Participating for once in this idea, more like a test. Don’t expect me to do it again. With thanks to Tarek Ziadé for the idea and to @Pybonacci for disseminating it.

1. What’s the coolest Python application, framework or library you have discovered in 2012?

PyMongo: the very smooth Python API on top of MongoDB, and the best way by far I found to teach a very short introductory explanation of map-reduce to my class!

2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2012?

Map-reduce initial flirting; but note: “learn” is a huge overstatement.

3. What’s the name of the open source project you contributed the most in 2012? What did you do?

Second answer first: start it. So it does not exist yet, but I hope to see it grow in 2013. First answer second: PyDaMelo. However, this means “contributed the most” is evaluated in terms of internal importance. In terms of mental effort it would be going on with yacaree, and in terms of relevance it would be the yacaree port into KNIME (but this last is not Python).

4. What was the Python blog or website you read the most in 2012?

Easy… python.org

5. What are the three top things you want to learn in 2012?

Answer restricted to Pythonic worlds. A glimpse of Pygame (already underway), further PyMongo, many pending further explorations of the wonderful mere standard library.

6. What are the top software, app, or lib you wish someone would write in 2013?

I would like to be able to use convex optimization easily. By “easily” I mean that the user manual may assume that every now and then I import numpy and import scipy, yet I know essentially nothing about convex optimization. In particular, no idea of what all these BLAS and LAPACK dependencies are about, so whenever the OS complains, as often happens with scipy, that something went wrong at configuration, I just move off to another task. There is CVXOPT but it seems to have its own “numpy-array-like” variation? Anyone out there knows for sure whether it is numpy-compatible?

Want to do your own list ? here’s how:

  • copy-paste the questions and answer them in your blog,
  • tweet the blog post link with the #2012pythonmeme hashtag!
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Cada año, a la llegada del otoño, cuando refresca, suele aparecer en los muros de Facebook una peculiar queja. Every year, in the fall, as the weather cools down, Facebook walls tend to show a curious rant: time to get back the duvet on the bed, toca volver a dormir con edredón. (Llamo edredón aquí al edredón nórdico.)

Y es que, en esa tesitura, existe un determinado colectivo que sufre un poquito más: aquellas personas que vivimos solos, pero preferimos cama doble. Sea por considerar que vivir solo no implica hacer voto de castidad, contando, pues, con que igual quizá existan oportunidades de disfrutar compartiéndola; sea porque un@ necesita muchos decímetros cuadrados para no caerse porque da grandes vueltas mientras duerme; sea simplemente porque mola dormir ancho, somos muchos los que caemos en esta categoría.

Thus, you may happen to live alone and still prefer to sleep in a double bed. If this is your case, you will recognize yourself immediately in the problem of getting the large duvet inside a fresh cover with just two hands, found at the far ends of arms that spread just about that much and hold about such weight. En efecto, cada vez que cambias la funda del edredón para lavarla, no es trivial apañarte solit@ para meter el edredón en la funda limpia.

Algunas estrategias existentes, de cada una de las cuales podría citar la fuente, pero prefiero mantener mis fuentes anónimas por discreción, son: (a) usar el edredón con su funda simplemente como manta, contando con el juego doble de sábanas usual, lo cual permite no mudar la funda tan a menudo; (b) meterse junto con el edredón dentro de la funda a realizar la gestión, en solitario o bien con el gato, previamente entrenado para ayudar tirando de la esquina adecuada (esta opción requiere tener gato y entrenarlo desde jovencito); (c) doblar el edredón por la mitad antes de meterlo en la funda, ofreciendo mucha más manejabilidad gracias a la menor superficie, y desdoblarlo una vez está dentro; (d) el tema principal de este post: el fascinante “método enrollado”, que aprendí en París, de una persona amiga de origen isleño. Among a number of strategies that people may develop and share, this post points out a couple of sources for the fascinating “roll-in method”.

There is no substitute to seeing it performed in order to learn it, la única manera buena de entenderlo es verlo hacer. Puedo ofrecer un enlace a una descripción textual, I can offer this link: http://www.wikihow.com/Change-a-Duvet-Cover (sí, es verdad, cuesta entenderlo, ya te digo que no hay mejor opción que verlo si puedes).

(Cannot understand why the “add link” buttons in the edit menu are disabled now. Copy and paste on yourself please. Oh, now they work. This is better.)

Y es que, a falta de verlo en directo, como pude yo verlo, alucinando pepinillos, en el XXème Arrondissement de la Ciudad Luz, una aproximación tal vez un poco insuficiente pero mucho mejor que la descripción textual es una filmación; y, hace unos años, un intrépido equipo, de cuy@s integrantes prefiero prefiero omitir, asimismo, los nombres, realizó la mencionada hazaña. Para ilustración de los ilustres visitantes de este blog, me congratula hacer público que he recibido autorización de subir el vídeo que me pasaron a Youtube: http://youtu.be/DxeiLZDDIG8 where you can see the roll-in method in action on videotape, possibly the second best way to learn it – yet, clearly inferior to the best way, that is, seeing it performed in front of your eyes.

Es mejor entre dos personas; hay varias actividades relacionadas con camas dobles que, a veces, pueden ser mejores entre dos personas. Better two people, as is often the case in double-bed-related activities. Pero una sola persona, os lo aseguro, se lo monta mejor con este método que con cualquiera de los métodos alternativos que conozco. Likewise, each individual reaches his/her favorite masturbating method, and, for the slightly different goal of changing the duvet cover, you should try this one, at least once or twice.

Importante: no olvides que la funda que extiendes sobre el colchón, para empezar, antes de poner el edredón encima, va al revés; don’t forget that the cover is spread first on top of the bed inside-out.

Good luck, suerte! Feel free to comment here your progress and successes, deja si quieres documentados tus progresos y tus éxitos en los comentarios. And do not hesitate in asking for further clarifications, no dudes en consultar tus dudas, y, si está en mi mano responderlas, lo haré, will answer willingly whenever I am able to.

Là où va l’indien

March 14, 2011

A bit like in http://www.bdxiii.com/pages/albums/images2.html (midway through), except that it is Lake Volta instead of Kellownee Lake, and it is a couple of africans instead of an indian. But a beautiful place in Ghana.

All the best from my new office in the Facultad de Ciencias, from a desk that is, conceivably, older than myself,  much more robust, marvelously large, a real university office desk like I never had before. You need to be in a good old Facultad to find such pieces of furniture, at UPC all desks are pretty new and, the newer, the smaller, and the less robust.

Not the best view from the window but at least there is a window (two years ago at UCL there was none). And rumors that someone retiring and a general office permutation may be coming, with the potential of improving my window view.

Every day the few local LSI-and-friends people meet at the cafeteria at 11. If you want to have your cup of coffee quiet and alone, just avoid that hour; if you feel like socializing, just drop by. I like the scheme. They say that monday (I was not here yet) rained cats and dogs the whole day, but my day-and-a-half here so far have been sunny, not too cold, and warm at heart, meeting both known and new lovely people in different ways along the whole day. Some minor headaches, but truly minor in that one or another solution could be found.

The best possible start for my journey here!

Budapest

October 16, 2008

Almost a week in Budapest – but almost half a week full-time captured at a conference. Still, did not feel really comfortable in the town. Too ‘magnificent’ (huge, large avenues, big impressive buildings, long distances). Best of it, the museums, and best of the museums, the temporary exhibits (plus a large wall covered of *just great* oils of Lucas Cranach, not that easy to find in such quantities around).

Language famine

April 18, 2007

According to today’s London’s “METRO” free newspaper, Bob Geldof has decided to create a website with voices and speech of the some 900 “cultural groups” of mankind (I believe they are short by half, at least): the decision was taken when he learned that, a couple of decades ago, along just two years in Niger, 300 languages had disappeared during the famine.

It struck me hard: that’s the way a sensible occidental person (not that different from myself) reacts to that news item? Getting worried about the loss of 300 languages, and not a thought about the deaths from hunger, of the corresponding human beings? The quote of Geldof (from Live8) is itself instructive: “Even though I never heard those languages, I miss them. Man is extraordinary and diverse.” We did not meet in person either any of those people who spoke those languages and died in the famine. How can you miss an unheard language, and not miss them speakers!