April 28, 2006

"Right of Return" for Museum Artifacts

Turkey has decided to build a replica of the Zeus temple at the Pergamum site.

I remember one summer visiting the Pergamum museum in Berlin with my mentor Gene Boring, and then a few weeks later I was in Turkey at Bergama. I stared at the gap on the edge of the mountain and thought to myself, "I know what goes here."

I had a similar experience a previous summer where I spent time in the British museum, looking at the friezes from the Athens Parthenon, and then at the end of that same summer being in Athens, staring at the stripped temple. Also that same summer I went to the Antiquities museum in Cairo where the first thing you see upon entering the building is a picture and a plaque depicting an artifact which they say should be here on display but isn't--the Rosetta Stone. (I do keep hearing rumors that the friezes are being returned.)

Of course, my initial feelings are "What a shame they can't return the artifacts to their original locations." But, it isn't as simple as all that. For one, many of these artifacts exist today in the shape they do because they were heisted out of their original locales. I'm just saying, it's not a simple issue; though it does seem such large and significant pieces ought to have a "right of return".

(Hat Tip to Jim Davila for this article)

April 15, 2006

Email Overload Got You Down?

Between family and friends, intra-office memos, collegial correspondence, students/parishioners and more (please don't mention listservs too)... sometimes I feel like my email inbox can become an insurmountable force squelching my productivity. I gain some help from use of filters and the like, but there's so much more to learn it seems. For many moons now, I've been benefitting from Merlin Mann's sage advice over on 43 Folders. The last couple months he has been blogging a series on making through your overloaded email inbox: 43 Folders Series: Inbox Zero.

There are some real gems posted in the series. The email dash has worked for me, and the focus on next action issues that come from the GTD approach.

Everyone's [email overload] situation is different, but if you're wanting to feel better about how you handle email, you're bound to glean much from the Inbox Zero articles.

April 12, 2006

Windows Live Academic vs Google Scholar

Microsoft today will launch the beta version of Windows Live Academic, designed to go head to head with Google Scholar. These types of search capabilities continue to prove to be in development stages, but the promise they show is very, well, promising. For now, Microsoft won't cover our area:

We currently index content related to computer science, physics, electrical engineering, and related subject areas.

April 07, 2006

Judas Making the Rounds

It was good to see a Gospel of Judas article in The Guardian today. Judas: this is what really happened. It certainly doesn't qualify as mainstream press by USA standards, but it was informed enough (not entirely so) to have positive impact.

The article encourages folks to watch a special on The Gospel of Judas on the National Geographic channel on Sunday evening.

April 06, 2006

Why I'm Not Excited about Running Windows On My Mac

Apple has dumbfounded quite a few Mac-pundits by releasing today Boot Camp, a new feature allowing you to load your own seperately licensed copy of Windows XP onto your Intel-chip-based Mac. It is made freely available for the latest version of OS X. The coolest aspect of this development is that Apple continues to look so ridiculously proactive on so many fronts, it's downright invigorating. Several folks have been prodding me, trying to get me to comment on this issue, so I'll share what may surprise you. I'm not excited about booting Windoze XP on my Mac.

  1. I hate working in Windows. I have to use a Windoze box in the office, and it almost always makes me feel dirty.
  2. While it is thrilling to imagine that I can run some Windows apps that I've always wanted access to, remember that to do that you are re-booting into a different OS. Our workflows today involve primarily inter-application productivity. I look-up something in my Bible software and paste it into my Word document. I browse for a snippet of text or an image online somewhere and I email that to my publicity person. While you're running that app new PC application, you can not run any of your Mac applications. In other words, you have to save and quit every single thing you have open and then reboot into Windows in order to run that nifty Windows appliation that you've been itching to run. A quick 'uptime' shows that I don't normally reboot more than once a month. I work with lots of documents open. I always seem to have many browser tabs open to different resources I'll be getting back to later today. All this "session setup" is lost on a reboot.
    This is acceptable perhaps with certain types of applications, ones that you would work in them and them alone for a long period of time. This largest segment this describes is the gaming community, who are excited about having access to many PC games now.
  3. If there's an application out there that you like to or would like to use and has toyed with beginning Mac development... this new functionality on Intel Macs very well might make it less likely that they will do so. At least, it seems it will delay such work.
I have a PC in my office, and I have to have it in order to run the RDS Church Management System that our whole church database is on. It is terrible in many ways. I do not recommend this system. It's intuitiveness and GUI and customizeability horribly lacks by todays standards. But I have to run it. I hope to get a Mac in my office this year, and will go ahead and get Windows loaded on it as well in order to run this application.
However, I'm not excited about it.
Give me better and better emulation, folks, so that I can run that PC app, but still be able work work happily in my beloved OS of choice.

Update: Rick Mansfield has similar thoughts.

Update: Here's a great article from TidBits on the issues of emulation/virtualization.

Look here at Parallels for an example of virtual emulation like I'm talking about. They have a free trial-beta available for a short period.

April 01, 2006

A Visit from the Pope?

I was looking at the visitor stats for the Macintosh Biblioblog. It's particularly fun to see what countries visitors come from. This detail I found rather interesting.

The pbxvi in the IP details is what struck me as particularly interesting. The implications have me nervous, troubled, and embarassed.

Note: I would expect his holiness would only come around on such a day in early April.