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Linkfest [Aug. 20th, 2005|06:00 am]
One of the nice things about summer is that I get to see the un-fulling moon floating in the cerulean morning sky, as the birds begin to sing and the stars wink out. Earlier, the air shivered with its light, and the stark shadows receded into mysterious depths while the illuminated world became ghostly fragments. It was difficult to gaze at the round brilliance. In this fading hour before dawn, the moon's face is soft and seen clearly, all its features available for study. Now it conveys the air of serenity which is about to vanish in a torrent of bird songs. Morning twilight is a sight not to be missed.

Links for leisurely Saturday morning web surfing

Link the first: CSCS
"The Center for the Study of Complex Systems (CSCS) is a broadly interdisciplinary program at the University of Michigan designed to encourage and facilitate research and education in the general area of nonlinear, dynamical and adaptive systems."
Say what? Well, if you've just never gotten enough of that sort of complex academic language, here's the place to attempt satiation. I couldn't understand much of it, but there must be something to be said for a site that hosts a web log called "Three-Toed Sloth."

Link the second: Three-Toed Sloth
"Cosma Shalizi
Postdoc, CSCS
Research interests: statistical inference for nonlinear dynamical systems, including spatial systems; quantitative measures of self-organization and complexity; synchrony and distributed information in biological computation; unsupervised learning and non-Bayesian statistical inference; learning theory for models of statistical causation; "social organization" in machine learning, especially the implications of agent diversity; cellular automaton models of pattern formation; collective cognition and cultural evolution."

Postdoc (as I like to say) Shalizi subtitles this weblog "Slow Takes from the Canopy of the Reality-Based Community (and occasional stochastic filtering)" I include this information here because I suspect that this is very funny to people who know what the hell it means. Though I am not among that number, I enjoy the inkling that I'm missing out on some great joke, and I'm not one of the sort who would deny a chuckle (or even a guffaw) to those whose arcane discussions are beyond my poor powers of understanding. Good for the brilliant, I say! Enjoy! But I am not indulging in doltish martyrdom here. I did in fact find something to bring me pleasure in this weblog. It turns out that it contains an archive of pieces which go by the collective title of "Friday Cat Blogging."

Link the third: Friday Cat Blogging".
OK, I don't have a quote from the site for this section, and I'm only using blockquote to make the page look consistent. So sue me. But there are seventeen Friday Cat Blogging pieces, and I intend to look at all of them eventually. I highly recommend the most recent, about the Snow Leopards.

(Here is where another paragraph would go, to maintain the symmetry of the page.)

Link the fourth: Friday Cat Blogging (Roof the the World Issue of Science Geek Edition)"
"Snow leopards (Uncia uncia) are big cats native to the mountains of Central Asia. They are not in fact particularly closely related to leopards, but they are solitary, beautiful animals (the young are intensely cute), and, unsurprisingly, endangered."

The entry is brief, but packed with links. Be sure to click on the one that leads to pictures and video of the big kitties at snowleopard.org! (For those too impatient to take the long way, here it is as link the fifth.) Being on dial-up, I didn't watch the video stuff, but the stills are very nice. If the kitties don't keep you busy all day, you might as well look at Postdoc Shalizi's home page.

Link the sixth: Cosma's Home Page.
"Attention Conservation Notice: What follows is long, self-absorbed, and boring to look at."

Oh, the humility! It's a lie, though. And that's a half-truth. Certainly it's boring to look at, but not long at all, and it takes nest to no time to load, and there are links to pages with all sorts of interesting things, including some poetry and some books and some essays by various and sundry writers (I was particularly pleased to find H.L. Mencken's Criticism of Criticism of Criticism" which shall serve as link the lucky seventh.) It's well worth enduring a bit of an academic's self-absorption when it leads to such unexpected treasures.

Enough. It's getting ate and I need to sleep. If this assortment of links is not sufficient to bring at least a few minutes of pleasure, then you are a miserable sod who will never know happiness, and I can do nothing more for you. Kill yourself by quiet means, that my sleep not be disturbed.