Our core corps is different and mad better this year after the rickety old riff-raff blew town under false the pretense of “attending ‘graduate school’”. We’re thrilled to have AS writing and shoplifting props & CP doing audio, providing location master keys and scooter stuntz (Chris of course worked with us, exhaustively, on the post-production audio for last year’s entry). I’ll post some preparation updates as the week progresses and of course as time allows this weekend. If you’re interested in coming to the screening (and you are) it’s currently scheduled for April 10th at 7pm at the Kendall Square Cinema (tickets not yet available). I’m trying to move this date since I can’t be there then so try not to get emotionally attached to it.
This slightest of margins has brought the Kansas Jayhawks into the final four to make it an all top seed affair. In the ten years since I graduated, this is the third time we’ve reached this point. For the sake of collective recollection, in 2002 we lost in the semifinal to eventual champion Maryland (who humiliated an over-matched Indiana for the championship). In 2003, our last year with Roy Williams as coach, Wayne Simien and pretty much the same team made it back to the championship game where we lost by three to that rat-bastard Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse. The negative feelings that were generated by this single game pretty much ruined the cities of Syracuse and (courtesy of the Nuggets) Denver and the state of Colorado for me ever since. Now, after five years under Bill Self and two horrible first round humiliations (Bucknell, Bradley), we’ve reached this point again. Next Saturday will finally bring the best possible matchup the bracket had to offer, Kansas and Bill Self vs. North Carolina and Roy Williams for a shot at the championship. Rock friggin chalk Boston Jayhawks!
I got home around 1:30 last night and couldn’t find a parking spot on my street (typical on a Friday) so had to park a few blocks over. During the walk home there was a generally negative vibe in the air – more cops circulating and more angry people floating around than usual. Warmer nights bring everyone outdoors, I guess. Two mid-forties drunks were pissing in the rat alley behind the burrito place on my corner. Someone had gotten sick inside my building and hadn’t cleaned it up, and the third floor was exploding with overdrunk shriekers. I couldn’t get to sleep due to more typical collegiate jackholes swearing at each other on the street. Altogether an unpleasant night to be in town.
This morning it became clear that things could have been much worse. An hour before I got home someone pitched off a balcony on Price Road (luckily, surviving). This is about 100 feet from where I was parked. Ninety minutes after that (just about the time my swearers were getting riled up), two blocks east of me on Linden Street a 25 year-old was fatally shot by one assumes a less loquacious adversary. Both of these incidents speak toward why sometimes on weekends I just prefer to stay away from home, which is in part how I ended up with this weekend’s highlight.
I packed the dog up this morning and headed up to my parents place even though I knew they weren’t there. I was loading some of my crap from their basement into my car when I looked up and saw a tall, skinny coyote ranging down the hill towards this odd little lowland flood-zone green space we’ve got up here. I gave chase and tried to get an urban wildlife POTD – unfortunately, the dog was in tow (thus negating stealth factor) and the camera was still set with the manual settings from the night before (so the color was bizarro off). And who am I kidding I couldn’t even visually identify him after the fact in the one frame he’s definitely in (thus, my use of Z’s helpful photoimaginillustration). Regardless, he was big and awesome and made me homesick for a place where seeing a non-domestic megafauna isn’t something to get all up and excited about.
My sister is going to be interviewed on Prime Time America with Greg Wheatley, sometime around 6:30 tonight. You can listen to a live stream on WEZE though I can’t recommend clicking that link right now because the current speaker is righteously angry something fierce – “yada yada people with degrees not knowin’ nothin’” (though technically I agree with him on this point for the most part).
UPDATE: JHH sent out a formal blurb-
Jennifer Hevelone-Harper, associate professor of history, will be interviewed by Prime Time America today at 6:30 p.m. about her recent article “Tracing the Footsteps of Jesus.” You may listen to the program via the internet LIVE between 5:00 and 7:00 PM Eastern here.
Jennifer Hevelone-Harper recently published “Tracing the Footsteps of Jesus” in Christian History and Biography magazine. She tells the story of Egeria, a fourth-century pilgrim whose account of her journey to the Holy Land is “unusual for its time because a woman wrote it, but her activities were not out of the ordinary.” Like other pilgrims. Egeria was “motivated by a desire to see the places where Jesus lived, to visit the sites associated with the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets, and to meet holy men and women practicing monasticism.”
Christian History and Biography magazine is a publication of Christianity Today International. To read Dr. Hevelone-Harpor’s full article visit here.
Photoshop Express, a free web-based (& Flash 9 driven) photo editing and gallery service was released today. This program lets the user make minor modifications to a photo either hosted by Adobe (each user has 2GB of storage to work with) or on Facebook, in a Picasa web album or on Photobucket.
Some qualms based on an hour worth of playing with this:
Overall, it’s antisocial. There’s no commenting support or obvious way to tag anything.
There’s no support for Flickr so we’re stuck with Preloadr.
Embedding options are limited. And by limited I mean there are none, so you get what you get – 256 pixels max dimension.
It’s slow. Clicking ‘Edit Photo’ can lead to extended (or indefinite) waits while ‘Preparing Photo to Edit’.
See an interesting photo in another user’s gallery? Don’t expect to be able to find a direct URL to it or embed it.
Don’t expect to be able to copy or paste any text, anywhere from this site. For instance, it is possible to see another user’s main url, but it’s not a link (so can’t be right-clicked and copied), and highlighting and copy/pasting is non-functional. So if you want to get back somewhere you’d have to transcribe that url by hand somewhere.
The issues I have with Photoshop Express are for the most part problems of presentation rather than function. If you think of this more of just an editing tool than as an actual photo sharing platform on par with Flickr or Picasa (or hell, Dropshots), Photoshop Express may have a chance to be useful rather than just shiny. Granted that all the edits you can make here are of the type one could otherwise quickly make in the free desktop Picasa, but once your photos are already online, this may be the best option for tweaking. If you want to see the test album I created with some hevelonian shots that’s here. The original on which the purple facade above was based is here.
First, Hondo, 37 of 48
Second, NCAA seeding committee, 35 of 48
Third, as if by zawezome, 34 of 48
Fourth, i’m clueless by sock puppet,33 of 48
Fifth, I apparently can help my dominance by me, 34 of 48
Sixth, ’til Gabriel blows his horn! Jenni, 32 of 48
Seventh, Steve’s Winners, 30 of 48
Eigth, NCAAwhat by kim, 28 of 48 82
Ninth, Gonga Gonga by Shazzbot, 22 of 48
And last & furthermore least, maga boo1793 0 of 48.
I’m losing to a friggin sock puppet even though I picked more due to up-weighting of second round games. We shall see who catches whom when KU & Los Osos de Noticias Malos de UCLA meet up in the final.
I was over Harvard way Friday for a georeferencing conference at the Center for Geographic Analysis. A number of people spoke on the creation & mapping of various spatial data across time and space within a range of disciplines. In interest of raising the level of intellectual discourse on this site, I’ll share with you some brief health research related highlights from those who didn’t induce early-onset narcolepsy. Jarvis Chen from HSPH gave an interesting (and surprisingly funny, given the topic) talk on geocoding of public health disparities (his group’s homepage is here). Specifically interesting was his take on ZIP codes vs census tracts (he’s in favor of avoiding the former). They’ve got a a SAS demo up with some Massachusetts death registry data. John Brownstein from HMS/Childrens spoke about his work on HealthMap.org which uses artificial intelligence algorithms to automatically search Google news and other media outlets for keywords to identify infectious disease outbreaks prior to formal alert mechanisms – given our relative temporal proximity to St. Patty’s I looked up Belfast, apparently they’re having E. coli issues. John Wieczorek spoke on automated building of probabilistic spatial models given point estimates and uncertain assumptions – they’re building tools to address these issues at BioGeomancer; here’s a beta of their Workbench.
I rather liked my POTD today but think it failed to demonstrate that that dog was, in truth, inserting herself into my frame against my will. As you can see from sub-POTD below, she actually jumped up on a wall here despite the lack of a flat surface to stand on, mountain goat style. As I didn’t have the new camera her sticking her schnozzle in the frame kept screwing up the autofocus on the shot I was trying to compose of Glenville and some clouds moving at a pretty spectacular clip right at dusk. Today was a rainy, windy day, and to make it seem all the spring-ier random guy on the radio this morning promised snow over the weekend.
Tomorrow is the first day of the spring we’ve all been waiting on – for this I am grateful. It was late spring seven years ago when I came from Athens to Boston, an act more random than conscious, fleeing a broken graduate program and a breaking relationship to the only city with which I was familiar (by proxy). The seven years prior to that unfocused & spontaneous choice I managed to spend aimlessly (by any objective estimation) in three different universities, failing all the while to acquire any appreciable employment skills or practical idea of what to do with life.
Since I’ve been in Boston I’ve scored a master’s degree, worked more or less contiguous chunks of time at three of the best hospitals in the country, made and lost some great friends and shot more than myfairshare of fantasticbands. My entire family has relocated here, grown, and grown, and grown again. Life, overall, has been kinder to me than I probably deserve. While I’m counter-intuitively a little proud that I can’t claim to be savvy in the way of career trajectory, I don’t want to be consciously dense when an opportunity arises. To that end, I’ll post without further comment a couple of photographs that have been looking at as a result of an interesting phone call this morning that’s got me thinking about the next seven years.
If you want to put a bracket in a quasify pool please do! (but, before the Thursday games start.) There’s no cash prize, only shame for those who pick the #2 seed in the south to go all the way. Once you sign up this’ll get you back to your picks.
There were two measurable upsides to missing out* on the mindblank that was Jenni’s SXSW. First, AZ wasted her chance at a sunny spring break by coming back to New England (resulting in a day off work & a great day tripto Plymouth). Second, yesterday I spent the day down in in South Boston for my first St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I’m grateful to #1 for having us down and going out with us despite the cold and rain.
*A weekend highlight that would have happened regardless of my corporal presence in Austin was the Jayhawks thumping the Longhorns for their third consecutive Big XII championship.
I’m a big believer in incremental birthdays, often taking note of my various quarters, thirds and sixths. Today is my thirty-first and one-half. To celebrate, I bought some simple things to make myself happy: staba, guacamole at Border, a little flash memory for the new camera and eight track and some milk (luxury!) down at the corner. Yet I was unable (again…) to convince myself to buy what I really need, a ticket to Shreveport for my family reunion. The ticket I need is $529, by any measure obscene. Especially so for August, in Louisiana, on the face of the sun. I keep telling myself the price will go down but since I’ve been watching it it’s gone up by almost half. It’s like hanging onto a stock in free-fall, I can’t force myself to just do it for fear it’ll be some hundreds less tomorrow. In the end it may come down to the reality that hitchhiking is the only remaining viable option. Point being, happy half-birthday moron, buy the ticket tomorrow.
The good news is it’s warm and light outside again despite being 6pm. The bad news it’s still two more months before I’ll have any regular material to post from Pipeline on WMBR. So instead of our own local stuff here’s Yo La Tengo performing The Passenger (…kinda) from a set in support of fundraising efforts at WFMU.
Interesting (if wet) morning at this video trade show in Easton at Stonehill College. Particular fun highlights include seeing the Pelican rep nearly break the viewfinder off an $8000 Canon XL H1 trying to demonstrate a too-small case. I spent a while talking to a turnkey system saleman from EditHD about an Edius system (a cross between odious and oedipus?) – it’s extremely tempting to get something like for a dedicated Adobe system given that my desktop is trying to die on me (it’s just waiting for the worst possible moment, clearly a subscriber to the apex of despair school of thought). By far the coolest yet not terribly practical-for-me* product I saw is this reflecmedia collapsible green screen with blue and green LED ring lights. Here’s a great demonstration of this.
Oh also, randomly ran into Adam (of TIKL ‘fame’) on the way out.
The identifiable good point of the day waited to present itself til 11:52pm when taking the dog outside. There was a late arriving Fedex package that had not been there previously with a charger and new battery for the new SLR. At risk of sounding like a commercial, I friggin love these guys at Sterling Tek. CNSMHB bought 20 TX1 batteries from them for like $120 before their Africa trip (only 8 of which survived elephant-poop free), and now I’ve got this new BP511 for half the cost of the original from B&H. So it looks like I’ll finally get to test this thing out tomorrow & this weekend.
This past Saturday marked the one year anniversary of our photoblog project. In the past year we’ve had a total of 831 submissions from ten different users spanning four continents (Australia – you’re next). I’ve been debating (mostly, with myself via non-stop internal monologue) how to manage the project in an ongoing manner. I’m not sure if it’s best to keep this project self hosted on drupal or to move it to an external service (likely flickr or picasa) that would handle hosting, resizing, headaches and whatnot. But regardless of any technical issues, we’ve still made it a full year, so by way of celebration here are the ten most popular tags as of this morning.