The birds awake

There are occasions on which I find myself working into the wee hours of the morning.  The other day bore one such occasion, where I headed to bed only at 3:30am.  Since the weather has been so nice, the windows were open to allow the cool summer breezes to blow through.  (Summer in Rochester is really marvelous. Just fabulous weather almost all summer long. Almost makes up for the sleet and gray skies from September to May…)

And then, about 3:35am, maybe 3:36, it happened.  Just as I was about to drift off to sleep.  The birds awoke.

Whyyyyyy?  Admittedly, this has been something of a mystery to me.  What are they doing up at this time?  And more importantly, why are they chirping right under my window?

If they had just decided to get up a bit early and get that proverbial worm, this might be no big deal.  But, alas! — no.  They just seem to sit there and chirp.  Shrilly, and loudly.  Sometimes for hours.

Again, why??  At 3:30 in the morning, everything is dark!  Nothing else is awake.  Why are you chirping now, birb?  Are you confused?  Whom are you chirping to?  You do not seem to be chasing something off or evading danger.  Is it territorial?  Is it mating?  Is it vanity? What. The. Hell.

Naturally, I did what anyone would do in this situation — I laid awake in bed, sorely irritated, wishing the bird would fly away (which it eventually did at 4:30am), and then later blogged about it angrily.

Brain Timer

Brain TimerIt seems like every exam I’ve given I scramble to find a clear and easy-to-use clock and countdown timer. (I like to project these in the lecture hall so students can pace themselves (or panic, as appropriate, when time is running short).) So I whipped up one of my own. Displays current time on the left, and the remaining time in a “1h 2m” remaining format. Also sweeps out a decreasing arc of brain as the time decreases.

Feel free to use, adapt, steal as you please.

Continue reading “Brain Timer”

Posts forthcoming

I have a backlog of posts / ideas for posts that accrued during the hosting issues I recently endured. Things will probably come pretty quickfire when I get some free time. Unfortunately, with a few deadlines to think about right now, that free time might be a little longer in coming than I would like. Still — updates coming sometime fairly soon.