Calligraphy Practice

I’ve been doing pretty well practicing my Copperplate script, so I decided to try out Gothic. It was pretty good. It’s a mix between modern and pointed quadrata minuscule. I think because I have been drilling myself to produce the same letters over and over again in Copperplate, the whole process was fun in Gothic. As an expert whom I visited today mentioned, I’ve still got to work on flourishes, which is something that I haven’t tackled at all. It’ll come once I’m satisfied with the regularity of my letters.

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iOS Audio Docks Where Sound Quality Takes Center Stage

082112_rg_HighEndDocks_01.jpgWith a plethora of audio docks available, there may come a time when audio quality becomes the motivating feature you’re looking for. To get the most out of your iPhone or iPod, check out these high-fidelity docks that promise to take your music to the next level.

Read more @ Apartment Therapy

American Birds

Another incredible post over at Firmuhment. Initially, I quickly scanned it but left the tab open so that I could read it again, completely with all of the details. I wasn’t disappointed. Amidst all of the hoopla of Tumblr and Google Buzz, I found this post extremely relevant. It’s about a writer named Lorrie Moore who starts a blog, a tumble blog most likely.

PSN Notebook Giveaway at Notebook Stories

Nifty is giving away a few PSN notebooks. Head on over there for the review.

Rhodia Pad Sizes and Numbers

Rhodia pads
Rhodia pads

Rhodia Drive has a cool list of all the pads that they make, including dimensions and numbers.

Never Enough Notebooks

I’ve currently got 6 Moleskines and 4 Rhodia stapled A4 notebooks. I’ve got a few other notebooks that are lying around, including two teNeues Magneto Blanks, but I just tested them and they won’t be used for any note-taking. Why? The paper is pretty cheap and fountain pen ink tends to bleed a bit too much. Actually, it bleeds enough so that the writing is close to being illegible. The magnetic clasp is a really good idea, but it makes the notebook uneven. I prefer the simpler MS design that uses a paper of better quality. That’s what it all boils down to. That being said, if I find other manufacturers that make great notebooks, I’m always keen to try them out.

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Researching Trends

Clifford algebra representation
Clifford algebra representation

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I met a very helpful second or third-year grad student¹ that really helped me out with finding interesting research assistant positions. There are two for which I will be applying for. One will be for next semester, and the other one will be for next year, running for a whole year from July 2010 to July 2011². There was no way that I would have been able to apply for these this year. Still, it’s going to be interesting. That only leaves me to check out all of the profs with grants at my university to see if they need a RA for this semester. I think that it will most likely in PDEs since NTNU received some major funding on two large PDE projects.

One of my colleagues is an SAT tutor to some senior high school kids. This is paid quite well, something around 3 times what a usual foreign ESL teacher makes in Taiwan³. I’m going to see if I can teach something similar. It would be different from teaching English. The good thing is that I have taught math before, as well as science. What’s really interesting is that I wouldn’t have to work that many hours. I doubt that many hours are available anyway. Two hours would be the same as 6 hours of ESL teaching.

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Moleskine Hacks and Dusk Jackets

Modofly Train Moleskine
Dan Hillier's Tentacle horrors laser-etched by Modofly

I just read through Nick Cernis’ Moleskine guide. It was interesting, but left me wanting for more². I’d never pay for customized Moleskines, but I’d modify the covers myself. Even so, it’s somewhat daunting because if you make a mistake, you’ll kind of ruin a MS notebook, which is usually expensive. I like MS enough to find out if I can buy them in bulk for cheaper. Well, maybe not in bulk, but scour some deals on the web. MS are pretty expensive here in Taiwan⁴.

Personally, I don’t really like modifying a MS to put in a pencil holder⁵. I find that ludicrous since I go pretty much everywhere with a pencil case. I’ve seen some very small and effective pencil cases that can be taken everywhere⁹. There’s no need to do that to a MS. Here’s a link to some MS hacks, two of which I don’t find useful. The pencil holder and the pencil sharpener don’t really work for me as I either use a mechanical pencil, (0.7mm Koh-I-Noor Rapidomatic⁶), or have a good pencil sharpener with me. I also have a micro backup solution if I need one, just a plain sharpener that I have in my pencil case. In exams, I’ve learned to be prepared. A simple lead pencil with a pencil sharpener is my backup solution.

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Notebook Obsession and Rhodia Love

Rhodia notebooks and pads
Rhodia notebooks and pads

For some reason, I can’t seem to find Hilroy-type notebooks in Taiwan⁴. I use these types of spiral notebooks to do my math exercises. I couldn’t really find equivalent ones. This means that I have to check out different types of notebooks for that sole purpose. This is good and bad. It’s made me consider using Moleskines for class notebooks³, something that I had been thinking about. Moleskines are expensive. Even in Canada, they were expensive. They are also expensive in Taiwan, but thanks to ESLite’s 15% student discount, it’s not that bad¹.

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Moleskines and Graduate Texts

MD Paper form Midori Japan
MD Paper form Midori Japan

I had to get another Moleskine for my Modern Algebra class. I just received the textbook, appropriately called Algebra [Hungerford, Springer Verlag, vol 73], and needed to get back to class quickly. I spent an obscene amount of time waiting at the ESlite at Gongguan to get served. I wanted to get a red Moleskine XL Plain Paper softcover. They had shown me something similar, but I must have remembered it wrong, because they don’t have those types of MS. They only had the L size in red, as well as a bunch of Cahier Journals. For some reason, it took about 20 minutes to get this answer. I was getting pissed off. I almost left without buying anything. 

But I got the softcover Moleskine XL Plain Paper instead. Why? Well I need to transfer over my notes before class tomorrow and this is the only class that’s left that I haven’t done so. I plan on using a Japanese notebook from MD Paper (Midori Paper Japan) to note stuff about the colloquium we attend every week³.

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