Monthly archive for January 2008

Greenpeace Chases Whalers

From the BBC:

Greenpeace conservation activists say they have disrupted the Japanese whale hunt near Antarctica’s coast by chasing a factory ship out of the whaling zone.

Japan’s whaling fleet plans to kill about 900 minke whales and 50 fin whales by mid-April.

The hunt is part of what it calls a scientific research programme, permitted under a clause in International Whaling Commission rules.

BBC News link

Al Jazeera:

Greenpeace planned only to disrupt whaling by placing inflatable boats between harpoon boats and the whales

Al Jazeera link

Travel Photo: Arizona

I took this photo on the six-hour drive back to San Diego from Phoenix, Arizona. The barren landscape of the Arizona desert heightens the dramatic effect of the crumbling mountains that stand like sentinels upon the valley floor.

How To Use the Illustrator Pen Tool

I have always been mystified by the pen tool in both Illustrator and Photoshop. The pen tool is the primary tool for creating vector paths and it is really the key to using Illustrator. This tutorial from Tutvid sheds some light the subject.

Belkin’s Podcast Studio

From Engadget:


[Belkin's] Podcast Studio is a self-contained, iPod-interfacing podcast production device… and not much else. The unit features dual XLR and 1/4″ inputs, a built-in microphone up top, an embedded speaker, and the styling of some 1950′s-space-opera transmogrifier.


The Lincoln Debates: Newt Gingrich

I first saw this speech by Newt Gingrich on television in a Indiana motel room in the Spring of 2007. Despite the late hour, I was captivated. While I strongly disagree with his policies while in Congress, the man is powerfully intelligent and a remarkable orator. His discussion of the American political arena is insightful, and relevant to the current Presidential campaign. Check out the way he neatly folds each sheet from his notes and tucks them into his coat as he speaks. Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo speaks after Ginrich, but Cuomo is suffering from a cold and not at his best.

The follow-up, moderated by Tim Russert, is here.

Travel photo: Bratislava urban art

The capital city of Bratislava, Slovakia is awash with graffiti. Unfortunately most building facades are covered with mundane acronyms hastily scribbled in black spray paint by uninspired youth. The beautiful stencil below with the inscription “samar” is an exception and perhaps the best that the old city has to offer.

Vienna: A RSS Reader for Mac OS X

58ECEEF7-7D6C-4005-B6C5-72141A16EBDC.jpgAfter finding Vienna on a list of recommended Mac utilities, I downloaded and installed the free RSS reader. I have never used a standalone RSS reader but the format was much like an email client so it was familiar and easy to use. Vienna downloads recent articles from your subscriptions and tracks which postings you have read. The interface is clean and the software is very stable.

I really like the ability to have all my favorite blog subscriptions downloaded automatically and in one centralized interface. It saves a surprising amount of time. I can also search through all the posting with Vienna’s robust search tool, or link an item of interest to my own blog. In order to do this, you must have a blog publishing client, such as MarsEdit, installed on your Mac.

Vienna also has a built-in browser based on Safari, so links from RSS articles can be opened directly in Vienna. Although the browser supports tabs, the “Open in New Tab” command automatically focuses the browser on the new tab. This behavior is unlike Firefox which opens the new tab but does not change your view from the current page. I prefer Firefox’s implementation because I usually will finish the article I am reading before I reference the support material.

UPDATE: To change the above link behavior select “Open Links in Background” under Preferences.

Vienna appears to be well support by its publisher which is something that is uncommon in free-ware. Vienna has become one of the applications that I never close.

Vienna Site


File this under sustainable living. These urban tents use exhaust from HVAC system to warm the homeless during the winter months. This idea is really ingenious. A How-To Build Guide would help gets these into the carts of the people who need them.


The designer’s inspiration:

Michael Rakowitz traveled to Jordan in the mid-90s on a study program where he focused in part on the nomadic tradition of the Bedouins, and the architecture of their tents. When he returned to Boston, where he was a student at MIT, the presence of the homeless population in the city triggered a quandary for him regarding the contrast of a nomadic lifestyle by tradition versus by necessity. The nomadic patterns of the urban homeless, particularly in the cold months, were dictated by the location of heating vents releasing exhaust from HVAC systems inside houses and buildings.

Article Link

Michael Rakowitz

BBC NEWS: US stocks slump on economy fears


Giant hydrogen cloud on collision course with Milky Way!

0D3F276E-9D05-40C5-A867-E87A35D1DE36.jpgI do not care for doomsday scenarios and those who spread panic by exaggerating dangers (ahem, George Bush) but I must say with sober confidence that impending doom awaits our fragile galaxy. Smith’s Cloud contains enough hydrogen to create a million Suns and is on course to collide with our galaxy “at an angle of 45 degrees”.

From the expert:

“It will be just like letting a bomb go off,” said Dr Felix Lockman from the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

The shockwaves will set off a tremendous burst of star formation. These stars will be massive, rushing through their lives quickly and exploding as supernova.

The monster cosmic “fog bank” is careering towards our galaxy at more than 240km/s (150 miles/s) and is set to strike the Milky Way at an angle of 45 degrees.

Given the death cloud’s current cosmic velocity it is set to impact the outer edges of the Milky Way in 20 to 40 millions years.

I have started preparing today by stockpiling bottled water and duct tape. I suggest you do the same.

link | BBC News