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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lenticular clouds over Sangre de Cristos mountains, New Mexico


Click for original/larger version, story, and other pix:


Monday, January 19, 2015

What China really thinks of Americans' IQ


(via: mike dowson: ‏@mikedowson222)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

96 Years Ago Today: Boston's Great Molasses Flood of 1919

"The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and for decades afterward, residents claimed that on hot summer days, the area still smelled of molasses." ---Wikipedia entry
The Globe ran a good article yesterday with some photos and explanations: The tank's walls were too thin, and were made of the same kind of brittle steel that doomed the Titanic --- steel that tended to shatter under load, rather than deform.

Globe pix:




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The games high-altitude ice crystals play

US National Weather Service in Amarillo Texas posted these pix of a spectacular example of ice crystals with a low sun:


Original pic: http://en.es-static.us/upl/2015/01/halo-display-1-9-2015-Red-River-NM1.jpg

Annotated:


Different view, same event, minutes later:



To learn more about ice halos and other atmospheric optical phenomena, see the Atmospheric Optics page: www.atoptics.co.uk.

http://earthsky.org/todays-image/superb-ice-halo-display-in-new-mexico

https://www.facebook.com/NWSAmarillo

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The First Official Boston 2024 Olympic Video

The local Olympics debate is beginning to dominate the news.

On the official side, the new mayor is promising that no city funds will be needed, at all. All the necessary infrastructure improvements are already fully budgeted for, honest!

I'm amazed his pants did not immediately burst into flame.

Anyway, here's the First Official Boston 2024 Olympic Video:




http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2015/01/08/official-boston-2024-olympic-bid-video-from-the-united-states-olympic-committee-launched-on-youtube/


Among the dissenters, Syndicated cartoonist (and Quincy resident) Brian McFadden:



Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Yeah, and Baltimore, too.

I wouldn't put it past Boston to emblazon YANKEES SUCK on the Olympic rings.
--- https://twitter.com/daveweigel

oh, f*************ck.

Breaking News Alert: US Olympic Committee taps Boston as its nominee for the 2024 Olympics

This is how Skynet starts.

"My neighbor has an unsecured, wireless printer. I just sent this document to it."-- @shariv67


Exploring Boston: "Fire and Ice" at The Lawn on D

The Lawn on D is a grassy, 3 acre lot is located on D Street in a rapidly changing area of the South Boston Waterfront called the "Innovation District."

It's self-described as "... an experimental event space... Boston's first-of-its-kind ... a community-focused initiative attracting diverse audiences from across the city."

This past weekend, The Lawn on D's scheduled event was "Fire and Ice," featuring a labyrinth made of LED-illuminated blocks of ice, some of which had large-format Arctic photos set within; a sculpted ice bar (wine, beer, hot cocoa and cider); and fire-twirlers and -breathers.

It was cold and snowy, but fun.

The first fire-twirling act:
 photo 1_zpsc5341267.jpg

The second act never quite managed to set her hair on fire:
 photo P1030033_zps3f87c693.jpg

The Ice Labyrinth (not a maze) was made of large blocks of ice, some clear, others made translucent by trapped bubbles.
 photo 3_zps3ea5692d.jpg

Some of the blocks had Arctic photos mounted inside:
 photo P1030024_zpsf363f8ed.jpg

It was very tactile for the younger set:
 photo 2_zps4792d9cb.jpg

Adults gravitated to a different structure: the Ice Bar:
 photo 9_zps76acf450.jpg

A half-dozen fire pits were scattered around the area for hand-warmimg:
 photo 7b_zps49be6ece.jpg
Note the construction in the background of the above photo: That part of Boston is booming, with new construction on almost every corner.

Some of the fire pits were put to a more gustatory use.
 photo 8_zps5fa02afb.jpg

The bar area featured this strange, color-changing, slow-moving motorized mobile:
 photo 4_zps46b188f6.jpg


Each of the pendant jellyfish is separately motorized:
 photo 5_zpse9157408.jpg


They move in a slow, synchronized swarm, with the tendrils blowing erratically in the cold wind:
 photo 7_zpsbe934bd1.jpg

We walked the labyrinth and stayed for a cup of cocoa. By the end, the fire-performers may have been the only warm ones in the place!
 photo P1030032_zpsc196fc04.jpg

Nice to see an outdoor public space well-used even in winter.


Info: The Lawn on D adjoins the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (map) , and is run by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. It's intended to offer "original, high-caliber programming and events" and includes "built-in lawn games and activities, rotating public art exhibitions, music performances, free WiFi, a collection of public seating and lounge chairs, and an operational outdoor bar."



































































It Sadly Unclear Whether This Article Will Put Lives At Risk

The Onion turns somber:
http://www.theonion.com/articles/it-sadly-unclear-whether-this-article-will-put,37715/