Choosing a Name

A quick story to add to Pamela’s announcement. After we got back the news that they didn’t find amniotic fluid, I went to check with the doctor what the plan was. She told me that we were waiting for a call from our doctor, and if he doesn’t get back in 15 minutes, she would do a check and probably send us home. I told her that I was glad for the more time because we still had some more work to do on choosing a name. At this point she looked up at me and said. "It won’t help". The nurse next to her also looked right at me and said, "No, it won’t."

After the delivery, Pamela was fixated for hours on finalizing our choice. At that point it was her highest priority (before the birth, there were a couple things on her mind too). I was focused on staying awake and getting some pictures in and I also knew that sans sleep I wouldn’t be much use. Caitlyn was pretty much a done deal by that point (but I still sorta liked Chloe). However, the middle name was in flux. I did some more name searching and we slowly converge on the name from a list of about 5. I started over analyzing the combinations trying to figure out how some common sounds at ends of names "work" and some don’t (need different count of syllables to add some balancing asymmetry to symmetry of the sounds?). At this point we took a step back and just went with what we had. Later, when I told the name to my mother, she went "Arwen? like in Lord of the Rings?". Sure enough the top web search hits where for exactly that (if we have another, I’ll make sure to do a search before telling anyone the name). Further down the list was a link to the 28 most geeky  baby names with an entry that read "Arwen – Again, it could have been Eowyn. Plus, it’s quite a pretty name." and a comment from an Arwen, "Nice thing about “Arwen” is that it is geeky to those who are geeks, and flies under the radar for others." Other sites had similar comments. That comment plus how I really liked the name decided the issue, so we kept it.


Live Maps: The Little Things

While Live Maps haven’t copied the eye-popping drag and reroute feature of Google maps, there is a number of really cool improvements in the latest release. The Live search blog has a list of ten improvements that haven’t got the press of other features like the “model your own 3d building on a map” one. My personal favorites from this list are the End/Start details where you filter down driving instructions to allow you to ignore the stuff you don’t need to see (like how to get out of your neighborhood), the new black color on the traffic map for dead in the water congestion and some of the extra business information they now have.

The difference between Seattle and Chicago

In the Seattle Airport, the police had mountain bikes, in Chicago they have segways. I’m also conviced we are the only parents in America flying without a portable DVD player.

Words Missing from English

I am often hit with a what feels to me to be concepts that should have a word but do not. I am also not good at coming up with new words, so I’m going to see if the LazyWeb can help. This will (hopefully) be a series where we come up with words that are apparently missing from the english language, because lord knows we need more words. We shall start with a silly one:

The temporary momements of nasal clarity when one is congested.

Here is two attempts to start us off:

  • AirFlowBreak – attempt to riff off of sunbreak
  • AirShowers

Do you have any ideas?

MSR talks online

My Favorite unadvertised benefit of working for Microsoft is access to the various speakers that come through campus and give talks to MSR. It is great to here that many of them have made it to the public on ResearchChannel. I’ve bookmarked on a number of talks I’ve seen and enjoyed and a couple that I haven’t seen and want to. Special notice to the two MSPAC ones, David Brin, Mandelbrot, Bruce Campbell, Malcolm Gadwell and Cory Doctorow.

Truck horns, The Musical

Ever thought that truck horns were annoying? Well, they have a musical side too, as NPR explains:

One musical act that didn’t make the halftime show at this past weekend’s Super Bowl was Alexander Pollack’s truck horn symphony. We spoke with Pollack in November about his plans for the National Anthem and other songs to be performed on the air horns. Now, we hear the results.

Times article about Rob Moore and Battlestar Galatica

The New York Times has a great article about Rob Moore and the creation of the new Battlestar Galactica series:

To be fair, though, there are androids. As in the original show, the humans of the Galactica and its fleet are relentlessly pursued by evil robots called Cylons. But in the current version, conceived by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, most of the evil Cylons look like people and have found God. Ruthlessly principled and deeply religious, the Cylons have been compared by fans and critics both to Al Qaeda and to the evangelical right. And the humans they are relentlessly pursuing are fallible and complex. Their shirts are not clingy or color-coded; the men of space wear neckties. They are led by Edward James Olmos as the Galactica’s commander and Mary McDonnell as the president of the humans, and their stories revolve as much around the tensions within — between the military and civil leadership of the fleet — as they do around the Cylon threat. As Eick described the show to me last month with evident, subversive pleasure, ”The bad guys are all beautiful and believe in God, and the good guys all [expletive] each other over.” Moore, who is also the show’s head writer, put it more simply: ”They are us.”

Carrie and Keshav were nice enough to host for the Season 2 Priemere last friday night and this might quickly become a rotating house (or just my house?) thing for the length of the season. Special props for the Battlestar Galatica theme’d drinks Carrie put together.