Linked List Necklace

 

Here’s a bit of nerdy jewelry I made which illustrates the notion of a “linked list” in computer programming.

Each link has a ‘next’, ‘prev’ and ‘data’ pointer.

And the ‘data’ is heart shaped because … I love data!

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I want one!

(via @terriko)

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Regina Spektor – “All The Rowboats” | YouTube

I just got Regina Spektor’s new album “What we Saw from the Cheap Seats”, so I’ll probably be listening to that to and from work for the next couple of weeks. I tend to listen to the same thing over and over until I’m sick of it, haha. Also, since these are new songs, I’ll have to work on memorizing the lyrics.

There’s a great interview with her in Mother Jones. Here’s an excerpt:

MJ: You’re pretty uninhibited. You make funky sounds, like hiccups and car impressions and even dolphin sounds. You sing about religion and advocate for contentious causes. How can we be so immune to the prospect of judgment?

RS: Well, I’m not a saint! We all are not immune to judgment. It’s part of being a free, and for lack of better word, integrated person—a person who is not just trying to be different things for different parts of their lives. That’s often what the world demands: They want your business face and they want your customer service voice, and they want your heart for other things. Our society asks for the segregation of self. So it’s not so much an immunity: You try to assert. You just try to practice all your life, the way that somebody would go to the gym. Explore. Dissect. Experiment with bordersAnd at the end of the day, if something is fun to you and you don’t want to do it because you don’t want to be perceived a certain way—you make a choice. And I struggle with that just like everybody else. But I like to be free.

So yeah, I adore her, and I look forward to her new album!

Lyrics:

All the rowboats
In the paintings
They keep trying to row away

And the captains’ worried faces
Stay contorted and staring at the waves
They’ll keep hanging 
In their gold frames
For forever
Forever and a day

All the rowboats 
In the oil paintings
They keep trying to 
Row away, row away…

Hear them whispering 
French and German, Dutch, Italian and Latin
When no one’s looking
I touch a sculpture
Marble, cold and soft as satin

But the most special
Are the most lonely
God I pity the violins
In glass coffins
They keep coughing
They’ve forgotten
Forgotten how to sing
How to sing

First there’s lights out
Then there’s lock up
Masterpieces serving maximum sentences
It’s their own fault
For being timeless
There’s a price to pay
And a consequence
All the galleries
The museums
“Here’s your ticket
Welcome to the tombs”
They’re just public mausoleums 
The living dead fill every room

But the most special
Are the most lonely
God I pity the violins
In glass coffins they keep coughing 
They’ve forgotten 
Forgotten how to sing
They will stay there 
In their gold frames
For forever, forever and a day
All the rowboats
In the oil paintings
They keep trying to
Row away, row away….

First there’s lights out
Then there’s lock up
Master pieces serving maximum sentences
It’s their own fault
For being timeless
There’s a price to pay
And a consequence
All the galleries
The museums
They will stay there
Forever and a day
All the rowboats
In the oil paintings
They keep trying to 
Row away, row away…

Human-Computer Interaction Course Starts Today on Coursera

Stanford University’s Human-Computer Interaction course starts today on Coursera.

Coursera is a site that offers free, online courses created by universities.  Currently Coursera hosts courses by Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, and University of Pennsylvania. You can find more information about Coursera here.

I plan to attend a graduate program and focus on HCI. My university did not have a comprehensive course on it, so I hope this course will help me establish  a foundation of knowledge in user experience and interaction for grad school.

The description:

In this course, you will learn how to design technologies that bring people joy, rather than frustration. You’ll learn several techniques for rapidly prototyping and evaluating multiple interface alternatives — and why rapid prototyping and comparative evaluation are essential to excellent interaction design. You’ll learn how to conduct fieldwork with people to help you get design ideas. How to make paper prototypes and low-fidelity mock-ups that are interactive — and how to use these designs to get feedback from other stakeholders like your teammates, clients, and users. You’ll learn principles of visual design so that you can effectively organize and present information with your interfaces. You’ll learn principles of perception and cognition that inform effective interaction design. And you’ll learn how to perform and analyze controlled experiments online. In many cases, we’ll use Web design as the anchoring domain. A lot of the examples will come from the Web, and we’ll talk just a bit about Web technologies in particular. When we do so, it will be to support the main goal of this course, which is helping you build human-centered design skills, so that you have the principles and methods to create excellent interfaces with any technology.

A list of online courses offered by Stanford University can be found here, and a list of courses offered through Coursera in general can be found here.

Computation Sketchbook by Jie Qi at Ars Electronica 2009

A really cool project using the Lilypad Arduino. There’s a great post by Skillcrush that talks about using the Lilypad Arduino to make technology more fun and accessible.

When I tell people that one of my personal goals is to bring more women into tech, and that I plan to do so by making tech learning fun and accessible, a lot of people – usually men – worry that what I am doing is patronizing. They worry that I am peddling a “dumbed down” version of tech learning, and that I think women need to be shielded from the “harder stuff.”

Inherent in this argument is the idea that this “harder stuff” – a more difficult, less accessible version of things – is the real version and thus the better version. But what if the more difficult, less accessible version is just that? Unnecessarily difficult and inaccessible?

I think it’s important to show that technology is not just the stereotype (of nerds coding all day, or even ‘bro-grammers’). Technology can be fun and beautiful.

Code for America | A New Kind of Public Service

I happened upon the recent issue of Mother Jones and when looking for their interview with Regina Spektor (love her!) I saw the article “Code Warrior” by Tanseem Raja. The article profile Jen Phlka and the organization Code for America

The article isn’t online, but you can sign up for their newsletter for access to it.

This program sounds really awesome, and is something I’d like to apply for. The deadline to apply is July 29th. I don’t feel I have enough experience to apply now, but I’d like to apply after grad school (I’ll be attending next year.). I think what appeals to me most is the chance to affect change where the results would (hopefully) be timely and tangible.

I feel like I should add more, but I don’t know what, ha ha.