I haven't posted in a while. Creative juices occupied elsewhere (mostly in a good way!), plus life getting in the way.
I'm hoping to still put up sporadic posts, but not much for a bit.
For those not familiar with Steampunk, it's a trend in SF (I think?) that uses an alternate past, usually set in Victorian England, where steam powered equipment really did take off, and where the Hindenburg didn't blow up so dirigibles are a very popular mode of air travel. There's a lot of emphasis on esthetic - class and style. Leviathan
by Scott Westerfeld
is a good example.
As with any popular trend, though, there are degrees of seriousness in the application. This video brilliantly skewers the "glue some gears on it and make a ton of money" set. :) Really well made video, and sounds really good. :)( Just glue some gears on it.Collapse )
Really interesting blog entry
on patent law as it currently applies to software. I learned stuff, and found a good reflection on the current state of things.
The reason I felt compelled to blog it, though, is the quote he includes at the end:
"It was never the object of those laws to grant a monopoly for every trifling device, every shadow of a shade of an idea, which would naturally and spontaneously occur to any skilled mechanic or operator in the ordinary progress of manufacturers. Such an indiscriminate creation of exclusive privileges tends rather to obstruct than to stimulate invention. It creates a class of speculative schemers who make it their business to watch the advancing wave of improvement, and gather its foam in the form of patented monopolies, which enable them to lay a heavy tax upon the industry of the country, without contributing anything to the real advancement of the arts. It embarrasses the honest pursuit of business with fears and apprehensions of concealed liens and unknown liabilities to lawsuits and vexatious accountings for profits made in good faith." -- Justice Joseph Bradley, writing for the court in 1883
Linked from Making Light
(where else? :)
This research group (3 universities - Simon Fraser and two from the States) used one of the standard genetics model organisms to test the long-term effects of space travel. Basically, a trial run so we know what to expect (or protect from, or deal with) if we send humans on an extended space mission (i.e. to Mars).
It sounds really interesting. :) C. elegans
is a small worm with a short (couple of weeks) life cycle. So in the six months the worms were in orbit, there were 12 generations. One of the ongoing studies is testing the descendants (now back on planet) for mutations caused by space radiation. Interestingly, the muscle degeneration seen in low-gravity environments does indeed plateau. (makes sense to me, as you're still using at least _some_ muscle power to move around, but it was a concern that needed to be addressed)
So, go read the CBC article
. Or better yet, the full paper
I had to make this because it was too odd a concept not to. Spinach cake.
Not quiche, not fritatta, this honestly looks like a cake.
End result? Not bad. Mine stratified more than the picture (spinach on top, egg on the bottom), but it was still fairly tasty. The nutmeg really complements it, too. :)
Odd thing, it smells like fish. Seriously. I have no idea what causes that; it's completely vegetarian. (eggs, milk, spinach, butter, onions, nutmeg, salt, pepper)
So, if you're looking for something really different, give it a whirl. *g*( picture behind the cut (from the source, not my own picture)Collapse )
I know, it's utterly wrong to enjoy marking... But with one of the things I'm teaching, the marking is actually pleasant. A joy, sometimes. Lots of projects, and the students really put a lot of effort into them. Such amazing work!
My problem, of course, is that at the end the marks will be way too high... (classic problem for this course, actually) The exams will bring them down a little. :P
I had to share, though. Marking is usually a pain, or tedious, or a chore, but once in a while it's marvellous. :)