Taking a rest

I haven’t been saying much lately here, but I am writing and blogging a lot elsewhere.

Catch me 6 days a week on my photoblog Michigan in Pictures where I post photos and words about Michigan.  The blog is almost 8 years old and probably my favorite web project ever – I learn something new every week.

With my love Laura I started eatdrinkTC, a guide to the culinary culture of Traverse City, Michigan. It’s a ton of fun to work on and lets us share our love of good food and drink and the wonderful people in our town who make that happen. I even got to interview one of my very favorite food writers, Michael Ruhlman.

Let me know what you think (about anything) at these places or in the comments.

The photo was taken by my father of the apple tree in the back yard of the house I grew up in. 


Hind’s Crimson Star

On one of my favorite blogs – the Earth Science Picture of the Day – has this photo today of Hind’s Crimson Star, discovered in 1845 by  John Russell Hind. Photographer Greg Parker (with links by blog host Jim Foster of NASA) explains:

The image above features Hind’s Crimson Star, a well-known carbon star in the constellation of Lepus. Carbon stars have stellar atmospheres that contain more carbon than oxygen. Hind’s star is too dim to see with the unaided eye except from very dark locations. It lies southwest of Rigel, the bright white star that represents Orion’s left knee. From my location in southern England, Hind’s star is pretty low in the sky. In fact, in order to view it from my observatory, I have to wait for it to move into the gap between two sets of trees on my southern horizon.

Hind’s Crimson Star is a variable type star. It fluctuates in brightness between an apparent magnitude of about +5.5 to +11.7 — with a period on the order of 418–441 days. Note the blue stars in close proximity to the red carbon star. Oddly, there always seems to be at least one bright blue star near a carbon star. Image taken on January 20, 2013 and processed by Noel Carboni in Florida.

Click to see it big as the sky. If you want to happy up your inbox, I would strongly suggest signing up for the EPOD email or twitter!


10 to the 100 to the Google

Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible.

Go. Vote.

After not too much deliberation, I decided to…

Help social entrepreneurs drive change


Create a fund to support social entrepreneurship. This idea was inspired by a number of user proposals focused on “social entrepreneurs” — individuals and organizations who use entrepreneurial techniques to build ventures focused on attacking social problems and fomenting change. Specific relevant ideas include establishing schools that teach entrepreneurial skills in rural areas; supporting entrepreneurs in underdeveloped communities; and creating an entity to provide capital and training to help entrepreneurs build viable businesses and catalyze sustained community change.

Speaking of that, check this out.

Vote. Everyone. Please.

Please watch this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCx0J3NiABY

If you agree that we have an economy to fix, two wars to end, veterans and veterans’ families to care for, cities and towns to rebuild, children to educate and nurture and feed and a planet to protect for the next generation and those after, then ask yourself: which candidate can help to put us on the road to accomplish all that and more?

If your answer as mine: the candidate who talks about doing it and has energized millions of people all across the country and the world, then please send it along to friends – tell them WHY they should treat this election as the most important thing they will do this week.

You never get another chance to be ten years old, to catch your first fish, to hear a story from your grandmother, to be a new father or mother, to watch your oldest graduate from college or dance at the wedding of your youngest, to see the Grand Canyon or whales off Alaska.

Vote. Everyone. Please.

Wikipedia Go!

For me, Wikipedia is something I open several times a week to answer specific questions. The other day, I happened to go to Wikipedia’s front page and was impressed by what was there. A few highlights from today:

If you want to get really crazy, check out all their portals and dive into Michigan or Anime & manga.

Image: Wikipe-tan icon by ja:利用者:Kasuga. I so do not understand what is up with that picture. Or this one.

Database Massage, Jill Sobule, and Neil Young

Jill Sobule, photo by binkmeisterrick

“Why does flickr go down so much?” I wondered to The Google. None less than net luminary Tim O’Reilly answered my call with a database war story that revealed the tip of the brobdingnagian iceberg that lies under shiny-smooth, folksonomical web apps like flickr and YouTube that sort and sift stuff according what many people say about it.

A link on the right led to A rare post about the music industry that isn’t depressing that told me about Jill Sobule and Jill’s Next Record. She’s funding it through fan patronage, something I’ve been hearing more and more of lately. Her levels of support are pretty funny so I clicked off to jillsobule.com to learn more about her.

On her blog was a post titled Web Surfing, Roger Clemens, and Judy Garland where she mapped out the circuitous turnings that attention can take. Somewhere in between reading what she had to say and listening to her music, I found a link to Cinnamon Girl: Women Artists Cover Neil Young, which I of course bought.

The photo is Jill Sobule by binkmeisterrick who writes:

While waiting early for the show to start, Jill and her road manager (?)pulled up in a van and came in through the front door. She let me take her picture (bless her heart, I think she had just woken up) and noticed the Holga. “Aren’t they fun?” she said. She didn’t think the flash on the flash models did much, though.

Shortly after taking this picture, the back popped off the Holga. Can you tell? I was so worried that the only two pictures I cared about on this roll were lost. As luck would have it, she and Billy were the only two that really came out.

He says he’s fascinated by photography, particularly black & white.

Echoes in Polaroid

Polie in a Polie by G0da

Over at the photo above there is a link to Polaroids en échos at Holga4.org, a super-duper cool collaborative work (way better than that Gmail video).

G0da aka Dan has a brilliant eye for the world. If you make his photos a regular part of your life, I think it will be better. You could start with this one.

(ercy aka the woman in these photos is pretty darn good too and the admin of Polaroid Love)

TV that goes Boing

Boing Boing TV

Boing Boing calls itself a directory of wonderful things. Just the other day, they launched Boing Boing TV. and they plan to do 5 segments a week of 5 minutes or less according to this WIRED article as a “natural, sustainable extension of the blog”.:

Wired: You said you’d been approached by TV networks about something similar, and I agree with you that it doesn’t seem like it would be possible to carry a pure version of Boing Boing onto a television network. Why is that?

Xini Jardin: Nothing’s out of the question in the future. But a lot of people in Hollywood have this idea that the web is just something you mine for hits, and that the ultimate endgame for anything internet-video-related is that you get a cable pilot or movie deal out of it. But maybe the web is the endgame. We’re not in this to make a killing; we’re in this to make a living, and to explore things in a freer way than we would be able to on network television. The economics and nature of the traditional television medium do not foster the kind of free-wheeling exploration that we’ve been spoiled to have on the web. If you can just keep on doing that, but with video, why would you say no?

It’s too soon to tell what the endgame is (and if this is a part of it), but I’ll place my bet that the Unicorn Chaser bit doesn’t survive the month of October. I’ll also place a bet that web video is about to explode in a way that doesn’t neatly fit into a TV exec’s fancy briefcase.

About the photo: I don’t know what to say about the picture other than that I’m not sure I’m going to tell Kevin that I modded his TV picture (in accordance with his license of course) and I sure as heck doubt I’ll tell Xini Jardin that I hacked her into said modified TV.

Working for the Machine

Back in Black by j image

salamander, frog, toad … michigan … headphones, computer, chair … boy, girl, small, large … ac/dc, back in black

Every piece or set of data we create or encounter – from basic objects to the most complex works of of the universe – has always held myriad associations. Until fairly recently, there was a limit to how you could tie those objects together in meaningful ways.

However, folksonomy and the rise of the tagged web have exploded the ways in which we can weave information together. From our own blogs and web sites to Flickr photo maps to crazily beautiful works beyond description, I feel we are all laboring over the cogs and gears of an impossibly complex machine with a form and function that none of us can forsee.

Jim aka j image took this photo. He has a lot more, and a wonderful eye for the world.

folksonomy (+wikipedia), folksonomy (+technorati), folksonomy (+evolution)