mathematician, composer, photographer, fiddler
Little is known with certainty about the serpent—not even how many thousand years old it is.
A New Multistage Construction Chronology for the Great Serpent Mound, USA, Edward W. Herrmann, G. William Monaghan, William F. Romain, Timothy M. Schilling, Jarrod Burks, Karen L. Leone, Matthew P. Purtill, Alan C. Tonetti, Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 50, pp. 117–125, Oct 2014.
Serpent Mound: A Fort Ancient Icon?, Robert V. Fletcher, Terry L. Cameron, Bradley T. Lepper, Dee Anne Wymer and William Pickard, Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 105–143, Spring 1996.
The Serpent Mound of Ohio, F.W. Putnam, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. XXXIX, No. 6, pp. 871–888, April 1890.
History Got it Wrong: Scientists Now Say Serpent Mound as Old as Aristotle by Geoffrey Sea for Indian Country Today, 7 Aug 2014.
Crazy Theories Threaten Serpent Mound, Demean Native Heritage by Mary Annette Pember for Indian Country Today, 6 June 2013.
When I became an organizer of the Johns Hopkins Topology Seminar, I was asked to design a new webpage for it. A seminar webpage should:
- Advertise future talks, especially the next one,
- Allow invited speakers to easily identify available slots, and
- Archive past talks.
- List all talks—both past and future—chronologically (oldest first), and
- Automatically scroll down to the next talk when the page loads.
So to see the archive of past talks one scrolls up! I’ve not seen this approach before but think it’s quite natural. Additionally:
- Animate the scrolling so visitors know to scroll up, and
- Float the header above this whirling animation.
- Separate past and future talks with a horizontal line, and
- Align this line with the bottom edge of the header at the end of the animation.
- Display all future speakers but hide their titles and abstracts until a week before they speak.
All this is achieved automatically with a few lines of jQuery code at the end of an easily maintained static webpage. The code parses the very same dates which humans read.
The page also automatically announces upcoming talks by email: A cron job (“seminarbot”) on the department server uses PhantomJS to fetch and execute an email-generating function reminderEmail() embedded in the webpage and drops the output into sendmail.