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Boston Guy

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Everything posted by Boston Guy

  1. The first flight of the Dreamliner was evidently a great success. I would have loved to have been on board that plane today and am looking forward to flying on it as a passenger. BG
  2. Godiva - Glad it turned out so nice for you. Happy Birthday! Can we assume this was a big one? :-) BG
  3. OMG! Menergy! What a blast from the past! I forgot that song even existed! Jeez, I must be getting old, but I swear, reading this thread makes it seem like it's 1982. :-) BG
  4. I like Last Dance, too, of course. That's probably genetic. :-) But I prefer it earlier in the night because it used to be such a great song to meet guys to at the bars. For the actual last dance, I've always been partial to "Dancing the Night Away". If you need disco music, someplace, somewhere I have a fair number of disco singles in album format. (I'm almost embarassed to admit that.) I suppose I could probably transfer them to digital and send them to you , but not if you need the music next week. Happy Birthday, by the way, whenever it is. And, echoing the others, welcome back... again. :-) BG
  5. I saw this in the NY Times. I thought the obituary was remarkable, especially for being printed in The Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/26/obituaries/26LEBE.html BG
  6. Bucky - Thanks for posting this. I had forgotten Loren Eiseley. Long ago, as a freshman in college, I was taking a course in composition. Our professor, a young Californian newly-transplanted to New England, was a real stickler for careful writing. He was also a fan of nature and, as the Fall progressed, he would return to class each Monday full of stories about how he and his wife had found the foliage even more inspiring than what they had seen the weekend before. For what seemed like an eternity, he made us write sentences. Not connected sentences, sentences forming part of a greater whole, just sentences. He would ask us to write the best sentence we could write on this or that -- once I remember him asking us to choose any ordinary object and describe it fully in one sentence. I well remember sometimes spending an hour or more on a single sentence. We would gather together to read and criticize those sentences and we learned a lot about ourselves and each other through those sentences. Eventually, we went on to longer works and he would assign readings to accompany our writings. One of those assigned readings was The Immense Journey. It is perhaps telling that this collection of essays by Eiseley was assigned reading in a composition class. Eiseley wrote simply and beautifully. If I recall correctly, he was an anthropologist by training who became a kind of naturalist. His essays used nature as a canvas to describe beauty, to seek truth, to help us find our humanity. I would urge anyone who has not had the rather large pleasure of reading Eiseley to do so; surely some of his works must still be in print or be available at libraries -- the effort of finding them will be worth it. I once read a description of the perfect host as someone "who keeps a volume of Saki and another of O'Henry near the lamp in the guest bedroom." I would add a volume of Eiseley to that list.
  7. Paul - thanks! :-) Although it seems like I'm always out of town, coffee sometime might be fun.
  8. Definitely understandable! :-) But, having learned at least one assembly language, you will forever have a better understanding of what actually happens inside a computer at the software level than those who have not had such an opportunity.
  9. Yes... but it's called an assembler not a compiler when the language is Assembly Language. Actually, it's not just a case of "a rose by any other name." Compiled languages are generally taken to be "higher level" than assembly languages and the target of a compiled language can itself be another higher-level language (as in the example of a cross-compiler); this would be very unusual with an assembly language, because pretty much by definition the target of assembly language is some kind of machine language. While both compilers and assemblers perform some of the same processing (lexical analysis, token generation, code generation), a compiler's task is generally more complicated, if for no other reason than the much more flexible definitions provided for compiled languages. At one time, assemblers were pretty simple beasts but they have grown in power and flexibility over time as techniques developed for compiled languages have crossed over. For example, the idea of optimization of assembly language would have been seen as a bad idea at one time, because it was assumed that the assembly language programmer was putting code precisely and exactly where he or she wanted it to be. But today most assemblers offer optimization options. Actually, the study of the processing of artificial languages, especially compiled ones, is kind of fun. The different levels on which the language is analyzed correspond to what we do with natural languages, only more rigorously: lexical analysis to put the symbols into tokens (words); parsing to determine if the words can be put together into valid sentences; and semantic analysis to figure out what it means. So it's really not all that different from what we do internally as we scan or read natural language. Sorry this got to be so pedantic: I was actually trying to make a light-hearted comment that didn't succeed.
  10. Are you offering to explain how a black hole can have high entropy? Or are you simply suggesting that the "M"4M room as a whole is a highly disorganized place? :-)
  11. :-) I completely agree with you on the need for a fundamental understanding of science. In fact, I think it should be (it's not) one of the major issues facing us today: in this ever-more-technical world, the US population's understanding of science seems to be going downhill. And it makes me shudder when I see examples of politicians making critical decisions on science-related issues with clearly no understanding of what's involved. Oh, well. By the way - I was amused by your image of the sun rising and setting. But let us not forget that assembly language programs aren't compiled; they're assembled. :-)
  12. LAST EDITED ON May-22-00 AT 12:38PM (EST)[p]Very interesting question, Rod. As someone who has a very strong bias in favor of the liberal arts, both from a philosophical (I like the idea) and a pragmatic (to survive today, people really NEED to have a wide-ranging background) point of view, I prefer guys with broad backgrounds. But, expanding upon the traditional definition of liberal arts, to be an educated man today I would include a rigorous education in the fundamentals of science and mathematics in the mix. I would also include at least a familiarity with the social sciences, including economics. And I think that acquiring at least a working familiarity with at least one foreign language should be considered fundamental to an appreciation of other cultures. I am sometimes saddened and sometimes appalled by new college grads who tell me they were too busy to take arts courses or music or language. When asked last December by a soon-to-graduate senior what he should take in his final semester, I discovered he had none of these; his whole course of study had been in his major in the sciences and in closely related fields. I advised him to take a music course, an art history course, a semester of language, a history course and a class in English composition -- advice he took. The last I heard, he was enjoying his semester immensely. Of course, a more fundamental error many of us make is to view learning as something that stops at college or grad school. In a world that is changing as fast as this one, if you aren't learning you are slipping behind -- quickly. So, to answer your questions, I personally find people who have taken a liberal arts approach to life most interesting: learn the fundamentals of as many fundamental disciplines as possible, learn a great deal about at least one subject (the purpose of a major is, after all, to develop the ability to acquire and utilize strong knowledge and expertise in a field), and keep on learning. Folks who have concentrated all of their learning on one area are often too focused to be much fun.
  13. LAST EDITED ON Jan-16-00 AT 10:14AM (CST)[p]On the old board, just before it disappeared, a few guys were looking through the Frontiers classified ads, picking out the names of guys offering massage and asking if anyone here knew if the masseur was any good. I don't remember who they were asking about, but I'll repeat the gist of a post I made on the old board recommending a guy who I think gives a great massage. His "handle" is XXXBOY1DER and it's also his AOL screen name, so you can reach him at xxxboy1der@aol.com. His name is Tyler and you can hire him for either massage or escort services. He's funny, fun, warm, engaging, cute, smart, fun to talk to -- he cracks me up! -- and, best of all, he gives a really terrific massage. I've been getting together with him on a regular basis for what must be going on two years now and I've tried lots of other guys as well. He's the best. So, if you're in La La Land and you're searching for a massage, email him. (He also has a pager, but I'm not sure it would be a great idea to post that number here. If you email him, he'll send it to you.) Just please don't make him so busy that he no longer has time to see me! :-)
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