Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Life With Cables


March 16, 2009, 10:30 PM

My Life With Cables


Cables: Don’t like ‘em.


You can precipitate my problems with cables by simply calling me. There is a 50 percent chance that you will be greeted by the sound of my desk set banging against a radiator, because the spiral cord of my phone keeps tangling and assembling itself into a compact ball. Why? Am I unconsciously rotating or dancing while talking on the phone?


But my real troubles with cables occur out of sight.

My desk is far from organized, but the mess on top pales compared to the chaos lurking below. I just did a quick inventory and counted a staggering 31 cables running riot down there.


Over the years I have made multiple attempts to tame this mess. All my strategies share one fatal drawback: replacing a single cable means I have to untie the entire arrangement.

This is how I deal with the situation these days: If I get a new device, I just stuff any new cables right into the swamp of existing ones. And if I need to remove a cable, I optimistically pull on it, like a madman.


I don’t even want to get started about the endless varieties of cables, chargers and adapters out there. My biggest frustration stems from a much simpler problem: I use a lot of extension cords with multiple sockets. Although these cords are obviously designed to power six cables, I can barely squeeze in three, since most electronic equipment nowadays seems to sport absurdly large plugs. This reminds me of some very inconsiderate folks one so often encounters on the subway.


Adding to the insult: those Frankencables are immorally expensive. I have a habit of losing power adapters when traveling, and spend a small fortune on replacements. When I close my eyes, I can see Mr. Radio and Mrs. Shack living on an island made of solid gold.


I don’t want to complain, though — I am just a designer.

A couple of years back, I tried unsuccessfully to hook up an old drum machine to an electric keyboard. This gave me a glimpse into the terrifying universe of cables that musicians and audiophiles have to deal with.


I am aware that I could reduce the number of cables in my life if I took advantage of all the advancements in wireless technology. The problem: if it’s not attached to a cable, I will lose it.

If my 24-inch computer screen wasn’t connected to the wall with a power cable, it would disappear among the sofa pillows one day.


The most venomous of all cables are headphones. The combination of thin wires and stubborn earplug hooks is an endless source of gordian frustration (notably amplified when combined with seat belts on an airplane).


The true malice of headphones, however, is revealed when they are allowed to mingle with other cables.

Last year, as my family was packing up for our big move from New York, I was stunned at the number of cables I had amassed over the years. I had stuffed them all into a huge box, and was now confronted with one solid knot.


Upon our arrival in Berlin, I realized that there were some extremely important cables woven into miles of headphones and other junk. Untangling this mess was impossible, unless I cut some evil $3 headphones. Then I realized that a crucial cellphone charger had an identically thin black cable: a situation that required steady hands and a bold heart.


The storage issue has been resolved: In a dark corner of our basement I have attached to the wall an eight-foot plank spiked with long nails, and all my cables now hang untangled in neat lines.

I sometimes sneak down there and wallow in memories of battles past.


I am sure that a generation from now, all our hassles with cables will be long forgotten. But I pledge to keep history alive, and look forward to telling my grandkids stories of SCSI cables, unpolarized NEMA 1-15 sockets and DVI plugs.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Lake Tapps Eagles


 
Read caption below each photo 
     

                             The fellow sitting on the tailgate of his pickup truck never realized the show he was missing.
                                                                              (620 mm effective Focal Length)

 
 
   

                                          The little duck watches as the Eagle speeds straight at him at about 40 mph.
                                                                           (760 mm effective Focal Length)

   

         With perfect timing, the duck always dove and escaped with a mighty splash!  
  Then he'd pop to the surface as soon as the Eagle flew past..  This was repeated over and over
for several minutes.   I worried the poor duck would tire and that would be the end of him.
                                                                         (1,040 mm effective Focal Length)


   

       A second Eagle joins the attack!   The duck kept diving "just in time", so the Eagles began to dive
into the water after him!
                                                                         (1,150 mm effective Focal Length)

   

           After several minutes the Eagles got frustrated and began to attack each other.  
They soon began to dive vertically,level out, and attack head-on in a good old-fashioned game
of high-speed "Chicken".  Sometimes they banked away from each other at the last possible second.
  Other times they'd climb vertically and tear into each other while falling back toward the water.  
 (The duck catches his breath at the right side of this picture.)
                                                                    (900 mm effective Focal Length)


   

        A terrible miscalculation! The luckiest shot of my life catches this 100 mph head-on collision between
                      two Bald Eagles.
                                                                         (1,320 mm effective Focal Length)


   

                                  One Eagle stayed aloft and flew away, but the other lies motionless in a crumpled heap.
                                                                 The lucky duck survived to live another day.
                                                                         (486 mm effective Focal Length)


   

               It's sad to watch an Eagle drown.  He wiggled, flapped and struggled mostly underwater.  
He finally got his head above water and with great difficulty managed to get airborne.  
 To my astonishment, he flew straight toward me, and it was the most wretched and unstable
bird flight I've ever seen!
                                                                (620 mm effective Focal Length)


   

    The bedraggled Eagle circled me once - then lit atop a nearby fir tree.  
He had a six-foot wingspread and looked mighty angry.
    I was concerned that I might be his next target, but he was so exhausted he just stared at me.  
Then I wondered if he would topple   to the ground.  As he tried to dry his feathers,
it seemed to me that this beleaguered Eagle symbolized America in its current trials.
                                                                             (1,200 mm effective Focal Length)


   

    My half-hour wait was rewarded with this marvelous sight.   He flew away, almost good as new.    
May America recover as well.
                                                                            (1,400 mm effective Focal Length)

 


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The Power of Color



 
Color can make you feel good or feel sick. It can tire you 
or increase your productivity. Color is perceived 
differently depending on your age, mood and mental health. 
Savvy packaging designers use color to suggest product 
attributes, such as cleanliness, flavor and freshness, and 
global marketers tread carefully around cultural color 
biases. 

How well do you understand color's influence? Answer these 
questions...

1. Among adults, what color is liked worldwide?

Yellow

Green

Blue

Gray

2. What color is the first to disappear from a child's 
crayon box?

Green

Yellow

Blue

Red

3. What food color is most popular among adults in Western 
nations?

Brown

Red

Yellow

Green

4. What color car is outlawed by Brazil and Ecuador because 
of its high incidence of traffic accidents? 

Black

Red

White

Brown

5. What color goes by 100 different names in the Eskimo 
language?

Gray

White

Black

Blue

6. What color puts people in a bad mood if looked at too 
long?

Green

Red

Yellow

Orange

7. On signs, which color combination is the most visible?

Black type on white

White type on black

White type on red

Black type on yellow

8. For printed materials, which combination is the most 
legible?

Black type on white

White type on black

White type on red

Black type on yellow

9. What color has a calming effect on people?

Blue

Green

Pink

White

10. What color helps children score higher on tests?

Yellow

Green

Pink

Blue

11. What color is the most restful on the eyes?

Purple

Green

Gray

Blue

12. Which color is very popular for cleaning products?

Yellow

Red

White

Blue

ANSWERS

1. Blue. According to several studies, adults worldwide 
prefer blue, followed by red, green, purple, yellow and 
orange. Nearly 50% of those queried in a survey by the 
American Roper Organization named blue as their favorite 
color, followed by red.

2. Red. Children universally favor red. A physiologically 
energizing color, red stimulates and excites. 

3. Brown. Adults in Western nations find brown particularly 
appetizing because it is associated with savory meats, 
breads and sauces. Blue is the least appetizing, since 
virtually no natural foods (except blueberries) are that 
color.  

4. Red. Although insurance records from many countries show 
that red cars are involved in a higher incidence of traffic 
accidents, Brazil and Ecuador are the only countries to 
forbid individuals from driving them. Optically, red 
advances, creating the impression that red objects are 
closer than they are. Red also physiologically gets the 
adrenaline pumping, so accident-prone red cars may say more 
about their drivers than their visibility on the road. 

5. White. To help them describe the nuances of ice and 
snow, Arctic Eskimos have more than 100 words for white. 

6. Yellow. Yellow, especially bright lemon-yellow, is the 
most luminous color in the spectrum and, hence, the most 
fatiguing color if viewed for long periods of time. 
(Conversely, it's the most cheerful if seen at a glance.) 
Anecdotal studies have shown that couples fight more in 
lemon-yellow kitchens and babies cry more in lemon-yellow 
rooms. On the other hand, bright yellow makes school buses 
very visible. 

7. Black type on a yellow background. The strong color 
contrast and the fact that yellow is the most luminous 
color in the spectrum make this combination ideal for 
warning signs. But since yellow tires the eyes, just a 
little goes a long way. 

8. Black type on a white background. It is easy to read and 
not as tiring on the eyes as yellow. The least legible 
combination is red type on a blue background. 

9. Pink. Interestingly, while red is the most energizing 
color, pink has a calming, sedating effect. The California 
children's probation department found that violent children 
have fewer outbursts when placed in pink rooms. Many 
hospitals and correctional institutions have painted rooms 
pink for the same reason.

10. Blue. Through color experiments, researchers have found 
that children tested in rooms with blue ceilings tend to 
score as many as 12 points higher on IQ tests.

11.  Green. This is the most restful color. Green has risen 
in popularity as people have become more ecology minded.

12. Blue. Blue is popular for cleaning fluids from 
detergent to beauty cleansers because it suggests hygiene 
and coolness. 

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Amazing Tree in Africa A CARVER'S DELIGHT

Looks normal from a distance.....well, kinda stubby!
 


But,...look at 'this' as you get closer!!!!!!  ---Scroll down....



Wow! Whatever you can imagine....some artist can carve......





Here's some close-up pics....

















It amazes me how someone can actually carve and sculpture like this and not kill (girdle) the tree!!!!!...

 

See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Excessive Celebration Fail

Be Sure to Hang Around til the end . . .
 
 

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Geneva Auto Show Highlights


Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe. Nice!



Created in celebration of Infiniti's 20th anniversary as Nissan's luxury brand, the Essence is a showcase for future technologies that could make their way into production cars as soon as next year. When it was introduced, it was one of the few new models that actually elicited hearty applause from the hype-weary media corps.




The Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce was another of the six-figure supercars displayed. The Geneva show has regularly showcased automakers' most elite offerings, a trend that continued in 2009 despite a glut of grim industry news in recent weeks.
Unintentionally odd was the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE. Its cartoonish smiley face grille bears an uncanny resemblance to a en.



The Frazer-Nash Namir, a hybrid supercar styled by Giugiaro, was one of a handful of high-powered vehicles that acknowledged a possible shift toward more sustainable forms of mobility.




If Chrysler lives long enough to pursue its alliance with Fiat, the 500C could be among the cars that are brought to America




Fiat 500 Cabriolet



The Aston Martin One-77 was one of several sexy and souped-up new sports cars on display


The Aston Martin V12 Vantage.



Unintentionally odd was the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE. Its cartoonish smiley face grille bears an uncanny resemblance to a "Cars" movie character, Lightning McQueen.







The most powerful Bentley ever is the new Continental Supersports coupe, which was officially revealed at the Geneva auto show Tuesday. But this "blower Bentley" comes with a twist: it runs on biofuel.




See and download the full gallery on posterous

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

National Geographic BEST pictures for the year.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Some laughs










New Message Pads

























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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cost Concerns

Beer & Estrogen ?