Awesome party last night, hosted by the BiD lab. We arrived early and rearranged the lab to block off our desks and have more open space in the middle of the rooms, and set up lights and drinks and food. My advisor Björn was our DJ. I should point out that Björn was a professional DJ before he went to grad school, and it was the interesting interfaces used by DJs that prompted him to do research in Human-Computer Interaction. Needless to say, the music was great.
Seeing Björn in the mix, I couldn't help but fondly recall Gabe's random mixes on hall at 5E, and learning the general ideas behind DJing - beatmatching, pitch control, lead in, cueing, and crossfading. Björn says that most people take about a year to develop the tacit knowledge needed to be able to mix well and consistently. I wonder if that'd be a skill worth investing some time in. I'd guess that another large part of it is getting to know what BPM and key each of your songs are in. Time to go install mixxx.
As this is the weekend nearest to Halloween, the party was a costume party. There were some great costumes - Manas printed off a poster-sized blank Facebook Wall using the lab plotter and let people write on his wall. There was a girl dressed as Siri. There was a vampire (and not the sparkly variety) and several pixies. Luke was a crossing guard. Pablo was a convincing Don Vito Corleone, with a coat and white vest. I wore a red dress shirt and dark dress pants, my red fedora, and my black trenchcoat. I entered the costume competition for "Geekiest costume." People seemed confused by my costume until I explained "I'm here representing Red Hat." Then I got thunderous applause and won. About five minutes later, someone walked in dressed as a Rubik's cube with faces that lit up and changed colors, and I passed my prize on to him in deference.
A number of people thought that I was trying to dress up as Carmen Sandiego, since she wore a red fedora and a trenchcoat (though hers was red, and mine was black). In a curious coincidence, Sarah did dress up as Carmen Sandiego. Peas in a pod, I tell ya.
A good-sized crowd came to the party - around 30 or so people at max headcount, though more than that cycled through over the course of the night. We made sangria with lychees stuffed with blueberries, intended to look like eyeballs. The whole event was described by Andrew as "the best departmental party I've ever been to." Pretty awesome. Thanks to the CSGSA for sponsoring, and everyone who came for attending!
I want to carve a pumpkin into a Guy Fawkes face for November 5th. I might actually do this - I think BiD has some leftover pumpkins.
In other news: I went through my inbox and reduced 2600 messages to 79 (most of which I still need to follow up on).
In more other news: I need to do a writeup on this website of the Moussage project. And I need to do a writeup on libtouchmouse, which I've produced over the course of the past week.