Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bedforms in Matlab - everything you wanted to know about ripple marks and cross beds

David Rubin's bedform-generating code has been implemented in Matlab (in fact, it has been out there for a while). It is a great learning, teaching, and research tool that can be downloaded as part of an USGS open file report. Strongly recommended to anyone having some interest in sedimentary structures, bedforms, and cool Matlab graphics.

That reminds me of something else: it would be nice to have a Matlab version running on Intel Macs. I hope Mathworks will keep its promises and have something ready by early 2007. Having to reboot the iMac in Windows XP is an acceptable solution, but I could live without it [although even Windows XP looks OK on this kind of hardware :) ].

New books, websites, and videos on disbelief

It is good to see that two books that talk about disbelief and attack religion are among the top sellers on One of them is "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris; he is a PhD student in neuroscience at Stanford whose first book (The end of faith) was also about - and against - religion. I have read that one and enjoyed it.

The second book, "The God Delusion", was written by Richard Dawkins, who would probably be the head of the Church of Atheists and Agnostics if there was such a thing and if atheism was religion. [Needless to say, it is not]. I have ordered it and looking forward to read it. If it is 'preaching to the converted', fine with me. After all, there are very few intellectuals out there who have the courage to 'preach' to those inclined to think that there are no gods, no santas, no angels, and no teapots in orbit around Jupiter. Dawkins also has a new website and foundation set up:

Also, it is worth checking out Google Video for films on atheism. The two-part series called "The root of all evil?" by Dawkins is there. I also found Jonathan Miller's "Atheism - A Rough History of Disbelief". It is a very enjoyable documentary. You can find all three episodes at Google Video if you do a search.
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