Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Page CXVI Jubilee

From the Page CXVI and Autumn Film announcement:
To celebrate 7 years of making music together, the members of Page CXVI and The Autumn Film are giving away their entire music catalog for 7 weeks. Between re-arranging the classic hymns, to creating beautiful emotive indie pop music, the band has recorded 11 albums together. Please join them in celebrating this jubilee by catching up on the records you’ve missed or download the entire catalog.

Note: the link associated with the image won't be live until Friday, March 1.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why I Like Apple

People think I am just an Apple fanboy, which I am, but it is because of people like Joni Ive. TUAW recently wrote this:
In a May 2012 interview with the Telegraph, Ive said, “We’re keenly aware that when we develop and make something and bring it to market that it really does speak to a set of values. And what preoccupies us is that sense of care, and what our products will not speak to is a schedule, what our products will not speak to is trying to respond to some corporate or competitive agenda. We’re very genuinely designing the best products that we can for people.”

Even in a World That Can't Stop Talking

“All of these approaches can help achieve Lahey’s aim of giving shy students the confidence to speak up for themselves. But none of this necessarily means we should grade students based on their class participation, since that effectively penalizes children for their fears. In other words, shy kids should be helped with a carrot, not a stick.

I’m also old-fashioned enough to believe that grades should assess a child’s proficiency at math or science or history, not their ability to speak in front of a large group. Knowledge matters. Deep thought matters. Mastery of a subject matters — even in a world that can’t stop talking. It is not irrelevant that American schools, which value verbal confidence at least as highly as quiet study, are falling behind their international peers.”

Help Shy Kids—Don’t Punish Them. The tyranny of the extraverts strikes again.

—Reposted from Alan Jacobs’ More Than 95 Theses

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Three Fantastic Sentences

My friend bought me Reamde for Christmas, a massive 1,044 page techno-thriller written by Neal Stephenson. It is brilliant. I am only 169 pages in and loving it. I had to stop and write this post, because on pages 168 and 169—an open book without turning pages—were three brilliant sentences. The first two are brilliant without explanation. The third is brilliant because I have lived in the the Pacific Northwest and smiled knowingly as this fabulous description of a precise problem one has with slow, constant drizzle and adjustable wiper speeds.
Oddities due to the choices made by players were attributed to “strange lights in the sky,” “eldritch influences beyond the ken of even the most erudite local observers,” “unlooked-for syzygy,” “what was most likely the intervention of a capricious local demigod,” “bolt from the blue” or, in one case, “an unexpected reversal of fortune that even the most wizened local gaffers agreed was without precedent and that, indeed, if seen in a work of literature, would have been derided as a heavy-handed example of deus ex machina.”
The “Meat” were there because of REAMDE, which had been present at background levels for several weeks now but that recently had pinballed through the elbow in its exponential growth curve and for about twelve hours had looked as though it might completely take over all computing power in the Universe, until its own size and rapid growth had caused it to run afoul of the sorts of real-world friction that always befell seemingly exponential phenomena and bent those hockey-stick graphs over into lazy S plots.
“Just wanted to bend your ear a little,” C-plus explained, fussing with the intermittent wiper knob, trying to dial in that elusive setting, always so difficult to find in Seattle, that would keep the windshield visually transparent but not drag shuddering blades across dry glass.
Thank you, Matt. I am truly enjoying this book on every level.