blivet – 8/21/2001

Was there Life before air conditioning? Apparently not…

I should have noted this before. The prolific (and yes, delightful) writings of Matthew Rossi can now be found at Libris Ex Machina.

Craig has returned from his sojourn to California and Booknotes is back in high gear. nice to have you back, Craig

I realize this will concern few reading this, but Andreas Plesch, Ph.D. has released Geologic Map Patterns for Canvas® and Illustrator® based on the USGS’s proposed symbology standards in Open File Report 99-430. Thanks Dr. Plesch, these are perfect! via the map-mac list

Good morning. I hope you’re more alert than I am. mumble, … mutter

blivet – 6/17/2001 Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers and grandfathers out there.

It is also Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. via Jeff

Congratulations to Olov Schedin and girlfriend Sara on the birth of another daughter! Olov is Jonas Beckman‘s business partner.

I have this mental image of a very determined garret on his knees in the corner of the yard with a pair of scissors. A trail of light industrial flotsam and jetsam (come apart grass clippers, broken electric trimmer, dull reel mower) leads back to the garage. cut to: <sandra in the doorway> garret, the lawn can wait… <garret> No, it’s become a matter of principle! <scissor noises> snip, snip, <garret mutters> going camping next weekend <fade scissor sounds> I hope today’s hike is bug-free.

Pictures of Ireland from André’s trip.

Sense objects.

upcoming: 7/20 at the las vegas house of blues :: warren zevon

I’m trying to find a certain photograph of my Dad to scan and post…
I never located that particular picture album pfffbbbt!

Audrey is gone to Boulder, Colorado for a week to take a short course in Hyperspectral Imaging and Data Analysis using ENVI software at The Center for the Study of the Earth from Space. The course is offered cooperatively by CSES, Analytical Imaging and Geophysics (AIG), and Analytical Spectral Devices (ASD) at CSES facilities in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been using the software quite successfully for over a year, along with ERDAS Imagine and ESRI Arc GIS. The instructors are the people who wrote the software, so I bet she will come back able to make ENVI jump through hoops.

She is going to stay with her parents in northern Denver and commute to Boulder, then spend the weekend with them before returning to Las Vegas. I’m going to miss her terribly… sigh But, I have things to do…

I’ll leave you with this from Daily Zen:

Every day priests minutely

Examine the Dharma

And endlessly chant

Complicated sutras.

Before doing that, though,

They should learn

How to read the love letters

Sent by the wind and rain,

The snow and moon.

– Ikkyu (1394-1491)


[UniSci] Proof that scientists can be entertaining and informative.

Of Hawaii, Birds, Evolution And Poetry In Science. Several million years ago, when Kaua`i was the youngest island in the Hawaiian archipelago, and Pele made her home in the caldera atop Mount Waialeale, a small flock of finches made landfall somewhere in the Hawaiian Islands, exhausted from their trans-Pacific journey. Perhaps they had been blown off-course by a hurricane.

(Editor’s Note: Thus begins the current Eruption Update by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The Update is often preceded by informative science notes. In this case, those notes rise to the level of poetry.)

Here’s a bunch of stuff about the Mesa Verde fire and other things archaeological via SWA’s Got CALICHE? newsletter. This years Pecos Conference is being hosted by Mesa Verde in three weeks. It remains to be seen if an alternate location will be necessary. The Southwest Archaeology (SWA) web site will be kept updated.

Durango Herald Northeast of Hovenweep National Monument, a fire is moving to the west and into the newly-designated Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. The National Historic Preservation Act prevents firefighters from using bulldozers in archaeological sensitive areas.

Durango Herald Local businesses have braced for hard times. Attendance at the park dropped by thousands in 1993, when the hantavirus was discovered nearby in New Mexico and Arizona, and in 1998 following a massive manhunt. Attendance also dipped in 1996, the year of another major fire at the park.

ABC News Archaeologists are marking the ruins with color-coded flags that denote new sites. After the fire is out, they will survey and research the area.

Durango Herald Protecting the park’s sites continues to be a high priority. A line may be drawn, literally, by bulldozers if flames threaten the park’s cultural resource center, which houses thousands of artifacts. The biggest threat posed to the world-famous cliff dwellings is denuded area created afterward on the mesas above. Scorched soil repels rainwater, which then runs down the cliff face and into the alcoves.

Inside Denver Scientists hope the new sites revealed this year will solve the great mystery of Mesa Verde and the Anasazi. Were there pull factors as well as push factors – were they pulled to a greater attraction or better opportunity – new religious ideas to the south and east? Did they lose their source of protein? Why did the ancient people suddenly disappear from the Four Corners area, and under what circumstances did they possibly turn to cannibalism? The notion of Anasazi cannibalism is very controversial to both the Native American groups who are the descendants of the Ancestral Puebloans and archaeologists.

array – lots of linkage to musings on the culture of the West – especially American culture over at garret‘s. These lead, of course, to further musings about bread and circuses … Far too many to link to individually, go have a peek.

Good morning. Its a mid-morning page flip.

blivet 4/16/2000 What does your heart tell you?

What does your heart tell you?

23:15 -0700 GMT

Lots of folks (NY Times is perhaps the most prominent) are wondering if tomorrow will be a repeat of 1987’s ‘Black Monday’, when the collective of investors decided that the bull market was over and sold. It doesn’t have to be, but the adrenaline-soaked, compulsive gambler behavior of the investment community probably dooms it. Thats sad really, because its just an attitude – is the glass half empty or half full? The glass hasn’t changed at all. What makes the flag wave Master? Your mind. Or to update it for popular culture: There is no spoon.

10:10 -0700 GMT

We’re in a big quandary at the blivet hacienda. My wife really needs to be able to run some PC specific software (GIS and Remote Sensing) and the aging Packard-Bell we got as a hand me down from her parents just isn’t getting the job done. Not enough RAM (32), not enough processor (P-90), not enough monitor (14″), not enough video (16 bit), not enough hard disk (?), not enough OS (Win 3.1!). She needs to run ARCView and IDRISI, which don’t have Mac versions anymore. So the real quandary is, do we get a PC clone or put Virtual PC on the Graphite iMac DV SE and hope for compatibility. The iMac has 128 megs of RAM, a 13 Gig hard drive, and a 400 MHz G3 which as I understand it, would emulate a low end P-II. But all those lingering issues about compatibility rear their heads. Art Busby (Mac geosciences software list, Vert. Paleo. & Computer Applications in the Earth Sciences) and I exchanged emails and his experience is positive using VPC on the lab G3s at TCU. So, what to do, what to do. My thoughts are if get a machine that would run these programs well (fast P-III, 256 Megs of ram, Win2000, 50+ Gig hd, 19″ or bigger monitor, ZIP, NIC card, …) we’re looking at some coin. And if we go for cheaper, it won’t have the cahoñes to rock and roll in real time any better than the emulation. Besides, if a beige box is destined to come live here, I’d rather it ran Linux thankyouverymuch. Hmm, I may have reasoned myself toward VPC. Anybody have any thoughts or experiences on this? By all means feel free to drop me an email.


Mac Rebennack, also known as Dr. John, has a new album titled Duke Elegance, a tribute to Duke Ellington. [Time]
Dr. John was one of the first musicians I remember listening to after I discovered an FM station, KBEY, which came out of Little Rock, Arkansas. I would listen after I had gone to bed and was supposed to be asleep. But I couldn’t absorb enough of that music I couldn’t find elsewhere. Clive Clifford had a show called Bleaker Street from 11 pm on. This was, I think, 1969, and that show and that music was my assurance that there was intelligent life out there beyond the confines of my small, rural Kansas hometown. The Dr. John song I remember Clifford playing was (I Walk on) Gilded Splinters, I think the album was Gris-Gris;. He played a million other things too.

I remember lying in bed with the Moon shining through the windows, which were open to the spring night breeze. I hung on every note, every lyric, and every word Clive said about the music. Who was on the album, who they used to play with, who their influences were, which he usually played later. Sort of like rock ‘n roll archaeology. The show would open with a Mothers song segment about ‘freak out in Kansas’ that would segue into the last part of Hendrix’s cover of Dylan’s If Six Was Nine. I got baptized into rock ‘n roll that wasn’t AM top 40 and I couldn’t pretend otherwise.. Back then, FM was the domain of classical music and rock ‘n roll that they didn’t play at the swimming pool. It was great. Geeze! I sound like Homer Simpson’s Dad telling ‘why, back in my day’ stories.

WebReview: From Darkroom to Desktop ˜ How Photoshop Came to Light. Thanks to CamWorld. One of the original "Killer Apps", Photoshop was introduced 10 years ago.

Update: Interplanetary Shock Wave Passes Earth. Wow, that sounds dramatic but it happens all the time. The solar flare I noted on the 19th is here. From Space Science News: "February 21, 2000 — An interplanetary wave of ionized gas and magnetic fields passed by Earth on February 20, 2000 at 2100 UT. The shock front was caused by a full halo coronal mass ejection (CME) that erupted from the Sun on February 17, 2000. Geomagnetic activity has increased as a result of the interplanetary wave, but it appears there will be no significant aurora over the lower 48 U.S. states. The NOAA Space Environment Center forecasts a 30% chance of minor geomagnetic storm activity at middle latitudes today, decreasing to only 15% tomorrow. … While this space weather event might not put on much of an auroral show, we could be in store for a dazzling display late this week or next. A large coronal hole is just approaching the Sun’s central meridian. Coronal holes are regions of low magnetic field strength where high speed solar wind particles can escape into interplanetary space. When the energetic wind stream reaches Earth, it can buffet the magnetosphere and trigger aurora. Stay tuned to for this developing story." Its been overcast with drizzle for the last 36 hours here, so there wouldn’t have been any aurora watching anyway. Waaa! Maybe later this week or next.

Warp Core: The latest from John Martellaro. Some good thoughts on migrating to new hardware and peripherals. We’ll have to give up SCSI and AppleTalk soon as well.

USENIX: The Preliminary Program for the 2000 USENIX Annual Technical Conference has been posted. The conference is June 18-23, 2000 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina in San Diego, California, USA. I saw this in the latest Risks Digest.

UniSci: Making the First Single Topographic Map Of The World A project led by Marcus Bursik, Ph.D, associate professor of geology at the University at Buffalo involving the topographic mapper being flown by the space shuttle Endeavor could help to develop a new and far more accurate way to map features of shorelines and aid scientists in determining past and future volcanic and seismic activity in an area. Once the shuttle returns to Earth, Bursik will analyze some of the data to examine the unusual topography surrounding Mono Lake, east of Yosemite National Park in California.

All of my excitement about how wonderful the STS-99 mapping mission isn’t just effusive "isn’t science cool". Scientists are waiting for this data to do their work. Mono is just outside the Mojave Desert, but different data sets from this mission can be used for southern Nevada and on over into eastern California. I’m especially interested in what we might be able to do over in Death Valley and over into the area of Pleistocene Lakes Mojave and Mannix. As you drive from Las Vegas into California on Interstate 15 you cross Lake Mojave (Soda Lake and Silver Playa) at Baker, CA. Lake Mannix was upstream to the southwest. By the way, you’ll pass by the exit to Zzyzx just west of Baker. It is a real place. It used to be sort of a health spa/ "therapy" center in the early decades of the 1900s, it fell into tax arrears and is now part of the University of California System as a Field Research Center. It provides a place to stay for scientists during their field work in that part of the Mojave.