During some server work today, I noticed this in the kernel log:
[14857.359477] Dazed and confused, but trying to continue
Hah, “dazed and confused”. Some programmer in the depths of time had some fun writing an error message.
When I go to the National Weather Service site to get the forecast for Longmont, the URL looks like this:
Notice the latitude and longitude: it’s specified fifteen decimal places deep! Doing the math, that means NOAA is providing forecasts for a spot on the earth that’s accurate to about 10 picometers. That’s roughly the width of about ten atoms.
I know computers and weather prediction techniques have come a long way, but it’s amazing that we can narrow down a forecast to a few atoms!
The Predictor pregnancy test has a tagline “When you want to be sure”.
Do you think this couple is unsure about her pregnancy? They certainly seem surprised by the test results. (“Oh, thank goodness… I thought this was just a weird fat phase I’ve been going through after eating all of those quesadillas!”)
Last night Zaque was contemplating some teenage zits and said, “Man, if I could squeeze all the pus out of my body, I’d lose five pounds.”
You wouldn’t think we could have another real estate bubble. But I just saw a graph showing the median home price in Longmont over the last decade. Hmm. That looks bubbley to me.
This is from Zillow, which of course means you have to take it with a grain of salt. Or maybe a whole shaker of salt. Still, it’s pretty clear home prices have been climbing at a rate that’s not sustainable…
Zaque has an old wooden desk in the back corner of his room, where he’s set up a sort of “workbench” (as he calls it). He enjoys tinkering with electronics and motors and wires and whatnot. Mostly it involves disassembling things and poking around at the guts, then considering how to combine them with other parts. For example, his current project is installing a small motor inside a flashlight casing. Why, you ask? No one knows.
It’s fun to watch him, and to have him show me his latest “invention”. It reminds me of… well, me.
For Christmas, Kathy gave me a couple of old books. They’re part of a series by Isaac Asimov entitled A New Intelligent Man’s Guide to Science, and I have Volume I (physical sciences) and Volume II (biological sciences). (Zaque asked if there’s a series for dumb men…)
Asimov is one of the most prolific authors in history, mostly writing science fiction, but he has the rare distinction of having at least one book in every category of the Dewey Decimal System.
What’s cool about these particular books is they were written almost sixty years ago. Science has changed a bit since then!
It’s fun to read some of the content and reflect on our progress during the last half-century. We’ve come a long way since Asimov’s day.
I’m progressing through the book from Thom and I’ve been experimenting with exposure and stops. Now that I understand the exposure meter better, I feel like I can start to “dial in” my photos for the effect I want. I’ve been having some fun with depth of field as well.
It’s cold and grey and dreary outside, so I’ve been moving around the house finding interesting test subjects: low lighting, shadows, macro, that sort of thing.
Here’s our family room clock:
I focused on the “3” with a shallow depth of field, so the left side of the clock is out of focus.
And here’s a toy dragon in Zaque’s room:
For this one, I did some post-processing to bump up the contrast and heighten the color a bit, making the dragon look a little more harsh (fierce?).
Thom gave me Camera and Craft, a book on digital photography, for Christmas. I’ve been reading it on and off for the past few weeks, devouring the information and recommendations. Although I’m still a long way from having the artistic eye that he does, I’ve learned a lot about how the different elements of shooting combine to make a better photo.
Here are a few recent practice shots:
Teaching early-morning seminary has been an amazing journey over the past year and a half. It’s incredibly difficult, but also incredibly rewarding. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve had to do hard things, but I’ve been blessed for my sacrifice. And every now and then, I have an opportunity to see the effect I have on seventeen high-school kids who come to my class before the sun rises.
One of my students wrote a note for me over the Christmas break. Part of it reads:
I need to remember this sort of thing on those days when I feel like I’m not making a difference, when most of the class is barely hanging onto consciousness, and when I feel like my lesson is a disaster. In the end, it’s all worthwhile.
Last month I decided to brighten people’s days by leaving anonymous Post-its in various places. It was fun to leave little notes that said things like “You are awesome”.
Since Laralee is extra cool, I thought I’d leave some for her as well. They weren’t very anonymous, but each day I added one more to my collection. Eventually they formed sort of a heart shape, because hey, I’m a romantic sometimes.