# Saturday, 01 October 2016

Thousands of years ago, society began to collapse on the the planet Arbre. The intellectuals of the time retreated into concents - monasteries in which the occupants are sealed off from the rest of the world - sometimes for centuries at a time.

Although the concents were founded to preserve the knowledge of Arbre, most of the occupants (known as avouts) are kept ignorant and even forbidden from learning many things about the world around them.

Erasmas - an avout of the Concent of Saunt Edhar - has his world turned upside down when his friend and mentor Orolo discovers an alien spacecraft orbiting Arbre. Orolo is thrown out of the Concent for daring to use forbidden technology that allowed him to observe the spacecraft. Shortly afterward, Erasmus and his friends are also exiled and pursue Orolo to discover what he has learned.

The novel climaxes in a battle between the Arbrelings and one faction of the aliens.

It takes a while to get there as it explores the concept of how alternate versions of the same reality can manifest themselves in multiple cosmos and what happens when people move between these alternate realities.

Anathem satirizes the idea of those who try to preserve knowledge, but restrict access to new information and discovery. The novel succeeds brilliantly with its social satire and its attention to detail. For some, it may fall short with its slow pacing and lack of action.

If you prefer your science fiction more cerebral than swashbuckling, Anathem is for you.

Saturday, 01 October 2016 08:34:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 26 September 2016
Monday, 26 September 2016 11:41:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Sunday, 25 September 2016

Yesterday, I posted a YouTube video of a recent presentation. The group that recorded the video began recording well before I went on stage, so the video contained over 10 minutes of silence and a couple minutes of announcements.

I wanted to embed the video on my blog, but I wanted it to start playing at the moment the organizer introduced me.

YouTube provides an easy way to embed a video. Click the “Share” icon (Fig. 1) below the video

image
Fig. 1

Then, click the “Embed” link (Fig. 2) that appears below the “Share” link.

image
Fig. 2

If you click the “SHOW MORE” link, you will get a few options for your video (Fig. 3) but not the option to change the default start time. By default, your video will start at the very beginning when the user starts playing it.

image
Fig. 3

YouTube provides HTML that you can paste into your web page to embed a video. It looks similar to the following:

<iframe width="560" height="315" 
 src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/9wpN7Ho7DBQ?rel=0 
 frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
</iframe>

To set the start time, add a “start” parameter to the end of the URL in the iframe’s “src” attribute, as in the following example.

<iframe width="560" height="315" 
 src=https://www.youtube.com/embed/9wpN7Ho7DBQ?rel=0&amp;start=753 
 frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
</iframe>

The value of the “start” querystring parameter is the number of seconds from the beginning at which you want the video to start playing.

I wanted my video to start at the 12 minute, 33 second mark, so I had to do some math:

(12*60)+33=753

So I appended “start=753” to the src URL.

Sunday, 25 September 2016 16:19:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, 24 September 2016

At the Chicago Geekfest meetup last week, I delivered a presentation on AngularJS 2 and TypeScript. You can see the presentation below.

It’s worth watching just to hear Chris’s introduction at the beginning.

Saturday, 24 September 2016 15:53:03 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Friday, 23 September 2016

Last month, I delivered a presentation on Cognitive Services at That Conference in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Carl Schweitzer of MS Dev Show interviewed me to discuss the features of these APIs. My interview starts at the 7:58 mark of the video below.

Friday, 23 September 2016 05:44:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 19 September 2016
Monday, 19 September 2016 12:38:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 00:36:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, 06 September 2016
Tuesday, 06 September 2016 01:15:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 05 September 2016

9/4
Today I am grateful for all the information and code samples available online.

9/3
Today I am grateful that my son Tim continues to make me proud 22 years after his birth. Happy birthday Tim!

9/2
Today I am grateful for the start of the college football season.

9/1
Today I am grateful we are finally starting to code this project we have been talking about for months.

8/31
Today I am grateful for students at Purdue last night who were eager to learn.

8/30
Today I am grateful for drinks with Kevin last night.

8/29
Today I am grateful for a visit to Jane Adams's Hull House at UIC yesterday.

8/28
Today I am grateful to attend the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio tour yesterday in Oak Park.

8/27
Today I am grateful that I have no overnight trips planned for the next 2 weeks.

8/26
Today I am grateful for meetings at Microsoft this week that addressed my number 1 concern: better communication.

8/25
Today I am grateful for a reception at the Purple Café in Bellevue last night.

8/24
Today I am grateful for the espresso machine in my kitchen.

8/23
Today I am grateful for a day at home to catch up on a hundred little things.

8/22
Today I am grateful for the flights of Wine at Andie's Mediterranean in Andersonville last night.

8/21
Today I am grateful for a visit to Madison, WI yesterday.

8/19
Today I am grateful for:
-Seeing the "America After the Fall" exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago
-Stumbling upon the "Chefs on the Grill" event at Millennium Park
-Dinner at Vapiano for the first time
-An apology from United Airlines

8/18
Today I am grateful for 2 days in Champaign, IL.

8/17
Today I am grateful to kick off this project at the University of Illinois.

8/16
Today I am grateful for sleep. Lots of sleep.

8/15
Today I am grateful for:
-a visit with my mother yesterday morning
-touring the MSU Museum & the Art Broad Museum in E. Lansing yesterday afternoon
-my first visit to the Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks last night

8/14
Today I am grateful for dinner last night with my siblings and cousins.

8/13
Today I am grateful for 2 days in Minneapolis - one of my favourite cities.

8/12
Today I am grateful for:
-Help on my software project from Jeremy and Jon
-Attending a St. Paul Saints game last night

8/11
Today I am grateful for kind words by my boss during my annual review yesterday.

8/10
Today I am grateful to the organizers of #ThatConference for another great conference.

8/9
Today I am grateful for an excellent audience for my presentation yesterday at #ThatConference.

8/8
Today I am grateful to Ondrej for a ride to Wisconsin yesterday.

Monday, 05 September 2016 00:06:43 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Monday, 29 August 2016
Monday, 29 August 2016 22:31:32 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)