Fume-Induced Divine Ramblings

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Contacting Delphi… the oracle is unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The Trip

Arrive in Barcelona.

Head to Toulouse.

Head to Biarritz.

Head to San Sebastian (Donostia).

Head to Deba and Bilbao (small stops).

Return to Barcelona.

Filed under: hmmm, images

Heading to Spain and France!

I’ll try to update from there!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Hoarding Books

I feel like I’m hoarding books, I’m lusting after books. I’ve recently been inundated by books, although surprisingly, they’re all non-fiction. Here’s a listing of what’s in my queue:

All 4 of Tufte’s books, I’m going in order, I’m now on Visual Explanations. They really are beautiful books and I’m learning a thing or two.

My old statistics book (thanks mom and dad!). I have fond memories of this book, I want to relearn some stats and this is just the ticket. This itch to re-familiarize with stats is blatantly related to the Tufte books.

Letter by Letter by Laurent Pflughaupt, should reach my hands this Monday or Tuesday. It seems like it will be an interesting read.

The Elements of Typographic Style, should also reach my hands this Monday or Tuesday.

Filed under: hmmm, random

Feliz Dia de las Madres

Mother’s Day in Mexico is always May 10th, the Washington Post had a short article (with all sorts of tiny inaccuracies) that is really only worthy for the photographs. The photos made me strangely emotional, perhaps it’s because I only see my mother about once a year, twice if I’m lucky. In parts of the border where fence is more forgiving, scenes like these take place:

After a year apart, Menchaca’s mother arrived in her flowered straw hat here Saturday and put her small, wrinkled hands up to the cast-iron gate, Menchaca reached out and touched them.

Filed under: images

It’s Over Hillary, Please Don’t Make a Scene

A politician… so shameleslly and overtly a politician… I could have told you this about Hillary since before this whole debacle. I called her a whore of Babylon before Obama ever spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention. That woman irked me in so many ways, she only dealt with the gays when others weren’t watching. Ben Smith at Politico said it better:

Hillary just gave a speech to a luncheon of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, before an audience of about 400, HRC spokesman Brad Luna confirms.

It was a pretty closely held secret, this speech: Not on the public schedule, and Human Rights Campaign hasn’t been responding to calls or e-mails about it over the last couple of days.

Clinton, for her part, is on pretty solid ground with the gay political establishment but faces some pressure from Obama, who has said he opposed the Defense of Marriage Act back in 1996 and who talks about gays in public speeches, unprompted.

I waited for 2 hours in 17-degree weather to hear Obama speak, I had never felt so energized and excited about any political candidate. I won’t say he’s perfect, the last month has certainly taken some of the shine out of him.  He’s still a completely different kind of politician, I actually believe him. And I thought I was a jaded old thing.

Still, the most unbelievably stupid thing she’s ever said:

” ‘I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,’ she said in an interview with USA Today. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article ‘that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states (those voting in Tuesday’s Indiana and North Carolina primaries) who had not completed college were supporting me.’ ”

“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.

Yes there is…

Filed under: politics

Insure versus Ensure

This is from the New Yorker:

Via Andrea.

Filed under: curios, hmmm, random

Platypuses are Weird

Yesterday’s issue of Nature has a piece on the platypus genome. It’s interesting to compare the reporting in Nature, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. I found the Post article thoroughly enjoyable and not at all lacking in substance.

Yet in its wackiness, Wilson said, the platypus genome offers an unprecedented glimpse of how evolution made its first stabs at producing mammals. It tells the tale of how early mammals learned to nurse their young; how they matched poisonous snakes at their venomous game; and how they struggled to build a system of fertilization and gestation that would eventually, through relatives that took a different tack, give rise to the first humans.

The Times article was too short and the sense of wonder/weirdness was missing.

An international scientific team, which announced the first decoding of the platypus genome on Wednesday, said the findings provided “many clues to the function and evolution of all mammalian genomes,” including that of humans, and should “inspire rapid advances in other investigations of mammalian biology and evolution.”

The Nature article is of course good but I still prefer the wonder and style of the Post article.

Filed under: curios, hmmm, images, random, wtf

Learn-a-palooza

I often complain about Washington, DC but I have to take some responsibility for not contributing to the city. The fine folks at The New Gay, Karl and Danny, and the folks behind Learn-a-palooza are trying to make DC a better, more interesting place. I’m definitely participating in some of the classes being taught tomorrow by fine DC folks!

Filed under: neighborhood

Unedited Notes from Tufte’s May 5, 2008 Class

  1. Content-driven selection of evidence
  2. Organization chart – look at the linking lines, give meaning to the linking lines
  3. Detail helps your credibility
  4. Strive for an intense amount of detail but allow for an overview
  5. Simplicity in design and complexity in content
  6. Bump up resolution of meetings
  7. Read this! Handouts! High resolution data dump
  8. Be much less pitchy while making a presentation
  9. Efficiency of design, look to maps for inspiration
  10. What can be erased? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: hmmm

Presenting Data and Information, Edward Tufte

I’ll follow up with my thoughts on Professor Tufte’s one-day course tonight or tomorrow.

Filed under: curios, hmmm

Apollyon

And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
May 2008
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