Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Doing my Part

This is called putting yourself out there. Making public an idea that pre-blogging would have been kept a carefully guarded secret. Well, not so secret, but definitely carefully kept. However, there's no commitment like a public commitment so here goes.

The price of gas: $1.259 or 125.9c (what's with the .9!! - do they really thing we're fooled by the .9 thing now that we're into those kind of numbers?); kilometers I put on my car driving to/from/between work: 90% of total (or pull some other number out of the air); number of days per week I might be able to do without a car at work: 2.

The idea: see if I can make it to work and back sans car at least 1 day per week. How? Get a ride with Ross or other work colleague who drives close by/walk. Why? It seems like the right thing to do. Or as Scott would say "Why not"? When? Starting soon. I think.

More on OLPC

Pictures, specs and descriptions of the One Laptop Per Child initiative I blogged about recently:

The GUI looks very interesting - and as he describes - it took him a while to get used to the 'simplicity'. The name of the GUI is currently called Sugar.
This is a phenomenal project - I'm not sure if it will change the world but if it lives up to its potential it definitely will change the way we compute.

And then there are the videos.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Balloon Inflation - the video

Up, Up and Away

Hasn't everyone always wanted to go for a Hot Air Balloon ride? There's something kind of romantic about it . However, if I'd known about the "hour after sunrise" (6:3o!) that we had to start I might not have been so eager to purchase this at last year's dream auction.

Here's some pictures for you to vicariously enjoy our trip.
First out of the truck comes the wicker basket. That's supposed to hold all of us?

Balloon starts inflating with the help of a fan (and Ross).

After a gentle liftoff we get a bird's-eye view of Vernon. Google Earth was never this good.

Right over the entire length of Swan Lake.

Remember the gentle liftoff. Not quite the same for the landing. We touched down behind a locked gate in an industrial area and the balloon had to be carried over a gulley or two to a safe, convenient spot for dismantling. At one point, Ross was piloting the balloon as the operator had to get out to help guide it and it seemed a bit out of control for a moment or two. After I got out, they brought the balloon onto its side and Ross just stepped out of the basket.Champagne, strawberries, mini-muffins finished off with a ritual to the sun. A great way to start the day. I guess.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Statistics in Art

Statistics can often be mundane and it's often a challenge to make teaching them interesting and exciting.

Here are some graphical images inspired by statistics that make a comment on some aspect of today's (US) society.

"Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on."

Chris Jordan is the artist.

Make a call anywhere in the world - happy mother's day

I started using Skype about a year and a half ago but it seems like so many more people are using Skype these days. Now Skype has just announced:

"This Mother's Day, call any phone, anywhere in the world for free."

How can you beat that? And you don't have to just call your mom you can call anyone!

[Although I'm sure mom would appreciate the call.]

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