01 March 2003

2,550 words yesterday, for a grand total of 50,910 since January 1. That puts me on course for about 305,000 this year, a little ahead of my goal of 300,000.

So how much is 50,000 words? In my case, it's two completed articles and most of a third, a large section of my organic semiconductor report, and a large chunk of the Venice novel (for which I'm targeting a total of about 100,000 words). The total also includes lots of bits and pieces that may remain more or less in their current form or may be recycled into grist for the mental mills, and a fair amount of thinking out loud about various projects. It doesn't include email, business proposals, or entries in this section.

For March, my goal remains a thousand words a day. targeting 81,000 by the end of the month. Onward!

Posted 02:58 PM

28 February 2003

1200 words yesterday, 48,360 since January 1.

Posted 11:44 AM

An interesting article suggests that maybe talking it out isn't the best way to deal with trauma, and a little repression might be a good thing. I'm not a therapist, but the idea that moving on with your life is better than defining yourself as "victim" makes intuitive sense.

On the other hand, repression has an ugly history as a way for society to pretend that bad things aren't actually happening. There's a fine line between a healthy focus on the future and a dangerous denial of the past.

(New York Times link. Free registration required.)

Posted 11:16 AM

Unlike other areas of semiconductor manufacturing, lithography is prone to fads. Researchers rush to look at every new possibility in their battle with the laws of physics. Immersion lithography is the latest headline grabber, promising to improve resolution by eliminating the optical interfaces between the lens, air, and the wafer.

It's not a new technique. Optical microscopists have used oil immersion lenses for more than a hundred years. Extending the principle to lithography should be, if not simple, at least more straightforward than EUV and other post-optical methods.

Still, it remains to be seen whether immersion lithography will stretch existing exposure wavelengths enough to justify its impact on already strained R&D budgets.

Posted 10:54 AM

27 February 2003

I don't usually pass along random funny things from the Internet, but this is the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Radio-controlled blimps: harmless toys, or minions of ultimate evil?

Posted 05:24 PM

I've been letting writing updates slide lately, though not the writing itself. 4350 words since my last update, 47,160 since January 1. I won't make 59,000, my original goal, but should get to 50,000. That would leave me on track for my annual goal of 300,000.

Posted 11:54 AM

I've been playing with visual outlining software a lot lately. Traditional outlines just don't work for me, so I'm looking at other ways to organize big projects and big collections of information. Two interesting commercial packages are MindManager and Writer's Blocks, both of which have free demos available. The Google Mind Mapping category has pointers to lots more software and information.

Posted 11:37 AM


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