Milano

We’re headed to Milan this weekend and I’m scrambling to reread everything I can about the cathedral – it’s a VERY big building with a VERY complicated building history!

further: and I remembered to pop my battery into the charger this morning! The battery on my new (last fall) Nikon D3100 lasts approximately forever – and I’ve already had one “damn it, my battery’s dead!” incident this semester because of that.

Therapeutic use of alcohol accessories in a nonalcoholic method

After all these years of wrist problems driven by repetitive stress, I have finally found the platonic wrist-and-hand icer! My faithful Vacu Vin Rapid Ice Wine Chiller does the trick better than anything — insert hand, wait until numb (with cold, people, with cold!), remove.

Oh – the leak in the living room ceiling is repaired – but the hole is even bigger than it was last time. The drywall to repair it is standing in the hall, though, so there’s hope.

Testing from the iPad

Just seeing how well this works. I’m about to make a short trip to Italy and perhaps Germany, and I’d like to make the trip with only the iPad!

So – how about keyboard cut and paste? Yes, here’s the link for our Center for Global Education.

Gesture cut and paste? Ok:
The mission of the Center for Global Education is to provide students with academically challenging study abroad experiences that foster an in-depth understanding of another culture, with the aim of encouraging them to embrace the concept of global citizenship. Being a responsible, effective citizen of the world involves assuming an active role in one’s own community and in the larger world; it requires an understanding of the relationship between actions made locally and globally and a commitment to the betterment of people’s lives everywhere. Through our rigorous study abroad programs and innovative on-campus predeparture and reentry programming, the Center for Global Education strives to provide students with a transformative learning experience that inspires them to live lives of consequence.

The thing that annoys me most about trying to WORK with the iPad is the impossibility of sending an attachment from inside the Mail app. I’m sure there’s a better solution than the workarounds I’ve seen out there!

Phone Shopping

One of those little parent-tasks we took care of today was getting Mother a new phone — she’d had her’s for 4 years, we figure, so the upgrade was free. She’s got something with bigger numbers, a very clear screen, and no change to her current contract.
While we waited for the clerk to get her address book to move over from the SIM card to her phone I played with a Samsung Windows Phone. Gosh – I like the interface! The phone felt a little flimsy — much lighter than an iPhone. But this would be very, very tempting!

Carnivalesque 63

Carnivalesque 63 – an Ancient and Medieval Version!
Do cities that are just NOT THERE any more matter? You bet they do! But how do we show people what was there if there’s no there there any more? Go look at what can be done with Antioch on the Orontes.
How do you get extant but really fragile manuscripts out of the library where more than one scholar at a time can use them? Here are some really interesting digitalization examples.
And how do you get the DNA out of a manuscript folio to figure out things about – well, about everything, starting with the sheep herd the page was made from. Well, first you have to convince a librarian that a set of 40-micron diameter holes in the edge of a manuscript is acceptable. Then you have to use Michael Drout’s new machine – prototype now available!
Bit players in the grand play of the Fall of the Roman Empire and the eventual emergence of the modern western European nations? Not so fast, buddy! Go read about the Burgundian Civil War and think harder about what makes people(s) central to the story.
Not a bit player at all – the power behind the throne – a new life of the Empress Theodora.
Periodization is always a question. In question? Questionable? But much like bit players and great powers, definition is important, if impossible. Magistra et Mater asks “How late should the late antique go?”
So you didn’t make it to Kalamazoo this year? Jonathan Jarrett covered a BUNCH of sessions incredibly thoroughly – here, here, here, and here He’s not quite Prof. Dr. Boethius P. von Korncrake, but hey – most of us aren’t.
The most important Kalamazoo news? The Chaucer Blogger steps forward!
And finally, what I think must be the most-forwarded ancient or medieval story of the year — the lurid cemetary of the Gladiators at York. Men bitten by Tigers! Differential development of right arms! At least three of my students in Greek Art & Architecture this semester forwarded this to me – and it was on every list serve I’m on, too. And then ADM sent it as a suggestion, too – so clearly Gladiators are In the News!
Happy reading!

Mmmmm, gadgetry

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English inventor-genius James Dyson is coming out with a bladeless fan! Look at that! With my twin loves of gadgets and moving air, will I be able to hold out until the price drops from the absurd $300? Probably. But I’ll regret the wait!


Mr Dyson and his team of fluid dynamics engineers developed the technology behind the bladeless fan after studying the performance of an earlier Dyson invention, the Dyson Airblade commercial hand dryer that uses sheets of clean air travelling at 400mph to dry hands far more quickly and efficiently than rivals.
A team of fluid dynamics engineers spent four years running hundreds of simulations to precisely measure and optimise the machine’s circular aperture and airfoil-shaped ramp before perfecting Dyson’s Air Multiplier technology.
“We realised that this inducement, or amplification, effect could be further enhanced by passing airflow over a ramp,” says Mr Dyson. “And of course this was the point where the idea of a bladeless fan became a real possibility. Here was a way to create turbulent-free air and finally do away with blades.”
The new fan works by drawing air into the base of the machine. The air is forced up into the loop amplifier and accelerated through the 1.3mm annular aperture, creating a jet of air that hugs the airfoil-shaped ramp. While exiting the loop amplifier, the jet pulls air from behind the fan into the airflow (inducement). At the same time, the surrounding air from the front and sides of the machine are forced into the air stream (entrainment), amplifying it 15 times. The result is a constant uninterrupted flow of cooling air.

An unsolicited endorsement

Geneva has been hit this summer with a plague of fruit flies. Everyone has them swarming all over the place – mention them to anyone in Geneva and you get eye rolling and head shaking. I’ve cleaned out everything in the kitchen 2 or 3 times to no effect.
There are some fruits and vegetables that I just won’t eat if they’ve been sitting in the fruit-fly-free refrigerator: bananas, peaches, and tomatoes. So last week I broke down and bought – horror of horrors – as seen on T.V. a box of Debbie Meyer Green Bags. I was about to buy some really big ziplock bags to accomplish the same thing and decided why not try the pitched product.
Let me tell you – not only does it discourage the fruit flies (they’re still here, but in reduced numbers), but it keeps bananas fresher! Peaches don’t go soft as fast! Tomatoes ripen and stop!
What can I say – maybe even though she is annoying, she’s got a good product.