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April 29, 2007

Marilee Jones Lies

Marilee Jones, the former Dean of Admissions at MIT, resigned Thursday following proof that she lied about her academic credentials, which included falsely claiming that she held degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and other prestigious institutions.

I received a letter earlier this year, dated February 8, rejecting my application to the MIT Biological Engineering Ph.D. program, bearing her signature. I guess that letter is worth even less now!

She also posted her own statement on the MIT web site.

April 26, 2007

Hijacking a Viral Marketing Campaign


See this blog post for more information.

April 25, 2007

A Pittsburgh Kind of Day

After spending last night sleeping through most of a ten-hour, 5,200-mile flight and slogging through the early morning, without coffee, waiting in lines at immigration and customs in Washington, D.C., I landed in Pittsburgh around 9:30 AM. I walked off the plane with the top third of my shirt unbuttoned, my sunglasses hanging loosely, and an iPod connected to my ears. It was the quintessential modern beach bum look, even though it was prompted by mere convenience.

Leaving the Pittsburgh airport, I must have looked like a lunatic. There I was, emitting the temperate and sunny ambience of the Buenos Aires climate I had left a mere 14 hours prior, stepping into cold rain, dark clouds, and a wind chill around 45 degrees. I would have found it much more amusing if I wasn't completely soaked and terribly chilly by the time I got into my car.

All is well here and, perhaps, better than well, since my mom decided to make a number of improvements around the house for the week and a half she stayed here while I was in Argentina. My cats are happy, my rugs are clean, and there's an Italian chef on top of my refrigerator that sings when you stomp on his foot!

Also, you should check out today's xkcd. Be sure to hover your mouse over the image and read the caption. He speaks the truth!

Edit (2007 Apr. 26): The singing, bouncing doll on top of my refrigerator is apparently not an Italian chef. He has a chef's hat, but I think he sings about matzo. Does the stereotypical Jewish chef have a long, brown beard, a jovial smile, and brightly colored clothes? Regardless of his nationality, he's quite hilarious to watch!

April 21, 2007

Puerto Madero in Pictures

Here in Argentina, I am staying in my dad's extra bedroom at his super-cool, ultra-modern, high-rise flat in the Puerto Madero district of Buenos Aires. Puerto Madero was the old port of the city that had been full of abandoned warehouses for many years before being revitalized into a luxury shopping, dining, and residential area, starting six or seven years ago. The streets here are now some of the safest in the sprawling city and certainly the safest anywhere near the city center.

Over the first few days I was here, I took the following photos from the balcony of the apartment.

Sunset over the Buenos Aires skyline and Puerto Madero.

The easternmost part of the downtown area of Buenos Aires, with Puerto Madero in the foreground.

Puerto Madero, highlighting the Puente de la Mujer, or Women's Bridge, which, as you can see, looks very neat when illuminated at night. The big building in the background, I think, is the Ministry of the Interior.

A thunderstorm rolling into the city from the south. Winds from the storm reached about 60 mph and caused water to pour into the apartment through the stove vent and a vent over the kitchen window! It was very exciting. And wet.

April 12, 2007

Buenas tardes from Buenos Aires

¡Buenas tardes!

It's a beautiful early autumn day in Buenos Aires: temperatures in the low 70s, a light breeze, perfectly clear skies, and reasonable humidity. I'm sitting at the dining room table in my dad's apartment here, looking out over barrio Puerto Madero, the Casa Rosada, and a number of high-rise office buildings and apartments in the distance.

Over the next few days, I hope to post some photos of the view from the balcony here. It's just amazing!

I really should be working, rather than enjoying the urban landscape out the windows and writing about it. So, I'm off for now, but I'll update again soon.

April 10, 2007

Un Viaje a Argentina

For quite a number of reasons, none of which involve actually taking a regular vacation, I'm flying to Buenos Aires tomorrow. I'll possibly also be in Uruguay on Friday. Cool, no?

I will meet my dad at the Buenos Aires airport, and my first few days there will be a grab-bag of working, eating, and enjoying the lively culture of one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.

My original reason for taking a trip overseas was to have some new scenery by which I could work, but a tentative trip to any random major European city evolved into this masterpiece of South American travel.

My mom is kindly arriving in Pittsburgh several hours before I leave, and she will take care of Master Gray and Lady Pixel while I'm out of town.

To whet your appetite for the trip to Buenos Aires in your own near future, be sure to check out my account of my previous trip to that fantastic city.

¡Hasta luego!

April 07, 2007


I left my phone in a cab in Boston yesterday, so now I'm using the newest addition to the Motorola RAZR family, the KRAZR. It's pronounced like it looks: "krazer". Which is ridiculous, but it's a very nice phone, and so far, I'm very happy with it.

Enjoy the photos it took of this morning's sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and my cup of coffee, steaming in the cold air while sitting on a washed-up log on the beach.

April 03, 2007

VBScript not registered on Windows Vista

I tried installing iTunes on my computer, which runs Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit, and I received an error about it not being able to find VBScript.

Apparently, Windows Vista does not automatically register the VBScript libraries when it is installed.

This entry is meant to show people with the same problem, who have, perhaps, found this page through a search engine, how to register VBScript.

Follow these steps.

1. Open the Start Menu and navigate to the All Programs / Accessories folder. Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator. Select Continue when the security dialog is displayed.

2. In the Command Prompt window, navigate to the system32 directory by typing the following command and pressing Enter. cd \windows\system32

3. Register the 32-bit VBScript library by typing the following command and pressing Enter. regsvr32 vbscript.dll

If you are running the 32-bit version of Windows Vista, you're finished. Type exit to close the Command Prompt. If you are running the 64-bit version of Windows Vista, you now need to register the 64-bit version of the library. Continue reading.

4. Navigate to the 64-bit system directory by typing the following command and pressing Enter. cd \windows\syswow64

5. Register the 64-bit VBScript library by typing the following command and pressing Enter. regsvr32 vbscript.dll

Now, you're finished. Type exit to close the Command Prompt.

Hopefully, people with this problem will find these instructions easy to follow. I had to wade through a number of forum posts and various web sites in order to figure out this short procedure.