, which was according to the menu done as a
sandwich. Even though I asked about nuts, it came with
pasta with pine-nut-containing pesto on it. They were decent
about fixing that, though.
The "sandwich" nature of the dish turned out to consist just
of putting both of the chicken breasts on a bread-like substance
that got a little soggy under all the marinara. It was
still pretty tasty.

After lunch we got a tour of the campus, led by some random
preppy-looking undergrad. It was really freaking windy and
hence somewhat cold. The tour was really more targeted at
people wanting to go to Princeton for undergrad.

The tour wound up after a while, and we headed back into
the student center for hot beverage. Mmm, tea.

We then met up with the Daves, one of them being the familiar
Dave Walker. They were there to accompany us in a van to Philly
where dinner and a play were waiting for us. I had some interesting
conversation with Dave Walker about various goings-on in the
programming languages world.

Dinner was supposed to be at this Moroccan restaurant. My food-
allergy paranoia being what it was again, I excused myself and
grabbed some food at the Pizzeria Uno down the street instead.
Once back at the Moroccan place there was much chatting, so much
so that we were fifteen minutes late to the play, where they
had since resold our seats to people on a waiting list. So,
no luck with that plan. Subsequently we stood around outside
shivering, discussed what to do next, followed by more standing
outside while we waited for the van to get back, which proceeded
to take us back to Princeton. From my point of view, at least,
it was an N-hour trip to Philly to buy a pizza. Woo.

Once back in Princeton one of the grad students showed us around
the grad dorm. It seems awfully weird to still be living in on-campus
housing as a grad student, but eh. With that finally over,
we were dropped off at the hotel and I figured I'd get some sleep.

...just as soon as I futzed with the laptop a bit, anyway.
I wrote a quick hack to calculate rule 110 histories, since
combinator has been talking about Wolfram's book
coming out soon. It looks like the typical (period-7) "background
noise" tends to appear naturally in different phases.

From: ex_trurl
2002-03-13 01:46 am (UTC)
Heh. It is difficult to say what "soon" might mean. I did get some e-mail from Amazon saying the price on Wolfram's book has gone up, so that might indicate some kind of imminent publication. However, I've had it on pre-order since this time last year, and every three months it has been pushed back another three. And this is on top of the fact that he meant to have it out in the early 90s. I hope it lives up to the wait.
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[User Picture]From: ssaiscps
2002-03-13 06:24 am (UTC)
> It seems awfully weird to still be living in on-campus housing as a grad student, but eh.

As a grad student living in on-campus housing, I can tell you that yes, it is extremely weird. It works for me because I have very spartan needs, and I am really lazy, but I can't imagine most people wanting to do it. I should get some sort of straw mat to sleep on. Around 90% of my floor is not American, I'd wager, so that tells you something. But I have a room to myself, there's a kitchen down the hall, so I can cook my own meals, and a good shower, which is all I really need.

I think that it is really bizarre that they drove all the way to Philly for the obligatory "night on the town". It sounds like quite a distance, too. Everywhere I went, there were nice restaurants within walking distance that we went to. I saw a play when visiting Yale, which was right next to the restaurant. I suppose Yale has the cultural advantage of a pretty big fine arts program, so it single handedly provides all the plays and concerts you might ever desire. The Penn State evening activity was a Penn State basketball game. I opted to sit in my room instead, which was nice, because I was extremely exhausted for some reason.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2002-03-13 07:46 am (UTC)
Right, they touted the advantage of Princeton being within an hour or so from NYC, or Philly, where all the happenin' things are happenin' which, dually, is implicitly the disadvantage that all the happenin' things are an hour away.
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[User Picture]From: ssaiscps
2002-03-13 08:06 am (UTC)
Yale has that factor, too. Only 90 minutes from NYC! And also 3 or so hours from Boston, which isn't too bad. The advantage of this placement is that we are right between NJ and the Boston area, making both the NJPLS and the NEPLS convenient most of the time, if you don't mind leaving kind of early in the morning.
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[User Picture]From: dr4b
2002-03-13 08:17 am (UTC)
...whereas in my mind, Princeton is like 30 minutes from the only DDR 6th Mix machine on the East coast, 25 minutes from a place with Para Para Paradise and DDR 5th Mix, 40 minutes from my favorite steakhouse on the east coast... oh, yeah, and an hour from NYC and an hour from Philly. Well, that has some benefits to it though. I mean, I rarely go to NYC from Philly because it's two hours, but might do it more if it was one hour. However, this is distinctly worse than, say, White Plains, NY (where we'd live if Eli went to work at IBM Research), which only has the advantage of being an hour from NYC.
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[User Picture]From: puuj
2002-03-13 07:11 am (UTC)
I got a kick out of the fact that you described Chicken Parm as canonical.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2002-03-13 07:49 am (UTC)
This is because, ceteris paribus, I will almost always order Chicken Parmigiana at an italian restaurant I have never been to before, and with some frequency at ones I have. Joe Mama's is an exception to this, for some reason or another. I think maybe they didn't offer any. But their meatball sub and penne with sausage are good, so I forgive them.
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