The recently defunct Museum of Science Book Club for the Curious has risen from the ashes in a new location but with the same mission. Now hosted at the Cambridge Innovation Center the next meeting will be May 13, 2010 for a discussion of
From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time by Sean Carroll. Full details can be found at the Museum of Science Book Group Google Group Site.
I find that for some of the books that I've read, mostly when it comes to fiction, a complete entry seems a bit much. My goal of writing up these entries has always been about capturing notes, since I'd say the majority of what I read is non-fiction. While I have reviewed fiction books I've read in the past, most of the time a short summary and rating would be better to capture my feelings should someone ask me what I thought about a book I'd read some time ago. As such a few months ago I signed up for Goodreads. I'm using it to its full potential but have found it useful.
This afternoon I watched a Google TechTalks entitled The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less given by Barry Schwartz on April 27, 2006. The talk does a wonderful job of summarizing the current state of choice and why in most cases it is making us feel worse. Some of the themes echoed what I read in The High Price of Materialism. Below are notes I took to summarize the key points.
A friend recently pointed me at GOOD Magazine.
We see a growing number of people tied together not by age, career, background, or circumstance, but by a shared interest. This revolves around a passion for potential mixed with fierce pragmatism and creative engagement. We sum all this up as the sensibility of giving a damn. But to shorten it, let's call it GOOD. We're here to push this movement and cover its realization.
They are currently running a campaign where your entire subscription fee is donated to a worthy organization of your choice.
Atheists identified as America’s most distrusted minority, according to new U of M study. To quote:
Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry.
That might help explain a few things :)
Tonight I attended the BFPUG Patterns Meeting. It was a small group of about a dozen people. The topic was the Factory pattern. An overview of the pattern and a few conceptual examples were given. Another participant and I then each gave an example of the pattern in code we are currently working on. When I got home I realized that my old roommate actually owned the copy of the Design Patterns book that I've referenced in the past. I wanted to reread the differences between the Abstract Factory Pattern and the Factory Method Pattern. Time to pick that up. Next month's pattern is tentatively the Decorator Pattern.
The ACLU of Massachusetts is having a meeting on Monday March 27th to discuss Domestic Spying, Torture, Rendition, and Secret Prisons. More details can be found on their site.
I'm half way through watching the HBO mini-series from 1998 entitled From the Earth to the Moon and I have to say that it is wonderful. The series has a great combination of archival footage, reenactment, and a top-notch level and quality of detail. I realize I'm probably behind the times since this came out eight years ago and I'm just watching it, but it's a prime example of better late than never. It won a bunch of awards when it did originally come out and from what I've seen, they were all deserved. If you have any interest in the history of the space race, I'd highly recommend this series (and I've only watched half of it).
I recently ran across an article about some of the problems with how management views a development team and how that can lead to problems. The article goes on to talk about the tradeoffs between time, resources, and features that usually result in a failed project. The crux is that management needs to manage the development team with the understanding that only so much can ever get done and that good management will realize this and adjust the project goals along the way to ensure that it succeeds.
From the web site:
Find out more about 'brain sex' differences by taking the Sex ID test, a series of visual challenges and questions used by psychologists in the BBC One television series Secrets of the Sexes.
UPCOMING: Tuesday, November 22, 7 p.m. @ Coolidge Corner Theatre
THE ELEPHANT MAN with guest speaker Jerome Groopman, M.D., whose research on degenerative diseases has lead to groundbreaking advances in the study of cancer and AIDS, as well as multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, and Alzheimer's.
From The Economist's Survey of America. The entire set of articles is a good read, this one statistic caught my eye though:
College-educated women are also postponing children for the sake of their careers. On average, they have their first child at 30, five years later than in the 1970s and eight years later than their contemporaries who have not been to college.
Great article on the rebirth of rapid innovation on the Internet.
If you can wade through the author's ranting and inflammatory remarks, there are some statistics and points worth thinking about. A couple that I found interesting:
And John Kerry won every city with a population above 500,000. He took half the cities with populations between 50,000 and 500,000.
Ruby's walk to class on the first day of school inspired Norman Rockwell's The Problem We All Live With. In this painting ..., a very black Ruby Bridges is escorted to school by four big white U.S. marshals. The image is powerful because it represents the federal government as an institution and enforcer of reason. ... This image of the federal government is now in a coma. The lawmaking bodies that are clustered in Washington, D.C. ..., no longer form the enlightened center from which reason and justice emanate.
A history of why the format of today's debates are so structured.