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Category: eating in

10/23/11 01:47 - ID#55369

Make peace with the mucilage.

Sometimes you can only pamper it with so much olive oil.


It's delicious sans mucilage or not.
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Permalink: Make_peace_with_the_mucilage_.html
Words: 19
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/23/11 01:57

Category: linux

10/23/11 11:39 - ID#55367

Linux alternative to TortoiseSVN

I found it. At last.


TortoiseSVN was so good on windows that I really started to miss its awesome GUI features on linux. The clever thing to do would probably have been to guess that it would be named after some other herbivorous domestic pet. But I found it after a determined search instead. Linux royalty usually scoff at GUI solutions, but to me, they are an invaluable little tool in saving some brainspace and frustrations.

To install RabbitVCS on Fedora 15

sudo yum install rabbitvcs*

BUT. And there is a big BUT.

RabbitVCS won't run in some 64 bit environments

Some distributions, such as 64 bit Fedora, put 64 bit libraries in the /usr/lib64 directory, whereas nautilus-python (the program that lets us extend nautilus) assumes all libraries are in the /usr/lib directory. This is a nautilus-python bug. The current workaround is to create a symlink: ln -s /usr/lib64/ /usr/lib/

That fix didn't work for me because RabbitVCS doesn't work with Nautilus 3.x YET. But the developer posted recently on the blog that a new release is not far away. I can't wait. Command-lining SVN is tedium that I can do without.

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Permalink: Linux_alternative_to_TortoiseSVN.html
Words: 211
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/23/11 06:08

Category: linux

10/23/11 07:33 - ID#55366

Google talk plugin on Fedora 15

I finally installed the Google talk plugin on Fedora 15 last night. I used the official x86_64 rpm package on the Google talk page. It pulled in a ton of dependencies. When I checked later, it had updated/installed all of these:

Oct 22 23:41:03 Installed: libgcc-4.6.1-9.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:04 Installed: nss-softokn-freebl-3.12.10-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:05 Installed: glibc-2.14-5.i686
Oct 22 23:41:06 Updated: audit-libs-2.1.3-1.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:07 Updated: glib2-2.28.8-1.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:07 Installed: zlib-1.2.5-3.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:08 Installed: libjpeg-turbo-1.1.1-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:09 Installed: freetype-2.4.4-5.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:09 Installed: libstdc++-4.6.1-9.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:10 Updated: libuuid-2.19.1-1.4.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:10 Updated: libblkid-2.19.1-1.4.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:11 Updated: libjpeg-turbo-1.1.1-1.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:11 Updated: krb5-libs-1.9.1-5.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:12 Installed: libtiff-3.9.5-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:12 Installed: 2:libpng-1.2.46-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:13 Installed: libgpg-error-1.9-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:14 Installed: libselinux-2.0.99-4.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:14 Installed: gamin-0.1.10-9.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:15 Installed: glib2-2.28.8-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:16 Installed: 2:libogg-1.2.2-3.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:16 Updated: 1:cups-libs-1.4.8-5.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:17 Installed: atk-2.0.0-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:17 Installed: libgcrypt-1.4.6-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:18 Installed: libICE-1.0.6-3.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:18 Installed: libcom_err-1.41.14-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:19 Installed: 1:dbus-libs-1.4.6-5.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:19 Updated: libmount-2.19.1-1.4.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:20 Updated: libXi-1.4.3-2.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:20 Installed: avahi-libs-0.6.30-3.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:20 Installed: 1:libvorbis-1.3.2-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:21 Installed: flac-1.2.1-6.fc12.i686
Oct 22 23:41:21 Installed: libsndfile-1.0.25-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:22 Installed: jasper-libs-1.900.1-17.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:23 Installed: libv4l-0.8.5-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:23 Installed: pixman-0.20.2-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:23 Installed: libXau-1.0.6-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:24 Installed: libxcb-1.7-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:24 Installed: libX11-1.4.3-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:25 Installed: libXrender-0.9.6-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:25 Installed: libXext-1.2.0-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:26 Installed: libXfixes-5.0-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:27 Installed: libXrandr-1.3.1-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:27 Installed: libXi-1.4.3-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:27 Installed: libXcomposite-0.4.3-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:28 Installed: gdk-pixbuf2-2.23.3-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:29 Installed: libXtst-1.2.0-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:30 Installed: libXdamage-1.1.3-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:31 Installed: libXcursor-1.1.11-3.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:32 Installed: libXinerama-1.1.1-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:33 Installed: xcb-util-0.3.6-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:34 Installed: expat-2.0.1-11.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:39 Installed: fontconfig-2.8.0-3.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:39 Installed: cairo-1.10.2-3.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:40 Installed: libXft-2.2.0-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:40 Installed: tcp_wrappers-libs-7.6-60.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:41 Installed: libuuid-2.19.1-1.4.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:42 Installed: libSM-1.2.0-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:43 Installed: alsa-lib-1.0.24-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:43 Installed: audit-libs-2.1.3-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:44 Installed: keyutils-libs-1.2-7.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:44 Installed: krb5-libs-1.9.1-5.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:45 Installed: libtasn1-2.7-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:45 Installed: gnutls-2.10.5-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:46 Installed: 1:cups-libs-1.4.8-5.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:47 Installed: libasyncns-0.8-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:47 Installed: pulseaudio-libs-0.9.22-5.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:48 Installed: libthai-0.1.14-4.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:49 Updated: util-linux-2.19.1-1.4.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:51 Updated: 1:cups-1.4.8-5.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:52 Updated: libv4l-0.8.5-1.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:52 Updated: audit-libs-python-2.1.3-1.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:53 Updated: audit-2.1.3-1.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:54 Installed: pango-1.28.4-1.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:56 Updated: gtk2-2.24.4-2.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:41:58 Installed: gtk2-2.24.4-2.fc15.i686
Oct 22 23:41:58 Updated: gtk2-immodule-xim-2.24.4-2.fc15.x86_64
Oct 22 23:42:00 Installed: google-talkplugin-

Notice how it has installed a ton of i686 libraries. Why? Is it a wrapper-based solution of some kind? Does that mean that there is really no native 64bit Google talk application for linux but only one that is wrapped and served on 64bit systems using i686 libraries?

Found an answer to this on... google forums.

Video Chat Eng. Blue, Google Employee said on 7/6/11:
The x86_64 google-talkplugin package currently contains one file which has not yet been fully ported to 64-bit. That file is 32-bit even in the x86_64 package, and as a result the package has some i686 dependencies. We are working toward a fully 64-bit version of google-talkplugin but in the meantime we recommend users to simply allow the package to install all of its dependencies.

Some? That looks like a tonload of i686 dependencies.
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Permalink: Google_talk_plugin_on_Fedora_15.html
Words: 670
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/23/11 08:34

Category: linux

10/22/11 08:58 - ID#55363

Latest LaTeX on Fedora 15

For some hideous reason Fedora 15 still has a release from 2007 cluttering its repositories. But it's thankfully pretty easy to install and get a recent TEX environment up and running in Fedora 15.

All instructions are from here:

First, in a terminal, do

# rpm -i

This adds the yum repository for the TEX LIVE system to the package managment system on linux.

Follow this step by:

yum clean all
yum install texlive

Individual packages can also be installed commandline. For eg.

yum install 'tex(epsfig.sty)'

I currently need:


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Permalink: Latest_LaTeX_on_Fedora_15.html
Words: 126
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/23/11 12:35

Category: the odes

10/22/11 07:19 - ID#55360

Too much information!!

About Sewing Machines!

Yeah! Those links are SO impressive they need a post of their own.

The articles are worth their alphabets in super-nova explosions for anyone who wants a carefully written investigative review about ALL the sewing machines and brands in the market.

It reads like a soap opera of who's sleeping with who in the sewing machine industry. Basically, this is the summary of that article:

1. Bernina -- the royalty of sewing machines. If you have $8K, then get this. Else move along to the next

2. Viking | Pfaff -- similar but Pfaffs are Vikings manufactured in Eastern Europe. Vikings are manufactured in Sweden. Vikings preferable. Still expensive but you will make up the expense in smooth running and headache-freedom,

3. Janome | “Upper End” Brother | Baby Lock | Kenmore -- similar budget inconsistency, May or may not work for you.

4. Elna | “Big Box Mart” Brother | Singer | White -- Worst. Avoid if serious.

I am leaning towards a Viking.

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Permalink: Too_much_information_.html
Words: 167
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/22/11 08:21

Category: eating in

10/22/11 05:25 - ID#55355

Behold Bold Banana Bread

With mascarpone, blueberry and lingonberry preserves, a huge fresh ginger root, cloves, nutmeg, almonds, whole wheat flour, flax seed, applesauce, milk and baking soda for the leavening.


Even though I added a good sized ginger root chunk, it's not spicy. Next time, I will probably add even more. I purposefully mixed the doughly roughly so that I would get the hard crusty exterior and the bread would be slightly crispy. I don't particularly like moist bread. They don't toast too well. Unfortunately, it wasn't dry enough because in spite of all these precautions it's rather moist. Maybe I should have waited for it to cool down instead of slicing through it like the hungry, impatient and greedy person that I totally am.

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Permalink: Behold_Bold_Banana_Bread.html
Words: 124
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/22/11 05:52

Category: science

10/22/11 01:37 - ID#55351

Best. Natural. Deodorant. Ever.

I finally found it. I don't know what took me so long. But this is amazingly effective.

Baking Soda
(1 pinch/sprinkle)


Coconut oil
(to dissolve/make a paste from the baking soda)

You can substitute the coconut oil with vaseline intensive care or perfume-free vaseline. It will work just as well. Apply liberally on odor-prone underarm areas. That's it. No more chemicals or plastic packaging waste or even dehydrating alcohol derivatives ever.

I just sprinkle some baking soda on my palm, mix with a spot of coconut oil and apply immediately after showering. It works so well that I now have trouble finding out what clothes I have worn and what clothes I haven't if I don't consciously toss them in the laundry bag. I would say it has eliminated around 99.8% odor.

Try it out, if you haven't already.
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Permalink: Best_Natural_Deodorant_Ever_.html
Words: 141
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/22/11 02:21

Category: music

10/21/11 05:30 - ID#55343

JoHnnY CaSH?

LastFM just sprang this on me and I was completely blown away!

Think he might be dancing in his grave?
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Permalink: JoHnnY_CaSH_.html
Words: 23
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/22/11 08:56

Category: music

10/21/11 02:30 - ID#55342

In love with...

Yo-Yo Ma & Andrew Bird

And music from the Appalachian Journey

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Permalink: In_love_with_.html
Words: 13
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/21/11 02:30

Category: goals

10/21/11 10:20 - ID#55340

Learning to be a software carpenter

Coding is time consuming. I didn't really consciously think about this till my advisor asked me about the roadblocks to my progress in my dissertation. I thought back and it occurred to me that I was
  • learning a somewhat new language (R)
  • trying to code in it using concepts from statistics that I already have
  • trying to generalize code so that it could be less repetitive and automate chores and processing
  • trying to splice other languages such as latex and perl to interact with R code
  • learning THOSE other languages
  • trying to prevent errors in their interaction
  • trying to write functions that would serve a purpose similar to "macros" on SAS but yet be understandable to me at a somewhat-novice level.
  • debugging to see where it all goes wrong when errors turn up
  • differentiating what is my code's fault, what can be changed in R preferences, and what is inherently the fault of the R build on the particular linux distro I am using.

Why am I doing this when I have a data manager for the data I am dealing with? Because it's insane to go whining to the manager the minute you want some data processing done. He has own Ph.D. to complete and has limited time and innumerable demands. So there is really no option but to power through all of this on my own. Besides, I think population sciences are *really* about statistics and data processing even though population scientists who don't do all this dirty work may persuade themselves that it is just about interpretation. It is as much about quality control in the data and seemingly trivial logical checks as it is about analyzing super-clean data in the end and figuring out what it could mean in the bigger picture of million other studies. I think it's important to acquire this skill so I can use it in my future. Not everyone has a data manager, a software coding bloke and a statistician to always help them.

The process itself is exhausting because it's like learning a completely new language without having ANY experience in how the semantics work. Apparently some people have observed this exhaustion and set up sites like "Software Carpentry": It sets up a formalized framework within which you could learn these skills. I think courses like this should be mandatory to population sciences coursework. At some point, we need to realize that population sciences and bioinformatics are very similar in their scope and application. This is more true than ever as we progress rapidly towards HUGE datasets, complex data structures, multidimensional variables and the necessity of channeling all of this into interpretations simple enough to make sense to health-related and population policy-making.
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Permalink: Learning_to_be_a_software_carpenter.html
Words: 456
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/09/11 08:17



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