23 December 2008

Give Us Some (Ecumenical) Music

If you're looking for a Christmas music special to watch tomorrow night, let me recommend "Voices of Christmas" on CBS at 10:30 Central. It was produced by the National Council of Churches and hosted by Michael Kinnamon, who I met a couple of months ago and who's a brilliant, caring teacher and theologian (I'm standing next to him in this picture in the back row at right).

In fine NCC fashion, the special presents music from a number of member communions, which I think will be a nice change of pace from more monolithic specials from a single tradition. I've been a little down on the church these past weeks (and it always gets worse when I get home and start getting sucked into watching cable televangelists--just change the channel, Kyle), so Kinnamon's closing remarks in the preview below were like a breath of fresh air. Also, I was pleasantly surprised to see my friend Cassandra pop up in the interviews. Nicely done, Cassandra!

20 December 2008

Two Beer-Related Recommendations

I met one of the hosts of WSUM's Beer Talk Today last night at a friend's housewarming party. Really interesting guy with fascinating insight into the local beer and food scene. Anyway, I checked out today's Year In Review episode and really enjoyed it. Consider it recommended; I've added a link to their blog at right, and you can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. FYI, their timeslot is apparently moving to Tuesdays at 9 p.m. when they return after the holiday break.

Speaking of recommendations, the beer that got us talking last night was New Glarus Brewing Company's new "Alt," a German altbier. A friend of mine happened to mention it to me a few days back, and the convenience store I stopped at on my way to the party happened to have it. Everybody at the party who had some raved about it, and I defnitely suggest that you add it to your holiday to-drink list. It's apparently not expected to last through December, so make haste.

19 December 2008

Another Ad: Be Like This Guy!

I was reading an article on yellowcake today in an old issue of the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, and I just had to pass on this hilarious advertisement for becoming a professional engineer (PE). Granted it's ten years old and directed at folks who already have engineering training, but I couldn't help but think it's small wonder that we're having a hard time getting people interested in being PEs if ads like this are thought to be a legit recruitment tool.

By the way, Samuel Florman writes about the issue of PE licensing and much more in a fascinating book called The Introspective Engineer that everyone with even a passing interest in the field should definitely consider reading. I found it helpful to have a historical perspective on why engineering school is as unpleasant as it is (speaking of poor recruitment strategies...).

Florman's also a PE, albeit a (slightly) cooler-looking one. What he really looks like, though, is Ed McMahon.



18 December 2008

Another Hacker Within Ad

I know this doesn't make for a very exciting post number 100 here at CSC, but please help spread the word about this software carpentry training we're doing the week before UW-Madison classes start. Join us if you can!

09 December 2008

Hacker Within Meeting Friday

I doubt I have too many UW-Madison computer geek readers who don't already know about this (if indeed I have any at all, which is also doubtful given my dire posting record of late), but on Friday at 2:15 in 414 Engineering Research Building, the Hacker Within computational science interest group that a few of us started this summer is going to be hearing from Tim Tautges:

Component interfaces or APIs should a) have the right level of abstraction, so they can handle new kinds of data without needing to be modified, and b) should be callable from multiple languages, and c) should not get in the way of good performance. I'll describe the ITAPS mesh interface, which has been designed to meet these constraints.
Sound cool? More importantly, does this look cool?:

If so, you should come by. What better way to celebrate the end of the semester? ;)