19 November 2008

Worlds colliding

So, my friend and colleague David Meerman Scott has a new book coming out. As you can see, he's collecting pictures of the promotional poster hanging in people's offices, etc. I sent him my contributions today and just had so share, such was the glory of the juxtaposition. The first is boring old me sitting in my boring old office, computer screens ablaze (surprisingly enough, it looks like I'm actually getting some work done). The second one is me in the lab that a bunch of my classmates work in. That's the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement experiment behind me, a project of our department's Fusion Technology Institute. The IEC group does not endorse the content of World Wide Rave; they were, however, nice enough to let me get a shot with their gear. Anyway, I can't wait to see what David's got up his sleeve. Should be exciting.

Office photo

Lab photo

If you're surprised to see me in decent clothes, you're not alone. The reason is that I had to give a talk earlier in the day to some visitors from the University of Tokyo. I haven't talked much about my research here lately, so I posted the slides, IYI. Please note that although they should stand alone (legitimate thanks, Michael Alley and Co.), these slides do look a little mangled depending on what you're viewing them with (sarcastic thanks, PowerPoint 2007). Rest assured that I'm not a total moron when it comes to font choice.

As a general PowerPoint PSA, I suggest you also check out Tufte's rant about it--mostly because it's hilarious.

Update: Here's the photo on David's WWR page.

04 November 2008

It's hip to be genuinely square

Just in case the blogosphere fails to produce any non-election-related material today (an absurd notion, of course, but do me a favor and grant the damn premise), I wanted to pass along an article my friend Erica posted recently: "Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization."

Don't get me wrong, I hate the "oh, kids these days" mentality. I hate it in the middle third of Alan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, I hate it when it rears its head periodically in the composition literature (every ten years or so, if I remember a couple of writing center scholars' talks correctly), and I hate it because I hate being referred to as a kid.

So apologies in advance for sending along what is essentially a "kids these days"-style rant. That said, it strikes me as pretty much the most wickedly fun rant I've read since Jon Pareles declared Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." It also strikes me as true, but I would appreciate some insight from anyone who understands the situation better and can deliver me from what I suspect is an oversimplified view. Genuineness and originality are out there somewhere, right? Hipsters, help an engineer out.