austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Now this bowser's ready for trousers

Apparently there's a first day of school reporting idea going around. My first day was last week, and I mentioned that then. But the second round of lectures was improved because I found the strap which goes around the microphone so that it could hang around my neck; this explains why there was no clip. The little strip, a dark string designed to hang from two fork tines on either side of the microphone, had fallen in front of the lecturer's table, in the shadows, against the dark blue carpet. The lecture went great, except for when I tried demonstrating programming by logging in remotely to a Unix machine and using vi to enter code; it wouldn't accept the # key for goodness knows what reason. Everything else typed went through, but # was suppressed. This made #include <stdio.h> rather problematic.

In the other class, one student is taking it as an independent study, so must do work above and beyond that of the other students. The student suggested taking my lecture notes and typing them up in LaTeX form, and giving some of the lectures. It's probably good for my ever-strained wrists to go back to writing notes out longhand rather than typing the intricate symbols involved -- typing \hbar is more work than writing the symbol for Planck's constant -- and I'm intrigued by the notion of having this sort of work done for me. And someone else signed up for the class. I'll meet him tomorrow, apparently; all I can find out from the online system is that he appears to be faculty, but I can't find what department or where. I'm curious why he'd take my course.

Meanwhile the simulated emergency exercise bug has really caught Singapore: they're planning a drill simulating a mass bird flu outbreak. At this point I suppose it's just a matter of weeks until they decide to run a drill to see what happens if the Singapore stock market is hit with the kind of crisis that shut the Tokyo Stock Exchange early today. (Somehow a simulated stock market emergency feels like something you could have sold as a story to John W Campbell or maybe Horace Gold.)

Trivia: The William Howard Taft administration brought more actions against trusts in its four years than Theodore Roosevelt's did in its just over seven years. Source: A New History of the United States, William Miller.

Currently Reading: The New Haven Railroad: Its Rise and Fall, John L Weller.

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