September 25th, 2012 · Comments Off
Not far from our Copenhagen hotel is an open-air market, where some of the stalls have evolved into covered small food shops, including a bakery, Sweet Valentine.
I love the artfully artless thrown-on looking frosting of this wedding cake. Of course, such insouciantly slapdash visual effects can only be created by someone very skillful. Similarly, the tousled bedhead hair that looks amazing on young Julia Roberts probably took her hairdresser an hour to create — nor would the same look, even crafted by the same hairdresser, look expensively elegant if I were to go downtown wearing it.
Tags: food · funny · Wide wonderful world
September 23rd, 2012 · Comments Off
Lost in time, lost in space, lost in family matters? It seems strange to me that I found it much easier to keep this blog going when my life was complexified by way too much travel and squeezed by too many commitments to varied big projects.
Now I am hoping to have more time to be just plain myself, still fully a part of a wonderful family, but with more time, space, and brainspace to reinvent even more Betsys than I’ve already imagined.
Tags: Metablogging · My Back Pages · Wide wonderful world
You and I are both free-riders on so much of the Internet these days. We don’t have to pay for enormous amounts of good content, but … how long will our free ride last? Longer than until sundown on Saturday but not (probably) as long as we’d like.
Somebody else is pushing the buttons and paying for our free ride, because every time we check into a website somebody is hoping that I will, or you will, reveal a bit more information that can be sold to an advertiser somewhere that is planning to use it to market to us.
The problem is that there is a finite amount of interesting information that can be data-mined from my web-surfing, your web-surfing, and our web-surfing. Right now, corporations are paying our fare into lots of good web-places. Two years from now, is there anything they want to know about us that they don’t yet know?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have that many big secrets.
Tags: geeky · Wide wonderful world
February 21st, 2012 · Comments Off
I’ve been spending more time in the real world, less time in cyberspace. Sorry for the increasing delay between actual blogposts.
Tags: Frank Wilczek · Wide wonderful world
September 10th, 2011 · 2 Comments
Frank and I found eight baby snapping turtles, over the course of a long sunny afternoon, being bounced by some very mild waves against the glacial sand beach of our local lake. This probably relates to a story we heard in July about a very large snapping turtle who unexpectedly hung out on the very same beach for a couple of days. This surprised all the locals because the sand beach is much too clean a part of the lake to harbor much food for turtles of any size.
So Frank and I gently moved our new turtle colonists, one by one, into a murkier backpond with a lot more algae and plantlife and algae, where snapping turtles have lots more to eat. And where snapping turtles abound, and have done so, all of the many years we have seen turtles around here.
To say that the turtles did not appreciate our interest would be a very big understatement. But no fingers or toes were bitten off during this rescue, to their disappointment and our satisfaction.
Tags: Frank Wilczek · New Hampshire! · Wide wonderful world
September 3rd, 2011 · Comments Off
Just one, not this many, but still an adventure. When I got back today from lunch with Frank, I noticed that the lid had come off our big garbage can. I picked it up out of the driveway and casually replaced it, and was greeted by a hideous angry very long-echoing growl.
Something was in garbage can, and not happy about it.
I went in the house, grabbed a big broomstick, and bamboozled Frank to come help me to rescue … whatever it was. There is a vantage point over our driveway, behind a big fence, where one can poke garbage cans until they fall over without being eaten up by any monsters that might be inside them.
I successfully knocked off the lid and the growls re-began. We could peek into the garbage can. A young raccoon was down in there. A young raccoon with very deep baritone growl: “Rrrrrowwwwrrr. Don’t even think about making me angrier than I already angrily am.” Tipping the garbage can over was harder than I expected. Push–teeter–push–teeter–rhythmic push–teeter–totter–topple.
The raccoon did not even spare us a dirty look as he angrily stomped away from the scene of the crime. Hey look, pal, we did not ask you to rob our garbage!
Tags: Boston · Cambridge · Frank Wilczek · Wide wonderful world
August 28th, 2011 · Comments Off
That’s what it took to clear up all the trees that Hurricane Irene dumped back and forth across the road that leads to our house. So now we could leave if we wanted to, but we don’t.
We charged up all our hardware before we lost power, so I sit here posting the photos from my iPhone into my Flickr account via my little Sprint wifi hotspot, by the light of a fireplace fire and one wax candle.
We’ve go plenty of food and water but come tomorrow we will probably venture out to get some more electricity.
The Northwood NH Fire and Rescue team are super people, in the best sense of the word. These men made their way down the long dirt road to our house, chopping up great big trees as they went along.
The man with the chainsaw remembered the last time they came out, after the microburst storm in 2006, when he helped to remove a truly enormous tree from my neighbor’s house. Compared to that, Hurricane Irene was not so bad.
We have no lights or fridge until (probably) tomorrow but big wooden matches will still light the propane stove. So we had hot dinner, with toasted marshmallows to follow.
And we had to eat up every bit of the ice cream melting in the freezer. I blame it all on Hurricane Irene!
Tags: Heroes and funny folks · New Hampshire! · Wide wonderful world
August 26th, 2011 · Comments Off
Another reminder of why we read Dave Winer’s blog Scripting News: this spirit-lifting quote from a recent post Indirect business models FTW.
One of the really amazing things about New York City is the extent to which the city anticipated its own growth. It built elevated rail systems to neighborhoods that didn’t exist. A grid that went into the Bronx when the city barely made it to 14th St. A huge city park in the middle of nowhere. Tech guys have to think like that. So few do. Seriously.
Tags: geeky · Metablogging · Wide wonderful world
August 15th, 2011 · Comments Off
Hallway display at Google. Big screens, big VR-panorama scrollable city images that look 3D but sides of buildings etc. are based on projections from Google Earth data, not on street view. If you look closely you see cars are very flat.
I asked if I could take a picture and was told ok. I think they set it up Sunday morning while we were in the 10 a.m. Sci Foo session, because I surely would have noticed seeing this before. The name of this wonderful toy is Liquid Galaxy.
I miss Sci Foo already. Thank you, O’Reilly team, Google team, Timo Hannay team, and everybody I met there for being amazing. I told Cat Allman the best part was introducing wonderful people to other wonderful people they needed to meet. She said, “I love that too.” Of course she does, that’s what Sci Foo is really about.
Tags: Science · Wide wonderful world
August 13th, 2011 · Comments Off
“May I photograph your squid?” One of those things heard at SciFoo, rarely heard in other places.
William Gilly was showing the insides of a Humboldt squid to interested folks.
Tags: Science · Wide wonderful world