Category: General


Whooping Cough is making a comeback
As a child I spent one Christmas in hospital, in an oxygen tent, with “Whooping Cough”. Having experienced that, I’ve been thrilled for decades that the disease was more-or-less gone. I’ve been happy, on the rare occasion when the disease was referenced among people my age to have them laugh at the foolish, and old-timey, sounding name. It enrages me that the stupid anti-vaccination trend is bringing it back.

The Artist’s Responsibility?

So, I took a quarter off from blogging. Yeah, that happened. Now back to it. To start back up, let’s look at something in the vein of pop philosophy–that way I can ease myself back into blogging with something that’s squarely in my wheelhouse. So, last night an artist posed this question “If you have the ability to depict humanity… Read more →

Monday Night Videos

And now, for your amusement, bogglement, edification, and education, a selection of wildly disparate YouTube videos that caught my attention over the last few days. First, from the category of absolutely appropriate pairings and the unlikely beauty where it’s not expected, we’ve got Tom Waits doing a reading of a Bukowski poem: Secondly, from the world of cool ideas that… Read more →

More Spill Visualization

Today I ran into (over at PSFK) another extremely well-designed1 infographic that puts the current oil spill into context in a different way… Of course, this doesn’t really make me feel any better. Criminal charges might, though. Or I could find some way to help. The designer’s site is worth a peek as well.(back) Read more →

Visualizing The Problem

There is little I could say to add anything to the ongoing discussion around the horrible mess in the Gulf of Mexico–other than, perhaps, to point out that if BP had been required to have relief wells in place more-or-less immediately (as Canada requires) this problem would be resolved already. Those kinds of comments, though, don’t help resolve the current… Read more →

Better Late Than Never: An Apology For Africville

Listening to tonight’s news I see that the city council in my just-recently-not-city have ratified a deal to formally apologize for the pretty shockingly racist destruction of Africville. If you’re not from Halifax, the odds are you don’t know what this is all about. A capsule summary would be that there once was a community, called Africville, on the Halifax… Read more →

Rambling about passwords

What you’re looking at there is a list of the 32 most common passwords from among the set of more than 32 million users of RockYou. The top item, ‘123456’ was used by more than 300,000 users. We don’t normally get to look at actual user data in sets this large, but one benefit of the recent privacy breach at… Read more →

It just occurred to me that risk and entropy are the same thing

I have an amateur interest in economics that I indulge from time to time, primarily by reading economics-focused blogs. While I was doing that this week I was interested to see Brad DeLong (whose blog is definitely worth following) point to a discussion from the Economist about compensation for bankers and the relation between that and their ability to accurately… Read more →

Friday Night Links

Collected from here and there about the networks, for your amusement or edification, I would really like to believe the story of Denny & Peach is a vignette that accurately captures a bit of the wonder of the world. But even if it’s a fiction, it’s a lovely little one. Also, SWORD CANE! Same thing with this “big catch” story.… Read more →

We have met the enemy

What you’re looking at there is an attempt to visualize the results (so far) of a workshop run last year in Stockholm that attempted to define the boundaries of a “safe operating space” in which the ecosystem of the planet can operate without veering towards catastrophe. The 28 scientists worked out nine categories that they were comfortable setting some safe… Read more →

The Sky

After having lived in Nova Scotia for eight years now, I take most things in stride. However, there’s one area in which I seem to have kept my beginner’s mind: appreciating the sky. The sky here never lets me down–at least not on the days you can actually see it. Several times a week I am literally stopped in my… Read more →

Natal Day Link Post

Holiday Monday has kept me too busy to properly blog, so you get a bit of a tab-closing list instead. I’m not sure that it covers anything new, but the piece from More Intelligent Life (the quarterly from the Economist) about authors and drinking was a fun read anyway. I’ve seen some stories about tough people in the news, but… Read more →

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.