Critical Section

Monday,  08/11/08  10:57 PM

I spent the entire day in my car, reconnoitering the route for the Furnace Creek 508, the two-day cycling race across Death Valley in which I'm participating in early October.  I'm glad I did it - man, this is going to be tough! - but it was in some sense a lost day, since I didn't get anything else done.  And I have a lot to do...

One thing I was able to do in parallel was listen to the audio book version of Randy Pausch's Last Lecture.  (Thanks to my friend Nick DeNicholas for giving it to me!)  You may have heard about Randy; he was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer.  He gave a massively popular "last lecture" at Carnegie Mellon which was taped and widely distributed, and the book is an expansion of the same theme: Really Achieving your Childhood Dreams.  So I enjoyed the book, although I didn't find it as profound as some.  It was a pleasant backdrop to driving through the desert.  it will be interesting to see if passages from the book come back to me during the race itself...

Having watched the Last Lecture itself, which was amazing, I will say the book didn't quite capture the same spirit.  Somehow the lecture was funnier and higher-spirited.  The book was more serious; a bit too much like a lecture :)

If you've been following the news about Russia and Georgia without understanding what's going on, Powerline helpfully posted a primer.  It still isn't clear what we should do, or even if there is much we can do about it.

Olympic Blue Screen of DeathI watched the Olympics' Opening Ceremony with awe and amazement, but I didn't see the Olympic Blue Screen of Death.  Did you?  I love it... I understand Bill Gates was there, so he no doubt saw it, but he was probably disappointed that it was an XP BSOD, and not the much more attractive Vista BSOD :)

Steve Jobs presentingCult of Mac reveals The secret of Steve Jobs' presentation technique...  (and you thought it was the black turtlenecks :)

The always-interesting Paul Graham shares A Fundraising Survival Guide.  "Customers don't care how hard you worked, only whether you solved their problems [and] raising money from investors is harder than selling to customers, because there are so few of them."

Ann Althouse says Goodbye to Podcasting.  So be it, she isn't the only one.  I think the fact that you can't easily skim podcasts makes them far less useful than blog posts.  There is no equivalent for an RSS feed...

Dave Barry covers the Olympics.  [ via Doc Searles, who notes "and the world is made more laughable" ]


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