Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Friday I did a presentation at the Computer Using Educators cue.org conference in Palm Springs. Having just completed a Firefly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefly_(television) marathon on DVD, I thought I was homesick for the desert, but as it turns out I got over it quickly on my hike from the convention ctr to the airport. The room was packed and the reception to the promo video and beta were very enthusiastic. [BTW, i was surprised to find an extensive article on Firefly in wikipedia, despite the fact that it would share a fanbase, and the fact that i just read that its hits just surpassed the encyclopedia britannica online].

More books I wish I had time to read (just finished Tyla Tharp on creativity and recommend it highly http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0743235266/ref=ase_forestsofcali-20/102-5348226-4492951?v=glance&s=books):

Rebecca Solnit – River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the
Technological Wild West

Bill Bryson – A Short History of Nearly Everything

Monday, March 08, 2004

Just back from the Seattle teacher's workshop (thanks to Gary H and Judy for organizing). We had some new folks, including Janet Hayakawa, the new executive director for New Horizons for Learning who has an extensive background in public television and had the fine idea to include students using the K-web during pledge week broadcasts. NHFL will shortly be publishing an article by Judy on her experienced in the virtual reality conference in which JB did the keynote.

While in a bookstore up there I stumbled across The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World
by Ken Alder
which looks pretty interesting:


Snippet of review: Amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, two intrepid astronomers set out in opposite directions from Paris to measure the world, one voyaging north to Dunkirk, the other south to Barcelona. Their findings would help define the meter as one ten-millionth of the distance between the pole and the equator, a standard that has since swept the planet. The Measure of All Things is the astonishing story of one of history's greatest scientific quests, a mission to measure the Earth and define the meter for all nations and for all time.

Yet when Ken Alder located the long-lost correspondence between the two men, along with their mission logbooks, he stumbled upon a two-hundred-year-old secret, and a drama worthy of the great French playwrights. The meter, it turns out, is in error. One of the two astronomers, Pierre-François-André Méchain, made contradictory measurements from Barcelona and, in a panic, covered up the discrepancy. The guilty knowledge of his misdeed drove him to the brink of madness...

Monday, March 01, 2004

Alan Kay has just won the Draper Prize, a sort of Nobel award of engineering. I chatted with him recently about the K-Web as he and Bob Stein (who has created great e-book authoring software http://www.nightkitchen.com/index.phtml) were hired to create an encyclopedia of the future by Britannica (never implemented).

He is interviewed on Talk of the Nation (archived at http://discover.npr.org/rundowns/rundown.jhtml?prgId=5&prgDate=current)

He has amazing software for 3D called Croquet that will allow very powerful historical simulation environments:

More info:


Alan Kay : video of a lecture/demo: http://murl.microsoft.com/videos/stanford/cs547d/030425_OnDemand_100_100K_320x240.htm