Kevin Kelly of Wired fame, posts 34 thought provoking questions that have inspired me to learn more about the geology, fauna, flora and hydrology of my new home in Ohio.
The Big Here Quiz: “You live in the big here. Wherever you live, your tiny spot is deeply intertwined within a larger place, imbedded fractal-like into a whole system called a watershed, which is itself integrated with other watersheds into a tightly interdependent biome. (See the world eco-region map ). At the ultimate level, your home is a cell in an organism called a planet. All these levels interconnect. What do you know about the dynamics of this larger system around you? Most of us are ignorant of this matrix. But it is the biggest interactive game there is. Hacking it is both fun and vital.
The following exercise in watershed awareness was hatched 30 years ago by Peter Warshall, naturalist extraordinaire. Variations of this list have appeared over the years with additions by Jim Dodge, Peter Berg, and Stephanie Mills among others. I have recently added new questions from Warshall and myself, and I have edited or altered most of the rest. It’s still a work in progress. If you have a universal question you think fits, submit it to me.
How many of Kelly’s questions can you answer? Check out his site for some recommendations on how to learn more about your home.
Tonight around 7 o’clock I noticed these two kids pull up in front of our house in a plain pickup truck with a flashing light bar on the roof. They get out and set a few cones on the street and started directing traffic. I am thinking, “What is this all about?”
They set a 2×4 in the middle of the road with one of the kids standing on it. The other kid pulls a paint bucket and a paint roller from the truck and starts painting the dividing lines on the street.
I realize Madeira is a small town but I expected the road maintenance would be handled by a little bit large outfit than two teenager with a 2×4 and a roller.
I was especially surprised by their very casual one-hand, no-flag technique of controlling traffic.
I saw this cool map of ancient Rome overlayed on Google Earth and I thought to myself I bet I could do that.
So I took a few minutes and looked around for an old map of Boulder, Colorado. Rare-Maps.com, a local Boulder gallery had a cool map from 1910. I then open Google Earth navigated to Boulder and used the Add Image Overlay function.
The overlay function is pretty straightforward. You can zoom in and out, resize the overlay, and skew it if you need to. It took me a few minutes to get the correct sizing and positioning on the map. I think it helps to align a feature that is on both Google Earth and the overlay. Once the feature is lined up I scaled the overlay until most of the features matched. I say most because I noticed I couldn’t get everything to lineup. I think the overlay may be a little off on scale and we are use a flat image to represent a curved surface.
Here is the Google Earth file if you are interested in taking a look.
And I can’t say enough good things about the city. It has great weather, great people, great activities and it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful city.
Last season I put a gps on my arm and tacked a good day of snowboarding. I then overlated the track onto a topographic map of Copper Mountain.
Obviously it isn’t earth shattering but it is interesting that we rode 28 miles and 13,000 vertical feet. I don’t recall it being a particularly hard or fast day. Next year I think I will track more days and see how they compare.
For all their talk of faith. They sure don’t have any Faith in Data.
Bush vs. Science: “‘Is the Bush administration anti-science?’ asks Daniel Smith in The New York Times Magazine. When Donald Kennedy, a biologist and editor of the eminent journal Science, was asked what had led so many American scientists to feel that George W. Bush’s administration is anti-science, he isolated a familiar pair of culprits: climate change and stem cells. These represent, he said, ‘two solid issues in which there is a real difference between a strong consensus in the science community and the response of the administration to that consensus.’ Smith cites a number of other scientists and advocates who are fed up with the right’s distortions of and interference with science, including Chris C. Mooney, author of the new book The Republican War on Science (watch for a Grist Q&A with Mooney coming up soon). But Smith also gives a fair bit of space to presidential science adviser John Marburger, who continues to defend the admin’s record. Guess which side makes a stronger case.”
I love riding my cruiser bike around town. It is easy, comfortable and a great way to get to know your community. A tall bike might not be quite as comfortable but I am sure it would help your community get to know you. At least by reputation.
Tall word of mouth: “My sister in Minneapolis spotted one of these today. I have yet to spot one of these on the streets of Chicago, but apparently the community of tall bike enthusiasts is thriving in the Twin Cities, she says. Apparently, it’s beginning to thrive in other parts of the country; there’s even a tallbike convention with — yikes — jousting. I…”
I just finished Cringely’s The New Robber Barons.
It’s not as hard to do such a takeover as one might imagine. Section 404 non-compliance, for example, would probably violate the provisions of most senior debentures issued by many companies, often long before Sarbanes Oxley was even proposed. Imagine a scenario, then, where a robber baron buys or otherwise comes to control some of that senior debt. A Sarbanes Oxley violation would make it possible to call the debt, which if it can’t be immediately repaid would result in the company being simply handed over to the creditor with no regard for holders of common stock. THIS WILL HAPPEN.
It is a scary article. Cringely is a prescient writer who seems to be tapped into so many trends.
What I wonder though is how can I use the information in this article to my advantage. This spring I figured US gas prices would hit $3/gallon so I bought CononocPhillips stock. It doesn’t look like it will hit $3/gallon but my investment is is up 17%.
Now that I have read Crignely’s prognostication how should I change my behavior?
While working at AT&T I colaborated with seveval coworkers to file many invention disclosures. Two of these inventions were selected by AT&T’s legal team as potential patents. Patents for both inventions were filed in 2002. They are still pending.
System and method for providing video program information or video program content to a user [pdf] – If a name said it all and AT&T was granted this patent they would control all TV’s in the US. But alas this is a vague name for a system that would allow a television viewer to tune in to a show after it has started and use the catch me up feature to quickly summarize the portion of the show the viewer missed. This summary could be a voice over, a series of quick clips or anything that catches the viewer up to the current point in the show.
Method and system using docking stations to distribute a set top box between multiple monitors [pdf] – Again a vague name. This patent is for a system allowing the sharing of content between two TV settop boxes. For example you record Seinfeld on your Tivo downstairs. It is late and you want ot watch it on your Tivo upstairs. Bummer. But with this dock you could remove the storage media from the downstairs Tivo and plug it into the upstairs Tivo. Voila!
This dock could also allow simpler upgrades of storage capacity and features. Depending on what elements of the settop box are in the dock the entire smarts of the box including the codec could be upgraded by just replacing the removable module.