799px-Handcuffs01_2003-06-02

JSTOR

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I like the idea of JSTOR. JSTOR collects and archives scholarly journals, primary sources, and books. I think it’s good that an organization has taken on the task of collecting, archiving, and preserving past scientific literature. Prior to the creation of JSTOR, you might have found it necessary to visit a number of libraries to find what you needed. In some cases the article being sought may have been the only copy in existence; therefore, an organization capable of archiving, preserving, and making their collection available, is a good thing.

I recently heard about Aaron Swartz. Mr. Swartz made a name for himself as a computer programmer — having involved in creating such things as openlibrary.org, and reddit.com. Mr. Swartz wanted to free the content within JSTOR and release it to the public; he attempted to do just, and was prosecuted for attempting to release JSTOR articles. The resulting legal repercussions from Mr. Swartz’s attempted liberation of the JSTOR archive lead to his untimely demise earlier this year. I believe that Mr. Swarz’s ideal that scientific literature should not be restricted, is an ideal to strive for.

Currently, if you’re not associated with a university or library that subscribes to one of the various literature databases, you will not be able to gain access to the majority of scientific literature ever created — the JSTOR archive included. As a scientist, I believe, like Mr. Swartz, that locking scientific literature away is wrong. Even if you have access to a library with a decent scientific literature database, you won’t have access to all scientific literature. If you’re an individual researcher, without any affiliation, you’re even more restricted in that you’ll likely have to pay per-article access charges. If you’re a researcher looking to publish, that wants to make their article open-access, the current peer-review publication systems makes it difficult by placing exorbitant fees in your way. There has to be a better way, because science can’t advance if people don’t have access to scientific literature. I believe the best way to to make scientific literature available to the public is to create a publicly funded organization, similar to JSTOR, dedicated to collecting, archiving, preserving, and making scientific literature open-access.

That’s my take on the current state of scientific literature.

Test Ad
SOPA-blackout

Stop SOPA/PIPA

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Today is one of those days that will go down in history as a large step toward securing the future of the internet. It is my belief, and the belief of many others that the internet will not be censored by the government of the United States. You may have noticed that many of the most popular sites on the internet have gone dark to day. These sites went dark in protest of the bills being pushed through congress that would otherwise damage, or change the internet so that freedom of speech would no longer be possible. These bills are known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. These bills would not only be ineffective against online piracy, but they would allow people and corporations to have sites functionally blocked or otherwise removed from the internet based solely on one complaint. This cannot stand; therefore, I am providing a link to an online petition where you can fight these bills.

middle-finger

ATTN: 1and1

It became woefully apparent that 1and1 had the worst customer service of any webhosting company. All I wanted was for them to temporarily increased my php memory limit to 32M, but instead I received this:

Dear [user],

Thank you for contacting us.

Your current package only has a maximum PHP memory limit of 30 MB. Upgrading to the new WordPress version requires more PHP memory. We would advise that you upgrade to a Dual hosting package specifically either Dual Advanced or Dual Unlimited to get more PHP memory.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

June Zacarnette Hornido

Technical Support

1&1 Internet

So there you have it. If you want to upgrade your version of wordpress, 1and1 requires you pay them more money; and, for that, 1and1 get a big fuck you from me by the way of cancelling my account.

FUCK YOU

Teaching / start of new semester

I’ve entered confidence building mode today. Had all the confidence in the world yesterday, but I don’t have quite as much today. So I’m slowly working up energy and confidence necessary to go in and dominate a classroom that will likely have students hanging from the ceiling to fit in. Here’s the plan:

  1. Start by telling all the people who want to add the class that they need to get the fuck out because we’re full up
  2. Handing out 6 sets of 4 cards from a poker deck, and have the students arrange into groups
  3. Write name, office location and hours, phone, and vista only for email on the board
  4. Tell them where they can purchase the lab manual for $10 (rm 234)
  5. Ask them to raise hand if they are a freshman
  6. Ask them to raise hand if they are a sophomore
  7. Ask them to raise hand if they are a junior
  8. Ask them to raise hand if they are a senior or super-senior
  9. Send attendance sheet, and have them state their name, where they’re from and what their major is or possibly could be, if they’re in a frat/soro
  10. Introduce metric system (temp, length, mass, time, and volume)
  11. Go over measurement equipment
  12. Tell them to start the lab and describe where the outdoor portion is

Seems fairly simple, but somehow I know one of these stupid bastards is going to fuck it up. Either way, it will still be a confidence building day!

SB-Birthday, what to do?

Oh what do to. The options I’ve come up with so far far Stephanies bday include:

  1. Fancy diner at somewhere that serves things she can eat (Japanese blossom?).
  2. A microphone so she can start her own business and do what she loves.
  3. A phone upgrade (iphone 4 or android? Oh the choices).
  4. Taking a tip out of town some place (undecided destination).
  5. More Hello-Kitty stuff. :-)

That’s what I’ve come up with so far. At this point, I think the material things would arrive before her birthday, but might show up after — in which case, she would get a box with an invoice/receipt in it on her birth day. :-)

First thing I wrote this semester

Polynesian and Hohokam irrigation technique comparison

Polynesia is located in a tropical to subtropical zone, and the islands are comprised mostly of volcanic rock [Kirch and Lepofsky, 1993]. In Polynesia, they have developed some interesting traditional irrigation systems, still used to this day [Kirch and Lepofsky, 1993]. Two irrigation systems were developed: the pondfield system, and the raised-bed system – both developed around A.D. 500 [Kirch and Lepofsky, 1993]. In areas with sloped terrain, pondfield irrigation is used by creating terraces such that water flows from upper terraces to lower terraces, increasing the retention time and regulating water level [Ladefoged, Kirch, et al., 2009]. In swamps, raised-bed irrigation is used by mounding soil into beds, and allowing drainage between the mounds to regulate water content [Kirch, 1978].

In contrast, The Hohokam developed their techniques in southern Arizona, which has an arid desert climate with relatively flat topography [Woodbury, 1961]. The Hohokam hand dug a series of canals, diverting water for irrigation that became the template for modern canals in the area [Woodbury, 1961]. The first canals were dug sometime between A.D. 500 and 800, with approximately 185 miles of canal providing for 80 miles of irrigated land along the canal system [Woodbury, 1961]. The canal system developed by the Hohokam was used for approximately a century before being abandoned sometime between A.D. 1450 and European contact in A.D. 1650 [Dean, 2007].

Even though the two societies developed their techniques in completely different hydrologic environments, they are not unlike one another. The purpose of Polynesian irrigation was to increase productivity in an island setting, while the purpose of Hohokam irrigation was to increase productivity in a desert setting. While both are effective water management schemes, in Polynesia they contended with managing water in excess, and the Hohokam contended with water scarcity; yet, in either case: irrigation was used to increase productivity. Therefore, independently, both societies modified their environment to create what are essentially islands of maximum productivity within the same period – even though Polynesian society has outlasted the Hohokam.

References

Dean, R. M. (2007), Hunting intensification and the Hohokam “collapse,” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 26(1), 109-132, doi:doi:10.1016/j.jaa.2006.03.010.

Kirch, P. V. (1978), Indigenous Agriculture on Uvea (Western Polynesia), Economic Botany, 32(2), 157-181.

Kirch, P. V., and D. Lepofsky (1993), Polynesian Irrigation: Archaeological and Linguistic Evidence for Origins and Development, Asian Perspectives, 32(2), 183-204.

Ladefoged, T. N., P. V. Kirch, S. M. Gon III, O. A. Chadwick, A. S. Hartshorn, and P. M. Vtousek (2009), Opportunities and constraints for intensive agriculture in the Hawaiianarchipelago prior to european contact, Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(10), 2374–2383, doi:doi:10.1016/j.jas.2009.06.030.

Woodbury, R. B. (1961), A Reappraisal of Hohokam Irrigation, American Anthropologist, 63(2), 550-560.

New semester time

It’s that time again. What time you ask? Ahh! Time for another round of keep me out of the job market! Guess that’s what graduate school truly is since there aren’t a whole lot of jobs to speak of out there. Might as well stay right? Depends I think. Mostly It depends on if you can hack it in graduate school, but then you have all these extra loans to pay off when you still aren’t particularly sure what it is you’re going to be doing in graduate school. Good point right? Maybe, but at least it’s something to do with the spare time this shit economy has forced on me. Either way, pretty sure I’ll be taking jobs in China instead of Chico by the end of this.

Stole this from Stephanie

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWl-HSnwLWs

One more time is good enough

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opWRrmnj-SQ

Phone Security

Was just reading an interesting article about cellphone security over at arstechnica. A quick summary of the article is that now, with some new rulings, if you’re stopped and the police snag your phone, they can rifle through the bitch without any warrant. So best password that phone before your next run in with the police. ;-)

Original story here

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