Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scattered Notes

  1. Some email we got about energy conservation on campus says that the fancy new building uses more energy than the boring old building that it replaced because the fancy new building is bigger. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the many, many, many LCD displays all over the place. Several in each hallway showing important messages and a smaller one by each classroom showing if it is in use or not. This is a good use of energy, but I'm not allowed to have an electric tea kettle in my office because that wastes energy. Because heating my tea in a shared microwave takes less than one calorie per degree C per gram?

  2. Insert your own snarky comment about software that displays maps and directories on the LCD displays being Windows-based.

  3. Still have not yet stolen linux-based Nokia tablet from The Topologist. He claims "it doesn't work." I suspect that linux might not be the right OS for him.

  4. After my headache cleared (thank you, liver-killing Tylenol), I went for a walk (petting three neighborhood cats, totalling 11 legs between the three of them) and then watched America's Next Top Model. Sorry work. And other job. And computer science homework. And editors. And friends. And students. And everyone else that I'm ignoring.

  5. The honesty council (or whatever it's called) found in my student's favor, even though there is no possible legitimate explanation of how that answer got on that paper (unless you allow for the paranormal). Shockingly, after I adjusted an aspect of how assessments were administered (without warning the students), this student's scores have dropped like a rock.

  6. Hey, Boston-Cambridge-based science-types (and more sciencey social science types), looking for an "outreach" opportunity? Can I interest you in a wicked smart summer intern? Or a summer intern with a less impressive academic background but a killer sob story (African genocide)? You can reach me at the gmail -- firstnamelastname (either real or imaginary) or any of my seven other email addresses.

  7. The extent to which some of my gen-ed students are unable to do basic financial calculations is absurd. We've spent about a week on really, really, really basic calculations with future value and amortization (basically three formulas in MS Excel: =FV(r/12, 12*y, -payment), =PMT(r/12, 12*y,, -goal), and =PMT(r/12, 12*y, -principal) ), and they still are not getting it. If propping the economy back up needs people to take out shady loans on unfavorable terms, I know where to find some.

  8. The only two things keeping me away from alcohol: Too busy to drink. Too many calories.