Tab Sweep 23: Italians Drove Them

In which I post, with little or no comment, a variety of unrelated things that are cluttering up my browser and/or newsreader…

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, author and screenwriter, has died. Ruth collaborated with Ismail Merchant and James Ivory on 22 movies between 1979 and 2003, including one of my very favorite films: A Room With a View. I remember hating it the first time I saw it and struggling even to stay awake to the end, but when I saw it again a few years later, my opinion had flipped 180 degrees. Like generations of high schoolers reading Hamlet, on my first viewing I saw only the surface—stuffy and sentimental—and missed most, if not all, of the humor. I’m so glad I gave it a second chance and sad to hear one of its creators is gone.

Cnet has The Untold Story Behind Apple’s $13,000 Operating System. I had no idea that Apple contracted out for the Apple II’s operating system.

Fraser Speirs recently mentioned a post he wrote last year on Teaching Programming on iOS. Charlie has been loving programming with Scratch and I’ve been wondering where to direct him next. I’ve been learning Ruby myself and he barraged me with questions when he saw me programming the other day. (4 April 2013: he’s now posted an update.)

Who wouldn’t want a teeny tiny night vision camera? Cool.

What if the problem isn’t so much peer pressure as Imaginary Peer Pressure? College students overestimate the prevalence of binge drinking. Simply informing them of the real numbers reduces that behavior. Strange but true.

When we were at Disneyland last month, Charlie got a pair of “Glow With the Show” Mickey Ears. The ears light up and synchronize to certain shows in the parks (Fantasmic in Disneyland and World of Color in Disney’s California Adventure). We were all exhausted and bailed on World of Color, so we never got to see them in action, but I’ve been wondering how they work. Apparently, I’m not the only one wondering. (more)