austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Take my arms that I might reach you

I heard the strangest thing during my lecture today: silence. My students aren't actively rude, mind you, but there's around a hundred forty of them, so there's invariably somebody asking his neighbor what I just said, or muttering over the last question I tossed out, or just generally chattering. Today, nothing except my microphoned voice.

It was eerie. There's no way demonstrating C's string functions can be so compelling as to have the audience silent in anticipation, even though I made clever use of the lyrics to the Beatles' Penny Lane to demonstrate the strcat string concatenation function and the risks of buffer overruns. (This only about a third of my students got -- I can read their eyes even as they swear there aren't any questions -- but everybody accepted the ``don't put too long a string in too small a space'' rule, and I'll settle for that.) The textbook uses movie and Three Stooge names for the same points.

Trivia: Surviving copies of the Domesday Book, William the Conqueror's detailed statistical survey of his English holdings of 1066 and 1086, lack data on London. Source: The History Today Companion to British History, Juliet Gardiner and Neil Wenborn.

Currently Reading: Galaxies Like Grains of Sand, Brian Aldiss.


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