Friday, July 18, 2014
1. Joe Lago of Yahoo Sports notes U.S. coach Juergen
Klinsmann's pivotal role in helping Germany, where he once coached,
win the World Cup:
Winning Sunday's World Cup final at Maracana Stadium would be the crowning achievement for coach Joachim Loew and a golden generation of supreme footballing talent that began with Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteige and continues with Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos. A title would be fitting because the Germans have easily been the tournament's best team, even before famously destroying Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals, and to raise the World Cup trophy would serve as the ultimate affirmation of a master plan devised 10 years ago to rejuvenate Die Nationalmannschaft.I already knew that Klinsmann is attempting to implement a comprehensive overhaul of the American team, including how it locates and develops talent; but had not known that he had aleady done something similar with Germany.
Juergen Klinsmann's master plan. [minor edits, links in original, some links removed]
2. From Collector's Weekly, more than you ever needed to know about the South Pacific-inspired "Tiki" fad from the 1950's and 1960's:
Sven Kirsten is among the first to recognize the American obsession with Polynesia as something bigger than the campy films and tropical nightclubs dominating the mid-20th century. A self-proclaimed "visual junkie," Kirsten moved to California in the 1980s to work in film, and soon came upon his first relics of the mid-century Tiki phenomenon. "I lived in the Hollywood Hills and found this great store called Sea and Jungle just over the hills in Glendale," says Kirsten, where he became instantly hooked on the vintage style. The shop had a huge inventory of Tiki memorabilia, including an entire black-light room, but it closed before Kirsten could amass much of a collection.The article notes some interesting parallels between this "lifestyle" and the hippie movement, although it suffers from a common (but mistaken) tendency to admire the latter.
3. This is not a bad productivity tip, but it causes me to smirk:
Finally, and this is my favorite, install an app launcher. This is a piece of software that, among other things, lets you launch applications with only a stroke of a key or two. I'm a Mac user and I swear by Alfred. LaunchBar is another popular alternative. On the Windows side, consider Launchy. With Alfred, I can open any app by hitting Command-Space and then typing just the first one or two letters of that app's name. I can't even measure how much time this saves me throughout the day. All of these programs do a lot more than launch other apps, but this feature alone makes them worth installing. In fact, when I get a new computer, the absolute first thing I do with it is install Alfred. [links omitted, italics added]Hmmm. I move my mouse over an open x-terminal, type a few letters, and use tab-completion to do the same thing in Linux. I smirk because: (1) I used to hear, ad nauseam, how much more convenient clicking around in a GUI is than having to remember and type commands; (2) I need no extra software to do this in Linux; and (3) Tab completion has been around since the sixties in Unix and its descendants.
4. It's aimed at new scientists, but here is some good, well-written -- and brief! -- advice (PDF) on how to read a scientific research paper:
When you read a research paper, your goal is to understand the scientific contributions the authors are making. This is not an easy task. It may require going over the paper several times. Expect to spend several hours to read a paper. [annotation omitted]This might be helpful or even amusing to keep in mind the next time you encounter some layman trying to get one over on someone by citing some academic paper or other in an appeal to authority. (This seems to happen a lot in discussions about global warming, for example.)