Monthly Archives: August 2006

The ‘Punk-o-matic’

might be a nice way to wake up some sleeping undergrads one day. You can only use it once a term, though.


via: digg
(where else would I find such a link?)


I wish that I could figure

out a way to get people to leave my office when we are done. I try schedule time in short blocks—one person comes at 1:30, and then I have another one at 2:00. But you can’t always do that. And there is always a last person effect.

So what to do, when some just don’t understand body language?

I am going to have to start working at the library to stop people from dropping in, as well.

Never, ever

accept the invitation of someone who says ‘I am traveling in your area, and would like to give a seminar.’ Unless you would have already invited them.

I have learned this the hard way, by sitting through some painful seminars.

Does the military use blackboard too?

Because if you missed the briefing, you can always figure it out from the powerpoint, eh?

from: WFMU’s beware of the blog: Abuse of Powerpoint

Here is a nice quote:

Two news items this week detailing our Government’s abuse of Powerpoint. (click on slides to enlarge them)

Our first slide comes to us via an armsandinfluence post (link) on Thomas Ricks’ book Fiasco (link). It turns out that Rumsfeld and Franks are big Powerpoint fans and they used it to plan Operation Iraqi Freedom. But as the following quote from Fiasco makes clear, It is not that easy to carry out a Powerpoint slide.

[Army Lt. General David] McKiernan had another, smaller but nagging
issue: He couldn’t get Franks to issue clear orders that stated
explicitly what he wanted done, how he wanted to do it, and why.
Rather, Franks passed along PowerPoint briefing slides that he had
shown to Rumsfeld: “It’s quite frustrating the way this works, but the
way we do things nowadays is combatant commanders brief their products
in PowerPoint up in Washington to OSD and Secretary of Defense…In lieu
of an order, or a frag [fragmentary order], or plan, you get a bunch of
PowerPoint slides…[T]hat is frustrating, because nobody wants to plan
against PowerPoint slides.”

Our second slide is from a classified Homeland Security Powerpoint scenario in which our nation’s Internet is set upon… by hippies! Now, thanks to Scott’s wonderful post from last week (link) we do know that hippies can certainly pull off a kick ass circle, but it seems truly irresponsible for the Feds to be playing wargames with an imaginary “World Wide Anti Globalization Movement.” You can find more about this scenario on the Wired Blog (link). And you can download the whole Powerpoint slideshow via the Cryptome website (link).

Test post

using the firefox extension ‘performancing.’  Seems OK so far.

A week or so until classes start; syllabus time.  I see a lot of differences in different (successful) professors’ syllabi (sp?).  Some are terse.  Some are dense.  Some are scary fully of warnings.  Some are nice.

I wonder what is best?  Each year I tweak mine, and still have not completely figured it out.

powered by performancing firefox

Why did the gum makers

change the way that they package gum? Most gum I buy used to be packaged  in a rectangular box shaped package with the openings on one side, with the pieces stacked on top of each other.  But now, the gum is packaged in a kind of envelope, with the gum placed side by side.  Every time I put the envelope package into my coat pocket or bag, all the gum falls out.  So now I am picky about which gum I buy.

Why the hell was it changed? 

Orbit brand (?) gum also comes in this terrible packaging.  No bother, since I have never bought that brand — the advertisements confuse me too much.

(Sorry for the dull and pompous sounding post.  It was written because I am cleaning out my backpack for work travel, and finding flattened gum in a sticky puddle at the bottom of my pack.  Annoying. So I guess the post is tangentially work related.)

I can always dream

Apple Tablet appears?:

Reader David Chong just sent me this pic from

Apple Tablet

Pretty good Photoshop job, if you ask me.  I can’t believe it’s real.  Here’s hoping, though.


from jkontherun