Saturday, May 31, 2003

Of salmon and storms and multi-colored roses

Farmed Salmon Looking Less Rosy by Marian Burros, New York Times, May 28, 2003

THE images of salmon farming that the industry promotes seem pristine and natural, of fish frisking in icy cold clean waters, of wise management saving an endangered species while providing shoppers with the fish they love.

But critics say that image of the regal salmon, America's most popular fresh fish, is not the whole reality. Recent lawsuits accuse the industry of polluting the ocean, endangering dwindling stocks of wild salmon and failing to tell shoppers that they use artificial colors to make the fish red.

The criticisms echo many of those leveled at huge corporate farms on land.

"We've come to the point where we view these farms as hog lots or feedlots of the ocean," said Jeff Reardon, the New England conservation director of Trout Unlimited, which has worked with salmon farmers in Maine to reduce the number of fish that escape, to protect wild trout and salmon. "They breed disease and parasites. Like other big animal feedlots there are lots of problems. Some of their practices are beginning to improve, but over all the impact is not lessening."

Salmon Color selection chips[Sigh] I love salmon, and we eat it, or brook trout, at least once a week. I had to idea salmon farming created pollution or environmental hazards. I was surprised to see that salmon farmers can select the color they want their farmed salmon to be. Wild salmon, according to the article, are pink because of the krill and other stuff they eat (like flamingos), but farmed salmon don't eat krill, they eat fish feed, and salmon farmers are given a choice of what additive they want in the fish feed to turn the fish their favorite color of pink. But I guess I shouldn't be that surprised since I know the reason Perdue chickens are that weird yellow color is from what the company feeds them (I think I heard it was marigold seed that does that, but I might be nuts ... ) I wonder if it's a Pantone palette ...

Poor Ginger--she's so frightened of thunder. Here she is, looking at me and worried that I won't come in and the thunder will get me:

Ginger looking very worried

Right now she's wrapped around the bottom of my chair--I'm afraid to move lest one of the wheels catches her fur and yanks it out.

We haven't had a chance to put our new roses into the ground yet; either it's been raining like crazy or we've gotten home too late to do it. I wanted to do it this weekend but, as you might guess from the above, it's raining AGAIN.

But they're blooming! And they're gorgeous! I know pretty much where I'd like to put them, though it might involve getting rid of some raspberry bushes (Stanley doesn't like raspberries and I don't care enough about them to care if the bushes get yanked. They're pretty scaggy-looking things anyway). They're climbing roses, so I'd like to put them on a trellis in the sunny part of the yard, with a clematis on the other side.


The old climbing rose bush off the patio is just loaded with buds this year--when that one blooms, it's going to be a sight to see.

I did some experimenting in PhotoShop, working on a shot of the roses I took this morning. I like playing around with the filters and effects and seeing what I can come up with. In this triptych, the first shot is the original photo, the second is kind of an old faded color photo look (kind of), and the third, well, just moody.

copyright 2003 by Lee Fleming, InfoPulse LLC. If you want this for some reason, just ask me by sending email to lee at infopulsellc dot com

It's very weird--Ginger is snoring so it feels as if I have a chair with Magic Fingers. Ah well, time to throw dinner in the oven; maybe Stanley will make it home sometime soon. He's off in Pleasantville, NY doing a job there that he did not know he had to do when he left this morning. Hope he's charging weekend rates.
posted by lee on 05/31/03 at 06:24 PM
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Monday, June 02, 2003

boomgen stuff

The Baby Boomer Generation is my kinda content. I like the URL: Aging Hipsters. Yep, I can relate.

Now where the hell did I put those reading glasses ...
posted by lee on 06/02/03 at 08:59 PM
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Wednesday, June 04, 2003

get good pc-related answers here

I stumbled upon this site: Answers That Work - Computer Solutions, Helpdesk, PC Troubleshooting while looking for an explanation of one of the programs running on my W98SE system. What a useful site, tons of stuff there. For a reasonable fee of $35 per year, you can register to ask as many pc-related questions as you want to for a year. But you don't have to register to use the library or the useful downloads. Definitely worth poking around, especially if you're working on optimizing your system or trying to figure out what the heck is draining off your system resources.
posted by lee on 06/04/03 at 07:47 AM
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Monday, June 09, 2003


amorphoscapes by stanza. I can't explain what it is--a fusion of images and noise?

And here is Einstein Archives Online. If he wrote it, it's probably here somewhere.

Now I just wish I had the time to poke around in these places now. But I seriously have too much to do. Among the things on my list is moving this site to our new server, which means figuring out how to install MT properly in a different setup.

But not tonight.
posted by lee on 06/09/03 at 10:06 PM
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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

savage stupidity

Michael Savage is a talk radio bsmonger, with a show syndicated by Talk Radio Network. Apparently, he's a particularly virulent shrieker against gay rights (and women and people of color and ... ) GLAAD organized a boycott against Savage's advertisers. And some smaller websites, such as and have picked up on the story and have reported on Savage's nastiness as well as supporting the boycotts.

So TNR radio and Savage are suing not GLAAD, which is well-funded and not about to take any crap from idiots like Savage, but three small websites that don't have the deep pockets to defend themselves against this type of spurious lawsuit. Read about it here: Michael Savage Weiner Lawsuit. Apparently, TNR blames these three, pretty obscure websites for the loss of an advertiser: Culligan. As in water. And is asking for damages of up to $100,000 to compensate.

What I would like to see happen is for GLAAD to take up this cause and pay for the legal defense of the sites being named in this suit. If TNR wins this suit because the defendants don't have to resources to mount an adequate defense, GLAAD will be the next group in TNR's site.

This is a suit that should be tossed out.
posted by lee on 06/10/03 at 03:53 PM
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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

brand new web journal

Barbara Schaefer Art was born on June 11. Take a look at "Window from a Fairy Tale."
posted by lee on 06/11/03 at 09:52 PM
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Saturday, June 14, 2003

web redesign babblecrap from Meta Group

Craig Roth wrote this for ZDNet: Web Technology / Web Site Redesign Primer - Tech Update - ZDNet, June 8, 2003

By 2004, portal frameworks will become the centerpiece of a presentation infrastructure that acts as a fulcrum to aggregate reusable application, content, analytical, and collaboration components for highly dynamic user interfaces. By 2005, organizations will exploit portal frameworks to deliver contextual business workspaces, enabled via maturing XML and Web service standards. Through 2007, portal vendors will increasingly leverage enterprise infrastructure services.

He then proceeds to state what should be the obvious but isn't because he throws so much bullshit babblespeak in it you need to translate it into English before it even begins to make sense.

Now, I know Roth is an IT analyst for Meta Group and I know analysts tend to write in pompous, inflated language in order to justify the obscene amounts their companies charge for basic research (I know several Gartner Gods) or for a single research report, but this article takes it to a whole new level.

It's no wonder companies like Meta Group aren't doing so well--if I were an executive looking for some answers and saw babblecrap like this, I'd realize that not only would it cost me a bundle to hire Meta Group or Gartner to write up a report and come up with a PowerPoint or two, but I would also have to hire someone to translate it all.

There are better resources for figuring out what to do with your corporate website and / or intranet. How you proceed depends on your audience. Here are a couple of places to start: from Webmonkey, a fairly comprehensive how-to written in English. Clickz, which provides tons of useful information. Or ask any competent independent web designer firm. If you avoid the agencies, you avoid the bloat (both in process and in fees).
posted by lee on 06/14/03 at 07:26 AM
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Sunday, June 15, 2003

fighting bullcrap

Bullfighter: Stripping The Bull Out Of Business || A consulting jargon fighter from Deloitte Consulting. Yep. If I had XP or W2K, I would download this software and use it on yesterday's example of bullcrap. This is free from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu -- perhaps as their way of atoning for years of crimes against the language committed by consultants and other "writers" there.
posted by lee on 06/15/03 at 10:13 AM
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Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Einstein & clocks

The Clocks That Shaped Einstein's Leap in Time, New York Times, by Dennis Overbye, 6/24/03

What does it mean, Albert Einstein asked in 1905, to say that a train arrives someplace--in Paris, say--at 7 o'clock?

You might not think you need to know something as deep as relativity to answer such a question. But Einstein needed to answer the question to invent his theory of relativity, the breakthrough that wrenched science into a new century and enshrined the equivalence of matter and energy.
In his last step, after a decade of pondering the mysteries of light and motion, Einstein concluded that there was no such thing as absolute time, envisioned by scientists since Newton, ticking uniformly through the cosmos. Rather there were only the times measured by individual clocks. To talk about times and measurements at different places, the clocks have to be synchronized, he said. And the way to do that is to flash light signals between them, correcting for the time it takes for the signal to travel from one clock to another.

A simple prescription. Yet when Einstein followed it, he found that clocks moving with respect to one another would not run at the same speed. The modern age was born.

So begins a fascinating article.
posted by lee on 06/24/03 at 08:28 AM
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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Way too much to do, way too little time

But the worst of it should be over by end of day Friday. I promised to post more pictures of Stanley's encounter with an SUV suckmobile driving by a Greenwich jerk for Ben. I will. But probably not today.
posted by lee on 06/25/03 at 07:58 AM
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