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Darwin’s complete volume of work online April 25, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Education, History, Information Technology, News, Technology, Web.
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Complete Works of Darwin WebsiteThis morning during an informal coffee break at work (well, it’s Friday so it was during the donut break) I mentioned the recent release of all of Charles Darwin’s works online by Cambridge University. That seemed to be news to the group of people I work with so I thought I’d post the information here for them to easily navigate to information about this new online content.

If you want to read about the project and the release of Darwin’s work, check out this Wired magazine article.

Or, you can just go straight to the Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online and begin reading digitized copies of his many writings.

Rice crisis… April 25, 2008

Posted by Matsu in News, News and politics.
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The past week I have been alarmed by the increasing number of news reports and stories on the Internet that talk about the global shortages in grains (rice, corn, and wheat). The price of fuel certainly will not help this situation as more and more grain products (primarily corn) are used for bio-fuels instead of food products for human consumption.

I fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg as the shortages are expected to get a lot worse and fuel costs will continue to rise. It’s easy to predict that food riots will increase across the globe. Wealthy nations must do something to help alleviate this growing problem.

New phone books fill recycle bins… April 24, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Random, Uncategorized.
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New Phone Books

I spent most of this evening at a hotel where my son’s school was hosting a fund raiser. At one point I received a phone call and stepped out of the ballroom so I could hear the person calling and so I could talk more loudly without disturbing everyone else enjoying their dinner. The nearest exit took me to the hotel service area. What I witnessed just amazed me. The hotel employees were breaking up large bundles of new phone books and taking them out of their large plastic wrappers before tossing them into recycle bins. They must have had about a dozen large recycle bins completely full of new phone books.

This photograph shows just a sample of what I saw. When I asked one of the workers what they would be doing with the rest of the phone books that wouldn’t fit into the recycle bins he said that they had to wait until the blue bins were empty and then they would repeat the process and fill them up with new phone books again.

They would repeat that until all of the new phone books were disposed of. That is an awful waist of resources. Why print and deliver so many phonebooks to hotels only to have them throw away thousands of new phone books. There is something very wrong with that picture.

Hey, if it’s Friday then it’s time for DONUTS! April 18, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Humor, Management, News and politics, Random.
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Donut Time!What time is it? Donut time!

Today is donut (doughnut?) day where I work. Well, every Friday is donut day where I work. We always start our day with a demartmental meeting where the main food group is donut — of course we are very inclusive — we eat all types of donuts.

Well, this article in Wired was e-mailed to me yesterday and it really amused me since donuts are such a standard part of the life of I.T. people in my department. How can you argue with free donuts? My answer… you can’t!

How to live and die April 11, 2008

Posted by Matsu in News, News and politics, Random.
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The Last LectureThis week I watched this ABC Primetime report about the life of Dr. Randy Pausch, a Computer Science professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

At 46 years old Dr. Pausch received news that he had terminal cancer and was given only 3 to 6 months to live. About one month later, he gave his last lecture about his life, dreams, and information on how the audience should live. Since then, a new book has been written about how he has spent his last days living life to the fullest and being an inspiration to many people on how to live and demonstrates how one might deal with a terminal illness.

Below is a Wall Street Journal video interview of the author of the book and is a good starting point to get the background information about the life and expected death of Dr. Pausch.

If this has piqued your interest and you want to see for yourself what everyone has been talking about, you can see the recording of the Last Lecture below.

You might want to visit Dr. Pausch’s website for additional information and videos. Once you are there, you will also find updated informaiton about his current health condition. As of the this week, he is still alive.

Prison inmates produce music video April 8, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Humor, Music, Random, Web.
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This has got to be one of the stranger things on the Internet (no, please don’t share all of the things that are even stranger). It’s a music video made by prisoners — they dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller song. Very, very strange.

As if that was not surprising enough, so far the video has been viewed almost 14 million times on YouTube. AND, more than 31,000 comments have been posted.

Exactly what kind of prison warden wakes up one morning and decides to use the inmates to produce a music video? I guess if they don’t have anything better to do…