Youtube: AAA video analysis provides shocking results among teen drivers.
Ouch. Important to watch this; you’ll drive all the more defensively now. The way I used to cure this, was to have kids learn to drive a stick shift. No automatics until good driving skills are ingrained. The eye/hand/foot coordination required by shifting relieved boredom, and served to keep handheld distractions at a minimum. Not to mention that being able to disengage the engine via clutch in emergency situations saves lives. Via Cam Barrett on FB.
NY Times: Germanwings Co-Pilot, Andreas Lubitz, Deliberately Crashed Plane, Prosecutor Says.
I join with the rest of the world, in being horrified.
Daily Beast: Ted Cruz at Princeton - Creepy, Sometimes Well-Liked, and Exactly the Same.
@#^&^@#$%@!! Constipated thinking usually can’t withstand Princeton. My apologies to all.
The Fully Intended: Therapeutic people.
Mollie shares a bit of happiness.
NY Times: ‘Downton Abbey’ Will End After Next Season.
“Never doubt Maggie Smith.” I never do.
Popular Archaeology: Archaeologist Discovers Mysterious Ancient Maya Citadel.
Let’s hope it’s undisturbed.
Guardian.UK: Richard III DNA tests uncover evidence of further royal scandal.
“... before we raise questions about the legitimacy of the Yorkist kings and the Lancastrian kings, there are questions higher up the line, raising doubts about nearly all of the Plantagenets.” Sewing the seeds of familial discord in the Plantagenets. You may quote me.
Vox: Here’s how incredible computer word processing seemed in 1982.
“And the comically underpowered computers people bought in 1982 were expensive.” Underpowered but not incapable. The dedicated word processors could churn out formatted text faster than today’s overaccessorized word processing software because they had *dedicated keyboards*. Indent? Press a clearly labelled button. Columns? Press a clearly-labelled button. It was the PC and WordStar that started us on the standard keyboard three- and four-finger keyboard commands (that so few people actually learn to use beyond the basics). Those of us using dedicated machines used to make terrible fun of the bargain-basement PC folks (PCs were cheaper than dedicated systems by a long chalk, and WordStar was trying to offer the same capabilities as the highest end dedicated setups. Trivia: Doing columns easily was a big deal back then, a litmus test of sorts.).
Granted, the output was limited by daisywheel printers. But you could switch fonts by snapping in and out different daisywheels. You know, working around a daisywheel could be why my left ear seems to not be as sensitive as my right anymore (that, and driving with the window open). And sheetfeed paper! Ah, the memories. How many forests we burned through.
WordPerfect, I think, is still the closest thing to living history you can experience. Do they still have the ‘codes page’ - access to the source code of documents?
The Economist: America - A flagging [education] model.
“The country that has given the world so many ideas about how to run higher education could do with some new ones itself.” Note also that for-profit colleges are swiftly going the way of the dodo ... and rightfully so. Every ‘graduate’ of these schools I’ve run across has been unqualified. One in particular, the only skill s/he seemed to have acquired was an ability to make dreadful graphics in Powerpoint ... something Lynda.com could remedy for $25/mo, a significant savings over one of those ‘colleges’. Employers need to loosen up on their degree requirements and look at actual skills; I’m reminded of when airlines began requiring degrees of pilots. They lost a generation of some of the best stick-and-rudder flyers in history. Wouldn’t you rather have a Chuck Yeager flying you to your destination? No degree, likely no HS diploma either; unimpeachable skills.
DP Review: Amazon launches unlimited cloud photo storage for $11.99 per year.
Oh, interesting. For $11.99, they might be sorry I saw this (85,000+ RAW files and growing constantly).
OpenCulture: Quentin Tarantino Lists His 20 Favorite Spaghetti Westerns.
And they’re so good. They know when not to fill a movie-moment with blather.
New Scientist: Should we thank god for civilisation?
“The most important is Göbekli Tepe in Turkey: a cluster of 11,000-year-old buildings with spectacular statues and other monumental architecture. The archaeologists who found it interpreted these as having a ceremonial purpose: a “cathedral on a hill”, as one put it. Yet the people who built them were nomads, not farmers. So the radical suggestion now is that it was not agriculture that drove the revolution, but religion.” Chaco research would seem to indicate that settled farming appeared alongside ceremony; big, dramatic to-dos to guarantee crop success. Drought threw them back to nomadic lifestyles. In fact, they were so p-d off at the failure of religion and its trappings in the face of drought, they burned the buildings, carried out the contents and broke everything in the middens piles. But this is only one of many theories. Thought it worth mentioning.
Italian Ways: The Iso Grifo A3C and Giotto Bizzarrini’s challenge against himself.
Too hippy for me; sunken in the middle. Iconic, but the styling cues leave me cold.
Logitech: MX Master Wireless Mouse.
The thumbwheel interests me. I’m a born sucker for this kind of tech ... yet in use, it ends up being less than the fine photography and sales copy. I’ll wait to actually get my hands on one.
Youtube: Cate Blanchett loses her patience in awkward Cinderella interview.
Pecos National Historical Park: Civil War Weekend 2015.
Oooh, if’n I get my camera back from service, I may have to stop over.
Mashable: ISIS is keeping tourists from ‘Tatooine’
In the midst of Yazidi women being kidnapped and raped, innocents having their throats cut, more ... this matters?
SERoundtable: Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm Is Yes Or No - No Degrees Of Mobile Friendliness?
“But as we mentioned earlier, there are over 200 different factors that determine ranking so we can’t just give you a yes or no answer with this. It depends on all the other attributes of your site, weather it is providing a great user experience or not. That is the same with desktop search, not isolated with mobile search.” In other words, Google is not going to divert the ‘bum-rush’ to get mobile-compatible, because it benefits themselves. But it may not be as critical as the knee-jerk folks are panicking over.
In These Times: Obamacare and Its Discontents.
“In an era when the insured are facing rising out-of-pocket health expenses—up to $13,200 a year after premiums for family plans bought on the ACA exchange — I worry far more about all of the families who sacrifice needed care because of the crushing financial burden of high deductibles and copayments.” In recent casual discussions on Facebook, I see significant dissatisfaction in Democratic ranks over health care costs. It seems we have two kinds of Dems these days ... vocal ‘true believers’ and ‘silent sufferers.’ The sufferers need to be heard, in order to avoid a rout in 2016. And the ‘true believers’ need to unstop their ears, stop singing praises at the top of their lungs, and hear what’s being said by those who are having a difficult time with the quasi-religious health ‘miracle’.
My answer, so far, to dissatisfied Dems: The Republicans so far only offer to repeal the ACA. If so, does anyone actually believe rates might drop? What of pre-existing conditions, now revealed to governmental databases? Taking it back, I can’t see insurers making any other move than keeping current high deductibles and charging *more*. Who in the US doesn’t have a pre-existing condition, that the insurers can skyrocket rates for?
We need single-payer. The person who could simply explain the benefits (now that the complexities of the ACA are generally understood) and get it passed, gets a free pass to the Presidency. I feel enough people see the benefits now, and might cross party lines to go ‘all the way’.
Turn the tables on the situation, in other words. Republicans would simply rebrand it, and push it via their channels, hard. Dems just can’t get over the need to explain everything in detail. They need James Carville to be point man.
Flavorwire: Pretty Woman at 25 - The Dark Movie It Could’ve Been.
Morning meeting. Most links after 12 noon MST.
Guardian.UK: Mystery around Jeb Bush’s ‘unknown’ private email account.
“Others reached Bush simply through the gencom account — writing to him on a range of issues from judicial appointments to the federal raid that captured the Cuban child Elian Gonzalez to state labor and literacy issues.” Color me unsurprised.
Nieman Journalism Lab: Atavist revamps its publishing software to push design and readability to the
Still knocking around. They were Medium before Medium was an itch. They had some great ideas, just never got them to fruition fast enough. I suppose Medium’s move to attract publications triggered this. More about their changes.
BBC: Will the Dalai Lama reincarnate?
“His holiness has said that the 15th would be born outside of Tibet, outside of China, because this 15th Dalai Lama would have to continue the work of the present Dalai Lama.” Lots of Tibetans around Santa Fe. Apparently the climate is similar.
Autoweek: One-off Mercedes-Benz 300 SLS ‘Porter Special’ crashes into rare Lister-Jaguar.
Oh, that hurts.
Responsive dm!, first try.
Given Google’s mobile-friendly ultimatum, I figure it’s time to force myself to redesign the blog. You folks who were willing to test/comment/peek, I have a first round of a new home page designed. Email me privately - you know my addy. Thanks.
Photographers ... Paul Buff has passed away.
“With great sadness we announce that our founder, Paul C. Buff, passed away this week at the age of 78.” The inventor of AlienBees, White Lightning, and other lower-cost excellent lighting gear. An entrepreneur and pioneer. Enabler of visions. RIP, good sir.
Nautilus: What your tombstone material says.
“A pile of rubble clearly does little to aid in the remembrance of a body that walked and talked and dreamed and thought. But a marker that remains too pristine loses its authority. An inscribed date might reveal when a monument was erected, but it’s the lichens, dirt, chips, and scratches that make that date convincing. We want time to be gentle, but not to stop.” Plastic hasn’t made any inroads. Surprised solid hunks of cloudy acrylic aren’t all over graveyards yet, come to think of it. Surely someone could come up with a recycled-plastic aesthetic as a business model, link it to the green graves movement.
Archaeology News Network: Mummified pre-Inca baby found at historic tomb complex in Peru.
Mashable: German flight’s 8-minute descent is key mystery in crash.
“The Airbus 320 has not recorded the slightest accident since it has been used by Lufthansa group.” Yet the 320’s been cited for being prone to ‘glass cockpit blackout.’ Power outage with no navigation and no communication capabilities. On a cursory glance, it would certainly fit the overall profile.
Later: Photos have been released of the crash site. As with any mountain crash, the slopes and terrain shred airplanes to tinfoil. There are no survivors. My deep condolences to the families.
SER: Google Mobile Friendly Test vs Webmaster Tools Mobile Usability Reports.
Timely. It seems April 21 is the date Google will start using mobile-friendliness as a ranking metric (of 200-some metrics, so don’t panic).
Archaeology News Network: Acropolis of Athens built to withstand earthquakes.
“The modular columns, other than the fact that they were made to be constructed and transported more easily, they are designed so that they have excellent seismic performance properties” But can you prove it was intentional.
Past Horizons: Rare first edition of ‘The Map that Changed the World’ unearthed.
“Since then, its ‘disappearance’ means it has rarely been exposed to light, preserving the incredibly bright original colours.” Again, the frequency of finding ‘lost’ original works simply makes me believe forgers are having a field day. Perhaps I’m wrong, but the near-weekly occurrences are beggaring my belief system.
Politico: Hillary Clinton seeks clean slate with press.
“... Clinton said she was ‘all about new beginnings…. A new grandchild. A new hairstyle. A new email account. A new relationship with the press. No more secrecy, no more zone of privacy ... After all what good did that do for me?.” I had to double-check to be sure this wasn’t the Borowitz column or something similar. I suspect she’s speaking jokingly to her audience ... ?
BarnFinds: 1948 Buick Special - 67 Years Of Originality.
Now here’s a lovely starting point. Not too much rust, decent shape.
Nautilus: How to Make Art That Withstands the Test of Time.
“Wood, rabbit-skin glue, and oil paint have certainly stood the test of time.” Making an inkjet-style device that spits those compounds onto wood planks. My next billion-dollar idea.
IndiGoGo: Hey, Woax!
This appeals to me more than using a watch paradigm. Needs a better adaptation for glasses, though.
NY Times: A Sucker Is Optimized Every Minute.
“The gut is dead. Long live the data, turned out day and night by our myriad computers and smart devices. Not that we trust the data, as we once trusted our guts. Instead, we ‘optimize’ it. We optimize for it. We optimize with it.” Optimization = pablum.
ArtDaily: Bound to please - book-making machines star at French fair.
Forget 3D printing for the moment. Is this a paradigm-breaker?
Butterick’s Practical Typography.: The billionaire’s typewriter.
“... how does Medium improve the Internet? I haven’t seen a single story on Medium that couldn’t exist equally well elsewhere. Nor evidence that Medium’s editing and publishing tools are a manifest improvement over what you can do with other tools.” Very well put. Merci, Ray L.Later: Speaking of Medium et al, Dave’s opened up his MyWord Editor.