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Monday, January 31, 2005

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!


    "...when told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes "too far" in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories."

Bill O'Reilly High ?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

no foolin ?

The MPT SmogBuster Fuel Disc (aka, a 1-inch plastic sticker): " improves milage and reduces pollution by sending "holographic frequencies into the gas tank and changes the molecular structure of the gasoline."

Friday, January 28, 2005

Hog Bung Dropper

While I enjoy Mr Sun, and I'm glad to have discovered it (via Defective Yeti), I enjoy this particular post with much unease.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Time Warner's DVR

We got a Time Warner HD DVR a few weeks ago - a Scientific Atlanta 8000, to be exact. If it worked, it'd be the best thing to happen to TV.

But recently, it seems like there's a 50/50 chance that touching any of the DVR buttons will generate a hard drive error that will require a full reboot - turn it off, unplug it, wait a minute, plug it back in, wait through the full boot process, etc.. We haven't lost any shows yet (as other people have reported), but it's pretty fucking sad when a cable box requires more attention and rebooting than a PC. For $80/month, you think they could supply me with a box that had at least seen a QA department ? Yeah, me too.

I'm not alone.

No thanks

Via Yahoo! News:

    This undated image released by Anheuser-Busch Cos., shows its a new 'brew' to go head-to-head with classic mixed drinks _ traditional suds spiked with caffeine, fruit flavoring, herbal guarana and ginseng.

What a combination : Improved memory! Greater physical stamina! Boundless energy! Inability to walk a straight line!


Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My strawman!

He won't fight back! Wahh!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


The Straight Dope talks about What is supposed to happen when you land on "Free Parking" in Monopoly?. Well, I play by the offical rules, where nothing happens if you land on FP.

But years ago I played a Monopoly variation with my uncle that used two boards; the first board followed the typical Monopoly rules, except that if you landed on 'Go', you had the option of jumping to the second board, which we called "Las Vegas". Once there, you could buy and build hotels on any property without first owning all the other properties of that color; and, all the rents were doubled.

Anyone else ever heard of that variation ?

What is it?

Movie City Indie has a brief note about Crispin Hellion Glover's upcoming film, "What Is It?". What it is, according to Mr Glover, is "...the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are snails, salt, a pipe, and how to get home, as tormented by an hubristic racist inner psyche." Most of the actors have Down's Syndrome, but the film isn't about Down's Syndrome. Sounds, emr, interesting ?

More at

Who's Crispin Glover ? He was George McFly from Back To The Future.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Six Layer Cake

Somehow, for the past year, I've neglected to put any Unrest on my iPod - a terrible mistake. Before they ceased to exist as a band, Unrest could write perfect pop songs - simple, blissful, and irresistably catchy. That they didn't dominate, or even reach, the singles charts (and change the sound of pop music forever), proves just how perverse the world is.

So, I dropped a few Unrest albums onto the iPod over the weekend; and now, Monday morning, the magic of the iPod shuffle presents me with their super-sweet Six Layer Cake.

    i'm up and
    you're with me this time
    you're up and
    still in the shine
    pull over
    you're getting dressed
    all touching
    all the right

    6 5 5 4 3 2 2 1
    6 5 4 3 2 2 layer
    6 5 4 4 3 3 2 1
    6 5 4 3 2 1 layer cake

    i've called you
    with my head
    my fingers
    your lips to my hand
    Front Royale
    big kitchen day
    my fingers
    all over

    6 5 5 6 3 2 layer
    16 fingers 8 feet high
    10 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
    6 5 4 4 2 2 layer cake

    one layer on halloween
    no hands where
    they ought to be
    in pockets
    keeping this in
    in pants and
    i'm so so

    10 6 10 6 7 6 layer
    10 6 7 6 10 6 high
    10 6 5 4 4 3 2 1
    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 cake

    fingertips show the way
    relax on
    pull over
    you're getting dressed
    all touching
    all the right

    6 6 6 6 6 6 layer cake

    with my
    i'll give you a slice
    of mine

Lyrics rarely hold up without the music, and these are no exception. Without the music, it's probably impossible to appreciate just how fun a song can be when the chorus seems to be just a random stream of numbers; but when you hear it, the blissed-out exuberance of Mark Robinson's delivery makes even "6 5 5 4 3 2 2 1" catchy and fun to sing along with. And if it's hard to remember when he sings "6 5 5 4 3 2 2 1" vs. "6 5 4 4 3 3 2 1", then singing along becomes more like a game of follow the leader. And nobody cares if you get it wrong because it's just a nonsense sequence anyway.

I couldn't find these lyrics anywhere on the net. So I'll post them here in case anyone else needs them - or in case anyone knows what he's saying in the places I missed. A couple of those lines are definitely wrong, but I just couldn't decipher what he as saying. Maybe they're in the liner notes, I'll check when I get home. Corrected from the liner notes. The things I missed were things that don't make a lot of sense in this context: USMA, Front Royale ?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The aftermath

My boss tells us it took him six hours to drive the 15 miles to his house last night. A guy I work with said it took him seven hours, that included two miles of walking, as the police had closed the road to his neighborhood. Thousands of children ended up spending the night in their schools because nobody could get there to pick them up.

One inch of snow. Predicted at least 24 hours in advance.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

My Day

My car's rear end has been making funny sounds, so last Wednesday I took it to the shop. They couldn't reproduce the funny sounds and gave it back. When they sent me their on-line survey, I gave them low marks on everything, because I don't think they tried very hard. But, over the weekend, the weather changed from low 70's to low 20's, and now the car always makes the funny grinding/rubbing sound, especially when accelerating uphill or in turns. So, I dropped it off last night, hoping they could try it this morning when it would be cold, etc.. They reproduced it allright - "worn exhaust hangers" said the guy on the phone. Hmm. How the exhaust hangers on a 6-month old car could get "worn" is a secret only myself, that one pile of gravel in the middle of the road, and the now-disposed-of exhaust hangers can tell. Mr Warranty picked up the tab, and I'd hate for him to think it was my fault or anything...

So, Mrs. Cleek drove me to work today.

And then, at noon, it snowed. "Heavy unexpected snow!!", now says the weather page on one local news channel's website. Actually, it snowed for about an hour, we got less than an inch, and they'd been predicting it for at least 24 hours. The DOT apparently doesn't watch the weather forecast, because they didn't sand or salt any of the roads that I could see. So, even a half inch of snow caused all the local schools to close early, and to refuse to run any buses. And all the parents had to leave work early to go pick up their kids. The place I work closed at 2:30, because everybody was leaving anyway. Rock!

But, I don't have a car today, and so, I couldn't leave. And then as I watched out my office window, I-40 turned into a parking lot as every parent in the city tried to go pick up their kids, all at once, on the unsanded, unsalted, slightly slippery road. And then all the roads that lead to I-40 turned to parking lots. And then my wife, who works a few miles from me, couldn't come to get me because she couldn't get onto the road, because traffic wasn't moving. Three hundred accidents from 11am to 5pm today, says the Raleigh police dept..

The reason it's so bad is because the Raleigh/Durham area is laid-out like this :

All the people live in the "D" and "R" spots, and they all work in the "J". And connecting those three spots is I-40. And even on days when the weather is fine, traffic is a giant cluster-fuck.

So, I've spent the entire afternoon (now working on early evening) surfing the web and playing Gish. It's an hour and a half past when I normally leave, my wife says she's on her way but who knows how long it'll take. I don't expect I'll be getting home for at least another hour or so. And now the car dealer has closed, so I can't pick up my car. Hopefully, I can get it tomorrow AM.

Just bored. Whining. Grumbling. I suppose there are worse things that could happen than being stuck in the office. But few of them give me a chance to vent like this.

A guy just walked into the office and said he was unable to get home, after 4 hours of trying - all roads blocked.

Wife just arrived... took her an hour to go 3 miles.

Fuck this town.

The audience is listening

  • British Sea Power : The Decline of British Sea Power - A multi-styled and ambitious album. Most of the songs are anthemic and grand almost to the point of parody - singing emotionally about one's "Casio Electric Piano" requires either gigantic balls or, more likely, an abundance of irony. Sytlisitically, they're British. If I was more familiar with the various flavors of British pop over the last twenty years, I might be able to identify the different sounds better. But, since I'm not, I can only say this part sounds like The Smiths, or this part sounds like the Psychedelic Furs. But those two examples don't do the album justice, as it's much more modern and varied than just that.

  • Califone : Heron King Blues - As one should expect from Thrill Jockey, this is a 'post-rock' record, along the same lines as Tortoise, Sea and Cake, or Gastr Del Sol (or Discipline-era King Crimson). The songs share Gastr Del Sol's semi-detached and cerebral styling; instruments wander in and out, phrases start in non-typical places, verse-chorus-verse structure is shunned, etc.. Even with all that, though, it retains a kind of a dark and bluesy quality overally. It's not overt; it's more like blues-scented. And the songs have a nice flow to them - organic. The vocals on these are warmer than you hear on Gastr songs, too, and even sound a bit like Beck's more languid songs - relaxed, warm and smooth. I like it.

  • Firey Furnaces : Blueberry Boat - This one has received a lot of critical acclaim in the indie music press lately, so I gave in and bought a copy. After a couple of weeks of occasional listening, it's proving tough for me to wrap myself around. Within a song, it happily careens from style to style: from anxious speech over electronic blooping, to whimsical sing-song sections, to sound collages, to actual, but bare-bones song. Rarely content to stick with one style or tempo for long, it agressively mashes all this stuff together, often with no real transition. Unlike the album above, where things flow organically and rather slowly, this one leaps about and shows off. It's a tough listen, and one that doesn't pay off, for me.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Rat tail island

Nikon D100, 50mm

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Golden Beet

Nikon D100, 50mm

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Friday, January 14, 2005


Matthew Yglesias discovers the magical beauty in the iPod shuffle. Readers share their own shuffles' first ten songs. Everyone likes Death Cab For Cutie.

cough, um, ahem.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Bite It

Let me just say that I really like the Hardee's ThickBurgers ad campaign. Since the country has gone crazy with low-carb this and Atkins that and soy protein whatever, it's fun to see a commercial that comes right out and says "it isn't about your fucking arteries". These ads are all about manly self-indulgence: loud cars, dirty trucks, shaving when I damn well please, and I'm gonna eat this 1400 calorie monster and get a whole week's worth of fat in 5 minutes and you can suck it, Mr Atkins.

Not that I actually eat the things, of course. I just like the idea that some people are sticking up for gulttony and holding back the day when all we'll be allowed to eat is grilled chicken and steamed vegetables.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Face transformer

This is fun. The Face transformer will morph your face into different races, or in-the-style-of various artists. I didn't find it as unsettling as some did.

Free Scott P!

This is just silly.

La Chimenea Grande

Sony P7

One of two identical fireplaces in the lobby of the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Foggy AM

Nikon D100, 50mm

Got up early one AM to go stomp around in the fog.

Monday, January 10, 2005


Nikon D100, 75-240mm

Bluegrass legend, Doc Watson, at the Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Lane Pinnacle

Nikon D100, 28-80mm

Went to Asheville, NC this last weekend. This was on a little day trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway. We drove up into that cloud - more to follow.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Miscarriage not bad enough? How about some jail time?

Democracy for Virginia writes about a proposed law in VA (HB1677) that would make it a crime to fail to report having a miscarriage. Women would have up to 12 hours to give all their info to the police, or face up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.


Ice Man

The summer after I graduated high school, my father convinced me that I needed to get a job and start earning all the spending money I'd need while I was away at college. He said something like "You need to earn two thousand dollars this summer!" and I was all like, OMG! And then they went to Europe and I was pretty much on my own. So I got a job and held myself to spending no more than $2.50 each day on lunch, and saved all the rest.

Through a girl I knew from school, I got a job at an ice factory where her mother worked as a receptionist. ... an ice factory.

It wasn't really a big production; there were probably 10 of us working each day, but some would be out delivering ice in trucks (the fun part), and the rest packing ice at the factory (the crappy part).

In the front of the factory was the receptionist area. I never went there, except to get my pay check. The woman who worked there was nice, but wanted nothing to do with the factory workers. She would sit and listen to the radio and knit or do crossword puzzles, completely uninterested in the mayhem on the other side of the wall.

The rest of us, high school kids, college kids, odd adult-types who apparently couldn't find anything more profitable, worked 10 or 12 hour days, for minimum wage or not much more - I think I was making $4.85/hr when I left.

Our first stop every day was the block ice area. This was a big, dismal, concrete room that held stacks of boxes full of plastic bags and three huge tubs of super-cooled anti-freeze. Each of these tubs held thirty or fourty steel or plastic ice-block molds. We'd come in at 6AM, open the lids on these tubs and start an assembly line. One guy would pull the blocks out of the anti-freeze and take them over to the sink, where another guy ran hot water on the outside of the mold to loosen it up; then he'd dump the 15 pound block of ice onto a little shelf where the next guy would wrap it in a plastic bag, spin it, put a piece of strapping tape on the top and hand it to the next guy who'd drop it into a bigger plastic bag along with 5 other blocks, then stack the big bags on a palette. Then the mold would go back in the brine, and get filled with water.

Every part of the line sucked. The first guy's hands would freeze and sting from the super-salty, super-cold anti-freeze; the second guy was always banging the sides of the molds because they never wanted to give up the ice block and he had the hot water/cold ice duality to deal with; the third guy was always dropping the ice blocks on his toes because a wet-sided, 15 pound, block of ice is a difficult thing to control at 6AM. The stacker was constantly having to wrestle with 75 pound bags of wet ice blocks - which is like stacking garbage bags full of ice-cold bowling balls. But, eventually we'd run through all the blocks, and then we'd take a break and bitch about how much we hated block ice.

Next to the block room was the Small Freezer. It was small only in comparison to the Big Freezer - it was still big enough to hold many tons of ice. But, what it lacked in relative size, it made up for in relative frigidity and mysterious darkness - for some forgotten reason, we never turned on the lights in there. This is where we made dry-ice blocks using a little wooden puzzle box that snapped together, with a hose on one side that attached to a big cold CO2 tank. It's also where they stored Chipwhiches for someone who rented the freezer space. We ate most of their stock, of course.

The loading dock was where trucks backed up to get their ice, or where smart people came to buy ice directly from the factory, especially "drty ice", which was ice we dropped on the floor and couldn't sell for anything but packing beer kegs. Since nobody kept track of dirty ice, it was a good way for the workers to make a little side cash while the boss was out. We'd sit on the dock when things were slow and throw ice cubes into the parking lot and chunks of dry ice into the permanent mud puddles.

In addition to the hated block ice, we made cubed ice; and we did that in the bagging room. This room had a bin the size of a house that held ice cubes. The cubes would get corckscrewed out of the bin, into a bagging machine, into an 8 pound bag that was then sealed with a metal clip, run up a conveyor belt, onto a platform where one of two guys would drop it into a bigger plastic bags, which someone else would seal with tape and stack on a palette. 40 big bags per palette, 200 little bags, 1,600 pounds per palette. We'd usually do this all day. To keep it interesting, we'd go as fast as the machines would let us, trying to stack a palette faster than anyone had done before. Thrilling! I think the record was something like 8 minutes. But, the bagging machine was constantly running out of bags, or clips, or failing to clip a bag, so it was always dumping ice on the floor, or on the conveyor belt, or into its own moving parts - it needed constant attention. The big bin drove the ice towards the bagging machine with a corkscrew on its bottom, but sometimes the ice would freeze solid and get driven up as a solid block that would tear the front off the bin. When we could spare the person, one of us would stand at the front of the bin and poke at the ice mass with a big steel shovel, or clear the jammed bagging machine.

After we stacked a palette of ice, it had to go into the Big Freezer. More accurately, the Fucking Huge freezer. During the winter, the big delivery trucks parked in there (not much call for ice delivery during an upstate NY winter); but in the summer, it was full of palettes of ice, stacked three high with an electric fork lift (which lived in the freezer). By the end of the summer, the palettes on the bottom would be crushed flat by the 3,200 pounds of ice above them, and the ice would fuse into flat blocks that pissed off the customers who thought they were going to have nice cubes. Palettes fell off the top of the stacks every week, and we'd have to go into this freezer and clean up 1,600 pounds of scattered ice cubes as quick as we could before we froze to death. As big as it was, it still stayed below ten degrees all year. The electric bill must've been absurd.

And finally, there was the back. This is where we kept unused palettes. Because of the weight of the ice and the water, palettes were constantly falling apart. So, once every few days, we'd have to go out and cobble together useable palettes from the rotting, splintered remains of whatever came off the trucks. And get high. We'd go out back, start ripping and hammering, smoking, and chewing Skoal.

But the delivery trucks were the best part of the job. Instead of standing at one end of a conveyor belt all day, you got to drive around the area, looking out the window, filling ice machines at all the local stores, collecting money, eating lunch at McDonalds. If money were no object, I'd love to get a delivery job. The best routes were those around Lake George. It's a beautiful area, and even the annual crush of toursists from NYC couldn't ruin it completely.

I didn't have the class C license required to drive the big trucks, but I could drive the smaller ones. Well, legally I could. One day, I was assigned to drive a truck up I-87 to the small town of Warrensburg. This was a 20 mile drive, up the west side of the lake, no big deal. So, I'm cruising up I-87, or "the Northway" as the locals say, and the truck isn't feeling healthy. I'm doing 55 or so, but I'm starting up a hill, and I notice it has no power left - I give it a little gas but it doesn't accelerate - and the engine is screaming. I look at the guy riding with me and I'm like "Hey, what's up with the fucking truck?" He just shrugs, cause he's only 16 and probably hasn't ever driven anything. So I shrug too, and forget about it. We get into town, and hit the first stop. I go to take the truck out of gear and notice that it's not in "D" as it should be. No, it's in "L". That truck was doing 55 uphill with a literal ton of ice in back, in "L". Ouch. We had a good nervous laugh about that.

I did that job for three summers after high school. Rode my bike ten miles each way to get there each day. Good times.

Skot at Izzle Pfaff recalls his warehouse job.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

A bunch of complicated law

Sometimes I forget why I once thought politics was an utter waste of time and energy.

And then there are times like these, when there's a debate about whether or not to promote a person who made the legal case for torture, and all we get out of our representatives is posturing, positioning and pandering.

It's nearly enough to make me swear off caring again.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What Do You Believe Is True Even Though You Cannot Prove It?

THE WORLD QUESTION CENTER asks 120 scientists :"What Do You Believe Is True Even Though You Cannot Prove It?"

Carlo Rovelli, Italian physicist, answers:
    I am convinced, but cannot prove, that time does not exist. I mean that I am convinced that there is a consistent way of thinking about nature, that makes no use of the notions of space and time at the fundamental level. And that this way of thinking will turn out to be the useful and convincing one.
    I think that the notions of space and time will turn out to be useful only within some approximation. They are similar to a notion like 'the surface of the water' which looses meaning when we describe the dynamics of the individual atoms forming water and air: if we look at very small scale, there isn't really any actual surface down there. I am convinced space and time are like the surface of the water: convenient macroscopic approximations, flimsy but illusory and insufficient screens that our mind uses to organize reality.

I've thought this for a long time, so I'm glad to see an actual physicist wondering the same thing.

A lot of the other answers are pretty fascinating, too.

Sam Harris:
    The difference between believing and disbelieving a statement—Your spouse is cheating on you; you've just won ten million dollars—is one of the most potent regulators of human behavior and emotion. The instant we accept a given representation of the world as true, it becomes the basis for further thought and action; rejected as false, it remains a string of words.

    What I believe, though cannot yet prove, is that belief is a content-independent process. Which is to say that beliefs about God—to the degree that they are really believed—are the same as beliefs about numbers, penguins, tofu, or anything else. This is not to say that all of our representations of the world are acquired through language, or that all linguistic representations are on the same logical footing. ... What I do believe, however, is that the neural processes that govern the final acceptance of a statement as "true" rely on more fundamental, reward-related circuitry in our frontal lobes—probably the same regions that judge the pleasantness of tastes and odors. Truth may be beauty, and beauty truth, in more than a metaphorical sense. And false statements may, quite literally, disgust us.

I believe I'll read some more:

Jeffery Epstein:
    The great breakthrough will involve a new understanding of time...that moving through time is not free, and that consciousness itself will be seen to only be a time sensor, adding to the other sensors of light and space.

Something a little closer to my wallet:
Charles Simonyi:
    I believe that we are writing software the wrong way. There are sound evolutionary reasons for why we are doing what we are doing—that we can call the "programming the problem in a computer language" paradigm, but the incredible success of Moore's law blinded us to being stuck in what is probably an evolutionary backwater.

Freeman Dyson:
    Numbers that are exact powers of two are 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 and so on. Numbers that are exact powers of five are 5, 25, 125, 625 and so on. Given any number such as 131072 (which happens to be a power of two), the reverse of it is 270131, with the same digits taken in the opposite order. Now my statement is: it never happens that the reverse of a power of two is a power of five.

And, one of my favorites:

Chris W. Anderson:
    The Intelligent Design movement has opened my eyes. I realize that although I believe that evolution explains why the living world is the way it is, I can't actually prove it. At least not to the satisfaction of the ID folk, who seem to require that every example of extraordinary complexity and clever plumbing in nature be fully traced back (not just traceable back) along an evolutionary tree to prove that it wasn't directed by an invisible hand. If the scientific community won't do that, then the arguments goes that they must accept a large red "theory" stamp placed on the evolution textbooks and that alternative theories, such as "guided" evolution and creationism, be taught alongside.

    So, by this standard, virtually everything I believe in must now fall under the shadow of unproveability. Most importantly, this includes the belief that democracy, capitalism and other market-driven systems (including evolution!) are better than their alternatives. Indeed, I suppose I should now refer to them as the "theory of democracy" and the "theory of capitalism", to join the theory of evolution, and accept the teaching of living Marxism and fascism as alternatives in high schools.


Note to the person whispering three cubicles over:

If I can hear you while listening to my iPod through headphones, you're forgetting the most important part of what whispering is supposed to accomplish.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Soy un perdedor

Over at The American Street, they held a poetry contest: build a poem around Rumsfeld's infamous "You Go To War With What You Have" line. And now, the winners have been posted. Go read them.

My entry, while clearly deserving it, was not awarded any honors save for an "honorable mention" - something all non-winning entries received. Harrumph.

Here, unbelievers, judge the fruit of my labor for yourself:

    Into the morgue, a truism strode
    Nobody turned to look
    “You go to war with what you have!”
    Eyes stayed closed, hands cold

Who could question that this is satisfactory in every way, exceeds all reasonable expectations and undoubtably merits high marks for rhyme, meter and imagery ? Who ? And, while the winning entries are surely adequate and worthy of, ahem, recognition, once again, we find that true genius begs at the back door, while peers and pretenders pat their full bellies by the fire. I'm sure the judges' failure to count it among the top three was due to the pernicious pro-length bias that's all too common among common poetry judges these days, and not for any shortcoming in my splendid verse. After all, it is quite well-established among serious thinkers that poems in excess of 8 lines favor flourish before finesse.

Read all the entries, here.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Portent of horrible Doom!

Nikon D100, 70-250mm

There's a comet out right now. We could see it pretty well with binoculars last night, so I thought I'd try taking a picture of it - my first star image! Well, that was a dumb idea.

This was probably a 15 second exposure, but even that's enough for the stars (actually, the earth) to move quite a bit; and yet it's not quite enough to get any detail in the comet itself (the fuzzy thing in the top half of the image). On top of that, the lens (the biggest I have) isn't really long enough, so the comet ends up too small; so even though it would still be blurred by the motion of the earth if I had a bigger lens, you can't see any detail - this is a crop from a much larger image.


And, here's a 20 second exposure of the Pleiades. Note how much they move in just 20 seconds.

Maybe I should get a bigger lens, or a telescope, before i try anymore star shots.

The Graphing Calculator Story

Programmers and engineers should go read the amazing story of The Graphing Calculator:

    In October, when we thought we were almost finished, engineers who had been helping us had me demonstrate our software to their managers. A dozen people packed into my office. I didn't expect their support, but I felt obliged to make a good-faith effort to go through their official channels. I gave a twenty-minute demonstration, eliciting 'oohs' and 'ahhs.' Afterward, they asked, 'Who do you report to? What group are you in? Why haven't we seen this earlier?' I explained that I had been sneaking into the building and that the project didn't exist. They laughed, until they realized I was serious. Then they told me, 'Don't repeat this story.'

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.