Thursday, December 15, 2011

New use for mini-copters

This National Geographic assignment was just called to my attention. They are being used on the Serengeti to enable new views of lions and other wildlife there. There are a series of posts at the linked page that detail the photographer's assignment and the ways he has chosen to get around obstacles to achieve the best photos possible. It is worth a read.

Comments are welcomed.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

No fade, no run, no erase, no disappear

Here is a blog post that features a set of tests for a pen with which to write your lab notes, if you plan on them being around through some sort of accident after they are written. Several different kinds of pens are tested, and the winners of permanent writing are discussed.

Comments are welcomed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ridin' the rails to nowhere

In case you are one of those folks who are desperately in love with old train cars or never got over the tug at your heart over a toy train set, there's this fellow's post. He details some of the interesting homes people have made out of cabooses or other train cars long retired, but still serviceable from a domicile point of view.

I found the page while I was researching a scene from a 1973 trip across the Sierra Madres on a passenger train. It was the Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad. Far up in the mountains, I saw families living in old boxcars on short sidings. They had cheery window boxes with flowers in them during the June trip. Children were at play outside of the several boxcars. They had cut doors and windows more suitable for a dwelling in the sides, with stairs leading up to the doors.

From the quick perspective of passing the homes out on a mountain siding, they looked very minimal and near infinitely remote. But think...they had company pass right by several times a week in the form of the train I was on.

Comments welcomed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today's Google logo has paid 90th birthday tribute to artist Art Clokey and his creation, Gumby In this tribute page, you can see Clokey's first clay film, done on his parent's table tennis table. It does not star Gumby, but it is a fun, early animation in modeled clay.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Location of ALL Austin Moonlight Towers

Moonlight towers are one of the really fun things left from the end of the 19th century in Austin. There is a dark story behind their creation that you can read here. They have been decimated by construction permission, accidents and "accidents", as well as benign neglect. Expensive work was done not too long ago to refurbish them and prevent further failure for some time to come. I was trying to answer a question about an old photo tonight that showed a moonlight tower in the background. In my research, I found this map at the Austin History Center Web site. If you are interested in the topic, all current and past tower sites are marked on the map.

Comments welcomed.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Project Gutenberg Founder Dies

Wow. Somehow I didn't expect THIS fellow to disappear on us. The founder of Project Gutenberg died at 62. Whether or not you have a Kindle, you can download readable eBooks of many, many, many books written further back than a valid copyright goes. Pretty much any classic you can think of is available for free. It won't smell musty and won't take up space on your bookshelf, but there it will be, waiting on you to read it when you wish to do so. Worth a read...and a follow-up visit to see what you can snag to read....and a bookmark in your browser.

Comments welcomed.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A man for THIS season: Al Yankovic

Al Yankovic (some call him "Weird") is a man who is so intimately plugged in to our society that his lyrics sound like they were written for me...just for me to send out to those people like you hear about
==> RIGHT HERE <==

A maze within a maze within a photograph

Wow. If you have the time, read this:

Every revelation of a facet of life in N Korea strikes sparks of fear in my heart that one day others will not only wish to emulate that country's leaders, but successfully DO SO. Yow.

As a citizen of the world, there is not much other than instant annihilation that is quite so repugnant to me.

I'd love to see the book, though, in order to see the sheer, steely face of maximum repression...and still be safely a half world away.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Scraping two photos together...

I just went through the several years of this blog and refreshed the photo entries. (You don't think *I* really took all those photos, did you?)
It wasn't a long and completely arduous task, since it gave me a chance to once more mull over what I've written. This post today is just a reminder that there is more to the blog than what you're reading this minute. If you have some spare time, please go back and re-read all that amuse or edify your consciousness. You be the judge.

Comments still encouraged.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Huzzah! Comics from the Web, specifically tailored for daily read for ME! I figured out how to get beyond the recent merge of my favorite comics site ( with I lost all my RSS feeds, which had given me daily strips not carried in my local paper. Now they are back and arranged in any order I want with ability to read 6-10 days of back strips, should I fail to catch them daily.

If you need any help doing this, drop me a line and we can probably work it out. All you need is a browser for your computer and a free subscription to Google and!

Comments welcomed.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The power of one


If you only had ONE word to share with the world, what word would that be?
Imagine taking your moment of universal fame and blurting that word to a worldwide audience, some of whom might actually take it in.
Imagine what they would do with it.
Would it change their lives?
If not, then how many words WOULD it take to change ONE person's life?

Would TWO?

Comments welcomed.
[also, see]

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Assortment of Sentiment: Dang Me

There I was, just sitting here in my daily currents and undercurrents of life...then I got around to really paying more attention to a recent email from ole ham radio & college buddy, Bill Byrom of Irving, TX. In the email, he threw out a couple of links that made my hair (and my backbone) just stand up straight, wake up from daily life and decide that there might be more out there than meets the ear. Check it out.

was listening to Undercurrents on the local KXT public FM station and heard the Buddy Miller band version of the old Roger Miller (unrelated, as far as I know) song Dang Me. Listen to these versions: Comments welcomed...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Buggin' the 21st Century

A friend sent a link to this blog post today. It was written by a fellow who uses one of my favorite tools: A semi-automatic key or bug. That is what the manufacturer of them, Vibroplex, calls these wonders of very old technology. I won't stand in the way of the nicely written blog post. Enjoy!

Comments welcomed.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Science Fiction on the Web: Pioneer One

A friend just told me today about an exciting series on the Web: Pioneer One. Here is what I know about it so far. You can watch it via YouTube.

About Pioneer One
Pioneer One Trailer
Wikipedia article
Pioneer One Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sharing of "Your So-called Education"

This article from the New York Times exactly counters the Texas governor's wish for "$10,000 degree" plans, and evaluation of professors largely by student reviews. If you are of an age to be working your way through a college or university or if you have close relatives who are, please take the time to read this.

And if you wish, comment on what you think as a result of having read it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Social networking?: That’s How We Roll

Who knew that this bizarre looking device was the basis for a whole sport in Germany?

I think with my loss of half my balance center (my left inner ear), this might make me very sick. But I would have really enjoyed it, I believe, before this happened. It even seems to be oriented to electrical least the way this fellow gained the hoops to use.

Comments welcomed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New physics rider on a dark horse

There may be a new cowboy in Physics Town, riding in on a dark horse, just as the saloon is closing down for good. Check the link, pardner.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How to (possibly) get your lost camera back

I followed this Washington Post Technology tip's advice today. I created a textual image of the default camera image size that told how to get the camera back to me by various ways AND I included a small image of my face, in case I might be in the room with the finder when they discovered my missing camera. That last is something the article failed to mention. I also made the filename of the file one that included what it was for and my name. I pasted the photo image in the default sub-folder of the card where my images live AND in the root of the card in case I forgot and removed the special image from the sub-folder when I remove the photos.

But, this only works if you create and store the suggested image RIGHT NOW to your camera's memory card. And, while you're at it, also store the image to the extra cards you keep in your camera bag. Someone finding THEM might return the bag to you if they see your request.

Comments welcomed.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The seeming inevitability of "progress"

Another name for "progress" in instances such as the site I use to type in this blog entry (which is is to do the same things differently. I just read that the site is going to change things for those of us who type things in. How much fun is that? We will get to mentally run around like rats in a maze, checking out what could possibly have changed (WHAT!? Tell the users? Why would we want to do that? It is far more fun to see 'em run around like ants.)

So, I don't see any changes yet in what I see as I type this in. If you see that things are different from YOUR point of view, please send me a comment and tell me what you've found. Unsettling as change is, I suspect that I can cope with all that it brings.

Friday, February 25, 2011

AHN't they wonderful?

This post is to introduce a wonderful trio (piano, violin & cello), who are playing a delightful (!) piece. It is a part of the TED: series of presentations on the Web. The subtitle of their works are always "Ideas Worth Sharing". This one definitely IS worth that and more. TEDWomen is the particular occasion. Read about the Ahn sisters when you follow THIS LINK to the two pieces: They start with the bright and poppy "Skylife," by David Balakrishnan, then play a gorgeous, slinky version of "Oblivion," by Astor Piazzolla.

As always, comments welcomed.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

'Nobody Knows' the videos I've seen...

There are many styles of music video on display. I enjoyed the inventiveness of the first ones that went beyond simply showing the band or singer standing on a stage and giving you the music you came there for. The one for 'Her Morning Elegance' really grabbed my attention and held it for the whole strange trip it takes you on for the lady's dreams and the singer's song. I recommend it to your viewing...and listening.

Thanks to Dagmar Kusa for pointing it out.