Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hey Kids - Who's Ready For A Glass Of Tuna?!?

Hey Kids - Who's Ready For A Glass Of Tuna?!?
Originally uploaded by macfixer.

I don't care if it is made from cactus; the name sucks.

Grandma Is Fading Fast

Grandma Is Fading Fast
Originally uploaded by macfixer.

Grandma stopped by my parents' house the same day we were there. She's barely a shell of her former self. The words she uses in sentences have left her, and so she speaks in a kind of code that you have to get through to understand her.

What's really sad is that, on some level, I think she knows that she is slipping away. She says she cannot wait to 'finish her journey'.

"...And So I'm Back From Outer Space"

You might have to Super Reload a couple of times to grab all of the old posts, but I am back in my old new digs. Like them? Mighty catchy.

I still have a couple of things to add back (links, Flickr thing in sidebar), and I was going to wait until next week to fire it up, but I am an impatient guy, myself.

Now that I can post from my phone, or at work, or from my LifeDrive -- you can expect more crap quality posts from yours truly.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Back To Blogspot

I’m moving back to my old digs over at blogspot -- iWeb is too much of a pain in the rump to deal with, in terms of it’s templates, it’s lack of a mobile solution, and the inability to post to it in anything other than iWeb.

I don’t have the time nor inclination to move it all right now. I was, however, able to move the ‘Five Things’ section to it’s own site:

I apologize for any inconvenice this may bring (that means you, Joe!)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Been Married 4 Years, Now!

Holy smokes! Time does fly, doesn't it? Yes, in 2002, Sonia and I got married in a small church in New Hartford, CT. The resulting reception was mighty cool, IMHO. The mental image of my grandma, tambourine in hand, getting down with her bad self shall live in infamy.

Friday, July 07, 2006

"It's Not The Bird Flu, You're A Mouse Potato!"


The venerable Merriam-Webster dictionary got an update Thursday. The new words and senses, currently available online, will be included in the 2006 version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, due out this fall. Here are some technology and science highlights. The year notes the first known usage of the term.

avian influenza (n) 1980: a highly variable mild to fulminant influenza of birds that is caused by strains of the influenza A virus which may mutate and be transmitted to other vertebrates--called also "bird flu"

biodiesel (n) 1986: a fuel that is similar to diesel fuel and is derived from usu. vegetable sources (as soybean oil)

google (vt) 2001: to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web

manga (n) 1951: a Japanese comic book or graphic novel

mouse potato (n) 1993 slang: a person who spends a great deal of time using a computer

ringtone (n) 1983: the sound made by a cell phone to signal an incoming call

spyware (n) 1994: software that is installed in a computer without the user's knowledge and transmits information about the user's computer activities over the Internet

text messaging (n) 1982: the sending of short text messages electronically esp. from one cell phone to another

wave pool (n) 1977: a large swimming pool equipped with a machine for making waves


That’s some great stuff!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

‘Discovery’ makes it to orbit, despite something falling off

Well, some good news: Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off at 2:38 EDT on it’s first flight since 2005. NASA is calling the launch a success, but there were reports of objects (thought to perhaps be the fragile thermal protection tiles) falling off once Discovery reached orbit.

NASA’s official page reads:

Based on early analysis of photographs taken during ascent, just a few items have been identified for further study. Some involve debris particles shed by the massive orange tank, which supplies liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen to the orbiter's three main engines during the climb to orbit. The particles observed are small, and all occur after the time frame -- up to two minutes, 15 seconds into ascent -- that engineers consider to be the most aerodynamically sensitive time for the shuttle.

About fifteen minutes into the flight, astronauts on board Discovery filmed a large piece of ice tumbling away from the orbiter. The ice, which forms on the exterior of the main engines, has been observed on previous flights and is not considered an issue.

"We don't see any concern for the orbiter," Hale reported, and added that in the coming days, the STS-121 crew will take a closer look at Discovery using the orbiter boom sensor system as well a slow back flip that will allow further photography of the orbiter from the International Space Station.

Here’s hoping they come home safely.

RSS Feeds Not Working: An Apology

Just realized that by changing the name of the site in iWeb, it effectively kills the old RSS feed (sorry, Joe!). So, if you’re out there in Live-Feed-Land and you’re not getting the updates, you’re screwed use the link on the main page.

I also hereby promise to stop tinkering with the title, at least while I’m using this crummy program this version of iWeb.

Monday, July 03, 2006

"Thank you very much I'm fatter...I mean flattered"

Got this weird email in my inbox this morning. Strange thing is that this seems to be legit. We’re not talking “generic viagra” (however they want to spell it) or “meeting hot chicks for naughty fun”, either. Nope, this was from a doctor in Germany who wanted to use a picture from my Flickr site for scientific research into how the brain recognizes faces.

“As you can imagine, it is not easy to obtain suitable images as stimulus materials. However, flickr and other freely viewable internet sources provide a rich database of many pictures ideally suited to our purpose. As you may know, the legal issue regarding the use of these materials is currently not resolved. Furthermore, for ethical reasons, we would like to make sure that each person whose picture we would like to show also agrees to be part of this large data base. For this reason, we would appreciate, if you could confirm your consent by replying to this email using the form below this email.”

Well, gee, thanks! I guess I should be flattered. It’s not everyday you are asked to indirectly participate in scientific research. I mean, it’s just a photo -- what harm could come from it? Let’s read along a little further...

“Probably you want to know more about what is done in such a study and therefore I will explain it briefly: In a typical experiment pictures are shown to subjects (mostly university students) and they answer questions regarding the images. Importantly, while subjects are watching the pictures, their brains are monitored using high-level techniques such as EEG (Electroencephalography), MEG (Magnetoencephalography) or fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging). All of these methods are used in order to find out how the brain works during a given task. Using this approach one may try to answer research questions such as “how does the brain react when viewing an attractive face versus a less attractive one?””

...umm, now does that make me attractive or unattractive?