Wear Sunscreen

I was very careful to cover all the usual spots with sunscreen before going out in the sun last weekend. Tips of ears, sides of neck, etc. Of course, I then completely forgot that wearing sunscreen might just be a good idea on Monday, when my work had its 30th anniversary celebration. Today, I’m slowing fading from a bright red to a still-painful pink.

The party was a blast, of course. It’s hard to go wrong when you supply thousands of people with unlimited food and drink. It started off with some testimonials by our patients, and short speeches from Art, Herb, and James Watson (of “& Crick” fame). Musical entertainment was provided by the Foo Fighters, Bob Dylan, The Black Eyed Peas, and the Eagles.

Back To School

I was walking home from Saturday’s Cal game when I had the strangest idea. I’ve always assumed that I would go back to school, but even when I was in school I had a general idea of what direction I would go. My strange idea came from the realization that I hadn’t taken much in the way of science classes. Sure, there was one or two, but for the most part my work involved writing papers or programs.

This is why I’ve been browsing the biology offerings in the UC Berkeley Extension catalog. While typing this, I’ve signed up for an introductory biology course. I’ll try it out, and if all goes well, follow up with the offerings in chemistry, o-chem, and human physiology. In case you’re wondering, no, I have absolutely no idea what I’ll do with the classes. This is for fun!

Hungarian Notation

I’ve long felt that much was wrong with Hungarian Notation, but would still find myself using something similar from time to time. Since I couldn’t decide if this was right behavior that felt wrong, or wrong behavior that felt right, it was satisfying to discover that the usual culprits were to blame. Sure enough, someone had taken a good idea and run with it in entirely the wrong direction.

The Wikipedia article mentions some of this, but this article by Joel Spolsky is worth reading: “Making Wrong Code Look Wrong” Actually, many of Joel’s articles are worth reading, but this one covers the details of why Hungarian isn’t evil when you understand what Charles Simonyi actually had in mind.

Eulogy for Irwin

It was Sunday evening when I first sighted the news, and followed it as it spread from site to site, wisps of rumor coalescing into a more weighty substance. Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter, had died in the line of duty. Perhaps it was to be expected, that Darwin would finally catch up to him, but the shock is no less.

I see the jokes made, and the news that his zoo stayed open. I think he would have appreciated both. It is hard to describe my feelings at how the word travelled; within minutes or hours it had spread to the farthest reaches of the net. This seems a great honor, that one man so great of heart could in his life win the hearts of so many. The vacuum of his passing has left a void in the world, even as the world echoes with the remembrances of all whose lives he touched.

I hear tidings now of word and action, of the man who lived life with a boundless energy and a ready smile. I hear of the man whose life was his work, and took joy in every moment. I hear of the man who worked for his dreams, in public and in private, such that the truth within his heart was the truth reflected to the world.

To Steve Irwin, who Spoke to Animals; in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.