Weekly Status Update #27: Borg Queen

It’s a beautiful sunny winter morning here, so a perfect time to write this week’s weekly status update, indoors under a blanket. This week featuring: implants, PacificVis, PhD defense preparations, datavis D3 practicals and fMRI.

  • So after recovering a bit from getting viciously infected by a mysterious VIS-related illness (ok, it was just a cold…), it was finally time to get some implants (ok, one implant…). What type of implant would that be? Well, I was born with a case of hypodontia (tooth agenesis), which means that I was born without a permanent (adult) tooth under one of my primary (baby/milk) teeth. I kept my cute little baby tooth until this year. It unfortunately had to come out and then my dentist decided to screw me. Literally. He placed an implant, a permanent screw in my jawbone this week. I am really fascinated by the whole thing, I have to say (otherwise I wouldn’t be posting about it I guess) and the concept of having this man-made material permanently embedded into my jawbone is kind of cool to me. It even makes me feel a bit like a cyborg, and reminds me of the Borg. One step closer to becoming the Borg queen 🙂 On a related note, did you know what the set of primary and permanent teeth actually look like in children? Pretty horrific:

    The horror
  • The week after the PacificVis rejection was as good a time as any to discuss the plans for the reworking of the PacificVis work. So I had two great meetings with my supervisor and promotor and we decided to, instead of rushing for the 5th of December EuroVis deadline (and annoying reviewers by not getting all of the needed changes done in the process), really improve the work and try again somewhere next year.  I wasn’t using our Scrum board without having a concrete deadline, but I think I’ll use it again to have visual feedback on the progress with activities that need to be done to make it publishable. I will try to do it in a one month sprint starting December. Actually, that’s a two week sprint, because holidays.
  • In other news, I am paranymphing (is that a word?) in the PhD defense of a dear friend and this means I get to help with the preparations. It is really cool to get the thesis books from the printer company, to finally see the final physical copy of all his hard work combined into a single book. I even enjoyed folding in the reception invitations and propositions together a lot. The male paranimphs and PhD student getting the degree have to dress white tie for the event in the Netherlands, while I get away with wearing something formal, in black, dark grey or dark blue with white accents. I don’t own anything in the last of those three colors, so black it is. I think for white tie, women get to wear ball gowns normally, with long gloves, but I’ve never seen girls wear that in a Dutch PhD defense.
  • On Friday morning, I got to assist with the D3 infovis part of the Data Visualization course practical. I love helping students with their practical work, but it decidedly less cool when the topic is not exactly your own field and you are discovering D3’s features and functionality at the same time that the students are. I much prefer assisting with the Medical Visualization course, but let’s just call this an educational experience for me as well 😉 Having said that, D3 is still awesome and powerful.
  • It seems to be another one of those weeks where I don’t have a fifth bullet point. Xkcd had a cartoon about functional MRI (fMRI) this week though:

    fMRI studies

That’s all she wrote. In this blog post at least. Have a great weekend and week!


  1. Permanent teeth embedded in jawbone pushing out infant teeth over a number of years… HUMANS ARE SCARY! (thanks for the graphical confirmation)

    With regard to d3: I’ve spent a great deal of time working with it over the past year or so, and it still makes my brain hurt sometimes. An important part of the trick, as you’ve probably discovered, is switching one’s brain to VECTOR MODE! (similar mode as for SQL, and for GPU programming actually, but just more strange. I’m not sure why yet. Probably because javascript.)

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