Internet Groupware for Scientific Collaboration / Draft #3 by Jon Udell. yes, yes, yes! Dave, thanks for the pointer to this!

9 PM PDT It is raining!! Yea! It won’t last long but the cat came in damp and disgruntled and I can smell the wet sage. (Two empirical observations from which I can deduce rain.) Ahhhh.

[James at On Deciding … Better] After an interesting discussion about the ideological wars between Frequentists vs Baysians. (more …)

No rain to speak of today, at least in the NW part of town where I live and work. Audrey has to travel down south to the vicinity of the airport for her job where they apparently did get some rain. After 7 am it continued to get darker in the south while it dissipated in the north part of the valley. So the thunder was an empty promise and we ended up with no rain at the house. Bah.

Lots of good stories out there today, better commented on by a large number of the folks over there to the left. I’m able to read weblogs at work (a little) when I decide to take a break, but we’ve got so much to get done I don’t really want to take the time. I actually don’t want to be distracted by the web at work. Hmm, a part of me is amazed to see that because I am really enamored with the web. I guess I like archaeology more than even I realize sometimes.

** time out for work **

[Reuters] Pacific mood swings longer, deeper than thought. The Pacific is not only the world’s largest and deepest ocean but has mood swings that can last up to 70 years, according to research published on Tuesday. The phenomenon, known as Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) could provide clues that will help scientists better predict the Earth’s climate, said NASA oceanographer Yi Chao. Taking the pulse of the planetary mood … I’m reminded of Liet-Kynes, the half-Fremen planetary ecologist on Arrakis from Dune.

6:50 PDT THUNDER! YES!! We haven’t had rain for over 110 days, it’s time. Some context: we don’t get much rain in a year in the Mojave, less than 3 inches (about 10 cm).

via Rafé at Daily I learned that “The beta of, an online retail site created by a coalition of independent booksellers is now online. If you’re one of those people who hate because they’re killing off the indie bookstores, now you can order online.”

via garret I learned about “common dreams, breaking news and views for progressives.” Depending on your outlook, I suspect you will either be attracted or not.

Science Fiction Weekly Interview: “Actor Robert Beltran is refreshingly honest when it comes to Star Trek: Voyager. Stick a fork in it Braga, it’s done.” (Braga is the the producer of the Star Trek franchise.) I used to love Star Trek. I mean really love it. This was ten years ago when Star Trek: The Next Generation was the only other Trek out there. I used to go to conventions and had autographed pictures of the cast. I still have the autographed copies of the Peter David novelizations. Perhaps it was a Roddenberry thing that dissipated soon after he died, anyway I didn’t care about the story on Deep Space Nine and Voyager didn’t interest me at all. I joked that I had ‘got a life’. Then in the second season of Babylon 5 I awoke to that story and was rabid about that series. TV Science Fiction hasn’t caught me up since except for the X-Files which doesn’t quite feel like Science-Fiction to me.

There was a time ˆ the first couple of seasons of Beauty and the Beast, the second and third season of Babylon 5, the second through fourth season of Next Generation ˆ that my leisure time was filled with those stories and the characters. I’ve tried to give Farscape a chance as well as several other series, but in my view the stories just aren’t there. I’m ripe for a good tale to sweep me away for an hour a week. But its got to have the writing and compelling characters you care about, not just a setting with some actors that have french fries on their noses. original link to this story from Angus at Latté.

There are multi-layered clouds this morning, though it still fells muggy. Perhaps we’ll end our record breaking interval between rains today.

attention (economy)

Hi and hello!

I’ve been reading and re-reading an interview in the German c’t with Michael Goldhaber on his therory about “Attention Economy”.

His thoughts fit 100% into the discussion about writing a weblog.

I’ll try to put into a few words the most memorable thoughts that I found in his words:

  • Money is no longer our main goal in doing things
  • What really counts for us is to be recognized, to be heard.
  • The new economy will not center on money, but on reputation, readership, credibility, etc.

This all ties in very well with FreeSoft/OpenSource and of course – WebLogs. The Hyperlink as sign of respect – and as form of payment?

‘To make yourself a name’. Isn’t that a great part of what our community here is about?

I for my part will openly embrace this new economy. It is far closer to what humans actually need and want.

Ok, and to keep in spirit with my words, come over to my place 😉

compatibility and popularity …

sometimes intertwined!

but seriously. i made a promise to myself that if my readership was below my membership consistently for a week or so, i would stop. i guess it’s a personal choice; i find what i write such a catharsis at times, i’m loath to give it up.

it has been a very slow week, however, even over at array. don’t get discouraged. always check other dg hit counts before beating yourself. you can also install your own ‘hit counter’ software so you can check referrer logs and such, to see where people come from (

as for designing cross-browser, latest stats show ie 5 has 86% saturation nationwide; on array, it’s even higher. what surprises me is the mac vs. windows statistics … it’s about even, whereas for other general sites i do, mac is about 17%. i get complaints about the site from time to time, and i can guarantee they’re on netscape. at the present time, they’re 4% of my audience … i have made a conscious decision to deprecate full netscape compatibility.

as with life, you can’t make all of the people happy all of the time, nor should you try.

blivet on the 4th of July – American Independence

A lone voice in the View from an Iowa Homestead wilderness cries out: “The Metadata Plugin gets sorting and formatting support for the showrelated() macro. In plain English, this means that it’s trivial for me to show the last 20 updated pages for any section of my site. Or to sort pages that have the same keyword(s) as this page alphabetically by title.”

224 years ago: The Declaration of Independence

I ask yet again for the indulgence of all non-American readers for our national propensity to celebrate our own origin epic. To quote a thousand ethnographies: “Why do we do this? It is the way of my people.”

Please supervise your children with fireworks, swimming pools, and other bodies of water. The tradition of firework related injuries and maiming, drowning, and alcohol related deaths associated with the 4th is one that need not be maintained.

Alwin Goes To Hollywood. Go for it Al!


[Zeldman] Astounding Websites

Matt at Once I noticed I was on fire … has got a handle on how rough it is being a visionary savior nowadays. I mean, I can’t explain the stress that comes from making vague predictions and finding acolytes willing to polish the jewel-encrusted blivetmobile in these Nevada summers.

[Reuters] Naked cricketers caught out by British police

[UniSci] History Of Constipation Highlights Medical Exploitation.

“Right now we think bran is good for us because of what scientists are telling us,” he [the author Whorton] says. “If you are eating bran today you can understand why people in the early 20th century reacted the way they did under a barrage of advertising about constipation and autointoxication.”

Whorton focuses on constipation in the United States and Great Britain in the late 19th and first half of the 20th century because the literature was more accessible and because the two countries were rivals at claiming to be the most constipated.

It is a serious study, and to me, points out how these arcs of attitudes persist over generations. I remember a great-Aunt who was just obsessed with everyone’s BMs. Mom! Aunt Julia asked me about my #2 again! Make her stop … Kellog’s Corn Flakes was part of a 19th century ideal in certain circles of activating the bowels and suppressing the libido for maximum health. The more you read about it, the more you see the undercurrents and eddies in our present culture.

Still not sure if this is present today? Two words: High Colonic.

[If You’re Interested …] The Challenges of Integrating the Unix and Mac OS Environments. via Cam

EditThisPage friends:

View from an Iowa Homestead: You might be a Dutch Calvinist if: Oh, I think the Swedish variety who administered my youth were amateurs, closer to the Norwegian variety Garrison Keillor talks about than the Dutch. Still, 75% strongly applies. Pretty darn true and funny. I’ve watched relatives leave restaurant tips like that when I was a kid.

Susan points out yet another neat thing about Manila. Thanks!

Hey, all you Manila users! Wanna get a retrospective look at what you’ve been up to with your site this month? Check out your Topics list. (the URL takes this form: But do it today or tomorrow, cause on July 1, the list goes back to nothing!

Later, she added what sounds like a Graduate Student’s lament:

Uh oh, time to go over copyedits for another chapter. In addition to lots of whimpering, it’s gonna take chocolate and whiskey and profuse foul language to get me through this process. What I want to do is to throw glass objects–hard–against solid surfaces, and listen to the crash-tinkle-tinkle.

John has an excellent list of people who are using weblogs to teach, points to Geoff Allen at Washington State who is teaching UNIX System Administration and using a weblog.

Having recently been through the fires in New Mexico around and at Los Alamos, plus with Brent and Sheila in Seattle, garret noticed a story about the current fire near the Hanford Nuclear Facility. What’s in common? Mr. Plutonium, who is not your friend, coming downstream. So, where’s the next fire … Rocky Flats (Colorado) or the Nevada Test Site? Either way it’s my In-Laws or us. On another completely tangential note (except that it’s on array too) Similar to garret, I use a reel mower. Its quiet, a bit of a workout, and decidedly not a part of the cul-de-sac ethos…

The Hazard Area Revisited theme looks good Al. Hang in there.


random quote from the I guess i’m just in that kind of mood tonight dept.

Sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice. via Doc

perhaps I’m tuned into the same angst Dave is …

[India Today] Moon Mission: “In a bid to emerge as a global space power India plans an ambitious lunar launch that will boost its technological capability and ignite popular imagination.” I’m not sure about imagination, but they certainly got my attention. One thing that occurs to me off the top of my head … if India really want to get involved in space travel, I understand some folks are building a Space Station. You could always lend a hand with that instead of doing the ‘India lands on the Moon’ thing. Just a thought. I was led to this story by that demon slashdot.

more from Susan

Why I write in this weblog:

  • I can say something in a few short paragraphs and immediately publish it. (computer books = toil for long time before it sees the light of day)
  • I do a little writing daily. Naturally some days are better than others. But the dailiness of it is important.
  • I get to build a new audience. If you are reading this and you’re not a Brycer, then I’ve succeeded at expanding my “audience” beyond people who use Bryce.

Nicely stated! I don’t write computer books but the whole notion of connecting with other people and writing daily I really like.

[Wherein John VanDyk reveals himself as a hero of mine] John at VFIH talks about story time at Vacation Bible School. It sounds like you’re good at it John. It gets me to thinking how these stories tie us together as a group, because we know the same stories. The Lost Sheep, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Loaves and Fishes, Krishna and the Milkmaids, Draupadi’s hair (I may have misspelled her name from The Mahabarata), the endless variations on the Chinese master of something or other and the ferryman/wandering mendicant/hermit, Hansel and Gretel, Coyote. Here in the US (which probably should read white middle-class Protestant Midwest since that is from whence I spring) many of those stories come from the Old and New Testament, but there also the one’s that are decidedly secular. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, John Henry, Johnny Appleseed. Stories of a country in its adolescence and the Industrial Age. I’m not sure that losing some of the ‘triumph over nature’ stories is bad, what I am concerned about is that we’re not replacing the stories we used to tell our children with anything more than stories concocted by the marketplace to sell them crap. I’m sorry, I meant to say worthless crap that can, if unchecked, make them into mindless consumers who harbor the notion that even though the last worthless crap they bought in attempt to fill the void in their soul with material goods (sense objects) didn’t work, this new one will. Perhaps you should use your credit card since its rather expensive. The simple act of telling stories that matter to our children (that’s the encompassing “Our”) can make all the difference in letting them know that they’re part of a larger whole, that they’re part of US and that we, in turn, are part of THEM. We belong to each other. You’re a hero John.

I’m through venting – thanks for listening

[Books Unlimited] 21st century family values. “Infidelity, divorce, stepchildren… is marriage doomed in the 21st century, asks leading American writer Jane Smiley. Or could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?” Thought provoking. thanks for the link garret.

Susan is looking forward to giving her niece A Wrinkle In Time. You’re a good Aunt Susan! She also mentions what I’ve always thought was obvious – if you’re a reader, you never can have too many books!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will be released in: [Macro error: Can’t call the script because the name “editThisPageSuite” hasn’t been defined.]

Sorry about the lack of updates, sometimes the non-weblog world intrudes…

meanwhile there’s lots of things to see out there in weblog land. In no particular order and partially ’cause I want to se the icons:

Scripting News


Andrea |

Archipelago |
Dori and Tom |
David |
John |
Dave |

If I forgot anyone, I apologize


I’ll see you all tomorrow. I’m actually going to walk away from the computer and histograms, contingency tables and who knows what else, and go recreate, be social, and talk to people face to face. I don’t know if you remember the Far Side cartoon of ‘Early vegetarians returning from the hunt’ with a group of spear brandishing hunters bearing a giant carrot on their shoulders into camp. No? Anyway, I’m going to head to Boulder City where Kelly & EG live and rendezvous with a bunch of other Archaes, grad students of the geological and archaeological persuasion, Bluegrass fans, Dead Heads, Buddhists, Pagans, lapsed Catholics, and probably a few who are pretty normal, and we’re going to barbecue, talk, laugh, and have a great time I’m sure. I’ll be the one dragging the giant carrot. OK … just walk away from the computer … NOW

He who hesitates is lost. The last time I did a whois and checked on and, they were still available. Today I see that MailBank is sitting on those as well.

Thanks Jeff, I just wanted to be sure … I’m constantly reminded with how easy-going folks are in the weblog community It is a group thing …

You can get a lot of thinking done behind the wheel. garret begins that process of recovering those thoughts and insights and lets us in on a couple of things that he wants to share. Good stuff, thanks …

… how can a metropolitan area retain local flavor and accommodate national chains? is there a way to make high-speed rail service more cost-effective, to eliminate the overabundance of truck traffic on the interstates? the noise in metropolitan areas! my ears ring. on and on … the mind percolates. there has to be a way to modernize, to approach our future with enthusiasm, but with space for the aesthetic, the human, the child.

many things crossed my path. it’d take me a year to get ’em all sorted and in logical order for presentation. my grandmother gave some tennessee down-home wisdom for keeping bugs off of plants …

Matt reminds me of some things about Cope and Marsh I had forgotten, the gun battles and back stabbing treachery — over fossils. I’m looking for a good general text on Paleontology now. I smell a story being written … What we have around the blivet hacienda is dated: Principles of Paleontology by Raup and Stanley (Freeman 1978), The Practical Paleontologist by Parker (Bernor, editor) (Simon & Schuster 1990), Fossils and the History of Life by Simpson (Scientific American Books 1983) and lots of popular books by Horner, Bakker, Lessem, and others. For the more current stuff there’s the class notes and journal articles, in boxes, filing cabinets, milk crates, and stacks and stacks and stacks. It seems a personal quest, to exemplify a career studying stratigraphy by creating one of your career … God help us when we move. Oh sweet Mother, I forgot about the stuff in the garage. Matt, I’ll have to look further (farther?) for a good text …

I noticed pointers to some good resources at G E N E H A C K:weblog:

A couple bibliography related links, jake, a database of journal names and abbreviations, and dblp, a bibliography database resource. Both culled from recent discussions on the Pybliographer mailing list.

Reading up on Manila and trying things out …


David at Montana News Daily:

My father drank Johnny Walker. Red or Black, depending on his passing income. Straight, no ice, no water, straight as the scotch taking him to his heaven.

When he was dying, when I was twelve, I listened to my father’s heart. The rhythm went bump, bump, _____, _____, bump. I still hear those missing beats.

Wow, thats powerful imagery David. Thanks for that.

John VanDyk of View from an Iowa Homestead:

Communication is difficult. Perhaps my reality is so bizarre that others can’t link to the analogies I use to describe my ideas. Anyway, it’s disheartening to make what you consider a brilliant and lucid point, only to be met by blank stares (except Tina, to her credit, who has been married to me long enough to understand!).

John’s dilemma is well understood in these parts (blivet-land). He’s describing how his congregation is working on their worship and where they feel their direction as a body of believers is going. In a congregation there can be a wide variety of personalities and positions which can hamper the communication. Even in a group that you would think would have a great deal in common say a group of … Archaeologists (or Entomologists) it seems like communication is a scarce commodity. Sadly, I’ve given up on having a real exchange of ideas, I’m satisfied if I’m not grossly misunderstood. I try to lead with my mind and heart equally engaged and present and then listen very carefully. I wish I could say that I counted on the same thing in return. My grandmother once told me there are two kinds of people, those that listen and those that wait to talk. I suspect you are a good listener and expect others to be the same way. They may be filled with their own dialog and are just waiting to talk again and don’t hear you. At least you’re dealing with a community founded on compassion, love, and caring. Good luck John.

I posted a picture of my Dad for those of you who might be interested. I’ve talked about him a lot. I keep thinking about the movie Field of Dreams … I think seeing that movie was the first time I thought about my Dad as a young man and what he must have been like then …

Lots of guys remembering certain older men today. Al, a father himself, points to Over 30:

As I left the barbershop today, tears of remembrance filled my eyes. It was not the middle aged me walking out of the door but my eight-year-old self, holding the hand of my grandfather and nursing the stick candy the barber had handed me. I heard the faint voice of the barber as we exited, “Fine young man you’ve got there Arthur”. I felt the extra squeeze on my held hand at these words.

Happy Father’s Day, Grandpa.

Scripting News: “Each top-level item now has its own URL. The blue arrow points to that URL. So if you want to point to part of a given day’s Scripting News, click on the arrow, copy the URL and paste it into your Web page or email.” Black dots, blue arrows – whatever.

EditThisPage friends:

Happy Birthday to Sheila and Andrea!

Rafe at Daily: ”
SANS has a list of the top ten security holes on the Web.”

array: “our last day on the east coast. we begin the return trip early tomorrow morning. the choice of routes is still undecided, but the pull of ‘just being home’ is getting stronger." There comes a point when the need for the sensation of motion just becomes overpowering and its time to get going … Good road to you two.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad

This day is for all of us who are Father, Dad, Papa, Pater, Daddy, or have someone who fits that description in your life. Remember to be an active part of your child’s life if you are a Father or your own Father’s life if he is still alive. Its never too late to start. postscript: In today’s dead tree edition of the Sunday newspaper Kathleen Parker, a columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, asked if it was “Time to end Father’s Day?” because of the general bad performance of Dads out there. I must live under a rock. Is it that bad ‘out there’?


Joel on Software: “Whaddaya mean, you can’t find programmers?”

Silence from Susan at 2020 Hindsight: ”
I’ve been thinking of silent retreats as a way to encounter one’s internal chatter.” That sounds great Susan!

[Scripting News] The baby eagle story: “There was a baby eagle living in a nest perched on a cliff overlooking a beautiful valley with waterfalls and streams, trees and lots of little animals, scurrying about enjoying their lives.” That’s a timeless story Dave. Thanks!

John VanDyk at View from an Iowa Homestead: “I mentioned [to Bob Bierman] that I had PostgreSQL and Frontier talking to each other, he asked me to write up a how-to. So I did.” A good useful, succinct how-to. Thanks John! John has a lot of fantastic things going on in Iowa, family, career, faith, garden, the homestead, they’re going to do home schooling, listens to Greg Brown, fan of Buckaroo Banzai – on top of that he codes . He’s written a Frontier plugin for metadata. And he sleeps … when? A great weblog, I read it daily. I haven’t mentioned it because … I don’t know why. Go visit – I think you’ll like it.

It was hot out there in southern Nevada today. I’m a little off the mark … need electrolytes … air conditioning ….

[Mac users] A new version of FinderPop (1.8.9) is out.

[Reuters] For Neanderthals, life was a meaty problem. Neanderthals feasted on meat, meat and more meat, researchers said on Monday in a report that adds to a growing body of evidence that they were skilled hunters and not the grunting, witless cave men they are often portrayed as.


David Rogers at Time’s Shadow: The Next Economy reminds us of something that I think is easy to forget as we listen to the murmurings about economies old, new, and next – especially in an election year… “I agree that government often does make mistakes, but government, at least in this nation, is ultimately accountable to the people. Corporations are accountable only to their stockholders, ironically, under the law.” he’s also reading Vernor Vinge, who I haven’t picked up in a while (when was the last time I did some recreational reading…?) and even read the last essay. Thanks for the link David! I must read your site more often (and contribute to the discussion too). Too much on my plate. Smaller helpings, smaller helpings.

Al has some good pointers to information about post-concussion syndrome and sleep apnea. Two things that we’ve been dealing with this year, without adequate knowledge. Well, what must be sleep apnea for longer than that. Let see “Dry mouth. Drowsiness through the day. Feeling “drugged” after what should have been a long, restful night of sleep.” 22 years?!? I’m checking with our ‘health care providers’ tomorrow about sleep disorders. Thanks again Al! You’ve taught me a great deal about helping in a short time. gassho

array: “we got here (east coast) in a record two and a half days” garret’s on the road and I suspect a bit worn… Its good to hear from him though.

Thanks Susan!