Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Edge 59 The problem is that every time a student takes a course because he has to, he finds himself faced with a serious motivation problem. If you don't know why you need to know something it is difficult to learn it and what you learn won't stay in memory for long. If we don't use something, or at least see how we might use it, it is difficult to retain it. A course in calculus may well be useful for an economist, but since the actual course likely has very little to do with economics and the calculus that would eventually be used by the economist, the student will have trouble caring about or retaining what he learned. If he never uses what he learns, he'll forget it entirely.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Thursday, November 21, 2002

InnovationTools Links Directory:  Creativity Software > Mind Mapping
Shelter II / [editor, Lloyd Kahn]. *

[Bolinas, Calif.] : Shelter Publications : [New York : distributed in the U.S. by Random House, c1978.

LocationCollectionCall No.StatusDue Date
UVSC - Orem CampusRegular, 4th LevelTH4812 .S53
Jan Prochazka, an important figure of the Prague Spring, came under heavy surveillance after the Russian invasion of 1968. At the time, he saw a good deal of another great opposition figure, Professor Vaclav Cerny, with whom he liked to drink and talk. All their conversations were secretly recorded, and I suspect the two friends knew it and didn't give a damn. But one day in 1970 or 1971, with the intent to discredit Prochazka, the police began to broadcast these conversations as a radio serial. For the police it was an audacious, unprecedented act. And, surprisingly, it nearly suceeded; instantly Prochazka was discredited: because in private, a person says all sorts of things, slurs friends, uses coarse language, acts silly, tells dirty jokes, repeats himself, makes a companion laugh by shocking him with outrageous talk, floats heretical ideas he'd never admit in public, and so forth. Of course, we all act like Prochazka, in private we bad-mouth our friends and use coarse language; that we act different in private than in public is everyone's most conspicuous experience, it is the very ground of the life of the individual; curiously, this obvious fact remains unconscious, unacknowledged, forever obscured by lyrical dreams of the transparent glass house, it is rarely understood to be the value one must defend beyond all others. Thus only gradually did people realize (though their rage was all the greater) that the real scandal was not Prochazk
Almost there: a commercially viable fuel cell
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that promises to generate electricity as cheaply as the most efficient gas turbine.
Their innovation, which paves the way for pollution-free power generators that serve neighborhoods and industrial sites, lies in replacing ceramic electrodes with stainless-steel-supported electrodes that are stronger, easier to manufacture, and, most importantly, cheaper. This latter advantage marks a turning point in the push to develop commercially viable fuel cells.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage
Secret Court OKs Broad Wiretap Powers
salary chart
Don't hate me, I hate myself

But then, I guess for some people everything has to be like that - some people, no matter where they go and how hard they try, will never be able to feel comfortable in the presence of others. Some people, no matter what they do, will repeat their mistakes over and over, and just spend their life feeling completely crushed - nobody likes a sad professor as the song goes, nobody likes the guy who sits around all day feeling sorry for himself and rambling on at the world at large for...
Guardian Unlimited Observer | Politics | Surgical tags plan for sex offenders Britain is considering a controversial scheme to implant surgically electronic tags in convicted paedophiles amid fears that the extent of the abuse of children has been massively underestimated.

Friday, November 15, 2002

Peter Drucker on Education
Questionaire for identifying possible sleep apnea Questionaire for identifying possible sleep apnea
Sleep Apnoea FAQ / Sleep Apnea FAQ People with sleep apnoea generally have the following symptoms:

* Loud, frequent snoring
The pattern of snoring is associated with episodes of silence that may last from 10 seconds to as long as a minute or more. The end of an apnoea episode is often associated with loud snores, gasps, moans, and mumblings. Not everyone who snores has apnoea, by any means, and not everyone with apnoea necessarily snores (though most do). This is probably the best and most obvious indicator.
* Your bedmate indicates that you periodically stop breathing during your sleep, or gasp for breath
* Excessive daytime sleepiness/fatigue:
Falling asleep when you don't intend to. This could be almost anytime you are sitting down, such as during a lecture, while watching TV, while sitting at a desk, and even while driving a car. Ask yourself, "Did I used to be able to (read, drive, watch TV) for longer periods of time without falling asleep?" If the answer is yes, you may have sleep apnoea or another sleep disorder. Even if you don't literally fall asleep, excessive fatigue (that is, you got plenty of sleep and you're still really tired) could be an indicator.
INSURANCE LEGISLATION FOR ENTERAL FORMULA Our son Jon who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age 13 has been on Vivonex enteral feedings via a PEG since 1992. This has been a crucial element of his treatment which enabled him to achieve normal growth and development, and which still helps him maintain his active and productive life. Maintaining insurance coverage for this part of his therapy has been problematic for us, and we are concerned about his continued access to this aspect of his care as he transitions into independence.

When he was first started on NG feedings his primary insurance coverage was an HMO through his father’s employment. According to every document we had ever received from this HMO, any and all care that any of us might require would be provided as long as we had complied with their rules for arranging care through the primary care physician, obtaining appropriate referrals, etc. So we were shocked when the HMO adamantly denied coverage for either the Vivonex formula or any of the supplies associated with its infusion, stating flatly that this was "not a covered service". Nowhere in their plan description had they hinted that any necessary services were simply "not covered". Fortunately, I was also employed and Jon had secondary coverage through my employment at a hospital. One provision of this hospital’ s benefit contract was 80% reimbursement for employee purchases from the hospital’s own pharmacy. So for a number of years I continued to order the Vivonex where I worked. However, the fact that our HMO could get away with flatly refusing to cover something so obviously medically necessary as Jon’s enteral feedings continued to rankle. And, as it became increasingly obvious that Jon would continue to require these feedings indefinitely, we had to worry about what would happen when he was no longer eligible as my dependent for my employer’s insurance with its own peculiar loophole.

I didn’t know anyone else on home enteral nutrition. I put out a feeler through the Mutual Help Network column of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation magazine. I received only a few scattered responses from other patients, but their insurance experiences, like ours had been pretty negative. I felt more and more strongly that if insurance companies were not willing to voluntarily cover enteral feedings, there must be regulation or legislation from the appropriate government entity to protect these patients from what amounted to blatantly discriminatory treatment of their particular medical need. But where to begin such a process seemed a very daunting task without more patients or families to join in the petition.
Report Reflects Concern Over Drug Firms use of formulary...
Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans he Pentagon is constructing a computer system that could create a vast electronic dragnet, searching for personal information as part of the hunt for terrorists around the globe

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Viridian Note 00325: Open Source Speech
They don't like to confront the sweat, and the labor, the human suffering.... Even people who are in the industry don't like to talk about what a massive drag it is, to sit there, grinding code, at 3 AM, as your eyes, and your wrists, and your spine, all slowly give out. Everybody has to come up with these farfetched, elegant, literary metaphors to describe this process.

Friday, November 08, 2002

Open Sources Voices from the Open Source Revolution
Voices from the Open Source Revolution
Tampabay: Patient dies in robot-aided surgery
An experienced doctor looking at a three-dimensional computer screen manipulated a robot with three mechanical arms used to cut blood vessels and remove a cancerous kidney from Al Greenway, Plant High School teacher.
The procedure is considered less invasive than traditional surgery and is supposed to decrease a patient's bleeding, pain and recovery time.
But something went terribly wrong.
The Rise of ``Worse is Better'' Now I want to argue that worse-is-better is better. C is a programming language designed for writing Unix, and it was designed using the New Jersey approach. C is therefore a language for which it is easy to write a decent compiler, and it requires the programmer to write text that is easy for the compiler to interpret. Some have called C a fancy assembly language. Both early Unix and C compilers had simple structures, are easy to port, require few machine resources to run, and provide about 50%--80% of what you want from an operating system and programming language.
Lab Notes: Research from the Berkeley College of Engineering
Assessment Checklists
investigations math

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Online Citation Guide - APA
The Adventures of AccordionGuy in the 21st Century
The company for which the recruiter is looking for candidates is a nice one with a long history, very big American clients with deep pockets and almost no chance in hell of ever disappearing and is run by incredibly smart people. They treat their employees well: well-appointed office spaces designed for actual productivity, sensible 40-hour weeks and a policy of avoid heroic hours, a comfy lounge with pool table, and every week a chef comes in to prepare a gourmet lunch for the staff. Best of all, they're crawling distance from Big Trouble in Little China, my house
Forbes.com: Sensors gone wild Early this year a pilotless aircraft sprinkled three dozen cheap wireless magnetic sensors, each about the size of a credit card, along a road at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twenty Nine Palms, California. Once they hit the ground, these sensors automatically formed a wireless network and began to scan the environment for magnetic signals. When a vehicle rolled by, they could tell from its magnetic signature what kind it was, its speed and direction. The readings were sent wirelessly through the aircraft to headquarters.
Reuters Health Information (2002-11-06): Germ warfare nothing new, Tartar bioterror shows Germ warfare nothing new, Tartar bioterror shows

Last Updated: 2002-11-06 12:45:46 -0400 (Reuters Health)

By E. J. Mundell

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Imagine populations in the West terrified by the prospect of biological attack from enemies lurking deep within central Asia.

Sound familiar? For the inhabitants of Europe nearly 700 years ago, the threat of bioterrorism--in those days from Mongol hordes storming across Russia--was all too real. And historians say that in at least one incident, the "Tartars" succeeded in unleashing the bacterium responsible for the Black Death on a trapped and helpless citizenry.

In 1346 "the Mongol army hurled plague-infected cadavers into the besieged Crimean city of Caffa, thereby transmitting the disease to the inhabitants," writes Dr. Mark Wheelis, a microbiologist and expert on bioterrorism at the University of California, Davis. He believes the medieval attack could provide lessons on the magnitude of the bioterror threat facing the world today.
CNN.com - Bubonic plague suspected in NYC visitors - Nov. 7, 2002 NEW YORK (CNN) -- A New Mexico couple who traveled to New York have been hospitalized with what is believed to be the first case of bubonic plague in the city in a century, said health officials.

The couple arrived in the city last Friday and went to the hospital two days later with high fever and swollen lymph nodes. The man, 53, is in critical condition and on life support at a Manhattan hospital; his 47-year-old wife is in stable condition, said officials. Both are in isolation at the hospital.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

frontwheeldrive.com: rudy rucker revisited Your computer science textbook Software Engineering and Computer Games is coming out from Addison Wesley this fall. Are video games a good way to teach computer science?

IMHO, having students do computer games projects is absolutely the best possible way to teach programming, graphics, software engineering, object oriented programming, etc. I used to be into photography, and I managed to get hold of this very nice camera, a Leica M4. And I was constantly shooting pictures with it. And then I wanted another lens, and I went to a store that carried Leica stuff, and I found out that a lot of people were into collecting Leicas, like keeping them in glass cases. To me, a camera is for taking pictures. And a programming tool like Visual Studio or the JDK is for writing programs. Not for collecting different versions of, or for arguing about, or for comparing to other products. It's there to use. Writing a game is a nice big problem that makes you program a lot.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

The Bogdanov Affair We all laughed when the physicist Alan Sokal wrote a deliberately silly paper entitled Transgressing the boundaries: towards a transformative hermeneutics of quantum gravity, and managed to get it accepted by a refereed journal of social and cultural studies, Social Text.

But around October 22nd, many of us began hearing rumors that two brothers managed to publish at least 4 meaningless papers in physics journals as a hoax - and even got Ph.D. degrees in physics from Bourgogne University on the basis of this work!

The rumor appears to have begun with an email from the physicist Max Niedermaier to the physicist Ted Newman, and it spread like wildfire. I received copies from many people, and soon there was a heated discussion of what this meant for the state of theoretical physics. Had the subject become so divorced from reality that not even the experts could recognize the difference between real work and a hoax?
Toyota plans all gas-electric vehicles by 2012

Monday, November 04, 2002

Consumer Information: " Why can't the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight get a carpool lane sticker?"
While the hybrid vehicles currently offered in California are very
clean vehicles, they do fall short of the EVs and alternative fuel vehicles
in several key areas and are not eligible for single occupant HOV lane
use. Even when counting power plant emissions, ZEVs offer significant reductions over hybrids and these emission rates improve over time due to the fact that hybrids produce more emissions as they age. In addition, gasoline powered vehicles have large emissions contributions due to the "upstream" pollution of refineries and fuel distribution.
AlterNet: I Want My SUV Truth be told, most of even the largest SUVs have fuel economy standards nearly identical to a new Porsche 911 (about 20 mpg), a vehicle capable of carrying only two snotty people and a small suitcase. And according to the most recent government data, the SUV's contribution to our smog problem pales in comparison to role played by commercial diesels and aging, oil-burning passenger vehicles (gross polluters).
Avoiding Procrastination Avoiding Procrastination
College Gun Owners Prone to Bad Behavior College students who own guns have lower grades than their peers and are more likely to drink excessively, vandalize property and get into trouble with police more often than students who do not own firearms, according to a Harvard study.

Recently published in the Journal of American College of Health, the study, titled, "Guns and Gun Threats at College," shows an association of firearm owners to risky behaviors, but does not list the cause for the action.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Slashdot | Dan Gillmor Shares His 'Insider's View' of Silicon Valley
I'm also disturbed by what I'd call a "hire 'em young, burn 'em out, discard 'em" tendency among too many tech companies in the U.S. It sends a terrible message to young people, because it tells them that tech careers are foolish. But this is a chronic American problem -- a short-term mentality.
programmers and the economy
spiked-science | Article | Bad behaviour But the way in which the report was published did little to dispel the myth that genes determine the way we act. In fact, by calling for a ban on embryo screening for behavioural traits - and by promoting it to the media - the Nuffield Council has helped to perpetuate this myth.