On Tuesday, while at the end of my office hours at UT Scarborough campus, I noticed the computer lab workstations I was using had some educational software for biology installed. I fired up the unit on Darwinian evolution. This involved a simulator depicting snails with different shell thicknesses and crabs.
Continue reading “The crabs I have to put up with”
This might be my most Canadian post, yet…
Toronto normally has four seasons: spring, summer, colourful, and blah. But this year, blah wasn’t terribly cold and spring seems to have made like a bunny and just hopped away. We went from blah to summer over night (Friday night to Saturday morning). We can’t pin this on climate change (after all, this is just the weather for one year — although it seems to be part of a climate trend). So what is it? I call weather witchcraft.
I was going to write a supportive blog about Quebec’s resistance against the crime bill that the government has tried to ram down the province’s gullets, but I’m afraid of being put on some terrorist watch list along with the environmentalists and being tracked down by Mr. Toews. Instead, I will write about an equally timely (if more mundane) topic…
Encyclopædia Britannica is going out of print and will soon be available only in its on-line version. I haven’t even seriously thought about print encylopædias since the late 1990s and the last time I used one was around 2002. While they may become collectible items a few years down the line from now, I certainly won’t miss them.
Continue reading “Encyclopaedia Britannica goes out of print”
If you’ve been using computers for long enough, you’ve probably faced unreadable file formats or changes in distribution media: How do I open this old WordPerfect document? How am I going to read those files stored on a ZIP disk? Photographic prints and print editions of books have much less demanding requirements for seeing their contents. You found a box of slides from the 1960s? No problem; just hold them up to a light. In fact, if you have a good slide scanner or projector, despite their age, the pictures might still be of higher quality than images produced by your compact digital camera! The problems of unreadable file formats and changes in physical media are unique to the digital age. Or so some might have you believe (especially those pushing cloud services).
Continue reading “Unreadable file formats and bit rot: Novel problems in the digital age… or not?”