Friday, May 30, 2008

What is a book anymore?

Google has scanned in tons of books. There seems to be many pages available of the books. I don't know what is involved to see the complete book.

The Open Content Alliance has a lot of stuff. These are the people with the Wayback Machine. Their collection has a web search interface. In due time all the works of mankind will be archived here. In addition to scanned books there are also audio and video file in the library. I found Anton Chekhov, Madam Bovary and Don Quixote radio shows for download.

Microsoft is halting their project to make book available electronically.

What is this all about?

Where to find the library(s)? I find it interesting that it is easy to find the web articles about the library scanning project but the URLs for the content is never referenced in the articles.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lakeview Connector Trail

We hiked the east end of the Lakeview Connector Trial today. It is rated easy to moderate and we concur, no noticeable climbs and well maintained.

We parked at the trailhead, yes there is a big dip to bottom out the Mini! We hiked in as far as the Lake Clementine Access Trail.

The entire trail is lined with poison oak so watch your step and clean up properly upon arrival home. It's also very popular with bike riders. We had to stand off the trail often to let them ride by.

About 3/4 of a mile in there is a micro-climate change that comes with a panorama view.

We stopped and watched three turkey vultures with bald red heads that were sitting in a tree .

Click here to look at the satellite view of the area. The trail guide PDF is available as well, Lakeview Connector Trial.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Look, you can't believe your ears

All of our senses work in concert to enable the brain and intellect to experience the world. One of my pet peeves is seeing a performer make a face communicating their dissatisfaction with their performance. I thought it was just fine but their self disgust spoils it for me.
Hey man, acknowledging a sour note doesn't excuse it it makes it louder. Sorry, I hope you don't mined my mispelings.

The Scientific American Podcast 60-Second Psych, May 12th was about a study of the McGurk effect first published in Nature, 1976.

The McGurk effect is demonstrate with the use of this video clip. Please view the clip now before reading the rest of this entry.

What did you hear him say?

Now close your eyes and listen to the clip again.

What did he actually say?

Everything you know is wrong.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


SmartAC Last month we bought a hybrid car, today we signed up for the PG&E SmartAC Program.

When it gets hot causing electricity demand to spike PG&E may send a radio signal to our air conditioning unit and tell it to operate in SmartAC mode, cooling half the normal time. Most days we will not notice the energy saving mode but in the event that we just have to have more power there is a website to override SmartAC for the day.

The plan is to use the technology on weekdays before 6 p.m. for a maximum of six hours a day.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Ludlum's Covert-ONE

I'm listing to The Paris Option, one of the Robert Ludlum Covert-ONE books. Again, Dr. Smith works with his childhood friend Marty to solve mysterys but his Aspergers Syndrome complicates things.

Last year I listened to The Hades Factor and thoroughly enjoyed it. In researching this blog entry I see that not everyone loved the books as it was a derivative of Tom Clancy's Op-Center series. Can you say, "more of a good thing?"

I am looking forward to the other Covert-ONE books. They do more to shorten my commute then most books and podcasts.

Covert-One series Written by other authors, supposedly based on unpublished material by Robert Ludlum.

The Hades Factor (by Gayle Lynds) (2000), The Cassandra Compact (by Phillip Shelby) (2001), The Paris Option (by Gayle Lynds) (2002), The Altman Code (by Gayle Lynds) (2003), The Lazarus Vendetta (by Patrick Larkin) (2004), The Moscow Vector (by Patrick Larkin) (2005), The Arctic Event (by James H. Cobb) (2007)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

AM and PM

Also, there are at least two acceptable ways to write a.m. and p.m., which are abbreviations for ante meridiem and post meridiem. Ante meridiem is Latin for "before noon" and post meridiem is Latin for "after noon." Note that it is meridieM, with an m, not meridiaN, with an n.

You can write a.m. and p.m. as lowercase letters with periods after them or as small capitals without periods. Either way, there should be a space between the time and the a.m. or p.m. that follows. Although small capitals used to be preferred, it's now more common to see lowercase letters followed by periods (a.m. and p.m.). I suspect this is because it’s so hard to make small caps on a computer.

This is quoted from my favorite podcast, Grammar Girl.

Monday, May 5, 2008

tempted to buy some unnecessary thing

...when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money. -------------------

The Whistle

by Benjamin Franklin, 1779

I AM charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of living there; and I approve much of your conclusion, that, in the mean time, we should draw all the good we can from this world. In my opinion, we might all draw more good from it than we do, and suffer less evil, if we would take care not to give too much for whistles. For to me it seems that most of the unhappy people we meet with are become so by neglect of that caution.

You ask what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of myself.

When I was a child of seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children, and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My, brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.

This, however, was afterward of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money.

As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.

When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.

When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, He pays indeed, said I, too much for his whistle.

If I knew a miser, who gave up every, kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, said I, you pay too much for your whistle.

When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, Mistaken man, said I, you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.

If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, Alas! say I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle.

When I see a beautiful, sweet-tempered girl married to an ill- natured brute of a husband, What a pity, say I, that she should pay so much for a whistle.

In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.

Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I consider that, with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting, for example, the apples of King John, which happily are not to be bought; for if they were put to sale by auction, I might very easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the whistle.

The End