In July 2002, I participated in my second international research conference: ICAD 2002 in Kyoto, Japan. During my visit to Todai-ji in Nara, I tried to pass through the Buddha-nostril-sized hole in a wooden column, but I failed. This, it is said, gives a person bad luck for a decade. So ten years later, with more white in my beard and hair, I return to the very same spot where children have no trouble. This time, I made it! (But not without the help of two Japanese ladies who pulled with all their might to free this previously-unenlightened gaijin.) After passing through, I did feel enlightened — until I realized that this means I am just a husk of my former fit self. Either way, it goes on my resume: “Nov. 5, 2012: successfully passed through a hole the size of the great Buddha’s nostril.”
With that, the video of my first presentation at MIRUM (An Analysis of the GTZAN Music Genre Dataset) is now online thanks to Steve Tjoa — fellow researcher in applying sparse approximation to audio and music signal processing. Thanks Steve!