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Thursday, January 24, 2008

No Girls Allowed

I'm currently blogging from a very comfortable men's only section of the City Union, here at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

It is very comfortable because of the fireplace, which is the focus of the room. A merry wreath sits above it in the middle of a grad facade. A chanedlier and lifty lamps complete the exterior, with a pendulum clock and wifi completing the feeling.

It's men only, out of safety if not dictate, because of UNL's policy of welcoming the homeless (thus, often, the deranged) on campus. The one-sided conversation between one of the gents and his imaginary partner would be interesting if it was audible or coherent. His very real companions do not seem to mind.

After all, it's a very comfortable (if exclusively male) section of the City Union, here at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

15:59 Posted in UNL | Permalink | Comments (7)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blackboard is awful

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln uses "Blackboard" as its course-management software. This hurts students. Blackboard temporarily freezes both Internet Explorer and Firefox on my XP laptop -- a trick which no other website I visit does.

I don't think I would be able to write a piece of web software as awful as blackboard. It's clear that the designers of blackboard faced several instances of the question -- do we do this the usable way or the way that lets us say we implemented Java or some other hip technology -- and they went with the high-tech, gizmo-rich solution.

Too bad. Students and faculty of UNL pay for Blackboard's lousy coding in time, energy, and frustration.

11:32 Posted in Software, UNL | Permalink | Comments (6) | Tags: Blackboard, java, usability

Monday, January 07, 2008

Go Bo

Watched Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini do some pro bono work for Lousiani State, helping them win a game against Ohio State. (As if any real team needed help defeating a school from the Big 10).

23:19 Posted in UNL | Permalink | Comments (3) | Tags: Bo Pelini, LSU

Monday, November 26, 2007

Graduate hours

My department has divides the 90 hours for a doctoral program into 11 sub-categories, and today I went through it, identifying the precise hours that were, are, or will be taken to fulfill the requirements for a Ph.D. Graduation is still 13-18 months away, but I'm definitely feeling closer to the end that the beginning. I remember walking to the country kitchen in Pierre with my first grad textbook, studying it over chicken salad and being excited...

Also had two conversations re: the OODA loop paper. I'm hearing the same thing from both professors, which is great: they come from different areas of the field, and the biggest fear is that they talk past each other. The dual-processing section will be expanded, to ease in readers who are substantially less familiar with Boyd than, say, the crew of this summer's Boyd Seminar. I had hoped to be actually done with the paper this week, but it's better to build it up now and rapidly convert it to part of the dissertation proposal later than the reverse.

14:23 Posted in UNL | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Kansas and Nebraska Acts

The new BCS poll is out this week, and the good news is that 3 of the top 6 teams are in the Big 12 (and two of those are from the Big 12 North):

1. Ohio State
2. LSU
3. Oregon
4. Kansas
5. Oklahoma
6. Missouri

Teh bad news is that Kansas jumped from 8 to 4 on account of our Nebraska Cornhuskers' record-breakingly bad performance. We have lost more games in a row than ever before, gave up more points in a half than ever before, and gave up more points total than ever before.

The question is should Coach Callahan and Defensive Coordinator Cosgrove be fired now, or stay on so this season is unambiguously theres.

From the Fire Callahan and Cosgrove side:

Coaching: 0 Kansas scored 19 points the last two weeks...they quadrupled that yesterday thanks to Coz's defense and Callahan completely abandoning the running game to put the game completely in the hands of a first time starter at quarterback. Please guys... don't damage your careers any more, just resign today.
Overall: F It's over Bill. Coach Osborne, please call an audible and do what needs to be done now.

From the Let Callahan and Cosgrove hang perspective

Forget the idea that he (or Bill Callahan) should resign or be fired. He shouldn't. He shouldn't be let off the hook. At the end of the season, we can write about how this is the worst season in Nebraska's history and it can be attributed to him without any asterisks attached. This becomes more important as times marches on. Think about that for a minute. When my sons are old enough to have their own kids, they can look in a record book somewhere and Kevin Cosgrove's name will be attached to this season.

The best summary is from the NU v. KU open thread:

now witnessing the death throes of the Callasham regime.

All links from Corn Nation

21:02 Posted in UNL | Permalink | Comments (6) | Tags: kansas, cornhuskers, football, ncaaf

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Callahan even makes Texas A&M look good


I wasn't able to catch the Nebraska game today, but after I learned that we were trailing at half-time I knew the end.

Corn Nation has more:

4-4, probably on our way to 4-8. It's going to be a tough, tough, tough season

Was there a loss in this game? If Nebraska won, we'd have won the game and been one more step to a bowl game. That's a good thing. If we lost, Bill Callahan has driven one more nail in his coffin. I'd rather have a Nebraska win.


Rumors rumors rumors. Bill Callahan will resign tomorrow. Kevin Cosgrove will commit Seppuku. Not going to happen. Resign yourself to living through this season with these guys as your coaches. Why? Because if you're a coach, you don't desert your players, and don't forget that these players came to Nebraska to play for Callahan and Cosgrove. Consider it penance for all the glory years. I can handle that, can't you?

Callahan is no longer playing to keep his job at Nebraska, but to find another one. While he might conceivable make an excuse that his style just doesn't mesh with Nebraska, losing to A&M is just ridiculous.

As one former player asked, who would higher him to destroy their football team?

09:17 Posted in UNL | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

OODA Alpha, Part III: The OODA Loop

The OODA model grew from Air Force Colonel John Boyd's combat-oriented research into psychological theory (Boyd, 1964, 1976a, 1976b, 1986, 1987a, 1987b, 1996; Fadok, Boyd, & Warren, 1995; Fadok, 1997; Osinga, 2007), and since then has been used in the military literature (Alex, 2000; Bower & Hout, 1988; Dickson, 1992; Gray, 1999; Hammond, 2001; Nagl, 2005; Plehn, 2000; Polks, 2002; Richards, 2003, 2006; Sparling, 2002; Sweeney, 2000) and for military doctrine (Department of National Defence, 1996; U.K. Ministry of Defence, 2002; U.S. Department of the Navy, 1995; U.S. Air Force, 1997; U.S. Army, 2003).

The OODA loop is named for the first letter in its four primary processes: Orient, Observe, Decide, and Act. While the model was initially described as a linear process (U.S. Marine Corps, 1997), such a model was recognized as cognitively naive (Cook, Leedom, Grynovicki, & Golden, 2000; Bryant, 2006). Boyd (1996) provides the following, updated visualization:

"The Essense of Winning and Losing"

The OODA model is informed by cybernetics (Boyd, 1976b; Osinga, 2007) so it is not surprising that like all cybernetic systems (Wiener, 1961; Smith & Smith, 1966), the OODA model includes a stimulus component, observation, and a response module, action. Within a dual processing framework, the Level 1 or implicit system is known as "Orientation," while the Level 2 or explicit system is known as "Decision." Orientation is always active and guides action through when decisions are made, action is subject to rational control as well.

OODA Alpha, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Dual Processing Systems
3. The OODA Loop
4. Decision
5. Orientation
6. A Theory of Mind
7. Reorientation
8. Disorientation
9. Education
10. Instruction
11. Student Interaction
12. Creativity
13. Conclusion
14. Bibliography

13:10 Posted in UNL | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Three bad games

Today was a football disaster

First, the drudge report headline says it all: Huskers suffer worst home loss since '58
Nebraska 14, Oklahoma State 45

Second, the Big 12 South humiliates the Big 12 North
#6 Oklahoma 41, #11 Missouri 31

Third, #2 California, my sentimental favorite, had a chance to become number one, after
#1 LSU 37, #17 Kentuck 31
But it was not to be
Oregon State 31, #2 California #28

And as I'm writing this, Auburn, the team that beat us in the Cotton Bowl last year, survived Arkansas and somehow stays in the Top 25.
#22 Auburn 9, Arkansas 7


Sunday, October 07, 2007

It doesn't feel good...

to lose to Missouri, but at least we weren't trounced by Stanford (sorry Matt!)

Hopefully Shane's Golden Bears move up to #2 now.

And as if to prove that God has it out for the city of His angels, UCLA lost to Notre Dame. Notre Dame!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A Big 12 North Day

You may recall that shortly after (Big 12 South) Texas A&M's loss to (Big 12 North) Nebraska, Texas A&M's President cut and run, taking a cushy government job instead of facing the Big 12 North again.

Good thing, too, as the two highest ranked Big 12 South teams fell specularly to Big 12 North schools:

#3 Oklahoma 24, Colorado 27
#7 Texas 21, Kansas State 41

Our Nebraska Cornhuskers didn't have the luxury of playing a push-over from the Big 12 South junior leagues. We played a fellow Big 12 North Team

#25 Nebraska 35, Iowa State 17

My thanks to ESPN U GameCast and Huskers Radio for helping me keep up to date on games that weren't aired in my area.

21:15 Posted in UNL | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: big 12, big 12 north

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