Agile and SEMAT - Perfect Partners Ivar Jacobson, Ian Spence, and Pan-Wei Ng Today, as always, many different initiatives are under way to improve the ways in which software is developed. The most popular and prevalent of these is the agile movement. Mouth clicks used in human echolocation captured in unprecedented detail Like some bats and marine mammals, people can develop expert echolocation skills, in which they produce a clicking sound with their mouths and listen to the reflected sound waves to "see" their surroundings. A new study published in PLOS Computational Biology provides the first in-depth analysis of the mouth clicks used in human echolocation. The research, performed by Lore Thaler of Durham University, U.K., Galen Reich and Michael Antoniou of Birmingham University, U.K., and colleagues, focuses on three blind adults who have been expertly trained in echolocation. Since the age of 15 or younger, all three have used echolocation in their daily lives. They use the technique for such activities as hiking, visiting unfamiliar cities, and riding bicycles. While the existence of human echolocation is well documented, the details of the underlying acoustic mechanisms have been unclear.
The White Cat and the Monk: A Lovely 9th-Century Ode to the Joy of Uncompetitive Purposefulness, Newly Illustrated “If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work,” Muriel Spark counseled, “you should acquire a cat.” Long before the cat became a modern literary muse, a monk whose identity remains a mystery immortalized his beloved white cat named Pangur. Sometime in the ninth century, somewhere in present-day southern Germany, this solitary scholar penned a beautiful short poem in Old Irish, titled “Pangur Bán” — an ode to the parallel pleasures of man and feline as one pursues knowledge and the other prey, and to how their quiet companionship amplifies their respective joys. The poem has been translated and adapted many times over the centuries (perhaps most famously by W.H. Auden), but nowhere more delightfully than in The White Cat and the Monk (public library) by writer Jo Ellen Bogart and illustrator Sydney Smith — one of four wonderful children’s books about the creative life, which I recently reviewed for The New York Times.
What Is Love? Famous Definitions from 400 Years of Literary History by Maria Popova “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only with what you are expecting to give — which is everything.” After those collections of notable definitions of art, science, and philosophy, what better way to start a new year than with a selection of poetic definitions of a peculiar phenomenon that is at once more amorphous than art, more single-minded than science, and more philosophical than philosophy itself? Gathered here are some of the most memorable and timeless insights on love, culled from several hundred years of literary history — enjoy. Kurt Vonnegut, who was in some ways an extremist about love but also had a healthy dose of irreverence about it, in The Sirens of Titan: A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
The Best LGBT Children’s Books: A Sweet and Assuring Celebration of Diversity and Difference “This is the entire essence of life: Who are you? What are you?” young Leo Tolstoy wrote in his journal of selfhood. Leverage Points: Places to Intervene in a System Solutions Classic How do we change the structure of systems to produce more of what we want and less of that which is undesirable? After years of working with corporations on their systems problems, MIT’s Jay Forrester likes to say that the average manager can define the current problem very cogently, identify the system structure that leads to the problem, and guess with great accuracy where to look for leverage points—places in the system where a small change could lead to a large shift in behavior.
How we discovered three poisonous books in our university library Some may remember the deadly book of Aristotle that plays a vital part in the plot of Umberto Eco’s 1980 novel The Name of the Rose. Poisoned by a mad Benedictine monk, the book wreaks havoc in a 14th-century Italian monastery, killing all readers who happen to lick their fingers when turning the toxic pages. Could something like this happen in reality? Poisoning by books? The House of Silk - Wikipedia The House of Silk is a Sherlock Holmes novel written by British author Anthony Horowitz, published in 2011. The book was promoted with the claim it was the first time the Conan Doyle Estate had authorised a new Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Plot summary The House of Silk begins with a brief, personal recounting of events by Watson, much like that in A Study in Scarlet by the original author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The reader is informed of the particulars regarding the first meeting of Watson and Holmes, including the circumstances of the Afghan War and a mention of the case that was "too shocking to be revealed until now." The client of "The Flat Cap case" is introduced as a man by the name of Edmund Carstairs, an art dealer whose paintings had been destroyed by a gang of Irish robbers.
An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety: Alan Watts on Happiness and How to Live with Presence by Maria Popova Wisdom on overcoming the greatest human frustration from the pioneer of Eastern philosophy in the West. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timeless reflection on presence over productivity — a timely antidote to the central anxiety of our productivity-obsessed age. Indeed, my own New Year’s resolution has been to stop measuring my days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by degree of presence. But what, exactly, makes that possible?
Consolation for Life’s Darkest Hours: 7 Unusual and Wonderful Books that Help Children Grieve and Make Sense of Death “If you are protected from dark things,” Neil Gaiman said in the context of his fantastic recent adaptation of the Brothers Grimm, “then you have no protection of, knowledge of, or understanding of dark things when they show up.” Maurice Sendak was equally adamant about not shielding young minds from the dark. Tolkien believed that there is no such thing as “writing for children” and E.B. White admonished that kids shouldn’t be written down to but written up to. In her wise reflection on the difference between myth and deception, Margaret Mead asserted that “children who have been told the truth about birth and death will know … that this is a truth of a different kind.”
7 Books That Should Be on Every Entrepreneur's Bookshelf Posted by Guest Author on July 23, 2012 in Business Start Up Advice [ 5 Comments ] While most of the greatest lessons that you’ll learn as an entrepreneur will probably come from mistakes and challenging experiences, published works such as books, whitepapers, blog posts, and the like still provide a lot of value for business owners. Books in particular are great resources because they can offer credibility and in-depth commentaries that most online sources can’t match. Below are some of the best books that entrepreneurs can have on their bookshelves.
Emotions shape the language we use, but second languages reveal a shortcut around them A taxi driver recently cut me up on the motorway. Without hesitation, I machine-gunned a string of vulgarity at the poor man. What struck me was that every word that came out of my mouth was in Spanish. As a native speaker of English, having learned Spanish as an adult, English should have been the more readily accessible language. Yet there I was, cussing out this stranger in Mexican-accented Spanish alongside an assortment of inappropriate hand gestures.
The Club Dumas - Wikipedia The Club Dumas (original Spanish title El Club Dumas) is a 1993 novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. The book is set in a world of antiquarian booksellers, echoing his previous work, The Flanders Panel. The story follows the adventures of a book dealer, Lucas Corso, who is hired to authenticate a rare manuscript by Alexandre Dumas, père.