Archive for June, 2010

These graphs were sent to me by the good folks at the national office of Interfaith Power and Light (I’m the Executive Director of the Ohio affiliate).

Enough said.

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Grayson-Highlands State Park, near Mouth of Wilson, VA. My li’l sister Jean is Secretary of the Festival Committee. “Always the 3rd Saturday in June, rain or shine.”

Wayne is a celebrated  old-time musician and guitar builder who famously kept Eric Clapton waiting 10 years for his to be built.

Update 7/12/10: Voice of America recently did a feature story about Wayne. Thanks, Jean!

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It’s been a long time since I did this, but leaving a meeting in Kentucky, I decided to take the Anderson Ferry across the Ohio instead of the interstate. As you can see (looking back to Kentucky), it’s not a particularly high-tech operation — maybe 12 cars at a time. And even if all the cars are turned off as mine was, maybe not good in terms of a carbon footprint. That would be a good question to calculate.

A ferry has been going back and forth from Ohio to Kentucky at that site since 1817, and it’s a national historic landmark. Perhaps not as adventurous as Pirates of the Caribbean. But it’s relaxing, even if over too soon, and costs only $4.

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Salami cake

Good-looking, n’est-ce pas? This beauty is in honor of Nipper Newbold’s 15th birthday.

Nipper is a cocker spaniel. The cake is made of icing, salami, bacon and several kinds of dog biscuits. Nipper and the other dogs seem to be enjoying it. Especially the salami, which they are eating with great gusto, courtesy of Marsie Newbold.

Bon appetit!

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I received several questions following my presentation on Blogging today at the Cincinnati Job Search Focus Group. Here’s some more information:

What presentation software did you use?

Neat, huh? That was created at the Prezi.com site. This is a web-based software application that is definitely not PowerPoint. Where PP is linear and ultimately text-based (with some graphics and bells and whistles), Prezi.com aims to be intuitive and graphically-based. It is usually created on-line, and can be run either on-line (not recommended in critical situations in case connectivity is lost), or as a downloadable Flash animation, which is what I used.

Because I work part-time for Miami University, I was able to get a free educational account with 500 Mb of server space, and I’ve hardly used any of it. Other free accounts are possible. There is a paid version which allows you to do content creation on a local machine, but I haven’t tried that.

Prezi would have you believe that you can get going in just a few minutes, but that hasn’t been my experience. I spent a LOT of time creating this, far more than a Keynote or PowerPoint would have taken. With time I’m sure I can work faster, but I’m not there yet. I doubt if I will use it for run-of-the-mill presentations.

There are definitely some drawbacks. The backgrounds and font styles are limited to those that Prezi offers, and there are not many. Some things that are easy in PowerPoint really can’t be done well in Prezi. They’d probably say that such things, such as lists, shouldn’t be done at all.

I learned about Prezi from Dean Carine Feyten of the Miami U. School of Education, Health & Society, where I’m doing some work. Check it out.

Is the presentation available on-line?

Yes, but not for download. Go to http://prezi.com/o4l-3l2hlplu. In case of utter failure at JSFG, I also created a backup version in PowerPoint that has much of the same material, so you could compare the differences if you really have time on your hands.

What are the URLs for the websites you showed?

Here they are:

See more of my presentations (including earlier versions of this one) on my Presentations Page.

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Here’s a photo of our night-blooming primroses, aka evening primroses. I tried to make this a video but couldn’t get my BlackBerry to record it. (I’ll try again).

If you’ve never seen one pop, it’s pretty amazing. Just like a time-lapse movie, except that once the quivering starts it only takes about 30 seconds for the sepals to peal back and the blossom to emerge.

We think the mild weather and frequent rain in Cincinnati this spring have finally done the trick. We were inspired to do this by evenings spent on the patio of our friends the Davises in Winston-Salem, who seemed to have dozens of them going.

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This is what happens when you scan a half-tone, alas

An old high school friend of mine died last week after a battle with lung cancer. We had drifted apart after our college years and I hadn’t seen him in a long time, but prior to that Bill Wheeler was the unquestioned center of a group of friends that meant a great deal to me.

We started out a couple of years apart, but I skipped my 10th grade and he took 5 years to graduate from Duke, so we ended up as classmates after all.

Bill . . .

  • taught me about classical music (Pictures at an Exhibition, Appalachian Spring, Petroushka)
  • along with Norman Littlejohn, built a kick-butt set of “Sweet Sixteen” speakers (16 cones per unit)
  • taught me how to drive a Pontiac Bonneville using only your knees to steer (kids, do not try this at home)
  • inspired me to go to Duke
  • chided me (correctly) for being sarcastic to my sisters
  • showed me how to change gears on a stick shift without using the clutch (this is actually a very useful skill)
  • originated our Bastille Day parties, featuring cherry bombs inside scale model fortresses made of juice cans (they blowed up real good; Mrs. Wheeler was a saint)
  • talked their high school-teacher boarder into a midnight swim with us in their pond; totally innocuous, but she nearly had a heart attack when she realized we were high school students
  • probably thought up the phrase “crotch your can” (to hide beer if the cops were to stop us)
  • showed me it was OK to use your brains
  • could actually talk to girls

The first of the Sabachis to go. We’ll really miss you, Bill.

Update: there will be a memorial service for Bill Wheeler Saturday June 12th, 2010, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2233 Woodbourne Ave, Louisville, KY 40205.

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[Cross-posted to Ohio Interfaith Power and Light. Thanks to Chad Campbell of The Regeneration Project.]

Sobering projections: a computer model indicates that oil from the massive BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico might extend thousands of miles of the Atlantic coast and open ocean as early as this summer. The modeling results are captured in a series of dramatic animations produced by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and collaborators.

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Here’s a nice little quiz that doesn’t just tell what’s wrong with multiple choice, it shows you.

It’s from the blog Making Change.

(Thanks to Brain-Friendly Trainer)

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