About "Catch & Research"

Welcome. I found my passion in ecological economics and fishing. They are all about pursuit of unknown and uncertain objects. I always enjoy the seemingly reckless pursuit itself. This blog is a record of my long journey in research and fishing. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A solution for hate groups in America

I watched documentaries about hatred groups in America at NatGeo. Dudes who were shouting "white power" looked like boy scouts to my eyes. Ridiculous. I could not but laugh... They are just like hooligans (crazy British soccer fans).

Why do people join those groups? Job competition, especially low paying jobs, between blue color whites and immigrants explains somewhat. But I think the extreme boredom in American country side might allure frustrated people to those groups. I could read from young Klansmen's eyes that they love their role playing. It is a pity that those people do not know how to enjoy life. In particular, bars and night clubs in country side are pitiful. Even in urban areas.

So, to solve the problem of growing number of hate groups in America, I suggest to have more and better bars and night groups in America. Better night life could reduce those poor people's frustration. It will apply to Muslim extremists. Unfortunately, Muslims do not drink. We need find other good entertainments for these extremists. Holy dance night club, probably?

Monday, December 21, 2009

MS Word trouble with Zotero

So, finally I decided to go with MS Word. I was satisfied with improved equation editor and expanded spread sheet. But I faced annoying trouble of MS Word: I consistently get error message when I try to edit bibliography, which Zotero produced, at MS Word document. The error message says:
Run-time error '91'
Object variable or With block variable not set
It is a well known problem at Zotero forum. I searched the forum, and I tried every single solution. But there was no cure for my case. Zotero forum also says that the cause of the error is unknown in many cases. I had no problem to edit my bibliography at Open Office, which I miss already. Finally, I gave up. I would rather edit my bibliography without Zotero field. Someone suggested to use JabRef which uses BibTeX, but I don't have much time to fiddle with new application...

By the way, I tested the problem at MS Word 2003 at a different computer. I got the same error message. Something wrong at the relationship between MS Word and Zotero. I bet Zotero hates MS Word. Or, vice versa.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Microsoft Office 2010 Plus (beta)

I downloaded and installed Microsoft Office 2010 Plus beta version. I have used Open Office and supported it for academic use. But when I started writing and editing my dissertation, I found it is difficult to use Open Office. Not because of its quality, but because of its compatibility. My advisor started using MS office 2007, and it was hard to convert document that he sent me with comments. Also, RPI provides its dissertation template in MS Word and LaTeX format. Too bad.

Main reasons why I supported Open Office were (1) equation editor, and (2) more powerful spread sheet function. Open Office has much better equation editor than MS Office 2003. MS Excel cannot handle large spread sheet (over 250 by 250 matrix, not sure about exact number).

I found that Office 2010 has improved at these two points. (Actually, there were improvements in Office 2007. I didn't pay attention on Office 2007 because of disappointing reviews of it.) And its beta version is free till October 2010, when I will be long gone from school. So, finally, I decided to go back to MS Office, taking advantage of the free beta version. After that, I may go back to Open Office, or not...

So far, I am satisfied with Office 2010. It has all functions that I need. Equation editor works really fine. However, its interface is not so user friendly (to me). It is similar to Office 2007: whenever I use Office 2010, I am amazed how well they could hide tools that I need most. Its tool bar requires significant amount of time to get used to it. That's my only complaint. Good thing is that you can customize tool bars more freely. I will write more about it when I found something.

You can download the beta version HERE. You need MSN ID or Hotmail account.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Original Hubbert Curve

I found Hubbert's 1956 original graph. He projected oil production would reach the peak in 2000. Thankfully, not. But it will. Researchers have revised the curve when new oil reserves were discovered. Nothing wrong with the original idea of Hubbert's.

M. King Hubbert. 1956. Nuclear energy and fossil fuels.

[Review] Wool socks

I cannot believe that I am writing a review about socks. Yes, believe it or not, this post is a review about a pair of wool socks.

I bought a ridiculously expensive pair of wool socks ($17.99 at Dick's Sporting Goods), but now I can tell you that they are really worth the money. The pair was made by Smartwool, which makes new generation of wool clothing. Wool apparel is a new trend of outdoor apparel. After long experiment with synthetic fabrics, finally researchers realized that wool is the most ideal fabric for outdoor activities. Wool is superior to other synthetic fabrics in (1) moisture wicking (2) thermal insulation (3) ventilation, and (4) odor control.

Some of you may say that you do not like wool clothing because of itching. Old wool sweaters cause itching. But new generation of wool clothing is different. They are made from fine wool fiber and processed to be soften. Smartwool is one of the companies that make the new wool apparel. I have known this news but did not have a chance to try on. When I received a discount coupon from Dick's, I decided to give a shot on this luxurious socks.

Product info:
  • Model: Men's Heathered Rib (light cushion. There are various cushion types. I picked light cushion because I thought that fishing trip typically does not require much cushion.)
  • Contents: 72% wool, 23% nylon, 5% elastic (different models have different contents)
  • Price: $17.99 (made in US)
  • Treatment: Machine wash (warm) and machine dry (tumble dry low). Turn inside out. No fabric softener required. Do not iron. Do not dry clean.
Feeling of the socks was very soft but a little bit itchy at calf part. At first, I felt slippery in the socks. I am not sure whether it was because of oil residue or the nature of wool fabric. Anyway, I wanted to put this pair on an extreme test: I wore the same pair for 5 days and nights. I wanted to see whether it can ceaselessly make me comfortable during the time.

Results: the pair well passed the test. Moisture wicking was excellent. My feet didn't get wet or cold by sweating. I could not feel over heated while walking. To be honest, odor control was my major interest. Amazingly, the pair didn't stink after five days. Mild smell sweat, that was it. Um, in order to make it sure, I asked my wife to test it, and she agreed with me. Smartwool claims that their wool socks can keep feet cool when it is warm, but I could not test it at this time.

After five test days, I found that surface of the socks were a bit shaggy. I turned inside out and machine-washed them. Shags didn't look troublesome, but I am not sure after repeated use how shaggy it will become .

It is real irony to me that we didn't realize that wool is the best fabric for outdoor activities for long time. If you have your uncle's old wool sweater, why don't you wear it for your ice fishing this winter. You may want to wear cotton inner shirts first, though.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Really intuitive graphs about climate change

I found these graphs of European Climate Foundation very intuitive and helpful for anyone. Fourth graph shows probability that we could stay inside 2 degree Celsius limit. When we reduce more CO2e, then we can clearly increase our chances to be cool. But that does not necessarily guarantee our achievement of the goal. Well, everything depends on a chance.

I found these graphs at BBC web.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

LED bulb

Last May, I went to a summit of Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). It was not an academic conference, but I was interested in energy saving technologies, which are commercially available, and energy efficiency policies of local governments. There was exhibition, and the most popular item was LED bulb and floor light. Here are some pictures that I took:

You might notice that they all have large metal heat sink. I didn't know that LED emit strong heat. I asked an engineer friend at RPI, who is majoring in LED technology, and he told me that single LED emit ignorable heat, but when condensed for brightness, total heat cannot be ignored. Well, that's common sense. At an exhibition booth, I heard that their company was developing water-cooler for LED bulb, which could significantly reduce the bulb size but was not easy to make at that time. I have not heard whether they have succeeded in the development.

LED is much energy efficient. That's true. But one question that I wanted to ask is total energy use of LED in its life cycle. How much energy is needed in producing metal heat sink? Does anybody know about life cycle analysis of LED? If you let me know, I will appreciate. Energy efficiency is never easy to assess.

Simulation tools for climate action planning

I had a chance to search and review simulation tools for climate action plan. Climate action plan requires to assess future effect of carbon reduction efforts on energy and the environment. These tools are used to compare various policy scenarios. Here is the list of tools.
  • Climate Rapid Overview and Decision-support Simulator (C-ROADS) is a user friendly simulation tool that provides climate simulation (temperature and sea level change) along with emission and energy demand simulation. C-ROADS is an accounting type model. With accounting model, users can fully control coefficients of the model. IPCC endorsed the methodology of C-ROADS. Note that instead of C-ROADS, I reviewed C-LEARN which is an on-line evaluation version of C-ROADS. C-LEARN requires only three sets of data, but C-ROADS may require more data.
  • Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) is an extensive simulator for GHG emission and energy demand forecast. LEAP is used by 85 countries for their official UNFCCC GHG inventory report. LEAP provides default data set for countries, however it does not provide default data for U.S. states. LEAP is an accounting type model.
  • MARket ALocation (MARKAL) model was originally developed by International Energy Agency (IEA) in the late 1980s. Nowadays, its variations are broadly used. Northeast MARKAL (NE-MARKAL) was developed by NESCAUM for the U.S. northeast states including New York. MARKAL is basically an optimization type model which assumes optimization activities of market participants in economies. MARKAL requires a separate procedure for GHG emission estimation.
  • Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA) by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) seemed promising, although it has not been released yet, considered ICLEI’s other products, such as Clean Air and Climate Protection (CACP).
  • URBEMIS, and Sustainable Communities Model (SCM) are commercially available simulation packages developed by private companies. URBEMIS is tailored to California, using emission factors of California Air Resources Board’s EMFAC model. This simulator is specialized in estimating effects from construction. SCM builds and compares sophisticated scenarios with nine variables including socio-economic ones.
It is hard to tell which model is the best. Each model has specific use. C-ROADS seems useful in general cases because it provides climate simulation and requires low level of data.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

D.N. McCloskey and Predictability

Could economists predict last year economic crisis? Can economics predict the future? Should predictability be a hallmark of good science? McCloskey raises questions about economics' methodology at his 1983 article, Rhetoric of Economics.

When I read McCloskey's article first time a couple of years ago at Microeconomics class, I didn't really appreciate it. Writing my dissertation, I am re-discovering this article, which is and should be a milestone of economic science. This article has not been seriously accepted or reviewed in economic literature, as far as I see it. McCloskey is rather famous of his sex change to female. That is unfortunate.

Rhetoric of economics basically reviews methodology of economics from the view point of post-modernism. McCloskey criticizes “modern” methods of economics. Economists claim prediction is what economic science has to do. But can economists predict? How about economic crisis last year? After the crisis, some asserted that they had predicted the crisis and warned about it without proper credentials. But whole community of economists failed in predicting without any doubt. McCloskey clearly says that it is not possible to predict within economics, and prediction is not the task of economics.

Prediction is a job that guarantees honor and power. For example, shamans of pre-historic age were highly admired by fortune-telling. So, every scholar wants to give a shot of prediction. Or at least they pretend as they know something about future. Let's be honest. We cannot predict. In particular, at social science, there are so many variables. We, social scientists, even do not know clear causal relationship among variables. It is really hard to claim causal relationship. When we do not know causal relationship, how can we predict with full confidence?

Then what economists have to do? Rather than trying to predict something, let's try to provide better policies with our knowledge. About the last year economic crisis, I will blame economists not because they could not predict the economic crisis but because they did not provide proper policy options and manage the related risks. Economists should not have stuck on their limited forecasting chart, but imagined and opened to all the possibilities of economies. They failed both.

Economists should take efforts in scenario building. They should be good in fiction writing. I would rather trust economists' guided fiction than their "scientific" forecasting. Scenario analysis was originally developed by military. Military strategists first considers all possible moves of enemies. Then they set up their defense plans according to the potential moves. These stories compose scenarios. Economists' job should be like the military strategists.

McCloskey is still alive and still productive. I should follow up on her when I have a time to do. She really opened up serious discussion of economic methodology.

[Review] DiCAPac (Digital Camera Pack)

This season I bought and tested some new gadgets. DiCAPac is one of them, and I found this is very useful for fisherman. It is a waterproof plastic case for digital camera. This product was originally invented as a cheap alternative of waterproof camera for skin scuba. You can put your own digital camera into DiCAPac, and that is it.

I bought model WP-510 for my SONY Cybershot DSC-P8. It was $30 at a internet shopping mall. I tested it under water at a pool. Waterproof was perfect, but it was not easy to take a picture under water. I needed to get used to control my camera inside the case.

This product is ideal for fishing trip rather than skin scuba, I think. You may have experienced to hurry to dry up your hands in order to take a shot right after catch. If you don't have towel, you hesitate to pull out your expensive camera with your wet hands. This simple case can get rid of your worry. I used this case for this season and am quite satisfied. Here is my review:

  • Being ready to take a picture anytime. It enables you to take a picture of your catch with wet hands.
  • Peace of mind! You can protect your camera from water damage wherever you go, shore or on boat.
  • Picture quality does not really affected by the case.
  • Cheap: $30 is way cheaper than buying a new waterproof camera or original waterproof chase. You can still use your camera.
  • Lens part is a bit bulkier
  • Lens ring can interfere into your picture. You might see that some of my fishing pictures have black ring on them. Because the case and digital camera do not perfectly match, lens part can mess up pictures. It takes some time to get used to it. I hope that they will make the lens part more customizable. I want to adjust length of the lens part.
Here are pictures

Without camera in it.

With camera in it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

News Junkie

Yup, I am a news junkie. I guess many of you are, too, especially nowadays. I read four Korean news papers, New York Times and CNN on-line everyday. When there is an important issue or developing stories, I have to search for updates all over media world because of my uncontrollable curiosity. I know it is a waste of time. Why bother to know somebody was stabbed to death in Malawi. I try to subdue my time to read news papers, but it is not easy. My curiosity always win.

But I cannot stop reading news. There are useful information, too. The problem is wasting my time to read unnecessary gossips and trash articles. When I visit a news website, there are so many interesting things that catch my eyes. Pictures of half naked models, mal-shaped animal, and war scene. I try to read only significant articles, but I cannot resist to click on the curious pictures.

One solution that I am testing now is to use RSS feed. Not using reader, such as Google reader, but just use xml as bookmark. I can determine which kind of news I will read, too. When you bookmark xml file, you can only see list of articles with brief summary. No pictures or inflammatory gossips. It does not automatically update unless I refresh the page different from RSS feed. So far, it helps.

If you suffer the similar problem, you can try it.
Here is a NY times xml
You go to the page and bookmark it at your web browser. Then click on it at your book mark. It will show you only the list of up-to-date articles.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I will do it anyway

I saw a documentary film about Appalachian trail. I heard before that there were hikers who hiked through the trail from Georgia every season. The trail runs from Georgia to Maine passing through 13 states. I was amazed by scenery of the trail and those hikers. It reminded me my hiking in UK.

When I was staying in London in 1997, I went a trip to South Downs way in southern England by myself. I hiked over the white cliffs and in the middle of pasture. It was February, but it was not that cold. Windy and cloudy though. Typical British winter weather. I met more sheep than people on the way.
Beechy Head & Lighthouse (photo courtesy National Trail, UK)

I stayed one night at Alfriston youth hostel. A manager of the hostel told me that I was the first ever Korean visitor to the remote hostel. Next morning, I visited the beautiful small town while all residents were still sleeping and kept walking my way. I walked from Eastbourne to Brighton. I was lonely on the way. My knees were hurt. At the end, my body pulled my legs. But it was a moving journey. I cannot forget the joy when I finally arrived at Brighton.

The Cuckmere River (photo courtesy National Trail, UK)

One 70 year old hiker in the documentary said, "It is difficult and sweating... But I will do it anyway!" On the South Downs way, I told myself the same thing. Today, I tell myself the same spell again: Journey to Ph.D. is rough, bu I will do it anyway.

If I have a chance in the future, I would love to walk again the South Downs way. I want to see how I grow up standing at the top of white cliff.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Zero Sun-Burn

My goal of this fishing season was zero sun-burn. Sounds not so ambitious? Sun-burn is the most frequent injury that fishermen suffer, and the damage lives long for whole life time. Skin cancer is the ultimate danger of prolonged sun exposure, and skin age is adversely affected by sun-burn. Many anglers do not pay much attention, but sun exposure is clearly dangerous aspect of the sports.

I invested mostly on sun protection this season. Not much on tackles. Here are the items that I used:
  1. Strike King polarized sun goggles with strap: I saw Shaw Grigsby wearing this glasses in his fishing show. It satisfies all my needs (1) polarized lenses, (2) strap, (3) goggle. So far I am very happy with this. One drawback is that sometimes lenses get foggy.

  2. Columbia Performance Fishing Gear (PFG) UPF 30+ hat: One with neck drape. I could not find exact picture of the product. Here is a picture look like mine. Neck drape did not make me feel warm. The opposite. One drawback is that it looks not cool. My fishing buddies complained about my appearance... It is hard to become a fashionable angler.
  3. Buff: It is a simple fabric product. I bought this for face protection. It is a very versatile gadget. I used this more for wind proof. When I covered my face sunny day, it did protect me from the sun, but it made me sweat while I was paddling. Not so comfy. When I was doing still fishing at bank under the sun, it definitely helped. I strongly recommend this for other anglers, not for sun protection but for wind protection and keeping you warm.

  4. Field & Stream Long Sleeves Fishing Shirts: I did not believe that there are shirts exclusively for fishing. All fabric provides reasonable UV protection. The thing that makes this shirts exclusively for fishing is that this shirts keeps your cool under the sun while providing sun-protection. I was amazed. This shirts has good ventilation, and the nylon fabric wicks off moisture from your skin. I like this shirts.

  5. Alpine Design Convertible Outdoor Pants: After buying the fishing shirts, I decided to give a shot to fishing pants, too. Again, the pants was very satisfying. This pants is not designed exclusively for fishing but provides the same benefits. I can convert it to shorts, but I have never done it. Because this pants made me cool enough; I did not need shorts.

  6. Facial Sun Block with SPF 55: I used Neutrogena Age Shield Face. No special reason to pick this product.
  7. Body Sun Block with SPF 50: I used Coppertone Sport. Again, no special reason. It might be the cheapest.
Disappointingly, I didn't take a picture while I was wearing all of these items. I just took a picture at home. Not a good one, but to give you an idea about all of these, here it is.

Not so cool. But it is better than suffering sun damage from my favorite sports.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Windows 7 and Open Office

I bought Windows 7 with student discount from Microsoft ($30, professional edition). Although I am comfortable with XP, I did not want to lose my last opportunity of the student discount event. I have been hearing all good review of Windows 7. So, I will eventually move to Windows 7. But my top concern is compatibility with Open Office. Currently I use Open Office Version 3.1.1. I checked the compatibility at OpenOffice. org and found that version 3.2 would be fully compatible with Win 7. Someone commented that version 3.1.1 would work fine under Win 7, but there could be stability issues.

Hm, stability... I am not so sure if it is right timing for me to move. I will take some time. The blue box of Windows 7 is sitting on my desk and luring me, 'install me, install me'

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Graph presentation? Need help!

I am working on my dissertation. There is no economics dissertation without graphs. Economists love graphs! So, I am putting many graphs. Decomposition results are hard to present. I found this bar and line graph style was the best. If you know better one or have any other suggestion, please let me know. One of my problem is that there are so many decomposition factors (26). Some of them are zero and meaning less. But still many, as you can see. This graph is auto-generated by open office calc. Unfortunately, there are color code overlapping. I can customize color code, but it is not easy task. I have many graphs, I have to keep same color code for all the graphs...

By the way, a bit explanation of the graph. Blue total line shows change of total demand for gasoline. Orange change line shows change of difference between total demand for gasoline of two terms. Bar shows decomposition factors.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Computer Upgrade

After eight years with my beloved Pentium 4 system, I finally upgraded my computer. P4 with 1G memory was (and is still) fine for everyday computing. But for my simulation and modeling, it reached its limit. No, indeed my patience reached the limit: it took more than 10 minutes for the P4 system to simply open my data file, which is about 10 MB in size.

What I got?
  1. CPU- Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz
    Originally, I was thinking i7, but it was too much for me.
  2. Memory- Kingston 2 G
    I was considering 4G, but 32 bit OS cannot recognize 4G. I will upgrade it later when I have Windows 7.
  3. Motherboard- ASUS P5KPL-CM
    I have used Intel board, and wanted to use ASUS board. This board is one of the cheapest. Now, I slightly regret about this board because of all the problems that this caused to me.
  4. Hard drive- Seagate Baracuda 500GB SATA
    I didn't plan to replace my old 40G IEDE drive. But somehow, new board could not recognize it. So, I had to replace it. 500G is too big to me.
  5. Case- In-Win Z583 350w
    Because new board is micro ATX, I bought this at a local store. To be honest, I was kinda fed up with ugly outlook of old middle tower case.

So far, I am quite satisfied with the new system. Now, it took only 1 minute to open my data file. It took less than one minute to boot and shut down! Amazing to me. By the way, I am still using the same monitor, keyboard and mouse. Should reduce electric waste.

Well, faster computer cannot guarantee better research, but at least it can reduce stress level. That's what I appreciate.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My uncle

My uncles love fishing. I might be influenced by them about fishing, although I have had no chance to go fishing with them. Now I can say that I am a decent angler, but compared to my uncles, I look like a bait fish angler. One of the uncles, who is my favorite, is particularly a die-hard fisherman. Here are two picture that he took in Panama.

Yellow fin tuna. I didn't ask about how the taste was.

Marlin! The dream fish of all anglers. I am so jealous. Someday maybe, or never.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Superfreak Controversy

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner's new book, Superfreakonomics is out and igniting some heated discussion. If you are not familiar with this, you can catch up with some blog posts below.

Their key argument is;
'Because reducing carbon emissions is too costly and somewhat not-so-feasible, instead let's try geo-engineering to solve the problem of climate change effectively.'

Their points are well taken. But they are missing one important thing, the big picture. The reason why many insist to reduce carbon emissions, not only because of the climate change, but also because of fossil fuel exhaustion (although it is not near future). These two issues always come together like twins. I wonder what they will respond to the question of running out of fossil fuel on earth.

Final thought. Levitt argues,
"~reducing carbon emissions, which is that it requires worldwide behavioral change, which will be hard to achieve."
You may be right. But isn't it the very topic that economists have to research on, how to cause behavioral changes in market through various incentives or penalties while minimizing adverse effects?

You can explore these blogs for more information.
  • Climate Progress
  • Krugman
  • DeLong
  • Union of concerned scientists
  • Marginal Revolution
  • Freakonomics blog
  • The Wonk rook

  • (Thanks to Carlos, who put these together)

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Carp fishing

    Carp fishing is not so popular in the US. However, it is huge in Asia and Europe. Often my American friends ask me about carp fishing. Here is my Carp fishing101:

    1. Tackle
    -Hook: treble hook. #6 works fine.
    -Line: You can still catch with you 8lb or 12lb lines. But over 20lb braid line is safer.
    -Rod: Medium is fine. MH or H is recommended. Reel, which matches with your rod.
    -Sinker: Weight depends on where you fish. Bullet type sinker works good.

    2. Bait (Matured carp prefers vegetarian diet)
    -Bread: believe it or not bread works great.
    -Boiled Potato: Make a small bait ball with mashed potato. You may want to add some bread in it.
    -Baked and milled cereal: I use this. I add water on it and make small ball with this bait. Traditional Korean bait.
    -Boillie: It is a traditional carp bait which is often used in Europe. Its main ingredient is corn meal.
    -Carp bait on market: there are some pre-maid baits here in US. I found Uncle Josh carp bait works great.
    **Important tip: Be parsimonious about bait! Just barely cover your treble hook with your bait. It is important in order to easily hook carp. If bait ball is too big, there is rare chance to set hook.

    3. Rig
    Treble hook –(header line: about 1’)-swivel- (main line)- sinker –(main line)- rod – reel
    **I usually attach small bell on my rod to detect nibbling. You also may want to loose your drag. Carp can easily pull away your rod and reel. Always, be alert!

    4. Bait change
    You may want to change your bait in 15 to 30 minutes. It depends on water condition and firmness of your bait.

    Here is my carp album that my fishing buddies and I caught this season. My goal for this season is to catch more than 10 carps. So far, I caught 7.

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    Input-Output Analysis: Foundations and Extensions

    Finally, second edition of "THE" input-output analysis text book is out! I received my order from the UK. Since its first edition was published in 1985, it has been almost 25 years. Miller and Blair included many updates in input-output field.

    In particular, they include SDA. I was a bit disappointed because the coverage of SDA was not that long (13 pages). Oh, well, long-waited new edition is here anyway, so I am glad. I am sure that this textbook can help many students and researchers in input-output field including myself.

    Autopsy at the shore

    When I went fishing yesterday morning, I found fish bones spread around at the shore. It was large fish. Nothing much left, but only white bones. My curiosity urged me to start my own autopsy.

    Without skull, total length was 50 cm. Including skull, it might be about 60 something fish. Decent size fish. It seems like carp.

    After taking the picture, I found its skull nearby, and it confirmed that it was carp. I carefully inspected the skull, but could not figure out cause of death. I expected to find fish hook at its gills. Considering size of the fish, it was tool young to die naturally. Carp's life span is 40 to 50 years. I didn't count rings at its ear bone, but it look like 5 to 7 years old.

    What killed the carp?
    1. Predator: there is pike in the Hudson river. I am skeptical about pike attack. Because there are plenty of small preys that pike munch on.
    2. Pollution or disease: Possible. I have never seen a dead fish at the shore though.
    3. Deep hooking: I think it is very possible. All fishermen are very careful not to hurt their catch when they release them. But sometimes, fish swallow hook, and it is fatal. From my experience, lure fishing has rare chance to deep-hook. I can set hook before fish eat the hook. But in case of bait fishing, there is greater chance of deep-hooking. To prevent deep hooking, I often use circle hook for bait fishing. I will write about circle hook in the future. For catch-and-release, we need to be more careful.

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Lesson learned: drag setting for kayak fishing

    Last Saturday, I went kayak-fishing nearby small lake. The lake, which is a famous fishing destination in this region, is always challenge to me: It is hard to catch a decent size fish. I thought clarity might be anissue: the lake is so clear that it is hard to fool fish. Thus, I decided to focus on deep section of lake where clarity is low. I used dark green color tube with 1/8 oz jig head. The result was successful. I could get continuous nibbles.

    However, I could not firmly set hook or lost while fighting. It was frustrating. I solved one side of puzzle, but the other side still remains unsolved. Make long story short, the reason was at my drag setting of reel. I set drag as usual for typical lure fishing. But it was mistake. I should have set it firmly or set no drag. What I found was that because I was on freely moving piece of plastic, there was natural drag system. I didn't need to fiddle with my reel at all. Double drag system, my reel and moving kayak, made it harder to set hook and fight.

    When I do not anchor my kayak, I will set no drag. It will help me to set hook. By the way, after realizing this, I nailed a largemouth bass. Not a monster, but it pulled my kayak around. It was a fun!

    Sorry, no picture.

    Wednesday, July 29, 2009

    Weirdest fish ever, sort of...

    I have been busy with summer internship, I went fishing regularly though. Mostly near my apartment complex, short trip. BTW, in May I passed candidacy exam, which is a milestone of Ph.D. program.

    Yesterday evening, I went out carping at Hudson river. I used pre-made Premium Carp Bait strawberry. I have never caught carp with this bait. But keep trying. As an insurance, I cast catfish bait as well. Oh, boy, catfish are really active nowadays.

    Anyway, after one hour of waiting, suddenly there was strong nibbling at carp rig. I did not rush giving enough time for carp to suck up the treble hook. Then, I set hook. To my disappointment, I could not feel the carp at the end of my tackle. But I could clearly tell that I had caught something. Tiny fish maybe?

    When the small fish surfaced, I could see yellow color with black dots. It was ugly looking fish. I thought it might be Goby or some kind of invasive species. To my vast surprise, it was foul-hooked fish like swimbait!!! "Are you kidding me? How can I hook a swimbait with carp rig? Not even with other lure. Are there someone at the bottom of the river and meesing with me?" I could not stop questioning. Here is a picture of my catch.

    You can see the treble hook is set on the belly of the swimbait. Foul hook!

    Close shot. Black dots look like fungi. Kinda gross.

    I have been fishing at the same spot with swimbaits. So, at first I suspected that it might be mine, but it turned out to be not. Considering the condition of the swimbait, it might be under water at least for one year. It has been de-colorlized, and hooks are rusty. But it still seems to be usable. :) What a productive catch! Just kidding, I will not use it.

    After catching this tropy, I came back home without any success. Next time, I willl write some success stories.

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    First bass of this season!

    I have been busy with school works and internship. This afternoon, I decided to make a brief fishing trip to the Hudson river, where I can walk in 5 minutes, and I caught my first bass of this season.

    It isn't that bad as a season opener, is it? It was a 3 pounder. I used Powerbait's 3 inch Realstick. Yep, I am a big fan of swimbait.

    Here is another shot of the fish, which shows whole body.

    I wish it will be a good season for all!

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    DMZ in My Mind

    Today I finished one short essay which I have been thinking about for 9 years. Yes, 9 years. It is about an incident that happened while I way staying in Vancouver, Canada. When you read it, you will know why it took so long. I put a link to the essay at Misc. Article section at this blog.

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Dissertation Boot Camp

    There was an dissertation boot camp at RPI during the last weekend. I participated in it in desperate hope. It was the best training session ever. The camp was informative and also motivational. I learned timed writing, writing skills and how to use writing support tools. Four faculties instructed 14 students for two whole days during weekend. I should have taken this program earlier; They just started it this year.

    Useful Tools:
    • Free Mind: It is a mind mapping tool. It has diverse functions. You should use it instead squible on a piece of paper.
    • Zotero: It is a reference management software. There are bunch more functions, such as note taking. It works with Firefox or Netscape as a plug-in. At MS Word, you can cite while you type if you install plug-in for Word. If you hav not known it, you should give it a shot. I strongly recommend it. Plug-in for Open Office is here.
    • Evernote: It is a note collecting tool. I found that Zotero also takes note as it does. Personally I prefer to use Zotero. But it has a nice function to save user's data on-line.
    • OpenOffice: I was not a big fan of Open Office V.2. But version 3 is totally different. I found V.3 is very powerful in typing formula in document. Open Office can generate PDF file and even LaTeX file with. I can convert its document to MS word format, too. I think I will not go back to MS Word.
    • LaTeX: I need this for math presentations and dissertation formating. Equation editor at MS words is too bad... What I will do is that first I do my word processing at Open Office, then convert Open document to LaTeX file. I can do final touch with LaTeX. If you are a RPI student, you can get LaTeX at RPI help desk.
    What I found at the boot camp homepage. I found this funny:


    Junior professors, midcareer faculty members, and even the most seasoned of academics sometimes need help with managing at least one aspect of their careers. Here are a few signs of when you might need to give a faculty coach a call:

    * You're mired in a departmental battle.
    * You can only work under deadline pressure.
    * You've allowed teaching and service work to take up all of your time.
    * You're a chronic procrastinator.
    * You start papers but never finish them.
    * You're baffled by putting together a promotion and tenure portfolio.
    * You can't find time to do research.
    * You avoid writing at all costs.
    * You're not clear on the expectations for tenure.
    * You need help maintaining momentum.

    SOURCE: Successful Academic, The Academic Ladder, Success in Academe
    How many of them describe you? In my case, um... 6 out of 10. Rest 4 are the cases of assistant professors. Deadline pressure, that's what I like...