Thursday, March 09, 2006

Like Narnia in PDX

Big snow flakes took children from their seats this morning. I tried to work them in: "each snowflake is an object from my one class template," I explained (except my Toshiba wouldn't really be fast enough -- nature out-computes us all, cyber ice queen that she is (friendly lick)).

We'd been hacking on our Monkey, Dog and Human classes (each student has a Windows 2000 box), each template inheriting from the Mammal class, and Mammal from object (the new-style way to start new Python classes). I wrote it all up on edu-sig. Here's the source code of my zoo module.

Portlanders get skittish in even light snow, as their driving / walking reflexes haven't been conditioned and reprogramming takes time. Winter-hardened mid-westerners'd laugh at how we spin out on our little Hwy 26 for no good reason, just because of a few snow flakes or ice.

I prefer that route along the Columbia Gorge by the way, in front of the old Bolton homestead (happy times there), and turning right and south at Hood River. We did this recently, and I dropped my Samsung in the parking lot. The beginning of the end. Weeks later, it (my cell phone) died on Meliptus but no, I didn't "bury her at sea" (that'd be unecological).

Hood Meadows and Cooper Spur are two of our main ski areas. Hood Meadows is quite big and efficient whereas Cooper Spur is maybe less intimidating, but because lower, more likely to get rain (even when Hood Meadows is still getting snow). Does Condi ski?

So yeah, this being Thursday, I did my usual Python gig at Winterhaven. Before launching into it, the Winterhaven faculty guy I work with showed me where to get a Squeakland plugin for my FireFox browser. This is relevant as I'm still intending to make that Shuttleworth Summit in London in April, where Alan Kay might be struttin' his stuff.

That's not a for sure or anything (we're busy people, so even if I go, maybe nobody else will), but hey, I like checking in on Squeak from time to time. Same with Logo, where I'm a big fan of the "swimming turtles" idea i.e. not just a flat-on-the-floor metaphors, but in a tank or an ocean, swimming freely (not a new idea, not original with me, no way -- like, I saw it in Finding Nemo).

Thinking of news stories that I've seen...

So how about a special olympics or league where you're supposed to take steroids. The players sign a waiver, like they know this stuff can't be good. But there's no game of "discovery and scandal," no attempt to deceive any fans -- just a change in the rules.

Regular non-monster players get to keep their respective gigs, and play squeaky clean, steroid-free baseball or whatever.

The point is to not stack the deck and break records with "advantages" not available to your predecessors. That wouldn't be fair.

However, if people are out in the open about their "advantages" (maybe not steroids though? -- I hear they're pretty dangerous), then maybe it's not really unsportsmanlike to just open a new chapter in the record books for these people?

Like, we won't even try to compare: to a league of their own, those "performance enhancer" athelete-users. Sounds like something Old Sparta would try. Most Athenians would be more Clinton-like, and not inhale.

Hey, it's fun writing about sports. I hardly ever do it.