Something Similar 20.2.2004


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posted at 23:26:40    #    comment []    trackback []

Scientists Protest Bush's Misuse of Science


More than 60 scientists -- including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents -- issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels.


Source: Science Blog
This post references topics: politics science
posted at 20:46:40    #    comment []    trackback []

LaTeX and Jabber

I'm really interested right now in getting a LaTeX interpreting Jabber client. Why you might ask? Well, because I and all of my peers like instant messenging. It lets us stay out of the dismal northwestern Ohio cold. Sometimes, we just need help and we don't have the time to set up a meeting somewhere.

The problem is, we're math and physics majors. Math/science majors in general have a hard time communicating ideas using basic text. By using LaTeX , we simply our lives. We no longer need to decipher "bastard notation" created on the fly; we just use the LaTeX and output a pdf or other image file and send it to the other person.

So one might say "Why an instant messenging client? Why not just email image files to one another?"

That's easy enough to answer. Often, we just need to send back and forth just simple equations or symbols. It just would not be worth the time to open a text editor, create the image and then attach it to an email.

"Well why not just type out the LaTeX and let the other person copy it over to a text file and use the LaTeX tools to make their own image file?"

Because its a waste of time and distracts the user from understanding the information being passed. Why not put together a simple Jabber client that automatically interprets LaTeX into a nice and easy image file right there in the chat? With a group chat, we could have our own recitation without having to venture into the horrible Bowling Green weather or breaking our "flow" by packing up our calculators and notebooks and trundling off somewhere.

I'm trying to put together a client using the code from dizzyd but it depends on another set of code called PEAK which a) I don't know and b) is one more dependency that I dont want to have. The code used by Maniac depends on PEAK while dizzyd's is just a very simplistic client that is just a proof-of-concept.

At this point, it's obvious I want to use Python and Twisted. So far, haven't found any other bits of code.. wait.. no found some at dizzyd's site.. looks like theres links to other libraries using Twisted's Jabber protocol code. Awesome.. looking into it.

Update: Some clarifications.

This post references topics: mathematics physics python school science
posted at 17:00:32    #    comment []    trackback []

Philosophical quotations

Carl Sagan

How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed.' Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision Of The Human Future In Space

I love my grand, subtle, elegant universe. Even if so many people want to mess it all up. Smiley

posted at 00:41:20    #    comment []    trackback []


Look at the cool icon I added over on the right hand side. On that note, I should start working on replacing these normal smileys with different ones.. perhaps the cool bug-eyed ones from gaim.. yes that would do quite well

Update: Hehe, done.. Smiley and Winky, I'll save the rest for later.

posted at 00:24:16    #    comment []    trackback []
February 2004
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A small blog for you and me and two for tea.

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© 2004, Jeff Hodges