brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell


The Campfire Blog > Restored photo of Ulysses S. Grant

Before and After for U. GrantThe Campfire Blog has a nice example of what you can do with Photoshop and some historic photos from the Library of Congress website. Neat!


Holy Crap!

While testing MSN Search using my name, I found Topics in Animation: The Pinscreen in the Era of the Digital Image which includes a reference to my public domain raytracer. Who knew?


Decoding Why Few Girls Choose Science, Math (

Stories like this one have been making the rounds, probably in response to the unfortunate remarks which Harvard University President Lawrence Summers made last month that suggested that innate differences between men and women might be responsible for the differences that the two sexes demonstrate in math and sciences.

Unfortunately, in all of the these stories that I have read, they neglect one thing which seemed obvious to me:

Teachers and scientists say that there are greater differences in learning styles within each sex than there are between the sexes and that any school or teacher that doesn't approach students as individuals is missing the mark.

The problem with bad schools (of which there are plenty) and bad educational practices (ditto) is that they try to take the shortcut and stereotype the failures and successes of individual students by some overly simplistic indicator. "Girls aren't good at math because they are more social." "Boys are less afraid of being wrong." "Girls are collaborative." "Boys are programmed for conflict."

There are certainly lessons to be learned. Every teacher should examine his actions and try to decide whether his actions are somehow biased towards outcomes for any of his students. Every child should enjoy an atmosphere where they are welcome and encouraged. How much should we do? All that we can, and all that they need, for each individual student.


Scripting iTunes on Windows with Python

The Lonely Lion has a small snippet of Python that adds files to iTunes using the COM interface. Could be useful.

Filed under: Python Comments Off


How in the world does this book get to be ranked #15 on

Truly, the end times must be upon us. Or, they would be if I believed in such nonsense.