Month: May 2005

  • Getting Back to Programming Idiocy

    Taking note of another writer/programmer ubergeek who is starting a book review blog of technical books. Looks like I’m overdosing on the literary snarkiness. Time to return to being a linux CMS geek again. A few days ago I had a dream of programming in python. Code was flowing effortlessly out of my head; it…

  • Scarlet Letter, Florence Nightengale, the Tsunami

    Lynn Harris on the new writing section of the SAT test: An SAT coach based in Rochester, N.Y., who works for one of the major test-prep outfits and didn’t want to be named, recently took the new writing test himself to see what he was up against. “I was like, OK, I know all about…

  • More Anti-Academic Tripe

    Camille Paglia advises an overeducated fool to flee academia: The institutional structure of the modern university is a relatively recent invention. People had profound thoughts and made significant art for thousands of years before American education mushroomed up and then disemboweled itself. Wherever and whenever you can transmit your knowledge to others, you are doing…

  • Me and Frankie: Why Good Editors will Always Have a Job

    A friend just pointed out to me that my article about Amazon.com and publishing contains two egregrious misspellings: Hermann Melville (should be Herman) and Frank Kafka (should be Franz). The latter error is particularly embarrassing. I’ve written papers on the guy, even short stories and taught college classes on some of his stories. Not a…

  • Elephants on the Rampage: Inside (and Outside) of Academia

    Stephen Metcalf on the Harvard experience: As Harvard can afford to staff its faculty almost exclusively with superstars, and as superstars are loath to teach, the gap between the global power of the brand and the actual quality of the education delivered is quite large. If you want to impress a shopkeeper in Yemen, by…

  • Amazon.com, Ebooks and Chump Change

    An article of mine appears in kuro5hin: Amazon.com, Ebooks and Chump Change. I actually have several additional comments which I’ll make tomorrow morning. A few thoughts and omissions: Mobileread is an excellent source of information about ebook content available. Teleread is also an excellent blog about the emerging ebook industry. Here are more ebook links…

  • Star Trek Movie Treatment Template

    From Star Trek: Failed Enterprise by Haasim Mahanaim . ____ has a doomsday device that he will use to conquer or endanger ____ and it’s up to Picard and his crew to stop him. The movie ends with a climatic final fight where the captain kills ____ and then blows up the machine. Enterprise ended…

  • Differing Worlds of an Artist

    I never ceased to be amazed by the diversity of artistic visions present in cinema and novels. Just when you think you have some notions about what constitutes the ground rules for the imaginary world, some work comes along and blows you away. I had that experience recently with Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix Plus where the…

  • Vintage Family Photos

    Grandmother, grandfather and my uncle. Here are some sets of family photos: Pre-Bolshevik photos (before 1917; actually anything before 1940). Maybe I should be more precise and say pre-Mao. For those satisfied only by the veneer of newness, here’s a set of 1940-1960 photos. The photo below: My Grandfather in 1922 (holding the dog).

  • Minimum Amazon.com Shipping Costs: $4.49 a book!!!

    Holy cow! Minimum shipping costs for many used books on amazon are $4.49! I was all set to buy 15 books (total cost of the books $24) when the S&H costs were a whopping $52, more extortionate than usual. Don’t you love it how Amazon conveniently hides the shipping costs of its books until the…

  • More mp3 weblogs

    List of mp3 weblogs. This is a helpful list (especially if you have an mp3 scraper program). For a while I was keeping an mp3 blog and was even predicting their emergence. If you’re looking for free music, a good place to check for lots of musical styles is Webjay. These mp3 collectors tend to…

  • Tips for Scanning Old Photos

    I need to scan lots of old family photos. Here are some handy articles about how to scan photos for archiving. Kimberly Powell writes a detailed guide on about.com. Tips for Scanning & Restoring Another excellent piece by Ralph G. McKnight about photo archiving for long periods of time (150 years, etc) Workflow on photo…

  • Downtime: Power Outage

    A thunderstorm and a power outage knocked my web server offline for a day. All better now.

  • Two Months and Counting

    Not to sound petulant, but it’s been two whole months since anyone has made a comment on my weblog (and only to inform me about a admittedly fascinating astrobiology weblog). If I don’t get any comments by the end of the month, I’m going to start making them up myself. You’ve been forewarned! In the…

  • Irresponsible Factoids

    Could Fareed Zakaria become a future Secretary of State? . I’d vote for him. People often say, How could you, living in India, end up a Reaganite? Well, the answer is, live in India. There are two things that people dont understand. One is the degree to which a highly regulated economy produces masses of…

  • Star Wars Remake

    Clive Thompson writes another great article about a Star Wars film made by a fan.