July 15th, 2006

krazy koati

Do we go our way or join in their merry queue

And now we can get back to academic matters. I got a couple of questions the past few weeks about my plans for a Numerical Methods course that, so far as I knew, I wasn't teaching. When the bookstore asked what text I wanted, though, I started to wonder who had it wrong, and I asked the person who made up the course assignments. If I'm reading the current interpretation correctly (he's double-checking), this gives me three courses for the next term. Two of them I've taught already, so they're not as challenging as they might be, but three entire courses, plus the two student research projects I have, would make this the most demanding semester I've ever had. They explicitly give points for teaching credentials for things like leading student research projects when it comes time to do faculty reviews, though, so this may be worth it. I'm still going to have to get much more organized to handle the overhead, though.

Actual teaser spot for an article in The Straits Times: ``Vegetarianism Boring? The Singapore Meatout Might Change Your Mind.'' I'll admit I've found the vegetarian options at my local hawker centers pretty dull, since I'm drawn to a protein-and-sides type of dinner, and in that form the vegetarian option is using cubes of unflavored warm tofu in place of the chicken, duck, fish, or (depending on your stall) beef or pork cooked in a couple of different ways. There's only some of those that I'd eat (I don't care for duck in any form I've found, for instance), but it still means the tofu option is pretty narrow and even my compulsions demand some more variety. But I like the name of the ``Singapore Meatout'' and I do want to eat more meat-free.

I think I was on the verge of starting a new Internet game by looking up my initials in the NASA/John F Kennedy Space Center Acronyms List, but it turns out my real name's initials just aren't anything. If you leave out my middle name the initials appear but only buried in after the first letter of another initial. ``Austin Dern'' is better for these purposes, since AD is at least something (Aperture Door), and there are a few more acronyms that start AD and go on to other letters. At least some of my friends do better. orv's real name, disregarding his middle name, matches seven items on the list. Somebody probably can even do better.

Trivia: On 15 July 1839, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, commander of the United States South Seas Exploring Expedition, promoted himself to Commodore of his five-ship fleet. Source: Sea of Glory, Nathaniel Philbrick.

Currently Reading: The Persistance of Vision, John Varley.