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Distance Learning — an Unexpected Life Skill

The Babylon Bee finds a pearl in the oyster of distance learning: Public Schools Now Preparing Kids for a Lifetime of Soul-Crushing Zoom Meetings. Update: Damn it, Bee! You’re supposed to be doing satire, not straight reporting! Continue reading Distance Learning — an Unexpected Life Skill

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Oh, and in my spare time, I invented TeX

Writing in Quanta, Susan D’Agostino has a fascinating interview with the computing-est of all computer scientists, Donald Knuth.  Who continues his Everest-like trek up his monumental Art of Computer Programming.  This (intrinsically) never-to-be-completed opus to the mathematics and techniques of algorithms was, for many of us, the first introduction to formal analysis of algorithms and Dr. Knuth.  But woven into the creation of ACP was the invention of TeX, the world’s most marvelous computer typesetting system. TeX was only supposed to be for my secretary and myself. Phyllis [Astrid Benson Winkler] was a wonderful secretary. She could read my handwriting … Continue reading Oh, and in my spare time, I invented TeX

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Private Charity? No way!

Michael Tanner, writing for National Review online, attempts to answer the question “Why Is There So Much Government Hostility to Private Charity?”  The answer is simple, once you understand this guy’s fundamental message “Everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” Tip from Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm. Update:  Writing in the Claremont Review of Books, Angelo M. Codevilla describes the rise and fall of Mussolini, and how progressives adopted his ideology while tossing the name–facism–into the trash and then recycling it as an epithet for conservatives.  No surprise there, proggies are big into Denialism and … Continue reading Private Charity? No way!

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The Cool Just Keeps on Comin’

Remember this guy? Turns out he’s got competition from this guy. Tip from American Digest. Update:  And here’s a Texan who spent 10 years getting the US Constitution amended; that’s cool the hard way. Update:  Let’s not forget this old fart who broke the sound barrier gimmicking the controls of his Bell X-1 with a piece of broomstick. Continue reading The Cool Just Keeps on Comin’

Take a look at Atkinson Hyperlegible

Enter the Braille Institute’s contribution, the Atkinson Hyperlegible computer font, especially designed for those of us with blurry vision. Follow the link to download your free copy, ready to install on a Mac or Windows PC. I gave it a spin yesterday with Microsoft Word, and it works like a charm, much more readable than Word’s default Arial or Calabri fonts. Continue reading Take a look at Atkinson Hyperlegible

Name your poison, pardner

So I was glancing at the American Council on Science and Health article The Environmental Defense Fund’s Silly Food Chemical Claim, and came across an unfamiliar term, the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC). A bit of link-chasing landed me in the midst of a delightfully geeky set of toxicology tutorials at the ChemSafetyPro website. Probably more than you or I would ever want to know, but it’s all in plain view for the interested. Cool stuff. Tip from Maggie’s Farm. Continue reading Name your poison, pardner

Good news for windmill operators

Good news from a long-term experiment in Norway: painting a single blade of a power-generating windmill may reduce fatal birdstrikes by as much as 70%. This is certainly an experiment that bears replication, especially at facilities that (1) keep careful records of birdstrikes and (2) care enough to make the effort. It’s pretty sad that the Norwegians spent 7 years on this, and few other researchers got on board with it. If this were clinical research for a debilitating disease, mobs would be clamoring for more trials.  Bird conservationists should be outraged at the pace. Of course, they’re not even … Continue reading Good news for windmill operators