Home of the
David A. Mundie's proudly antiquated home page.
Gema is a non-procedural, rule-based language for text manipulation. I find it an extremely useful tool for maintaining Web pages, massaging databases, transforming documents - all the things I used to do in Awk, Nawk, Perl, Sed, and the like. I have collected a small sample of Gema Gems - short examples of Gema programming, and have written some exercises to help beginning Gema students.
I have a lifelong passion for logarithmic learning, a method of optimized learning through carefully timed reviewing. I think there is a lot yet to be done to exploit new technologies in education.
I found writing a program to conjugate Spanish verbs a great help in doing it by hand.
The varieties of pronunciation in Latin American can be bewildering. Spanish Dialectology is a site I put together to try to make sense of it all.
I am an unabashed Metric System bigot: the Burmo-American vs. Metric quiz is an attempt to show why.
I seriously believe we should go back to the wonderful French Republican Calendar. In that calendar, every day is dedicated to a natural object, except that every tenth day is dedicated to an abstract concept. Where else would you find "Supreme Being Day" immediately followed by "Potato Day"? The product of a collaboration between a scientist and a poet, the calendar uses decimal time - there is something deliciously right about noon being "0.5" and sunset "0.75". My downloadable Metrology Kit contains implementations of the Republican calendar for the Macintosh and for the Palm Pilot (they make great conversation pieces), as well as a metric conversion tool for ClarisWorks that treats digits of precision correctly.
Recently I have been working on the problem of converting NWS forecasts to metric. I dream of a Web site that has SI-only weather reports for the U.S. I have uploaded a prototype.
All my life I have wished I could identify colors precisely - could say "just look at the light yellowish green on that woodpecker's neck" with certainty that it was light yellowish green. The only color system that makes this achievable is the sadly-neglected NBS/ISCC system, which defines a set of 267 color centroids with intuitive yet scientific standardized names, and which maps thousands of traditional color names onto those centroids. I think the system ought to be more widely used in computer graphics.
I have designed a number of SGML-based standardized checklist formats that simplify the exchange of bird data. I also have a program that does mathematical modeling of birdwatching; using it enables birders to get the most out of their birding time.
I hate the usual recipe format, and can only work from recipes written in Reverse Polish Notation, which allows them to be processed by computers. See Computerized Cooking and The Standardized Recipe Language Sampler
Ever need to identify a typeface from a specimen of it? Check out A Field Guide to the Faces, which uses a traditional taxonomic approach to typeface identification.
My wife claims there are two types of readers: the quote-seekers and the gestaltists - those who read for nuggets and those who don't. I'm afraid I fall in the former category. Here is a small sample of quotes from recent reading.
A list of works in Spanish available from Project Gutenberg and LibriVox, to facilitate selection of works to record for Librivox.