Monday, December 8, 2008

Drew Timmer's Mad Skillz


Now, that's Good Housekeeping!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yes, We Can . . . We Must . . . Now!

Okay, I'm probably the last person in America to see this awesome video, but just in case I'm the second-to-last, I'm putting it right here so you can Barack the vote too, or Barack the future, or whatever. The music is good... so good! Come together, people, right now. Yes, we can...



...Or else...



Oh, yes. We can.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Whose fault is this?

The San Andreas is not my fault--I live in Portland--but I found this animated map very interesting anyway:
ShakeOut
Geology.com has a bit about the San Andreas Fault, but this aerial micro-view of the fault really brings it into focus for me. (And for a good giggle, don't miss the comments. Sheesh!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reverse Graffiti

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fluffy Graffiti

This will make you want to knit something...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Unassigned... yeah, that's me alright...




TK Sand's Dewey Decimal Section:

163 [Unassigned]

TK Sand = 019144 = 019+144 = 163


Class:
100 Philosophy & Psychology


Contains:
Books on metaphysics, logic, ethics and philosophy.



What it says about you:
You're a careful thinker, but your life can be complicated and hard for others to understand at times. You try to explain things and strive to express yourself.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at Spacefem.com

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rockin' the Vote in Oregon


Through the magic of Blogger, I am able to show you this video of me doing what I was doing at the exact time I was doing it, which was even before this video became available to show you. How cool is that!

Huh? Let me explain. As I write this, it's November 25, three weeks after today's post. Today is Election Day, and I am employed as a temp worker by my county election board. I am sitting at one of two dozen tables in a large room. There are three people at each table, and our job is to unstuff the ballot envelopes that have arrived at the election board and been wanded in, signature-checked, and sorted by precinct. Because Oregon has mail-in voting rather than local polling places, there is a ballot envelope for every voter. That's a lot of envelopes that have to be emptied!

Inside the ballot envelope, which has the voter's signature on the back of it, there is another envelope, the secrecy envelope. The actual ballot is sealed inside of the secrecy envelope, and it will not be opened until all the secrecy envelopes for the precinct have been removed from the signature envelopes, and the signature envelopes have been bundled and removed from the table. Thus the integrity of ballot secrecy is maintained.

At each table, each of these steps in the process are performed by all three workers at the same time. The workers have been assigned to a table based upon their own political party declarations. No table has three people from the same party. These are safeguards that help assure the integrity of the election.

Next the ballots are removed from the secrecy envelopes. Those envelopes are also bundled and removed from the table. All envelope bundles are marked with the table number, the precinct number, and the batch number.

The next step is to unfold the ballots. In this election, each 17" ballot has four horizontal fold lines, making the unfolding process pretty tedious! Once unfolded, the ballots must be stacked so they all faced the same direction, and the creases must be backfolded to flatten the ballots, the better to send them through the counting machines.

Not done yet! Next the markings on each ballot must be visually inspected to be sure of their machine readability. Any ballot with erasures, White-Out, stray marks, or double votes (such as voting both "yes" and "no" on the same measure) must be separated from the machine-countable ballots for further manual attention by a separate group of workers.

Finally, the prepared stack of ballots is put into a box and marked with the table number, the precinct number, and the batch number. The non-machinable ballots are counted and put in a separate large envelope and also identified by table number, precinct number, and batch number. This elaborate paper trail not only ensures the integrity of the election but also facilitates a recount, in the event that becomes necessary.

In my county, we unstuffed envelopes on the day shift Thursday, Friday, and Monday. On Election Day... oh yeah, that's "today"... we started at 2 p.m. and will work through the night until we're done. I suspect I'll be getting home at 5:02 a.m. ;-)

So... am I in the movie? Yes, I am. Watch for the candy-striped pole in the middle of the room. I'm to the left of it, wearing a white sleeveless top. In the two stills below, that's my head immediately above the white triangle in the center of the pictures.

So, uh... you recognized me right away, huh?




Sunday, November 2, 2008

Here's a well-executed interesting idea...

T H E S H O E P R O J E C T

This makes me want to go play with my camera? How about you?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Think outside the box...

You don't speak German? It doesn't matter. A picture is worth a thousand words in whatever language. Which of these creative ideas impresses you most? Get inspired and see what you can come up with!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

You want to try this. Yeah, you do.

Look what those Google geeks have come up with now. Chrome! The browser you're gonna love! The browser of the future! Even I love it, and I hate learning how to use new stuff, and I love my Firefox. But... Chrome! Way cool!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is Big Brother Watching You?

We could all be tracked: "Portland police are testing a high-tech camera system that rivals anything in a science fiction movie. It can reach back in time and track your movements across the city — and even produce photos of your previous locations."

Read all about it in The Portland Tribune. And, uh, don't do anything I wouldn't do...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Green dot is the new gold star.

..........
TK's Personal Score Badge

Joe's Goals is a dandy free tool for tracking the efforts you make toward your goals. Not exactly a to-do list, it's more like a way to get in your own face if you're inclined to put off or forget the daily steps you need to take for long-term progress toward success. Or, if you're like me, you enjoy a little visual reward--say, a lovely green dot!--for a task completed. You can also arrange to get a rap on the knuckles--I mean, a nasty red dot!--when you indulge in a bad habit you're trying to break.

It's so easy to get yourself set up at Joe's Goals, but you might also enjoy reading some extra tips and tricks for using Joe's Goals.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Diagramming Sarah

"No one but a Republican denial specialist could argue with the fact that Sarah Palin's recent TV appearances have scaled the heights of inanity. The sentences she uttered in interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and Katie Couric seem to twitter all over the place like mourning doves frightened at the feeder. Which left me wondering: What can we learn from diagramming them?"

Read The sentences of Sarah Palin, diagrammed. - By Kitty Burns Florey - Slate Magazine to find out.

As a student in Mrs. McCullough's eighth grade English class, I loved diagramming sentences. Too bad it fell out of favor in the classroom. In addition to grammar, it taught clear thinking.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Remember when you weren't allowed to write on the walls?

Man decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie - Health & Family - Kentucky.com: "When Charlie Kratzer started on the basement art project in his south Lexington home, he was surrounded by walls painted a classic cream. Ten dollars of Magic Marker and Sharpie later, the place was black and cream and drawn all over."

Wait till you see the 360-degree view!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

FreeRice

FreeRice is a great vocabulary game, and for every word you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. Everybody wins.

"FreeRice has a custom database containing thousands of words at varying degrees of difficulty. There are words appropriate for people just learning English and words that will challenge the most scholarly professors. In between are thousands of words for students of all ages, business people, homemakers, doctors, truck drivers, retired people… everyone!

FreeRice automatically adjusts to your level of vocabulary. It starts by giving you words at different levels of difficulty and then, based on how you do, assigns you an approximate starting level. You then determine a more exact level for yourself as you play. When you get a word wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three words in a row right, you go to a harder level. This one-to-three ratio is best for keeping you at the “outer fringe” of your vocabulary, where learning can take place.

There are 60 levels in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 50."

So far, I've made it to level 48. What about you?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Bathroom Diaries

"The Bathroom Diaries has scoured the globe to rate the world’s toilets. Few would visit a country without some advanced information, yet our tender bits—our very “heart and soul,” as it were, are exposed to uncharted territories with no help or assistance. At our most vulnerable, we are blind. Well, no more."

Search bathrooms around the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

National Archives Experience

When you're tired of looking at your own old documents... National Archives Experience

Sunday, July 20, 2008

7 Essential Cheat Sheets To Download

7 Essential Cheat Sheets To Download | MakeUseOf.com: "Ever wanted to master the keyboard shortcuts and get more productive on the web? Here is everything you need - 7 quick cheat sheets for some of the most widely used tools on the web. Download, print and stick them somewhere near your desk."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

WebUrbanist

WebUrbanist: urban design, culture, travel, architecture and alternative art

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuesday, June 17th, is Firefox 3 Download Day!

Help set a world record. Downloads begin at 10 a.m. PDT. Only full complete downloads count, not updates or partial downloads. One download per computer!

Download Day 2008

Monday, June 9, 2008

Court Finds Dell Guilty of Fraud

PC World - Business Center: Court Finds Dell Guilty of Fraud: "Dell was found guilty on Tuesday of fraud, false advertising, deceptive business practices and abusive debt collection practices in a case brought by the New York attorney general..."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Thinking Outside the Bookcase

These almost make me want to read a book...

Monday, April 21, 2008

WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier

WW1: Experiences of an English Soldier: "This blog is made up of transcripts of Harry Lamin's letters from the first World War. The letters will be posted exactly 90 years after they were written. To find out Harry's fate, follow the blog!"

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Detroit Historical Museum Online Exhibits

The Detroit Historical Museum has over 200,000 artifacts that represent more than 300 years of the region’s unique history. You can explore online exhibits of some of the collections.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Selected Works of Peter Callesen

"Maybe one could call it obvious magic..."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Watch This Preview, Plant a Tree


Click the yellow tab to find out more.

It seems like ages since the strike that interrupted production of two of my favorite shows. Desperate Housewives has finally just resumed airing new episodes, and Grey's is resuming on Thursday, April 24th.

In another fabulous TV development, my two favorite shows from cable TV, Monk and Psych, are now airing on NBC in primetime Sunday nights.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Appearing Now at a Light Bulb Near You: Hour of Darkness!



Visit Earth Hour to sign up and power down. The event happens at 8 p.m. on March 29, 2008. That's tonight! Go dark!

Friday, March 28, 2008

SkyscraperPage.com

SkyscraperPage.com: "Welcome to SkyscraperPage.com, the world's finest resource for skyscraper and urbanism enthusiasts. Featuring unique skyscraper diagram illustrations, a world-wide buildings database, one of the world's busiest skyscraper-themed discussion forums and one-of-a-kind skyscraper posters, SkyscraperPage.com is a one-stop resource for the skyscraper enthusiast in everyone."

Click here for Buildings of Detroit.

Click here for Buildings of Portland.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Even if you don't have roots there...

...take this most amazing tour of The Fabulous Ruins Of Detroit. You have a car, don't you?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Alphonse de Lamartine, to the editor of the Revue Europeanne, in 1831 (ref. Essential McLuhan, p. 60):
Before this century shall run out, journalism will be the whole press. Mankind will write their book day by day, hour by hour, page by page. Thought will spread abroad with the rapidity of light, instantly conceived, instantly written, instantly understood at all the extremities of the earth, it will spread from pole to pole, suddenly burning with the fervor of soul which made it burst forth; it will be the reign of the human mind in all its plenitude; it will not have time to ripen, to accumulate in the form of a book; the book will arrive too late; the only book possible from day to day is a newspaper.


Rev. Thomas De Witt Talmage, in The Abominations of Modern Society (p. 137, in the chapter entitled Leprous Newspapers), in 1872:
The newspaper is the great educator of the nineteenth century. There is no force compared with it. It is book, pulpit, platform, forum, all in one. And there is not an interest—religious, literary, commercial, scientific, agricultural, or mechanical—that is not within its grasp. All our churches, and schools, and colleges, and asylums, and art-galleries feel the quaking of the printing-press.


Tryon Edwards, D.D., from whose 1891 book, A Dictionary of Thoughts, these thoughts were taken, said:
Newspapers are the world's cyclopædia of life; telling us everything from every quarter of the globe. --They are a universal whispering gallery for mankind, only their whispers are sometimes thunders.
As it happens, I have a copy of the 1961 edition of this book, revised, enlarged (from 644 pages to 794), and retitled The New Dictionary of Thoughts. It appears to include the original quotations, although I did notice that the Talmage quote above was shortened to just the first three sentences in the newer edition, leaving it, in my opinion, rather weightless.

I found the older edition online at Google Book Search. If you have a Google account, you can build your own online library there and, as with WorldCat and Library Thing, there is also a social aspect. I can share my library with other people, and if they are interested in knowing when I add another book, they can subscribe to my library's RSS feed.

How might that be useful? For example, I've added some full-text books to my library which contain family history information about some of my ancestors. I might want to share the find with others who share my lineage. There's a place for me to add my own notes, and I've used it to indicate page numbers where relevant material appears. Search boxes to the right of the text images enable additional searching within each particular text, within my own library, or throughout Google Books.

Books which are still under copyright are not available full-text, but some have viewable snippets which may enable you to decide whether it would be worthwhile to find that book through online booksellers (clickable from within Book Search) or at a library. Clicking the library search uses WorldCat to show you what libraries have the book. If you have a WorldCat account, you can add the title to one of your lists. Nice integration of services!

Oh, did I forget to mention? You can also download full-text books in PDF format to keep or print, or you can switch from page images to OCR-read plain text from which you can copy and paste. Take a look at my library and check out the other nifty features. You'll find Google Book Search a really powerful tool.

Monday, March 3, 2008

More Than Words

ODLIS: Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science: "ODLIS includes not only the terminology of the various specializations within library science and information studies but also the vocabulary of publishing, printing, binding, the book trade, graphic arts, book history, literature, bibliography, telecommunications, and computer science when, in the author's judgment, a definition might prove helpful to librarians and information specialists in their work."

You don't have to be in need of a library word to use this dictionary. Just choose a letter of the alphabet to browse. You'll find plenty of words that have "click here" links to examples. Among them, I've found such diverse things as:

Friday, February 29, 2008

So, you've whitened your teeth... now what?

Maybe you want to give a little attention to... the other end?

And after you've had your Daily Candy, you might have a taste for this Candy Blog.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

North Dakota Road Trippin'



Visit Ghosts of North Dakota.

Pop the top on a can of your favorite beverage, sit back, put your feet up on the dashboard, and enjoy this ride:



Around the 9:00 mark, you'll find yourself on the two-lane, going over some low hills. This is what I remember of my childhood trips to North Dakota. There were no interstate highways then. We'd be driving along and come up behind, say, a tractor pulling a wagonload of hay. Dad would pull into the other lane to pass, Mom would exclaim "RUSSELL!" and we would all hold our breath hoping we'd get back in our own lane before someone came barreling at us over a hilltop.

Well, this is as good a time as any to tell another road-trip story or two. Back when there were no interstate highways, there were no rest areas either. One used the facilities at gas stations, restaurants, or well-placed shrubbery en route. This presented a problem for parents with children in the throes of potty-training, so my parents brought along a large white enamel pot with red trim and a matching lid. This child-sized "convenience" sat on the floor of the back seat in our '53 Buick (hey, you won't find that much legroom in anything short of a limo these days). Somewhere between Michigan and North Dakota one hot summer day, we got stuck in a long traffic jam out in the country due to an accident somewhere up ahead. It was a bumper-to-bumper park-and-wait situation. Timing being what it is, one of us kids had to go... you know... Number Two. And as it turned out, there was not a pot-lid in the world that could contain the essence of that job. My mother insisted my father take the pot out into the field beside the road to dump it, which doubtless created quite an entertainment for all the cars behind us. Over the years, every time my mother told that story, I think my father blushed a little.

And, as long as he was blushing anyway, Mom would tell the next story, of the night in a mom-and-pop motel somewhere in the U.P., or maybe Wisconsin, when her monthly visitor showed up and she had no feminine hygiene products on hand to meet the demand. It was 10 p.m., everything was closed except the bars, and so of course my father would have to go out to a bar and prevail upon the barmaid to procure him a Kotex from the powder room. Unfortunately no Kotex was available, but the barmaid did not send him back to my mother empty-handed. He came back with a couple of clean bar rags to tide her over until morning.

Need a rest room break before we cruise around in town?

Now, in case you've gotten the wrong idea about North Dakota, here are some people who will set the record straight.

And one last thing:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Calendar Magic (Freeware)

PC World Downloads - Calendar Magic: "Any interest in calendars beyond the January half-price sales is amply rewarded by this program, which offers an astonishing 23 calendar systems for use, study and comparison. There are also numerous tools that calculate and convert data, from a global distance calculator to a pregnancy calculator.

Approximately 16 functions in the program deal with calendar- and date-related information. You can also chart the positions of the sun and moon relative to your physical location. Four tools deal with time: an alarm clock, a stopwatch, an addictive reaction timer, and another that reveals the current time almost anywhere on the planet. Five more tools manage your personal notes and event reminders, while another ten are primarily concerned with mathematical calculations and conversions."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cornell University Library Stuff

Some online exhibitions from the Rare and Manuscript Collections:



Pastimes and Paradigms: Games We Play
(the evolution of games since 1800)

The Evolution of the Medieval Book
(book history from the 9th to the 15th centuries)

Beautiful Birds
(the history of ornithological illustration)

Not by Bread Alone: America's Culinary Heritage
(influences & inventions that have shaped
American food habits over the past 200 years)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Download My Favorite Free Tools

JRuler enables you to measure pixels on your screen. There's nothing to install; just unzip and launch this tiny program to see a resizable ruler you can use to measure anything on screen. You can adjust the size of the ruler itself, rotate it 90 degrees, and set it to display pixels, inches, picas, or centimeters.

Nattyware's Pixie is a colour picker that includes a mouse tracker. Run it, simply point to a colour and it will tell you the hex, RGB, HTML, CMYK and HSV values of that colour. You can then use these values to reproduce the selected colour in your favorite programs.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Want Books?

Another great online library tool is WorldCat, which enables you to search for books by title, author, or subject. WorldCat can tell you what libraries have a particular book and how far those libraries are from your home zip code. You can add a book from your search to any of your own lists. How might you use this tool?
  • If you're planning, for example, a genealogy research trip to another part of the country, you can make a list of books you want to use at your destination libraries.
  • You might make a list of books you plan to borrow from your own library.
  • You might search by subject and create a list of book resources for a term paper.
  • You could make a list of books you read and enjoyed. You can add personal notes, reviews, and comments to the items on your list.
You'll know better how it will serve you if you see an example of what it does. Here's a link to one of my lists: Poetry by Bonnie Elizabeth Parker. Click on Dark Tigers of my Tongue to see what kind of information becomes available to you.

Just below the WorldCat header, you'll see a tab called Search. Click it and select Search for Lists. Type genealogy into the search box that appears, and you will find all user-created lists that pertain to genealogy. You'll find all the other lists I've created so far in this category. Some lists include books I already own but think others might want to know about if they have chosen to view a particular list.

A free account enables you to create as many book lists as you want, and you can choose to make each list private or public.

I've added a WorldCat search box to the Internet Buffet sidebar.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Got Books?


Why would you want to use Library Thing to catalog your books online?
  • In case of fire, you could file an accurate insurance claim.
  • You could keep track of who borrowed which book from you.
  • You could write a review of a book for others to read, or keep private notes about the book (for a cookbook, say, you might make note of a favorite recipe, or one you tried and didn't like).
  • A social networking feature enables you to find others with similar reading tastes.
You'll probably discover other reasons of your own.

A free account enables you to catalog up to 200 books. You need only enter a unique user name of your choice and a password. There's no need to use your real name, so your privacy is protected.

I'm not sure how many books I have, so I decided to start by cataloging my reference books. By entering a book's ISBN in the search box, I found the majority of my books have already been entered into the system, so no data entry was required from me. I had only to select the title from a list. Some of my books predate the ISBN system, so I searched by title for those. If I didn't find them in the system, I was able to add them manually by entering data in a form.

Images of most book covers have already been uploaded by Amazon or other users, and you usually have the ability to choose an image that matches the cover of your particular edition. If no image is appropriate, you can upload one yourself.

You can add tags to your books, thus enabling you to find titles easily. I've cataloged 100 of my books so far, and through tagging, I was surprised to find that about half of them are dictionaries. I've never considered myself a collector of dictionaries, although I was aware I'd accumulated a wider variety of them than the typical user who's just interested in spelling vicissitudes. If you'd like to see which ones I have, scroll down to the Library Thing search widget in the sidebar and type the tag dictionary into the search box.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Michigan State University Memorabilia

Lovers of historical memorabilia and students of Michigan State, both past and present, will find a well-presented collection of interesting historical artifacts at this Michigan Agricultural College website.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

Waterfalls, License Plates, and Other Cool Stuff

You won't find any Oregon waterfalls at the amazing website, Great Lakes Waterfalls and Beyond, so before you go there, have a look at a few pictures I took during a visit to Silver Falls State Park in 2005. (Oddly, perhaps, it was letterboxing, and not the waterfalls, that finally motivated me to go after living here for almost 2o years.)

There are 10 waterfalls in the park. All of these are pictures of North Falls, which I found particularly interesting, not just for the falling water...

...but for what's behind it, a huge cavern-like ledge that's actually part of the trail. (In the photo above, the ledge is the dark horizontal streak in the middle.)

Not that the waterfall itself isn't beautiful... it is!

North Falls splashes down onto giant basalt boulders.

The photo opportunities were legion, and just as lovely from behind the waterfall.


You can click on these last two photos for a larger view if you'd like to learn about tree casts, which are visible in the ceiling overhead when you are behind the falls.


How did I happen to go off on waterfalls today, in the middle of winter? Well, I'm glad you asked. I was visiting one of my new favorite blogs, Michigan in Pictures. I grew up in Michigan and, while I'm very happy to be living in Oregon now, it's nice to be reminded of what's interesting about my old home state. See today's post there for a waterfall photo more in keeping with the season, and browse the archives. It was there that I found a link to a great photo tour of the Michigan License Plate Factory. You're bound to find something equally interesting, even if you've never been a Michigander.

By the way, I've added a Michigan in Pictures widget to the sidebar. It features links to recent posts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January was Get Organized Month?

Who knew? But after watching this . . .



. . . I'm feeling much more okay about having missed it.

Epictetus may have been talking about desk clutter when he said:
People are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of them.

As for me, I don't want to be disturbed, so I try not to view my desk too often.

I suppose I could take a picture of my desk and post it here, but I think we'll all be less disturbed about it if you just pick the one that impressed you most in the video and use your imagination.

Monday, January 28, 2008

And while we're on the subject . . .

. . . of Northern Exposure, for your enjoyment and my own, I post here my favorite moment from the series:



In this Season 4 episode, Chris collects lamps and lights from everyone in Cicely and uses them to create a sculpture. You'll find more of the story line in the episode notes for Northern Lights, along with the text from this clip and the sources of the quotations in it.

This scene was my first exposure to the music of Enya. For the longest time after the show, I tried to find out the name of the song or who the artist was, but I couldn't find anyone who knew. How I eventually found out is a strange story. I almost never listen to country-western music, but for some reason I tuned in to a country station one day and left it on. Once you've heard Ebudæ, you know it's anything but country-western, so you will be as amazed as I was at what happened next. The deejay mentioned that a Northern Exposure episode had featured a song he was about to play, and that although it wasn't country music, he was going to play it anyway. I held my breath, hoping... knowing!... that it would be the song from this scene, and of course it was.

Gaelic Lyrics:
Ebudæ

Amharc, mná ag obair lá 's mall san oíche,
Ceolann siad ar laetha geal, a bhí,
Bealach fada anonn 's anall a chóich.
English Translation:
Hebrides

Look, women working by day and late at night,
They sing of bright days that were,
A long way back and forth forever.
(Translated by live people at Irish Gaelic Translator)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Remembrance of Things Past

I must admit right up front, I've never read Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, but one of my favorite quotations comes from Swann's Way, Chapter 1:
When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection.
I was introduced to this quotation in an episode of Northern Exposure, one of the best TV series ever. The quotation was read by Chris (John Corbett) in a Season 3 episode called The Body in Question:


Here's the quotation in the original French:
Mais, quand d'un passé ancien rien ne subsiste, après la mort des êtres, après la destruction des choses, seules, plus frêles mais plus vivaces, plus immatérielles, plus persistantes, plus fidèles, l'odeur et la saveur restent encore longtemps, comme des âmes, à se rappeler, à attendre, à espérer, sur la ruine de tout le reste, à porter sans fléchir, sur leur gouttelette presque impalpable, l'édifice immense du souvenir.
You'll find both the English and the original French texts online if you're interested, and there are many Proust websites and blogs if you care to delve deeper into À la recherche du temps perdu. The links in this post are enough to get you started.

Out of curiosity, I used Babelfish to translate the quotation. I don't speak French at all, and I was curious to see how the auto-translation would compare with the efforts of a live, thinking brain:
But, when of an old past nothing remains, after the death of the beings, the destruction of the things, only, frailer but more long-lived, more immaterial, more persistent, more faithful, the odor and savour remain still a long time, like hearts, to remember, wait, hope, on the ruin of all the remainder, to carry without bending, on their almost impalpable droplet, the immense building of the memory.
Not too shabby, huh?

But... I digress! Oh, how I digress! I am not here today to hand you over to Proust, but to invite you to play with a very cool Flickr Toy called phrasr and to see the slideshow I made with my favorite quote (give it a minute to load):
Proust: Remembrance by TK
And I hope you will join in the fun and please, please!, elevate the company in which my quotation sits. As you'll see in the archives, such entries as "I'm boring" (doubtless true of the unimaginative sloth who wrote it) and "What do you had for breakfast" (grammatically alarming) give you the opportunity to distinguish yourself as brilliant and educated. And don't be afraid to change the images that come up automatically--you are given a large selection to choose from for each word, so you should be able to find something that keeps the spirit of your quotation or brilliant thought.

Go ahead, impress me! And when you're done, use the comment section below to share your quote so I can go see what you did with it.

One caveat: my quotation was, if I recall correctly, 73 words, and I spent at least an hour choosing the images. You might want to start with a shorter phrase. But not too short! Two or three words doesn't make much of a slideshow.

By the way, "Rawr, I am teh overlard" was written by someone who either has or will someday have a driver's license. This is the reason you should always drive defensively.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Show your camera some love!

You'll find all kinds of photography and image-editing ideas, tips, tutorials, links, and other cool stuff at Photojojo. You can visit the Photojojo Newsletter Archives for past issues, subscribe to the free biweekly newsletter so you don't miss anything in the future, and read the Photojojo Uncut blog while you wait for the next newsletter. Both the newsletter and the blog are also available by RSS feed.

Unphotographable is an example of why you shouldn't miss Photojojo.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Learn history in one minute a day.

Old Picture of the Day is way more fun than history class.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Quilt

Let It Go



Dignity and Respect



Acceptance of Not Perfect

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back to the Futuristic

Spend a little time looking back at looking forward. Paleo-Future celebrates its first anniversary in the blogosphere today. Matt has reprised his original "welcome" post, which will give you a good idea where he's coming from.

Sampling the archives, you might enjoy a post from May 1, 2007, Delicious Waste Liquids of the Future as imagined in 1982, especially in the light of the recent news stories about Los Angeles' drinking water.

Do your shoes look like violin cases? An Associated Press article from 1949 predicted Taller Women by Year 2000. See Matt's January 3, 2008 post for more about that.

Don't miss Matt's other blog, Older Than Me, where he shares items he's found that don't fit into Paleo-Future but are interesting nonetheless. Last week's For Tighter Marriage, Just Button Your Lip! (1959) is a good place to start!

Monday, January 21, 2008

This is where it's at . . . or is it?





brought to you by TravelPod, the Web's Original Travel Blog ( part of the TripAdvisor Media Network )


My Traveler IQ is 88. I've played three times and couldn't get past Level 5. What about you?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Where on earth have you been?

More fun with maps! States I've been to (or merely through, in many cases)are shown in red on the map below. (Do you suppose the creator of this nifty personal mapper widget is an optimistic Republican?)

I've also been to Canadian provinces Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, as well as Jalisco and Nayarit, Mexico.



Create your own visited states map.

If you've been further afield, there's a Visited Countries map too.

Other maps you could create:
  • places you hope to visit someday
  • places your ancestors came from
  • where your friends live
  • where your relatives live

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Geography isn't everything in these . . .

. . . strange maps.

Marzipan Europe?

French Kissing Map?

Spam maps? Well, spam is maps spelled in reverse, so why not?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Thanks for the laughs, Tom Pry. R.I.P.

Tom Pry blogged at The Old Man and the c:\ from April 9, 2005 until December 10, 2007.

He died December 21 after a battle with lung cancer, so there won't be any more posts added to his blog, but the archives are still available for visiting when you're in the mood for an interesting story or some redneck humor.

Tom was a good storyteller whether he was telling real stories from his life or just a joke. I always leave laughing.

Sometimes my eyeballs are rolling too.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Where in the world are . . .

. . . Burkina Faso? Nauru? Comoros? Look 'em up! Atlapedia Online has full color physical maps, political maps, and key facts and statistics on countries of the world.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008