The Big Think

December 31, 2010

Higher Education

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 12:29 pm

“Higher education should be about more than gaining a credential that gives one a leg up in the marketplace. But if we are going to re-focus the debate on the non-utilitarian substance of higher learning—on the transmission of disciplined intellectual inquiry, on developing civilized discernment, on aspiration for genuinely higher knowledge—we had better be prepared to rethink our national preoccupation with mass higher education. Judged by those standards, contemporary American undergraduate education as a whole is a colossal failure.

Which is it? Do we want to run a mass credentialing service that the public increasingly views as an expensive con? Or do we want to engage in rigorous higher education as something that has intrinsic value, but which our current system is ill-suited to provide?”

Interesting article.

December 26, 2010

Typography

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 9:03 pm

A typographical poem. This is the best thing I’ve seen all day. Brilliant thoughts and presentation.

December 25, 2010

Menu

Filed under: Foodie — jasony @ 9:46 pm

Spent four hours making a most awesome Christmas feast. A roast with carrots, garlic mashed potatoes, hatch chili corn, rolls, and a nice 337 Cabernet. And for dessert, home-made white chocolate raspberry torte:

exps46673_TH1789926D47D.jpg
Yum. Merry Christmas everyone. Now roll me off to bed.

Merry Christmas

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 1:24 pm

Hope you all have a great Christmas day.

December 24, 2010

Joy

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Woodworking — jasony @ 7:08 pm

Welcome

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 4:08 pm

Kevin Connolly’s guide to American culture.

December 23, 2010

Hello World

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 10:24 pm

Beginning my plow through the Python programming language. Thanks to Sean (and co-worker) for pointing out this free online book. I had just put the book into my Amazon basket when he pointed out the free PDF version. Thanks, Sean!

*update* Just wrote my first program (my blog software won’t indent, but you get the picture):

#this is the number guessing game
import random

guessesTaken=0

print (‘hello! what is your name?’)
myName=input()

number = random.randint(1,20)
print (‘well, ‘ +myName+ ‘, I am thinking of a number between 1 and 20.’)
print (‘You have 6 guesses’)
while guessesTaken < 6: print("Take a guess.")#There are four spaces in front of print. guess=input() guess=int(guess) guessesTaken=guessesTaken+1 if guess < number: print ('your guess is too low.') if guess > number:
print (‘your guess is too high’)

if guess == number:
break

if guess == number:
guessesTaken = str(guessesTaken)
print (‘Good job, ‘ +myName+ ‘! You guessed my number in ‘ +guessesTaken+ ‘ guesses!’)

if guess != number:
number = str(number)
print (‘Nope. The number I was thinking of was ‘ + number)

December 22, 2010

The Journeyman Project

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 11:00 pm

Some really nice stuff here, by the Dirty Jobs cameraman.

December 20, 2010

Can God Cook, Or What?

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 10:57 pm

World’s biggest cave. Wow, that’s a big hole.

Toxic

Filed under: Business — jasony @ 3:45 pm

How to detect a Toxic Customer (thanks to Jason Cohen for the link).

Quoth

Filed under: Quoth — jasony @ 10:54 am

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.”

Daniel Burnham, architect

December 18, 2010

Quoth

Filed under: Disclosure,Quoth — jasony @ 2:35 pm

“I don’t know why anyone would want to be 20 again. I can understand why you’d want to be 20, but not again.”

lileks

Indeed. I loved my 20’s, but I’m enjoying my 40’s just as much- maybe more?. This whole aging thing all the adults always talked about? Not as scary as the reality, apparently. I was talking to a 55ish father of a Sing chair yesterday and when I told him I’d been involved in the show for 20 years (this year!) you’d have thought I had said I was driving Archduke Ferdinand’s open top limo. He just could not believe that I was telling the truth. Did it make me feel good? Sure, but I also wondered why more people aren’t like this. It’s like the great mass of humanity has decided that dourness, melancholy, and a careworn expression are hung around your neck upon your attainment of the mighty Three-Oh and you have to wear them like an albatross until you expire. Well, nuts to that.

Word Warp

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 9:26 am

This has been making the rounds lately. We really are living in the future.

more here.

December 17, 2010

Prop Days

Filed under: Woodworking — jasony @ 11:45 pm

Just finished two days (about 20 hours) of prop building in the shop with a terrific group of Sing Chairs. A wonderful time. We breezed through the construction of six great props on day one and came back thinking it would only take us an hour or two to build the final prop. It took 8 hours. Not because we were particularly stymied, but just because we realized we had the time so why not have a discussion about the why of this prop? After talking for a while, we made the decision to redesign it and go completely over-the-top. It’s not a gigantic monstrosity or anything, but I’m really proud of it. My best description of it is that it looks exactly like the real thing- because it essentially is the real thing. I got a chance to teach the group the difference between “prop tolerances” where you can forgive an error of 1/2″ or so because the audience won’t ever see it, and “furniture tolerances” where it’s going to be viewed from close-up. They totally got into it and we had a blast being stupidly picky and perfectionistic.

Even though this prop will never be seen by the audience from less than 50 feet, it still stands up to a very, very close inspection. It’s something that most people wouldn’t mind having in their homes (if they had the, er, room).

Anyway, it was a great two days for teaching craftsmanship, doing woodworking, and getting to know each other. What does it say that I’m incredibly sore but would love to go out and do it again tomorrow?

December 15, 2010

Rudolf the Regular Reindeer

Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 11:50 pm

Love the song at the end.

Next Step

Filed under: Maker — jasony @ 11:32 pm

Printable circuts just became possible. This is huge.

Equal Opportunity Insulting

Filed under: Uncategorized — jasony @ 10:24 pm

How to insult Harry Potter, Star Wars, and LOTR fans simultaneously.
IanMcKellen121310-thumb-550x309-53285.jpg

via

Mentions

Filed under: Audio,Movies — jasony @ 1:47 pm

Paradise Recovered is getting some great press. Andie Redwine (the writer and producer) won the Hoosier Award, and we got a brief mention in Variety magazine just below “The Social Network” and “Black Swan”. Not bad company.

Building

Filed under: Maker,Music — jasony @ 1:12 pm

Barry sends this link to the Seattle Opera’s behind-the-scenes videos of the making of their new opera Amelia. Excuse me while I go make a giant Electra aircraft model from foam and salad bowls.

December 14, 2010

Five Thousand

Filed under: Disclosure — jasony @ 11:52 pm

As of Wednesday, December 15th Erin and I have been married for five thousand days. 2010 was a year that saw both my 15th K-day and our 5th.

Happy 5K, sweetie!

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