Westmont College Rankings

September 24th, 2010

Westmont consistently ranks in the top tiers when evaluated by these stupid college-ranking magazines. It’s a bit surprising to me not because I didn’t already know that Westmont is one of the best colleges around, but because I wouldn’t have thought these national magazines would notice such a small school. With a student population capped at 1200 by Monticeto, there’s very little money coming in from Alums, meaning less resources–no particle colliders or nuclear power plants on campus.

Here’s the top 8 colleges in California, as ranked by Forbes, along with the total student population:

  1. Stanford University, 17,833
  2. Claremont McKenna College, 1,212
  3. Pomona College, 1,532
  4. California Institute of Technology, 2,126
  5. Harvey Mudd College, 738
  6. University of California, Berkeley, 35,396
  7. University of California, Los Angeles, 38,220
  8. Westmont College, 1,340

To be honest, when I see that I wonder what biases put us at the bottom of the top eight instead of the top. I mean, is this survey looking at undergrad, or just the whole school? Yes, Stanford has a linear particle accelerator and nuclear physics labs, but their undergraduate students also sit in classrooms of 500 and are lectured to by teacher aids and grad students, while the actual professors smash particles into each other at the accelerator. In terms of undergraduate education, I am biased to think Westmont has got to be a lot better.

Plus, they just built a bunch of fancy new structures on campus. And the library has low speed treadmills for reading!

Google's Bouncy Ball Logo

September 12th, 2010

The internet has been abuzz about the fact that Google was abounce this September 7th. I assume it will eventually show up in Google’s logo archive, but until then, I  found a copy someone made, plus some reverse engineered versions using SVG and the HTML5 canvas element. Ironically, I was too busy to really look at it on September 7th because I was recording my Educator lesson on the canvas element, which is what I initially assumed was how this was being done (like the browser ball Chrome experiment). Unfortunately, it wasn’t HTML5, it was more like DHTML with Javascript-controlled absolute-positioned divs.

It is clear to me that the doodle was meant as a sort of fanfare to the launch of Google Instant, which, by the way, surprised me the next day when I googled something… I’ve worked with Ajax before but I’d never have thought it could pull that much data out of the cloud that fast! Google’s servers are insanely fast, and they have some incredible pre-caching going on. It begins asynchronously querying possible autocomplete suggestions as you type, so that before you even finish typing, you’ve got the result.

Anyways, very cool stuff coming from Google these days, they’re doing a lot to accelerate the advance of web technologies.

Oh, and here’s a cat who liked the bouncy balls as well.

New Beginnings

August 16th, 2010

Today is my first day fully moved into my new apartment on Locust. I have a lot of expectations for this place, hopes and dreams and also resolutions. My second year at Fuller will be starting soon, I’ve recently started a new job at Educator, I’ll be living with new roommates, who I haven’t met yet in this new community. Even this website is freshly reinstalled and I’m planning on beginning to use it again.

All of this newness has got me in the mood to make resolutions. I want to host something social every week, maybe cook meals, etc. I want to keep my house cleaner and clearer. I want to get rid of a lot of my things, leaving only the minimum of things I use. I want to ride my motorcycle more often. I want to vlog and blog more regularly, and about more serious topics. I want to keep in contact with acquaintances, near and distant, new and old. Maybe I will write more letters. I wan’t to keep in contact with family better. I want to work with youth somehow, volunteering or an internship, or paid. I want to build my resume and explore career possibilities. I want to eat breakfast more often. I want to use my coffee table as a coffee table, and not as a dinner table. I want to simplify my life and I want to enrich my life. And I won’t resolve to do any of these things, because I want to change and grow as a person, and to be open and flexible to new desires and needs. But I want setting these thoughts out here to help me organize my thoughts and be aware of them so that I can live more in line with how I want to live.