4/30/10

How Lincoln learned to read ...

Nice title, eh? Nice book cover too. By Daniel Wolff:
“Part of what I hope to do with How Lincoln Learned to Read is simply to broaden the questions we ask about learning. To acknowledge that some people learn best in the backyard with a tin can and an irrigation ditch, and some people learn best with a text book and a clock ticking. I think we all know that; we just don’t say it very often.”

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4/28/10

4/27/10

Listening to Neil Gaiman on writing stories ...

Lovely talk.

“Best-selling comic book and science fiction writer Neil Gaiman speaks at Stillwater High School as part of a new Twin Cities-wide program to celebrate reading. Gaiman is the award-winning author of "Coraline," "The Graveyard Book," and the acclaimed DC Comics series ‘Sandman.’”

4/23/10

Overlooking Mic Mac Lake, Minnesota ...

A few years ago we cabined on Mic Mac Lake on the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior. The name caught my interest immediately; the Mi’kmaq (earlier spelled Micmac) are a Native American tribe indigenous to the maritime provinces of Canada, where my mom grew up. So I asked about the name. Here’s the scoop: "A logging camp was set up on the shores of a lake the loggers called Mic Mac, after the major Indian tribe from their native New Brunswick, Canada. They took the Mic Mac’s Algonquin names for New Brunswick landmarks and gave them to the lakes in Minnesota."

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Hiking the Baptism River ...

It’s been a few years since we have camped and cabined at Tettegouche State Park on Lake Superior. Always nice. Here's the map and the big version.

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4/16/10

4/15/10

Wildflowers, detail or flavor ...

Gen wants me to gather my wildflower photos into a digital book form. Nice idea. One question: Is a tweaked shot that shows more detail more useful for identification than the photo straight up. Here’s an example of a pasqueflower in Whitewater State Park, taken last weekend.
Regular:

Tweaked:
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Woven words ... info as art

The previous post got me thinking about the visualization of information. Here’s a collection of fifty websites that use visual tools. Amazing and gorgeous. Very difficult to pick a best example, but check this out.

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Detail:
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4/14/10

Wisteria or Hysteria? ...

Here’s a site that tracks air traffic on google maps. This morning England has grounded all flights due to volcanic ash blowing in from Iceland. This doesn’t explain Spain.

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4/11/10

Forget me not ...

On a hike today, we remembered the bunches of Forget me nots we have seen up on Lake Superior.

4/7/10

Swimming reindeer ...

I love this kind of historical research. This carving is one the oldest works of art in the British Museum, carved from the tip of a mammoth tusk. See the BBC site titled A History of the World in 100 Objects.

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4/5/10

More from the wildflower collection ...

This one’s an anemone, found in Perrot State Park. Sorry about the arty filtering; the shot needed help.

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4/4/10

Spotting some spring beauties ...

These ephemeral lookers are hypatica and bloodroot.

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Borrowing blessings ...

I look to the Irish for their blessings for the seasons.

May the blessing of the rain be on you—the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.

May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.

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4/1/10

A great educational tool just dropped into my budget ...

WolframAlpha just lowered the price of its app from $50 to $2. Free online use.

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Mixing coffee with cocoa ...

Now this looks like trouble. For me, anyway. Just whip out an iPod to pay for your coffee. (Cocoa is the programming language for Macs. Little joke there.)

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Happily rationalizing ...

According to this site, my first Mac, back in 1987, cost about $6,000 in today's dollars, $2,800 back then. Or 12 iPads or 30 iPod Touches, using this linga techna. And that for a device that had 1/100 or less the capability of an iPod Touch.

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