MonthMarch 2016

Scaring the piss out of people

Rolling Stone has a great post about Why Conservatives Increasingly Care Where You Pee. In short, this law (and the others like it in other states) have nothing to do with protecting people and everything to do with fear. The Republican party has gotten very good at scaring their constituents into action. Emphasis is mine:

It’s troubling that bathroom bills could be used in a naked ploy to dominate downticket races in this election, as it further demonstrates that American conservatives have perfected the art of striking fear into worried audiences. All it takes is the suggestion of danger to create a highly reactive response that could restrict trans rights even as the community makes its way into the daylight.

And that issue of safety of trans men preying on little girls in the bathroom. It hasn’t happened. But trans people are the targets of harassment.

To date, there have been no cases in which a transgender person has committed assault in a bathroom — but 70 percent of trans people have experienced harassment and assault when trying to pee.

Good job opening up an already misunderstood, harassed segment of society up to more harassment. Honestly now, how you even intend on enforcing this law? For the party of small government, it seems they’re awful curious about what’s in our pants.

After the Dark

After the Dark is an exercise in choosing which 10 people out of a group of 21 will be admitted into a bunker to survive nuclear war.

There are three scenarios all playing out in very different ways. It’s a lot of fun to watch how logic is used to choose who will get a spot in a bunker and who will be left to (presumably) die from the nuclear fallout.

In the classroom

Does logic win? What is the most important basis to choose survivors on? Physical prowess? Profession? Mental capabilities?

I won’t tell you the answer as I don’t know it myself. But it’s a fascinating exploration into the choices we make and what drives them.

Like all movies of this type, the real story is what comes after the story. What is the point of this movie? The reviewers on Netflix and I agree. The movie would have been better off without the last 10 minutes after the third thought experiment.

After the Dark on Netflix

Watching the Eagles

When my wife and I went to the National Arboretum last year we heard there were Bald Eagles nesting there for the first time in nearly 50 years. The entire area was blocked off and a park employee was there with a telescope setup pointed at the nest. He was there to answer questions about the Eagles.

The Eagles weren’t in the nest the day we were there but we did have a great day exploring the beautiful lilacs and other flowers. We also found a wallet that looked to have been thrown over the fence. It had been there quite awhile so we dreamed up a story about it being evidence in a crime.

Recently, I found out there was a webcam setup to watch the Eagles nest and their newborn eaglets. Ever since then I’ve become somewhat obsessed with watching it. Being the geek I am, I was curious how they pulled off the setup.

Bad Eagles in their nest

From the American Eagle Foundation’s Press Release (PDF):

The USNA ran about a half mile of fiber optic cable to the cameras’ control box located about 200 feet from the base of the tree. The entire system is powered by a large solar array designed and built by students and staff from Alfred State, SUNY College of Technology.

There are two hi-def webcams. One providing a side view and the other setup above the nest. I was curious how they managed to set them up without disturbing the eagles. As it turns out, the whole thing was a big gamble.

“Bald Eagles don’t always return to their first year nest. We took a huge risk investing in this project and partnering with the Arboretum without any type of certainty that the Eagles would actually return,” says AEF’s P.R. Coordinator Julia Cecere, “It was happy day for everyone when both Eagles were spotted back on the nest this past October.”

I’ve enjoyed watching Mr. President and The First Lady, the names of the two eagles and their two baby eaglets on the Washington DC Live Bald Eagle Cam.

All images © 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.

Chaos on the Bridge

Chaos on the Bridge is the story of Star Trek: The Next Generation now on Netflix. It’s a fun documentary with some great artwork. I enjoyed the story behind the scenes of how it got made and succeeded. I’m glad it rode the good vibes of the original and it had time to find itself in Season 3. I’m very happy Patrick Stewart wasn’t made to act in a wig. It’s worth a watch if you enjoyed the series, or how things get made.

It also brought this image into the world. And that makes me smile.
Dancing Crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Move Your Thoughts to 2Do

I’ve never felt at home with task managers. Maybe it’s my life in customer support has never lent itself to task management. Maybe it explains why I’ve never lived my dreams and built the life I always knew I could™.

Did you catch the reference to the Wheel of Morality?

2Do is the first task manager I’ve used for more than a day. Something about it is very comfortable to me. Tim nails my feelings about it here (emphasis mine):

There is a lot to unpack with 2Do. I admit, it can be overwhelming at first, but it takes some time, testing, and use. I didn’t find 2Do useful the first time, but that’s because I didn’t sit down and figure out how to use it. It isn’t a program in which you have to fix your mindset to use it properly; it can be simple just like Reminders, or it can be complex like OmniFocus.

I use 2Do for the simplest of things, all around the house. But it works for me and it’s the first time a task manager has stuck with me at all.

Tim’s post featuring a snazzy epub version is a great intro to 2Do and explains how he uses it to get his work done.

It’s fun and friendly and taught me a few things. I highly recommend it. Go Move your thoughts to 2Do. You’ll be glad you did.