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A little housekeeping

Monday, May 19th, 2008

As per my usual 6-12 month cycle I have tired of the old presentation of Futurist Now and have thus abandoned the old look and feel for something fresh. Thanks to the high degree of flexibility afforded by WordPress the whole affair took less than an hour and aside from a few things moving around a bit there should be no impact to Futurist Now readers. Let me know if you see anything broken.

Well, carry on then.

And I still don’t like Zoos

Monday, May 19th, 2008

As my parents could attest I never was much of one for zoos as a child. I had set one of my 101 goals to go shooting at the zoo to see if this was still true, and it is. Out of an overly-hot afternoon at the zoo my favorite shot was one that clearly didn’t need a trip to the zoo to take (assuming I could find Bamboo anywhere else in Seattle):

Bamboo green

I guess not everyone has to be into zoos. Personally I don’t much find animals interesting. Sure I love Skype and having him around is a blast, but I enjoy his companionship rather than a fascination with his non-humanness. From a photographic perspective zoos don’t really do it for me because of the cages and glass – I far prefer getting up close and personal with my subjects, really interacting with them to get the perfect shot.

Oh well, I had fun, learned something about myself as an adult, and avoided heatstroke for another day. All in all a positive way to spend a Saturday afternoon even if I won’t repeat the experience.

Pain gap?

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Science Blog writes about a Princeton University study on how people perceive and experience pain as viewed through the filter of their economic status. The study found that pain levels for residents of households making less than $30,000 were on average twice as high as the pain levels of residents in households with incomes above $100,000.

As strange as this sounds it does make sense – insurance and health care is expensive these days, and the lower salary ranges tend to have more physically oriented jobs. Not having the money required to fix the root cause of a particular pain leaves the sufferer with two choices: dull the pain with inexpensive drugs (read: over the counter drugs), or suffer onward enduring the pain. Neither option really strikes me as an ideal long term solution, but until a national health care plan with reasonable reach and plausible economics exists do we have another option?

Quest for the IMDB 250

Monday, April 28th, 2008

As part of my 101 in 1001 project I set myself a goal to see at least 100 of the top 250 movies of all time as voted by the seething masses at IMDB. In taking stock it would seem that I’ve already seen 73 of them meaning I have 27 left to watch in roughly 27 months leaving me with an entirely manageable cadence of one a month.

A quick glance through the collection shows I have 8 of these movies unopened in my collection so those will be first up on the viewing list:

Barry Lyndon (1975)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Juno (2007)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Magnolia (1999)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The Shining (1980)

Which leaves 168 remaining movies to select from, listed in the full post. If you have a suggestion of a favorite movie from below that you particularly like and think I should prioritize onto the list leave a comment and let me know!

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Approaching the first bridge

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Wired just wrote up a great profile on my favorite futurist Ray Kurzweil. It’s an interesting read – particularly if you follow his work or have read any of his books. While some of his longevity techniques might be a bit off the deep end (hello 210 vitamins) he’s right on the money as far as I’m concerned when it comes to bridging human biology with technology.

Experimenting with aggregation

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

In an effort to bring together the wonderful wide world of Sparky* I’m experimenting with Tumblr as an aggregation service. The hopes of my experimentation is to create a single point of contact for all my personal web content. Currently to get every last drop of Sparky goodness (and who doesn’t want that) visits to my blog, Flickr stream, Facebook profile, and Twitter are necessary. By providing this aggregate source of Sparky – henceforth referred to as Meta-Sparky – a single website can be visited to consume Sparky, Sparky, Sparky, and more Sparky.

Without further ado: http://sparktography.tumblr.com/

Update: Tumblr ended up being close to what I want, but not quite it. Tumblr will only allow short form content and won’t import long format blog posts. I also noticed it copies Flickr photos locally and re-compresses them which adds a slight color cast and loses the tack-sharpness that so much effort goes into on the front end.

Anyone know of a better aggregation service with similar features that I could check out? Leave a note in the comments with a link to it. If I don’t find anything readymade I guess I’ll have to roll up my sleeves and make something.

*wonder, wonderment, and wonderfulness not guaranteed. All Sparky all the time has been known to cause health complications in certain situations. If you experience a Sparky lasting more than 4 hours consult with a physician immediately.

Caffeine: the crystal meth of the software industry

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I’ve long been a fan of caffeine in almost all of it’s forms, coffee being my favorite – but how better to enjoy a passion then to geek it up with numbers, statistics, and chemistry.

Enjoy, just don’t enjoy too much – we all know what happens when OMFGTOOMUCHCOFFEE is consumed.

Living the Traskpro life

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

I’ve been so busy and productive of late that sadly Futurist Now has suffered from it – barely a post a week on average. Aside from the normal work stuff I’ve been slammed with tons and tons of development work on Traskpro. I’m becoming extremely proud of Traskpro – it’s becoming a very robust solution and I’m all but running my life out of it now.

What makes Traskpro so great? What do I do with it?

Amazing ehh – give it a whirl or check out the Traskpro blog – you can do all these things and more! With Traskpro’s flexible design you can track almost any kind of information – all for free!

Now what would a big Traskpro advert like this be without a few power user tips? Traskpro uses the URL to determine what tag you are viewing – this means that you can bookmark frequently used tags for quick access. I am able to use this feature by setting my internet home page to my “work” tag at work, my “personal” tag at home, and the high priority view on my iPhone – whenever I open a browser I immediately see a highly contextual view of tasks related to my current environment.

Further to URL bookmarking when setting a sort preference the sort preference is added to the next page view URL. This allows you to bookmark not only a specific tag, but also to make it so whenever visiting the bookmark the sorting options can be left intact – useful for power users looking to really take control of a large list of tasks.

Renewed and renowned

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Funny how getting my car detailed can kick my auto-passion into high gear. Tuesday evening I picked up my A6 from Mirrorworks from having a full detail and some paint work done. It’s shiny and like-new again – I’m swooning all over my precious car again!

Aside from the car life has been good. Traskpro has his a solid and stable 0.9 (and graduated from alpha to beta) and is rocking my task list right and left. I even have acquired a few other heavy users which is oddly gratifying. I’ve still got 31 remaining features/tweaks to make, but those can happen gradually over the next few weeks as I continue to ramp up on JavaScript.

Also in the world of good things Scott came over last night. He hadn’t experienced a proper viewing of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End so we did dinner and a showing of that. As silly and overly-Disney as the film is I really do enjoy watching it. I really do hope that big budget swashbucklers never die – they are just so much fun to experience.

Right – back to work now. I have to finish up a ton of stuff today and tomorrow to be ready to take off a few days to be home for Christmas!

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