Myles Braithwaite

Deb Roy - The Birth of a Word

Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

The aspects that had ties to reality were well done though, and those details helped forge a stronger connection with the audience. The creative team took the extra time to work closely with military advisors so that everything related to the Stargate program’s base, uniforms, and ranks mirrored real life. Then, in the opposite direction, we have the mythology the writers created. It was based on real legends like Atlantis and then spun and twisted into something fresh. The show was familiar, but still new and exciting and getting that combination right isn’t easy.

Last nights GTALUG meeting was with Sacha Chua on Note Taking with Emacs and Org-Mode. Personally I don't use Emacs, I find it's customizability counter productive, but it was really interesting to see how the other side works. Org-Mode is quite an interesting take on outlining because Emacs people can literally spend their entire day in the editor (it has a web browser, email client, address book, etc.) and you can initiate a note from anything running inside Emacs.

Currently my note taking process it pretty complicated, which I am trying to streamline, so seeing how Sacha takes notes was really helpful.

It was also good to see that she, like me, use an Outliner for personal accounting.

Ledger in OmniOutliner