Saturday, August 30, 2008

Musopen begins Music Theory Textbook Project

Musopen has begun a Music Theory Textbook Project (as announced on the Musopen blog) to create and release to the public domain a music theory textbook suitable for use in college courses. They're looking for volunteers right now, and although I doubt I can contribute much to the actual theory portion of the book, I've volunteered to proof-read. Give it a look!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inventory as Waste

My coworker Paul was telling me today about some of the presentations he attended at the Agile conference earlier this month, and one of the things he mentioned was the idea that inventory is a kind of waste.

It took me a little while to grasp this concept, but I think of it this way:

Imagine a mechanic's shop. There is a team of mechanics, and they all work together to fix cars (or whatever). They have an inventory of wrenches, and each wrench has a certain cost associated with it, based on the initial cost of the wrench, the cost of storing it, degradation of the wrench over time, etc. The wrench's purpose is to be used to fix cars. When used for its purpose, the wrench is not wasted; it is contributing to the goals of the team. Whenever the wrench is in storage instead of being used for its purpose, it is wasted; it costs the team to store it, track it, put it away, etc. So, ideally, every wrench should be used (appropriately; misuse of a tool is another topic!) as much as possible.

Now, of course, some waste might be necessary. Perhaps certain tasks require the use of multiple wrenches, or when the team is at capacity all the wrenches are in use (but this doesn't happen all the time, nice as that would be). So you have to find the appropriate balance of waste vs efficiency.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Atheism in Pop Culture: "Old Time Religion" (from Greta Christina)

Greta Christina has a bit of a contest going for parody verses for "Old Time Religion."

A couple examples from the post:

Let us worship Aphrodite
In her silky see-through nightie
Though she's mean and somewhat flighty
She's good enough for me.

Let us sacrifice to Isis
She will help us in a crisis
And she hasn't raised her prices
And that's good enough for me.

Here are my entries:

The invisible pink unicorn
May be found in ancient cuneiform
And always shall my socks adorn...
And that's good enough for me.

The Principia Discord-i-a says
The Goddess Eris is our goddess, yes,
And chaos give such good milk, I must confess,
That it's good enough for me.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Orange Butterfly

Orange Butterfly
Originally uploaded by emeraldimp.
We went to the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster today. Here's a taste of pictures to come...

Friday, August 01, 2008

I Hate Creepy Crawlies!

Another Grasshopper I

hate Vicious Spider

Grace Creepy

Crawlies! Crawly

A long-awaited meeting (and flyers,

too) Bald-faced Hornet

So, why do I take so many pictures of them?

The City Born Great - How Long 'Til Black Future Month?

The second story in N. K. Jemisin's anthology How Long 'Til Black Future Month? , "The City Born Great," is an exciting ta...