Archive for April, 2008


Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

We all like palindromes, but have you ever enjoyed a fake palindrome – a falindrome? Although they cannot be read the same forwards and backwards (like their sister palindromes), their peculiar structure make them appear as if they can. So from

A-hah! A banana ban. Haha!

“I, a CD-ROM?!” ribbed a bearded Mordcai.

i have a camera

Monday, April 21st, 2008

A new camera, at last! I’ve been very happy with our Canon Powershot for a few years now, but it’s beginning to show its age. Two major things were less than optimal: the slowness (time to start up and shutter lag), and the color and brightness balancing – you may notice in the last set of pictures I posted the foreground is nice and bright but the background is very dark. Also the pictures were a little fuzzy sometimes.

I read a review a few months ago about the Panasonic Lumix point and shoot cameras, in particular the higher end ones with Lecia lenses. So a couple of weeks ago armed with a few Amazon vouchers from kind relatives, I ordered the latest model – the niftily named Lumix DMC-TZ5K. It arrived this evening and so far it’s completely fantastic. I’ve been walking around the house taking pictures using the intelligent mode, which instantaneously adjusts the settings based on what you’re photographing. So when taking pictures of the cats, it adjusts for if they are moving fast, and even does automatic digital red-eye fixing. Pictures taken in dark rooms had enough flash and image stabilization that they looked like the sun was out, and great color too on the very large LCD. The zoom is powerful enough that a picture of one of Dara’s toys taken from across the room had incredible detail and clarity, and a self-portrait I took had alarming and slightly terrifying detail of my facial flaws. Well, we can’t all be perfect. It’s also super-fast to start up and the shutter lag is less than a second even with the flash. It also takes high capacity (and very fast) SD memory cards, so with the 8Gb card I got it will hold over 1700 9megapixel shots.

Anyway, expect lots more pictures to be posted over the coming months – I for one can’t wait.

most unwanted

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I ran across this at boingboing: the world’s most unwanted song. The link describes the methodology, but in summary some people worked out what kinds of music (cowboy, holiday, elevator, jingles etc) and what instruments (bagpipes, accordions, sopranos) people least like to listen to, and jammed it together into a 25 minute epic. It’s strangely not quite as bad as you would expect, but even so I challenge you to make it through the whole thing.

Here’s the song.

Update: This American Life has an old episode about this here.

education news

Friday, April 11th, 2008

Big congratulations to both Emma and Toby today. Emma because she just found out the grade from her most recent class in her Masters program at the College of St. Catherine – yet another A. This means that in each of the eight classes she’s taken so far, it’s been straight As. Pretty impressive. And as you’ll see from the course description, it’s not easy-looking.

Congratulations to Toby too – we found out today that he has been accepted to our excellent local school – Whittier International – when he starts kindergarten in September. We had applied a couple of months ago, but there are no guarantees for which one you get. Whittier is apparently a very good place, so we’re excited for him and a little relieved. Although it drives it home to us that he’s growing up.

As for Dara – doing great. Sitting, using her hands, lots of laughter and more and more copying other people. At her 6 month checkup a couple of weeks ago she was 15 pounds 12 ounces (50th percentile) and 26 inches tall (75th percentile), and her first tooth popped through last week. She’s a lot of fun, although she forced me into a moral quandary today. I was doing an online opinion survey, and during the profile questions at the end there were questions about the people in the household, including some about illnesses and infirmities. One of the questions asked if there was anyone who has trouble getting up and down stairs, and another asked if there was anyone who has difficulty concentrating. I think that Dara probably falls into both of those categories, but I said no because I knew that babies didn’t count.

no posts

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

Sorry about lack of posts lately – just working really hard. It’s good but doesn’t leave much time for frippery during the day.

dara pics

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Just posted up some pictures of Dara at 6 months – here’s the link. Hope you like them.

In other offspring news, I took Toby for his first dental checkup today. He did absolutely great – very confident and happy with being there, and in the rare and short instances when he stopped talking the dentist was able to get a good look at his teeth – surface view and X-ray – and he even let her do some tooth polishing and flossing.