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1  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Snow day! on: Today at 01:54:12 pm
Just learned that we close at 2:30 today, so afternoon lab is cancelled.  Actually I'm glad because I also learned that my son is getting off school at 1:10PM, so I'll be able to pick him up.

I always found introductory lab cancellations particularly difficult to recover from. There were always multiple sections throughout the week, and equipment has to be set up on Friday for the next week. If one day was cancelled, there would be three or four sections that could never make up the lab.

Advanced labs were easier to work around. I could adjust what exercises to do going forward and make sure the core exercises remained on the schedule.

Yes, I love snow days, but when it cancels lab it can be a scheduling nightmare.  Freshman-level labs are the toughest.  This semester I'm teaching quantum mechanics, and it's populated with juniors and seniors, all of whom I know from previous classes.  They don't need much babysitting.  It does cause some scheduling difficulties.  The lecture splits into three labs:  tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday afternoon.  Their first lab report (analysis of experimental Raman and IR spectra as well as some Spartan calculations) is due today.  I emailed the Tuesday afternoon section and said that they can bring those in tomorrow at lecture.  It'll take four of weeks to get the three sections back on the same track, but I can do it because I have a rotating schedule and have scheduled a bye week for each pair (in anticipation of a possible snow day).  I'll remove the bye week for the Tuesday afternoon schedule and four weeks from today everything will be back to normal.  I'll explain all this in lecture tomorrow at 11, assuming that we meet. 

I arrived at my son's school at 12:55 and walked into the office and did an early dismissal form.  The receptionist asked, "you don't want to wait 15 more minutes?" and I looked at the long line of cars queuing up and said no.  "I don't blame you," she replied.  At 1:00 my son made his way to the office and I stood up and said, "let's hurry!  I have two umbrellas, one for you and one for me.  If we go now we can beat the rush."  Then he exclaimed, "Ah, wait, I forgot my hat!" and the old man sitting next to me waiting for his granddaughter asked with a grin, "Are you surprised?"  I said, "Okay, hurry and get the hat.  Run!"  He threw his backpack on the chair next to me and started to dash off down the hall when the receptionist shouted, "No, don't run.  We don't allow running in the halls."  At about 1:05 he returned to the front office, panting, "Um, actually, my hat is in my backpack."  The old man sitting next to me again asked with a grin, "Are you surprised?"  We dashed out to the car and drove out of the parking lot in the nick of time.  (He attends an intermediate school with about 500 fifth graders and about 500 sixth graders.  It's new and nice and has lots of good stuff like gifted, instrumental music, and all sorts of sport opportunities, but it is in exurbia and has one skinny two-lane drive to get in and out.  It's a long traffic jam every morning and afternoon, which inspires my desire to get there early and spirit him away.)

We're now filling out valentine's day cards--the party is tomorrow, apparently.  After that there will be homework, and then a bit more on the bridge of Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer" which he's struggling with right now.  His piano teacher has decided it's time for more challenging material, and I must admit that he's progressed to a point where he plays far better than I.  All I can do is just tell him to do what his teacher told him.  If he can do all that without giving me any grief and in a timely fashion, then we'll go out with the snowboard, toboggan, and snowball makers.  Well, he'll go out with those things and come back wet.  I'll head out with an 18-inch wide shovel and come back with sore arms and an aching back.
2  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Snow day! on: Today at 11:56:37 am
Just learned that we close at 2:30 today, so afternoon lab is cancelled.  Actually I'm glad because I also learned that my son is getting off school at 1:10PM, so I'll be able to pick him up.
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Snow day! on: Today at 08:54:36 am

Overnight we only had 3/4 of an inch or so.  My son's bus arrived at its usual time and I'm at work.  It's heavy, wet snow and falling at a good clip.  If this keeps up all day, I will not be surprised if the public schools have a delayed start tomorrow, or even a cancellation.  I normally like snow days myself, but a Tuesday or Wednesday cancellation really causes havoc for me this semester, so I hope we don't.
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Albright poll: Women will go to Hell if they don't vote for Hillary on: February 08, 2016, 08:46:03 pm
option 3, of course, but it would be an omission to imply that we think she had been indoctrinated only by the clintons.  She's a true believer.  This is the same Madeleine Albright who once said, "We are the indispensable nation."  Her idea of American Statecraft includes many such statements.  In response to Leslie Stahl's question, "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima.  Is the price worth it?"  Madeline Albright replied, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."  Sure, what's a little genocide if it keeps Americans in oil?  

She's both an imperialist and a clintonista.  I have no doubt that she genuinely believes what she said.  American women (and probably a few American men) will burn in hell if they do not elect another Clinton.  Eight more years!

5  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: best Shakespearean tragedy? on: February 08, 2016, 08:15:41 pm
That's what I was thinking as well, except that I didn't know he was known as Dick the Sht.  Moreover, only Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth actually have the word Tragedy in their original titles.

Voted Othello, although I have seen Hamlet more times than any of the others, and finally it is the play that I understand the best.  Romeo and Juliet is the only one in which I have played a role on the stage.  The best, however, is Othello.  I have wanted to play Iago for a long time.  I think I could pull off a realistic Iago. 
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Best dressed candidate on: February 08, 2016, 03:23:31 pm
Marco Rubio!

7  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Snow day! on: February 08, 2016, 02:35:50 pm
Don't know if we'll get a snow day Tuesday or Wednesday, but we're expecting some snow, starting late tonight:

8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Politicians and famous people that share your birth date on: February 08, 2016, 01:48:57 pm
Emperor Charles V (also known as Charles 1 of Spain) and I share a birthday.  He is probably the most famous politician.  Former governors Zell Miller and Jane Swift share a birthday with me as well, but I'm not sure either is as famous a politician as Carlos Quinto.

Recently-departed actor Abe Vigoda and I share a birthday.  I also share a birthday with a political movement:  the NAZI party was founded on my birthday, one year before the birth of Abe Vigoda.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What religious services have you been to? on: February 08, 2016, 01:09:12 pm
Oh, almost forgot.  I also went to a Church of Christ church, where everybody was black except for me.  I'm not a bigot, but I couldn't help notice that I was the only white guy in the house.  I actually didn't know it was a "black" church till I got inside.  It was obvious that they were as surprised to see me as I was.  They were really, really welcoming though.  Put me at ease.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What religious services have you been to? on: February 08, 2016, 01:05:31 pm
I've been to Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, and Episcopalian masses, as well as a couple of touchy-feely, interdenominational megachurch services replete with loud rock bands, scantily-clad girls, coffee, and scones.  I've also attended a methodist service and a few fire-and-brimstone calvinist-type services, including Pentecostal and Baptist.   I've been to a Jewish temple as well.

I've been to several Buddhist and Dao temples, and lit the incense and put a yuan in the cup and bowed my head and burned my fingers, but I'm not sure those count as "services" since it's a walk-in type event.  Similarly, I've been in a mosque, removed my shoes, and watched as some devotees bowed and prayed, but it wasn't during one of the big prayer times so it probably doesn't count as a service either.  I also had lunch with the Krishnas a few times in college.  It was vegetarian, but it was free, and all I had to do for it was listen to their spiel and chant some mantras.

11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you watching the Super Bowl tonight? on: February 08, 2016, 09:23:12 am
As I was towelling off in the club yesterday, I overheard a conversation between two old fat dudes.  One asks, "so do you have a favorite in the superbowl tonight?"  "Denver," says the other, "I want to see Manning win."  The first one then asked, "You like Manning, do ya?"  "Hell, no," answered the other guy, "I can't stand him, and if he wins he'll probably retire and we can be rid of him."

I watched most of the first half, the halftime show, and some of the fourth quarter.  I turned it off after the two-point conversion, possibly the final pass of Manning's career.  At that time it was 24-10 with a few minutes left in the game and I figured it was over.  With all the heavy favoring of Carolina, I was surprised at how weak the Carolina offense played.
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Super Bowl 50 Thread! on: February 07, 2016, 08:43:23 pm
It was an amazing halftime show!

Okay, I had to come back, at least for the show.  I suspect that the television really didn't do it justice.  It's still daylight in Los Angeles, by the way.  How weird is that?
13  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Super Bowl 50 Thread! on: February 07, 2016, 07:59:58 pm
another field goal by Denver.  "All of the mistakes we have made, and we're only down 13 to 7?"

Is this one of the more dry superbowls, or is it just me?

Maybe Beyonce and Justin Beaver can help us achieve erection with a wardrobe malfunction during the half. 

This is lame.  I think I'm turning it to Downton Abbey.  When a superbowl becomes stuffier than Carson, you know it's a dry superbowl.  Cheers. 
14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Super Bowl 50 Thread! on: February 07, 2016, 07:34:52 pm
Flag on the first Carolina touchdown.  How frustrating is that?

Okay, it was offsides called on defense, so no harm, no foul.  Also, it was a 73-yard TD.  Not unimpressive.

10-7 Denver.

The commercials have been pretty lame tonight.  Usually they're pretty good.  Did you see the mathematician from Jurassic Park playing "Movin' on up" a grand piano to advertise apartments? 

On a brighter note, both David Lee Roth and Stephen Tyler have featured some singing on the commercials tonight.  Dream on.
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What's your no sleeping record? on: February 07, 2016, 07:30:40 pm
...awoken ... awoken ... awoken ...


Is that a word?  I think you're making that up.

I was awakened if an external stimulus happened (transitive) or I awoke (intransitive) if it happened all by itself.  Somebody feel free to correct me.  (Not Ernest.  You make up words all the time.  You don't count.)

Anyway, maybe from about 6ish one morning till around 8ish the next evening.  Something like 38 hours.  Feels like hell.  I don't recommend it.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Super Bowl 50 Thread! on: February 07, 2016, 07:19:39 pm
damn.  I took the garbage out, took a piss, refilled my glass, and when I got back upstairs it was 10-0, Denver. 

17  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Valentine's Day on: February 07, 2016, 07:01:20 pm

I've always enjoyed it.  In high school, it's a chance to borrow mom's Lincoln, take your sweetie somewhere special, and maybe leave a big mess in the back seat of the Lincoln.  In college, I worked at a florist for about a year, and it was one of our busiest delivery days, bested only by Mother's Day.  And, as a floral delivery guy, you meet quite a few pretty girls on Valentine's Day.  (not so with Mother's Day)  Later in life, it gets more expensive, especially if you're seeing more than one woman mid-February.  Still, it's fun.  Even later in life, you get to help pick out the cheesy little packs of cards with Spider Man or The Hulk (or, I suppose, Kittens if you have a little girl) and give your kid a bag of candy and cards to share with the class, and he comes home with lots of tooth-rotting candy to share with you and your old lady.  It's really one of the special days of the year. 
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Super Bowl 50 Thread! on: February 07, 2016, 06:55:04 pm
carolina did't keep possession much.  It's back to Denver. 
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Super Bowl 50 Thread! on: February 07, 2016, 06:46:30 pm
field goal attempt by Denver, and...

it is good. 

we'll see if peyton's feet hold out.
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you watching the Super Bowl tonight? on: February 07, 2016, 06:39:48 pm
Joe Montana flips.  Class act.  Carolina calls tails and it lands on tails.  Carolina will kick.  And, another commercial...

This is what is so frustrating about any professional sports game in the USA.  You get two minutes of commercials for every one minute of actual programming.  Then again, I know people who claim to watch the superbowl solely for the commercial advertisements.  I'll probably sit through some of the first quarter and some of the last quarter.  And, of course, the halftime show.

Voted yes.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you watching the Super Bowl tonight? on: February 07, 2016, 06:34:17 pm
Lady Gaga.  Outstanding performance.

Will watch it in fits and starts, no doubt.  Gonna see the kick-off in a few minutes (after a few words from the sponsors, and maybe a few more words from the sponsors.) 

Don't have a favorite this time.
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: X-Files on: February 06, 2016, 09:31:50 pm
Just watched it.  Weird.  Paranoid libertarian rant.  Way different from what I remember from the late 90s.  Or maybe I'm just older and more cynical. 
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Rubio becomes president, will he gut or change Obamacare? on: February 06, 2016, 07:39:05 pm
I agree.  You have to sweep the house and control at least 60 senate seats to get any of the president's legislative agenda accomplished.  This what I always say when folks give me the hairy eyeball when I say that I'm supporting Bernie Sanders, and we're in it to win win it. Talking heads always going on about "how is he going to achieve his legislative agenda?  There's no way he'll get what he wants" as though that's a bad thing.  As long as one party controls the executive branch, and another controls the national legislature, they we can be sure that they're not going to fuck anything up too badly. 

My general position is that when I think the GOP is going to control the congress, I vote for a Democrat president, and when I think the Democrats will control the congress, I vote for a Republican president.  Gridlock is good. 

The PPACA is a particularly unfortunate bit of legislature, and probably a special case, since it is tailor-made to funnel wealth away from the many and toward the few.  (Ironically, many of its detractors claim that it is "socialist" when it is in fact the opposite thereof.)  It places many unnecessary burdens on individuals and on society as a whole.  Unsurprisingly, it is "popular" as has been pointed out.  Too bad those who voted on it didn't read the bill, as they freely admitted afterward.  Still, unless the GOP can control both the house and at least 60 seats in the senate, it will not be deconstructed.  I think your assessment is fair (except for some of the really inside baseball bit, which I don't totally understand).  Clearly, it is with us to stay.  Unfortunately.

also, that's a really big map.  Was that really necessary?  I have to scroll right just to read your post.  Please try to be more considerate in the future.
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: X-Files on: February 06, 2016, 07:26:10 pm
aaaaaaaaaaaaah!  The X-files.  New episodes!  No sheet.

Yeah, I'm stoked.  I had heard that they're gearing up again, but when it aired I think life must have gotten in the way.  I'll reserve judgment till I've seen one, but I'm pretty excited.  They're airing episode 1 of season 10 tonight at 8EST on WTXF (channel 23, philadelphia) and I'll watch it.  Here's the description:

In the Season 10 opener, agents Mulder and Scully return after 13 years to investigate a government conspiracy at the behest of a popular webTV-show host, who introduces them to a woman who claims she's an alien abductee and shares startling news with them.

Sounds intriguing, no?
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Questions for Ron Paul 2012 college bros? on: February 06, 2016, 07:07:44 pm
"the Paulians" says the article.  first we were Paultards, then were were Paulites.  

Well, as one of the 2012 Ron Paul college bros--I voted for Ron Paul in the 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucuses, and although I wasn't a university student, I worked at a university, so I'll pick up the mantle--I'll say that they're on to something.  I think it's a little unfair to say that Ted Cruz deserved or did not deserve the win.  Cruz walked the beat, he kissed the ring, he put in the hours.  Cruz worked hard and he got what he deserved.  It's a little like claiming the grapes were sour.  Still, I think Paul is right when he says that it's disingenuous for the Cruzers (can I coin that term?) to claim that they're free marketeers when they're really just the new-and-improved version of corporatist/nationalist power projectionists.  I think it's a fair charge.  However, I don't know if it will hurt Cruz.  Nor, for that matter, would you necessarily want to hurt Cruz.  Any diminution of Cruz might be tantamount to helping Trump.  I can't believe a self-respecting Paultard (or "Paulian" if that's what we're using nowadays) would want to do that.  

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