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January 25th, 2007

I don't know what people think of Cringely, but his latest article is really disturbing and his postulates ring just true enough that they make a certain sense.

When Being a Verb is Not Enough: Google wants to be YOUR Internet

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Well good for him

Lately we've been enjoying "Engineering an Empire" on the History Channel. The actual "engineering" theme is actually fairly thin, focussing mostly on the politics of how huge projects were undertaken than the actual hard facts of them, but that's okay. Not only does the series cover bits of world history that I never learned, and thus fills in some really fascinating gaps in my understanding of the flow of history toward the modern world, but it's hosted by Peter Weller (Buckaroo Banzai, Robocop, Naked Lunch), who has a no-nonsense delivery with just the right amount of levity ("His father was an actuary, so I wonder how this cat's dad reacted when he told him he wanted to be a stonemason... probably about like my old man did when I told him I was moving to New York to be an actor."). It's just a nice example of history made relevant and fun.

I noticed tonight, though, that when Peter Weller appeared to introduce the episode about the Russian Empire, he had gained some academic creds in his on-screen graphic. Where the name "Peter Weller" would appear beneath him as he began to speak, tonight it was "Peter Weller (Syracuse University)." Curious about this, I looked him up, and sure enough, he has a PhD in Roman and Renaissance Art History, and taught classes at his alma mater, Syracuse University. I'll be damned. He certainly is an interesting enough lecturer on TV.

I also thought it was funny to see Nancy Cantor on the splash page of Syracuse's web site. She was our chancellor for a few years, but not a very good one by anyone's account. A huge public university like this doesn't run like a tiny private liberal arts college, but that's how she was trying to operate us. And it didn't work. I for one couldn't get my job done just on good touchy feely let's all learn from our life experience here. But oh well.

On that note, off to bed. I haven't been sleeping well because even though I'm healthy, this cough keeps me quite awake for hours before sleep overtakes it, so I've been going to bed earlier and earlier, and I'm STILL tired all the time at work.

On the bright side, Susanna made a very yummy spinach-and-crisped-prosciutto salad tonight. I could have eaten lots more, but at $20/lb, prosciutto isn't exactly something you can just throw around in bulk. As it was, Ajay was indignant that he got only the tiniest little sliver of one thin slice.

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