Log in

LiveJournal for ironphoenix.

View:User Info.
You're looking at the latest 20 entries. Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 20 entries.

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Time:5:38 pm.
This weekend, I went to two very different concerts.

Friday night: Joseph Edgar at Cabaret La Basoche in Gatineau (Aylmer). He's an Acadian rock singer-songwriter, performing mainly in French; soul_diaspora was the impetus for going to that one. It was a fun and energetic show; he's at that point of his career where he's getting a bit of airplay, but he's still humble and a bit overwhelmed at having sold-out shows a long way from home, even in such a small and intimate venue as that (about 120 audience). His accent lends a distinctive character to his singing, and carries his emotiveness well. He was backed up by a solid band, notably a drummer/bassist/singer who could do all three of those things at once. Our tablemates had come down from Montreal, in a rare reversal: usually, folks from here go there to catch the good music, especially in the case of francophone performers.

Saturday afternoon: Angela Hewitt (piano), with three significant talents from the NAC Orchestra, Yosuke Kawasaki (violin), David Marks (viola), and Rachel Mercer (cello), at the National Gallery. These afternoon concerts are a great opportunity to hear some less well-known classical music in a casual setting. The first piece was Three Romances (Op. 22) by Clara Schumann, a woman of considerable talents as both a composer and performer. Next was Beethoven's Serenade in D major (Op. 8), of which the fourth movement (Adagio--Scherzo) was my favorite of the concert; the following movement (Allegretto alla polacca) is fun too. After the intermission came Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet in E♭ major (Op. 47), which was the most integrated of the three works; rather than liking this or that movement, it was the whole piece which appealed. Ensemble performances are fun to watch, as the performers collaborate as equals rather than following the direction of a conductor, subtly riffing off each other in much the same spirit as musicians in less structured forms do more overtly.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Subject:F&SF Books (mostly by women) Meme
Time:1:19 pm.
Ones I've read are in bold. If I've read something else by that author, only the author's name is in bold. Ones on my "some day soon" list would be in italics if I had such a list. Ones I've read synopses of and don't want to read would be struck out if there were any. Ones I hadn't heard of before this list are underlined.

Books!Collapse )
Comments: Read 13 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Subject:Another reflection!
Time:4:46 pm.
Reflection for 28-29 May 2016
Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Year C

Text: Genesis 14:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11b-17.

As an occasional reflector, there are a quite a few sets of Sunday readings I’ve never preached on. This set, however, keeps coming up for me; apparently I’m going to keep working on this until I get it right.

Previous reflections on these readings from 2010 and 2004.

Read more...Collapse )
Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Subject:The Internet isn't here...
Time:12:19 pm.
...but everyone thinks it is.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

Subject:For my climbing friends
Time:9:50 am.
Such dedication: the Swiss Mountain Cleaners.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Subject:Puzzle games collection
Time:7:42 am.
You have lots of time before that's due, right? One more game can't hurt...

Very portable collection; the .js links are probably the easiest way to play in your browser.
Comments: Read 6 orAdd Your Own.

Friday, March 25th, 2016

Time:10:10 am.
This smartphone-based $99 3D printer may well be the build technology which takes 3D printing to a large percentage of people; prior systems are an order of magnitude more expensive.

The other puzzle piece which we need is a free or very low-cost, easy to learn and use tool for creating 3D printable designs. I suspect that this may well use a neural human-machine interface, in which the design is specified and adjusted as we visualize it, reducing the need for technical skills.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Subject:Interesting article
Time:1:25 pm.
Favorite quote: "Next time you are speaking to an automated phone system, try swearing; you’ll be immediately redirected to human operators because they are the ones handling rude clients."

The article also links to Valve's employee handbook, describing how they run a managerless company, which is well worth reading.
Comments: Read 6 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

Subject:Links du jour
Time:11:29 am.
The hard problem of computer Go is being solved. This is a big deal in the AI world.

A real musical machine operating with marbles. Okay, it's not quite Pipe Dream, but it's real!
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Subject:Drink recipe
Time:11:04 am.
Another unnamed cocktail, created last night, that I want to remember:

3 parts Kraken spiced black rum
1 part Cointreau orange liqueur
1 part Bärenjäger honey liqueur
1 part fresh-squeezed and strained lemon juice
a few drops of Victoria's Twisted & Bitter Black Pepper

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

The result is summery and refreshing, without much burn even though the alcohol percentage is relatively high. Bärenjäger is quite strongly flavoured, and this is the best I think I've done in balancing it with other tastes.

For what it's worth, I prefer to get cocktails like this as cold as practical, and so I deliberately shake them hard enough to make them a little cloudy with ice crystals on first pouring. I haven't noticed any significant sharpening of the taste of the spirits, although I usually do cocktails with enough sweet or sour flavours that it wouldn't be a big deal.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Subject:3 good articles
Time:12:30 pm.
Researcher illegally shares millions of science papers free online to spread knowledge (Fiona MacDonald) (short) Halelujah, and more power to her. The paywall sites are charging exorbitant amounts given how low the real costs of publication are.

Attention Fellow Introverts: It's Time to Stop Beating Ourselves Up (Ashley Lauretta) (medium-length) I'm not an introvert (I'm a moderate extrovert), but I know and love many, and this article rings true to me.

The opposite of rape culture is nurturance culture (Nora Samaran) (long!) This is a really good synthesis of a lot of ideas about masculinity, development, and relationships. Highly recommended, but don't be in a rush. For people who are wondering how masculinity can fit with feminism, this is a really good place to look.
Comments: Read 7 orAdd Your Own.

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Subject:Last weekend's reflection
Time:11:07 am.
Reflection for 23-24 January 2016
3rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C

Text: Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21.

I kept it short, which is good, because that second reading is rather drawn-out...Collapse )
Comments: Add Your Own.

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

Time:3:41 pm.
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Subject:What you really want
Time:3:40 pm.
Results come from a process; if you aren't willing to stay with the process, acknowledge that the result will have to remain a fantasy--and that can be okay.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Subject:Negative temperatures. And not just Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Time:4:26 pm.
An inverted distribution of particles in available energy states has been created in the lab. This is deeply weird. It looks like thermodynamics-violating weird. If it's real and scalable, it may be world-changing.
Comments: Read 3 orAdd Your Own.

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Subject:Two TED talks
Time:1:39 pm.
There are always lots of good TED talks, but here are two that have struck me particularly:

Simon Sinek on leadership. (12 minutes) This is what I strive for as a manager; I want to be part of an organization that supports me in it.

Guy Winch on emotional self-care. (17.5 minutes) Help yourselves; help each other. More people than we may know need this.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Subject:Car issue
Time:8:22 am.
Yesterday, I discovered that the drivers' window control switch didn't seem to be working properly: I could lower, but not raise, the window. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal, although it might make for a chilly ride.

On my way into the car wash, however, was not a good time to discover this.Collapse )
Comments: Read 5 orAdd Your Own.

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Subject:Concert 5 April 2016
Time:4:03 pm.
Anyone interested in coming to hear Stewart Copeland and Jon Kimura Parker play some crazy modern stuff? This is a concert arranged by Ottawa Chamberfest, but not during the usual festival period. I'm very fond of Parker's warm and energetic performances; I've seen him previously at the NAC, and look forward to a different perspective on him. Stewart Copeland is indeed that Stewart Copeland, the former drummer for The Police. There are a few other folks who will fill out the combo; this promises to be somewhere between a classical and a jazz concert. Tix $47 + etc.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Subject:US political activism
Time:11:36 am.
Those of you in the USA, I'd like to encourage you to express your support for a proposed update to the minimum wage and overtime rules which raises the exemption threshold. Industry groups are mobilizing to oppose this change, which would protect low-wage employees from being required to work unpaid overtime.
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

Subject:The "Hollywood Model" vs. last month
Time:11:45 am.
I encountered a New York Times Magazine article about the "Hollywood Model" of employment, in which an ad-hoc team of specialists is assembled for a project and then dispersed on completion; the article suggests that this will become a more dominant mode of employment in the future. It's an interesting article, but I'm not sure I agree with the degree to which they predict the ascendancy of this model.

Meanwhile, at work, my colleagues and I have been struggling to resolve "integration bugs" in new products. These are the problems which arise when individual pieces of a product or design appear to work when tested on their own, but because specifications are pretty much always incomplete and architectures are imperfect, don't quite work perfectly when brought together in a system. Some such problems make themselves felt immediately, but others can be subtle and sneaky, surfacing only under extraordinary circumstances.

Specialists aren't good at figuring out integration bugs. They require a holistic understanding of a system, and a significant strength of my company is that we have a fair number of bright people who have been there long enough to have not only deep understanding of their own specialties and broad understanding of the company, but significant understanding of the systems we work on. The Hollywood Model doesn't seem to allow for that, and so is vulnerable to integration bugs.

I don't think that every kind of work lends itself to managing integration bugs on the fly or to specifying every element exhaustively, so I think there will be a place for the "Corporate Model", in which people form a structure which remains stable across projects, for a long time yet.
Comments: Read 6 orAdd Your Own.

LiveJournal for ironphoenix.

View:User Info.
You're looking at the latest 20 entries. Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 20 entries.