Thursday, September 02, 2010

Quick Updates

The Millenium Trilogy
I realized that just because I have read two-and-a-half books does not mean that I actually have to read the rest of the third book. I have decided to skim the rest to discover how it ends. As I read the books, I am continually reminded of the main character's trait of being a lousy editor -- and how the author shares this with him. The first book should have been shorter. The second and the third should have been combined into one book.

My Kitchen
Still more drywall is being hung, taped, and mudded. Oh my god, I am not looking forward to the sanding. I can not even imagine how much dust there will be. Also on the kitchen front: today I ordered $8000 worth of appliances.

I'm having trouble managing my to-do list because everything is a multi-part task with dependencies. I don't like the idea of just throwing all of the sub-tasks and sub-sub-tasks onto my to-do list. I'd much rather be able to organize my to-do list in terms of the projects/tasks I need to tackle and then be able to see what the sub-tasks are and how they're related. But I'd also like to be able to sort the sub-tasks by their features without regard for which project they belong to. Sounds like a job for a database.

The Topologist
He is having a picture-perfect sabbatical. He is working on a paper that seems likely to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Apparently they are going to be having a theme issue on topology)

Middle-aged White Guys
So there is an effort afoot to get people who are not middle-aged white guys working in computer science, and there have been efforts to broaden things to white guys who are not middle-aged as well as Asian guys of all ages. Most of the suggestions that I have heard to change things do not seem to really address any meaningful issues. For example, I don't think that there is much progress to be made by recruiting computer science graduates from Spelman College. Reaching out to people who are already on a solid computer science trajectory doesn't really seem to promise all that much of an impact. Real, long-term change is going to require a bit more effort. Especially since computer science degrees at most colleges require at least some math -- and the pool of students who come to college with solid math skills is shockingly small.

My Bento Lunchbox
I am in love with my bento-style lunch box. (I bought a "laptop lunchbox.") I would love it more if there were more options for configuring it with fewer small containers. As I reach the end of Week #2 with no kitchen (I am expecting the project to last 2-3 more weeks), I am really appreciating the bento-style lunchbox because it makes it easy to pack a lunch without doing any cooking.