Fifteen minutes

Open up Google Maps, go to Gilbertsville, NY, zoom in on Maple Street, look at the available pictures, and you’ll find this.


(This was one of a bunch of pictures I made public on Google+ that got stuck into Google Maps. Several others from downtown Syracuse were taken while I was trying to set up the ATM tour, but as such are only peripherally morris related.)

Any other morris dancing pictures in Google Maps? I checked Bampton, Oxfordshire: Nothing!

Someday the Street View car will drive by a morris danceout, right?


Comics of the web kind, a not too soon update

Hmm. I was thinking maybe I’d write up the webcomics I’m following these days… it’s been a year or two since I last did that. Then I looked. It’s been nearly three years. Hey, time flies.

So, update. The ones I was following in November 2011:

  • Cleopatra in Spaaaace! by Mike Maihack. No longer running as a webcomic. Instead Maihack’s doing Cleopatra in Space graphic novels. On paper. Book 1 came out last spring, Book 2 is due this spring. My son and I both liked the first one.
  • Crimson Dark by David C. Simon. Ended in late 2011.
  • The Dreadful, by Matt Speroni. I’m still following this one, but with less enthusiasm than in the early days. The story line sort of rambles all over the place without a very strong focus or direction. At least he’s finally brought Liz back after a too-long absence; she was a good character. And she and Kit played off one another well, but he hasn’t brought them back together yet.
  • Escape from Planet Nowhere, by Otis Frampton. Seemingly petered out some time ago.
  • How I Killed Your Master, by Brian Clevinger and Matt Speroni, never resumed.
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, by Justin Pierce. Still following. Still funny.
  • Power Nap, by Maritza Campos and Bachan. Apparently still running, but didn’t sustain my interest.
  • Questionable Content, by Jeph Jacques. Still one of my favorites and going strong.
  • Red’s Planet, by Eddie Pittman. Still in my RSS feed, but updating very sporadically up until last June at which point Pittman said “There’s been a great development I can’t tell you about but it means not updating for a while.” I’m sort of guessing this one’s moving to paper too. I’m not missing it that much, it was kind of fun but not really high on my list.
  • Scenes From a Multiverse, by Jonathan Rosenberg. The fan vote thing got stopped but the comic’s still going and I’m enjoying it.
  • Spacetrawler, by Christopher Baldwin. Ended. Baldwin then started up a new comic, but it didn’t appeal to me as much and I haven’t been reading it.
  • Wondermark, by David Malki. Still going and another of my favorites.
  • XKCD, by Randall Munroe. Likewise.

And the newer (to me) ones:

  • Blindsprings, by Kadi Fedoruk. Updates twice a week. A fairly new comic; started last October. She’s telling a fantasy story about a young girl — well, young and very old at the same time — who’s central to a power struggle between two magical factions… I guess. At 80 pages in we’re still learning what’s going on. I really like the artwork.
  • The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo, by Drew Weing. Updates twice a week. Family friendly story of monsters in the basement. Just started in February, so easy to catch up with.
  • Dresden Codak, by Aaron Diaz. Updates very infrequently but steadily. Diaz just takes that long to get each strip done — he puts a lot into the art. He’s telling stories that are a little hard to follow (especially at his pace), somewhat nonlinear and a little obtuse, but worth following.
  • Drive, by Dave Kellett. Updating sporadically. Baldwin took some time off for another project, then came back for a couple months, but no updates since June. A fairly humorous science fiction story, but suffering from the hiatuses.
  • Dumbing of Age, by David M. Willis. Updates seven days a week. This is about a bunch of college students, mostly freshmen, mostly women, so I’m sort of outside the target demographic… but it’s fun. Interestingly, Willis has done a couple of other comics using the same characters in a different universe; one of these, Shortpacked!, will be ending in January on its tenth anniversary. I binge-read the DoA archive but am in no hurry to do likewise with the other comics.
  • Girls with Slingshots, by Danielle Corsetto. Updates five days a week. Another I’m-not-in-the -demographic situation, it being focused mainly on two women in their late twenties (and their friends, mostly other women in their late twenties or so) but fun and well written.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, by Zach Weiner. Also updates seven days a week. Gag comic with strong nerd content. I only started following this very recently and wish I’d started a lot earlier. There’s 3402 strips in the archive; not going to binge-read that anytime soon.
  • Woo Hoo! by Molly “Jakface” Němeček and J.R. Boos. Updates once, sometimes twice a week. Officially. But really it’s been about twice a month lately, though we’ve had three this month. This is the most recent addition to my comics RSS, and I’m not sure if I’ll be sticking with it. I kind of like the art, which is very vividly colored, but then again some of the style grates on me. The story’s just getting going, so we’ll see if it keeps me interested.



A hundred dollars worth of irony

I finally got a look at the “new” (2013) $100 bill today. I went to transfer some money from one credit union to another, and they were having trouble printing checks, so I took my withdrawal in Benjamins.

I can’t say I’m particularly enamored of the design. Still, slowly but surely we’re moving away from the drab green / black monochrome monstrosities we’ve been saddled with for so long. I’d say someday US currency might be as attractive as that of many other countries, except for the likelihood that paper money will be extinct before we get there.

Here’s a graphic showing $100 bills from 1862 to present. I kind of like the obverse of the 1862 note.

You probably recognize the guy on the 1878 and 1880 notes; maybe not the one on the 1890 Treasury Note, Admiral David Farragut (who didn’t quite say “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead“). Not shown on that page is the Series 1878 Silver Certificate with James Monroe pictured. 

What about the 1922 Gold Certificate, though; who’s that?

That’s Thomas Hart Benton; you may have heard of him. Or you may not have. I know I haven’t.

He was a Senator. So were a lot of other guys, so why’s his picture on this note? Good question. Wikipedia says he was known for being “an architect and champion of westward expansion by the United States, a cause that became known as Manifest Destiny.” That hardly seems sufficiently, ahem, noteworthy. (See what I did there? I kill me.)

Wikipedia also says:

Benton was an unflagging advocate for “hard money”, that is gold coin (specie) or bullion as money—as opposed to paper money “backed” by gold as in a “gold standard”. “Soft” (i.e. paper or credit) currency, in his opinion, favored rich urban Easterners at the expense of the small farmers and tradespeople of the West. He proposed a law requiring payment for federal land in hard currency only, which was defeated in Congress but later enshrined in an executive order, the Specie Circular, by Jackson (1836). His position on currency earned him the nickname Old Bullion.

Well, that explains it, then. They put his picture on paper money solely to make him spin in his grave.

.@Anagramatron classics III

More from Anagramatron:

  • Today’s game is pointless = Goes to play Sims instead
  • So many errands, so little time = I’m not stressed. I really am not.
  • I want to live in Germany = Argentina win it my love
  • Seriously, is it that cold? = It’s sorta chilly outside
  • I misplaced my remote = Limited memory space
  • Why do you treat me like nothing = when I’m here dying to talk to you

ATM 39, Seneca Falls

IMG_2837The 39th tour of the American Travelling Morrice is now in the books. Everything went pretty well, the worst problems being rain, including heavy thunderstorms Sunday night, and a nest of yellowjackets in the camp near our big tent which (via means approved by our organic farmer host) we eradicated early in the week, but not before several people got stung. Other than that… a good tour.

Our first stand Sunday in Geneva was one of our best, with a good appreciative audience. We circumnavigated Seneca Lake that day, going down to Watkins Glen and back up via Lodi and a nice swim at Samson State Park.

Practice on Monday was largely given over to two dances new to most of the group, “I-91″ (Litchfield) and “Johnson the Butcher” (Bampton/stick). The two outdoor stands that afternoon were scrubbed and we danced inside the new Sequestered Tavern in Seneca Falls.

Tuesday was the western arm of the tour, with scenic stands in Fairport and Pittsford before going on to the Strong Museum and the Old Toad pub in Rochester, with much jig work at the latter.

Wednesday was our day off, and partly because I thought I was fighting a cold (later I decided it was more likely allergies) I went off on my own on a foray to Letchworth State Park. The Catlin Bass Clarion is still off exhibit at the museum there, alas (I’ll check again in four or five years, maybe) but I got to see more of the scenery in the “Grand Canyon of the Northeast”. Last February I saw the “Grand Canyon of Hawaii”. Someday I should go see the “Grand Canyon of the Grand Canyon”.

Thursday was to the east, starting at Baltimore Woods in Marcellus, then on to a block party at the Moses House in the same town. After that, Syracuse. Rain flirted with us all day, including a downpour right at the end of our lunch at the Moses House which cleared up before our next stand at Hanover Square. It never rained on our dancing, but the weather may have contributed to small audiences. Armory Square was next, with a stand next to the shot clock bracketed by visits to Kitty Hoyne’s and Mully’s.

Friday we went via Taughannock Falls to Ithaca, and a visit to the late Bob De Luca, before a nursing home, a pub, and dancing and dinner at Rogue’s Harbor Inn. That was another lake circled, Cayuga this time.

The last day of dancing was closer to camp: Skaneateles, Auburn, and Seneca Falls — the Sequestered again, followed by a feast at the Gould Hotel. This morning we struck camp and returned home.

Allergy symptoms aside (no stings, thankfully) I had a great time. We had 35 or so dancers on the tour which meant less dancing for me than back in the days when 20 or so was more the norm. I remember years when my shins were in high revolt by Tuesday, mollified by the day off before returning to action Thursday. This week was largely pain free as far as I was concerned. Still, a tour that size poses challenges for planning and execution, and there are benefits to a more intimate size I missed this week. But I can’t say I was dissatisfied with the amount of dancing I did, mostly Bampton, Campden, and Ducklington, but one Bledington too, and a sloppy but still enjoyable Upton Stick at Mully’s. Some good songs and tunes, some remarkable food in camp, and of course a week with a bunch of friends some of whom I see far too infrequently. +1, would buy again.

Photos here.


SoLID, Souderfest, and PAVI 14

A week and a half of physics meetings. A week ago Tuesday I flew to Newport News. Or tried to. Actually I flew to Norfolk after the flight to Charlotte from which I would  have flown to Newport News was delayed by weather. I ended up getting to Newport News earlier than planned, but only by having to drive on I-64 and go through the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

Anyway, Wednesday and Thursday were the SoLID [SOlenoidal Large Intensity Device] Collaboration Meeting, our first since November and our last before the Director’s Review of the SoLID project. Friday I returned to Syracuse.

Sunday was Souderfest, a symposium in honor of Paul Souder’s 70th birthday, at the University, with a lot of good talks by the likes of Krishna Kumar, Emlyn Hughes, Charlie Prescott, Tim Gay, Mike Lubell, and others. Some of them were about experiments we did back 20 or 25 years ago and there were mentions of things I’ve hardly thought about in years. We concluded with dinner at the Skaneateles Country Club. Then I moved into room 310 at the Stella Maris retreat center in Skaneateles for the weeklong PAVI [PArity VIolation] 14 [as in 2014] conference. Among miscellaneous duties as a local, I was in charge of getting talks onto the conference computer and up on the screen, as well as up on the web site. So I was in fact present (physically anyway) for I’d say at least ~90% of each of 100% of the talks.

They weren’t as uniformly interesting to me as the Souderfest ones but mostly pretty good. Mainz A4 has an interesting new parity violating electron scattering (PVES) result at Q^2 = 0.6, more in line with the G0 experiment than HAPPEX III. There’s a report muonic 3He and 4He give nuclear radius results that agree with electron scattering measurements, in stark contrast with the puzzling situation for the proton. Nothing earthshaking on the theory side, I’d say; most interesting to me was conclusion that charge symmetry violation effects are negligible or at least small for PVES experiments coming up.

Monday Gordon Cates gave a public lecture on applications spun off from basic research, emphasizing his development of lung imaging technology based on polarized 3He. Tuesday there was a very nice concert by a quartet put together specifically for the conference, the Jefferson Quartet, which apparently intends to keep going afterward. Beethoven Op. 18 No. 4, Shostakovich 1st Quartet, and Mozart Clarinet Quintet.

Wednesday afternoon was spent on board a tour boat, down the lake and back. It was also our poster session. (Pier reviewed.) I went home that evening for Kenny’s 15th birthday.

Thursday night was the banquet, and I met our guest speaker, Congressperson Dan Maffei, pro-science and a member of the science committee in the House. Conference wrapped up Friday, I stayed in town into the evening, went to hear part of the Skaneateles Concert Band’s concert (I think I like LaFayette better) and then came home.

.@Anagramatron classics II

More from Anagramatron:

  • I have such little weenie arms = Insecurities: we all have them
  • I am seriously obsessed with Rihanna = My obsession with air heads is unreal
  • Acid melted my brain = Cleared my mind a bit
  • How’s it Monday already = Want more holiday days
  • Is “it’s nothing”all you can say? = This is actually so annoying
2014-07-06 14.55.05

Lakeshore Drive

A month and a half after it opened, I’ve finally gone for a ride on the new section of the bike road that someday will go entirely around Onondaga Lake. I started at the parking lot at the State Fair and rode to the far end of the older section, at the Salt Museum on the east shore, then back — nonstop on the way out, stopping for photos on the way back. About 14 miles of mostly easy riding, aside from the fact that the wind was a bit stiff at times. The one relatively hard part is the bridge over the lake outlet.2014-07-06 14.34.54 The new section is pretty nice. Try not to let the sign worry you.2014-07-06 14.51.36 copyAs you might guess, some of the views are less than scenic.2014-07-06 14.52.402014-07-06 15.01.53 2014-07-06 14.58.19(It’s not just the land that’s being worked on.2014-07-06 14.48.16Honeywell bought Allied Chemical back in the 1980s and in addition to Allied’s assets also acquired, as it turned out, the responsibility for cleaning up Allied’s mess. After decades of talk and studies, recently there’s been action: for instance, they’re dredging mercury-laden sediments out of the lake for safe (they claim) burial in a waste bed on land. Besides that we’re not dumping raw sewage into the lake these days. It used to be one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country; now it’s getting better.)

But there are nice views to be had too. Here’s the city of Syracuse.2014-07-06 14.57.57And a view across the lake toward Liverpool.2014-07-06 14.56.34The old section, by contrast, mostly has woods on both sides, which is  pretty in another way, but it’s nice to have the longer vistas.2014-07-06 14.38.44Even where the lake shore is only 30 feet or so from the bike road, in the older section, you mostly get only glimpses of the water through the trees.2014-07-06 14.38.50

Here’s a sign I don’t think I’ve seen before.

2014-07-06 14.50.06Bikes don’t have to worry about the deep mud, or Nine Mile Creek. There’s a bridge.2014-07-06 14.50.10 copyGreen stuff under construction:2014-07-06 15.05.50At intervals on the new section are rest stops, with benches, shade (or rain shelter), and bike racks.2014-07-06 15.01.44And the road itself… gotta love riding on new asphalt!2014-07-06 14.55.05You are under no obligation to love every inch of the asphalt in the old section, though.2014-07-06 14.46.59Ow.


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