Holiday Cheer

Filed under:General — eric @ 8:38 am

Peace to you and yours!


Polyhedra Polymath

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:49 am

Prof. George W. Hart, of the Computer Science Department at SUNY Stony Brook, has an enviable web presence. His Encyclopedia of Polyhedra alone is worth the visit, his geometric sculptures make the nerd in me weep at their beauty, and his trilobite recipe looks mighty yummy.


Creative Commons

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:45 pm

I’ve added a copyright notice to the bottom of this page, using one of the licenses released today by Creative Commons. I’ve granted permission to use anything of my creation from this weblog for any non-commercial purpose. You can copy my wrings verbatim or use any of my photographs, so long as you give me credit. You can re-use my creations to create works of your own (such as photoshopping one of my photographs), so long as you release the resulting work under this same license.

One of my biggest complaints about society is how industry is claiming exclusive rights to things that ought to be (and have always been) common property, and how industry takes advantage of creators for its own financial gain (see the RIAA, for example), and how our lawmakers allow this behavior and encourage it by granting virtual unlimited copyright and patent lengths.

Besides complaining, it doesn’t appear that there is a lot I can do. But I’ve found ways that, while small in themselves, add up. I buy music directly from the artist. I grow heirloom vegetables naturally. I avoid patronizing companies that abuse the medical and agricultural systems. And I can share my creations with the world. Creative Commons didn’t make this possible, but they have made it absurdly easy. And if its easy, perhaps most everyone will do the same and before we know it, the big industries will lose some of their power.


Quick storm

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:12 pm

Something akin to a small tornado tore through the farm today, just before I left for work. The sky got very dark, so I couldn’t see, the rain fell might hard, and the big wind came. It only lasted a few minutes, and then all was calm again. I went outside to find the small chciken huts in the neighbors pasture. The tin roof on his well house was peeled back. Several trees across the driveway were down. The only “damage” to our house was the satellite dish was popinted in a new direction. I cleaned up what I could and then left for work. There were only two trees down across the highway that I had to wait for the crew to cut. The scariest sight was seeing the car that spun around and impaled itself on a guard rail. Right through the drivers side door. The authorities were on the scene already, so I didn’t stop.

In other news, I found a tiny screwdriver today and took apart my handspring visor. I looked at all the pieces, and then carefully put them all back together again. When the last screw was back in place, it seemed to work again. We’ll see how long that lasts.


Dead Visor

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:09 pm

One day shy of exactly a year after it arrived, my Hanspring Visor has given up the ghost. I don’t know what the problem is exactly, but I suspect the built-in rechargable battery developed a short in its connection with the unit, and now it doesn’t work at all. The warrenty was only for 90 days, and the repair cost will be just a few dollars shy of buying a new one. So I guess I’ll need to hunt around on ebay for a cheap replacement. I’ve grown far too attached to the thing to just not use it anymore.


Another case of luck

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:48 am

Thanks to another coincidental confluence of events I’m known for, it looks like I’ll get to meet Alton Brown at a private undisclosed location in a couple hours. More later…

UPDATE: The location was a small classroom in the Fine Arts building at UGA. Mr. Brown is a graduate of the program, and stopped by to talk about his experiences in the TV world. There were less than two dozen people there, and the event lasted about two hours. He talked less about food and more about the production process and how he got from a film student to where he is today. The talk was great, the opportunity to have him sign my copy of his book was unexpected, and opening the door for a possible huge event for Boánn’s Banks was exhilarating.


Survived Thanksgiving

Filed under:General — eric @ 4:21 am

You might not have known it from my lack of updating, but we survived Thanksgiving quite nicely. Despite all the cooking, I found the whole weekend very relaxing. Read a nice thick book from cover to cover (Larry Niven’s Lucifer’s Hammer. Very good, well deserving of the classic status it’s reached.), saw Star Wars Episode II on an IMAX screen (I’d missed it up until now and thought I’d have to see it on a TV, so this made me very happy. The dialogue, not so happy.), and even mostly finished building one of the two greenhouses.

The first winter storm has hit today. I may well be iced in come morning.