Orchestra Scoreboards

My wife is writing an essay on the topic of increasing the relevance of classical orchestra music to modern audiences, and I had an idea of my own: orchestral scoreboards. Read more for details and an explanation of why this is not a crazy idea.

EDIT: This post has been reproduced on a blog by Greg Sandow about the future of classical music. He’s currently an artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland, and he’s writing a book called Rebirth, bits of which are already posted online. Check it out!

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Posted in Music, Religion/Philosophy | 6 Comments

The Discipling of Mytra

I just finished reading The Discipling of Mytra, a “Christian sci-fi” novel by Rich Coffeen. My campus minister thought I might find it interesting (he was aware of it because the author is a pastor in the PCA denomination), and he was quite correct. From a literary perspective, I found the numerous theological diversions to be a bit distracting, and I felt the ending sort of fizzled out. However, from a philosophical perspective, I found it very intriguing. It experiments with many interesting concepts, such as the existence of “Christian AI,” the religious status of cyborgs, the relative importance of pre-evangelism, and idealistic homosexuality, all while communicating an almost overwhelming amount of reformed theology and telling a marginally interesting sci-fi story. If anyone else has read it (or reads it as a result of this post), let me know.

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OpenOffice.org => LibreOffice

The OpenOffice.org community has been reorganized as The Document Foundation, and the software is now tentatively called LibreOffice. Check out their FAQ here. Novell, Google, Red Hat, and Canonical are on board. Missing so far (as far as I can tell) is support from IBM and Oracle. I am glad they’re separating from Oracle, but I really hope they end up with a name that is more accessible than “LibreOffice.”

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How to succeed in grad school

I just gave the annual “how to succeed in grad school” talk at the CS graduate student orientation. I think it went pretty well, although I didn’t have as much time as I had expected. I’ve posted the slides (PDF) online in case anyone is interested.

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New website host

WebFaction logo

I finally decided that I’ve had enough of P4Host’s frequent outages, lack of Subversion support, and absurd 200MB storage limit. After a bit of searching, I found WebFaction and decided to give them a try. All things considered, the move was very easy and I’m quite satisfied so far–and glad to be rid of my old hosts. Hopefully the satisfaction will remain and I won’t have to worry about another host switch for a while.

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Nintendo press conference at E3

I took notes while watching the Nintendo E3 presentation online and decided to post them here in case anyone’s interested.

Highlights: new Zelda (“Skyward Sword”), GoldenEye for Wii, new DS console (3DS)

Missing: Wii HD

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Cowabunga for the iPhone

Today I’d like to review a game for the iPhone/iPod Touch that my wife Lindsay originally introduced to me. It’s called Cowabunga, and although I’ve only played the “free” version so far, the game has proven to be one of the more amazing apps I have seen for the iPhone. Thus I have decided to write a short review here to extend my whole-hearted recommendation.

Cowabunga screenshot

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ESV iPhone app

I wanted to amend my earlier post on iPhone Bible apps, and plug the following app, which is a custom reader for the popular ESV translation. The interface is very nice, providing full searching and cross-reference/footnote capabilities, and it also allows you to make notes. I wish it wasn’t restricted to a single translation.


Lately, however, I have been almost exclusively using PocketSword, and the author just released a new version that adds the capability to display footnotes and cross-references. Even though it lacks many of the popular translations, I’ve found it to be the most useful app so far because of its interface, its offline availability, and its many commentaries.

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Bible versions graph (first draft)

I am in the process of creating a graph of English Bible versions, plotted beside a timeline, with ancestor/revision links and detailed information about each version. I did the research myself, adding the information to a spreadsheet. I then saved the spreadsheet as CSV, wrote a Ruby script to generate DOT files from the CSV, and a bash script to run the whole thing and produce PDF files. It’s not finished yet, but I wanted to post my progress so far.

Bible Versions Graph (picture)

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Posted in Religion/Philosophy | 2 Comments