Alyssa Rosenberg: “Beyoncé Knowles-Carter”


Alyssa Rosenberg: “At The Grammys, Beyoncé And Jay-Z Made The Case For Marriage That Conservatives Can’t (via ThinkProgress)”:

And in my favorite recent example, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and Jay-Z got on the Grammy stage last night and did what conservatives have been dying for someone to do for ages: they made marriage look fun, and sexy, and a source of mutual professional fulfillment. As Caitlin White wrote in her review of Beyoncé’s self-titled album: “She claims female pleasure as pure and grown, something dominant that can coexist with monogamy and marriage and her own status as an artist.”
“Drunk In Love” is raunchy, fun and even silly. “Why can’t I keep my fingers off it, baby? I want you,” Beyoncé sings. She teases her partner, who both in the real-life creation of the song and its narrative, is her husband Jay-Z, “Can’t keep your eyes off my fatty, daddy, I want you.” It’s a song about flirting, about going out and partying, about having fantastic, adventuresome, totally enthralling sex–with your spouse. That’s a far, far better argument for marriage than the pseudo-scientific case for holding onto your oxytocin by not having sex before you say your vows on the grounds that such conservation efforts will make your first time better.

“Drunk in Love” is performed over a trap beat usually reserved for  aggressive, sizzurp slurred raps about marijuana, murder, money and misogyny. The single is a send-up of those drug induced fantasies where something very real to the Carters is described with a bounce back beat and emphasized malapropisms like “dranking”, “breastesses” and “surfbort”.

Grace Hopper on “Late Night with David Letterman”


Google has dedicated a doodle to her 107th birthday:
Grace Hopper's 107th Birthday Google Doodle

Howard Aiken and Grace Hopper designed the MARK series of computers at Harvard University. The MARK series of computers began with the Mark I in 1944. Imagine a giant roomful of noisy, clicking metal parts, 55 feet long and 8 feet high. The 5-ton device contained almost 760,000 separate pieces. Used by the US Navy for gunnery and ballistic calculations, the Mark I was in operation until 1959.

The computer, controlled by pre-punched paper tape, could carry out addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and reference to previous results. It had special subroutines for logarithms and trigonometric functions and used 23 decimal place numbers. Data was stored and counted mechanically using 3000 decimal storage wheels, 1400 rotary dial switches, and 500 miles of wire. Its electromagnetic relays classified the machine as a relay computer. All output was displayed on an electric typewriter. By today’s standards, the Mark I was slow, requiring 3-5 seconds for a multiplication operation.

via Howard Aiken and Grace Hopper – Inventors of the Mark I Computer.

She also was responsible for development of COBOL and more importantly all programming languages that humans could read that could be translated to computer readable assembly language:

She is probably most celebrated for her pioneering work in the development of COBOL, one of the first programming languages that could work independently of a particular machine, but we should perhaps thank her most for her popularisation of the word ‘debugging’ – dating from an anecdote when an actual moth was found in a computer she was working on, and that was slowing down its processes.

via Grace Hopper: Computer scientist’s 107th birthday marked with Google Doodle – News – Gadgets & Tech – The Independent.

It really was a revolution: coding using plain english.

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was interviewed by David Letterman about her groundbreaking work…

Letterman: “How did you know so much about computers then?”

Rear Adm. Hopper: “I didn’t. It was the first one.”

Watch the interview to see computer technology explained in plain english.