Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Sky-Beast Feeds

Staggered out of bed at 2:30 this morning to watch the total eclipse. Of the many photos showing up on Flickr this morning, this one is the closest to what I saw (and yet another cool thing about Flickr - hit refresh and watch newly loaded photos of Eclipse 2007 appear).

For once the weather gods of Bellingham decided to play nice. The sky was clear and the weather was cool but dry.

Watching through binoculars I couldn't help but wonder: when did someone first see an event like this and, instead of thinking some cosmic catastrophe was taking place, think: huh! That looks like a round shadow on the moon. And the sun is behind us, so maybe it's the earth's shadow?

I know the classical Greeks had it figured out, but I doubt that they were the first. How many centuries ago did somebody first solve the puzzle?

And on that profound note I attempted to rediscover my bed.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Elements by Tom Lehrer

One blog I check regularly is Millard Fillmore's bathtub, which is mainly concerned with teaching American history. However, today I found a link to this wonderful animation of Tom Lehrer's song setting the Periodic Table to Gilbert and Sullivan. Amazing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Carolina Chocolate Drops in Port Townsend

One of the first posts I made on this blog was about seeing the Carolina Chocolate Drops in Port Townsend at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. Turns out someone was there with a camera. This is "Viper Mad," one of three videos from their performance that day. When the camera pans to the right it stops about a foot short of showing me in the audience; lucky for you, I guess.

Rhiannon Giddens (the female Drop) said their lawyer hates these amateur recordings showing up on the Web, but the band loves it. I'm sure it brings in a ton of new fans. If this performance doesn't knock your socks off your socks are made of stronger stuff than mine. Which may not make much sense but, as John Diamond said, "Desperate times call for desperate analogies."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Nearly Flawless Handoff

4x400 relay handoff
Originally uploaded by ferreiraca
I write fiction. Mostly I do it at home, but I bought a laptop that sits in my office at work and I use it on my lunch hour. To move texts between them I have been using a flash drive, which works fine, as long as I remember to bring it.

As part of our library-wide summer web luau I was told to try Google Documents. So last night I uploaded a story to Google Documents.
Today I downloaded it onto my laptop. It lost some formatting, but nothing I can't easily put back. And having an extra copy of my files somewhere is always a good idea. I'll use it more.