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March 29, 2004

G4G6: Walkalong Glider

This last weekend, I attended the sixth Gathering for Gardner (G4G6) in Atlanta.

Tyler Macready (a son of Paul Macready, the designer of the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross human-powered airplanes) demonstrated his Walkalong Glider.

It's a paper airplane that stays up in the air if only you'll take the trouble of walking behind it with your hands over your head:


The plane hovered about 5 inches over Tyler's hands as he walked down the center of the conference room:

Video (7 second MPG, 700K). Here's another photo.

Posted by tplambeck at 10:28 PM

March 25, 2004

San Jose


On the road to Kamimoto String Instruments.

Posted by tplambeck at 01:35 PM

March 22, 2004

Some French cheeses

This weekend, to the Cheese Vixen's house (who, it turns out, buys from fromages.com, flying in the (unpasteurized) good stuff direct from the home country via FedEx International). The vixen served

Fondant de Brebis
Selles sur Cher, AOC
Crottin de Chavignol
Saint Marcellin
Saint Felicien
Tomme de Savoie
Camembert de Normandie, AOC
Reblochon, AOC
Epoisses de Bourgogne, AOC
Saint-Nectaire, AOC
Comte, AOC
Bleu d'Auvergne, AOC
Roquefort, AOC

Too much cheese? Maybe. Still, it was all tasty, and I was hungry, having skipped most of lunch and dinner.

If my wine-beclouded notes are to be trusted, I liked the Crottin and Saint Fellicien the best. I also faithfully recorded that Saint-Nectaire is a "picnic cheese" that "keeps well," that Comte is the most popular cheese of France, and that whereas Saint Marcellin is readily "available here," Saint Felicien can be "hard to find." Looks like I gave the Camembert three stars too.

The Roquefort was great. I learned it's the King of Cheeses."

Posted by tplambeck at 12:04 AM

March 16, 2004

By the front door



Posted by tplambeck at 10:54 PM

March 14, 2004

Misspelling Britney

This page at Google shows that the three most common misspellings are

1) brittany spears
2) brittney spears
and 3) britany spears.

Posted by tplambeck at 11:48 PM

March 11, 2004


She survived.


Posted by tplambeck at 11:37 PM

San Francisco

Some experiments using an image-stabilized telephoto lens.

It's nice to be able to take pictures of people from far away without their noticing you.




Posted by tplambeck at 03:09 PM

March 03, 2004

Roman Denarii

Cole and I bought two Roman denarii today in a coin shop:


If eBay is to be trusted, the one on the right is from the Roman Empire and depicts Julia Domna:

Wife of Septimius Severus, Julia Domna was one of the most powerful people in the Roman Empire during the period from A.D. 193 to 217. While her emperor husband, Septimius Severus, was fighting rivals, pursuing rebels, and subduing revolts in the far corners of the empire, Julia Domna was left to administer the vast Roman Empire. She proved to be an able administrator, playing one powerful general or senator against another, while keeping herself from falling into the many traps set by political enemies at court...read more

The reverse (which I haven't put up yet) depicts "Felicitas, keeper of friendship and understanding."

On the left, the husband of Juliet Domna, the Emperor Septimius Severus:

An African by birth, Septimius Severus joined the Roman army as a young man and worked his way up through the ranks. He was a superstitious man and often consulted astrologers concerning his future. According to the accounts given in the Historia Augusta, or the Lives of the Later Caesars, there were many favorable omens that predicted that Septimius would one day become emperor. He married the brilliant and beautiful Julia Domna, whose horoscope also predicted that she would marry an emperor, even though Septimius was a young army officer at the time. She was the daughter of a high priest of Elagabal, a god that was popular in Syria during the Third Century A.D. Domna, like other women of the Severan Dynasty, held a position of great power during the reign of Septimius Severus and his sons.

Severus was in command of the Eastern legions when news reached him of the murder of Pertinax. Pertinax had been popular with the army, and avenging his murder was an ideal excuse for Septimius Severus to rebel against the weak and despised Didius Julianus and try to seize the throne for himself. Severus first had to deal with two strong rivals who also were in rebellion at the head of Roman legions. Clodius Albinus was the governor of Britain and Pescennius Niger was in charge of the legions on the river Danube.

Septimius Severus spent much of his time away from Rome putting down rebellions and dealing with rivals. He even campaigned in Britain against the wild and unruly Scots who were harassing the civilized towns of Roman Britain. The legendary Scottish hero Fingal was supposed to have fought successfully against the Roman legions of Septimius Severus in defense of the cherished liberty of the Scots. Septimius Severus took his two sons, Geta and Caracalla to Britain with him in order to get them away from a life of luxury in Rome and expose them to the virtues of life in a rough Roman army camp. Severus died at York He told his sons to cooperate with each other in ruling the Empire together. The last words of advice to his sons he spoke as he lay dying in this Roman outpost so far from the civilized center of the empire expressed more a hope than a command. "Rule together as brothers, enrich the soldiers, and forget about everybody else."

I didn't know they were man and wife when we bought the coins (!). We just picked them out at random from a large tray of Roman coins.

Posted by tplambeck at 04:26 PM

March 02, 2004

Suggestion for a poetry magazine


Posted by tplambeck at 09:07 PM

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