Confessions of a researchaholic

May 22, 2022

Apollo 10½

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 11:16 am

I watched Apollo 10½ thinking it was a science fiction only to find out the story is even more interesting.
The animated actions looked lively, which turns out to be based on a type of rotoscoping-over-live-action that the director also employed with his prior works such as A Scanner Darkly.

May 20, 2022

Creative block

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 9:59 am
Tags: ,

In Concept Art: Break Artist’s Block with Emergent Design – L410, conceptual artist Sam Nielson talked about the common causes and remedies for creative blocks, which I found to be equally applicable to scientific research (or any other creative fields):


Not enough or the right kind of input
, such as visual inspirations for art or the current problems and progresses in research.
Not having anything to say
, which is related to the above about not having the right kind of input as well as not thinking enough about what one wants to do.
Fear of poor performance
which can cause actual poor performance.


Study everything and anything
, including books, papers, and artworks.
Live life a little (outside work)
, which is not just about work-live balance but also about enriching one’s creative horizon.
Give yourself permission to suck
to increase the chance not to suck.

I followed the suggested process (about using chunky oil brushes for iterative ideation) to create the visual impression I saw earlier about two white chairs inside woods.

May 19, 2022

The great replacement theory

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:08 pm

So the Europeans came to the America, committed genocide against the natives and brought slaves from Africa, and centuries later, made up the conspiracy theory about being replaced by these very people they victimized.

May 17, 2022

Executive compensation

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:34 am

I takes a special kind of arrogance for the current Intel CEO to think that he deserves to earn more than 1700 times of a typical employee.

I voted yes to executive compensations for NVIDIA, AMD, and Microsoft because their CEOs are truly transformative, but would not do so for Intel until it can compete with TSMC and Samsung as a global foundry.

May 16, 2022

Chairs-and-tables puzzle dream

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 3:52 am

I dreamed about this math/algorithm puzzle earlier this morning.

There are N tables and M chairs on an infinite plane for a class, which consists of group discussions and individual works.
During the group discussions, each student can move his/her chair towards a table.
When the discussions are over, each student will need to move his/her chair to an individual table without sharing with other students.
What is the optimal transport for this transition from a given group discussion configuration to an individual work arrangement?

May 14, 2022

White cheddar rice and corn puffs

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:31 pm
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I don’t like this drawing as the contrasts on the puffs are not strong enough to convey their shapes, but here it is.

I also drew the wrinkled/folded shape of the bag.

May 13, 2022

How to encourage on-time review submissions?

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:30 pm

May 11, 2022

Squeezed toothpaste tube

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:48 pm
Tags: , ,

I was trying to throw away this toothpaste tube after it couldn’t be further squeezed any more before spotting it as an interesting drawing subject.

Burning the 3 am oil

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:46 am

This comment from Elon Musk reminded me that back in the good old MSR Asia days when Harry Shum would buy people free food at around 3 am and I tried to convince everyone in my projects to go home no later than midnight.

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