Wednesday, June 30, 2010

design & construction by leo

Leo decided Papa Jim needed a place to put his BBQ grill, so he designed and built it. Not only that, he created a place for horseshoe tournament viewers to sit and watch. I love, love, love the patterns and the colors and can’t wait to check them out “in person” in August.

Leo started the work one weekend and then went up to Oscoda to finish the job when school got out for the year
Leo started the work one weekend and then went up to Oscoda to finish the job when school got out for the year. (click to enlarge) photo by Jim Fleming

The completed patio, June 29, 2010
The completed patio, June 29, 2010.  (click to enlarge) photo by Jim Fleming

Leo Robertson, designer and builder.
Leo Robertson, designer and builder.  (click to enlarge) photo by Jim Fleming

Leo also added an observation area to watch the horseshoe tournaments
Leo also added an observation area to watch the horseshoe tournaments.  (click to enlarge) photo by Jim Fleming

posted by lee on 06/30/10 at 03:00 AM

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Friday, June 25, 2010

modern superstition

Michael Specter was on Colbert tonight, and he managed to get some thoughts out that interested me. Specter is a journalist who recently released his book Denialism, which is about how irrational thinking harms us.

He asks questions like, “Why are we afraid of genetically modified food? Why do we take vitamins, most of which do nothing more than produce expensive, dark-colored piss? Why would a government leader let his people starve rather than allow in genetically modified wheat?  ... ” He talks about our mistrust in institutions such as government and the medical establishment, and how even intelligent people succumb to belief in anecdotes over facts and can’t grasp that correlation is not the same as causation. How most of our irrational thinking is driven by fear.

At any rate, he gave a TED presentation, so I watched it:

He is right—it is hideously difficult to ignore anecdotal “evidence.” There is, for me, always an undercurrent of “Well, what if ‘They’ are wrong? What if future studies prove acupuncture works, or visualization is the key to wealth, that taking this or that vitamin every day really will stave off this or that particular disease ... or my knees started feeling worse when I stopped taking that supplement, so that supplement must work—for me?” I guess it’s only natural to hedge, but at what point does hedging become no better than appeasing the angry gods so the crops will grow again? I am a skeptic by nature, but it’s so hard to ignore the anecdotes, especially when they’re either my own or those of someone I know well and believe is intelligent. I bet even the most rock-solid, scientific method or nothing scientists have a superstition or two that he or she clings to in the face of evidence to the contrary.

I do plan on reading the book—even sent the sample to my Kindle (I absolutely love my Kindle—but that’s another post some day ... ) and if the sample intrigues me as much as his appearances and articles from the New Yorker, I might even fork out the $14.99 to buy it (that’s an outrageous price for an e-book ... but I digress yet again.) He’s certainly gotten me thinking about stuff, though.

posted by lee on 06/25/10 at 04:56 AM

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

bingo would love this so much

She never tires of chasing the tennis ball. So yes, she would love this:

She’s pretty adept at putting the ball into my hand when she wants me to throw it, so I’m sure it would take her about 20 seconds to master this contraption. Once she got over her fear of the noise it makes, that is!

posted by lee on 06/06/10 at 03:57 AM

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

ok go from nasa via spaceweather

Happy June. I think.

This utoob video of OK Go singing “This Too Shall Pass” comes via a NASA blog, which I arrived at by clicking a link on Spaceweather after I clicked a link in my email about noctilucent clouds over Europe. Sometimes I feel like I’m on a Rube Goldberg trip as I click my way through the interwebs, which is fine with me since I just love Rube Goldberg contraptions—and I love this video. Would’ve been fun to be on the team.


Sometimes it’s just necessary to take a break from all the horror stories.

posted by lee on 06/03/10 at 02:58 PM

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