castanyes blaves

Random ramblings about some random stuff, and things; but more stuff than things -- all in a mesmerizing and kaleidoscopic soapbox-like flow of words.


how to save "man" outputs into file?

man command | col -b > file.txt


nice link of the day


Public transportation

I had a bad experience this morning when going to catch the bus: at 8:03, I found out that the 8:05 bus had already left, full, leaving half a dozen people in the bus station waiting for the next bus, at 8:30h.

I went to file a complaint and while writing what had just happened I found that, the guy in charge of the office, that was overlooking what I was writing, started to negate it: he negated that I was there before the schedule, 8:05. He negated that there was a bus at 8:00h, _in front of_ a pile of bus schedules that clearly say so, and he negated that I missed the bus, but that the bus was full, left earlier, and I wasn't there to pick it up. Fuc***** amazing!! Of course I wasn't there! The bus was meant to be there until 8:05, I was there at 8:03, but the bus was full and I couldn't take it.

Maybe some people think that "negation" is the best way to avoid problems when they are in front of your face...


moby thesaurus in emacs

Download mthesaur.el from:

Download Moby Thesaurus file from:

Unzip it, then put the path in mthesaur.el mthesaur-file variable.

Add this lines in your .emacs file:

(require 'mthesaur)


;; Or:


(autoload 'mthesaur-search "mthesaur"

"Thesaurus lookup of a word or phrase." t)

(autoload 'mthesaur-search-append "mthesaur"

"Thesaurus lookup of a word or phrase, append results." t)


;; Optionally followed by assigning key sequences to the mthesaur

;; functions:


(global-set-key "\C-ct" 'mthesaur-search)

(global-set-key "\C-c\C-t" 'mthesaur-search-append)

This is an example of how GNU/Linux can be _inside_ a product

I couldn't resist to copy+paste the definition of grad students in phdcomics latest comic:

"...we form the foundation upon which all of academic research rests. We're the nourishment for the roots of the ever-growing tree of scientific knowledge..."


Great tip for emacs searching

;; Iseach only char by char

(defun isearch-yank-char ()

"Pull next char from buffer into search string."




(and (not isearch-forward) isearch-other-end

(goto-char isearch-other-end))


(point) (progn (forward-char 1) (point))))))

(define-key isearch-mode-map (kbd "C-f") 'isearch-yank-char)

LaTeX graphics tips

# include only PostScript images (esp. ``Encapsulated PostScript'') if your goal is a PostScript document using dvips

# include only PDF, PNG, JPEG and GIF images if your goal is a PDF document using pdflatex, TeXShop, or other PDF-oriented compiler.

Expressions I should be using more often

Consequently, ...

As a better proxy for the simplistic and omnipresent "Then, ..."

First Monday after TA

Today is the first monday after I finished my teaching assistance duties, and I have about 8 straight months before I finish my PhD.

By then, I hope I will be able to say that I contributed with interesting results to the evolutionary perspective of gene orthology in prokaryotes, and one interesting group, if it shows up, in eukarya. The very optimistic part of myself is dreaming in one --possibly two-- papers for these results.

I plan on defending the thesis project by December, and then spend some time to plan, chart, seek and compare possibilities for postdoctoral jobs.

Will see...


my sciatica problems

Sciatica is a general term that refers to pain caused by compression or irritation of one or more nerves exiting the lower spine that make up the sciatic nerve, and there are a number of different conditions that can cause this.

Active exercise is important for sciatica relief

Although it may seem counterintuitive, exercise is usually better for healing sciatic pain than bed rest. Patients may rest for a day or two after their sciatica flares up, but after that time period, inactivity will usually make the pain worse. Without exercise and movement, the back muscles and spinal structures become deconditioned and less able to support the back. The deconditioning and weakening can lead to back injury and strain, which causes additional back pain. Exercise is also important for the health of the spinal discs. Movement helps exchange nutrients and fluids within the discs to keep them healthy.

Many sciatica exercises focus on strengthening the abdominal and back muscles in order to give more support for the back. Stretching exercises for sciatica target muscles that cause pain when they are tight and inflexible. When patients engage in a regular program of gentle strengthening and stretching exercises, they can recover more quickly from a flare up of sciatica and can help to prevent future episodes of pain.

In my case I could recognize my symptoms to sacroiliac joint dysfunction, that I remember got after a soccer game two months ago:


I finished my teaching assistance duties!

Today I finished my Teaching Assistance duties!!!

I want to thank al the people who gave me the opportunity to hate lecturing: by making me take 180 hours of TA (it was compulsory) for free, as I'm getting paid to _investigate_. Maybe this remnant of hatress will give me strength to concentrate my efforts on research, not teaching. I'm sure a lot of students will, unconsiously, be glad for that :-D (not really; I was a good teacher).


Expressions I should be using more often

Our analysis also reveals several issues that must be addressed before more robust interpretations are possible.

source of jokes for presentations

disk usage by directory

This is a way to see where all the space used in a directory is employed:

find . -maxdepth 1 -type d -print | xargs du -sk | sort -rn > find_du_1.txt &

here a version for 2 levels of subdirectories:

find . -maxdepth 2 -type d -print | xargs du -sk | sort -rn > find_du_2.txt &

expressions I should be using more often

... This is the first part of the exposition. Elsewhere, Joe is also working on ...


algorithms in latex

This package provides two environments, "algorithmic" and

"algorithm", which are designed to be used together but may

be used separately. The "algorithmic" environment provides

an environment for describing algorithms and the "algorithm"

environment provides a "float" wrapper for algorithms

(implemented using "algorithmic" or some other method at

the author's option). The reason that two environments are

provided is to allow the author maximum flexibility.

This package used to be maintained by Peter Williams. Now,

it is maintained by Rogério Brito.

Weird discovery of the day

It seems that Catalans are also known in the numbers world:

35% yankee... whaaaa?

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

35% Yankee

5% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

What Kind of American English Do You Speak?


Microsoft recommends...

From Programming C# 4th ed:

The Microsoft naming conventions suggest using camel notation (initial lowercase such as someName) for variable names and Pascal notation (initial uppercase such as SomeOtherName) for method names and most other identifiers.

C-Sharp: converting built-in types

using System;

class Hello


static void Main()


short x;

int y = 500;

x = (short) y;

short a;

int b = 34000;

a = (short) b;

Console.WriteLine("x is {0} and y is {1}", x, y);

Console.WriteLine("a converts to {0} while b is {1}", a, b);



More on Rubio's Turbines

The local newspaper has more insights about the aeolis park in Rubio:

EHN installed a group of wind turbines that generate 49.5 MW of energy.

This is the largest park of aeolic energy in Catalonia so far, and the one with the most efficient turbines, with 1.5 MW each.


I enjoy going to the centre because I always get a lovely smile from the ladies there and I can impress them with new computer tips

latex table environment tricks


Emulating Daniel Stone

Title: Random ramblings from some random stuff, and things; but more stuff than else whatsoever

Author: Vilella, Albert J.


first shot

Vilella AJ, Blanco-Garcia A, Hutter S, Rozas J.

VariScan: analysis of evolutionary patterns from large-scale DNA sequence polymorphism data.

Bioinformatics. 2005 Apr 6; [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 15814564 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


correcting ds

m = slope(ds1:dsn;c1:cn)

ds' = ds - mc


renewable energies in Spain

I just felt the urge to give you my 2 cents about the situation of climate and renewable energies in Spain, as I take some time to seriously investigate about it every once in a while:

(1) Solar energy

In Spain, if you happen to have a house where you can install solar panels for fotovoltaic energy, you have to:

Create a "business or fiscal society", set the panels, connect them to your electricity provider and wait for them to start paying you for the energy you generate.

Obviously it is extremely difficult for people to create a "business or fiscal society", even if it is sustainable and _economically feasible_ to do so.

Yes, I said economically feasible. I'll explain myself:

About 10 years ago, the King of Spain signed a law by which solar energy should be payed at a fixed rate of, if I can recall, something like 20cents/KW. So if you generate solar energy, you energy provider _has_ to pay you that money for the energy your solar panels generate. This means that, at least, you can pay the panels and installation out of the money you get from the energy you generate in 5-10 years (depending on the price/efficiency of the panels).

But in the last 8 P.P. (Partido Popular) years, they forced the people to constitute these "business or fiscal societies" if one wants to get paid.

What some people did in Catalonia is that you subscribe to a non-profit environmentalist society, and they deal with the bureautrivia so that you don't have to do all the messing, but just buy the panels, pay for the installation, and start to receive the checks.

So most of the people simply don't know about this, and even if they are interested in solar energy, they get deterred by the bureaucratic problems, and give up.

(2) Wind turbines

Aeolic energy has been found very profiting in Spain, and there are big companies like Gamesa making a lot of money out of it. If it weren't for the economic leverage, but only for environmental reasons, it wouldn't be so extended right now.

There are Aeolic parts all around the country, even at 20Kms away from my house:

They only problem with it right now is the killing of birds that don't see the helices, but in some regions with already impoverished fauna that is a minor problem.

At least, a minor problem compared with coal/oil/gas energy side-effects, which already are the main source of energy in Spain (apart from nuclear, if I can remember).

running out of gas...

Crude oil futures surged 2.5% to $55.40/bbl ($+1.41) after a Goldman Sachs analyst said, "oil markets may have entered the early stages of a 'super spike' period" and subsequently raised the upper end of his multi-year estimates range from $80/bbl to $105/bbl...


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