News and Notes

« Mon.06.19.2000 »

I haven't updated this in six days because it's been such a whirlwind week. I spoke at the Regents' Meeting on Thursday, at the Fleming Administration Building. There is a lot of official-looking pomp and circumstance which seems to surround the meetings; that's the main thing that struck me about the proceedings. Twice, they went into "executive session," which means they kick everybody else out of the room and do their thing in private. After they finally came out of the first executive session, the public comments forum started; I was the eighth speaker of 11 scheduled. Most people there talked about divestment of tobacco stocks owned by the University -- a topic later voted on in the same Regents' Meeting -- but there were a few people who talked about different things. Two representatives from the union here at the 'U' spoke about a plan to outsource the labor at the hospital cafeteria, while one guy who I thought was a wacko talked about corporate culture in universities. (If you've ever seen old film of the great orators of the late 19th and early 20th century, like William Jennings Bryan, you have an idea how this guy sounded -- poetic delivery, very high, singsong-ish voice. It sounds so archaic, and frankly almost strange, to speak that way today.)

Well, enough about the Regents. In other news, I haven't worked at Transportation since last Thursday; I guess they were trying to balance other people's hours with mine or something. I return there later this afternoon.

I re-did the entire front page again. All the images are now in GIF format, rather than JPG. I finally figured out how to make Adobe Photoshop save the GIFs with the correct color palette. One huge advantage that GIFs have over JPGs is size; the 11 images that make up my front page take up 93KB in GIF format, and 173KB in JPG format. It's nothing to me, being on a T1 here at Baits, but if you're on a 56k or slower modem, size is a major concern. The whole page used to take about 45 seconds to load with JPGs on a 56k; now it takes about 15 seconds with GIFs. This means my parents, on their 14.4, only have to wait about a minute now for everything to load, rather than the approximately three minutes it used to take.