Making a List of Words (either Alphabetical or by number of letters) in Excel 2007

How to make an alphabetized list of words in MS Excel 2007:

  1. Type in the words or Paste in the words (select the list, when highlighted, type Ctrl C to copy and go to Excel, press Ctrl V to paste).
  2. IF the words are in one line rather than a column, or if when you paste them there are several words in one cell, you can break up the words into columns. Here’s how:
    1. Select the cells with multiple words separated by spaces.
    2. Go to the Data Tab/Data Tools click on “Text to Columns”.
    3. Select “Delimited”. Click on “Next”.
    4. Click on “Space”  in the Delimiter box. Click on “Finish”.
  3. Once you have the words, you can drag them into one column.
    1. To select several words, just click on a cell and drag (your cursor will be a white cross, the selected cells will have a thick black outline with a black square dot in the lower right corner.)
    2. To move selected cells, put your cursor over the thick black outline. It should turn into a black cross with arrows pointing in four directions. Click and drag your selection to where you want it.
  4. Select the entire column by clicking on the letter above your word list.
  5. To arrange it alphabetically:
    1. Select the “Data” Tab, and click on “Sort” in the “Sort & Filter” box.
    2. The sort box will come out
    3. Click “Ok” and it will sort for you alphabetically.
    4. If you want to sort the students by family names, select  the two columns for the first names and family names.
    5. Select the “Data” Tab, and click on “Sort” in the “Sort & Filter” box.
    6. The sort box will come out. Select for sorting, Column B (assuming that’s the family name)
    7. Click on “Add Level” and select Column A
    8. So it will sort by family names first then first names second.
  6. To arrange by number of letters:
    1. Type into the cell to the right of the first word on the list  =Len(  then click on your first word to the left of the formula and press “Enter” and the number of letters for the word comes up. After pressing “Enter”:
    2. To copy the formula cells to your entire list, select the cell with the formula, put your mouse over the lower right corner of the cell, right over the black dot. Your cursor should become a black cross. Click and drag until all the cells to the right of your list has the formula.
      From this,  it should look like this: 
      So besides each word on your list is the number of letters in the word.
    3. Select columns A and B (just click and drag from the top of Column A to B)
    4. Click on Data/Sort and the Sort dialogue box will open. Click on the arrow next to the box besides “Sort by” and select Column B.
    5. Click on “Add Level” and click on the arrow besides “Then by” and select Column A. Click Ok.
    6. Your list will be sorted. First by number of letters, then by first letters. So all the three-letter words will be arranged together, four-letter words, so on and so forth. Then all three letter words will be alphabetically arranged.

TED Videos are a marketplace of ideas

Forget about HBO, or Hollywood, or Disney. I can live on a diet of TED videos 24/7 (and anime, let’s not forget anime).
What makes TED unique isn’t just the diversity of what it cover; it celebrates ideas, and all the ideas behind all human activities. TED celebrates the why. It’s standup for the intellectuals. And the intellectuals who have stood up for TED are deities, in my book. According to TED blogs, they have a new HD player. Now, you have material worthy of the retina screens in your new iPad and those new Macbooks, and the new Samsung and LG OLED screens when they become available.

Farewell to my students

U.S. Claims Top Supercomputing Spot Again, Uses the Computer for…

According to the BBC last June 18, IBM’s Supercomputer ‘Sequoia’ is now the world’s fastest computer at 16.32 petaflops per second, meaning it can do 16 million billion floating point operations (also known as ‘flops’) in a second! This is the first time Americans have taken back the supercomputing crown since losing it to China’s Tianhe computer two years ago. The other remarkable thing about Sequoia is, though it is 1.5 times faster than the previous champ, the Fujitsu K computer, it is three times more energy efficient than the K.
Computers like these are massively parallel computers, usually using thousands of off the shelf parts configured to run together at blazing speeds. An example of this is the IBM Roadrunner computer (the king of the hill three years ago), which used 16,000 IBM Cell processors. Those are the same processors used in Playstation 3!
The fastest supercomputer is usually determined twice a year by Top500. Their goal is to track and detect trends in supercomputing (so it isn’t just crowning a winner, Top500 also studies the technology used to get winners to be so fast). Since its establishment in 1993, the #1 computer’s performance has roughly followed Moore’s law, which states that computer performance doubles every 14 months.
Using Moore’s law, supercomputers are expected to reach 1 exaflop (a billion billion floating-point operations in a second) in 2019. Some companies hope to achieve it even earlier. IBM is developing the Cyclops64 architecture, which is already a supercomputer in one chip (imagine linking thousands of these together). Erik DeBenedictis of Sandia National Laboratories theorizes that by 2030, computers can reach a zettaflop (or one sextillion flops). That can do full weather modeling for a two week span (imagine declaring a typhoon alert two weeks ahead, and being right!)
I’ve seen comments like “all right!” and “it’s about time!” as if the U.S.’s regaining the supercomputing crown is a good thing. However, I find it interesting to learn HOW these computers are being used. The current champ, for instance, is used to simulate nuclear tests, so they don’t have to detonate real atom bombs. The Roadrunner computer is used to simulate whether the U.S.’s aging nuclear weapons arsenal is still safe and reliable to use. The U.S. is not shy about advertising how it uses its supercomputers. They still consider nuclear deterrence important (the core principle of this strategy is this: have so much nuclear bombs that your enemies are afraid of attacking you because of these bombs) but the idea is basically anti-survival and actually quite immoral. There should be NO nuclear weapons in existence. I approve of nuclear energy, but only for medical and scientific use and for generating electricity.
Contrast these to other countries’ use of supercomputers: China’s Tianhe is used to look for crude oil and for designing aircraft (though given China’s tendency to be secretive, if they use it for anything military they simply don’t advertise it, unlike the U.S., which would make Discovery Channel shows on all its weapons and tactics).

In Japan, two former supercomputer champions, the Earth Simulator and the just-dethroned K computer are used to simulate weather and climate change, hoping to find a way to give more advanced warning against impending typhoons and to prevent global warming. Why is the U.S. still using the impetus of maintaining nuclear weapons (or in the case of simulating nuclear weapons testing, probably improve their nuclear weapons) to drive supercomputer progress? I think their priorities are a little mixed up.

Yahoo Mail Spews Spam!

I had 3 friends with yahoo account sending all their friends spam. Dear Yahoo: Get your act together. Dear friends using Yahoo. Switch already. Please. I’ve never had this experience using Gmail.



I need  these!

Art mixes it up with Science

I love it when art mixes it up with science. There are scientists, intelligent, creative people, who often take up the brush or play the piano. They like to do something CREATIVE and lo and behold, they’re good at it! Too bad, I don’t often hear an artist doing something scientific like make a discovery or something. There should be more of that, too.
Artist thinks ‘science’ and ‘tech’ with varied works

And YES, here are some more links of Artists popularizing science. Not quite DOING science yet, but it’s a step! An organization mixing up science and art to find new forms of expression. Biologist who takes up painting another scientist with a taste for watercolor David Goodsell is another scientist/painter

Lego for Girls, Hacker-style!

Last year, Lego released the “Lego Friends” set, aimed at girls, to expand its market to the other 50% of the population. It was widely panned because its  concept of women were stereotypical. So one female hacker, Limor Fried, decided to make her own playset featuring herself in an open source hardware developer workshop. You can see the article here: Limor Fried’s Lego for Girls Playset.

If she gets 10,000 votes, Lego will produce her playset! So head on over to Lego Cuusoo to vote! Or, if you don’t like her idea of a girl’s playset, Lego challenges you to think of something that will stimulate the young minds of boys and girls!

The Science of Avengers

Did Avengers get the science right? Copernicus (aka Andy Howell, astrophysicist at UC Sta. Barbara) brings in a review of the Avengers from a scientist’s point of view. Avengers fares pretty good, actually, compared to other films (unlike his review of Star Trek, in which he points out several major mistakes no self-respecting science fiction movie with time travel and starships should make).

You can tell he’s a physicist, because he hardly covers the possibility of the Hulk (he just accepts it, on faith, like a priest) or of Captain America (He says it’s not interesting. Enhancing a human being is not as interesting as stars and black holes?).

He also doesn’t cover the SHIELD Helicarrier’s cloaking device. In James Bond’s “Tomorrow Never Dies” (who stole the idea from Masamune Shirow’s “Ghost in a Shell”, they use video cameras to project on an object what is behind it, theoretically rendering it invisible, but that doesn’t work well on moving objects or objects as large as an aircraft carrier. There are other possibilities I found in Wikipedia.

That still leaves a lot to Geek Out on, like the Cosmic Cube, Thor’s lightning striking Iron Man (Why should Stark be surprised? It’s a Faraday Cage!) and how much energy would it take to lift the Helicarrier?

Here are Copernicus’s reviews on the science of the Avengers:

The Science of The Avengers Part 1

The Science of the Avengers Part 2

The Science of Thor

and as a bonus, Copernicus also links to io9’s video on the possibilities of creating superheroes (the portion regarding genetics starts at 5:43 in the video):

io9’s The Science of the Avengers

Facebook vs. Google: The Epic Battle for the Teenies

Facebook’s IPO is set on May 17, 2012. The company will be selling at $38 a share, bringing its value to $100 billion. A mighty company, finally validated by Wall Street. In the other corner is Google, a $192 billion company. Both survive on advertising, both will eat from the same pie.

This is not a both sides can win scenario. There is only so much advertising budgets in the world, and companies are wary of where they’re spending it. Google knows how effective Facebook can be with its socially connected network (a friend recommends a product rather than an impersonal search engine) that is why they are also attempting to enter the Social Space with Google+.

Facebook, meanwhile, forged a deal with Bing (and Yahoo) to allow Microsoft’s search engine to publish search results from the data in Facebook. So the maneuvering goes on, feint and strike, feint and strike, spinning strategy after strategy after strategy, wheels within wheels…

I, personally, prefer Facebook for my social networking, though I’d be happy to do my email, documents, calendars and even my social network with Google except for one thing: Google insists you use your real name.

In both my Facebook accounts, I use a pseudonym. I can’t do that with Google+ without endangering my account. You have to appeal to them if they notice you are using a pseudonym, and sometimes you don’t win the appeal. The worst thing that could happen is they shut down your account.

The battle is about to begin…

P.S. For want of a better term, I’ve settled on “Teenies” as a name for this decade. There’s another, smaller, battle going on for naming this decade.