Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Faculty Achievement Award

I was happy to receive the UDM Faculty Achievement Award on November 7. It is a really nice dinner and a chance to talk with a large bunch of faculty at the same time. I got to make some comments for about 5 minutes. The faculty agree that this event is well-done by the university. I hung the plaque in my office at UDM. I got the pictures today, so I wasn't able to put any up until now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Presidential Run

I know it's a bit late in the election, but we can't have either of these guys. There's too much at stake. I'm the new one! Click the link above to start the trend.

I'm Barry Dauphin, and I approve this message.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Celebrate Spirit 2008

This is from the most recent Celebrate Spirit at UDM. This involves a mass and picnic with classes operating on an adjusted schedule for the day. I think it has become a better attended activity over the time I have been at UDM. This year Chrysler sponsored the picnic and had a bunch of new cars out on the fountain area. It was a beautiful day and a nice change of pace.

Monday, September 08, 2008

OK... enough of the hurricane blogging for now

These are a few shots I took inside the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. You can't use a flash inside the museum, and I struggled to figure out how to take good pictures. Although you aren't supposed to videotape, I ran the video function for a second or two to get good photos. It is a very nice museum, although I only stayed for a couple of hours as I had to get to a meeting. I'll let these speak for themselves.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ike Could Be a Problem

Ike is a very powerful storm (Category 4 as of now) that will be heading over warm water. The track puts it into the central gulf of Mexico. New Orleans might have to evacuate a 2nd time. It's too soon to tell, but it certainly appears to be heading into the middle of the Gulf.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Considerable weakening of Gustav | Eye collapsing

Fortunately Gustav seems to be weakening in a number of ways. It still packs 115 mph winds, but the National Weather service called that "generous". The eye of he storm has weakened considerably, and the east wall seems to be falling apart. As it moves overland, it will weaken fairly rapidly, although not rapidly enough for Houma. There is still danger and the storm surge will test the levies of New Orleans. However, I think this might be a test and might give the Army Corps of Engineers valuable information about how things stand. As far as New Orleans is concerned, this might amount to the equivalent of a preseason game,

Gustav maintains strength...

...but does not appear to be intensifying. It is on track toward Houma, LA. Because hurricanes can do funny things, we shouldn't think New Orleans is completely out of the woods yet. The West Bank will likely get flooding. On TV I saw a West Bank family that decided to stay and ride out the storm. At least they were well prepared with a generator and boats. So they should be OK, although it does not sound like a wise decision. I'll find out when I wake up, if the track has been maintained. New Orleans could get sustained hurricane force winds of upwards of 85 mph. There will be damage in New Orleans, but Houma will take a beating, as well as areas south of Houma.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav, a bit weaker still

As of 1 PM Sunday, Gustav's sustained winds are down to 115 mph. that is very good news, since earlier models were projecting significant strengthening by now. It will be very difficult for this hurricane to intensify to a Category 5 storm or perhaps even a Category 4. It is still dangerous because of flooding, wind damage and spawning tornados. But it is looking less like a horrible storm and more like a "typical" one. Word from my relatives is that getting to Baton Rouge from the New Orleans area is actually quite smooth right now. It looks like most people got out yesterday and early this morning. Anyone who is still there should not have traffic as a reason to stay. It still makes sense to get out and get to higher ground. The storm should still intensify to some degree.

Gustav weakens and continues track

Gustav has weakened a bit, sustained winds down to 120 mph, but it has not slowed down. It is still expected to intensify, but it's starting point is lower than we would have thought to begin the day. I've compared the tracks, and Gustav seems very close to projections of yesterday, and doesn't currently show the east "error" that I noted earlier. That is good for New Orleans.

Tracking Gustav some more

This is a comparison of the 5 AM Saturday morning projection and the 2AM Sunday morning projection. The Saturday projection included the first projection of where Gustav would hit US land. Although the projections are remarkably accurate at one level, slight variations mean a lot. Over the course of less than 24 hours, Gustav has picked up speed (projected to hit land sooner than before) and projections have shifted slightly east. Neither of those things is good for New Orleans. A faster moving storm can generate a very powerful storm surge. The 2 AM projections are still for central Louisiana, but east of earlier projections. I'll check the projection again in the morning (after I wake up), but I think it will be interesting to see the 2 PM projections, as 12 hours is a pretty good time frame over open water to get a sense of track. so far, the storm seems to actually track further east than projections. I hope this does not continue.

Tracking Gustav

I've been following the projections for Gustav. The spaghetti graph indicates that it should pass west of New Orleans, although I notice that a couple of models put it right over New Orleans. The graph is useful, but the summated plot indicates a straight line path. That is rare for hurricanes. Of course, this is the best projection so far, but these massive storms rarely travel in such a straight line fashion. At some point, I expect some kind of turning or veering in a slightly different direction. We'll see. If current projections are correct, then New Orleans will have very bad weather but really dodge a bullet. It's too soon to tell.


I've now included a graph showing surface winds. The part I'm interested in is the dotted line, which shows the path. The path to-date is hardly straight. Because Gustav appears to have settled in to the weather systems in the gulf, it is expected to have a much straighter path. But the next 24-36 hours are very important for determining that. The latest track has shifted it slightly east of its earlier track, which means slightly closer to new Orleans.

I talked with my mother today, and she is set on where she'll be going. My aunt will be evacuated with the other residents of the nursing facility she is in, and my cousin will drive to Baton Rouge, and then check in on his mother. Here's hoping it is not too serious.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More from Boston

I've tended to scorn packaged tours as something geezers do. I guess I've become a geezer, hopefully with not too much geezerness. Taking a set of tours helped me see a lot of sights quickly, although not being able to spend much time at any place. It's a good way to know something about a place, possibly for future reference. I will head back to Boston in November for another conference. Fortunately I had great weather to ride in open buses. I also made it over to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. They had an exhibit of Winslow Homer that was interesting. Too much museum to catch in one day.

The pictures show the Boston skyline via a view from the Charles River, which separates Boston from Cambridge. How long will Boston be separate from Cambridge, I ask facetiously. One of my cabbies was complaining that Harvard was buying every piece of property in sight. He made it sound as if the area will one day be called Harvard, MA. The other picture is of the old capital building. Massachusetts has done a good job of preserving the building as the picture testifies.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Faculty Achievement Award

This week it was announced that I received the Faculty Achievement Award at UDM. This is an award given to junior faculty who have demonstrated some distinction and promise in their work. It is part of the Faculty Excellence Awards. I was really happy and honored to receive this. The actual ceremony will be in early November. UDM hosts a very nice dinner, and I get a few minutes to make a speech. It should be fun. It is a bit awkward to be congratulated by people, even though I like it. I put in my tenure application this Fall, so this is a good time for the award.

Professional CE and Product Pushing

I took a workshop at the APA Convention on the WAIS-IV and WMS-IV. Respectively, these are two new versions of an intelligence/cognitive ability test and a memory test. Both have a long tradition and are very good instruments. The new versions have important changes. This was a pretty good format for this kind of information. Essentially it crowds a bunch of professionals together in a lecture-like format.

Because most of this information is basically factual, i.e., they are informing people about the changes/additions/deletions and basic issues concerning administration and scoring, it is not meant to be very interactive. It is a sales pitch for the equipment, and it is presented by individuals employed by the company that makes the tests. As a "consumer" of such stuff, it is important to keep that in mind and never simply take what is said as the final word. These folks have a big investment in selling the equipment. They did a fine job, but it is very sad that so much of what passes for professional education occurs in a format like this. Most issues in psychology aren't as antiseptic as describing the changes that have been implemented for new psychological tests. Many of the questions from the audience made me wonder if some people are taking after their over-eager students who raise trivial things as a way of standing out and looking important or were they always this way. This was as appropriate a situation for this type of format as it gets, and surely folks wanted to pack it in at the earliest opportunity. Pity the field to do this all the time. Mandatory CE gives this kind of format a life support, as people try to fill up their mandated hours. But it ain't much of an education.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

By Land and By Sea

I took a Super Duck Tour of Boston as well as a Trolley tour of Boston and Cambridge and a tour of the Charles River, a lot for one day. The tour guides have a very mixed quality. The guide for the Duck tour is an out-of-work fisherman who has honed his tour with good and bad jokes, but telling the Boston story with wit and interest. The Cambridge tour folks were students and were putting themselves into it, mostly wanting to impress with possession of a large number of facts. The rest were... well... phoning it in. But no never mind. I got to see a lot in a short time and took a ton of pictures. I'll post some more.

Here is a shot of the vehicle that goes on land and sea. The other boat is the USS Constitution. Unfortunately we weren't able to get a closer look from the water, another limitation in the post 9/11 world. One of the guides said that after 9/11, Boston passed an ordinance significantly limiting the height of new buildings in Boston. I liked Boston a lot, but that was one weenie of a decision. I hope they will revisit that one. Please don't attack us, Mr. terrorist. Geez.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Interesting Boston Shots

These are shots near the Church of Christ Scientist in Boston, MA. The building is quite striking and different from everything else around it. Next to the church is this reflecting pool which serves as an entree to more modern buildings in Boston.

Blue Man Group

Put it into the "need to see it to believe it" category, The Blue Man Group is a lot of fun. They mock modern technology and mock those who make it important and they mock the mockers. A delightful, fun-filled time with interesting music and audience participation. Near the end of the show, the let loose the streamers and the audience has to pull them up to the front. A sea of arms, hands and streamers. I really recommend seeing them live if you can. They're in Boston for about couple of months. I got a sense of them on TV, but live is great.

Monday, August 04, 2008

A Well Earned Reward

Two graduate students helped me put together three instructional videos. The acted out the parts of examiner and patient. As a just reward I took them to dinner in Greektown, a nice spot in Detroit with a lot of restaurants and pubs. We went to Pegasus Taverna for some Greek food. And we did get the flaming cheese.
The process of making these videos is interesting. I have learned a lot, and it takes a great deal of planning. The technology is so good today that it can make this look like a very professional production. In some ways it is, but the equipment isn't really all that expensive. The folks at IDS really know what they are doing. This has more possibilities; I just have to think of them.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just Another Day on the Set

We've filmed the video for the next two instructional videos, on administration of the Rorschach and the MMPI. The students id a great job again, and we were able to get through the shooting for both videos in a little over a couple of hours. The only glitch was static emanating from one of the microphones for a while. It was never pinpointed, but changing the mic got rid of the problem. I've already done most of the prep work for graphics and design. I will record voiceovers, and then the whole thing will be pt together. A lot of preparation goes into this, but I'm getting the hang of it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Elvis, Elvis, and More Elvis

I took a break from grading and head out to the Michigan Elvis Festival. Held right here in Yspilanti, it's a tribute venue to the King. They include some other impersonators too, such as a Beatles group, Roy Orbison impersonator and a Tom Jones act. There are about as many variations on Elvis as one would see with Jesus (check out the book American Jesus: How the son of God became a National Icon by Stephen Prothro. The book shows the incredible variety of Jesus depictions and uses in american culture).

The guys are pretty talented, and they take it all in good fun. Just as in Vegas, ladies are begging for Elvis scarves, so every Elvis comes loaded for bear with scarves. We had thunderstorms earlier in the day, but they cleared up by early afternoon when things got rolling. The organizers do a good job. As soon as one act departs the stage, another is waiting to come out. so there are o real lulls. I hadn't been before, and I had a eye-rolling reaction to it in the past. But it was actually a good time. The Elvii all had a pretty good sense of humor about what they do. The gang of Elvii came on stage together for a candlelight salute to Elvis.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Flowers A'Bloomin'

I took this picture this morning on my way to work. I like to take my camera with me. The digital photo revolution is great. Just point and shoot and no worry about developing the film. I planted this last year, and it has come back. It begins as a bright yellow flower and stays that way for a couple of weeks. Then it transforms into this beauty. Some of its neighbors are coming up soon.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Hanging out...literally

Over at Jerry & Karen's today for a B-cue in the great weather of the weekend. This July 4th weekend might have been the best weather-wise that I can remember. Fri thru Sun were gorgeous days, with clear skies and not too hot. These were fantastic days to hang out outside and some of us did just that in the Sky Chairs that Jerry & Karen have. You can gently sway with your feet up, and they make for easy napping too. A lot of folks from UDM were there.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Unusual Precautions

The retreat facility has a separate, small chapel on the premises. It is a picturesque church that has become quite a popular site for weddings. The sign says it all. Although we saw deer from time to time and the assorted birds, we did not run into any bears. The week before 2 cubs were spotted behind the retreat center.

Inkblot Shirts

I created a Cafepress site and put up some inkblot T-shirts/Sweatshirts for fun. I might get around to making some more, but will see how this goes. Barry's Blots will be up for a bit. Above are some of the choices.

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Great Trip to Colorado

The Magis National Faculty Retreat was a true retreat. Little in the way of pressure and much time for reflection, hiking and reading. I finished a couple of books during the retreat, including Wilma Bucci's Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Science. The faculty from across the country were quite interesting and the group worked very well together. I'll put up some pictures from time to time of the great scenery in the Rockies.