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3.31.2005Father accused of bloodying 2 children, hitting pregnant wife: "Timothy Staten shook, bit and dropped his 2-year-old daughter and threw her into a wall and down a stairway, leaving the child fighting for her life with a fractured skull, bleeding of the brain and facial injuries, authorities in Red Wing, Minn., said Wednesday."
Okay, for starters, drugs are bad things. Stay off drugs, and you're statistically less likely to go into a drug-induced freak-out and beat the crap out of defenseless people.
BTW, it's great to see in today's society that you serve only 7 months for "for possessing cocaine and marijuana, punching a police officer and terrorizing a 16-year-old girl whom he forced to have intercourse with him." I wonder what you have to do to serve 8 or 9 months!
Purpura fulminans, researcher examines newly emerging deadly disease, University of Minnesota | Not a very exciting press release here, but considering almost half of the U.S. cases have been in the Twin Cities metro (due in part, I'm sure, to the diagnostic skill of the U of M... but, still...) the more people who know that this is out there, the better!
Interestingly, one of the most popular search hits to this blog is "Kari Byron". In case you don't know, she's one of the crew of Mythbusters, which is one of the coolest shows on TV at the moment. There's very little information on the 'Net about her, which is probably why her desperate fans come here. Sorry, guys (and gals, I suppose, but probably mostly guys)... I don't know anything more than you do.
But the theory in a recent episode about ancient batteries that that they may be been tied to idols or shrines to create a "religious experience" for worshipers was a very interesting hypothesis! I'd always assumed that batteries were used for electroplating, but the Mythbusters theory is a good one!
UPDATE (June 2007): I've moved all my Kari Byron commentary over to a different site; you're welcome to browse around here... but for anything new, check out the Kari Byron category on att.ention.net.
Jon Udell: Apple's Knowledge Navigator revisited | I just came across a copy of this video on my hard drive (yes, Picasa strikes on my home PC) and it got me thinking... would this kind of interaction really be a good, efficient way of engaging in research and preparation for a lecture? I understand that it's a conceptual video... but, are the unrealized portions of the concept unrealized because technology lags, or because they're actually pretty stupid?
BTW, it's set in approx. 2011 -- probably about "25 years into the future".
Google Reviews: The Downfall: Hitler and the End of the Third Reich (2004) | So a friend of mine says that we should go see this movie -- according to Michael Medved (an unlikely supporter) it's really good.
Om Malik on Broadband > Picasa, like iPhoto for Windows | This guy notes that, "Also I find Flickr a wee bit confounding, and so do some of my non-techie friends." I'd tend to agree; it seems, from my "one photo each" experience, that hello.com integrates better with Blogger and Flickr is positioned more as a Blogger alternative, which gets confusing. (For instance, you could go in and post a comment on my Flickr photo of the copiers... but that comment wouldn't tie to my blog, which is where I want the conversation to happen, you know?) So I think I'm going to focus on hello.com for the time being...
This post, though, brings up another topic: I need to start pondering "trackbacks". :)
Today's lunch; try to contain your excitement!
So here's the deal. In playing with stuff, I've encountered hello.com and Picasa -- Picasa being Google's photo-based work in the "scan your hard drive and catalog stuff" field. Those technologies pair up and join Blogger, and what you end up with is an "easy" way of posting photos to a blog.
I had to go the Picasa route because the hello.com app only accepts JPGs and the little USB pen-camera that we got for going to a timeshare presentation (long story) only outputs BMPs. (Frankly, we're lucky it outputs that much!)
So, you can upload a photo with a caption, and then I popped back into Blogger to add this fascinating explanation. Aside from the fact that Picasa ground my laptop into the dirt as it tried to scan through the hard drive, it seems like a fairly workable prospect... and provides some material for the whole SMIL/MP3 thing.
DrunkenBlog: The pits in CherryOS | From an interesting article in its own right, here's the quote-of-the-day: "I don't think anyone with critical thinking skills above the level of a toaster wouldn't conclude that it's obvious that CherryOS is PearPC..."
3.29.2005Okay, so here's my bright idea (which, if I were a typical corporate suit, I would patent so nobody could use it). SMIL is a language for tying together various media clips (video, audio, photos, text, etc.) The RealPlayer folks jumped on it, but it works just fine with an MP3 that's sitting out on a server. (In fact, its files have to sit on a server; it's not like you compile all your stuff into a single SMIL file. SMIL is just a text file that describes when to launch particular elements.)
Anyway, this means that you could tie podcasts (or lectures or anything you want) to a SMIL slideshow. So in addition to putting an MP3 on a server for audio, you'd put a SMIL file out there, and anyone listening to the audio from a computer (rather than an MP3 player) could see the pictures synched up to the audio if they chose.
The next step would be to tie all that to an Apple iPod Photo and see if you could have a synchronized slideshow to match up with the MP3. I think that it only syncs based on a set time (e.g. 20 seconds per image) so the content author would have to make sure there were enough pictures (but no more) to run one every 20 seconds. Hmmm...
Well, first things first....
Blogger -- which I love dearly -- has some goofy stuff going on this morning. I'm getting errors when posting from my Mac, but it worked from my PC, which means either it's a platform thing or a time-dependent thing. But, hey, something this cool can't be perfect, right?
Berean Baptist Easter Sermon from one of the three morning services that were preached on a row; I don't know which particular one this is, but they were pretty much the same. (Though, it's interesting to note subtle differences between them... which you can spot when you hear all of them from the booth.)
Berean Baptist March 20th Sermon got posted late (someone was probably on vacation) but here it is. I'll link to the Easter service as well. You'll note that Roger is focusing on a theme of "No Fear".
3.26.2005Atlas Missile Site Coordinates: More than you could ever possibly want to know about missile bases!
3.21.2005Moeville Musings | Yay, Dad! Like son, like father -- Dad has joined the world of blogging!
3.18.2005OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan / Okay, one more Terry Schiavo posting, now that her feeding tube has been removed. (But that's happened before, and she simply refuses to starve to death in an expedient fashion. How selfish of her!)
Peggy Noonan pleas with our Republican congress, but that's misplaced; they've run out of options. Federal charges against Michael Schiavo for civil rights violations (dealing with whether he was criminally involved in her current fate) would be an interesting option, but nobody seems to want to go there and I have to assume they have good reasons.
Anyway, as Peggy puts it...
"There's just about no one on the other side. Or rather there is one person, a disaffected husband who insists Terri once told him she didn't want to be kept alive by extraordinary measures. He has fought the battle to kill her with a determination that at this point seems not single-minded or passionate but strange... So politically this is a struggle between many serious people who really mean it and one, just one, strange-o. And the few bearded and depressed-looking academics he's drawn to his side."
90% Crud: Making sure pop-ups are click fraud / Pop-up ads don't bother me as much as SPAM does, because I can always choose to avoid patronizing a site that junks up my screen (and my life) with a bunch of pop-up ads. Nevertheless, this is an intriguing idea.
The Christian Post / Considering Paul wrote about reaching the Greeks as Greek and the Jews as Jew, where would the problem lie with reaching Gamers as Gamer?
Berean Baptist Church > Media Center > Sermons > 3/14/2005: "Judge Not" / I thought this was an excellent sermon... and I wonder if, by linking it here, someone with podcatching software could pull it down here. It's a .WMA file, which isn't a typical podcast format, but both Macs and PCs can play it. (In Doppler, I think I'll have to specify the .WMA format as a legitimate one, which is odd considering that Doppler is tied right to Windows Media Player playlists.)
Yahoo! News - Lawmakers Widen Schiavo Right-To-Die Fight: I really, really wonder where this is going to go. You know where I stand on this, so 'nuff said.
"'It is a contempt of Congress to prevent or discourage someone from following the subpoena that's been issued,' David Gibbs, the attorney for her parents, said. 'What the U.S. Congress is saying is, `We want to see Terri Schiavo.''
HOWEVER... according to Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union...
"'This is clearly an effort to circumvent a lawful court order by a state judge,' Simon said. 'I am not sure how a subpoena, which is ordinarily done to produce records or somebody to testify, can essentially have the effect of an injunction overriding the orders of a court.' "
BTW, a question: Why is the ACLU siding with Michael Schiavo? Wouldn't you think they'd be concerned about the civil liberties of a woman who can't speak for herself?
"Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Florida office, said his group's attorneys were working with Michael Schiavo's attorneys to determine if the subpoenas would block the scheduled removal of the tube."
3.16.2005Old Wives' Tales | Blue For Boys; Pink For Girls; Gender Colors | Sayings Superstitions Folklore
A co-worker of mine mentioned this a few months back -- that "it used to be that boys wore pink because it was a derivative of red which was a 'more masculine' color", which I'd never heard. And when I just walked by some restroom signs -- pink for the women's room, blue for the men's room -- it got me thinking. Here's what I found!
"For a period of time baby boys and girls, in America and some of the European countries, didn't have a gender color thought as young children predominantly wore the unisex color of white. Then, around the 1850s, France, and some other European countries, felt pink was a 'strong' color therefore suitable for boys and girls looked prettier in the delicate shades of blue. This color assignation was brought over to America. Yes, some of our fathers may have worn pink as infants!
"It wasn't until almost 100 years later, around the mid-to-late 1930's and after World War II, that the gender color thoughts acquired more commercialized thoughts. In the process girls were awarded the formerly felt strong but now regarded as delicate color of pink. Boys given the former 'dainty' but now felt 'strong' color of blue. Today we often associate the color pink to little girls without realizing was just all a part of a marketing scheme aimed at adults."
3.15.2005Cat's in the bag?: It's not every day that you get the Humane Society pitted in direct opposition to the DNR and the Bell Museum of Natural History. "The Humane Society of the United States last week called the proposal 'archaic and unwarranted.'"
Save the birds, or save the cats?
NPR : 'Gunner' Documentary Tracks Surreal Story of War / As I told a co-worker who was somewhat hesitant to talk about an Iraq photo slideshow he had downloaded ("I don't know what your political leanings are..."), war is bad no matter whether you're liberal or conservative. Nobody likes war.
3.08.2005unmediated: You know how I've been talking for quite awhile about the need for an open-source-style infrastructure that supports collaborative, iterative video editing? (Sure you do.) Well, "unmediated is a group blog that tracks the tools, processes, and ideas being used to decentralize media production and distribution." Wow! Someone else is (actually, lots of "someone elses" are) thinking like I do!
Robert J. Hanlon - Wikiquote / Just heard this quote referenced in a talk over the lunch hour, and it's a nice summary of something I've believed for a long, long time. (Believe it or not, it's really an affirming statement, in the vein of approaching people with "an attitude of positive regard".)
TiddlyWiki - a reusable non-linear personal web notebook / You know I've been interested in Wikis for awhile. Here's an interesting implementation. Unfortunately, saving is difficult... but that could be a good thing as well, depending on your environment.
USATODAY.com - Schoolyard bullies get nastier online / Ick. Ick, ick, ick. Glad to know that technology is making parenting oh-so-much simpler, right?
Future Tense: March 07, 2005 Archives Haven't listened to this yet, but the concept is a good one: "Nicholas Negroponte says the solution to third world poverty is educating children. He aims to do that will a new computer that will cost about a hundred bucks."
3.04.2005ChuckChat.com / This has gotten me turned on to podcasting (thanks, Rob!) but, hey, how could I ever make my own podcast if I can't keep my plain old 'blog current?!? :)
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