Category Archives: presentations

Improving sleep

11 ways to sleep better

via: digg
Some extras

#12: Don’t teach a night class

#13: Go to a faculty meeting in which most people have no say, but really want to discuss a lot. About an issue which doesn’t matter to you.

#14: Go to a seminar in an area in which you have no research background in which there is a lot of shared terminology and acronyms

#15 Grade a big stack of papers which must be graded subjectively.


My favorite line of the day

From the Wall Street Journal, Cubicle Culture by Jared Sandberg, September 19th (I don’t think that I can link the article.)

And they discovered a statistical correlation that explains a lot: “When you hear someone say ‘it is a fact,’ in our data what they are going to say is absolutely not going to be a fact,” says Prof. Cardie.

I will remember this next meeting/seminar/class. And when I formulate my replies to questions, as well. I wonder what fraction of people do believe you when you say ‘it is a fact?’ (I am not sure I have my punctuation right here. No time to check, right now though.)

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).

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

I am still alive,

but have taken a computer break. It was refreshing.

I have been thinking a bit about presentations recently. Now I pay much more attention to other speakers, and their slides. There is less variation than I thought in academics slide styles, though there is a lot of variation in the quality of the presentations, themselves. I think that focussing on body language, speaking ability, etc. are much more important that the slides, once you deal with the basics.

Boring post, but I’ve been to a lot of conferences lately, so this is on my mind.

And I am a bit depressed. Still no apple tablet pc. But maybe the tablet part matters less than I think. See above.

Somedays LaTeX is mysterious.

Why did my file stop working? Why is the error message so cryptic? It is like reading the tea leaves to figure out what the hell I did wrong.

I should stick to ‘keynote’ for making academic presentations—cutting and pasting equations/pictures from pdf is so seamless. But I always want to try the new latex package. Today it is ‘powerdot’ with beautiful output when it works. And latex bites me in the ass. Every time.


Update: and it is not my code. The same file runs fine in some directories, and not in others. Every time I run latex with a new package, I feel like an idiot, Every time.

Got it working, but rebuilding the file, a line at a time (copy and paste). There must have been a strange hidden character somewhere in the the file.