Tuesday, May 6


Will Hochman on BYOD classrooms

I have learned to thrive in a BYOD for the last three years, though it was
rocky at first. Here's all I learned:

Create as many independent, teacher controlled learning sites. From
avoiding BB to integrating TED selections, Blogs, and streams of social
media info into my classrooms. Resist the ways technology
institutionalizes learning into bureaucratic. Teach more like adjuncts
have to teach anyway.

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" See BladeRunner for the answer to
that one, but I know for sure students think with electric screens. (And
yes, I dream in screens too, don't you?) Most, if not all of student
ideation will take place in digitized environments.

Peer to peer learning, and peer to teacher learning about how our
cyberspace is all that is necessary. Luckily, these digital natives are
patient with elders and tech.

I agree with Alex. Until there is a cultural changeŠbut that reminds me of
a favorite story by Delmore Schwartz, "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities."
The more tech becomes standard culture, the more institutional culture
will change but we ain't there yet. But it's weird to me because these
days I'm not nearly as worried about the tech adaptation as much as the
bad teaching tech might create.

I've spent the large part of my teaching career institutionalizing digital
learning by starting computerized classrooms in three universities but I'm
no longer as interested  in creating such learning spaces. Instead, the
BYOD evolves class space through usability. Now, I'm just awash in ideas
with how to learn in, and keep up with some of the exciting changes in the
space each class creates for itself.

With final portfolios, love and squalor, Will

Sunday, November 23

On 10/24/2000 I wrote: "There are a lot of really smart geek conservatives voting for Bush, and I just can't figure it out. Are they voting for the platform? Because the man himself just comes across as a real clueless gomer. Not that Gore has a personality."

Thursday, November 13

Our public library allows you any two of the following options: an outlet, quiet, or wifi.

The great thing about Ping.Fm is that you can update all of your social networking sites at once, leading to a barrage of trojan friend spam.

Tuesday, November 11

Working in the noisy section of the library, by an outlet. Earplug in one ear, candy wrapper jammed in the other.

If I was Bill and Ted and brought Lincoln to the mall, I'd totally keep him out of the bookstore, especially the biography section.

Saturday, December 8

[my lawyer] asked me yesterday why it was that I never swore. He found me washing windows in this library, although nobody had ordered me to do that.
So I told my my maternal grandfather's idea that obscenity and blasphemy gave most people permission not to listen respectfully to whatever was being said.
I repeated an old story Grandfather Wills had taught me, which was about a town where a cannon was fired at noon every day. One day the cannoneer was sick at the last minute and was too incapacitated to fire the cannon.
So at high noon there was silence.
All the peole in the town jumped out of their skins when the sun reached its zenith. They asked each other in astonishment, "Good gravy! What was that?"
My lawyer wanted to know what that had to do with my not swearing.
I replied that in an era as foul mouthed as this one, "Good gravy" had the same power to startle as a cannon shot.

--Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus

Saturday, November 10


internet stuff | Ask MetaFilter

internet stuff | Ask MetaFilter

How to proxy and block internet sites for your kids' machine.

Tuesday, November 6


Course Readings

Course Readings

New Media and Technical Writing

Wednesday, October 31


Locate and Share Bad Neighbors Before and After You Move

Locate and Share Bad Neighbors Before and After You Move

Saturday, October 20


Mattias Inks

Mattias Inks

Tuesday, October 16




Boardgamegeekery. Spreadsheets and such.

Wednesday, August 15

What Clan are you?

Wednesday, June 6

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 24


I just took apart our dishwasher, cleaned out the clogged food chopper, and reassembled it. Last time we paid a guy $80 to do it, but I watched and learned his secrets. I also have another secret weapon that I should use more often, even for mundane stuff like this. It involves invoking a higher power before beginning. This generally calms me down before attempting a stressful task. Finding a manual at http://applianceblog.com was also very helpful. I think that's a good formula for a lot of problems:

1. Pray for help
2. Read the manual
3. Send the kids out to eat at Wendy's so you can work in peace.
4. Learn from a pro.

Thursday, December 14


Thu, May 12, 2005 09:12

Thu, May 12, 2005 09:12
Originally uploaded by Craniac.
Desi is so cute!

Thursday, October 12

With YouTube, Grad Student Hits Jackpot Again - New York Times: "“I wish we could have kept him as part of the company,” Mr. Botha said. “He was very, very creative. We were doing everything we could to convince him to defer.”"

Monday, September 4

BGG Thread: Making a copy of FMP from the files...: "Use a roller cutter or a chopping cutter to get the counters to be the exact same size. Clip the corners for a neater look. Then, once cut, spray a coat of Krylon Matte varnish--a couple light coats won't run the inks at all, even with ink jet printing. I prefer to use a matte photo paper for really sharp, nice-looking images on the counters. You'll end up with a very professional looking game."

Sunday, September 3

Understand - a novelette by Ted Chiang

Fantastic Metropolis ? Division by Zero



Saturday, September 2

Comments on 5352 | Ask MetaFilter: "A man was driving down the road with twenty penguins in the backseat. A cop stopped him and said that he couldn't drive around with the penguins in the car and told him he should take them to the zoo. The man agreed and drove off.

The next day the same man is driving down the road with twenty penguins in the back again. He is stopped by the same cop who says, 'Hey! I thought I told you to take those penguins to the zoo.'

The man replies 'I did. Today I'm taking them to the movies.'"

Monday, August 7

YouTube - somewhere over the rainbow

Wonderful ukulele medley and video.

Saturday, August 5

Internet Truthiness | MetaFilter: "I've always been a big fan of Al Gore's, and after years of observation, I get the impression that in a place deep down and well-insulated inside Al Gore is a man who wouldn't do a thing to oppose a violent, bloody and comprehensive revolution, if one were to start.

And I like that.

I can't wait to see if he makes an appearance in the upcoming Futurama episodes."

Wednesday, August 2


token nature shot from the backyard. Posted by Picasa


More Mirror Lake. Posted by Picasa


Ezra at the rotary park. Posted by Picasa


Christine with some of the kids in our raft (which has a slow leak now) at Mirror lake last weekend. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 19


Kilby cd.

I just bought four new Yokohama tires for our minivan online, after our "Big O" tires wore out after less than two years and 15k miles.

Thursday, February 16


"We spoke with an
employee at a state lottery agency. We can not reveal his name or even which state, as some of the same gangsters who ran the numbers racket now run the lottery, and they would kill him.

Yes, I personally am involved in it. Lottery ping-pong balls have a small valve, like a basketball or soccer ball, only it's very tiny, and nearly invisible. We use a hypodermic needle to inject heavier-than-air gasses such as radon into the balls we don't want to come up. At first, we tried helium in the ones we did want to rise, but they jumped up so quickly that it was obvious. Lotteries are raking in much more than if the games were honest, and people don't know they have literally no chance! If you think about it logically, you certainly don't play anyway. You are betting that you can predict which six of 45 or more balls are going to come out of the hopper. In some games, the order even matters! It's a sucker's bet, and that's when it's honest! Most drawings are rigged, making the odds zero in infinity! The lottery is not only a tax on people who don't understand math; it is an unfair and unjust tax. Didn't we have the American Revolution over taxes like that?"

Tuesday, February 14

QDB: Top 100 Quotes: "<[SA]HatfulOfHollow> i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet"

Monday, February 13

Charles C. Mann, 1491 : "Guided by the pristine myth, mainstream environmentalists want to preserve
as much of the world's land as possible in a putatively intact state. But
'intact,' if the new research is correct, means 'run by human beings for
human purposes.' Environmentalists dislike this, because it seems to mean
that anything goes. In a sense they are correct. Native Americans managed
the continent as they saw fit. Modern nations must do the same. If they
want to return as much of the landscape as possible to its 1491 state, they
will have to find it within themselves to create the world's largest garden. "

Sunday. | Ask MetaFilter: "Me and my friends growing up used to have 'Sunday feeling'. It happens most often during the summer, but the winter has it too. It happens around sunset, this feeling of lethargy and melencholy would hover over us. It was like the ending of Stand By Me. We could have done something super important and accomplished so much in the morning, but by the end of the day...ugh.

I have never really been able to get rid of that feeling."

Tuesday, November 29

Do It Now by Steve Pavlina: "During one of these sacred time blocks, do nothing but the activity that's right in front of you. Don't check email or online forums or do web surfing. If you have this temptation, then unplug your Internet connection while you work. Turn off your phone, or simply refuse to answer it. Go to the bathroom before you start, and make sure you won't get hungry for a while. Don't get out of your chair at all. Don't talk to anyone during this time."

Do It Now by Steve Pavlina: "Trying to cut out time-wasting habits is a common starting point for people who desire to become more efficient, but I think this is a mistake. Optimizing your personal habits should only come later. Clarity of purpose must come first. If you don't have clarity, then your attempts to install more efficient habits and to break inefficient habits will only fizzle. You won't have a strong enough reason to put your time to good use, so it will be easy to quit when things get tough. You need a big, attractive goal to stay motivated. The reason to shave 15 minutes off a task is that you're overflowing with motivation to put that 15 minutes to better use."

Do It Now by Steve Pavlina: "In college I was downright brutal when it came to triage. I once told one on my professors that I decided not to do one of his assigned computer science projects because I felt it wasn't a good use of my time. The project required about 10-20 hours of work, and it involved some tedious gruntwork that wasn't going to teach me anything I didn't already know. Also, this project was only worth 10% of my grade in that class, and since I was previously acing the class anyway, the only real negative consequence would be that I'd end up with an A- in the course instead of an A. I told the professor I felt that was a fair trade-off and that I would accept the A-. I didn't try to negotiate with him for special treatment. So my official grade in the class was an A-, but I personally gave myself an A for putting those 10-20 hours to much better use."

Do It Now by Steve Pavlina: "Triage ruthlessly.

Get rid of everything that wastes your time. Use the trash can liberally. Apply the rule, 'When in doubt, throw it out.' Cancel useless magazine subscriptions. If you have a magazine that is more than two months old and you still haven't read it, throw it away; it's probably not worth reading. Realize that nothing is free if it costs you time. Before you sign up for any new free service or subscription, ask how much it will cost you in terms of time. Every activity has an opportunity cost. Ask, 'Is this activity worth what I am sacrificing for it?'"

Do It Now by Steve Pavlina: "Use single handling.

Instead of using some elaborate organizing system, I stuck with very basic a pen-and-paper to do list. My only organizing tool was a notepad where I wrote down all my assignments and their deadlines. I didn't worry about doing any advance scheduling or prioritizing. I would simply scan the list to select the most pressing item which fit the time I had available. Then I'd complete it, and cross it off the list.

If I had a 10-hour term paper to write, I would do the whole thing at once instead of breaking it into smaller tasks. I'd usually do large projects on weekends. I'd go to the library in the morning, do the necessary research, and then go back to my dorm room and continue working until the final text was rolling off my printer. If I needed to take a break, I would take a break. It didn't matter how big the project was supposed to be or how many weeks the professor allowed for it. Once I began an assignment, I would stay with it until it was 100% complete and ready to be turned in.

This simple practice saved me a significant amount of time. First, it allowed me to concentrate deeply on each assignment and to work very efficiently while I worked. A lot of time is lost in task switching because you have to re-load the context for each new task. Single handling minimizes time lost in task switching. In fact, when possible I would batch up my assignments within a certain subject area and then do them all at once before switching subjects. So I'd do all my math homework in a row until it was all done. Then I'd do all my programming assignments. Then I'd do my general education homework. In this manner I would put my brain into math-mode, programming-mode, writing-mode, or art-mode and remain in that single mode for as long as possible. Secondly, I believe this habit helped me remain relaxed and unstressed because my mind wasn't cluttered with so many to-do items. It was always just one thing at a time. I could forget about anything that was outside the current context.

Failure is your friend.

Most people seem to have an innate fear of failure, but failure is really your best friend. People who succeed also fail a great deal because they make a lot of attempts. The great baseball player Babe Ruth held the homerun record and the strikeout record at the same time. Those who have the most successes also have the most failures. There is nothing wrong or shameful in failing. The only regret lies in never making the attempt. So don't be afraid to experiment in your attempts to increase productivity. Sometimes the quickest way to find out if something will work is to jump right in and do it. You can always make adjustments along the way. It's the ready-fire-aim approach, and surprisingly, it works a lot better that the more common ready-aim-fire approach. The reason is that after you've 'fired' once, you have some actual data with which to adjust your aim. Too many people get bogged down in planning and thinking and never get to the point of action. How many potentially great ideas have you passed up because you got stuck in the state of analysis paralysis (i.e. ready-aim-aim-aim-aim-aim...)?"

Thursday, November 17

kottke.org :: home of fine hypertext products: "This is the big sticking point for most people, I think. If you choose to have a family or focus on your career or pursue a costly photography hobby, you might not have the money or flexibility to travel this way. But that's a choice you've made (on some level)...and I would argue that if you're 30 years old, you can arrange to make an overseas trip once every 3-5 years, and that's about 7-8 trips by the time you're 60."

Nothing like having some childless, single jackass with no commitments or job telling you how free you should be.

Wednesday, November 16

Notes On The PhD Degree: "A Doctor of Philosophy degree, abbreviated Ph.D., is the highest academic degree anyone can earn. Because earning a Ph.D. requires extended study and intense intellectual effort, less than one percent of the population attains the degree. Society shows respect for a person who holds a Ph.D. by addressing them with the title ``Doctor''.

To earn a Ph.D., one must accomplish two things. First, one must master a specific subject completely. Second, one must extend the body of knowledge about that subject."

Thursday, October 27

apophenia: my Friendster publications

Sunday, October 23

BGG Thread: Dungeoneer Sets, HeroScape & Expansions Up For Trade: "Dungeoneer Sets, HeroScape & Expansions Up For Trade"


Location: Adjacent to north boundary of Oregon dunes National Recreation Area.
On U.S. 101, 3 miles south of Florence.
Attractions/Services: Campground near freshwater Cleawox Lake sheltered by towering sand dunes, some reaching 500 feet high; hiker-biker, group camps; boat ramps on Cleawox Lake and at Woahink Lake; this park has 10 yurts.
Off-season events: Fall Festival, September; Holiday Festival of Lights, mid-November-December 31 and rhododendron Festival, mid-May; Florence.
For more information: 541.997.3641 or 800.551.6949."

What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest: "Our family-centered perspective should make Latter-day Saints strive to be the best parents in the world. It should give us enormous respect for our children, who truly are our spiritual siblings, and it should cause us to devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families. Indeed, nothing is more critically connected to happiness—both our own and that of our children—than how well we love and support one another within the family.


What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest: "Rampant materialism and selfishness delude many into thinking that families, and especially children, are a burden and a financial millstone that will hold them back rather than a sacred privilege that will teach them to become more like God."

Sunday, October 9

SinceSlicedBread.com: "We're looking for fresh, new ideas for a better America. Do you have a common-sense idea that will improve the day-to-day lives of everyday Americans? Or an opinion on how working families can succeed in the new global economy?

You have until December 5, 2005, to submit your idea and to weigh in. A panel of judges will select the top 21 ideas. All of America will be able to vote on the finalists, and on February 1, one person will win $100,000—runners up receive $50,000 each."

Friday, October 7

 Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 2

Sufjan Stevens: Illinois: Pitchfork Review: "Stevens has a remarkable habit of being rousing and distressing at the same time, prodding disparate emotional centers until it's unclear whether it's best to grab your party shoes or a box of tissues. The gut-punching 'Chicago' cagily celebrates the innate (and deeply American) tendency to employ highways as escape routes, ditching old mistakes for new swatches of land, new plates of eggs, new parking lots. Impossibly propulsive, each calm, harmonized, Illinoisemaker cry of 'All things go!' pushes harder, promising liberation, by death or by automobile: 'If I was crying/ In the van with my friend/ It was for freedom/ From myself and from the land,' Stevens chokes, voice shaking over a haze of drums, strings, and shimmering keyboards."

Thursday, September 1

On July 29th, 2005, nine years after starting the graduate program at the University of Louisville, I finished my degree and defended my dissertation. I am $50k in debt, had four children during that time, and lived in four homes and two states. Three members of my committee left the program, and I learned more about academic politics than I ever wanted to know.

Monday, June 13


density of information.

I'd like to take the entries for all of my different weblogs, auto-categorize them by blog, and then combine them all into one giant wordpress blog. Of course, I'd lose my awesome google ranking, which is dropping now anyway because I have not posted anything to Markzilla for a while, because I am not sure I really want people to know what I'm thinking.

Wednesday, February 9

I must create a site structure for my brain.

Tuesday, January 18


Monday, January 17

How I Learned To Pitch - A Seattle Mariners coach teaches me to throw a change-up, and much more. By Eric Liu: "Over the last two and a half years, I traveled across the country in search of life-changing teachers and mentors from all different walks. I met race-car drivers, Indian potters, ballet dancers, rappers, research scientists, law professors, Montessori teachers, aerobatic pilots, master carpenters, and many others. The book that emerged from those travels is called Guiding Lights. "

Today we bought a Siamese Fighting Fish, or a Betta Splendens for my Joey's 1-gallon Christmas aquarium. Now all we have to do is get a white Persian kitten for Desi and I'll be almost ready to rule the world. I don't suppose they're going to change the name to "Iraqi" kitten any time soon.

Friday, December 17


All my neighbors have trampolines

When I first moved to the desert subdivisions of Utah, I noticed that
almost everyone who had children had a trampoline in their yard. Some of
them were used more than others.

So today I bought a used trampoline for $75 from a coworker. So much for

Wednesday, December 8

Ask MetaFilter | Community Weblog: "'I'm filled with existential dread at the fact that your gramdmother withered so horribly with Alzheimer's that she could no longer recognize her own child, and am sorry for the howling abyss of grief you're going through, compounded by your impending divorce' may have been more factually honest in my case a few years ago, but I don't think you can truly fault anyone for the fact that they don't exactly make greeting cards with that sentiment."

Sunday, November 28

Coping with a life full of pain / Plaintiff uses medical marijuana every 2 hours, but doesn't get high: "Partially paralyzed, in constant pain from multiple disorders and desperate for help after trying nearly three dozen doctor-prescribed medications, the 30-year-old woman, a product of a conservative upbringing that made her recoil from illegal drugs, decided pot 'might be my last shot.''
It worked. Raich regained her appetite, felt less pain, got out of her wheelchair 18 months later and embarked on a career of advocacy for herself and other patients that has led her to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Monday, the court will hear the case of Ashcroft vs. Raich, a clash of federal and state powers that could determine the future of medical marijuana in the United States. "

Sunday, October 17

I am stressed right now as I try to finish chapter four of my dissertation before a looming deadline. It is a snarled mess, but there is some good stuff in there. As I try not to think of it this weekend, I find myself obsessing over weird things.

Sunday, September 26

Ask MetaFilter | Community Weblog: "I have a self-modded xbox too. I have a 130GB hard drive in it and used the exact steps that shepd described above to mod mine. With the exception of actually installing the mod chip, he left that part out and it wasn't easy.

I would never have anything else. For a little under $300.00 I can play new games I can never play on my PC now. A decent sound card and vid card would be way more. I have all of the older game emulators and ROMs I could ever want including MAME and the kids have their new stuff. Add to that a region-free DVD player and the ability to stream media from my network... I'm sorry I ever said a bad word about the xbox. But, like most M$ products, it's not so great until you tweak it the way you want it."

Friday, September 24

OfficeMax.Com - Product Block Page

Friday, September 10

CBS and Internet Fisking | Metafilter: "i'd live a life of sin without fear if i knew karl rove was going to organize and run the campaign to get me into heaven."

Friday, August 13


Scrubs guy has a weblog.

The guy from Scrubs, who just made the movie "Garden State" has a
weblog, and its pretty funny at times:


We took the kids rafting down the Jordan river at 7pm Wednesday.
Christine waited for us by the bridge. By the time I rowed all the
way to the bridge, it was just starting to get dark and Christine had
called the police. Joey was screaming, "I want to park the boat and
get in the white van RIGHT NOW." Other than that it was pretty cool.
We saw dozens of fish in groups of 4-5, swimming with their backs just
out of the water. When our little inflatable raft would approach they
would dive with a huge splash. I may get an electronic trolling
motor. 2 mph is much faster than I can row. Too bad they don't make
Kayaks that seat five.

Thursday, July 29

Google Search: jordan river utah : "Anyway, the thread on unique river hazards made me think of the time some friends and I tried to paddle the
Jordan River from its source in Utah Lake to the first major obstacle in the Jordan River Narrows in the south
end of the Salt Lake valley. I know the Jordan used to be a beautiful little stream, tree lined, home to
birds and fish and all sorts of nice clean critters. I know 'cause I'm an archivist and see photographs and
read accounts of what it used to be like. Well now its source, Utah Lake, is full of heavy metals from fifty
years of steel production and 100 years of agricultural chemicals and 150 years of sewage from Ovum, I mean
Orem, and Provo, Utah. The river as it goes through the Salt Lake valley has been a dumping ground for a
century and a half, and now instead of trees it has bridge abutments and old rebar, instead of nice fish it
has big greasy mutated carp that feed on offal from the meat packing plant, dead animals that people throw in
it, and the occasional poor transient who drinks too much thunderbird, falls in the river and dies. Ah, parts
of it are still pretty, but just when you think it's pretty nice you come around a corner and face a rapid
made entirely of shopping carts that hooligans have thrown in the river, or a bunch of kids giving you gang
signs and holding cans of spray paint. Just glad it wasn't guns."

Wednesday, July 28

Atari Vector ROM Archive

Tuesday, July 27

Testing out EctoI'm just testing out the Ecto app, hoping it can do offline posting.

I'm working in the Library in Lehi today. If I can finish up my current diss chapter, I get to play my new guitar, which has languished untouched for over a month. I'll also go see "The Bourne Supremacy". Childish, to be sure, but hopefully effective. Turning in this section will also release enough stress from my life that I'll be able to ride my recumbent in the morning before work.

Thursday, July 22

Tour de France - Daily Scoop (Stage 17): "Armstrong said today he is not the new Cannibal--a reference to Eddy Merckx, who rarely gave gifts to anyone and seemed to relish personally torturing his rivals by doing things like chasing down their stage win attempts or attacking while already in yellow.

Today's win, and Armstrong's stance, are an interesting contrast to the idea, first reported here, that Armstrong would not seek a seventh Tour win, but instead leave the Tour open to other challengers. Would that be a gift? Or is Armstrong simply ready to leave for other goals--the Giro, the Vuelta or the Hour Record? Likely as not, not even the man himself knows. Gifts, after all, are usually a surprise until they're unwrapped.

Movies that "cleanfilms" won't edit:

25th Hour
8 Mile
Addicted To Love
American History X
American Pie
American Pie 2
American Wedding
Auto Focus
Bad Boys II
Blair Witch Project, The
Boat Trip
Cabin Fever
Dark Blue
Dirty Pretty Things
Far From Heaven
Fear dot com
Femme Fatale
Final Destination 2
Formula 51
Friday After Next
Good Girl, The
Guru, The
Hot Chick, The
Hours, The
Jackass: The Movie
Life of David Gale, The
Mambo Italiano
My Boss's Daughter
Old School
Paid in Full
Real Cancun, The
Red Dragon
Resident Evil
Rules of Attraction
Scary Movie
Silence of the lambs and sequels
Swept Away
Talk to Her
There's Something About Mary
Undercover Brother
Wrong Turn

Wednesday, July 21

Technology Review: MIT's Magazine of Innovation: "he address cranema@complicity.uvsc.edu will be removed from the Technology Review marketing database. Please note that it may take a few weeks before you stop receiving messages."

What a bunch of boneheads. "a few weeks" to unsub someone from a list? Time to add them to my Google spam filter.

Wednesday, June 9

An update from The Straight Dope to an earlier decapitation story. Creep city.

The Straight Dope: Does the head remain briefly conscious after decapitation?: "In one early series of experiments, an anatomist claimed that decapitated heads reacted to stimuli, with one victim turning his eyes toward a speaker 15 minutes after having been beheaded. (Today we know brain death would have occurred long before.) In 1836 the murderer Lacenaire agreed to wink after execution. He didn't. Attempts to elicit a reaction from the head of the murderer Prunier in 1879 were also fruitless. The following year a doctor pumped blood from a living dog into the head of the murderer and rapist Menesclou three hours after execution. The lips trembled, the eyelids twitched, and the head seemed about to speak, although no words emerged. In 1905 another doctor claimed that when he called the name of the murderer Languille just after decapitation, the head opened its eyes and focused on him."

Wednesday, June 2

Michael B?rub? Online

"Interestingly, when I went to graduate school and, toward the end of my first year at Virginia, started playing with Michael Dean and Todd Wilson in a band called Baby Opaque, I never felt a moment's anxiety about performing; I was so consumed with graduate-school anxiety that I didn't have any anxiety left over for music. I would show up for gigs, set up, sound check, play, pack up, and go home, all as if I were fixing sinks or something. Then when Nick was born, when I was 24, I was so consumed with new-parent-anxiety that I didn't have any anxiety left over for my dissertation, and . . . you get the idea. By the same logic, surely one of the reasons that I didn't have too many assistant-professor tenure-track anxieties in the early 1990s was that I was far more worried about how to take care of a newborn with Down syndrome.

Blog anxiety . . . what a silly thing. Maybe I'll go play some music instead."

Thursday, May 27

Theories of Psychological Treatment | Theoretical Approaches: Psychoanalysis, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

"Prayer, although not much understood in the field of psychology, is an extraordinary—and I mean that literally: extra-ordinary, beyond the ordinary—form of cognitive-behavioral treatment. It can free you from all neurotic anxiety if you pray out of pure love, with all your mind and all your heart and all your strength as a renunciation of your social-psychological identity and pride."

Miller showing his age: "AUBURN HILLS -- A 38-year-old man playing a young man's sport looked every bit his age Wednesday night. Though foolhardy to declare Reggie Miller null and void in any playoff series, since few players have produced postseason dramatics with his career-long consistency, the scrutiny exists."

Oh great. I turn 38 in August.

TheFeature :: An Architect in the City of Bits: "What have you learned from the research so far?

Mitchell: The implications of location-awareness are far from obvious. The technology enables you to reconsider things as fundamental as, say, signage in a city. For example, we traditionally think of a stop sign as part of the fixed infrastructure of the city. But if you have a location-aware automobile, you can shift the stop sign to the dashboard so it pops up when you approach an intersection. If you have whole networks of location aware vehicles, the system becomes more elaborate. Perhaps the stop sign only pops up when there's another car coming from the opposite direction. You could even have elaborate intersection priority schemes. "

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > For Some, the Blogging Never Stops: "Sometimes, too, the realization that no one is reading sets in. A few blogs have thousands of readers, but never have so many people written so much to be read by so few. By Jupiter Research's estimate, only 4 percent of online users read blogs.

Indeed, if a blog is likened to a conversation between a writer and readers, bloggers like Mr. Wiggins are having conversations largely with themselves."

Thursday, May 20

USB webcam driver for Mac OS X: "Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can you include support in your driver?
A: Generally, no - not because we don't want to, but usually we don't have such a camera for testing available and we don't have the necessary developer documentation. If you can provide me with both, contact us. "

quote to get us moving: "Sooner or later in life comes a time when it is performance that counts - not promises, no possibilities, not potentialities - but performance...the law of improvement is the law...of participation, of performance.
- Richard L. Evans
so we have to finish our theses... "

Wednesday, May 19

1. get poster software on laptop
2. write a. about labs
3. record streaming radio (radio paradise) and look for mp3 slicing software.
4. audio hijack
5. two clips for crosman
6. optical sight question.
7. put assignments online, as well as Torino's response
8. download and respond to draft 2.
9. respond to bronwyn's note
10. use google for tasks and addresses, perhaps.
11. grab more dvds for trip. Connections.
12. Mark out good passages for presentation.

Ask MetaFilter | Community Weblog: "As the previous owner of used VWs - a Golf, a Jetta, and a Passat, I can answer that question with a hearty 'YES'. Go get a new car. Once a VW starts to go, it just sucks up money like a high-dollar stripper."

Tuesday, May 18

Ask MetaFilter | Community Weblog: "I'd walk away - I loved my 85 GTI, (and my family has owned an original Beetle, 5 Rabbit/Golfs and 2 Passats) but once it crossed 150K, it was just to expensive to continue the affair. The problem with a car that age (as scarabic has pointed out), even with a relatively young engine, is all the other stuff that doesn't even fail, per se, but just reaches the end of its useful life. Brake discs and rotors, shocks and struts, shift linkage, CV joints, instrument lights (you don't even want to guess the labor charge to pull apart a dashboard and replace a 50-cent bulb, not that it's a critical repair) and on and on.

If I had $6K and a car older than say, 7 or 8 years, I'd rent a Sawz-All, chop the roof off the existing car, drive my new convertible into the ground (we did this with a '79 Rabbit) and put my remaining $5950 down on a new car or something used coming off lease with a manufacturer's warranty. If the payment is still too high, I'd look for something else. $6K will buy you a mid to late '90s Honda Civic, for example."

CarFilter: Pimp out my 88 VW Golf, or put $5k into a newer, more reliable car? [more inside]

I've got an inherited 1988 VW Golf. It seems like every three months I'm dropping $3-500 bucks on a repair--wheel bearings, front end work, o2 sensor dead, etc.

the average repair cost per month for this car is about $85, not counting mileage, tires, oil changes and other consumables. It gets 27 mpg on my 40 minute (one way) commute.

My practical need is to get something that won't require as much maintenance and get my to work reliably and reasonably quietly. I'd like to keep my loan payments to around $100-$150, so maybe a low-mileage Saturn or something will do the trick.

However, I'm 37, we own a minivan, first mortgage, etc. and I'd really like to get something a little more fun to drive, that corners well. Despite its age-related creaks and rattles, and the fact that the steering is getting mushier, I like the feel of the VW steering. Oh, and the VW has about 60k on a transplanted Scirocco engine (8 valve).

So, do I:

1. get the boring commuter car, and satisfy my midlife crisis needs with a good stereo,

2. Get a Geo Metro or Suzuki Swift, something with great mileage, and then tweak it into a snappy little autocross car/commuter

3. Put $5k into the VW, turning it into a reliable, funner car to drive.

4. See a therapist about trying to find fulfillment through consumerism.

Tuesday, May 11

Soprano Ukulele - Geared Machines - Mahogany: "A New Ukulele superbly built from the finest woods. Clean workmanship and excellent fret dressing are the first things you'll probably notice. The necks are expertly shaped and finished in a satin lacquer for a professional easy playing feel. The tone is very close to those selling for those 6 times the price.

Satin Matte Mahogany Finish

Inlaid Position Markers

Carrying case included - a $13.95 value

Uke Parts

Compare up to $69.95 retail

But it Now for $18"

Monday, May 10

The recent revelations about mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by inexperienced guards, anxious to please authority figures (such as interrogators, CIA, etc.) reminds me of the famous prison simulation conducted at Stanford in 1965, by Philip Zombardo and Stanley Milgram. Stanley Milgram strikes me as the Andy Kaufman of Sociology. He's the same guy who got people to electrocute strangers.

(the BBC reenacted the experiment a few years ago.)

In some cultures, freewriting is used as a form of psychological torture. The North Koreans, for example, fully integrated writing as part of their brainwashing process. Right now I'm practicing freewriting along with my class, and frankly, I'm afraid of what horrible crap is going to gurgle out of my subconscious for all to see on this weblog. Driving to work today I listened to Marsha Sinetar's True Wealth. It's somewhat new-age-ish and cheesey, but it made a few great points about money. One of them was that if you feel uncomfortable or guilty about having money, you'll never get any, and that our attitudes about money come from our parents. My parents have the most screwed up relationship to money I can think of. Initially, I thought it was just that we were poor-ish, but upon reflection, everything they say and do about money is completely screwed up. Happy Mother's day, mom!

The computers in our room are completely hosed today, despite having been "deep freezed" and rebooted. This sucks, and gives people even more reason to hate technology, this class, and, of course, me.

This weekend I shaved my head. Why? Because I thought it would feel interesting. It feels almost the exact same as having a crewcut. I feel ripped off, and now I have to walk around looking like a chemo patient.

Wednesday, April 14

Ask MetaFilter | Community Weblog: "Realizing that every writer is idiosyncratic, I'll tell you what I do while acknowledging that it may, in no way, offer assistance to you.

Like a shark, I keep moving. Two hours at the library. An hour at a coffee shop. An hour in my apartment. Two hours at night, sitting in a cushy chair at Barnes & Noble. And so on and so forth. It's rare that I work six hours straight, or in one single location all day. But at the end of the day, I'll have put 4 to 6 hours into my work. I try not to pressure myself into writing more than a page or two at any of my 'locations'. Stil, 3 to 4 daily pages add up. I find that, by constantly repositioning myself, I'm never anywhere long enough to get bored, distracted, or tempted to reward myself with a '15-minute break' that stretches on and on. Granted, I'm a sitcom writer, so I suppose it helps to approach any project with a bit of ADD, as the perpetuation of ADD is sort of the unintended result of the work upon the viewer, anyway.

Finally, remember to never beat yourself up. There's nothing you write that can't be rewritten tomorrow, so quit agonizing over the perfect phrase or finding just the right sentence. I fall into the camp that a first draft of anything is like a wrinkled shirt, nothing that can't be fixed (and ready to be shown) so long as you're willing to do enough ironing."

Wednesday, March 24

The Tetex installation has stalled:

rm -f /sw/src/root-tetex-texmf-2.0.2-1/sw/info/dir /sw/src/root-tetex-texmf-2.0.2-1/sw/info/dir.old /sw/src/root-tetex-texmf-2.0.2-1/sw/share/info/dir /sw/src/root-tetex-texmf-2.0.2-1/sw/share/info/dir.old
rm -rf tetex-texmf-2.0.2-1
Writing control file...
Finding prebound objects...

Dang, I haven't posted here for a while. I'm revising two diss chapters and it's taking about four times longer than I thought and my good friend self-loathing is stopping by for an extended stay.

I'm also installing "Tetex" as a precursor for installing a structured postscript document processor called Lyx which is supposed to be an open source replacement for the quickly fading Framemaker.

Tuesday, March 2

I think I will use this space to solve all of the world's problems. Because nobody else has the guts to do it!

1. Problem: SUVS are stinky, loud, and dangerous. Solution: remove tax credit. Begin massive meme infusion showing smart sexy people in smaller hybrids making fun of people in SUVs. Somehow equate truck driving with erectile dysfunction.

2. Problem: many of the people I work with lack basic social skills, and are frighteningly ambitious. Solution: send them spoofed email from assorted academic vice presidents that reads, "I'm watching you, and your social skills really, really suck."

3. Problem: Americans (including myself) are fat and lazy. Solution: hybrid automobiles that allow you to stand up and run in place to make them move. If you want to pass someone, you have to start running. Otherwise they cruise at 49 mph, or whatever the safest minimum speed limit is. Perhaps a good winter bicycle would fulfill this function.

4. Problem: a coworker overheard me saying something obnoxious and thinks I was talking about them (I wasn't). Solution: fill this person's office with polyurethane foam. From floor to ceiling.

5. Problem: cars pollute too much. Solution: massive tax credits for hybrids and hydrogen vehicles. Increased fuel taxes for single passenger/non-commercial vehicles. Take the pentagon budget and use it to build a massive network of light rail. Screw going to mars--let's make the Earth habitable. Note: I commute 25 miles to work each way, so I basically suck. Hybrids get their own lane. Always. And EMP guns that will destroy the electronics of any vehicle that gets in their way.

My daughter, who is 2 1/2, refuses to sleep in her bed because she says she will turn into a monkey.

followup on the icicle incident: I met the guy and he conveniently reshaped the story to make himself look less psycho, something he probably has a lot of experience with.

Wednesday, February 11

My son, who is seven, and has lived most of his life in Kentucky, took an icicle to the bus stop because it was cool. A neighbor told him to drop it or he would "break it over his head." Then he yelled at my wife over the phone for letting our son bring a "weapon to school, and told her she had better take him seriously or he would "take it to the next level."


It's people like this that make tranquilizer guns filled with liquid prozac seem like a really good idea.

Thursday, January 29

Currently missing:

Cell phone (again) --but no big deal, because I am letting the service lapse.
Two dissertation books: Cynthia Selfe's, and Literacy and Computers. I just can afford the $100 to replace these right now. Where did they go? Arrrgh.

Saturday, January 10

I have a cold. It felt like such a small, wimpy little cold that I ignored my patented cold-busting regimen. Now I am hacking up golf balls of phlegm.

Saturday, January 3

Tasks that are occupying my buffer:

1. scheduling courses and instructors
2. Resolve complaint issue with Mr. X
3. Get mysql working. Please, oh please, why in the crap won't mysql ever work for me?
4. Check on status of labs. Install scanners.
5. Write review of blog paper
6. Contact CCCs.
7. Apply for travel funds
8. Build bench
9. Explore ramifications of New Year's goal which is: Increase energy levels
10. Find out why my left foot has been numb for months. Or at least the toes
11. Get Moodle working or buy Filemaker pro server.
12. Review lab budget
13. Return stupid Quark package
14. Write application for laptop (mid-semester)
15. Draw map of technical communications
16. Print out course calendar and add to syllabus.
17. Expand syllabus to include new, brutal attendance policy.

Tuesday, December 16

bitter pill: it's like no cheese I've ever tasted?: "'Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.' - Wolfgang von Goethe "

Monday, December 15

I am grading today. I hate grading. Every semester I tell myself, "This will be the semester that I put all grading online, and refuse to accept late assignments, and fail everyone who misses class more than five times." Sigh.

Thursday, December 11


Wednesday, December 10

Date: today
Subject: Miss Chick-fil-A Pickle Picker

Dear Miss Chick-fil-A:

The last three times that I have ordered a Chick-fil-A sandwich without a pickle, you went to the back and removed the pickle from an existing sandwich. How do I know this? Because, upon biting into the sandwich I could discern the distinct taste of what I like to call "pickle urine."

It's people like you that create customers like me.

Sunday, December 7

WebCT Login Page: "This server has been locked for maintenance by the WebCT administrator.
The server will be available at 10:00 pm on 12/07/03. Thank you for your patience and understanding."

It is now 12/8, 11:45pm. This is not unusual.

Wednesday, December 3

List of things increasing the level of my stomach acid:

1. End of semester grading
2. department politics
3. college politics
4. dissertation
5. committee politics
6. a general, low-level of smoldering anger about so many things that can't be fixed.
7. Control plays masked as benign paternalism.

Tuesday, December 2

I have found my cell phone (old coat pocket) and bought another grinder attachment to sharpen the shovel, then found the original.

Current favorite form of relaxation: shooting the pellet pistol in the basement at 10m targets. I've been reading pellet gun web pages, and there is a really weird, interesting little subculture out there. I swap match scores with some guy I've never met in England. I find this pellet pistol thing to contain a weird confluence of Southern white guys on fixed incomes discussing zen-like strategies for keeping the pistol still. Followed by spirited defenses of killing squirrels.

I really feel sorry for academics whose identity is so wrapped up in their job that they can't watch a good, stupid video and enjoy it. I feel like I am playing David Lodge's "Shame," but I really liked The Fast and the Furious. It was a great video rental, and connected with about 300 different adolescent fantasies that are still floating about in my psyche. I wanted to go play hot wheels with my kids afterwards.

Saturday, November 15

Classics-L: dissertation and teaching: "But, beyond the personal issue, it seemed to me that Classics is
>misdirecting its talent. The fact that PhD programs don't teach their
>students how to teach is a scandal of long-standing. (Personally I think
>the recentish on-list suggestion that acting should be a graduate
>requirement is an excellent one. Teaching is a performance skill.) It
>be bad enough if programs were also not teaching students how to write.
>But, through the genre of the dissertation, *successful* students in PhD
>programs are actually being taught how *not* to write-- how not to write
>clearly and effectively, how not to make remarks of import on issues that
>matter, how not to distinguish evidence that matters for an argument from
>evidence which does not matter, how not to avoid crafting too-lengthy
>sentences with too many parallel clauses.... (damn it!). How many of these
>bad lessons, once learned in the intense formative experience of writing a
>dissertation, will never be unlearned, affecting the writing and even the
>thinking of the future professoriate?

Now missing:

My cell phone, possibly left at the library, and my large bag of rechargeable batteries. No idea where they are. Grrrr. I need a brain implant.

Monday, November 3

I found my missing computer bag. Now I am looking for the desire to write. Pray for me.

Wednesday, October 15

Favorite thing to say before grabbing the swatter: "They-ah is gonna be killin' he-uh today, and I'm gonna do it."

Monday, October 13

Hi alabamalady,: "I don't work full-time anymore, but I work 32 hours a week, which is almost the same (I get Thursdays off). My trick is to go for a half-hour walk after work, and then to let myself unwind for an hour before I hit the diss work. Then I post on the daily (I really like to co-pact, especially lately) that I am going to do 2 sessions of 45 minutes (which is all I can usually bring myself to do after a full day's work). Then I make myself quit after 2x45, no matter whether or not I still feel like going. And I read fiction, or chat, or do something mindless before bed. That way I don't burn myself out.

The only exception I make is when I have a deadline within a few days--because I can sleep more after I make the deadline.

I also do at least 5 units of work over the weekend. I try to always take Sundays off, but make some exceptions.

Everyone seems to have different strategies, though, as I'm sure you'll notice when other people start responding to your post.

I hope you'll be as nice to yourself as you can possibly be. Transitions are really hard, even beyond trying to figure out a new workable schedule."

Friday, October 10

Things I can't find:

1. my cell phone
2. the little grinder drill attachment that I am going to use to sharpen my shovel and dig up weeds
3. the battery charger

Thursday, October 2

I'd love to see a non-profit, uncopyrighted website that
collected free disciplinary readings that could be automagically
combined into downloadable coursepacks. Or just open it to
instructors to prevent crushing bandwidth bills, and let them
worry about distribution to students. I suppose such a site
could also collect lesson plans, etc. although those usually need
to be taken in a particular context to be very helpful. Please
promulgate this idea so someone else will throw this together :)

Think of a Napster for free (legal) textbooks. Bookster (the
domain is only $5000). It's arguable that I'm just describing

I'm not ready to throw out traditional publishers, however,
because despite the numbing sameness of many composition
handbooks, there is still great stuff out there that probably
wouldn't have ever emerged without a publisher (and tenure

Monday, September 29

Overcoming Writers Block: "3. Polishing it off
My thesis advisor gave me this advice: 'The sword is mightier than the pen.' Meaning, it's easier to cut stuff out at the end than try and find quality filler.
So I always write more than I think is necessary - and out of all of the extra roughness, a few gems usually appear. "

Overcoming Writers Block: "Write something every single day - I have taken a few writing classes, and one common denominator (and perhaps the only meaningful information from any of them) was so simple as to defy imagination. Simply write something every single day.
I write one article, completely polished and ready for publication, every single day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Sometimes I write two or three articles in a day.
It really doesn't matter what I write, although I usually write about the internet or computers. But occasionally I write other things, including pages for my autobiography or even a love letter to the wife.
Put aside time to write - I have set aside 'writing time', two hours every single night, in which I isolate myself in my office at home and write my heart out. My wife respects my introversion during this time as it allows me to do one of the things that I love the most: communicate ideas in written form.
Fill in any missing blanks - If I find that I am having trouble explaining something in writing or the words just don't flow, I look around and see if there is something about it that I do not fully understand. That often works.
Ignore the idiots of the world - There sure seem to be a lot of jerks sometimes. However, I don't need to allow some babbling idiots ruin my writing. Just because someone does not like something does not mean anything except they didn't like it...
I do not ask for criticism - I never ask anyone to criticize my works, ever. I do not ask for site reviews of my websites, I don't submit my works for review. Why not? I am not interested in other people's silly opinions about my works. I know I am a good writer, a excellent webmaster and a great manager. I don't need anyone to tell me how good I am, and I certainly don't need anyone to point out my faults.

Hypnosis for Writers: "Conceiving of the Block as an object or symbol of some kind, and then destroying it while the writer is relaxed in hypnosis, is yet another way to overcome Writer's Block.
Generate Ideas
The well-worn advice to 'sleep on it', when you are confronted with a tough problem, really means 'prime your subconscious.' And so it is with hypnosis. Instead of drifting off to sleep, you drift into hypnosis. You could have asked your subconscious for ideas, or just let yourself flow with whatever it pops into your conscious mind."

[Biathlon] re: hitting low when shooting off hand: "[Biathlon] re: hitting low when shooting off hand "

From now on, clever little links are going to the "linkages" blog thing. And I am just going to write in this space.

On the way home from work my transmission kept slipping into neutral. Fortunately I had just payed $270 to have this problem fixed. And it's not just the money that hurts, it's being without a car for days as their original estimate extends into days and the cost creeps up and I get the sneaking suspicion that I am paying these guys to learn how to fix my car. Instead of the Pell Grant, it's the Crane grant.

The Onion | Idaville Detective 'Encyclopedia' Brown Found Dead In Library Dumpster: "Because of the long-standing mutual enmity between Meany and Brown, Meany was named among the suspects in The Case Of Encyclopedia Brown's Mangled Corpse. Meany denied the allegations.

'It's true that Detective Brown and I didn't see eye to eye, but I would never do something so downright dirty rotten as murder him,' Meany said. 'Besides, it's a matter of public record that, at the time the crime was committed, I was at the North Pole watching the penguins.'

While no solid leads have surfaced, Kimball-Brown said she has a hunch that Brown knew his killer.

'The bitter irony is that Brown would have easily cracked a case like this one,' Kimball-Brown said. 'I just can't help but wonder: WHAT DID ENCYCLOPEDIA KNOW THAT WOULD HAVE HELPED HIM SOLVE HIS OWN MURDER?'"

CNN.com - Poll: Davis in peril, Schwarzenegger shows strength - Sep. 29, 2003: "LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) --Voters in the California recall election might be poised to kick Gov. Gray Davis out and vote Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Sunday.
When asked how they would vote on recalling Davis, 63 percent of probable voters surveyed said they would vote yes, compared with 35 percent who said they would vote no."

Essentially, Ah-nuld is a pro wrestler. Where does this deep longing for pro wrestlers as politicians come from? It frightens me, but it also shows on some level a canny acknowledgement that politics is entirely spectacle.

USATODAY.com - The lighter side of Jack Black: "White had to slightly alter his tale to accommodate specific teen musicians plucked from a nationwide pool of thousands, but Black's character underwent no significant alterations.
'Mike wrote it in my voice,' Black says. 'The script was a Ferrari that pulled into my driveway. I sat in it and said, 'I can't believe I'm going to drive this.' The seats were leather, but I was hoping for crushed velvet, and Mike changed it just for me. Tiny, minuscule tinkering. Then I took it on the road and noticed there was a turbo button that released the nitro. OK, I've taken this metaphor too far.'"

Sunday, September 28

rabbit blog: "I want a peddle that changes the channels on my TV. Maybe one that's connected to my TiVo, so I can fast forward through the dull parts and still type like the wind. I want a robot who'll answer my phone, and also call publicists and make nicey nice with them, and become their friends and take them out to drinks and learn all of the complicated relationships between them, and then exploit those relationships to get advance tapes and interviews with key figures from the entertainment universe. I'm not malevolent enough to do this dirty work; I prefer to spend my time here, in my lair, barely moving at all.

I have a stupid office chair, but the point is, I don't want to have to sit upright at a desk. Sitting upright at a desk makes me feel like I'm working or something. I prefer for my posture to give the illusion of slacking around the house without a care in the world. Otherwise I feel like I'm working, like I have a job or something. I must trick myself, I must never, ever catch wind of the fact that I have a job with responsibilities and obligations. Otherwise, the brain muscle feels weak and won't wrinkle upon demand. If the brain muscle thinks its being forced to exert itself for pay, it sighs deeply and says, 'I can't think of anything. I'm tired. I need chocolate to think.' "

GIRLS ARE PRETTY: "9. I was in love once. And the feelings I held for my lover, if I were to imagine those feelings of love taking the form of a little tiny couple in love themselves, that love-couple would look like those two. Except with different shoes. And, oh wait, is that dude wearing an earring? Oh wait, sorry, never mind.

Happy If You're Both Attractive, Stay Together For The Sake Of The Rest Of Us Day!"

Meteorites, Meteorites and Impacts: "Here is what President of the United States Bill Clinton had to say about the discovery of evidence for life in a meteorite from Mars:

'It is well worth contemplating how we reached this moment of discovery. More than 4 billion years ago this piece of rock was formed as a part of the original crust of Mars. After billions of years it broke from the surface and began a 16 million year journey through space that would end here on Earth. It arrived in a meteor shower 13,000 years ago. And in 1984 an American scientist on an annual U.S. government mission to search for meteors on Antarctica picked it up and took it to be studied. Appropriately, it was the first rock to be picked up that year -- rock number 84001.

Today, rock 84001 speaks to us across all those billions of years and millions of miles. It speaks of the possibility of life. If this discovery is confirmed, it will surely be one of the most stunning insights into our universe that science has ever uncovered. Its implications are as far-reaching and awe-inspiring as can be imagined. Even as it promises answers to some of our oldest questions, it poses still others even more fundamental.

We will continue to listen closely to what it has to say as we continue the search for answers and for knowledge that is as old as humanity itself but essential to our people's future.'"

I can't even imagine Bush reading that paragraph. With help.

stevenberlinjohnson.com: Remembering Edward Said: "Like many people, I'm sure, I was deeply influenced by Said's work -- Orientalism and Culture and Imperialism, of course, but also some of the earlier less political works, like Beginnings. He was largely responsible -- some might say to blame -- for importing French cultural theory into the American intellectual scene, particularly Foucault, who obviously had a huge influence on Orientalism. But he always resisted the inane wordplay and self-absorption that characterized so much of American theory in the eighties and early nineties. He absolutely despised 'radical theorists' like Judith Butler, for instance. I remember him bristling anytime someone used the word 'discourse' in one of our seminars -- and I remember thinking at the time that I had first starting using the word myself after reading Orientalism during my freshman year.
I'm sure there will be a flood of eulogies with more insightful surveys of his work (and no doubt some critics, given his political stances.) But I think it's worth saying something here that I've said about Said for more than ten years now: on his best days, he was the most charismatic man I've ever met in my life -- handsome, stylish, impossibly articulate, and surprisingly willing to take a joke at his own expense. (I used to tease him about his being indirectly responsible for unleashing Butler on the world.) I remember vividly one early spring afternoon, sitting through a seminar he was teaching on public intellectuals, in a room overlooking the Columbia campus and the sun setting over Riverside Park, and thinking to myself: there's literally nowhere else I'd rather be right now. I'm sure there are thousands of his students out there sifting through similar memories today. "

If I ever felt that way about graduate school the memory has long since fled.

Idle Words: "The Cincinnati Airport is full of small adventures. I just saw a very bored flight attendant saunter by holding a cardboard box with a large orange sticker on it reading 'Human Eyes'. Note to Delta Connection passengers: skip in-flight snack.
Also, there are Russians here! More specifically, there is Natalya from Nizhny Novgorod, who mans a forlorn muffin-and-coffee cart near the blaring CNN sector. Nothing whisks away airport anomie like having a short conversation in a foreign language with someone who shares your fondness for potatoes. "

The Observer | UK News | Suncream is 'no protection against cancer': "Sunbathers who smother their bodies in lotions to block out harmful rays are not being protected against skin cancer and premature ageing, a new study has found.

Research published tomorrow will show that sunscreens, even when they are high factor and applied in the proper amounts, do not prevent dangerous changes in the skin's make-up which can promote the growth of cancer.

Although the lotions prevent burning they are less effective at blocking out UVA rays, which are believed to cause melanoma, the most dangerous skin cancer. Scientists are expected to warn this week that people must not be led by a false sense of security into staying longer in the sun because they are covered with high-factor lotions.

Cases of melanoma are now rising faster than any other cancer in Britain, and deaths from the disease are also on the increase. In the UK, 1,600 a year die from melanoma, more than the 1,000 annual deaths in Australia, where people have learnt to cover up in the sun."

The Miami Herald | 09/21/2003 | Roughing it easier with eyes closed: "After our briefing, Ron and I got into our kayaks and pushed out into the river to practice our paddling skills. In a few minutes we found that by stroking our paddles on the left or right side, forward or backward, we were able to have absolutely no effect on what our kayaks were doing. Our kayaks were taking direction only from the Salmon River, which was telling them: Go Downstream Now! So we did. In a few minutes we hit our first rapids, which were officially classified as a Class 3 rapids (``Not Always Fatal'')."

Saturday, September 27

CNN.com - Poll reveals most hated sports include dogfighting, golf - Sep. 27, 2003: "Ten years ago, only 12.5 percent of white Americans had strong feelings against the NBA. In the poll this year, that soared to 21.1 percent of whites who hated or disliked the NBA. The number of black respondents who felt that way stayed virtually unchanged at under 3 percent. "

CNN.com - Poll reveals most hated sports include dogfighting, golf - Sep. 27, 2003: "'In the NBA, there are underlying racial issues and resentment about how the players act, how many get arrested and how much they're paid,' said Sports Marketing Group managing director Nye Lavalle. 'In baseball, the labor disputes, the huge salaries, the perception of players on steroids and their perceived arrogance are factors.' "

Any day now there's going to be a class action lawsuit by all the brunettes who didn't get hired at Checker auto. Unless they bleach them out after hiring.

Today I found:

1. electric screwdriver power supply
2. missing wirecutters
3. bootleg microphone, also missing

also modified the trigger pull on my air pistol and it worked!

Google Search:: "Or you can just take a cardboard box, fill it with old computer magazines, with the spines of the magazines against what will be the far wall of the box, crumple up some old newspapers and stick them in the open space at the front of the box. Tape a target on the front and you are ready to go."

'60s 'Boys' went through hoops not to grow up: "When Larry Brown talks about the clarity he found dropping acid for the first time, the understanding of his connection to the earth, the words may be those of an aging hippie who now builds environment-friendly homes outside of Woodstock, N.Y., but the underlying sentiment is really about the common experience of lost youth. To a man (and one woman), the subjects of 'The Boys of 2nd Street Park' look back at their time shooting hoops in Brighton Beach and find themselves 40 years later asking, 'What happened?' "

Clean-up! Sculpture in aisle nine! | Metafilter: "I recall a legendary guerilla art installation put up in the middle of the night in (I believe) Northampton, Mass: a television playing a video loop of something disturbing to the public decorum ( like a talking head proclaiming the advent of Orwell's 1984, or some such )was bolted 8 or 10 feet up on the side of a building on Main Street. A metal cage over the TV prevented easy removal, especially because the contraption was rigged to throw off showers of sparks if disturbed. It sucked power off a line coming directly from a pole. The fire and police depts. eventually gave up and called the electric company to cut the line. It was quite a public spectacle.

That's good art too."

Friday, September 26

Continuation of The Matrix Reloaded (kottke.org): "Sajjman says:
Has it been mentioned that the principle of 'The Matrix' is almost identical to Sokrates and Platons 'The Cave' theory ? That if u're used to one reality you're bound to that one until someone releases you and you see the other reality ? It must have been mentioned , and if not i'll try to explain more in detail.
» by Sajjman on September 18, 2003 at 03:50:19 ET
Ken Wais says:
Sajjman, this 'cave' sounds interesting, do expand. Sounds like a version of relativism. "

Wednesday, September 24

HarkTheHerald.com: "In fairness to the incompetence at the Provo School District, the issue of paying for personal risk management and health maintenance odds should not be part of business or services. It is counterproductive, outdated tradition. Business and services should concentrate on business and services undistracted by the costs and logistics of workers' personal risk management."

Democratic Underground Forums - Clark in NY last night. My report.: "OK, now the juicy stuff. There was at least one diplomat at my party. Charlie Rangel was at a couple of the parties. I heard that Ben Stiller, Bianca Jagger and a couple other notable people were at the other parties. The high dollar event was 'intense' according to people that volunteered. A famous musician that is supporting one of the candidates from the northeast was at one of the parties. I don't know what that's about, but it was supposedly a big deal. I leave it for you to figure out.

And one last thing; I got to shake his hand (again). I said to him: 'You said in Knoxville that we wouldn't be afraid of guys like Limbaugh. They are coming after you.' He said: 'Limbaugh's full of shit.' I have to agree. He said that he is not going to sink to their level. He said that he needs us to call the radio stations and do what needs to be done.

So that was my experience. Hot, sweaty, powerful, and somewhat intense. I will repeat this one more time. Clark is OK. He has said that he is running for us. General Clark would be a President that we could all be proud of.

Lost items that are driving me insane:
1. power screwdriver adapter
2. many rechargeable batteries
3. old laptop case and books
4. motivation

Kelley's new series worth looking at -- unlike its stars: "To Kelley's credit, he has all but scrapped the pilot and reshaped the series. But there are now broader hints of Kelley's fascination with serendipity and whimsy -- Hank and Dottie getting therapy from an internist instead of a shrink, Garrett's daughter painting 'Spongebob Squarepants' on his bald head, Waylon asking his wife to duct tape his butt cheeks together because it will increase his confidence as he searches for a job. "

Tuesday, September 23

Lighting and Crime: Summary: "Improving street lighting, when it reduces crime, tends to reduce daylight crime as well as crime during darkness. This certainly means that a simple view of lighting as having its effects through increasing surveillance is not tenable. It probably means that lighting improvements which are accompanied by other measures to consult and inform residents, and otherwise enhance social cohesion, will stimulate the mixture of ‘active ingredients’ underlying lighting effects. Such considerations should be incorporated in local crime reduction strategies under the 1998 Act.

· Crime and disorder is distributed very unequally. For example in 1991, some 60% of assaultive crime occurred in the 10% most crime prone areas. This means that crime prevention measures across wide areas with varying crime problems will generally not be regarded as the most cost-effective use of resources. In the CCTV challenge process, local bids had to justify locations for camera installation. In the Government’s current Crime Reduction Programme, the Local Initiatives element will unquestionably be subject to a similar process of assessment for funding. The criteria of such assessment will include originality and focussed effort. For this reason, schemes which involve lighting small areas or the innovative use of lighting will have an advantage over those which involve lighting of large areas and those in which the mechanism of operation is explored. It is acknowledged that street lighting has economies of scale, and that its installation is only incidentally crime preventive. Thus there will be a tension between the extent and nature of lighting desirable for other purposes and that for crime reduction. "

UNDERWORLD / ** (R): "But 'Underworld' is all surfaces, all costumes and sets and special effects, and so you might as well look at the doors as anything else. This is a movie so paltry in its characters and shallow in its story that the war seems to exist primarily to provide graphic visuals. Two of those visuals are Kate Beckinsale, who plays Selene, a vampire with (apparently) an unlimited line of credit at North Beach Leather, and Scott Speedman as Michael, a young intern who is human, at least until he is bitten by a werewolf -- and maybe even after, since although you become a vampire after one bites you, I am uncertain about the rules regarding werewolves,"

Screenwriting: Script Review: Tarantino's KILL BILL: "Kill Bill is about 'The Bride' (Uma Thurman) who seeks revenge on Bill after he slaughters everyone at her wedding and leaves her for dead. Her apparent dying words to him are that she is pregnant, and it’s his baby. She of course doesn’t die, but lies in a coma for 5 years. Bill is an expert swordsman and deadly assassin, as is The Bride. Why he wants her dead isn’t known at this point. There are other characters as well. The Bride seeks her revenge on all of them. The story is also a little more (and I mean just a little) complicate than that, but I’ll leave you with your imagination. "

Guardian Unlimited | Online | Second sight: "Or, at least, they hope to. Bloggers always hope to rush into the arms of Mammon, despite all the signs that Mammon is not interested in even a small cuddle. Bloggers are convinced that at any moment, the rest of the world - besides the 2% of web users that analysts Jupiter say now look at weblogs - will eagerly pay for the stuff they write. "

Food For Everyone Foundation - FAQ -The Zoo-Doo Man: "However, the most important thing I learned in that two-year experiment was not how to make and sell Zoo-Doo. I learned for myself that I could grow better vegetables more consistently, and with a lot less time, cost, and hassle, with a few pounds of inexpensive natural mineral nutrients than I could with truckloads of 'the world's best compost.'
I therefore continue to use good, clean organic materials when they are available, but I know that highly productive vegetable gardens are not dependent on improving the soil with organic material."

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Arctic ice shelf splits: "The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf is located on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory.
The huge mass of floating ice, which has been in place for at least 3,000 years, is now in two major pieces. "

Monday, September 22

Yahoo! News - How a regular guy gets homeless: "At one state park on the ocean north of Santa Barbara, a mountain lion walked through my campsite at dusk while I was tending a campfire. I slept in my truck that night instead of my tent.
Falling through the cracks
At first I wasn't eligible for food stamps because I had more than $2,000 (the maximum allowed to qualify) to my name and because I thought my truck was worth too much. But eventually, the money ran out and I found out that my truck, with more than 170,000 miles on it now, was worth less than the $4,650 the food stamp program allows. I got anywhere from nothing to $139 a month in food stamps depending on my freelance income for the month. I had several glitches on food stamp amounts due to errors by bureaucrats, but I appealed and won."

Total Population Control: "GWEN works in conjunction with HAARP and the Russian Woodpecker transmitter, which is similar to HAARP. The Russians openly market a small version of their weather-engineering system called Elate, which can fine-tune weather patterns over a 200 mile area and have the same range as the GWEN unit. An Elate system operates at Moscow airport. The GWEN towers shoot enormous bursts of energy into the atmosphere in conjuction with HAARP. The website www.cuttingedge.org wrote an expose of how the major floods of the Mid-West USA occurred in 1993."

these days [dive into mark]: "and we got the pooh bedding, classic pooh of course because we’re That Sort Of Snob, or at least i am, because i actually grew up with the original pooh stories by a.a. milne, long before the whole pooh estate got bought out by disney and turned into a franchise and some mindless executive drone came along and said 'you know what we really need here? clothes. it’s just completely unbelieveable that all these make-believe animals are frolicking around in a forest with no visible means of economic support, talking and carrying on and writing bad poetry and generally displaying signs of higher-order intelligence, but none of them are wearing any clothes.' and then a bunch of people like me complained, although not me personally, and then disney did a new-coke-classic-coke thing and came out with classic pooh, although these days most of the classic pooh you see in stores isn’t really classic pooh, it’s just in the style of classic pooh, since there really weren’t that many illustrations that e.h. shepherd did in the original pooh, and disney needs more designs than that."

Philip Greenspun's Weblog:: "Java is the SUV of programming tools
Our students this semester in 6.171, Software Engineering for Internet Applications have divided themselves into roughly three groups. One third has chosen to use Microsoft .NET, building pages in C#/ASP.NET connecting to SQL Server. One third has chosen to use scripting languages such as PHP connecting to PostgreSQL and sometimes Oracle. The final third, which seems to be struggling the most, is using Java Server Pages (JSP) with Oracle on Linux. JSP is fantastically simpler than 'J2EE', which is the recommended-by-Sun way of building applications, but still it seems to be too complex for seniors and graduate students in the MIT computer science program, despite the fact that they all had at least one semester of Java experience in 6.170.
After researching how to do bind variables in Java (see the very end of http://philip.greenspun.com/internet-application-workbook/software-structure), which turns out to be much harder and more error-prone than in 20-year-old C interfaces to relational databases, I had an epiphany: Java is the SUV of programming tools.
A project done in Java will cost 5 times as much, take twice as long, and be harder to maintain than a project done in a scripting language such as PHP or Perl. People who are serious about getting the job done on time and under budget will use tools such as Visual Basic (controlled all the machines that decoded the human genome). But the programmers and managers using Java will feel good about themselves because they are using a tool that, in theory, has a lot of power for handling problems of tremendous complexity. Just like the suburbanite who drives his SUV to the 7-11 on a paved road but feels good because in theory he could climb a 45-degree dirt slope. If a programmer is attacking a truly difficul"

Sunday, September 21

Air Gun Tips from around the Globe: "To rectify transfer port problems I prefer to use a small ballend steel burr in a Dremel tool at very low speed. The smallest rechargeable Dremel on the market is an indispensable tool when working on guns for me. If I can access the transfer port with the ballend burr I use it to'break' the edge of the transfer port by grinding the sharp edge to a less aggressive profile that won't catch the pellet, but allow it to slide past without damage. It isn't possible to get a ballend burr into the port area on many guns so your only recourse in that case is to create a slotted rod or dowel that you can wrap with fine emory cloth or sandpaper. This should also be a follow-up step to the port clean-up with the Dremel. The bolt will have to be removed to use this method, but it's not too difficult with most guns. "

Air Gun Tips from around the Globe: "Cheap Effective Cleaning

A cheap and effective pull-through for cleaning airguns can be made from a length of .080 weed wacker cord. The plastic cord will not harm the rifling or crown like a cleaning rod will. To make the pull-through you first cut your length and make sure to cut an angle on one end. This angle(point) is used to puncture a patch when cleaning."

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