Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Merlin Mann's Fuzzy Little Boy

I was led to this Merlin Mann post by Daring Fireball.

John Gruber, of DF, highlighted Merlin's description of the effect of seeing color photos from times that we mostly know from B&W.
But, sometimes, an old color photo brings a distant image to life and produces something kind of special. The best ones make their subjects and their surroundings seem far more real and intimate.
When done well, these images help repudiate the implicit modern reading that pre-color photography realistically captured the simple but alien lives of people who were neither as complex, interesting, nor sophisticated as we CMYK people are.
But I think that Merlin's ruminations on the life of a little boy captured in one picture is truly touching.
But, the real star of the show has to be that little boy standing on the left. He looks like he’s about my daughter’s age—maybe 3 or so.
I wonder if his family was ever able to buy this or any other field. I wonder if they maybe found better work at the B-29 plant in Marietta or the shipyards of Savannah. I wonder if the boy ended up serving in Vietnam. And, if he did, I wonder if he ever made it home.
I wonder if he ever got to see his own fuzzy little kids spend their days standing someplace better than another man’s cotton field.

Earl is Coming.

It's looking like we're gonna get a close pass from Hurricane Earl later this week.

Friday, throughout the day and into the evening, could get pretty wet & windy.

In the meantime, it's looking like today is gonna be another unseasonably hot one. Forecast to be in the 90s again.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nina's Message

My friend Sherman sent this story around as an email. He gave me permission to republish it here.

Hi Social Welfare undergrads -- especially the women.  I got a message to give to you.
When I got to my bus stop yesterday morning, Nina was already sitting there.   As I sat down, she introduced herself and let me know she wasn’t waiting for a bus, but just taking a rest on that hot morning before finishing her walk to the Dollar Store a few blocks to the west.  She heard that they had some good blueberries at a dollar a box, and she told me how her family used to raise blueberries and grapes on a farm back in New Jersey.  I countered with my own tale of picking blueberries in Maine as a child, and we both agreed that east coast blueberries are better than California ones.
 She asked what I do and I told her I was a college advisor.  “I hope you’re better than the one I had” she said, and told me her story of how she went to Bucknell (which is in Pennsylvania and not Ohio, as I guessed -- Nina sternly corrected me on that).  “I was a double outcast.  I wasn’t wealthy and I was a girl.   There weren’t too many of either at Bucknell, especially studying biology.  They called me a chicken farmer’s daughter, even though my father never raised a chicken in his life.  We raised grapes that were so good that we were the only farm in the county that the Welch’s people would buy from to make their juice and their jelly.”   She told when she was near to graduation; her advisor told her she should get married and stop her foolishness about trying to work.  “He told me no one would hire me as a biologist, and even though he was right, I think he should have supported me instead of trying to kill my dream.”   She said she ended up becoming an occupational therapist because they let woman work in that field -- “since they didn’t pay enough for men to take the work”.  I told her I had a lot of women in my major and that things were different these days.  “Oh yes, I know they are.  Girls don’t have to leave their homes now like I had to.”  She said that after graduation, she and a few girlfriends decided to leave New Jersey and they came to California.  “Back then, they didn’t have the same stupid rules in California that they did elsewhere.  I could work anywhere once I got here to California, and I got as much money as a man for my work.”
 Back then was in 1943.   Nina is 89 years old now. 
 “I better get going” she said, “before the sun gets too high in the sky and it’s too hot for me to walk.”  I asked her if she needed help getting up and she said “Oh no. I have my system.”  Then she rocked back and forth in a forward direction and each time she did, her butt lifted higher up off the bench until she finally got high enough to lay all her weight on the cane in her right hand and lifted herself up off the bench.  “You tell those girls of yours to keep studying and make sure they know how lucky they are.  No one is going to call them a chicken farmer’s daughter or tell them they can’t work in certain jobs. You know, I like that Obama fellow, but it’s time for us to have someone wearing a dress in the White House.  Tell your girls to work for that, and maybe it will even be one of them who become a lady President.”
 As Nina walked away to get her blueberries, I promised I would pass the message on.   
 And so now I have.
Thank you Sherm.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Samuel Johnson Quote

"Remarriage: A triumph of hope over experience."

— Samuel Johnson, lexicographer (1709-1784)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Waiting for the Rain

Oddly, I'm looking forward to it raining.

I've been doing a bit of landscaping here at the lakehouse, and one of the projects is to put in some drainage gullies to control the erosion during rain events.

But it's hard to know these things are gonna be effective when it's dry. So I've been waiting for a rainy day so I can go out and play in the mud to fine-tune my handiwork.

We've had an uncharacteristically long dry-spell here in southern NH. But today could be the day.

Cute Video: "Robot Parade"

Robot Parade from Jared Foster on Vimeo.

via make magazine blog

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bubble on the Beach

UPDATE: Apparently this video has been pulled from YouTube. Too bad. I'll leave the posting here just in case it reappears in the future.

The preview image makes this look like an approaching storm. It's not. It's really very cool and tranquil.

via boingboing

Self-balancing, one wheel, electric scooter

via make magazine blog

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Not Fall Yet.

I had been thinking that Fall had arrived here in Southern NH, but Summer's not ready to let go yet.

Though yesterday was overcast and threatening rain for most of the day, it was nevertheless warm and muggy. I was out in the yard doing some cleanup and just a little exertion left me dripping.

A cold drink that I left sitting on the counter quickly made a big puddle of condensation.

And today's looking to be even more, but with clear sunny skies.

9:45 AM and it's already well into the 80s.

Hang on.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just wondering...

... If I can make a blogger post from my iPad.

UPDATE: I can!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bad Romance - Korg Monotron and Kaossilator

"I'm a freak bitch, baby."

thanks makeblog

Augmented City [in 3D]

Even without 3D glasses this is pretty cool. I've been saying for years that Augmented Reality is the future.

So where can I get a pair of red-blue 3D glasses?

thanks makeblog

Detroit's "Mower Gang" reclaims a velodrome

thanks Makeblog

Mini Cannon

Hope my nephew North doesn't see this. He'll want one. Hell, *I* want one.

thanks boingboing

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Sunny Beach Day Gets Ruined by a Major Storm in Finland

This could be right out of the opening sequence of a genre horror movie. Look close and there's even an evil face in the clouds at one point.

I only wish the clip didn't end when it did. It musta got pretty intense there.

from boingboing

The iPhone Antenna Song

Reportedly this video was played by Apple at the start of their AntennaGate press conference a few weeks back.

"If you don't want an iPhone 4, don't buy one. If you bought one and you don't like it, bring it back... but you know you won't."

I'm Baa-aack.

OK, so I've been away from this blog for awhile. Let me see if I can do something to change that.

Great Star Wars Parody: "The Blackstar Warrior"