Monthly Archives: August 2009

will the construction on Packard be done for student move in?

What just happened: I rode into town on the #5, including the portion of it which is under construction on Packard near campus.    

The back story: City streets are always under construction in the summer time.  Some times construction projects unexpectedly run late.  When students move in, every single street near campus – including that stretch of campus near Packard – is jammed full of returning students.  The students are coming (EEEK).

How I found out what I found out:  I searched through the City web site for "packard construction" and got reports of project status from 2006 and 2008.  I then searched for "packard construction 2009" and got an announcement of a meeting at the DDA back in January announcing the project and naming Elizabeth Rolla, PE as project manager.  I called the number listed and got voice mail; I called back, spoke to an admin who tried to reach a few people, and who then said that she had spoken to someone (unnamed) in "management" who recommended that I leave a message.  I'm waiting for a call back.

What I don't know: What the U of Michigan knows about the project; if the project is on time, late, or almost done; how I'm supposed to get project updates; who the contractor is; what the cost of that project is; when the RFP was issued; what all of the bids were; the difference between the high bid and the low bid; what contingency plans are in place for student move-in if the roads are still being worked on.

danah boyd to speak at the U of Michigan John Seely Brown symposium, October 13, 2009

from the JSB Symposium web site at the U of Michigan School of Information:

This year's JSB Symposium featuring danah boyd, a social media researcher at Microsoft Research New England and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Her talk will be on "Youth-Generated Culture: Growing Up in an Era of Social Media." 

Note new location: The presentation will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 in the Blau Auditorium of the Ross School of Business, Tappan and Monroe Streets, on the U-M Central Campus. 

This provocative, free talk is for anyone interested in understanding social media — whether users, educators, business leaders, service providers, or technology developers. danah boyd observes that many of today's youth embrace a wide array of social media. Whether on social network sites, texting, or blogging, youth leverage the power of social media to create, communicate, share, and learn.

Looking forward to the talk.

purple beans for dinner; or, anthocyanin pigmentation in Phaseolus vulgaris

We had purple beans for dinner, from farmer's market.  I heated some olive oil in a pan and cooked them through until they had turned all green, and then salted them a little at the end.

The recipe called for adding chopped almonds but it didn't happen; instead I served the boys tofu that I had cut into cubes and boiled (boiling it improves the texture quite a bit, firming it up more to my liking).

I don't know which variety of purple beans we had.  A search of the net unearthed the "romano purpiat bean" (from Territorial Seed)

60 days. Everything about this purple Romano bean is noteworthy:
healthy robust plants, deep violet stems, lilac blossoms, and lustrous
purple pods. The 5 inch, flat pods are so tender, crisp, and delicious
that we found them irresistible picked fresh from the plant. Cooking
the pods turns them a brilliant jade-green with a nearly stringless
texture. Remarkably productive plants reach 24 inches tall and tolerate
cool, early plantings. Brown seeds.

and Peaceful Valley has the Royalty Purple variety

Phaseolus vulgaris Tender Annual Bush. Purple bushes with
short runners and purple flowers. Bright-purple stringless 5"-6" pods
cook to dark green. Buff colored seeds germinate in cold, wet soil.
Bred by E.M. Meader at the University of New Hampshire and introduced
in 1957.

Why are beans purple?  Good question.  I got as far as finding this:

Genetics of flower and pod color in Phaseolus vulgaris

Christian A. Okonkwo, and
Carl D. Clayberg

The Journal of Heredity 1984:75(6):440-444

© 1984 The American Genetic Association 75:440-444

A new locus, Prp (purple pod), having five alleles affecting anthocyanin pigmentation of corolla and pod, is described in Phaseolus vulgaris L. The allele Prp produces dark-purple corolla and is fully dominant in this respect over the other four alleles that determine light-purple corolla. In the absence of Ro, Prp is responsible for medium-purple pod when homozygous and light-purple pods in combination with the other alleles. The alleles prpsh2 and prpsh give green pods shaded with purple and are codominant with the prpst allele, which causes green pods to be striped with purple. These four alleles are dominant for pod color over prp, an allele causing green pods when homozygous. The interaction of these alleles with the genes Gri, V, and Ro, which also affect anthocyanin pigmentation of corolla and pod, is described. No linkages among these four loci were observed.

That's from 1984; I don't know enough about bean genetics to go any further.

(Oh, and they are delicious.)

a2geeks: weekly events for week of 8/3/09 via @dugsong

Thanks to Dug Song for this events listing – posted as he emailed it out to the a2geeks list.
Monthly events piled up again on Wednesday. Have a great week!


– Weekly CITI donuts, 10 AM at CITI:
– Weekly LA2M meeting, noon at Conor O'Neill's.
– Weekly CoffeeHouseCoders hackathon, 9 PM at Espresso Royale on State
St. (through the summer).
– Monthly SPARK Mingle & Match networking session, 5 PM at SPARK
– Monthly Ann Arbor Computer Society, 6 PM at SRT Solutions.
– Monthly ARBSEC security meeting, 6 PM at Bar Louie.


– Weekly a2b3 lunch, 11:30 AM – resuming now that @eaccents reopens
this week?
– Monthly Michigan Python Users Group, 7 PM at SRT Solutions.
– "Green Energy for the Homeowner", 7 PM at AADL Downtown.


– "Money, Scope, & Time: Aligning expectations between you & your
client", 7:30 AM at Workantile Exchange.
– Weekly Beer:30 mixer, 4:30 PM at the Tech Brewery (BYOB, or RSVP to