Sunday, February 28, 2010

Exchange with Japan?

Those few of you following these blogs closely, have seen the various references to a set of international schools, some of them within the Lower48 + Alaska + Hawaii, others not.

Students tunnel through a sequence of these schools in the course of getting their educations, with many families already accomplished hosts, others still in training. The school dormitory is the more well trodden path in some neighborhoods, as we're talking about a kind of boarding school, for students far away from home.

More recently, I've been storyboarding a TV series involving a tropical paradise. Coconuts count as money, with the thermodynamics of "open system Earth" spelled out in some segments (lots of computations with energy). Think of Bill Nye the Science Guy as an influence.

These same coconuts are also stand-ins for idealized spheres, forming the basis for triangulations (three coconuts) of the island's topography, and tetrahedralizations (four coconuts) of various spatial designs (such as kites).

These tropical island animations (anime) will be standalone and/or dropped into contextualizing shows. Think of Sesame Street as another influence. I call them "mathcasts" because of their somewhat high level of mathematical content. We're doing a lot with polyhedra for example.

Finally, I'm looking at some TV documentary about Portland's under-culture and its ties to the Silicon Forest. Japanese audiences have an interest in high technology. Then there's the music scene and youth concerns, such as peak oil.

Laughing Horse Books and Video
is nothing more than a simple storefront, nor is Duke's Landing all that visually imposing. Would there be any tie to ONAMI? Through Linus Pauling House, yes, though perhaps a tenuous one.

Speaking of science and the Pauling Campus, ISEPP has a lot of raw footage, as earlier noted. This treasure trove might be edited to tell more of the Linus Pauling story as well, how his boyhood home became a headquarters.

I'm not the only historian telling this story, have my version connecting to Quakers on nearby Stark Street, thanks to the ESI connection.

There's a kind of intellectual tourism one might do here without leaving one's chair, but if making a documentary, it'd be worth making the rounds and taping these places for real, while they're still in fairly good shape.

The interviews would need to be translated. I've got some HD previews, they're not suitable for Youtube (or other public venue) at this time. Besides, my camera work is somewhat amateurish.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Learning On-Line

:: elluminate session ::

:: maria moderating ::

Just like in the non-virtual world, I barged into the wrong room, took my virtual seat, and started wondering why this seemed like eXistenZ (a crazy movie).

Distance education is confusing sometimes.

Maria D. popped up in my gmail chat window warning me I was in the wrong room. Praise Allah for quasi-omniscience.

I jumped over to this other group, already in progress. Here's the anchoring web page.

Here's a link to the recorded session.

Related reading: posting to edu-sig (February 26, 2010)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Some people wonder what it's like, collective ownership. They think a company must be very different, and yet an employee kitchen is a common feature of any ocean-going craft, a good shared metaphor, and sometimes the literal truth. So like my rice cooker is with the Laughing Horse crew, such that staff might feed itself. Other provisions schlep back and forth, such as many of the movies I've been reviewing. It's a videos collection, not just a books collection.

Speaking of kitchens, ours was long overdue for an overhaul, which I accomplished to some degree this first pass.

I do not glow with pride that I succumbed to habits of accumulation and am now saddled with a homeowner's inventory. What I would like is for more informal meetings to occur such that I am able to treat my visitors with gifts, which they could hint about. I have some interesting articles of clothing, a book collection, some art, some kitchen supplies. These could become souvenirs, as many of them have been for me. Remember your visit, come again.

An exchange student could grab four or five outfits in route to a zip code area of longer stay (perhaps a horse ranch near Sisters), along with some interesting reading. I have many CDs. LW donated her collection to Muddy Waters during its attempt to stay afloat.

I spilled popcorn in the basement freezer awhile back and need to shop vac the thing, defrost it completely. I stuffed the smaller freezer upstairs, after doing some triage. Kind friends brought us provisions when my wife Dawn Wicca was going through her years fighting breast cancer. Not all of those provisions got used. She died at home, surrounded by family and friends, on March 17, 2007.

Again, I am regretful over having so much stuff. My desire to accumulate has been replaced by a wish to get a lot more bare bones, while also getting more opportunities to share information and compare notes with other Grunchies, other brands of diplomat-scholar.

The cook and volunteer grounds keeper (a musician, studying Spanish) is pretty good at getting us patched in to these Portland networks, education-wise. I'm looking forward to leading more Martian Math classes at Duke's or wherever. The other night was a blast.

Dr. Tag, faculty member, is well connected within the United Nations, as well as to local universities and colleges, other NGOs, so that's another source of hope.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Remembering New York

From some back office email:

For my part, I've been mostly piloting a high school course. I was a full time high school math teacher, before working at McGraw-Hill in computer literacy texts (did some other stuff in between).

LOGO and BASIC were where the junior high market was heading (1980s), not anything I had any control over or any say in. I was low on the totem pole, evaluating others' submitted texts and rolling my own for possible future textbooks.

Publishers hedge their bets by exploring in-house a little, trying to stay ahead of the curve. Not saying they do a lot of this. Depends who they bring on, plus 1980s was a heady time. Hugh Kenner was writing a regular column for McGraw-Hill's BYTE: Eliza versus Racter (early conversation bots) was a memorable one. My office mate Ray Simon and I tracked Dr. Kenner in other contexts as well (a talented writer, famous James Joyce scholar).

One of my tasks was to show off LOGO as more general purpose, without relying on the turtle feature as much. I'm reminded of Daniel Ajoy's work. He went much further in this direction (I know him from edu-sig).

One could argue I should not have been wasting my time with LOGO, should have been tasked with showcasing LISP or Scheme. Take it up with my bosses.

I had some cherished reforms of my own I'd have liked to introduce (more emphasis on world geography, cartography is a mathematical discipline), but the drum beat was California and Texas.

These were the big markets and we would jump through their hoops.

This was all before much electronic publishing and the subsequent breakup of monopolistic empires based on the economics of wood pulp.

Back in those days, a lot of us thought computer programming would be sweeping into the schools thanks to the PC revolution.

To some extent it did, but scientific calculators had claimed their place in the sun, and in math class at least, more or less monopolized as the only technology in the classroom -- right through the free software revolution to this day in 2010. Who could have guessed it?

I'm talking somewhat parochially in any case, as not every economy is taking this same route. Some are leapfrogging the calculator era, jumping right into computers. South Africa is an innovator, not just copying or importing reforms.

I don't think Papert or anyone else anticipated the Lego Mindstorms phenomenon, which took the LOGO lineage back to its robotic roots.

Papert did a good job of explaining his vision, his dreams, but then what happens next is not so predictable.

By the same token, Albert Einstein was not "the inventor of the atomic bomb" even if his clear articulation of mass-energy equivalence is what got that ball rolling.

Personally, I'd consider the rise of procedural programming far less of a disaster than nuclear weaponry nor would I lay it at any one person's feet.

I don't blame Bill Gates for the vast army of Visual Basic programmers trying to use .NET on Windows, even though his knowing BASIC was one of the early dominoes. Who predicted .NET back then?

Why not be charitable?

On the topic of .NET, what's the status of IronScheme I wonder, and does it run on Mono. Let me go Google... Found the stub on Wikipedia.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Remembering Boston

Carol, my mom, phoned from her airplane seat this afternoon, having landed in Boston. She got there early, to prep for a meeting she's co-organizing. Her aim is to be catalytic and effective, not be some kind of dictator or boss. She's pretty good at her job.

AFSC flew me out to Boston many years ago, to (a) attend the Manhattan Project II meetings and (b) research the AFSC's youth program in that city.

Daniel Ellsberg was a keynote on (a), sharing his vision of massive cleanup efforts, rivaling Manhattan Project I in terms of commitment and scope. The OMSI exhibit on Hanford, site of Manhatten I, or parts of it, relayed the huge and ongoing investment, as people work to save the Columbia Gorge from even higher levels of contamination. Other cleanups are also underway, with no end in sight at the moment. So Daniel Ellsberg was right.

My research on (b) helped me envision programs for Portland, on which LAAP and UV were later based. I don't take all the credit, as my role was to help locate and hire staff. The staff (Don, MaryAnn, Pam... Marco) then implemented some of the many of the proposals. Those were some golden years. I treasure my few momentos, such as two Certificates of Appreciation on the wall of my office.

During that same visit, I took in the Mapparium, noted the control room. The need for reliable global data, in close connection with decision-making, is a theme now as much as then. Wherever the headquarters may be, one needs timely and relevant input, otherwise one just works in the dark. Satellites have greatly improved matters. So have individual travelers, uploading to Flickr, Picassa or wherever else. My thanks to Nirel for the India pix.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Continuing Threads

We've had a lot of good discussion this month on math-thinking-l. The computer science group wants to work with the math teaching group, that much is clear.

I'm thinking big picture in this thread on math-teach, dreaming up ways to continue offering remote basing as a lifestyle, yet closer to home and for different skills building reasons.

I filed some more autobio to the Wittgenstein list, as a way of getting some math tied together.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wheels Turning

I met up with a friend at Safeway, a death and dying counselor and teacher, among other skills. I've been facing a lot of that lately. While she waited for her car to get worked on, we walked back to Lyrik, where I'd not been in quite awhile. Joe was painting a new sculpture.

At both Safeway and Lyrik, I worked on some hard writing, often deleting and starting over. This was to math-thinking-l. I'm glad Maria came back and quizzed me, regarding what pilots had been completed. Reflecting back on my work, I feel like it got some wheels turning, ones that we needed to have turn.

That our household works this hard for no compensation, on getting the local economy back on track, is hardly the capitalist model. More of a war time model if you ask me. Ben Franklin loyalists, leading a 2nd American Revolution, versus the inertial conditioned reflexes of a vast army of mindless consumers trained to stay greedy and ignorant. At least the USA was on our side, if not its would-be puppeteers.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Python VM in Go?

Python currently has three to five VMs, depending on who you talk to and how you're defining a VM. The obvious ones you will get in Eclipse are the C, Java and C# VMs.

A Go VM would of course leverage the advantages of a Go engine, while allowing continued use of Python as the API of choice.

Per studies at Michigan State, other anecdotal evidence, using Python as a "gateway language" has none of the negative connotations of "teaching language" in the sense of "you'll never see this in the real world". You'll see Java too.

PyPy and UnLaden Swallow may be added to the list. I don't know enough about Parrot to say anything intelligent about it.

To keep any of these subcultures going, students need ample time to poke around in the inherited libraries, getting their feet wet with what a language might do. Java's class library is quite vast, whether accessed natively or through Jython.

Non-programmers maybe think "a computer language" has nothing to do with "a literature", as if just knowing a few rules of syntax is all one would need to just buckle in and go. On the contrary, those few rules of syntax then gain you entre to a vast forest of goodies.

No one explores a vast forest over night though. Providing ample time for exploration is a precondition for getting any work done. Work / study is a repeating cycle.

Just because you "know English" doesn't mean you've studied Shakespeare. To each language, a literature pertains, a library. Heritage matters. Javascript, Objective C, PHP... these are APIs to tool sets, control panels to multiple engines.

Note: a VM is a virtual machine, as distinct from a library. The job of a VM is to run a lower level language generated by a higher level language as a result of an interpretive process. Both Python and Java compile to bytecode languages for runtime execution. You may distribute these bytecode files without the source if you wish, licenses permitting.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Disconnecting the Dots

I believe I have found the one lesson plan, in all the math-related lesson plans officially blessed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), which introduces measuring volume with a unit tetrahedron.

The author of this lesson plan is following a template, considered illustrative of best practices, so my remarks below should not be construed as a critique of one writer. Rather, I am pointing out what I think is broken about math teaching: it is deliberately bereft of an historical dimension, is divorced from any storytelling, any lore. As such, the math is missing a Z axis, a depth dimension. The math is flat (as in beer).

There's a stated goal of studying the relationship between edges, surface area and volume, when the angles remain constant (when the shapes grow and shrink while remaining self similar).

A tetrahedron is constructed, then doubled in length along each edge through a process of stacking four of them corner-to-corner, leaving the octahedral void of the octet truss at the center. Welcome to the CCP (IVM, FCC).

This octahedral void is then made into a shape (not illustrated) and dissected into pieces according to the sequence below, to show that its volume is 4x that of any of the original tetrahedra.

from Synergetics Folio

The volume 8, 2-frequency tetrahedron assembled from 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 4 is called a Kite for some reason, perhaps because kite string is used (or crotchet thread). Those familiar with the lore know that Alexander Graham Bell created kites of this nature, but his name is not mentioned. The teacher may know. The storytelling is left to the teacher.

So now you have some story. Discover more. Encourage your students to do likewise. Lots to learn. And the math topics will keep weaving in.

Once you learn about hexadecimals and Unicode, you will be ready to think about bracelets, like you might receive upon check in to a Club Med resort. Do these show your name in your native Chinese or Thai, or do they just show bar codes or what? Likewise in hospital work: how much of your own language will you get to see on the monitors? Unicode helps, but the mathematics is complicated, lots of trade offs to consider (like why retire perfectly good equipment even if the newer stuff has more bells and whistles?).

LW was on KBOO (FM radio) tonight briefly, abiding by all the rules (Portland's left is highly professional). I was getting my shoes on for PPUG when she came on. Then I decided I needed to blog about this lesson plan, and how difficult it is for storytellers to make up for all the missing storytelling.

Having more literate well-read mathematics-aware students and teachers is always a godsend. That's why we form schools, user groups, collectives, clubs. We look for good company.

Anyway, not to pick on the NCTM too much, but I do find it ironic that they're building their old logo here, the one their lawyers told them to back away from. There's a story there too.

Just call me old skool.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Connecting with Friends

This rough sketch from the GENI web site includes Portland, a point of interest around here.

I've just added some new blurbs to the BFI web site, archiving with Pauling Campus engineers, suggesting Quaker organizations might affiliate with GENI more directly, why not?

and FCNL are both boasting "green buildings" these days, and this project is about intelligently designing our shared energy infrastructure, including in the Middle East.

More to the point, collaborating on global infrastructure is how we focus on ethical uses of technology, removing the occasion for wars.

Friends also have their scattered schools, so it makes sense to connect other dots as well. Perhaps our Computational Thinking course will attract a few teachers?

In terms of branding the stuff as specifically Quaker (a somewhat whimsical notion), I've already done some work to keep that possibility alive.

We want our children to be proud of our taking a lead role when it mattered.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Jotting Notes

I was helping my Indonesian student again tonight. He's an undergraduate from physics in the State University of Surabaya and is learning English and Python at the same time, tackling a really steep learning curve.

I referred to him on edu-sig, also sent him that link to the IndonesianLanguage page at (hi Carl), not sure if that helped at all.

We use a shared whiteboard sometimes, type code back and forth. What about Python tutorials? Dive Into Python is an old favorite. Even this WikiEducator page is pretty good, ahem (note: WikiEducator will be out of service on February 6 as WE upgrades to the new WYSIWYG editor). Think Python is good.

Teacher Training:

A PCC person and I met before class yesterday (she's a teacher). The meeting was not about Python this time. Portland Community College has a building near OMSI. I had a meeting there about Python awhile back. That was not about teacher training though. The math-through-programming idea was still pretty new in 2010.

Speaking of adult education (andragogy), I did not manage to access the virtual classrooms at Educon (Philadelphia) via Elluminate. Maria had sent around a heads up. Lots of logistics, somewhat ambitious. Pycon doesn't even try to stream live. I'd seen a couple talks listed that appeared to be about digital math.

Teachers are organizing across the land to come out with a more world class mathematics track. However there's not much uniformity, based on my windows into the action. Lots of experiments (and that's as it should be). Nor is it clear, based on feedback from Korea and MIT, that an "always on-line" style will promote focus and concentration.

Multitasking may trash one's ability to write lengthy coherent thoughts? Essay questions elicit single paragraphs, in a style more like here: fragmentary (these are jottings). Korea now has detox centers for students overly addicted to digital distractions. Games tend to be implicated as neurologically addictive.


The effectiveness of computer games as recruitment devices is undeniable. The institutions behind them create the live opportunities though, for better or for worse, so best to not reflexively blame the fantasies. Advertising a game as a recruiting tool adds some serious spin.

Philanthropic gaming (per CSN) might likewise inspire higher commitment levels, beyond donating profits as an outcome of game play. Disaster relief per Sims gets one thinking about logistics, supply lines, temporary facilities. Health workers have many of the same concerns as soldiers in the field (often the same field).

Reported story: Laughing Horse collective did direct service to homeless people all day today. All the gear was disbursed, as well as vegan food. Cold rainy night. Military surplus sleeping bags most welcome.

Education Proposals:

Most grant proposals for education seem to focus on developing new web sites, less on developing educational games or providing teacher training. I agree web sites have an anchoring role. Sponsors like to have their logos displayed. However, organizations need to be known for their people too. A website and nothing more is too absentee.

Somewhat cross-disciplinary teams from the private sector might work with the teachers, not to replace them but to equip them with new skills. Unions need not object in that case (this is not an end run). Where is this model already working? Do we have allies in the UK?

Eliciting Versus Imposing Solutions:

There's no imposing a framework on people, if the goal is to have lasting institutions. Edicts from on high stir resentment and excite efforts to sabotage.

On the other hand, feuding factions may choose to import a management team, at least for the interim. Italian hill towns would sometimes bring in the mayor as an outside consultant. Visiting experts may help catalyze a framework, design new workflows, based on what has worked in other contexts.

Those village electrification projects in Borneo only work because of indigenous support for them, including with engineering. One needs to be able to diagnose and repair locally, perform routine maintenance.

However, the design for those tiny electrical plants (no dams required) came from multiplying experience around the world, especially in mountainous areas. Bhutan has micro-hydro as well. Every situation yields its lessons and "doing more with less" means not always repeating the same wasteful mistakes.

Villagers get Internet now (some of them), meaning these kids have a newly realistic option to stay in the village. Education comes to them. Place based education.

The Indonesian student I'm working with is highly self motivated.

Curriculum Delivery:

Creating cohesive and mutually supportive town-gown relations is part of the equation. I would gladly sit through classes on Wordpress, Django, Javascript, delivered by Wanderers I already know, maybe copying the four meeting format I used for teaching Python that time.

Lightning talks (five minutes) are at one end of the spectrum. Bucky's eight hour talks were further out, more like a serialized TV show.

The user group meetups give a foretaste, but many intelligent adults, eager for this material, would never think of attending a user group. How might we offer free classes? The Princeton Computer Center (another PCC) had those in my day, with members of surrounding community, not just students and faculty, welcome to attend. Reed College?

Free Skool provides another model for delivering curriculum, as does Laughing Horse Books, especially since the closing of Liberty Hall, although not to the degree Free Geek has been able, in terms of providing us with workstations (thinking back to my class for home scholars). West Precinct was in the forefront years ago, with that Red Hat lab.

How does one make work / study a safety net? Another on-line discussion. I've suggested programs for vets. Start the training even while awaiting rotation.

David Koski forwarded Magnus Wenninger's posting to the Polyhedron list, saying "But now I must tell you what I have to say. Ludwig Wittgenstein is my favorite philosopher..." (January 31, 2010).

My guy in Indonesia is back in his chat window. Gotta go. " thank u mr kirby I will always remember the kindness of Mr. Kirby."

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

More Musings About Television

My best advice as a consultant has been to phase in some futuristic aesthetics through commercial advertising. I grew up watching Carosello in Italy and came to appreciate the genre, of television advertising, as an art form. When my friend Mahlon came over, one of our favorite activities was to make audio commercials by recording them to cassette tape.

The visual vocabulary of the more 60-degree based synergetic geometry is well enough defined to generate any number of short scenarios, any of which might provide context, a backdrop, for placing some product or service. Our computers get more of a workout doing these kinds of clips, and we get more experience fine tuning our message.

The other suggestion has centered around reality television, not as a game of elimination, like Survivor, but as unfolding documentaries. The Kennedy brothers had the right idea when permitting ABC TV to videotape their handling of unfolding events in Alabama. Governor Wallace was likewise accessible, giving valuable data for later analysis.

Am I just describing TV news shows then? Not exactly, as I'm imagining a dedicated crew that not only follows the action, but participates in direction, in decision-making.

To take an example: through local community access sources, one may obtain training and access to equipment, for not a huge amount of money. Glenn and I signed up for last month's orientation but it was canceled.

Portland's matrix of innovative art colonies and musicians, its network of coffee shops, frequented by various radical thinkers, might provide an interesting backdrop, as each episode followed the doings of some group or character. Musical interludes might be interspersed. In terms of "underground cable" this would be in line with what's already on the air.

My concern though is that Portland is not sufficiently interesting to say Japanese audiences, other demographics who might really groove on the messages, both commercial and otherwise. In fact, community television doesn't accept real commercials, so all these product placement ads would have to be faux, and that seems a waste of energy and resources.

Better to have some real products and services, real companies putting their brands on the line.

We could go out through Internet channels instead of community broadcasting (its not either/or). Portland might be part of the mix, but only if the Japanese producers want to commit the resources, because they know best what would work with their target demographic.

Why Japan? Japan is one example of a Pacific Rim economy. The synergetic geometry I'm describing has had some serious Japanese students, at least one of whom I've had the good fortune to meet, in both LA and DC. I'm also wondering if the Coffee Shops Network concept might gain a following in a culture already so vested in Pachinko (パチンコ), video arcades.

Getting lots of LCDs illumined with colorful polyhedra, spinning, unfolding, refolding, exploding into modules, reforming, all with an isotropic vector matrix for context, seems like the kind of project a Japanese animation house might eagerly take on, especially with paying customers wanting to advance their brands with these aesthetics.

My not-for-profit Portland Knowledge Lab model was about building up a vast library of mathcasts, shared assets, some of which might derive as spin-offs from these commercial activities. Local area companies would co-sponsor and share resources. Local schools might be among the most avid consumers of these collective resources.

A lot of great video gets left on the cutting room floor (figuratively speaking) when the final commercial is less than a minute long. Spreading more of the futuristic aesthetic on an open source basis, with low to no cost barriers to entry, is another way of jump starting or bootstrapping the market for civilian high technology we're hoping to sustain.

No one is suggesting that XYZ 90-degree coordination is under attack and must soon surrender to some invisible army of "tetrahedralists". Synergetic geometry might remain esoteric even while informing our imaginations -- more than our more conservative textbooks for awhile.

Forays into alternative and/or radical non-Euclidean thinking is not everyone's cup of tea, nor need it become so.

On the other hand, investors look for signs of conscious awareness in company management, and potential profit centers signaling their willingness to run with the ball, to serve as torch bearers, will likely have some marketing edge, both B2B and B2C.

Yes, the flavor is admittedly somewhat counter-cultural, but since when did a culture advance without encouraging its own artists, writers, musicians, animators? Avatar is now the top-grossing movie of all time, not just because of the special effects, but because it speaks to our situation.

In sum:

Let's serialize some reality based TV, complete with signature commercials, product placements, perhaps buffering the clips in partially public databases (e.g. Youtube, BlipTV).

If we're using Portland as a backdrop, then let's branch out to follow the work of NGOs such as Mercy Corps... Northwest Medical Teams. Observe local attempts to deal with homelessness and a depressed economy.

Regardless of Portland's role, we need to galvanize the show with positive futurism and a spirit of multi-disciplinary collaboration.

Regarding Portland in particular, it makes sense to focus on open source and making educational resources freely available.

Invite various talking heads to provide an intellectual framework.

Invite various kinds of audience participation.

One Year Later

From February 2, 2009 (edited):

So here we are at the start of a new chapter. I've upgraded my existing blog templates, plus launched a new blog.

There's some focus on Afghanistan in my writings, given I'm a buckaneer, and given the stories in Critical Path, Fuller's work for the Expo in Kabul.
The Russians were so impressed by the 200-ft. diameter dome at the 1959 U.S. exhibit in Moscow that they bought it. “Mr. J. Buckingham Fuller must come to Russia and teach our engineers,” garbled Premier Khrushchev. [BFI link]
In today's news, there's a non-NATO military base in Kyrgystan getting put on the chopping block. I wondered if there'd be any TV coverage but so far it's just a lot of wire service chatter, plus (somewhat amazingly) Wikipedia is already tracking the story (an encyclopedia as a source for breaking news -- not your grandmother's Britannica eh?).

So where on Earth is Kyrgystan you ask? Google Maps to the rescue.

Being able to embed Google Maps right in my blog is a cool feature. Again, Fuller wrote a lot about the ongoing omnitriangulation project, getting all that global data neatly packaged in a sharable format.

Google Earth has done a good job of making global data accessible to our Global U students and faculties, looking forward to more.

As a Friend
, I'm naturally committed to civilian applications of these technologies, including in Afghanistan. I know the military is sometimes frustrated when tasked with nation building. "Building Valhalla" is not part of its job description.

Update 2010: Russians gave a green light to keeping that Transit Center going, after a significant rent hike. The dining hall is being expanded in anticipation of an influx.