Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Hillary maneuvering for 2012?

March 23, 2008

I’m not a political blogger: more people do it far better than I do. However, I want to draw attention to an otherwise completely overlooked post by Cenk Uygur over at HuffPo.

Uygur’s premise is that she knows that she has already lost the 2012 election, and knows that she will be effectively too old to run for office in 2016 . So her only option is to insure that Obama loses the election to McCain, so that she can run in 2012.

I am not, and never have been, a Hillary hater. However, I’ve been appalled by her behavior in this election after super Tuesday. Normally I would have dismissed such a theory as sensationalism. But how else are we to interpret Hillary’s comment that only she and McCain had the proper experience? How else are we to interpret Bill Clinton’s comment that only Hillary and McCain love their country. These are odious comments made by politicos desperate for attention. For all that the Clintons had done and been through, I always believed they had the best interests of the Democratic Party at heart. Until now.

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Lockhart’s Lament on Mathematics

March 12, 2008

Lockhart’s Lament is an article written by Paul Lockhart, and school math teacher, in 2002 and widely circulated but never published. The article begins with an analogy to music teaching: what if music teaching were made manditory, but they only taught the notes, the keys, the theory, and never played music or wrote songs or enjoyed the whole enterprise. This, Lockhart holds, is what we’ve done to mathematical education: We have distilled it to a series of meaningless notation, but have removed the beauty and the joy behind the symbols.

As a postscript to this, also see Marvin Minsky’s What Makes Mathematics Hard to Learn.

And, for that matter, it’s worth giving another plug to Project Euler, which I think comes very close to Lockhart’s ideal for mathematical education.

How to Speak

February 20, 2008

Good video about how to give an effective presentation available here. The speaker is Patrick Winston, from MIT. At the beginning, he points out that many people will be judged by their ability to speak, their ability to write, and the quality of their ideas, in that order, and thus speaking is a crucial skill. I’ve now given hundreds of talks, but I’ve noted many things that I can do better from this material.

Why Molly Ivins will not vote for Hillary Clinton

February 19, 2008

Good article on why Molly Ivins will not vote for Hillary Clinton for President.

RIP Sheldon Brown (1944-2008)

February 6, 2008

I was clicking around on the fixed gear gallery and discovered that Sheldon Brown has died. I never met the man, but his web pages are an invaluable resource for bicycling, and his advocacy of fixed gear bicycles was what finally convinced me to take the plunge and build my own fixie.

Top Ten Songs of 2007

December 24, 2007

Here’s my list of the best songs of 2007:

  1. Oxford – Peel
  2. She’s like the Snow – New Faces
  3. Die Alone – Ingrid Michaelson
  4. Civil Twilight – The Weakerthans
  5. Seventeen Dirty Magazines – Modern Skirts
  6. She’s Going Down – The Red Button
  7. Sad Song – Au Revoir Simone
  8. Heretics – Andrew Bird
  9. Lake Michigan – Rogue Wave
  10. Littlest Things – Lily Allen
  11. Elephant Gun – Beirut
  12. Adrenaline – Emma Pollock
  13. The Opposite of Hallelujah – Jens Lekman
  14. Take Me To The Riot – Stars
  15. The Underdog – Spoon
  16. The Well and the Lighthouse – Arcade Fire

I never said it was Base 10, did I? In looking at my favorite songs, I realize how many of these songs came from Paste Magazine.

SATA Hard Disk Cradle Available in US

December 12, 2007

The SATA Hard Disk Cradle that I wrote about earlier as being a cool toy that I needed is now available in the US, from GeekStuff4U.

Let’s talk about sports

December 8, 2007

Sometimes I enjoy people talking about things over the things themselves. Watching people talk about sports on Pardon the Interruption and The Sports Reporters is generally much more fun than watching the events themselves. I haven’t really been into a sports team since the Chicago Bulls made their first run at championships with Michael, Scotty, and Horace, and now I live in a city without professional sports teams of any type. So PTI and SR fill a nice gap, allowing me to keep up to date with the big events, without spending huge amounts of time sleeping in front of sports events on TV.

HuffPo Article on Thich Nhat Hanh

December 7, 2007

Perry Garfinkel writes a great article on the Huffington Post on Thich Nhat Hanh, one of my favorite people.

Toys I need: SATA Hard Disk Drive Cradle

December 5, 2007

BoingBoing reported that RedFerret reported these cool SATA Hard Disk Drive Cradles. This is the coolest thing ever, and just the thing to backup the increasingly huge amounts of data I need to keep my info addiction going. Only seem to be available from Storage Depot in the UK now. My faves, NewEgg and Amazon, don’t seem to have picked up on them.