This blog has been on hiatus for at least a couple of years now. It will continue to stay this way until I decide what to do with it.

In the meantime, if you have enjoyed anything here please go to andresmarrugo.net. It’s my personal site and web log.



Why blogging?

The Macdrifter tells his reasons.

Then Why?

Here’s why I think I write here: I make this site to find people like me and to do right by them.

I have met many wonderful people by writing here. I’ve met people that share similar interests and my sense of humor. People contact me through the site and it has given me an “in” to contact people I like.

Every article I write and every link I post is done because I assume that there’s a like minded nerd at the other end. I post links for the people I know and like.

via Reasons – Macdrifter.


I totally agree with him. If it weren’t for the people and their comments. Their stories and their blogs, I probably wouldn’t have decided to start blogging. The true reason lies in the community, in the interaction, in the “I wish this guy–who I follow–would read this.”

Lowering your expectations and being cool about it


I wrote this several weeks ago on my Day One journal. When I wrote it I was kind of reflecting on what had happened and what I had learned from the experience. I didn’t really have the intention of sharing it here, but after reading it a couple of times I thought it would be a nice thing to share. I rewrote a couple of sentences and added the links, but it’s mainly the same thing. Continue reading

Envisioning the future your child will live in

student_ipad_school - 002

photo by flickingerbrad

The title of this entry is anything but simple. Trying to teach your child skills that will be useful, not necessarily today, but in the world he’ll have to live in the future sounds great. However, this is probably the holy grail of education plans and curricula, and is for certain no easy feat. Continue reading

Švejk and the 17 mm lens

The Good Soldier Švejk

It might appear that the title of this post is about two totally unrelated topics, the character of “The Good Soldier Švejk” by Jaroslav Hašek and the zuiko 17 mm lens, which I recently acquired for my Olympus Pen. The truth is, they’re not related at all, but I just felt like writing something like this just for the fun of it. And to be honest, after everyone went to bed I found myself looking for something to shoot at for testing my new lens when the good soldier Švejk came into scene. We actually have several statuettes and little souvenirs of places we’ve visited, and of course the soldier Švejk came to our living room from a research stay I did in Prague almost two years ago.

Continue reading

The iPad as a handheld camera

iPad as hanheld camera

I was recently in Rome for holidays and I couldn’t help but noticing how in every place we went there were people using the iPad as a handheld camera. I know the new iPad has quite a good camera, but really, is it just me or does anyone else think some (or most?) people are prone to careless behavior while traveling and sightseeing. It’s really no wonder why tourists get robbed so easily in many places.

My camera (an Olympus pen) cost me probably as much as an iPad does, and I try to be very careful with it, especially when traveling. I’ll always put the neck strap around my neck when using it near a balcony or a similar place. However, seeing a guy take an iPad with his bear hands in a gallery of the colosseum packed up with tourists, with no means to safely grab it is something else entirely, and it gives me the shivers. If it were only for that, but he also has to manipulate the iPad with one hand, while it rests on the other, in order to take the picture. This is just my impression, but I feel that they’ll be plenty of people using the new Apple Care+ for iPad for being so obsessed with their gadget, resulting in the tremendous incautious attitude. A final thought, I really don’t think the iPad is really that comfortable to carry around as a regular camera. Well have to wait and see if this is a new trend.

I’ve always thought that having a blog (or a wiki) for one’s research group is a superb idea. Probably even more useful, than the group’s webpage, which in my case hardly gets updated. The somewhat informal nature of a blog puts less pressure on how polished the material has to be, but since it is to be shared with others it does have to be presentable, and one can easily check it in the future. One of the main advantages lies in the archival feature, one can keep track of discussions, ideas, code, and a lot of the things important for doing collaborative work. This post by Patrick Mineault gives a nice account on “why to have a lab blog”.

xcorr: comp neuro

I’ve been trying to convince Chris to set up a blog for the lab. A lab blog can take many forms: it can be public or private, formal or informal, edited by a single person or several people and so on. There’s quite a few potential benefits to getting a lab blog, for instance:

  • Publicity. Public blogs can generate a significant amount of traffic, which may be helpful in recruiting subjects, grad students and postdocs. For an investigator that is starting out, the publicity could be helpful in getting his name out there. It can also be very good for disseminating new papers.
  • Writing practice. In the case of a collaborative blog, in which grad students and postdocs write posts, it gives them a nice opportunity to practice their writing skills. Chris commented that “students who come in have NO experience writing”. He was talking especially about people with backgrounds…

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