2014 :: 2013
2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009
2008 :: 2007 :: 2006 :: 2005
2004 :: 2003 :: 2002 :: 2001



Last night, the deep depression/hollow in the lawn downhill from the hammocks filled with flood water running off Big Bend Blvd. in a steady stream between the two buildings, creating a vast pool of waist-deep water. When my roommate and I got back, people were already gathered watching a guy ride his bike at top speed into the water. Eventually the thing became the equivalent of a community pool, with people riding their bikes through it, swimming, running and sliding into the water, splashing, and mud-wrestling.

A crowd of residents gathered around in the pouring rain to watch, and the shades were up on more dorm windows than I've seen in a long time, with the curious peering out, pointing, laughing, and yelling things. The community pool seemed to draw more interest than anything else this year has, excluding the Chinese-food study break.

- - -

Something else noteworthy: after all the trouble it took to install the new copy of AIM and procure a new copy of DeadAIM, the program doesn't even save my sound settings and forces me to click on the next away message down to get the away message I want&mash;but it does open links in new windows!

- - -

So I have this psychology class, right? Everyone who is in a psychology class in a given semester has to complete at least six hours of experiment participation (else write research summary papers or complete other unpreferred tasks) to get full credit for the course. Hence yesterday I signed up for a few more experiments, as I've only completed three and a half hours so far this semester. The subject pool site has some nifty features—it won't let you sign up for a slot someone else has, and it won't let you sign up for something you've done before or are already signed up to do. So if I've been in, say, Experiment 205, I can never do that one again, and the system can also keep me from signing up for other experiments later on that exclude students who've already participated in a set range of experiments. It's nicely set up.

So one experiment listed this week asks you to sign up for time slots two hours apart. I tried to do that, figuring maybe they jury-rigged the system to let you do that—I give them the benefit of the doubt, figuring they could probably do that if they so chose. Nope. It doesn't work. Denied. That's fine, as that's what their system is designed to do. I even unchecked the little box that says "hide unavailable appointments," noting that the only other person with an appointment on the same day as mine was also only listed in one spot.

Later on, though, I got this automated email from the student in charge of running the experiment:

You signed up for the psychology experiment #486. This is a two session experiment and you need to sign up for TWO time slots separated by two hours. So if you signed up for the 3:00 time slot you also need to sign up for the 5:00 time slot.
Thank you,
[her name]"

I responded by sending her a nice long email explaining the problem:

Dear [student],
The system wouldn't allow me to sign up for two time slots for the same experiment. After I signed up for the first slot, it kept telling me that I couldn't sign up for the other because I'd already signed up for the experiment, etc. The system has a built-in check to make sure no one signs up for the same experiment more than once, hence it won't let me do that. I unchecked the "hide unavailable appointments" checkbox, and noted that someone else had apparently had the same problem, as they weren't signed up for more than one slot, either.

I'll try it again. [tries it again] Nope. It still won't let me sign up for another slot. This is what it tells me:

"Sorry, you are not eligible to participate in this experiment because of either current experiments for which you are signed-up or past experiments in which you have participated.

This experiment requires that you have not been in and that you are not signed up for the following experiments: 304, 486

It is also possible that being in this experiment would render you ineligible to be in a future experiment for which you have already signed up."

Now, there's no way that I can't sign up for it by virtue of having been in one of the listed experiments, as it wouldn't even have let me sign up for the first slot if that were the case. [checks records of past experiments] Nope. I haven't been in either of the listed experiments before.

I was planning on coming into the lab again at 5:30 p.m. (two hours after my first appointment) anyway, as I figured the system was just doing its job. I thought about emailing you and letting you know that the reason I hadn't signed up for another time slot was that it wouldn't let me, but I figured you knew that. If there's any way you could sign me up for that second slot manually, go ahead and do that, but as long as I get my credit, I'm happy. I just can't be asked to do the impossible.


4:10 pm, November 18, 2003 :: the jablog years

You should follow me on Twitter.