Speaking of Get Smart, we loved it. The reviewers all said that it was different from the original tv series. Probably. But it was still a lot of fun. You can find quite a bit of the old tv show in a browser. See for yourself.

The Alameda Theater is back!

The Alameda Magazine has a great history of the recently re-opened Alameda Theater. My wife and were there last night to see Get Smart. The theater is exquisite, with much of the original Art Deco restored. If you live in the Bay Area you should check it out. Just check first what is playing on the big screen, it’s a special place. Postscript: Check out this little animated video about the theater. It takes a few minutes for the Quicktime to load and start (why don’t they upload it to YouTube?!?). They showed this on the big screen before the feature started.

Speaker repair project, so far so good

The speaker repair kit arrived mid week. Today I took a crack at it. My initial post generated a comment from another vendor warning about the need to use shims to keep the speaker cone properly centered while mounting the new surround. This method is more invasive, requiring more labor and parts, so I went ahead and tried the “push as listen” method recommended by the first repair kit vendor. Luckily the cones in these particular speakers (Design Acoustics PS 8c) are mounted with pretty stiff paper so there was little mechanical play, making the centering a snap. One of the two speakers is now assembled and back in my bookcase. It sounds great, knock on wood.

Sages and guides

Yesterday I was trying to recall a pair of expressions that contrast two modes of learning. I remembered half of it — “the guide on the side”. A little Web searching turned up the other half — “the sage on the stage”. According to this article, these are also known as the transmittal and constructivist learning models. A sage on the stage transmits information, whereas a guide on the side sets up the conditions for the information to be discovered.

The topic came up in a conversation about rethinking the conference. The contrast between traditional and “un” conferences reminded me of the sage vs. guide setup. In retrospect I think the analogy isn’t quite apt. In Econ 101, the information flows from teacher to students. In a conference, on the other hand, much of the information lives in the seats around the dais.

A couple of days ago I posted a comment about a useful web site where I’d found a how to video and and a repair kit for my acoustic reproduction devices. Acousti-wha? hold on for the punchline. Today I was delighted to see that there were two comments in response to my post. On closer examination, the commenters, who made no effort to disguise their identities, were competitors for the site that is the subject of the blog post. They were chiming in to pitch their own destination or cut down the other guy’s. Were they readers of this site, or just eager marketers? Should I mark their comments as spam? Come back and prove yourselves, without the aid of a search tool!

NY Times: “The quick about-face came, he said, because a number of well-known bloggers started criticizing its policy, claiming it would undercut the active discussion of the news that rages on sites, big and small, across the Internet.”