Blogs

Satellite Dispensers

I've been watching some of the SpaceX launches lately, and on the latest one, the announcer kept talking about the satellites being deployed from the dispenser.

All I can think of when I hear the word "dispenser" is, of course, Pez dispensers.

I am quite tickled at the idea of a spaceship-sized Pez dispenser dropping satellites into space.

A Spreadsheet for Tracking Calls to My Elected Officials

During the past year I've become much more involved in calling my elected officials (and occasionally elected officials in other states, when it seemed to make sense).

I've got all kinds of plans for creating a nifty website to track my own progress on these calls, and maybe award badges or let people set up teams and encourage each other, but for now I'm just tracking things in a very simple spreadsheet - and I thought I would post it here in case anyone else finds it useful.

Parrots for Mom

... because the last time my mom visited, she was wondering about the city's wild parrots.

(Photographed this morning at Fort Mason.)

Tokio Hotel ist ausgezeichnet!

I've been trying to reinvigorate my language skills, so I've started reviewing some of the languages I've studied, switching to a different one (Spanish, French, German, Italian) each week.

I thought music might help reinforce the vocabulary I was picking up, so I trawled the library for pop CDs in other languages. I had no idea what any of these bands would sound like; I figured I'd just check them out and give a few repeat listens to anything I enjoyed.

Celebrating Calder

Thanks to Google for informing me that today is Alexander Calder's birthday, via a beautiful Google doodle on their home page. I love the shadows.

I was lucky enough to grow up near Chicago, where I got to see the Calder Flamingo every time I went downtown. I've always especially loved his mobiles.

The American Masters episode on Calder was marvellous.

Happy? That's Me!

Yesterday a Wonderboy song came up on random play, and I got a great big grin.

For about a decade, I ran a little independent record label, Racer Records. I got to work with artists I really loved, putting out their records and trying to build a bigger audience for them.

Wonderboy was the first band I signed, and I love them as much today as I did back in 1993.

Hearing a Wonderboy tune just makes me indescribably happy.

My Open Letter in Support of a Boycott of Nature Publishing Group

Background: "Nature Publishing Group told the University of California that next year subscription prices would increase 400 percent, with the average annual cost of a journal increasing to $17,479. UC Libraries fought back with a combative letter to UC faculty suggesting that faculty should consider boycotting the journals, and cease submitting or reviewing articles for these journals." via Metafilter

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