Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Up, Up And Away

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

Balloon Trailer

I found this trailer while walking to pick up my car from the shop. Sadly the website it refers to,, seems to be down now. But when I went to the site earlier it had information and forms on how to purchase a ride.

I also found BAGI, the Balloon Association of Greater Illinois. It appears that there are a few other commercial balloons in the Champaign-Urbana area, so I’ll have to look into them.

For those of you who don’t know, the title of this is that of the song Up-Up And Away by The 5th Dimension, or such fame as Aquarius. And no, these aren’t referral links so I don’t get a fraction of a cent if you click them.

As for why I’m posting this, my Mom always wanted to go on a balloon ride, so when I saw this trailer I had to take a picture so I could check it out later.

These go to eleven.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

My air conditioner goes to eleven.

AC to eleven

Freya’s Day

Friday, March 10th, 2006

It’s the middle of EOH and it’s Friday.

WebTunes is very interesting. I worked on the UI, well, at least the buttons and the status display. I also figured out how to control Quicktime via Javascript. Add a little ajax, Python and sqlite and you get WebTunes!

How simple could it be?


Monday, March 6th, 2006

I took some time over the past few days to make my computer a bit fstr.

First of all, I’ve been having problems with my Squid cache slowing down my web browsing. Instead of actually fixing the problem, which I attempted to do, I disabled the cache. Safari feels a ton faster than it did since I upgraded to 10.4.5. I think there’s a bug somewhere.

Also, I’ve changed my SETI@home client to be much faster. I’ve upgraded to an Altivec optimized client.

The Vent Core 2: Durandal

Monday, March 6th, 2006

I am not obsessed with Marathon!

Ok, maybe I am.

But back to the point that I wanted to make.

In the header, you see the name of the blog. However, you also see a picture. This picture is from Marathon 2: Durandal. Specifically, It’s a level known as “Begging For Mercy Makes Me Angry” the general shape is the closest thing to an actual “Vent Core” than anything else. It is, instead, Durandal’s core.

Michael Wren

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Who am I?

[isr6599:~] wren% whoami

Yes, there’s that. Facebook has the best summary of who I am so far.

I’m a undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign majoring in Engineering Physics. I’m a member of MacWarriors, the Webmaster for the Physics Society and on the observatory comity of the UI Astronomical Society. I find myself playing Clan Lord quite often (see the entry on

The Vent Core

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

What is The Vent Core?

Here’s where it comes from:

The Wikipedia entry can describe it better than me, he’s what they have to say:

“Frog blast the vent core!”

This is a phrase synonymous with the series. Explosive BOB “simulacrums” occasionally shout the phrase, trying to blend in with the regular BOBs and explode around a large amount of humans. Since sometimes they are merely only piecing together random words, their nonsense can give them away.

Here is a quote from Doug Zartman, the man who performed the BOB voices, directly from the Marathon Scrapbook:

“The idea was that some of the assimilated Bobs become insane from their conversion and run around yelling nonsense. Alex said to me ‘say something random’, and that phrase tumbled from my lips. Totally spontaneous. While I could have sat down and thought up something more random than that, it worked out well, since it sounds close enough to a real sentence that it kept people guessing and generated some fascinating (and totally wrong) discussion about what the phrase was and its meaning. One popular theory was ‘God bless the Marine Corps!’, which was a fair guess, but still wrong.”

Aaron Snyder submitted an alternative theory on the Marathon Story Page ([2]):

I just watched your most recent “VidTip” film on “Bigger Guns Nearby” and think that I’ve found the answer as to what “Frog Blast the Vent Core!” from M2 means: along the way, you give map views of two interestingly-named areas: “BioVent Core #88A” and “BioVent Core #88B”. Between these areas is a raised hallway containing a BioBus chip (Hypervision power-up), but one can only get there by grenade-hopping.
Get it? Grenade-hopping might be renamed “Frog blasting.”
So, on this interpretation, “Frog Blast the Vent Core!” might merely mean “Grenade hop in the BioVent Core on ‘Bigger Guns…’!”

(“Grenade hopping” is a method of projecting oneself upwards by firing grenades downwards.)

It is very popular to say in the text chat of a networked Bungie game; meant more as a joke than anything; the sheer randomness of this phrase means it can be used at any time.

The phrase has appeared hidden in other games, such as Myth, Tron 2.0, and Oni. It is also hidden in Bungie’s homepage ([3]), which returns an HTTP header called “X-Blam” with the value “Frog blast the vent core!”.

One of the latter stages of Bungie’s successful Xbox game Halo involves the player (in green battle armour) shooting rockets or throwing grenades into the exhaust vents of a ship’s reactor core.

This excerpt from the Wikipedia is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details)
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Well, you came here, what does it mean?

Phroon is Michael Wren, or at least, his persona on the internet.

Phroon began as my character in a MMORPG known as Clan Lord. Here’s a picture of this Phroon.


As time went on, I had a hart time picking a login name for websites. Often ‘wren’ was already taken, so I soon began using ‘phroon’. The nexus of this journey occurred during summer of 2005 where I purchased and ( at the time was “Under Constraction” [sic], It now appears to be an arabic Yahoo look alike.)

I hope to one day own, but I can wait.

On top of Krannert

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Today I scaled Krannert, why? We had Physics 436 on the Amphitheater there today. Afterwards I took some nice pictures.


Saturday, October 22nd, 2005