Weekend Reading: Irene Edition


There’s probably a metaphor of some sort in the fact that Hurricane Irene has chosen to pummel the US eastern seaboard on the move-in weekend for many colleges. Can’t imagine what it could possibly be. Rather than dwell on that, though, I want to link to two pieces at another site I write for that might be useful or interesting: Matt Blum’s “8 Useful Pieces of (Slightly) Geeky Advice About Hurricane Irene” and Brian McLaughlin’s explanation of modern “Weather Satellites: Keeping an Eye on Irene From Above.” (See NASA’s video of Irene from the International Space Station.)

If you’re in the storm’s path this weekend, stay safe; if not, try to remember that us East Coast-types are still wobbly from the Great Earthquake of 2011.

Either way, on to this week’s links:

  • Chad Black has a wish-we’d-run-it post on “Writing a Job Letter”: The cover letter must accomplish a variety of tasks –> express your enthusiasm for the job, communicate your degree readiness, your research chops, detail the importance of teaching to you, and your availability to interview. It also implicitly expresses your capacity to communicate in a clear and concise manner, your attention to detail (particularly the details listed in the job ad), and your understanding of the type of institutional that you’re applying to.
  • Similarly, Maria H. Andersen has an extraordinarily handy post explaining how to make “Custom Stamps in Adobe Acrobat for Digital Grading”: There’s no reason why you couldn’t do something similar in other programs by pasting images into files, but there’s no doubt that the ease of one-click access to custom stamps is a nice feature of Adobe Acrobat.
  • Common Craft’s Lee LeFever has an interesting post about style and theft: Chris quotes Scott Ginsberg in his post, “There are no cover-bands in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” While this may be true, that building is filled with individuals who were inspired-by and copied the techniques of others. Even though Chuck Berry inspired Elvis Presley, there will only ever be one Chuck Berry. And maybe that’s the lesson here.
  • Notorious, Ph.D. helpfully unpacks a role too often left unexplained–“The Job of a Panel Commentator”: The chair is there to introduce people and their papers, and hopefully to make sure that they don’t go over time. The commentator is not always a part of a panel, but when they are, what is their job?
  • James Shelley combines Renata Salecl with productivity-musing into a great read on “Choice Anxiety” (via Minimal Mac: In a sea of countless options we seek to cope with dissatisfaction by acquiring new careers, new partners, new apps, new devices, new service providers, new organizational systems.

In this week’s video, Tim O’Reilly and Bradley Horowitz discuss Google+:

This week, like everyone else, I want to link to Steve Jobs’s 2005 Stanford Commencement Address in gratitude and good wishes.

Have a great weekend!

Photo by Flickr user NASA Goddard Photo and Video / Creative Commons Licensed

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