Lists

 Books
Man-O-War, 27 Feb 2013
Books I've recently read, am reading or want to read ...
 
   1.   The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver - I loved this book.  Will definately re-read.
   2.   The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer - Just started reading it.  Looks like a good followon to "The Signal and the Noise".
   3.   The Belief Instinct - "nature has played too good a trick on us".  Just reading this review has given me a lot to think about.  The book is about how evolution appears to have favored a God Instinct.


 To-do
I have a feeling that every journal needs a to-do list.  Here's mine (listed in no particular order) ...
 
 
 
1.  Get a traditional Polynesean tattoo,
     say in the Marquesas.  Something simple like
 

2.  Backpack through India, Bhutan, Nepal.
 
3.  Buy an acre (at a local, not-gringo price) on a river someplace in Central or
     South America.  Build a small dock for Breakaway, where I can live while I
     construct a simple house.  The house would probably be "off the grid", using
     solar panels.  But with the conveniences - modern kitchen, laundry room, shop.
 
4.  Sail my dinghy from Man-O-War
to Marsh Harbour
and Hopetown
(Enlarged view)

5.  Cruise the South Pacific, a.k.a. the Coconut Milk Run.
     A couple great books (read them one after the other) are: The Long Way and
     The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst.
 
6.  Visit every country in Latin America.  I have 3 left - Venezuela, Brazil, and
     El Salvador (plus the 3 little countries east of Venezuela).
 
7.  Play around with tech projects.
 
8.  Participate in the Slippery Pole Contest.
 
9.  Learn to play a musical instrument.. say the mandolin.  I am hooked on the sound of
     Pelagia's Song from Captain Corelli's Mandolin.  I think the following is a nice rendition:
 
 

10.  ...
 
References:
    Creating a Bucket List

 

 Neurodiversity
Last updated: Melbourne, 14 Jan 2010
Neurodiversity refers to the rich diversity in the way people perceive their world - in that each of us sense and process the "language, sound, images, light, texture, taste, movement" around us differently.  IMO, we should savor this diversity.
If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave.
- Temple Grandin
People who may have been wired a little differently ...
 
  1. Temple Grandin
2. Vincent Van Gogh - here is a list of the mental and physical conditions that
    possibly affected him.
3. Well, I guess I'll stop here.  I just came across this fairly long list of people
    thought to have been autistic, or who at least seem to me to have been wired
    a little differently.

 
 Food
Melbourne, 11 Apr 2010
My favorite juice recipe:
1. 1 or 2 stalks of celery
2.An inch or two of fresh ginger root
3.An equal amount of garlic - say, a couple cloves
4.1 apple - either Golden Delicious or Granny Smith
5.½ lemon
6.A large handful of red seedless grapes (sweetens it up nicely)
7.4 carrots
8.A splash of orange/mango juice - I like the Simply Orange with Mango.  It adds a nice flavor and flushes out the juicer a little.
This makes 1½ - 2 glasses of juice.  I like the coarse-grate basket for a little more pulp in the result.  This is the juicer I have (making V8).  It seems to do a good job.

 Cool Stuff on the Web

Sorry about the Ads below.  They're imbedded in the videos from YouTube.
Just click on the "x" when they pop up.
 



Screen captures from this cool screen saver ...



This looks like a pretty cool effect, described in this video from Wired and organized on this blog.  It's called "Camera Tossing".  You set up some lights, set your camera to take a relatively long exposure, then press the shutter release button and simply toss your camera in the air (I assume being careful to then catch it ;-).
 
To the right is a slideshow from their Camera Toss Group Pool.  Press the Play button to start.
 

Sort of similar (though not quite the same - I didn't toss my camera in the air for one thing), but to the right are some of my photos from fireworks in Cuenca.
 
My camera was moving though (hand-held, trying to follow the fireworks).  The camera (Canon XSi w/ the 18-55 kit lens) did a fairly decent job IMO.
 


  9 Jun 2010
  There was this clever animation on ZDNet today..
 
 
With a little resizing (change the canvas size to 800x600 in PS), I turned it into my Google Search page background - for days when I'm feeling complicated :-).
 
Note, it is animated when I display the page - it's just not here.  [Need to show the animation here too]


  23 Jun 2010
  Kind of cool teaser for Verizon's upcoming Droid:

 
 Maps


Man-O-War Cay, Abacos, Bahamas          (Click on a marker for more info)


  17 Jul 2010

From Guy's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives          (Pan and zoom to area of interest,
Click on a marker for more info.
This map is under construction)

 
 Hurricane Cone Animations
This is from stacking the hurricane cone images from the NHC website to make an animation.  I'm curious about whether the predictions are staying on track or veering one way or the other (especially if they are headed towards my boat).  A graphical indication of the trend of the storm and the quality of the predictions?  Ideally, all the black lines (the predicted tracks) would overlay one another and the orange dots (the actual positions) would follow the black lines.
 
Click on an image for the animation.
Earl: Aug-Sept 2010  (last updated: Saturday Sept 4, 2010 11 PM EDT Advisory 43)

Compared to the predictions, it looks like Earl was a little slow in turning to the north - with the actual positions following the southern and western edges of the predictions.
Fiona: Aug-Sept 2010  (last updated: Friday Sept 3, 2010 11 PM EDT Advisory 18)

For the most part Fiona's track followed the predictions.  And the predictions were pretty consistent.
Igor: Sept 2010  (last updated: Tuesday Sept 21, 2010 5 PM EDT Advisory 55)

Igor was a little slow getting started.  The initial predictions were a little off but after that, the actual positions followed the predictions pretty well.
Julia: Sept 2010  (last updated: Monday Sept 20, 2010 11 AM EDT Advisory 34)

Except for a slight veer to the west, the actual positions followed predictions pretty well.

 Interesting Quotes, IMO
Man-O-War, 14 Oct 2011
From: Review - The Belief Instinct
It turns out that thinking about God tends to yield "a heightened, almost invasive sense of individuation".
This was just too good for natural selection to ignore.
    ...
nature has played too good a trick on us

From: Robot biologist solves complex problem from scratch
“Biology is more complex than astronomy or physics or chemistry,” maintains Wikswo, a physicist who has spent his career studying biological systems. “In fact, it may be too complex for the human brain to comprehend.”

This complexity stems from the fact that biological processes range in size from the dimensions of an atom to those of a whale and in time from a billionth of a second to billions of seconds. Biological processes also have a tremendous dynamic range: for example, the human eye can detect a star at night that is one billionth as bright as objects viewed on a sunny day.

Then there is the matter of sheer numbers. A cell expresses between 10,000 to 15,000 proteins at any one time. Proteins perform all the basic tasks in the cell, including producing energy, maintaining cell structures, regulating these processes, and serving as signals to other cells. At any one time there can be anywhere from three to 10 million copies of a given protein in the cell.

According to Wikswo, the crowning source of complication is that processes at all these different scales interact with one another: “These multi-scale interactions produce emergent phenomena, including life and consciousness.”

Looked at from a mathematical point of view, to create an accurate model of a single mammalian cell may require generating and then solving somewhere between 100,000 to one million equations.

Balanced against this complexity is the capability of the human brain. The biophysicist cites research that has found that the human brain can only process seven pieces of data at a time and quotes a 1938 assessment of brain research by Emerson Pugh: “If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.”