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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Office 2010-13 is Loose

It’s been loosed on the world

More news about the latest version.

Office 2010

Office 2013

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Ribbon Guide


”These interactive guides show you where your favorite menu and toolbar commands are located in Office 2010-13. Just click the command or button that you want to find, and the guide will show you its location in the 2010-13 version of the program.”

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Office 2010-2013

Preview review

Ed Bott has been writing about Office since 1996. Here is his take on the latest version.

Ed Bott Office 2010

Office 2013

Office 2010: Product Guides

Office 2013

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Set Your Kindle Free


You can program your Kindle to accept screensavers, and other aps.

How to

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Sunday, December 11, 2016

How to spot a gun

using a graph

Edward Tufte has this discussion about a graphic that shows how to spot a hidden firearm.
"Color is used to highlight how the gun moves and how the gun reveals itself, short visual noun-verb sentences that indicate the key signs that help detectives to spot someone carrying a hidden handgun. Thus the color usually has a distinct substantive point and is not just used to depict surfaces or to decorate the news."

(Scroll down on web page)

Hidden hand gun

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Flight Status

Where da plane?

An easy way to find out whether Aunt Mable's plane is on time is to type the airline name and number into Google (or Bing).

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Friday, December 02, 2016

Ribbon Reasoning

What it's all about

Users opened Office 2007-10 and were shocked by the
transformation that was the Ribbon User Interface.
Here's a collection of how to's and why's by Patrick Schmid.
The Office UI Bible

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Wireless Security Myths

How to

A bit techy, but it may come in handy

The six dumbest ways to secure a wireless LAN:
George Ou

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Free Information

Sound bites and more

This is a collection of historical material including Edward R Murrow’s response to Joseph McCarthy.

Edward R Murrow


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Friday, November 11, 2016

Typig Games

Keyboard action

Improve your typing speed. A geek video game.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Type Design

Basic ideas

Sketches explaining some basic issues in type design.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016


Get your paper

"Discover the only worldwide, performance-based certification program that validates the skills needed to get the most out of Microsoft Office and Windows Vista. Whether you want to stand out in the job market, improve your performance, or better prepare your students to enter the workforce, the Microsoft Certification program can help you attain the valuable expertise you need—and businesses rely on—to succeed."
Microsoft Certification

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Productivity Guides

Free suggestions

Microsoft provides 22+ guides to productivity in the office.

"Microsoft IT created Work Smart productivity guides (previously Everyday Productivity Education (EPE) guides) to bridge the gap between technology and users. Work Smart guides provide employees with scenario-based, best-use productivity aids on Microsoft products and technologies. As more Work Smart guides are published, Microsoft IT expects to see more consistent, productive, and cost-effective use of products and technologies across the company."

IT Showcase

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Flip Text

This text is right side up

uʍop ǝpısdn sı sıɥʇ

This site accepts your perfect prose and turns it around.
(with Unicode)

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Historical Documents

Remember good old paper?

"Fold3 helps you find and share historic documents. We are able to bring you many never-before-seen historic documents through our unique partnerships with The National Archives, the Library of Congress and other institutions.

Our patented digitization process is helping bring other collections to life on the web everyday.

But Fold3 is more than just a dusty, digital archive online. We provide you the tools to share your historical passions and connect with others."

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Sunday, October 09, 2016


a stupid, worthless, or unattractive person

"(Jerry is) an all-American schlub . . . He has turned these degradations into an animated Web site appropriately named, on which he battles a cast of tormentors that includes the Meal Moth, his landlord and an alleged telephone conspiracy perpetrated by a duo of old ladies" Wall Street Journal

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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

My One and Only Thrill

Melody Gardot

Gentle. Almost from another time.
"The story of vocalist Melody Gardot is as remarkable as any who perseveres against abject adversity. Born in New Jersey in 1985, she took up piano and played as a youngster on the nightclub scene of Philadelphia, influenced by jazz, folk, rock and pop musics. At age 19 she was a fashion student at the Community College of Philadelphia. But, on a fateful day, while riding her bicycle, the driver of a Jeep made an illegal turn, hurdling into Gardot and leaving her in the street for dead. Hospitalized for months with multiple head injuries and pelvic fractures, her love for music was the best therapy she could receive.
Her music could be described as a cross between Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy, and Shania Twain, but goes deeper than mere pop convention. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide"

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Fast Interchange

7 day URL

Go to and then:

Enter a URL that starts with

Paste in anything you want.
Some text, links, etc. Click 'Save' when done.

On any other computer open a browser to the same URL.
You will find the information you entered in step 2.

Do more with Just open any URL that starts with and you can...
  • Create a notebook
  • Have a conversation
  • Create a community

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Clean PC

Wash and dry

"Your computer could fry if you don't keep it clean," says Jonathon Millman, chief technology officer for Hooplah Interactive.
Dust clogs the vents behind your computer, which causes your CPU to heat up—and heat is the biggest cause of component failure in computers. Regular cleaning could save you costly maintenance fees down the road.
Here are some suggestions for Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall cleaning:

PC Gamer

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dryer Sheet Uses

Not just for machines

Use Dryer Sheets to:
  1. Freshen smelly shoes.
  2. Remove static from clothing, hair, TV screens, and computer monitors.
  3. Clean pet hair from the floor or furniture.
  4. Replace a sachet.
  5. Loosen caked-on food from a pan.
  6. Tackle suitcase and gym-bag odors.
  7. Prevent old books from smelling musty when in storage.
  8. Wipe up sawdust after working in the garage.
  9. Prevent thread from tangling when sewing.
  10. Dust venetian blinds.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Hard Drive Innards

Hidden workings

Early on computers did not always have "Hard drives". The TRS-80 worked off a portable tape recorder.
If you want to see how they work today, look at:

Here are a couple of videos that explore the entrails. a Hard Drive


How a Hard Drive Works

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Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Convert to B&W

Photoshop tip

Pictures can be converted to black and white by just clicking on an action off of the menu.
If you want to have more control, here is a step by step instruction list.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Garden Cities of To-Morrow

Lullaby Baxter's Back

The quirky star of Capable Egg returns.

Rattled Little Clam

Montreal, 1997. Lullaby Baxter is waiting tables at Jello Bar. Coaxed on stage for an impromptu number, she sings Billie Holiday's signature song "Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)". This, her first public performance since grade school, brings down the house.

She buys a green guitar and learns "Leaving On A Jet Plane". Someone at the Laundromat says, "Anyway, try writing songs."

Little Song
Also see:
Capable Egg

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Copyright Fair Use

When can you use it?

The copyright law is a little vague when it comes to fair use.

" Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. For example, if you wish to criticize a novelist, you should have the freedom to quote a portion of the novelist's work without asking permission. Absent this freedom, copyright owners could stifle any negative comments about their work.
Unfortunately, if the copyright owner disagrees with your fair use interpretation, the dispute will have to be resolved by courts or arbitration. If it's not a fair use, then you are infringing upon the rights of the copyright owner and may be liable for damages."

U S Copyright Office
Ohio State University

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Burn Wrapping Paper

Holiday info

If you want to find out the real background story on any number of water cooler questions, try:

For instance:

Why is it dangerous to burn wrapping paper?

The fire is the wrong place for other holiday detritus as well - der Tannenbaum, for example.

My assistant Una had an Uncle Bob, a manly man who felt throwing the Christmas tree away was a waste of good firewood. So he tossed it in the fireplace - gave him a nice warm glow.
what was glowing was the roof, presumably ignited by embers.
the fire was small and anybody with a hose could have put it out.
the hose was frozen solid and the fire department had trouble getting the nearest hydrant to work.
the firefighters were able to throw a ladder up against the house and put out the fire with a chemical extinguisher. They then hacked off a small hunk of charred roof with axes, peered into the crawl space, and declared the fire out.
having by now found an operational hydrant, the firemen declared they needed to hose down the roof "as policy," sending a torrent of water through the hole and collapsing the living room ceiling.
Really unfortunately,
the house that all this happened in belonged not to Uncle Bob but his in-laws. Bob bought them an RV and matters were pronounced square, but it was a lesson he won't soon forget, and neither should you.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2016


and More

Gabriels Horn from the Curve Bank
Famous curves from Cal State at LA. All your favorites from Astroid to Witch of Agnesi.

Here is a collection of Functions relating to astronomy from

Can't tell who might be interested in the obliquity of the equator given date in days after J2000.0.
See: Astro VBA

Other Curve stuff: converting polar coordinates to Cartesian coordinates.
"Students of analytic geometry, (the kind that combines algebra and geometry), often work in one of two coordinate systems: Cartesian or Polar - and frequently must convert from one to the other.

The Cartesian system locates points on a plane by measuring the horizontal and vertical distances from an arbitrary origin to a point. These are usually denoted as a pair of values (X, Y).

The Polar system locates the point by measuring the straight line distance, usually denoted by R, from the origin to the point and the angle of an imaginary line from the origin to the point, θ, (Greek letter Theta), measured counterclockwise from the positive X axis."

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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Get Toasted

It's a recommended practice

"Let's face facts. The whole low-carb craze is playing itself out. The USDA recommends that every day we eat 6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and other foods containing grains, especially whole grains. Bread is not the enemy of a healthy body, if you select the right bread.

The American Dietetic Association recommends a minimum of three servings of whole grains per day and goes so far as to recommend whole-wheat toast with peanut butter as a quick and healthy breakfast option."

366 Ways To Enjoy Toast
By Mr Breakfast

Roller Toaster

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Psst - Cheap Gas

Drive to Save

" is the portal site to more than 170 web sites that help consumers find cheap gas prices. All web sites are operated by the non-profit organization known as GasBuddy Organization Inc.

Since gasoline prices change frequently and may vary by as much as 20 percent within only a few blocks it is important to be able locate the service station with the lowest priced fuel. GasBuddy Organization web sites allow consumers to both share information about low priced fuel with others as well as target the lowest priced stations to save at the pumps!"
Gas Price

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

History is Something to Play with

Games for kids (and you)

History can be boring when the only reward is a scribbled "Acceptable" on a test paper.

But what if part of the game is to build a trebuchet to fling the teacher?

"Welcome to the downloadable resources centre. This has been updated to allow quick, easy access to our resources kindly contributed by other teachers. There are now over 1,400 pages of resources available."

Interactive History Games

Also see Build a Trebuchet in your Backyard

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Type with One Hand

Does 85 WPM impress you?

The common short cuts are: Ctrl+X for Cut, Ctrl+C for Copy, and Ctrl+V for Paste.

These are optimized for use on the left side of the keyboard.

There's another set of shortcuts that use keys on the right-hand side the keyboard:

Cut: Shift + Delete
Copy: Ctrl + Insert
Paste: Shift + Insert

Also see:
One Hand Typing

"Computer Keyboard Shortcuts for one hand typists. Resources for vocational, occupational, rehabilitation therapists, and their clients, who have lost full, or partial use of one hand, with a special emphasis on learning to type with a standard keyboard."

"This video clip is of me, Lilly Walters. Note how I use my less able hand to do the SHIFT key. I am typing on a normal keyboard. I really do up to 85 words per minute - with enough caffeine and sleep. The keyboard shown here is a NORMAL keyboard you will find in any office, school or home. No alternative keyboard layouts. Just what all of my peers use. By the way, I type faster than most of my peers! All because I learned to type with one hand."

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Friday, July 22, 2016

Office Bling Bling

For your real desktop

C.A.Daniels & Company offers some decadent, fun, office bric-a-brac.

Hippo stapler

hare brush
Hare Brush and Mirror

Hippo Clock/Paperweight

trout razor
Trout Razor

Too much Bling
"A couple of months ago I bought a 17" LCD monitor (PolyView V17E). However, when I first powered it on, the thing that struck me was just how bright the blue power LED was! This power LED is just next to the power switch, immediately below the screen itself. The LED was bright enough to be very distracting, to the extent where it was just too bright to be able to look at the bottom part of the monitor without needing sunglasses.

Luckily, the LED was shining through a small plastic diffuser, mounted in the case, which had a flat surface on it. A couple of coats with a permanent marker dulled the brightness sufficiently to allow me to use the monitor without being blinded."

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Color News

A multidiscipline subject

Here is a study about how color effects a reader's choice of concentration.

It was intended for newspaper publishers, but the same knowledge can be used in Web design, PowerPoint, or any other reporting application. Word and Excel will also benefit.

Color, Contrast, and Dimension in News Design

Color Project

The Poynter Institute is a school for journalists, future journalists, and teachers of journalists.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

When Will You Die

Let the government help you find out

Stadium High school in Tacoma, WA, recently celebrated 100 years.

There have been 38,797 graduates since 1906 and 24,176 could still be alive.
This report presents period life tables for the United States based on age-specific death rates in 2003.

Presented are complete life tables by age, race, and sex. In 2003, the overall expectation of life at birth was 77.5 years, representing an increase of 0.2 years from life expectancy in 2002.

Between 2002 and 2003, life expectancy increased for males and females and for both the white and black populations.

Life expectancy increased by 0.3 years (from 77.7 to 78.0) for the white population and by 0.4 years (from 72.3 to 72.7) for the black population.

The greatest increase was experienced by black females with an increase of 0.5 years (from 75.6 to 76.1). Life expectancy increased by 0.2 years for black males (from 68.8 to 69.0), white males (from 75.1 to 75.3), and for white females (from 80.3 to 80.5).

Life expectancy at birth

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Go Back 23 Hours

Really save useful time

"Therefore, let us keep the fall ritual as it is. However, one Sunday each Spring, let us set our clocks not one hour forward, but TWENTY-THREE HOURS BACKWARD.

Think of all the advantages. We will not lose an hour of sleep; we will gain (almost) a day of rest. It will be Saturday all over again. You will never again miss Confession, or an airplane, or the Redskins game.

Naturally, if this were the whole plan, our calendars would fall behind one day in each year. However, the second part of the Revised DST Plan deals with this. Every four years, instead of adding a day, let us SUBTRACT THREE DAYS.

Furthermore, let these be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, which according to recent polls are the least popular days.

Stop Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time

About Daylight Saving Time

Wikipedia Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Savings Google News

As a result of the U.S. passing the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. changed starting in 2007. DST will begin on the second Sunday of March and end the first Sunday of November.

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Saturday, July 09, 2016

Emperor of Scent, The

By Chandler Burr

ISBN 0-375-50797-3
Random House 2002

About the Author
Has contributed to The Atlantic, New York Times Magazine, and the Washington
Post among others.

Book Description
A Story of Perfume, Obsession, and the Last Mystery of the Senses. Luca Turin proposes a new theory of smell. Vision is perceived by light vibrations; Sound as well. Turin proposes that the same is true of Smell.
The science gets a little deep, but the human story is compelling.
Whether he is right or not has not been universally decided. The fights between branches of science are like civet fights.

One scientist, Richard Doty, says

"You may have noticed that if you breath through your nose, you tend to breathe through only one side of it for a while, then for a while through the other. . . When you smell information on the right side, you send it to the left side of the brain and vice versa, and you find a statistically significant increase in verbal scores when you breathe through the left side of your nose."

October, 2004
"The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine this year goes to two Americans who have puzzled out the sense of smell. Richard Axel and Linda Buck will split $1.4 million for discovering how chemicals in the air trigger thousands of recognizably different odors."

National Public Radio


"Doty's comment is incorrect. Actually, it might be from Chandler Burr's book, that was unclear.
The olfactory receptor sites do not switch recognition to the opposite brain hemisphere. What is breathed in through the right nostril goes directly to the right side of the brain, the left to the left."


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Friday, July 08, 2016

Paper Art

Fold it all up

Caterpillar on a leaf

Here are a couple of sites that provide templates and instruction about Origami; paper folding:

Animated lesson
David Mitchell is internationally known for his ground-breaking origami designs and publications. He is a particular specialist in the field of modular origami but is also a prolific inventor of one-piece paperfolds, novelties, flexagons, puzzles, visual paradoxes and magical effects.

This site sells paper and provides templates:
Paper and More

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Definition of Definition

One Stop OneLook

A plethora of punditry

"If you have a word for which you'd like a definition or translation, we'll quickly shuttle you to the web-based dictionaries that define or translate that word. If you don't know how to spell the word, we'll help you do that too. No word is too obscure: More than 21 million words in more than 1096 online dictionaries are indexed by the OneLook search engine.

What can you do at
Define words:
Type a word into the search box on the front page to retrieve a list of dictionary web sites that define that word. Be sure "Find definitions" is selected.

Translate words:
Type a word into the search box and select "Find translations" to retrieve a list of dictionary web sites that have translations of that word into other languages.

Find words:
Type a pattern consisting of letters and the wildcards * and ? to retrieve a list of words matching your pattern."

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Does Butter Fly?

Not Birders - Butters?

North American Butterfly Association
The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) is, by far, the largest group of people in North America (Canada, United States, and Mexico) interested in butterflies.

[Butterflies - North American Butterfly Association Home Page Graphic]

Here are some quotes from the FAQ:
How many kinds of butterflies are there?
There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world. About 725 species have occurred in North American north of Mexico, with about 575 of these occurring regularly in the lower 48 states of the United States, and with about 275 species occurring regularly in Canada. Roughly 2000 species are found in Mexico.
How many kinds of butterflies can I find near where I live?
In most parts of the United States, you can find roughly 100 species of butterflies near your home. The number is higher in the Rio Grande Valley and some parts of the West, somewhat less in New England. As one goes northward into Canada the number decreases, while as one goes southward into Mexico the number greatly increases.
How long does a butterfly live?
An adult butterfly probably has an average life-span of approximately one month. In the wild, most butterflies' lives are shorter than this because of the dangers provided by predators, disease, and large objects, such as automobiles. The smallest butterflies may live only a week or so, while a few butterflies, such as Monarchs, Mourning Cloaks and tropical heliconians, can live up to nine months.

Also See:
An Obsession with Butterflies

"Just living is not enough, said the Butterfly. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. "

-Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875)

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Unicode is Huge

More symbols and letters

This free download lets you see and select more characters in the Unicode set. The Unicode Character Grid shows all assigned characters and private use characters in Unicode 6+.


Here's a blog covering Scripts, Unicode, Character Encoding and BabelStone Stuff
BableStone Blog

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gambling for Tuition

Casino tutoring

An education will probably increase your lifetime earnings. Why not make that probability work for you? Or not.

Teaching probability can be challenging because the mathematical formulas often are too abstract and complex for the students to fully grasp the underlying meaning and effect of the concepts. Games can provide a way to address this issue. For example, the game of roulette can be an exciting application for teaching probability concepts.
In this paper, we implement a model of roulette in a spreadsheet that can simulate outcomes of various betting strategies. The simulations can be analyzed to gain better insights into the corresponding probability structures. We use the model to simulate a particular betting strategy known as the bet-doubling, or Martingale, strategy. This strategy is quite popular and is often erroneously perceived as a winning strategy even though the probability analysis shows that such a perception is incorrect.

The simulation allows us to present the true implications of such a strategy for a player with a limited betting budget and relate the results to the underlying theoretical probability structure. The overall validation of the model, its use for teaching, including its application to analyze other types of betting strategies are discussed.

Illustrating Probability through Roulette

More Roulette strategy and statistics:
To Be Ahead And Quit

The Laymans Guide to Probability
"An in-depth but easily readable guide on probability theory, covering various aspects of the theory with a bias to gambling games and strategies. Includes working examples in an excel spreadsheet."

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Hold the Book in Your Hand

DaVinci and friends

It's close to impossible to be able to physically handle a classic text by Mozart, Jane Austin or others.

There is a way to get pretty close. Look at:
Turning the Page

This was brought to my attention by

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Combine Pharmacokinetics and Bowling

Shape the Zeitgeist

I like to jump head first into subjects that I have no understanding of at all.
Here's a site that meets the criteria. A site that discusses the book:

"Agronomic Representation of Muddles in Linguistic Theory"
by Peter Cannings

The august journal Speculative Grammarian has a long, rich, and varied history, weaving an intricate and subtle tapestry from disparate strands of linguistics, philology, history, politics, science, technology, botany, pharmacokinetics, computer science, the mathematics of humor, basket weaving, archery, glass blowing, roller coaster design, and bowling, among numerous other, less obvious fields.

SpecGram, as it is known to devotees and sworn enemies alike, has for centuries sought to bring together the greatest yet least understood minds of the time, embedding itself firmly in the cultural and psychological matrix of the global society while simultaneously illuminating, reflecting, and shaping the universal Zeitgeist.

The Speculative Grammarian

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Monday, May 23, 2016

More Pi, please

Pick a piece

Is your Social Security number just part of Pi? How about your phone number?

"In 1996, Arthur Bebak of Netsurfer Digest jokingly suggested the idea. I put the site online, linked from the now-defunct Useless Web Pages Pages. The original suggestion was to find your birthday in Pi, but things got out of hand. The original pi searcher featured 1.25 million digits. It was upgraded in 1998 to 50 million, in 2001 to 100 million, and in 2005, to 200 million digits to keep up with the times. The Pi Searcher has proven both exceptionally useless (see the comments) and occasionally useful to math & early science classes.

The Pi Searcher lets you search for any string of digits (up to 120 of them) in the first 200 million digits of Pi. You can also show any substring of Pi"

Today's date:
The string 09062010 occurs at position 100,612,215 counting from the first digit after the decimal point.

The string and surrounding digits:

69799506351530413700 09062010 38508990326697425579

Dave Anderson at:

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Monday, May 16, 2016

In Search of Stupidity

By Merrill R. Chapman

In Search of Stupidity: Over Twenty Years of High Tech Marketing Disasters

About the Author
Rick Chapman has worked for them all; from Ashton-Tate to Ziff-Davis.

Also see:

Book Description
"... how did Microsoft get that monopoly?

According to Rick Chapman, the answer is simpler: Microsoft was the only company on the list that never made a fatal, stupid mistake. Whether this was by dint of superior brainpower or just dumb luck, the biggest mistake Microsoft made was the dancing paperclip. And how bad was that, really? We ridiculed them, shut it off, and went back to using Word, Excel, Outlook, and Internet Explorer every minute of every day. But for every other software company that once had market leadership and saw it go down the drain, you can point to one or two giant blunders that steered the boat into an iceberg.

Micropro fiddled around rewriting the printer architecture instead of upgrading their flagship product, WordStar. Lotus wasted a year and a half shoehorning 123 to run on 640kb machines; by the time they were done Excel was shipping and 640kb machines were a dim memory. Digital Research wildly overcharged for CP/M-86 and lost a chance to be the de-facto standard for PC operating systems. VisiCorp sued themselves out of existence. Ashton-Tate never missed an opportunity to piss off dBase developers, poisoning the fragile ecology that is so vital to a platform vendor's success."

Quote: the following quote was added just for the neat statistic.
"In 1993, Microsoft Excel 5.0 took up about $36.00 worth of hard drive space. In 2000, Microsoft Excel 2000 takes up about $1.03 in hard drive space. All adjusted for inflation."

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Sunday, May 01, 2016

Military Clipart

Thousands of items

If you find the need for Armed Forces photos and art, here is the place to look.
Regardless of your opinion about their present mission, the military does present a spectacular visage.

"06/17/06 - An F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft sits at the ready as storm clouds pass overhead aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the Philippine Sea June 17, 2006.
(U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Aaron Burden)

All of these files are in the public domain unless otherwise indicated. However, we request you credit the photographer/videographer as indicated or simply "Department of Defense." Clipart

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Triangle with Three Right Angles

They said - "Impossible!"

Forget high school geometry. A triangle can have more than on ninety degree angle.

Here's how it was done:

"Caution!!!! Some of the optical illusions on this blog may cause dizziness or possibly epileptic seizures. The latter happens when the brain can't handle the conflicting information from your two eyes. If you start feeling unwell when using this website, immediately cover one eye with your hand and then leave the page. Do not close your eyes because that can make the attack worse."
Site map

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Paper Power

What do steam and paper have in common?

I find origami and paper sculpture intriguing.

Ed Bertschy provides a template that can be downloaded and printed on good paper to be used in the construction of a paper steam engine.

This paper steam engine is based on a Riches and Watts nominal 2 1/2 horsepower vertical A-frame double acting simple slide-valve steam engine circa 1870-75. The original engine was used to drive a water pump to irrigate the fields of Norfolk. If this model had a scale, it would be roughly 1:19. I had to double the size of the eccentric and strap in order to make it buildable. Everything else is close to scale, but changed in design and appearance because, well, paper isn't iron.

Everything will work on this engine, the flywheel turns, there really is a slide valve in the valve chest, the piston works, the cranks and the connecting rods, eccentric and strap all work if built carefully. The final model stands about 12 inches high. I hope you have as much fun building it as I had designing it.

Paper Steam Engine

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Your Grand-cestors Swore

Your Grandmothers told them to stop

What is there about a well placed curse that spices a novel or a conversation?
Perhaps it's genetic or evolutionary.
"The Jacobean dramatist Ben Jonson peppered his plays with fackings and "peremptorie Asses," and Shakespeare could hardly quill a stanza without inserting profanities of the day like "zounds" or "sblood" - offensive contractions of "God's wounds" and "God's blood" - or some wondrous sexual pun.

Even the quintessential Good Book abounds in naughty passages like the men in II Kings 18:27 who, as the comparatively tame King James translation puts it, "eat their own dung, and drink their own piss."

Almost before we spoke

Refered to by:
The Antiquity Of Cursing

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Thursday, April 07, 2016

Plain Numbers

I'd Like to Make It Clear

Plain Figures is a method of transforming statistical and financial data into figures, tables and graphs that people readily understand.

Have you ever:
  • squinted your eyes trying to see the numbers in a PowerPoint presentation?

  • scratched your head at a charity leaflet with an indecipherable pie chart titled 'Where your donation goes' ... and set it aside?

  • missed discussion at a meeting because you were busy trying to figure out the figures?

  • put aside a graph or table, thinking "I'm not good with numbers."?

Then you know how important the clear display of numerical information can be. Common problems People have trouble using numerical information for many reasons. Most commonly, authors don't know:
  • what to include: when unsure what numbers are important, people frequently display them all, overpowering the reader with irrelevance.

  • which format to use: the choice between text and table, table and chart, bar and pie.

  • how to use the technology effectively: computer software generates graphs easily, but the results hide your point behind incomprehensible chartjunk.

  • how to explain the information: selecting the right words for titles, columns and captions.

Plain Figures is a partnership between Sally Bigwood, located in Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK, and Melissa Spore, who divides her time between Toronto and Saskatoon, Canada. Sally and Melissa are sisters and both have dual citizenship in the United States.

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Saturday, April 02, 2016

What if the Truth Teller Fibs

Who ya gonna believe? is a great source for answers about urban myths, legends and computer hoaxes.

These articles appear on the Snopes site:

TRUE: The Mississippi state legislature removed fractions and decimal points from the mathematics curriculum of public secondary schools.

FALSE: The restaurant chain formerly known as "Kentucky Fried Chicken" changed its name to KFC to eliminate the word "fried" from its title.

TRUE: At the moment the Titanic hit an iceberg in the north Atlantic, the silent version of the film The Poseidon Adventure was being screened aboard ship.

After you stop shaking your head, look at the bottom left corner of the page and click on "More information about this page."
False Authority Syndrome

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Watermellon Pickles

Actually quite good

  1. Cut a watermelon into slices (for best results, use a melon that's not overly ripe).

  2. Cut the rind off the pink portion and cube the flesh.

  3. Soak the watermelon cubes overnight in brine made by dissolving 2 Tbsp. of pickling salt in 1 qt. water.

  4. In the morning, drain the brine off the melon cubes.

  5. Put a dill head and stem (or a couple of teaspoons of dill seed) in each quart jar. If you desire, also add a hot pepper (chili) and whole allspice and/or mixed pickling spice to each quart.

  6. Bring to a boil 1 cup white vinegar, 2 cups water, and 1/2 to 1 cup granulated sugar (try the smaller amount first and increase the amount if you decide you like your watermelon pickles sweeter).

  7. Pour the pickling solution boiling hot over the melon in the jars, filling them to 1/2 inch of the top of the jars.

  8. Wipe the rims and seal the jars with sterilized lids and rings.

  9. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, just long enough so the contents won't ferment. (If you process the pickles too long, they will be too soft.)
Here's the Volga Deutsch site:

 Getting in a pickle

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Paper Skyscrapers

Fold your own steamship

This beats paper airplanes. If you order you get hard paper cards with all the pieces.

What exactly is a Micromodel? Micromodels are card or paper models that were originally sold from the 1940's through the 1960's. Most were designed by Geoffrey Heighway.
Each model was made up of several small cards illustrated with the pieces of the model, all wrapped up in a label. You could cut the pieces out and carefully assemble an intricate little three-dimensional model.
Micromodels were known for the amazing details that people would add to customize their models. There were more than 100 original Micromodels of all types.


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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Julian Dates

Gregorian to/from Julian

Julian dates refer to the number of days from the first of the year and the number of days until the end of the year.

The year -45 has been called the "year of confusion," because in that year Julius Caesar inserted 90 days to bring the months of the Roman calendar back to their traditional place with respect to the seasons. This was Caesar's first step in replacing a calendar that had gone badly awry. Caesar created a solar calendar with twelve months of fixed lengths and a provision for an intercalary day to be added every fourth year. As a result, the average length of the Julian calendar year was 365.25 days.

The Gregorian (Pope Gregory XIII) calendar is based on a cycle of 400 years, which comprises 146,097 days. Since 146,097 is evenly divisible by 7. Dividing 146,097 by 400 yields an average length of 365.2425 days per calendar year, which is a close approximation to the length of the tropical year. The Gregorian calendar accumulates an error of one day in about 2500 years.

Calendars by L. E. Doggett

From Chip Pearson's site

"Many applications (especially mainframe systems) store dates in the Julian format, which is a 5-digit number, consisting of a 2-digit year and a 3-digit day-of-year number. For example, 24-August-1999 is stored as 99236, since 24-August is the 236th day of the year. Excel does not support Julian dates directly, but you can use them with only a few fairly simple formulas.

Converting A Standard Date To A Julian Date

The formula below will convert a standard Excel date in A1 to a Julian Date.


This formula takes the 2 right-most characters of the YEAR of the date in A1, and then appends the number of days between the date in A1 and the 0th day of that year. The TEXT function formats the day-of-year number as three digits, with leading zeros if necessary.

Converting A Julian Date To A Standard Date

The formula below will convert a Julian date to a standard Excel date.

=DATE(IF(0+(LEFT(A1,2))<30 data-blogger-escaped-strong="strong">

If the year digits of the Julian date are less than 30 (i.e., 00 to 29), the date is assumed to be a 2000 century year. If the year digits of the Julian date are greater than or equal to 30 (i.e., 30 to 99), the date is assumed to be a 1900 century year. This formula works by taking advantage of the fact that the DATE function can handle days beyond the "normal" days in a month. For example, DATE correctly computes 100-Jan-1999 to be 10-April-1999.

These Julian dates must have the leading zero or zeros for years between 2000 and 2009. For example the 123rd day of 2000 must be entered as 00123. Format the cell as TEXT before entering the data, or enter an apostrophe before the Julian date -- e.g., '00123. This will prevent Excel from treating the Julian date as a number and suppressing the leading zeros."

US Naval Observatory has this definition (and a calculator):

Julian dates (abbreviated JD) are simply a continuous count of days and fractions since noon Universal Time on January 1, 4713 BCE (on the Julian calendar). Almost 2.5 million days have transpired since this date.

CE 2016 March 17 03:00:00.0 is JD 2457464.625000

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Map Yourself

Make your own

You know you've wanted to play with Google maps on your own. It's not super easy, but here's a description about how to do it.

"One of the great things about Google maps is it has its roots in XML. To translate for the non-web developers out there, it basically means Google maps are user hackable.

This how-to will show you how to make your own annotated Google map from your own GPS data. Plus, you'll be able to tie in images and video to create an interactive multimedia map.

We'll walk you through the steps we took to generate an annotated map of a walk we took recently through our hometown, now that it's actually starting to get warm enough to want to walk about!"

Make your own annotated multimedia Google map

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Girl Who Fell to Earth

By Sophia Al-Maria

“When Sophia Al-Maria's mother sends her away from rainy Washington State to stay with her husband's desert-dwelling Bedouin family in Qatar, she intends it to be a sort of teenage cultural boot camp. What her mother doesn't know is that there are some things about growing up that are universal. In Qatar, Sophia is faced with a new world she'd only imagined as a child. She sets out to find her freedom, even in the most unlikely of places.

Both family saga and coming-of-age story, The Girl Who Fell to Earth takes readers from the green valleys of the Pacific Northwest to the dunes of the Arabian Gulf and on to the sprawling chaos of Cairo. Struggling to adapt to her nomadic lifestyle, Sophia is haunted by the feeling that she is perpetually in exile: hovering somewhere between two families, two cultures, and two worlds. She must make a place for herself—a complex journey that includes finding young love in the Arabian Gulf, rebellion in Cairo, and, finally, self-discovery in the mountains of Sinai.”

 “… Matar (Sophia's father) agreed to a trade-off with Gale (Sophia's mother): in exchange for a simple nondenominational ceremony, Gale would quietly convert to Islam and raise their children as Muslims. In the end, the marriage consisted of a civil ceremony performed by a notary public in the kitchen of the farmhouse, and later that evening when the newlyweds were alone, a private circumnavigation of a lilac bush in the backyard.”

  The Girl Who Fell to Earth: A Memoir

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

May I have a Word

Vocabulary game

Sometimes what we know is wrong. Try this puzzle to see if you really know what words mean.

"In this etymology game you'll be presented with 10 randomly selected etymology (word origin) or word definition puzzles to solve; in each case the word or phrase is highlighted in bold, and a number of possible answers will be presented. You need to choose the correct answer to score a point for that question. Beware! The false answers will often also seem quite plausible, and some of the true answers are hard to believe, but we have documentation!

What is arachibutyrophobia?
  1. A fear of spiders.

  2. A fear of ingesting too much margarine.

  3. A fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth.

  4. A fear of butane lighters.

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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Moxie Cola

What this country needs is plenty of Moxie

"Moxie outsells Coke"

The West coast was not a huge Moxie fan back in the day. Easterners had the advantage of a drink that has been described as a combination Dr. Pepper and cough syrup. It preceded and out sold Coke and Pepsi in the beginning, but lost market position.

How could it fail with a spiel like this:

"Contains not a drop of Medicine, Poison, Stimulant or Alcohol. But is a simple sugarcane-like plant grown near the Equator and farther south, was lately accidentally discovered by Lieut. Moxie and has proved itself to be the only harmless nerve food known that can recover brain and nervous exhaustion, loss of manhood, imbecility and helplessness. It has recovered paralysis, softening of the brain, locomotor ataxia, and insanity when caused by nervous exhaustion. It gives a durable solid strength, makes you eat voraciously, takes away the tired, sleepy, listless feeling like magic, removes fatigue from mental and physical over work at once, will not interfere with action of vegetable medicines.

You can still buy Moxie and a bunch of other odd soft drinks. Here is some information on micro bottlers around the country.

Other soda sites:

The Soda Pop Stop:


Bubbles of fresh tasting mint in a soft drink. This one is so great! It's delicious alone, use it as a mixer or make ice cubes.

The Soda Shop:


"Although we may be the smallest soda company around, our flagship brand is the most locally loved soft drink of its time. Rich with history, Boylan's Birch Beer started in a apothecary in the early 1890's and developed into the most popular flavor of The Boylan Sodaworks. Boylan was a bottling and keg filling operation located in the heart of Paterson, NJ, the first industrialized city in the country.

Competition increased however, and in the 1930's Boylan was forced to close its bottling lines, leaving Boylan's Draught Birch Beer as its only product. Shortly thereafter, the rights to the name, the formula, and the sole route was purchased by the driver. He, by himself, was responsible for pulling Boylan's Draught Birch Beer from near extinction to a beverage that is enjoyed by thousands at Fourth of July parades, town picnics, hot dog stands and many good times.

His reward for this accomplishment was a 7 day - 80 hour work week, but he would have it no other way.

In appreciation of our grandfather's effort, we honor him with this bottling project."

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Grand Complication, The

By Allen Kurzweil

ISBN 0-7868-6603-9
Hyperion August 2001

About the Author
The Library of Congress has a reading by Kurzweil

Book Description
"Narrated by Alexander Short, a stylish young reference librarian of arcane interests, The Grand Complication propels the reader through a card catalog of desperation and delight, of intrigue and theft. It's a novel of suspense that comes full circle, with a clock-maker's precision and a storyteller's surprise, on page 360."

"THE SEARCH BEGAN with a library call slip and the gracious query of an elegant man.
"I beg your pardon," said the man, bowing ever so slightly. "Might I steal a moment of your time?"

He deposited his slip on the reference desk and turned it so that the lettering would face me. And if this unusual courtesy wasn't enough to attract attention, there was also the matter of his handwriting — a gorgeous old-fashioned script executed with confident ascenders and tapering exit strokes — as well as the title of the book he requested. Secret Compartments in Eighteenth-Century Furniture played right to my fascination with objects of enclosure.

"Let's see what we can do for you, Mr. — " I double-checked the bottom of the slip before uttering his improbably literary name. "Henry James Jesson III."

After I had directed him to the tube clerk, curiosity got the best of me, so I rang the stack supervisor and asked that she expedite retrieval. In a further breach of protocol, I pushed through the swing gate and planted myself near the dumbwaiter in Delivery, where I waited for the book to surface.

"This is terribly kind of you," Jesson said as I slid Secret Compartments under the brass grille.

"Glad to be of service."

I was professional enough not to mention the uncanny overlap of our interests — I don't meet many readers keen on lettering technique and enclosures. But that same restraint left me mildly disappointed. The call slip was so enticing, our exchange so stilted and brief.

Jesson settled himself at a table near the municipal tax codes. He quickly supplied further proof of a charmingly outmoded manner by digging deep into his capacious trouser pockets to extract a roll of paper, a tiny ink pot, and a calligraphy pen. Though he seemed to ignore the stares of nearby readers, he occasionally glanced in my direction, as if to confirm that I'd stuck around. Which, of course, I had. In fact, while he took notes on Secret Compartments, I took notes on him, convinced that the consonance of our uncommon pursuits demanded annotation.

He wore billowy trousers of moss-green corduroy that had wale as thick as pencils. These he partnered with a button-down shirt of subtle stripe and a dainty chamois vest tied at the back with a fat purple ribbon. He had an indulgent-looking face and blue-gray eyes that recalled the color of the buckram on my compact OED. Despite a bump at the bridge of his nose and teeth that predated fluoridation, he was undeniably handsome, a scholar who appeared unencumbered by the tattered frugality of most academics I assist. Those, in toto, were my preliminary observations of the elderly man wishing to steal a moment of my time."

A watch that shows the phases of the moon, for instance, is said to have one complication. A watch with five of these extra actions is said to be a grand complication.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

A morning's home companion

The Writer's Almanac®, a daily program of poetry and history hosted by Garrison Keillor, can be heard each day on public radio stations throughout the country. Each day's program is about five minutes long.
Minnesota Public Radio will email the newsletter and link to you every morning.

It's a pleasant way to start the day with Garrison talking about some piece of literary history and then reading a short poem.

Try it, you'll like it.The Writers

Also, in keeping,
Prairie Home Companion Features

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Byte, Nibble, Crumb, Bit

Umpty ump definitions and references — maybe even a googol.

We all know/knew that a nibble is four binary digits or half of a (eight-bit) byte and that a crumb is jargon for two bits (two binary digits). However, there must be some other definitions that don't pop into mind right away.

That's where Whatis, an IT-specific encyclopedia comes in.

"Every File Format in the World"

This is a list of file name extension or suffixes that indicate the format or usage of a file and a brief description of that format.

MIDI file (text+MIDI) (Karaoke)

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Sunday, February 14, 2016


(Almost, if you've got the parts laying around)

From the "Not quite too hard to do" file. Construct your own DVR from a leftover PC.

"I started with an old PC (a Dell Dimension 4500) that had unfortunately been destroyed by lightning. After some experimentation, I figured out that the only bad portions of the PC were the motherboard and the modem (which I didn't need anyway). I decided to replace the motherboard and keep the same case and other hardware because I really liked Dell's clamshell case design. I did some research at my local Fry's electronics store and got a motherboard that would allow me to use the same memory, processor, and case. After getting . . . . .
Build a Better DVR out of an Old PC

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Who was that font I saw you with last night?

That was no font, that was my typeface

You can find the Fonts supplied with some Microsoft products
Select a product name from the list to get a list of fonts supplied with that product.

Microsoft's Typography is an interesting site to poke around in.

Here are some books I use for reference material:
Words into Type
by Marjorie E. Skillin, Robert Malcolm Gay ISBN 0139642625

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works

by Erik Spiekermann, E.M Ginger ISBN 0201703394

The Elements of Typographic Style
by Robert Bringhurst ISBN 0881791326
"A font can be defined as a collection of characters with the same style and size. A typeface is the design of the characters regardless of size or style. The terms are used interchangeably today."

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Who was that font I saw you with last night?

That was no font, that was my typeface

You can find the Fonts supplied with some Microsoft products
Select a product name from the list to get a list of fonts supplied with that product.

Microsoft's Typography is an interesting site to poke around in.

Here are some books I use for reference material:
Words into Type
by Marjorie E. Skillin, Robert Malcolm Gay ISBN 0139642625

Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works

by Erik Spiekermann, E.M Ginger ISBN 0201703394

The Elements of Typographic Style
by Robert Bringhurst ISBN 0881791326
"A font can be defined as a collection of characters with the same style and size. A typeface is the design of the characters regardless of size or style. The terms are used interchangeably today."

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Monday, February 08, 2016

Extreme Tweaks

Learn by example

When you realize that tattoos are only skin deep.

"Some people may look at this website, browse through the portfolios, and come to the conclusion that they want to become part of Steve's art. Some others may immediately decide that they don't like what they see. They may be offended or horrified by the subject matter, by the form that Steve's art takes, by the extreme individualism exhibited herein.

So one person's idea of body modification is going to be a pierced ear lobe, and another person's idea of body modification is to look like the el Diablo himself. Just because you don't agree doesn't make it wrong."

Steven Haworth

Here's one of Steve's clients:
"Stalking Cat"

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Kahanamoku Keyboard

Surfboard - Keyboard

People ask you how to increase the font size in Internet Explorer?

"Oh, well, go to View>Text size and pick one between Largest and Smallest."

Here's another way:

Resize Text Size IE

Hold down CTRL key and move the wheel on the mouse.
The page text will enlarge or shrink.

Here are some others from Penn State University

Browser Tricks

Quick jump to Web Site IE

Type just the Internet domain name in the URL Address field and hold down CTRL+ENTER keys.
This will fill in www as the machine name and add .com

Presentation Mode IE

Select the F11 function key to enter Presentation mode (full screen).
Select the F11 function key to toggle back.

Page forward and back IE

Hold down SHIFT key and move the wheel on the mouse.
This will page forward or backward through the pages selected.

Page scroll using mouse wheel button IE

Push down on the mouse wheel button and slide the whole mouse up and down.
This will page up and down the screen.

Open a New IE Window with One Click

Hold down SHIFT and click on the link.
A new IE browser window will appear.

Page forward and back using arrow keys IE

Hold ALT button and use the arrow keys to page forward and back.

Get to Your Favorites with Keyboard Shortcut IE

Enter CTRL+I will bring up your left pane favorites.
Enter CTRL+I will make it disappear
Enter CTRL+B to organize your favorites

Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (1890-1968) is called the Father of Modern Surfing. There were others before him, such as George Freeth, who died in 1919, but Duke is the most widely known.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Quote Mw All You Like

What the other guy says has weight

There are sites that give you Bartleby Quotations.

Gar Reynold has put together a list of some other sites that can help bolster any argument, no mater how specious.

"In my presentations, I may have several slides which feature a quote from a famous (sometimes not so famous) individual in the field. The quote may be a springboard into the topic or serve as support or reinforcement for the particular point I'm making. A typical Tom Peters presentation at one of his seminars, for example, may include dozens of slides with quotes. 'I say that my conclusions are much more credible when I back them up with great sources,' Tom says."
Where to get quotations

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."
Pablo Picasso

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Half Staff

When and how

A Proclamation by the President: Death of Coretta Scott King

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

As a mark of respect for the memory of Coretta Scott King, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that on February 7, 2006, the day of her interment, the flag of the United States shall be flown at half staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset on such day. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of February, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirtieth.

Issued 2/6/06

Free notification of Official orders to fly the flag at half staff. Contact

You will be notified when orders are released.


Veterans Administration:
Guidelines for Display of the Flag


Flag Etiquette

Washington State flag

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Date an Octothorpe

Some more of those things I'm sure I used to know

The keyboard combination of Alt+Shift+D inserts the current date in MS Word and PowerPoint. Ctrl+; (semicolon) does it in Excel and Access.

If you do not like the date's format, select a different one with Insert>Date and Time and, if you would like to make that permanent, click on the Default button in the lower left corner of the dialog box (in PowerPoint it's in the lower right corner).

In Excel, Ctrl+Shift +# formats the entry as day-month-year. Ctrl+1 will display the "Format cells" dialog box.

BTW, the "hash, pound or number" sign # is also called an "octothorpe".

The person who named it combined Octo for the eight points and Thorpe for James Thorpe.

"Bell Labs engineer, Don Macpherson, went to instruct their first client, the Mayo Clinic, in the use of the new touch tone phone system. He felt the need for a fresh and unambiguous name for the # symbol. His reasoning that led to the new word was roughly that it had eight points, so ought to start with octo-. He was apparently at that time active in a group that was trying to get the Olympic medals of the athlete Jim Thorpe returned from Sweden, so he decided to add thorpe to the end."

While we're at it, the "backwards P, Enter mark" is actually named a "pilcrow".

The pilcrow was used in medieval times to mark a new train of thought, before the convention of using paragraphs was commonplace.

Also see:
Geek-speak names for punctuation marks


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

That's the Way I Believe It's Sppelled

Wrong list

Spelling feels more like art than science. Here's a site that shows 100 (actually 250) words that are often misspelled.

It also gives you reasons and memory tricks to get it right.

Not all pens and pencils come with spellcheckers.

The "i-before-e" rule has more exceptions than words it applies to.

Dr. Language has provided a one-stop cure for all your spelling ills. Here are the 100 words most often misspelled ("misspell" is one of them). Each word has a mnemonic pill with it and, if you swallow it, it will help you to remember how to spell the word. Master the orthography of the words on this page and reduce the time you spend searching dictionaries by 50%.

100 Most Misspelled
Most Mispronounced
(You mean it's not "pronounciation"?
That's what happens when you have Old-timer's disease.)

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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Just Say No to Be

To be, or no to be

E-Prime aims to eliminate all forms of the verb "to be". (Try that with your next report.)

"E-Prime comprises standard English with all forms of the verb 'TO BE' deleted; its use prevents forms of the verb 'TO BE' creating erroneous and irrational generalizations in language and thought."
  • John is lethargic and unhappy.
  • John is bright and cheerful.

  • John appears lethargic and unhappy in the office.
  • John appears bright and cheerful on holiday at the beach.

The result may appear wishy washy, but more accurate.
Also see:
E-Prime Tutorial 
A Laymen's View

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Friday, January 01, 2016

Nite Tide


Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
Hightone Records August 15, 2000

Nite Tide
About the Artist
"Hailing from Anaheim, California, Big Sandy (neé Robert Williams) draws from a number of influences--country, western swing, rockabilly, doo wop, R & B, and jump blues. The best Big Sandy songs are the sexy ones about seduction, innocent on the surface and a little dirty underneath. The retro appeal of the band is equivalent to a Model T or Vargas bombshell"

Recording Description
Groovin', jumpin', hot rods, Rock-a-billy.
One of the cuts -- When Sleep Won't Come (Blues for Spade) -- refers to the uxoricidal "Spade" Cooley.

Also see:
The Old Corral, b-westerns, Inc

  1. Night Tide - Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
  2. Between Darkness and Dawn
  3. Tequila Calling
  4. When Sleep Won't Come (Blues for Spade)
  5. If You Only Knew - Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
  6. Give Your Loving to Me
  7. In the Steel of the Night
  8. Man Like Me
  9. Hey Lowdown!
  10. My Time Will Come Someday
  11. I Think of You
  12. Nothing to Lose
  13. South Bay Stomp
  14. Let Her Know

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