Saturday, April 24, 2004

The Electric Company Digital Archive

A find I must share with you all: The Electric Company Digital Archive is so very neat!!! I remember watching this show - I loved the Electric Company (more than Sesame Street, I'll admit). Link via My Analog Life.

And now I'm gonna take a long, warm, soothing shower.

- posted by laurie @ 4/24/2004 08:45:00 PM (0) comments


I'm slowly, slowly chipping away at the workload. I'm apparently also chipping away at any chance I had of decent posture, or of recovery from previous back and shoulder problems. I've spent so much time sitting at a computer this week that, even with our awesome ergonomic keyboard and mousepad with wrist support (leather, even, from Levenger: gift from my mother a few Christmases ago), I've developed a really nasty ache from base of skull to shoulder joint on my right (mouse-using) side. Plus, as a bonus, I have limited feeling from my shoulder joint all the way down to my fingers. Can you get carpal tunnel all the way up your arm? Did you know that apparently pregnancy makes one more likely to develop carpal tunnel?

To update from Wednesday's post, I *think* I felt the baby move. Well, I'm pretty sure what I felt a few days ago was the baby, but since then, the instances of possible movement have been less clear-cut.

I have to tell you, this whole being pregnant thing is weird. Exciting, for sure, but very very weird.

- posted by laurie @ 4/24/2004 08:27:00 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Into the tunnel, and a light at the other end!

As seems to be pretty standard for the last several months, I haven't updated in a while. There are oh so many reasons, but one of them has been rectified: we now have a new computer!!!! Custom-built machine from Velocity Micro. So far, it works pretty darn well. The biggest bonus (other than having a stable, reliable machine that recognizes all of its components and peripherals correctly) is the monitor: 19"! Soooo much screen space, it's beautiful. Eric has been gaming like a fiend, and the graphics are beautiful - as they should be, since this is a custom gamer's machine.

Other reasons: it's the end of the semester, folks, and though I'm resisting a reversion to last semester's "hiatus" graphic, that's more or less the case. And oh, boy, do I have a billion things to do before mid-May. The good news is that, after this semester, I will not be required to take another class ever again (knock wood - never say never - and all those other superstitions). A year or so ago, I was lamenting the impending end of coursework, stating that I *loved* classes and would be sad when I wasn't taking them any more (hey, there is a reason I am still in school, you know. yes, I am a geek). Now, I am actually anxious to start work on the scary-monsters dissertation, and am having trouble believing that I'd ever said I wanted to take classes forever.

There's a light at the end of the coursework tunnel: I can see it now, and I'm blogging a little bit less to be able to reach that light faster and with greater success. Wish me bon voyage!

Oh, and for interested folks: baby is fine. I haven't felt it move yet. I am now beginning to actually visibly look pregnant. I am definitely 100% no longer able to fit into normal people clothes, but must now wear things with a higher spandex quotient than I would normally tolerate. And my prenatal yoga class is kicking my butt. The course is more hardcore than the beginners class I was taking before. Oh: perhaps most importantly, it is almost certain that there's only one baby. I was terrified it would be twins (they run in my family). Full confirmation will come in mid-May, when we go in for the ultrasound.

- posted by laurie @ 4/21/2004 09:55:00 AM (0) comments

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Reactions on the Canadian File Sharing Decision

I wish I had seen this Globe and Mail article before I gave that presentation on intellectual property, file sharing, and ethics to an Ethics in Computer Science class yesterday. Don't get me wrong, the presentation went well, but this article does a good job of covering the diversity of opinions about filesharing, and of representing a range of responses to Wednesday's decision regarding the use of p2p networks to distribute music. As with many arguments, this debte often gets characterized as a completely dichotomous issue: on one side, the recording industry wants folks to stop sharing files, and further wants to control copyrighted material through DRM, licensing, and other technological means; on the other side are the anarchic young file swappers who want what they want when they want it, and all for free. The truth is that there are numerous other positions on this issue, and that they are often very nuanced, complex ones. The p2p issue is not simply a legal one, but involves all kinds of ethical and cultural issues, a prime reason why this issue is murky rather than clear-cut.

- posted by laurie @ 4/03/2004 07:39:00 AM (0) comments

Science, Politics, Policy

Interesting article on a report issued by Bush's chief science advisor, as a response to concerns voiced by the Union of Concerned Scientists: Science Not Being Distorted, White House Aide Says (

The most interesting snippet, from the perspective of someone studying rhetoric and scientific and technical communication: "As with the UCS document, Marburger's rebuttal is a blend of footnoted scientific documentation and personal assertions. Together, the two documents offer a reminder that science is a mix of fact and interpretation -- and that at times it can be difficult to tease the two apart. "

Absolutely. Letting the data objectively speak for themselves is a bunch of hooey. Might bring this one into the techn writing classroom on Monday.

- posted by laurie @ 4/03/2004 07:11:00 AM (0) comments

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Good one

Just in from ibiblio - Duke University Purchases the Public Domain!

"Duke University, of Durham, North Carolina, purchased the entirety of the public domain late last evening for a fee of 2.2 trillion dollars. Sources familiar with the negotiation report that Duke's reclamation of the public domain is unprecedented. As a result of the purchase, Duke University is the sole rights-holder to a huge collection of materials, including the Bible, the works of Shakespeare and Dante, and Francis Scott Key's The Star Spangled Banner."

Oh, yeah. Wait a minute. APRIL FOOL'S!

Really, though, you have got to go check out this page. It's very funny. And thanks to Charlie Lowe, who sent this out over the cccc-ip mailing list.

- posted by laurie @ 4/01/2004 11:52:00 AM (0) comments