Monthly Archives: November 2009

On Being A Dad

No matter how important you may be in the role you perform or the job you do, your kids see you mainly as a dad. Watching this video of President Obama Pardoning the White House Turkey, what I noticed after awhile is the response of his kids. It made me laugh, because they are being typical kids! They’re patient for a little while, but even though the speech is short, you can see them getting bored and fidgety very soon! Others in attendence might thing: oh, we get to see the President and visit the White House. For kids, they may be thinking: c’mon Dad, stop talking and pardon the turkey already!

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The Apple One Day Sale and one good bargain: the Nike + iPod Sensor

Although we don’t participate in Black Friday in Canada, some retailers like Apple have good prices for Canadians, too. There aren’t great deals at the One-Day Apple Shopping Event – Apple Store (Canada), at least not that I can see, with the exception of the Nike + iPod Sensor, which is now $18.00 “Was $25.00 Save $7.00”. That’s around a 28% saving. If you need one, or you want a second/backup one, today’s a good day to get it.

Mary Walsh, as Marg Delahunty, Goes Rogue trying to talk to Sarah Palin

Well. What to say. I guess first, for those of you who don’t know, the “journalist” trying to interview Sarah Palin is actually the great Canadian comedian, Mary Walsh.  While I think the “protection” Sarah Palin has in this video is ridiculous, I have to say it’s a good thing Mary Walsh didn’t get to pin her down. Although, as you can see in the video…

Way to go, Mary! You make me proud to be a Canadian.

The Huffington Post has more here: Palin Tricked By Comedian Again, Says Canada Should Drop Public Health Care (VIDEO)

How smart reporters use Facebook and why you should know about this

Kashmir Hill is a journalist writing on how she uses Facebook for reporting. If you use Facebook, you’d be smart to read this. Even if you don’t think journalists are interested in what you are up to, others may be. They may use the same techniques to find out more about you; even things you think are private, or protected by certain privacy settings.

Take heed.

Where is Phil Agre?

Sadly, Phil Agre, who suffers from manic depression, has abandoned his apartment and his job and has disappeared, according to the All Tech Considered, Technology News And Culture Blog from NPR. If you weren’t involved with the Internet in the 1990s, you may not know who he is. But like alot of people back then, I was a big follower of his famous mailing list, Red Rock Eater. I agree with NPR, when they say:

“Agre’s online influence reaches far and wide – which makes it all the more surprising that he could have gone missing for such a long time without more people noticing. He was the publisher of the Red Rock Eaters News Service, an influential mailing list he started in the mid-1990s that ran for around a decade. A mix of news, Internet policy and politics, RRE served as a model for many of today’s political blogs and online newsletters.

I was influenced by Agre, too. I became a fan of the Red Rock Eaters list in the 90s, and encountered online references to it almost on a daily basis. I was always excited to see one of my articles or projects cited in it. With Agre’s curation, RRE reached thousands of Internet researchers, policymakers and some of the first bloggers. Agre had established a sizable online network and knew how to use it – so much so, he even published a how-to guide on using the Net to strengthen your professional relationships.”

I started my own list, Smart People I Know, due in a large part to the influence of Phil Agre and RRE. Eventually it turned into this blog.

I hope they find him safe and sound, soon.

How to describe colour? Crayola knows. The Associated Press does not.

The American Prospect points out a stupid comment made with regards to the colour of the gown that Michelle Obama wore recently, namely, AP said:

First lady Michelle Obama chose to wear a gleaming silver-sequined, flesh-colored gown Tuesday night to the first state dinner held by her husband’s administration.

Now if you look at what I underlined and then you look at this photo:

You can see it is not “flesh” colored, at least when it comes to the skin tone of Mrs. Obama. AP should know better.

AP mistakes aside, what this article did point me to was this page on the history of Crayola Crayons. I found it fascinating to see how they started with 8 basic colours in 1903, only to expand out to 48 colours in 1949. At that time, they retired Prussian Blue to Midnight Blue based on requests of teachers, and they replaced Flesh with Peach in 1962, “partially as a result of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement”.  Later on, the replaced Indian Red in 1999 with Chestnut. And in 2003 they replaced a number of other, less controversial, colours.

So there: I think it is entirely accurate to talk about the peach-coloured gown of Michelle Obama.

I am curious though about the controversy about Prussian Blue, since I believe Prussian Blue is still a paint colour that artists use. Was there some anti-Prussian sentiment that drove this change? Regardless, the Crayola page is interesting to anyone who has used one of their crayons (which is Canada and the U.S., probably everyone!)

The Matrix. Reenacted in Lego

What do you get when you spent 440 hours with Lego? Well, in this example, you get a near perfect reenactment of a scene from The Matrix, redone as Lego.

If you go to the site dedicated to this, you can see just how accurate it is and how it was made.

I think this is impressive.