Thursday, December 4

Today is Thursday of WEEK 14 of the class. If you have not turned in your Week 13 Storybook assignment yet, you may still do that for partial credit. For those of you in Myth-Folklore or World Lit, Thursday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you forgot to do any of the assignments that were due on Wednesday. (Indian Epics has no Wednesday assignments, so there is no Thursday morning grace period.)

Storybook Ballots: FINAL DAY. Today, Thursday, is your last chance to vote for your favorite Storybooks. Just like every semester, because all the Storybooks are so good, the votes are VERY close - so, if you haven't voted yet, please take a minute to do that: your vote could make the difference. You can see the nominees here for World Literature, MythFolklore, and Indian Epics. The Ballot is available until midnight tonight, and I'll announce the results on Friday.

Storybook stack. The Storybook stack is still pretty big, and I have been trying to keep up with the folks who needed their Storybook points to finish up the class. If that is your situation, please let me know. I plan to get through all the rest of the items in the stack on Thursday; meanwhile, you can check the contents of the stack to make sure I have received your assignment. If you are turning in a late Week 13 Storybook assignment, remember that the final chance to do that for partial credit will be on Friday at noon.

Desire2Learn: Friday morning outage. There will be a scheduled maintenance outage on Friday, from 7AM to 8AM. Since you do not have any assignments due on Friday, this should not be a problem - but if you have gotten in the habit of using the Friday morning grace period, you should be aware that Desire2Learn will be unavailable from 7AM to 8AM. Normally, IT is very good about getting the system up and running at the scheduled time, but if there are delays, you can check the website for the latest information.

December 4: Omar Khayyam. Today marks the death in the year 1122 of the great Persian poet and scholar, Omar Khayyam. He is best known today for his collection of poems called the "Rubaiyat" (quatrains), but in his day he was renowned as a mathematician and also as an astronomer. Here is one of the quatrains in the famous translation by Edward FitzGerald:

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd -
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."

You can read more about Omar Khayyam's remarkable life and career in this Wikipedia article, which is also the source for this image of Omar Khayam's tomb in Neishapur, Iran.