December 5th, 2009


Usenet is not dead

When we came back from Philadelphia on Amtrak last Saturday I posted to misc.transport.rail.americas a question about why there many short-distance power outages on the train ride - often 15-30 seconds when the lights and HVAC were off. I know it has something to do with voltage, frequency, and phase differences on different segments and various vintages of equipment. As of 10 minutes ago there were 77 posts discussing this matter with lots of technical explanations from seemingly quite knowledgeable people. There has been no thread drift - there are references to how it works on several other railroads but these shed light on the explanations, no sniping at other posters and very little negative slant. I got much more explanation than I wanted butit has been interesting seeing the discussion.

An event at the library

Tonight I went to a reception/dessert party at the new Cambridge Library. I think its main function was to cultivate possible donors. The architects were there and there were mini tours where we got to talk to the tour guides, a few staff and some of the trustees - all of whom I know. I got a chance for a couple of one-on-ones with the chief architect and the two preservation architects as well.

I enquired about the possibility of a gender neutral bathroom - there is none; possibly they could deal with this. The GLBT Commission is interested in getting the city to address this in all the public buildings.

I did ask the Director about the history room because that is one if the things that we wanted to have in the program for the library. There is a room dedicated for it and they are attempting to hire an archivist to deal with the materials. I hope they do a good job of cataloging and indexing so that materials in the library as well as in the Historical Commission, the Historical Society, and some of the City archives can be identified and found.

They had this special cake to commemorate the building.

Here's the illustration on the cake with a nice diagram of the building:
Fancy Cake

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