Change calendar that clicking on calendar.google.com creates events on

I often use the calendar.google.com interface to quickly add events. However, I was frustrated as sometimes I want to quickly add events to a calendar that was not my default calendar (the one that is automatically created for you when you first use google calendar).

The key is to make sure that the only visible calendar is the calendar you wish to add events to. The use case below: I’m using a calendar for “time tracking” to see roughly what I’m spending time on and block out what I plan to spend time on.

Screenshot from 2017-11-27 04-47-34

If you view any other calendar (that is, more than one calendar is  displayed), then google calendar reverts back to adding events to the “default calendar”.

Screenshot from 2017-11-27 04-49-51

 

Two articles I first read, before I realized that I don’t need to change my default calendar (I was searching for “change calendar google adds to by default”) in order to change the calendar clicking on the website adds to.

https://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/6965/how-can-i-change-my-default-main-calendar-in-google-calendar

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/calendar/desktop-computer/mac/suggest-new-feature/user-interface-and-views/QC677YHArmE

 

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/calendar/desktop-computer/mac/suggest-new-feature/user-interface-and-views/QC677YHArmE

copy and pasting to/from vim with middle click (on ubuntu linux)

I used to have this very clunky way of copying and pasting from/to vim. All these tutorials online would have these “settings” you could add to .vimrc that were supposed to make it possible to “yank to a special register” or something, but I could never get them to work. So instead I would

:set nonu (get rid of line numbers)
:set mouse=c (allow for a cursor to select text)
Use mouse, highlight section,  shift-ctrl-c
Then ctrl-v somewhere else.

At some point I was looking over a friend’s shoulder and discovered a much better way. The key is to install a different version of vim.

sudo apt remove vim
sudo apt install vim-gnome

Now, I keep my mouse mode in

:set mouse=a

Then highlight text using the usual vim commands (shift-v and then any of the movement keys, such as “w” and “h” etc.)

Finally middle-click to paste the text elsewhere.

If you’re getting the beginning of text cut off when you paste into vim, make sure you’re in “mouse=a” and not “mouse=c” mode. In the latter, text will paste, but some of it will get cut off.

URL shortcut for accessing IEEE Xplore / other journals via Harvard and MIT Libraries

It was a little annoying to figure out how to login to IEEE Xplore using Harvard Libraries access.

(At MIT, so long as you are on “MIT SECURE” wireless network, you can go to http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/home.jsp and you will be automatically logged in under MIT Libraries).

The best method I found is that, after the domain name, but before the rest of the path, add in

.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu

For MIT Libraries, the equivalent is
libproxy.mit.edu

For instance, to access an IEEE Xplore article, I would put that snipped after the “.org” and before the forward slash.

Original URL
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7487538

New URL (HARVARD)

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/abstract/document/7487538/

New URL (MIT)

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.libproxy.mit.edu/abstract/document/7487538/

 

The URL will redirect you to login using your HarvardKey or MIT Kerberos if you’re using the libraries access for the first time.

dot grid paper, update (1 cm)

In short:

Find the inkscape source, and an example page (in PDF) you can print, at github.

github.com/nouyang: Dot Grid Paper

preview

preview_tiled_dotgrid

 

example notebooks

just stapling ~15 pages together at the top. the issue I found is not being able to tell which way the notebook flipped, and it being hard to flip through pages fast. Also, at 15 pages, I started accumulating “notebooks” really fast, and it wasn’t always very obvious the chronological order. The idea was to detach them, three hole punch, and stick them into a binder. I haven’t gotten around to that yet, and probably won’t ever since the semester is almost over…

tiled_notebook

using manila folders I found lying around, and a somewhat-industrial stapler across ~25 pages. i haven’t used this enough to think about pros and cons.

the overall con, though, is that now my notes are spread across five different notebooks…

tiled_notebook_2

before & after comparisontiled_paper_before_after

 

in detail

i reformatted to properly use clones and the clone tile factory in inkscape; and additionally, I decided on a different formatting for the “darker” lines (before, they evenly divided the page into 4 sections vertically).

Using the clone factory I thus just have two sizes of dots: small and large. And I can change opacity, color, size, stroke, etc. for *all* dots just by choosing editing those two “source” dots. If you’re having trouble finding them, just click on any dot and “shift+d” to find the source dot.

inkscape_tile_factor dot_grid_tile_factory

double-sided

pdftk tiled_clones_30.pdf tiled_clones_30.pdf output merged.pdf

printing notes

Print at high resolution (600×600 or greater), and the only b&w printers tend to have aliasing effects — and old toner cartridges tend to produce blemishes across the pages. Print with “no scale / no shrink to fit”.

Basically, if you find a working setup, print a good chunk of pages, becase it might be annoying to setup the “grayness” and “size of dot” and other values for the printer again; or maybe the printer in a few weeks will just put random blotches everywhere.

 

example notebooks

just stapling ~15 pages together at the top. the issue I found is not being able to tell which way the notebook flipped, and it being hard to flip through pages fast. Also, at 15 pages, I started accumulating “notebooks” really fast, and it wasn’t always very obvious the chronological order. The idea was to detach them, three hole punch, and stick them into a binder. I haven’t gotten around to that yet, and probably won’t ever since the semester is almost over…

tiled_notebook

using manila folders I found lying around, and a somewhat-industrial stapler across ~25 pages. i haven’t used this enough to think about pros and cons.

the overall con, though, is that now my notes are spread across five different notebooks…

tiled_notebook_2

before & after comparisontiled_paper_before_after

challah in boston

29 Jan 2018 edit: I can confirm that, despite JP Licks being an ice cream store, the one in Harvard Square does indeed stock challah, and it’s the sweet and dense one that I like!

harvest co-op in central square used to (for many years) stock a type of challah i really enjoyed, up until the end of 2016.

but for a long while, they haven’t stocked it. i even went so far as to ask when it comes in (wed afternoon), but never saw it again.

it’s this very dense and sweet type of challah, and pulls apart nicely (though still produces lots of crumbs like all challah, and probably all baked goods). i don’t particularly like non-sweet challah.

i finally decided to look up what i had and where else i might find it. inspired by a recent trip to NYC (brooklyn, to visit my awesome cousins). there i found in every corner store some challah — specifically “egg challah” and “raisin challah”. I knew it was the right kind when I saw that the second ingredient, right after flour, was sugar. :]

after some digging in my google chats history… i found this

challah

which i then cross-referenced against “best challah in boston“. although the text is illegible in my picture, the brand / logo was easily recognizable as the first name in the list:

http://cherylannsbakery.com

logo

 

now, i need to find it in another store. ideally somewhere conveniently located — there’s one next to the target near union square, i guess. also, ideally, not $7 a loaf… the challah in NYC, while not as tasty, was $4. which is good considering that i can go through three loaves in three days. (it’s less dense, aka less moist. it’s probably just as sweet though).

challah_nyc

now, challah dipped into a cup of chai… heaven.

math fear

hmm,
I almost remember a time when I thought math was fun. Probably in middle school sometime… I had a lot of high school teenager angst by the time I got to AP calculus. I went into AP statistics thinking of it as the “easier” AP math class (vs AP calculus), so that was alright, but not particularly enjoyable nor exciting. In linear algebra, I just felt lost. And in differential equations, I just felt like a failure.

That was the last time I took a math class. It was eight years ago…  1st semester freshman year. (dear lord I’m old, what have I done with my life?)

I think it’s because Harvard SEAS (School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) is so small. There are Math and Physics PhD students in my classes all the time and I know their faces from seeing them around (and sometimes showing up at their socials to eat food :] ).  In particular, I’ve been hanging out with Irina and Sharon, and we’ve been bonding over classes we’re taking together and that utmost of bonding experiences: DESPAIR.

haha well Irina is too chill for despair. But anyhow. Basically, now I know math people, and furthermore they’re my friends and seem like nice friendly normal-ish people, and they struggle and have insecurities like I do. And my friend even told me about how she decided to major in mathematics *because* she had math fear. And I’m sure its something to do with, I don’t think I’ve ever really known other math majors, so I always had this abstract idea in my head which was nowhere close to reality. (Sorry Renee, I should hang out with you more. Wait, that means I now actually call three mathematics majors my friends!). And now the math majors I know as people who struggle sometimes, not generic Mathematics People.

(Probably helps in breaking my stereotypes, that they’re women. Though I hate to admit it, because I’m so tired of the whole diversity thing, and caring about it, and anything… I just want to care more about abstract problems for now),

And my rotation advisor is a math person, he seems pretty normal (and very patient).

I think it’s when I start thinking or reading about other people and the Words and the Theorems that sound so complicated and esoteric, that I feel math fear. For instance, I read recently a bio by  Steve Mitchell (I do not know him), and my main takeaway is that, not only is he some unknowable math person who talks about “homotography groups of spheres” (??), but worse still, he was so much better at being an adventurous bum than me! Hitchhiking in cars and stowing away in trains, dropping out of college, climbing rocks and living on houseboats :'(

while I was exuding distress about failing my classes (well I dropped a class, so failing my one class…), my friend (esteemed almost-Dr. Renee Bell) was trying to cheer me up by telling me about Stephen Smale, who apparently almost got kicked out of grad school before winning a Fields Medal. The difference though, is that I don’t think I can “start working hard” to pass my classes. I *feel* like I’m working hard already, and still failing my classes (and I don’t mean in the “oh maybe I’ll get a B” sense).

For goodness’ sake my hobby went from sailing in the ocean and captaining my own boat and trying to avoid ramming rocks and dying, to taking care of a houseplant on my windowsill at work.

[ I do  really like my plant. It’s a mini rose plant that I got from Trader Joe’s, and it’s actually flourishing. It just put out a flower, another one almost flowered, and I count five more still-tiny buds. Of course, I’m supplementing it with a lot of light, and specifically 5000K light that “mimics daylight”, which I think means it emits more evenly across the spectra.  And I just started my succulent seeds, though apparently they’ll take a month just to sprout… ]

But when it’s just me and the math, independent of faraway people and geniuses; independent of all my insecurities and fears that I’ve built up over years and years, calcified into a monstrous tower looming over me. When I’m just struggling to figure out what it going on, and I have a friend to struggle through it with me (Eric actually ended up staying up all night with me before my advisor meeting ). When I have friends who tell me why math is cool and exciting, When there is no pressure and no people to compare myself to.

That’s when math seems fun.

I bet I’ll change my mind when I take two math classes next semester though. (I should probably just take one, actually). Then I’ll have to work on math with math people, and fail at math. Then I’ll stop thinking math is fun.

It’ll be a pity…

fellowships and stochastic processes (don’t be intimidated; apply to as many as possible)

i didn’t try hard to apply to hertz this year, which is kind of a shame in retrospect.

i was a bit intimidated by the whole “we give out 15 fellowships a year,” because no way am I in the “top 15” in the nation.

however, after the deadline passed, i thought about it and realized. these super selective fellowships are all stochastic and random, and the only thing to do is to apply to as many as possible. once you get down to a list of 100 or 200 or however many people, getting down to the final 15 people is inherently a random noisy process. there’s no real way to pick between candidates at that point. and since humans make the final decisions, there is a strange probability distribution that has many possible factors deciding its shape, e.g. how long it has been since the judges ate lunch.

so, the lesson I learned is, do not be intimidated by how how “selective” the fellowship is, or its “acceptance rate.” but simply apply to as many as possible.

applying to soros was strange. for me and the 2 or 3 other people i talked to, we grew up and spent our whole lives in america in fairly well-off conditions, and felt as american as apple pie. and while it was fun for me to think about all the things that made my life growing up different, and i enjoyed reflecting on all the stories of hardships my parents went through and how they pulled through. but, these were not my stories, and these were not my struggles. and more importantly, for the fellowship, i was not writing a personal essay reflection on my growth, but rather convincing strangers that i held promise and was worthy of funding.

i do not understand my essay writing process or how to make it go faster or take up less time. i need to figure out how not to get stuck on a task and prioritize it so much that i’m not able to switch to other tasks. it’s a strong component, i think, of how hard i’m struggling in grad school. likely it’s caused me great grief in my jobs as well, but in grad school it’s very easy to measure in completed problem sets and weekly milestones which are solely dependent on my own working style.

it turns out i am friends with a hertz fellow who applied several years ago, and friends-of-friends with two soros fellows. it’s too late for hertz — you can only apply pre-grad school or your first year — but, perhaps for other fellowships…

a few fellowships in CS (my friend has some part-time work compiling this)

https://phd.northeastern.edu/opportunity/?subject=computer-science

a few generous fellowships have passed with focused on fields i’m unacquainted with and could not immediately (in a week) write a research proposal around. i hate trend-following, but i must admit, when there’s so much money being thrown at e.g. machine learning and AI, and fellowships are so crucial to me, it’s hard to turn my nose.