May 31, 2004
The Perspective of Disappearance
There are three branches of perspective; the first deals with the reasons of the (apparent) diminution of objects as they recede from the eye, and is known as Diminishing Perspective. The second contains the way in which colours vary as they recede from the eye. The third and last is concerned with the explanation of how the objects [in a picture] ought to be less finished in proportion as they are remote (and the names are as follows):Linear Perspective.
The Perspective of Colour.
The Perspective of Disappearance.
[From Leonardo's Notebooks]
May 28, 2004
Two by Owen
"callipiter" = caterpiller
"finsony" = symphony
May 27, 2004
A motion-detector-activated water sprinkler.
Here's an illustration of a slightly different model turning to fire on a deer.
From the archives: The pepper spray gun.
May 24, 2004
What is this object?
1. An electric fly catcher.
2. A hockey puck cleaner.
3. A shoe shiner.
4. A "water clock."
5. A change counter.
6. It can't possibly be any of the above choices.
It's my Wal-Mart
Some quotations drawn from "It's My Wal-Mart: 2004 Annual report:"
From a section with title Raising the Standard of Living:
Pamela Jordan grew up in the south Los Angeles neighborhood of Baldwin Hills, where oil rigs once pumped until developers discovered the area in the 1950s. Today, she lives with her 16 year-old grandson only eight minutes away from this mostly African-American community, and continues to stay in the neighborhood...
Clouds may be gathering over Pamela but she's soon to be rewarded for her gutsy decision "to continue to stay in the neighborhood" despite being only "8 minutes away" from the "African-American community:"
That's why she was delighted in 2003 when Wal-Mart made the decision to place one of its stores in an abandoned three-story Macy's property in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw Plaza shopping center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
It's just like on TV!
"I walk in there and I know the staff. They are friendly and smiling. They say `Hey, how you doing, welcome to Wal-Mart!' They really do that, just like in the commercials..."
May 22, 2004
May 18, 2004
US Bank Phishing
A fraudulent email in my Inbox:
Dear U.S. Bank valued member,I liked the threat of "account deletation." It's perhaps the only misstep in the body of the email text.
Due to concerns, for the safety and integrity of the Internet Banking community we have issued this warning message.
It has come to our attention that your account information needs to be updated due to inactive accounts, frauds and spoof reports. If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and renew your records you will not run into any future problems with the online service. However, failure to update your records will result in account deletation.
Once you have updated your account records your online banking account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Please follow the link below and renew your account information.
U.S. Bank Internet Banking
The email concludes with the seemingly legitimate URL
But clicking on it takes you instead to this bogus page (image), with actual URL
which is an attractively composed work of online forgery that even includes a simulacrum of a browser SSL lock icon:
Stephanie Sutton (92CWJ)
3505 Mildred Drive
Louisville, KY 40216
Phone: (502) 290-9532
May 17, 2004
I left the house to go running about 11:30 this morning.
On my way back I heard lots of sirens and a helicopter flew over.
Gloria came home with news about a mountain lion having been spotted not far from where I was running.
From the online version of the San Francisco Chronicle:
1:48 p.m. -- Palo Alto Police Detective Kara Apple confirmed this afternoon that police shot and killed a mountain lion in a residential neighborhood because of the danger it posed to the public.
Apple said the lion was spotted in the area of Walnut Drive and Walter Hays Way and leaped into the backyard of a residence where a dog began "freaking out'' and spooked the lion into the front yard and up a tree -- right next to one of the Palo Alto police officers who responded to the sighting.
After a conference with the Department of Fish and Game and local animal control officers, Apple said the OK was given to shoot the animal.
No other injuries were reported and the lion is being taken away from the scene. Details on where it is being taken, its weight and other information will be made available in a news release Apple plans to send out this afternoon.
I wasn't surprised they killed it, but it still seemed a bit extreme. Couldn't they have tranquilizer-darted it or something?
May 16, 2004
The Seven Deadly Chess Sins
From a highly amusing book by Jonathan Rowson.
I wanted to add a succinct description of each sin, but found it difficult to distill from the book.
Anyway, here they are:
Despite their abundance at the Yosemite house, I've had trouble photographing the California Quail.
Using the Google search engine I was able to find many photos of them attractively posed on fenceposts or peeking out of the undergrowth. But whenever I tried to capture one myself, they always scurried away as I fumbled with the camera or a lens.
Still not that great, but OK I guess.
May 11, 2004
Return to Sender
Names on some of this morning's spam email:
January HawkinsSomeone out there has improved upon the theory of operation of my personal name generator.
Retract U. Brouhaha
Kohinoor V. Equuleus
May 10, 2004
At El Camino Park, near the Stanford Shopping Center.
May 08, 2004
From dwell magazine
May 07, 2004
The Miracle of the Running Shoes
Jim took photos of Matt, Stephanie, Sue, Gloria, Penn, Cole, Owen, Pearl, and me after a violin trio.
After that, we went swimming.
About ten days ago, getting ready to leave the swimming pool, I put my running shoes on top of the car momentarily. I promptly forgot the shoes were there, about 3.5 seconds after thinking to myself, "don't forget the shoes are there."
Since they were old shoes, I couldn't bother driving back to go look for themI imagined a headline in the newspaper:
MAN KILLED ATTEMPTING TO RETRIEVE WORTHLESS SHOES
Five days later again returning from the swimming pool, now with Gloria, Cole and Owen, I explained what had happened to the shoes and asked Cole and Owen to look for them as we drove home. Gloria immediately said something that suggested that this was a hopeless activity. But just as I finished saying "Well, you never know, stranger things have happened..." I saw the shoes, patiently poised on the curb, obviously set there by some passer by.
We stopped the car and Owen and Penn (who happened to be visiting, and travelling in the car behind us) retrieved them.
May 05, 2004
Three words I sought information on via Google, and what Google thinks of them:
May 04, 2004
47,270 games of chess
Statistics on my play at the Internet Chess Club over the last seven years:
rating win loss draw total best Wild 1586 49 68 1 118 1684 (10-Feb-99) Bughouse 1597 8 11 0 19 0 Crazyhouse 1628 0 1 0 1 0 Bullet 1741 14841 10874 1172 26887 2002 ( 5-Jun-98) Blitz 1585 498 412 35 945 1950 (26-Jul-97) 5-minute 1156 0 1 0 1 0 1-minute 1603 9180 9114 1006 19300 1777 (29-Jul-02)I mostly play sixty second gamesthe "Bullet" and "1-minute" categories. Each player has one minute to make all his moves. So each game takes about two minutes to play. To play 47,270 games would require two complete months, twenty-four hours a day.
May 01, 2004
Palo Alto May Fete
Photos taken at the parade assembly point, in downtown Palo Alto. At the finish, near Addison school, the mermaid pointed to the 70-200 telephoto lens around my neck and said, "Hey, National Enquirer Guy, you could take a picture of someone's eyeball with that!"
Mad Hatter's Tea Cups
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