Archive for 2011

The Immaculate Conception of the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark

I saw this sign at Cal Academy last month. It completely blows my mind!

Nancy Levine Aquatic Biologist
Sharks are fascinating creatures! Some give live birth, while others lay eggs. The egg cases shown here come from the Academy’s sharks. There is evidence of a different bamboo shark species successfully switching between sexual and asexual reproduction. I am studying whether our species has the same ability.

Just to be clear, she is talking about the possibility of human asexual reproduction!

RIP Jesse Morris

“Hi, I’m not Johnny Cash”

I saw this sign at 24th St Mission BART Station in November 2011.

He is missed.

Letter to BART, 16th and 24th St Mission signs

If you agree with this note, I encourage you to send BART a message. Contact them.

Dear BART,
Could you please make some way for train riders to better identify the difference between 16th Street Mission Station and 24th Street Mission Station.

Most especially, the signage at these stations cannot be seen from inside the train. This could easily and relatively inexpensively be fixed if you moved the signs so that they are under the lights instead of in the dark where they are now.

The conductors usually announce the names of the stations but a sign is a much more reliable and less stressful way to know where I am.

Good Christmas Music

Here’s an hour-long track of good Christmas music by artists like Paul Simon, Natalie Merchant and others!

All Songs Considered Holiday Music Special 2011

Share and enjoy!

Looking for Kinetics & Electronics Teachers

Hi, I’m Lee Sonko, the Head of the Kinetics and Electronics Department at the Crucible in Oakland. Right now we have a wide range of classes ranging from Mechanical Sculpture to Arduino Microcontrollers to Flame Effects. In the past 6 months we have had students (literally) from age 8 to 80.

Take a peek at our current offerings as an example.

Would you like to teach some of your art and science? Do you have an idea for a class? It’s not a full-time job but it pays some and it’s rewarding. If you think this might be for you, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me at Lee at Lee dat org.

Lee Sonko
Crucible Kinetics & Electronics Department Head

Android vs iPhone Discussion

A friend asked the Lazyweb for help with Samsung Galaxy phone vs iPhone. Here’s my response:

I’m very happy with my Android Samsung Galaxy S. I’ve had it for almost a year now. My last phone was an iPhone 3G. My Samsung had a short battery life so I got a backpack battery for it; it’s a bit large but now no battery problems.

It took a while to get used to the Android. Some of the apps it came with aren’t as good as the stock iPhone apps. IE the calculator app. But there are free and cheap calculator apps that kick the iphone’s calculating ass.
More deets:

My vmail and email now belong to the Google, and I like it better than Steve owning them.

Android runs Flash in the browser. And it works great. That says just as many bad things about Apple as good things about Android.

I didn’t root my phone and I don’t feel I need to. There is just 1 tiny thing I would change if I were to go to the trouble of rooting the phone.

Your next phone should be an Android.

Oh but I have to say, the iphone 4’s High Dynamic Range camera takes pretty effing awesome pictures.

La La Land is Not Just a City in SoCal

I saw this bumper sticker in Bernal Heights the other week.

“Don’t pay your credit cards till all our troops come home!”

About the Art Scene I Hang With

Here is a terrific video piece about the art scene that I hang in.

The Art of Doing it Yourself by KQED Television

The Art of Doing it Yourself  airs Friday, December 16, 2011 at approximately 11pm, as part of the  PBS Arts Fall Festival.

Installed Spam Free WordPress

Spammers evolve slowly. They were mud, now they are dirt. It’s a slow evolution.

NoSpamNX has been working well but nowadays it blocks 300 spams a day and lets through maybe 30. They all get caught by Akismet but Akismet also sometimes blocks legitimate commnets. 30 a day is too many for me to review by hand. :-(

So I installed Spam Free WordPress alongside the already installed NoSpamNX and Akismet. Hopefully it will keep it so the “gray list” of potential spams is small enough that I can review them by hand.

This new plugin uses an odd form of Captcha. It asks you to copy and paste a password. Please tell me if it gets in the way.

The Twelve Days of Christmath!

It’s almost time for the 12 days of Christmath. Here’s a warmup. If you get this joke, you’ll love this video
An infinite crowd of mathematicians enters a bar. The first one orders a pint, the second one a half pint, the third one a quarter pint…
“I understand”, says the bartender – and pours two pints.