March 31, 2005
I've gotten a few questions from readers trying to view my photos on Flickr. So here are some answers:
If you're using AOL and you can't see my photos, just don't use the AOL browser.
If you want to save a copy of one of my photos and have failed in the attempt, it's because the photo on the main photo page is displayed using Macromedia Flash because SOME Flickr users want to restrict access to their photos. To get a copy-able photo look for the link that says "All Sizes" or the one saying "Different Sizes." Currently they are above and to the right of the image, respectively, but the Flickr people like to redesign occasionally (it's still beta) and move those around. Either of those links will take you to a page where you have a choice of 4 or 5 sizes, including the original. Pick the one you want and save it.
"Sets" are bunches of my photos on a subject that I have put together. You can see my sets here.
"Groups" are bunches of photos on a subject or theme taken by anyone who belongs to the group. Each member submits whichever of his photos he chooses (and sometimes the group administrator kicks 'em out). You can see the groups I belong to by going to my profile here.
Also on my profile you can see my "Contacts" who are other Flickr users I want to keep tabs on.
"Favorites" are individual photos that I want to keep track of. Generally, they are other people's photos, but some Flicker users have selected some of their own photos as favorites. Not me. You can see my favorites here.
Besides all that, photos can have "Tags." All of mine do. Any other site would call these "keywords." You can see my tags here.
Just Some Photos
March 30, 2005
Sirius vs. XM
Surprise Toyota Windfall
So in 1997 this nice Louisiana couple bought a used 1996 Toyota Camry from a used car dealer. Recent unusual behavior by the car brought it to a mechanic who eventually discovered two kilogram plastic-wrapped bricks of cocaine in the GAS TANK! Apparently they'd been in there all along, and something had recently knocked them loose, allowing them to be sucked into the fuel pump.
Another good reason to do your own mechanical work!
New Map Technology
A new kind of map containing multiple layers of information is available for lower Manhattan. $18. Requires no batteries. I'd like to get a gander at one of these.
Hugo Award Nomineeds
The 2005 Hugo nominees have been announced. Here are the 5 nominees in the novel category:
- The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
- Iron Council by China Miéville
- Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
- River of Gods by Ian McDonald
The category "Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form" (which means, I think, something basically movie-like) includes:
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- The Incredibles
- Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow
- Spider-Man 2
More Tahquitz Canyon Photos
Additionally, the Palm Springs Area group on Flickr has grown almost respectably to 5 participants. Go there and and you can begin to see a nice variety of photos NOT by me.
Like Killer Bees
Ignorance is spreading north, like killer bees. A Pennsylvania school board is the latest victim:
In January the school board ordered teachers to tell students that Darwinism is not proved, and to teach as well an alternate theory, "intelligent design," which posits that a grand creator, God, is responsible for the development of living organisms.
"Darwin's theory is a theory ... not a fact," the school board declared in their statement to the teachers. "Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view," said the report.
I could consider this to be a fair decision if the school board would systematically name ALL of the theories being taught in their school and list the alternative theories that should be taught. This would probably keep the board occupied for so long, they couldn't bring it to a vote.
I'm especially concerned about Einstein's theories which seem to put a speed limit on God.
The Big Questions
The Desert Sun has an article asking which term is preferred: latino, hispanic, Mexican-American, chicano, etc., etc. The answer is: who kows? Everybody's got an opinion.
The article doesn't even touch on the question we all want answered: what do we call people from the English-speaking nations of Latin America: Belize and Guyana?
March 29, 2005
Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
Oh, the humanity!
I had no idea that in addition to huge tuition bills and intense academic requirements, Harvard students this year are suffering with bottom-shelf generic quality breakfast cereals on their meal plans! Some have organized a movement to get real Cap'n Crunch back on the menu. A separate group is pressuring for a return of lobster.
In Turkey It Is Not Allowed
government spokesman Cemil Cicek said: "We cannot allow prejudice against people for belonging to a certain race."
"We have never had such an attitude in our culture, nor in our history, and we do not have it now ... It's not possible for people to choose their races ... Turkish society's idea about this issue is clear. There is no racism in this country."
And yet Turkey was an ally of Germany in WWII and Mein Kampf has hit the bestseller lists in Turkey!
The Portland [Maine] Press Herald interviews the Vermont families that were the focus of that PBS tabloid program that revealed the seamy underside of maple sugaring.
It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)
But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority of citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world. His coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret society with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved skulls and human bones.
Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't know where or when), and he had already considered his response. When an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.
"You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "is the beginning." He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it - to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion.
Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built
This is the description of the politics surrounding the burning of the Reichstag in
1993 1933 in a column by Thom Hartmann in which he examines the parallels between the rise in power of Hitler and Bush.
The Desert Sun has printed this article about this past weekend's tourist business. The strange thing about the article is that is actually filled with facts and numbers! Usually the Desert Sun likes to stick to about half a fact per news article and then fill it out with non sequiters and grammatically confused paragraphs.
Anyway, it was a big crowd this past weekend.
March 28, 2005
Other People's Flickr Photos
A really good night photo at California Adventure NOT taken by me. That place looks a lot better at night than in the day.
Here's an okay photo of the VW tarantula at the body shop on Indian. I haven't gotten a photo of it yet. The light never looks quite right, and that paint is REALLY black.
Here's a good photo of one of those painted ladies, the butterflies that have been swarming in Coachella Valley over the last couple of weeks or so. Sometimes you run into a big mess of 'em while driivng. My truck has some really gross yellow splats all over its front end.
Palm Springs Flickr Group
I've just created a "Palm Springs Area" group on Flickr. This is the first group I've created, so I'm feeling my way along. As I write this I'm still the only member (and I enjoy my own company immensely!) so if you visit the group right now all you'll see are my photos. It's really a Coachella Valley group, but I think a lot of visitors to our fair valley have no idea that it's called that...but everybody knows Palm Springs.
Coachella Music & Arts Festival Photos
There's a "Coachella Music & Arts Festival" group on Flickr. Not many photos right now, but the 2005 Festival is the last weekend of April, and the volume should increase after that.