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Comment Thanks for everything (Score 1) 1521

The news, the views, the entertainment, the flames, the trolls, the goat stuff, the polls, and for welcoming anyone with the temerity to post a comment into the community of geekdom, and of course for putting Hope College on the map. It's been fun, and surely will survive your departure. Wishing all the best for you and your family.

Comment They seem to reproduce on my bookshelves (Score 1) 283

Danged if I know where all my books come from. They just keep piling up. I get some from the library, buy some at tag sales, some arrive as gifts or review copies, some are left by guests. Three times in my life I have bought homes that came fully furnished -- including lots and lots of books. I keep selling them, donating them to rummage sales and sending friends home with armloads of them, but every time I look on my bookshelves there seem to be more. I got a Kindle for Christmas, and it's handy for travel, but when I'm at home, it's cheaper just to dive into the pile of books that are already here.

Comment Are you out of yr. mind? (Score 5, Interesting) 270

Go with the flow. Enjoy everything a remote wilderness island in Canada has to offer. Do you think the rest of the world will wilt in despair just because you miss a post or two? Be here (there) now! Enjoy the scenery. Soak in the views! You are in a high latitude during the longest days of the year. How often do you think you will get to have an experience like this? Stop to smell the wild roses. Catch a fish. Cook it in a pan with just butter and maybe some s&p. The "wired" world will still be there when you emerge, but you may never have this experience again. Unplug. Live. Enjoy. Experience. Take some pictures ...or make some sketches (yes, we're talking pencil and paper, maybe even the brown paper your groceries came wrapped in). Upload them when you get back to wherever you currently live. Maybe next year you will go to Africa.

All the best

Comment Except when you actually need it (Score 1) 233

My aunt, acting on the advice of her doctor, had a baseline mammogram done when she turned 40. Fast-forward 15 years, when a mammogram showed some abnormalities and she was told to bring in her old ones for comparison. She went to the hospital where the first test was done and they said, "Oh, we only keep X-rays on file for 10 years."

Comment Tabernash, Colorado -- we be chillin' (Score 1) 525

We had a bit of frost yesterday morning in our little mountain hamlet (elevation 8,500 ft). Summer mornings run in the 30s-40s range; afternoons can climb to the 70s or even low 80s for short periods. The wildflowers are blooming profusely. There are still patches of snow on the surrounding higher mountains. So I guess you could say it's "not so hot" here, but that hardly describes the situation.

Comment Native Alaskan/African American, or what? (Score 2, Interesting) 489

We are so-called Caucasians. We were living in Alaska when our son was born. He amused himself on taking the PSAT test, by checking off the box for "Native Alaskan." His classmate, a so-called Caucasian who was born in South Africa to a white South African family who later immigrated to the USA, wondered if he should check off the box "African-American."

By the way, what "color" are people who actually live in the Caucasus, how do they describe themselves, and how did we "white folks" happen to be called Caucasians? My ancestors came from Ireland. I think there is a new book out called "The History of White People" that tackles this bizarre subject.

Comment A newspaper reporter's notebook (Score 1) 373

They are somewhat thinner in width than a stenographer's notebook and fastened with a spiral ring at the top. It fits in the palm of your hand, so you can hold it in one hand and scribble notes with the other. It's especially handy for a left-handed person. When you're finished, you can stand it up on your desk and transcribe the notes, flipping through the pages as you like. Another good option is the yellow legal pad - either letter or legal size


The Night Sky In 800 Million Pixels 120

An anonymous reader recommends a project carried out recently by Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier. Brunier traveled to the top of a volcano in the Canary Islands and to the Chilean desert to capture 1,200 images — each one a 6-minute exposure — of the night sky. The photos were taken between August 2008 and February 2009 and required more than 30 full nights under the stars. Tapissier then processed the images together into a single zoomable, 800-megapixel, 360-degree image of the sky in which the Earth is embedded. "It is the sky that everyone can relate to that I wanted to show — it's constellations... whose names have nourished all childhoods, it's myths and stories of gods, titans, and heroes shared by all civilisations since Homo became sapiens. The image was therefore made as man sees it, with a regular digital camera." The image is the first of three portraits produced by the European Southern Observatory's GigaGalaxy Zoom project.
Social Networks

Facebook Scrabble Rip-off Capitalizes on Mattel's Lethargy 216

mlimber writes "The Facebook app Scrabulous was written by two Scrabble-loving brothers in India, has over 700,000 users, brings in about $25,000 per month in advertising revenue, and is in flagrant violation of copyright law. The corporate owners of Scrabble, Hasbro and Mattel, have threatened legal action against the creators and have made deals with Electronic Arts and RealNetworks to release official online versions of the game. But according to an NYTimes article, 'Scrabulous has already brought Scrabble a newfound virtual popularity that none of the game companies could have anticipated,' and according to one consultant to the entertainment industry, 'If you're Hasbro or Mattel, it isn't in your interest to shut this down.' Hasbro's partner RealNetworks is 'working closely' with the piratical brothers, but Mattel says that 'settling with the [brothers] would set a bad precedent' for other board games going online."

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