Posts Tagged: tidbits

Tidbits for Your Weekend

Photo of Pear blossom taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

I have been collecting links for about a month now, some of these you may have already seen but enjoy the ones you have not yet read:

From the Stories, Myth, and Fiction Beat:

Tor.com’s short fiction and poetry series: Nevertheless, She Persisted containing the marvelous The Jump Rope Rhyme by Jo Walton, plus many others

A morning coffee break in the woods, with good companions

Four Kinds of Dystopia

The Fairy Tales of Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentameron

From The Science Beat:

Comet 41P/T-G-K Tangles with the Great Bear : Get out your binoculars and look for the comet in the next two weeks.

New Way to Fight Superbugs Found in Noxious Weed : When folk medicine helps fight MRSA

A Medical Marvel : Wherein reviewing old manuscripts yields a 1000 year old eye cure from Bald’s Leechbook, an Anglo-Saxon medical recipe book.

The Very Drugged Nazis : What is says on the tin

Gotta See It! Four Planets Directly Imaged In Motion Around The Star HR 8799

Researchers create ‘time crystals’ envisioned by Princeton scientists : How about adding a little time to your crystal molecules?

The Education Beat:

And for centuries, segregated by age but never by background, all students congregate in the large meeting room for their 40 minutes of quiet reflection every week. While the meetings always begin in silence, they can eventually be punctuated by the thoughts of anyone in the room who has something to share.

School officials concede that the meeting is sometimes viewed as an imposition by younger students, but say this tends not to be a lasting attitude.

“Invariably, when alums come back here, the thing they say they miss the most is our weekly meeting,” said Travis Larrabee, the high school director. “In what other part of society do you sit in silence with 500 other people?” – Before Matt Ryan’s Ascent, a Quiet Grounding in the Quaker Way

Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required

In Hillsdale College, a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ for Conservatives

The question remains is it possible to have a liberal great books education that builds on the western canon and adds in a diverse array of women, POC, the 20th Cent, and post-modernism? I know so. I learned it at Scripps College from 1986-1988.

Sunday Tidbits with a Photo of Melting Snow in the Sagebrush

Snow melt in the sagebrush

Sun. 01.29.17 – Today is the last Sunday of January and life is interesting. Here are some links for your reading pleasure:

Terri Windling’s link/quote round up with beautiful illustrations on Fairy tales and fantasy, when the need is greatest

Cipher War: After a century of failing to crack an ancient script, linguists turn to machines

A lovely story of a found photo album from the mid-20th century leads to Love and Black Lives, in Pictures Found on a Brooklyn Street

A quote from an NYT Opinion column from yesterday, One Country, Two Tribes:

Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University, calls it the clash between globalists and nationalists. The globalists, who tend to be urban and college educated, want a world like the one described in John Lennon’s song “Imagine” — no religion, walls or borders dividing people. The nationalists see that as a vision of hell. They want to defend their culture and emphasize the bonds of nationhood — flag, Constitution, patriotism. They also want to limit immigration, an instinct that globalists are often quick to condemn as racist.

It is one of the most profound fissures of the modern political era and has upended politics in Europe, too.

“Global elites feel they have more in common with their friends in Paris or New York than with their own countrymen,” said Lars Tragardh, a historian at Ersta Skondal University College in Stockholm. “In their view of the world, the centrality of citizenship gets lost, and that is very threatening to the nationalists.”

And last but not least,
This Granular Life: Is atomic theory the most important idea in human history?

Photo of the snow melting in the sagebrush above the Meadow Creek meadow overlooking the Owens Valley taken by Ms. Jen this afternoon while walking Canela with her Lumia 950.

Sunday Tidbits, A Bit Early

A Woman's Place is in the Resistance

It is already Sunday in other parts of the world, so have the Sunday Tidbits early:

1) It may be Saturday, but Sunday is a comin’… Today’s Women’s Marches worldwide gave me so much hope and courage. Friday’s inauguration of the Combover-in-Chief seemed dark, but with today’s marches the light is seeping back in. I also like that the aerial photos from Washington DC’s Mall are quite the contrast between yesterday and today. Also, The Guardian’s live coverage of the Women’s Marches around the world. The NY Times’ coverage of photos from around the world – inspiring!

2. The lovely Mr. Peter Schrock posted Only When It Is Dark Enough Can You See The Stars: A Meditation for MLK Day. Peter weaves in meditations on the walls we build personally with his father’s death and the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Peter is from a Mennonite community in Oregon, I met him in college, and now he is a part of a community in San Diego serving the poor. I greatly respect his life’s work and his photography.

3. While I have not seen the movie Arrival, I am currently reading Ted Chiang’s short story collection Stories of Your Life and Others. The NYRB has a review of both worth reading: When They Came from Another World.

4. One of my favorite photos from today:

Sunday Tidbits : The First 2017 Edition

:: A few Sunday Tidbits for you ::

A lovely flash fiction story on what Cassandra also saw that she did not tell the Trojans about

2017 in (potential) Bright Comets :: If you don’t already have Astro Bob on your RSS Feed / Subscription, you should.

Stephen Hawking on This is the most dangerous time for our planet :: Ok folks, how are we all working to pull out of this tail spin of our own making?

And in other notes, my two gently used hardback books by Roberto Calasso have arrived.

Sunday Tidbits: After a bit of a lull – Apple says Game On!, Sharanya, Mie, and Fusion!

A quick round of Sunday tidbits and links for you…

1) T’would appear that Apple is waking up from its rather sleepy mobile photo lull and is declaring game on to the newly minted Microsoft Mobile (entity formerly known as Nokia Device and Services) in two sweeps with the declaration of:

Apple Patent Shows Off Unique Use of OIS for “Super Resolution” Photos

and the defection of a certain Mr. Ari Partinen from the top ranks of the Nokia Camera team

Now it should get interesting. One wonders if a certain Mr. Alakarhu and a certain Ms. Björknäs will stay put at the newly signed building in Espoo? Will Google / Samsung up their mobile camera game or will we have round ___ of the Apple v. Microsoft tech brinkmanship?

2) The ever amazing Sharanya Manivannan has published a short story, “Sweet”, in the debut issue of The Affair and is interviewed in “A Q&A with Sharanya Manivannan on her story ‘Sweet’, published in the inaugural issue of ‘The Affair’

If you aren’t already following Sharanya on Twitter or reading her blog, go do it now.

3) In my searches for good recipes for various Japanese recipes, I have found myself at Cookpad and a bit baffled by the translations that Google gives me. Thus, when I read that Mie is now the North American office / staff member for Cookpad En, I was very excited. Not only for a great position for Mie, but also that means that Mie’s excellent abilities in blogging, cross cultural exchange, and blogging will mean the opening up and un-confusing a great wealth of contemporary Japanese foodways. So EXCITED. Go Mie, Go!

4) 3QuarksDaily asks: When are you Past Your Prime?

5) Charlie Stross has two great blog posts for thinking about technology, now, the future, and the world, read the comments:
a) The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative – A call for the internet protocol to be rebuilt before it is too late:

The trouble is, the success of the internet protocols created a networking monoculture that the NSA themselves came to rely on for their internal infrastructure. The same security holes that the NSA relied on to gain access to your (or Osama bin Laden’s) email allowed gangsters to steal passwords and login credentials and credit card numbers. And ultimately these same baked-in security holes allowed Edward Snowden—who, let us remember, is merely one guy: a talented system administrator and programmer, but no Clark Kent—to rampage through their internal information systems.

b) The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism – Given that the U.S. spent over $4 Trillion on the most recent Iraq War, what is a few fusion reactors at $100 billion a pop?

I’ve got two candidates for such investments: (a) commercial thermonuclear fusion reactors, and (b) colonizing Venus.

Fusion: we are not fifty years away any more. We’re about thirty years and $100Bn away. Or we’re about 8-10 years and $200Bn and a Manhattan Program level of urgency away—it depends on the political and legislative framework. However, building tokamak fusion reactors (like ITER) is never going to be cheap; to get 1Gw of electrical power out implies a 5Gw thermal reactor (and a third of its power is going to go into maintaining the fusion reaction). More realistically, tokamaks will come in 5Gw power output and larger sizes, making them an order of magnitude larger than today’s big-ass 1Gw PWR, AGR, and AP1000 reactors. We’re looking at startup costs of $25-50Bn per reactor, and a requirement for up to 1000 of the suckers if we want to roll it out globally as a major energy source.

So: it’s a project that will plausibly soak up $25-50Tn and take 10-30 years to roll out while needing 30-60 years to break even and start to provide a return on the capital investment. A good way of making the Koch brothers atone for their sins while preserving the illusion of their wealth, right?

Naah, that’s small beer

Go read, people, go read. Then comment.

Tidbits for a Friday: Camera Size and a Form of Naming From Without

1) In today’s “The Ideal Retro Camera” at The Online Photographer, Mike talks a bit more about the new announced Nikon Df and what would be the perfect retro digital camera. Amusingly, he uses the Nikon FM3a in size comparison against the new Nikon Df and states that the perfect lens would be a Zeiss Planar 50mm not the new special edition Nikon 50mm.
When I shoot film with my Nikon FM3a, I do not miss digital. But when I use my Nikon D800, I wish it was the size and weight of the FM3a. I would be wildly excited in a new Nikon professional level DSLR that was small and light like the FM3a. The new Nikon Df is still a bit big.
I realize that many of you would say that Fuji has already made that camera with their mirrorless X-E and X-Pro series cameras, but honestly I would rather invest in a few more F mount lenses than get a new body or a whole new system right now. Also, my Nokia 808 PureView and the Lumia 1020 satisfy my pick-up, go and shoot, urges than remembering to bring a mirrorless along with the lenses.
But the guts of a Nikon D800 or D4 stuffed into a FM3a body? A Nikon Df2…
2) Patrick J Endres’ wonderful photo of the Big Arctic.
3) A great quote from 3 Quarks Daily’s Abbas Raza:

“There should be no dividing line between science and the arts. I think they should all be taught as equally important intellectual activities. And that’s what we have tried to do at 3QD; we try to find things that are interesting. It doesn’t matter what subject area they’re in.”

4) Well worth the read, an essay on naming, slurs, and college by professor Amardeep Singh:

“But when someone calls me “raghead” or “towelhead” or “Bin Laden,” that can be a form of naming from without. This is why it’s not enough to say, “oh, it’s just words, you can shake them off.” Actually, you can’t shake them off so easily, any more than you can shake off the primal association you have with your own first name. As with ethnic slurs, the names we are given by our parents are not chosen by us. And yet we accept them as helping to define who we are. Do slurs that are wielded against me also then define me?”

Sunday TidBits: Delete, A Class of her Own, Farming, and love letters to Nokia


Sun 09.15.13 – Various and sundry bits from around the internet that are worth your time:
1) She Makes War has a spot on layered vocals-only song & video (above) called “Delete” about one’s life online. After nearly 20 years online, I would like to delete bits of myself.
2) More Intelligent Life on Humaira Bachal’s fight for her own education and then schools for many others in her community of Moach Goth on the edge of Karachi, Pakistan. This is both a tear-jerker and absolutely inspiring story, go read it:

“Humaira was 13 when a crazy idea struck her. “My mother used to get us ready every day, tie two ponytails for us, put 2-kilo schoolbags on our backs and send us off. We would walk for 20 minutes–but on the way not one other child in this settlement would join us. One, they did not have money, and two, nobody considered girls to be anything. Those who didn’t mind sending girls to school couldn’t afford to, because of fees, and the cost of books and uniforms. By then I was in sixth standard [the equivalent of year eight in Britain]. I thought, I’m a big star, I know everything, so I will teach them myself!”
What would become the Dream Model Street School began in 2001, with one blackboard, at home. Humaira taught ten friends of her age, seven of them girls. She started with the alphabet, in Urdu and English, and proceeded to the names of things. She supplied blank pages from her own notebooks, until it got her into trouble with her teachers. Then the friends went round asking people to donate paper, or bought scrap.
Soon, Tahira, who was 11, and three other girls were teaching alongside Humaira. “We were militant about time. Time for study, time for play, time to eat–and time to go out and recruit. We didn’t have the sense to realise we didn’t have space, books, teachers, money. We went around to houses, telling people, ‘We’ve opened a school, send your children, you must send your children!'””

3) Mother Jones’ reports on how Ohio farmer David Brandt is having great success with the old trick of crop rotation with legumes as well as not tilling the soil between crops, sounds dull but it isn’t. The future of our food and topsoil depends on experienced farmers speaking out.
4) Jay Montano says Thank you to Nokia in “Kiitos, Nokia, and Nokia fans. Love, MyNokiaBlog.com“, which is a love letter to the last 6 plus years of Nokia’s mobile history.
5) C. Enrique Ortiz bets that Nokia’s future will be bright because they will be able to focus on the upcoming mobile lifestyle use case in “Betting on Nokia“.
Happy Sunday and may your upcoming week be delightful.

Tidbits from Sunday Blog Reading

Living Small on Battening Down the Hatches, while Charlotte has a freezer full of pork, I have a freezer full of lamb (from the OC Fair).
Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front poem:

“Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.” – Wendel Berry, exerpt

Anina goes to the TechCrunch Beijing Disrupt and comes home to write Girls in TechCrunch
From a photographer living in Iraq, 5 Tips for Safely Photographing a Dangerous Event
Brian Fling has decided it is time to write Book #2:

“At the heart of all of these transitions is mobile. I’ve seen it have a transformative impact on some of the biggest and oldest companies on the planet. I’ve seen geniuses become dumbfounded. I’ve seen great intentions fail miserably.
I want to explore and share those stories. I do not talk want to talk about the virtues of native apps or HTML5 apps – or any other irrelevant discussion that revolves around the technology of today. Mobile is no more about the technology, as the printing press was about paper.
Instead this book will be as much a manifesto of 21st century experiences as it is a guide to using century old tools to solve the problems of today, even the ones we may not be able to define yet.”

@Jyri tweeted: “If I had an angel credo it’d be to invest in quirky solutions to big problems: e.g. Valkee treats depression with light http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8877185/A-bright-word-in-the-ear-for-those-with-winter-blues.html
Last but not least, Timo Arnall posts Three films on communication and networks. It is worth it to watch the videos/films.