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March 21st, 2011

gfish: (Default)
Monday, March 21st, 2011 09:29 am
I spent the weekend in the bay area, which was very nice. I finally made it to one of [livejournal.com profile] seanan_mcguire's book release parties, yay! It was a really good show, and very well attended.

I finally saw the Utah Teapot! This makes me much happier than it should. Also, mercury delay lines! The Computer History Museum has its full exhibit open now, and it's actually really very good. I'll have to go back again, though, since it closed before we saw it all, and we didn't even get to watch another Difference Engine demonstration. Oh well, I'll be back in the area in May for Maker Faire, and it generally looks like I'll be down a lot in the future.

It turns out Standford's old main library has 3 allegorical figures over the doors much like Suzallo does at UW. Except instead of Wisdom, Inspiration and Strength, they went with Art, Philosophy and Science. The figures had enough weird details that [livejournal.com profile] keystricken and I were convinced they were supposed to be historical figures. (Like, why it Philosophy watching Death and a naked woman make out? Why is a baby holding up Science's table?) We eventually decided that they were John Henry, Gandalf and Columbus, which is really a much more awesome combination. We figured that every year they select 3 students to embody those characters in a campus-wide competition. With an essay section: What does being a steel-driving man mean to you?

It was neat walking around Stanford. The old part of campus is pretty impressive -- the extended cloister network is sweet. I have trouble getting into the whole mission archictural style, though. And my attitudes are very provincial sometimes -- no university campus I've ever visited has lived up to UW for me. I really need to visit a grand old campus like Oxford or Cambridge. I know that UW is a pale imitation of those, and it would be good for me to see it humbled.