scrap pad

women as nerds

more yak (spurred by yesterday's) on women and science/nerdiness. Adventures in Ethics and Science: Let my people (let themselves) go.

the word 'gender' to non-gender-studies people

scientists... non-queer people in general... are so oblivious to sex vs. gender. or not quite oblivious, but working from different definitions: queer definitions of sex and gender are more subtle than the definitions used by most people. anyways.

somewhat useful: Gmaps Pedometer

to measure out the distance of a route. Gmaps Pedometer

did you know

black spary paint + styrofoam = black globby melty goo? Is this shit toxic?

women in science

one dude's take on why there aren't more women in science: Shtetl-Optimized: Nerdify the world, and the women will follow. where do I start with this? ugh. (via uncertain principles)

I'm really pretty offended by his answer to question #3: he asks "should we be trying to entice more women into science?" and says, approximately, 'yes because scientists need wives.' I've been trying to work up an answer to this question for a few weeks now, but sex certainly wasn't the main part of it. What I've come up with (haven't fully articulated this yet):

  1. more women in science = more opportunities for other women in science
  2. women sometimes have different priorities and interests than men, which are possibly interesting and would further science in new directions, and
  3. (those two tied up together) women having a stronger role in science would discourage anti-female bias in the sciences (in terms of, for example, designing studies, designing schedules...)

what those three reasons dig at is that I think women don't avoid science because of the the culture there; I think they avoid it because there isn't a group of people who they would be friends with there. I think a lot of young women (me included) are reluctant to go into an environment where they don't imagine that their coworkers will be sympathetic to them. Personally, I don't want to work somewhere with only one or two other women (neither do I want to work in another mostly-female environment). In my head, I can't imagine being buttoned-up in 10 cubicles with 9 men and myself. The truth is, I have no idea what working in the sciences is like, and most girls (most young people) don't. Maybe girls tend to be more willing to choose the things they know (teaching, etc.) Dunno. Anyways, I'm hoping I will be able to go to work with my roommate (Adam) sometime in August, and see what it's actually like inside at least one (computer-) science company.

anyways. I am going to read a debate that dude recommended: The Science of Gender and Science: Pinker vs. Spelke.

10,000 sheep

hand-drawn sheep market - 10,000 sheep drawn by people through amazon's 'mechnaical turk'. via waxy.

old people party

old teachers
Originally uploaded by bec.w.
more pics on flickr. later, some from other people.

kb's moustache

" A clip from the performance segment of the Womens' World Beard and Moustache Championships."

(this video at youtube)

essential queer movies

discussion at Persistent Vision: Essential Queer Movie List. via kottke.

David Wojnarowicz image

yana passed along this image by David Wojnarowicz

big organic

big business organic at the new yorker via robot wisdom.

student evaluations

had to fill these out for my classes. my main problem with all of my classes is that they don't encourage me to get involved and spend time working on the class. I assume this is partially because of my personal lack of enthusiasm, but only partially. other than cos161, none of my classes had homework projects (I really like homework projects, and find them hugely helpful to investing myself in a course). I'm reluctant to actually rate bad classes really badly (I go 2 or 3 out of 5 rather than 1/5) because I'm afraid my personal lack of interest affects my perception of the class. I'd appreciate the opportunity to answer professors' specific questions about their own classes, though; there isn't really that kind of engagement between students and professors at my university.

sparked by this Swarthmore professor's piece on evaluations, via uncertain principles.

cheap, light sleeping pad

I keep vaguely wanting this (thin! light! so cheap!) so I'm blogging it so I will stop thinking about it. Gossamer Gear : : ThinLight Insulation Pad. it should be easy and cheap to get a blue foam sleeping pad while I'm travelling if I actually need it. and I probably won't.

me vs. tree

me vs. tree
Originally uploaded by bec.w.
do you know how easy it is to "blog this photo" from flickr? It's fucking easy.

"Django for non-programmers"

heh, web frameworks. Django for non-programmers. via simon willison.

yes, you can eat jellyfish

answering my own question.

forum discussion on eating jellyfish; it is usually chopped up, mixed with something crispy, and dressed with something vinegary or korean mustard. apparently jellyfish itself is crispy. "jellies must undergo a lengthy procedure of first plumping with freshwater, then drying, then re-salinating with brine, before becoming edible."

they are also eaten dried, and are a "good source of Protein and Copper, and a very good source of Iron and Selenium.." Also, an excellent source of sodium.

supposedly Japanese fishing grounds are being invaded by 440 pound poisonous jellyfish, so "people in Japan are learning, slowly, to snack on dried jellyfish." Let Us Eat Jellyfish.

and then I guess at least one kid ate them while lost at sea: Boys survive week at sea on jellyfish and rainwater.

watching tv forever

this is just about how I felt about Firefly, then BattleStar Galactica, and then Veronica Mars (recommended by Joey Comeau, and I'll second that--the main character uses a Powerbook to great effect): Well Excuse Me Princess - daily for May 5, 2006

Ask Slashdot: Teaching Engineers to Write?

Slashdot: Teaching Engineers to Write?. interesting responses: present writing as an engineering problem, and general writing prompts are inappropriate for engineers. the first is probably half a joke and half serious; it is both funny and a good idea. the second is an issue I may have with writing (it would be one among many).

also suggested in the comments is this book, On Writing Well, which I have and at one point enjoyed; it's kind of snarky and funny, but makes good points. I actually taped an excerpt up at my school once, a kind of anonymous-information-nerd-vandalism that was more nerd than vandalism. (for the record, it was page 44 of an edition published in 1980, on word usage. on the interweb.)

talent is developed

A Star Is Made - New York Times. what sticks in my mind is when kb said that she isn't good at math, just had a good teacher (referring to our middle school math teacher, Mr. Weddleton).

weck canning jars

Weck - Tulip Jars. cool canning jars, use just a rubber gasket and have a glass lid. via the nytimes style magazine this week.

on store-brand packaging

Shelf Improvement - New York Times

daring fireball on .htaccess

Daring Fireball: Using .htaccess Redirection to Standardize Web Server Addresses. at the bottom, he points to this mod rewrite cheat sheet and apache's mod_rewrite documentation.

consumption manifesto

A Consumption Manifesto, by Umbra Fisk. via re: personal responsibility as activism. was talking about that with Jen the other night. it's my primary form of activism too.

density of various materials

Mass, Weight, Density or Specific Gravity of Bulk Materials

"Finding Lost URLs"

commented on this post at about Finding Lost URLs (via kottke)

This is *the* reason I started my second blog, which is basically a regurgitation of everything I've found interesting on the web (plus offline things: recommendations, quotes, conversations, radio articles...). The 'blog this' bookmarklet, add a quote or a few words on my response, and I can find that code snippet I read three weeks ago, plus maybe a reason why it struck me. It's a browsing thoughts history that I can search with type ahead find (in Firefox).

the "second blog"? this.

original star wars on dvd

um, I want this. coming in September: Original Unaltered Trilogy on DVD.

adam recommends

quaternions. for rotations. (mathworld on quaternions)

KD Lang

dude, I had no idea KD Lang was so cute

copyright is killing our fun

dude is pissed at YouTube because of its treatment of copyrighted videos. wants to take them out! by reporting copyrighted content: he has some ominous last words: "We will see how well the service does without the Daily Show and South Park entire episodes that are its real bread and butter."

the whole reason this is worth a read, though, is this:

I believe that such cases occupy far more of a gray area, in which the sharing of other people’s content, in small amounts for no profit, constitutes promotion of the content, and should be considered permissable until such time as the copyright holder objects, at which point it should be immediately removed with complete understanding that both parties acted in good faith.

now if only that could be written in to law. (haha, "good faith." but for real.)

via waxy links

Stephen Colbert

hilarious/surreal: Stephen Colbert's speech White House press corps dinner

Colbert, who spoke in the guise of his talk show character, who ostensibly supports the president strongly, urged the Bush to ignore his low approval ratings, saying they were based on reality, "and reality has a well-known liberal bias."

the first section is juciest, the others are good too. via waxy links -> boingboing.


who I am