Sunday, April 30, 2000

Surfing blogs turns up interesting links I would otherwise never see. Thanks to Dan I saw this very readable article by Hans Moravec on robots. Jump to the end for the charts and graphs, if you don't have time for the text.

Another trail of cookie crumbs led me to the beautiful catalog of Messier objects on the SEDS site. SEDS are colleagues in the small satellite business.
Watch cartoons in the 1960s? Take a look at Yesterdayland.

Saturday, April 29, 2000

If you've got the bandwidth, we've got a whole directory of satellite images taken by UoSAT-12.

msi-irg files are 32-metre resolution infrared, red, green.
msi-rgb files are 32-metre resolution true colour.

But what I really wanted you to see was our picture of New York City at 10-metres resolution panchromatic.

That's why I go to work.

"If I wanted to go to work and make money, I'd get a job in a mint," I thought to myself today as I walked in the warm spring sunshine.
I told Ethan that one day I would let him make butter. Of course the web will tell us how.
As we prepared to go out the door for shopping this morning, Ethan said to me, 'if you want to exit, click on me.' Should this worry me?

Same design, different guts: I re-programmed the home page design using frames. Why? In order to get the log into a scrolling window rather than having it extend off down the bottom of your screen. It looks nicer this way. It also allows the archived logs to open in the frame and keeps most of my custom html out of the blogger template.

The two days of work this week were as much as I could take. After the Easter break, I spent a lot of time re-establishing links with people around the place, and considering our various 'areas for improvement.' We also got some critical BNSC bids out the door, and more or less prepared for a meeting on Tuesday with potential investors.

Our incubator arrived on Friday, but since nobody was here to sign for it, the Business Express people took it away with them. The egg will have to languish in the fridge for a few more days.

Thursday, April 27, 2000

Oops. BBC News | UK | Porters destroy Freud masterpiece

I installed flyswat yesterday evening; it (eventually) adds additional reference links to any page you are looking at. I like the ability to get a map quickly when I'm reading a news article.

And K wants me to remind you that you should visit The Hunger Site every day, to make an effortless contribution to reducing hunger.
Jo's Guide for Americans Visiting Britain A friend sent me an e-mail copy of this yesterday. Like all of these things that get forwarded over and over, it claimed to have appeared in a magazine where many people took it seriously. I think I have tracked down the original (copyrighted!) item. Amusing in parts. Even Chelsea gets a mention in the addendum.

Seriously, the most difficult British v. American English transition for me is the use of the adjective "quite," which for the British seems to mean "not quite." So if I say I "quite liked the Scotch egg," people are a bit offended, although I meant the opposite. Seriously.

Wednesday, April 26, 2000

A propos of my comment on "Great Excavations," I see that julia has a pretty comprehensive ancient world section to her site.
No, I will not be adding an unlimited number of slow-loading web statistics counters to this page. I'm just trying to find one I like. Now trying as well as the others. It looks like Extreme takes an extremely long time to load, and you can't tell it not to count you (unless you have a static IP address)., on the other hand, looks quick and uses cookies to exclude hits from yourself.
Got tired of some of the quirks and limitations of nedstat, and started looking around for a good free web site tracker. It looks like Extreme provides a wealth of features without the annoyance of a banner ad. Most of the other "free" trackers either don't give you all the interesting statistics (browser, screen size...) or want to advertise on your site, or both.

Tuesday, April 25, 2000

I'm not a graphic designer, but I play one on my computer. Doing a bit of work for Karen and the National Childbirth Trust, I found a simple description of how to use PSP to make faded background images here.

Trying to grab an NCT logo, I found on their site a good explanation of the Nestlé boycott and a link to more comprehensive information on improper marketing of formula. So don't buy Nestlé products.

Last day of the Easter break for me today. Gardened in the rain. Went to the library van. Did some DIY. I hope that I can return to work and be slightly less manic than I was before the break, but I doubt it.

This is the new home page. If you've got any comments, send mail. I forgot to mention yesterday that the beech hedge is starting to leaf out. Can summer be far away?

Monday, April 24, 2000

Just finished watching the One Beginning? episode of John Romer's "Great Excavations" on tape. It's satisfying to see how archaeology has scientifically disposed of any need for people to believe in diffusion of civilisation from Egypt (or Atlantis or space) to the Americas. There is no 'missing link' in the archaeological record of the development of the maize and rice civilisations. It was also refreshing to hear how incensed Romer is that people still reach for Thor Heyerdahl or the ancient astronauts nuts.

Gardened, watched Chelsea lose to Man. U. and then took E to ride on live-steam trains at Frimley Park.

Have been hacking around on a new home page for, which will incorporate the blog and an "image of the day" feature. Stay tuned.

I wish I could spell check these things. It's like working without a net.

Sunday, April 23, 2000

I took Ethan to London today.

We stopped at The Bridge and I splashed out on a season ticket for Chelsea's 2000/2001 season. The rest of the people in the queue were season ticket holders already, there to exercise the privilidge of purchasing tickets for next month's FA Cup final. I guess I won't be getting to that, but I did enjoy the semi. Ethan brought Joey (the kangaroo) and Baby Doll (the baby doll), so the gormless security guard at the box office kept asking him what he was doing with a "dolly." Baby Doll doesn't tote a gun or play football (yet), so she's not an acceptable boy toy.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Natural History Museum, walking with dinosaurs and arguing about when it would be time to leave so that I could buy Ethan a toy. Why does this upset parents so much, and isn't it evil that the places we take our kids to for a day out (which already costs money) are always trying to soak us for more money? Ethan's favourites at the museum are still the animated dinosaurs and the gadget where you get to make a large model fly land on dog crap and then on a sandwich. (It looks like the ant cam is hors service.)

Rising early has been very satisfying during this holiday. It's daylight by 0600, and the others don't get up until...well it's almost 0900 now. I have my espresso, do something on the web, prepare for the day. Our days are already getting long at this latittude. Check out this photoperiod info.
I need another post on another date so that I can continue trying to format my log. So here is one. If you want some science news every day, try here.

Saturday, April 22, 2000

I have joined the blogger generation. We'll see whether it proves fruitful.