Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Monday 20 June 2011

Sullivan raves about how New York's political leaders in both parties have made gay marriage a real possibility this year:

It's a BFD because it doubles the number of Americans with the right to marry the person they love, even if they are gay. That is one hell of a fact on the ground. It will almost certainly help in California. It will reveal even more profoundly that this does not mean the end of civilization, but is, more prosaically, a modest reform to strengthen the family, integrate the marginalized and enlarge our moral universe. And it cannot now be undone.

Fingers crossed.

Monday 20 June 2011 13:14:10 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | US#

The Guggenheim Museum, 31 December 2000:

ISO-100, 1/125 at f/4, Kodak DC4800, 12mm, taken here.

I mentioned a while ago that only with my Canon 7D have I gotten digital images with about the same resolution as film. Even though I made this photo on a 3Mpx camera, I shot it at 1536x1024 because I had, I think, a 64 MB card in the camera, which could hold only about 300 shots. Still, the shot looks decent enough at Web resolutions.

I spent part of the weekend organizing photos from the last decade in Adobe Lightroom. From late 2003 to 2006 I used a Nikon E2100, a little throwaway camera, and I almost cried comparing its photos to the Kodak DC4800's (like the one above) and photos from the Canon SD400 that followed it. The lack of resolution and exposure control gave me more than two years of photos with less quality than shots from most modern mobile phones.

Monday 20 June 2011 10:40:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Sunday 19 June 2011

At a campaign rally in Burlington, Vt., 26 September 1992:

Kodachrome 64, exposure unrecorded, Canon T-90 probably with Tamron 35-210mm at 35mm.

Sunday 19 June 2011 09:47:13 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Saturday 18 June 2011

I'm not sure if this worked, but I liked the shot anyway. Trump Tower is on the right; the Equitable Building is on the left:

17 June 2011, ISO-100, 1/250 at f/5.6, 55mm, taken here.

Saturday 18 June 2011 10:17:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Friday 17 June 2011

Last one from Lisbon, on the plaza surrounding the Castelo de São Jorge:

13 January 2011, ISO-400, 1/250 at f/8, 55mm, here.

Friday 17 June 2011 09:41:25 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Thursday 16 June 2011

In honor of Parker's birthday:

1 October 2006, ISO-400, 1/200 at f/5.6, 18mm, Evanston, Ill.

Thursday 16 June 2011 12:15:45 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker | Photography#

The fuzzy dude turns 5 today:

Parker's Petfinder mugshot, at 8 weeks old.

Thursday 16 June 2011 08:16:04 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker#
Wednesday 15 June 2011

Andrew Binstock, editor of Dr. Dobb's, has a pair of editorials in praise of and instruction to create small classes:

High levels of complexity, generally measured with the suboptimal cyclomatic complexity measure (CCR), is what the agile folks correctly term a "code smell." Intricate code doesn't smell right. According to numerous studies, it generally contains a higher number of defects and it's hard — sometimes impossible — to maintain. ...

My question, though, is how to avoid creating complexity in the first place? This topic too has been richly mined by agile trainers, who offer the same basic advice: Follow the Open-Closed principle, obey the Hollywood principle, use the full panoply of design patterns, and so on. All of this is good advice; but ultimately, it doesn't cut it. ...

...[Y]ou need another measure, one which I've found to be extraordinarily effective in reducing initial complexity and greatly expanding testability: class size. Small classes are much easier to understand and to test.

In Part 2, in which Binstock responded to people who had written him about the first editorial:

Coding classes as diminutive as 60 lines struck other correspondents as simply too much of a constraint and not worth the effort.

But it's precisely the discipline that this number of lines imposes that creates the very clarity that's so desirable in the resulting code. The belief expressed in other letters that this discipline could not be consistently maintained suggests that the standard techniques for keeping classes small are not as widely known as I would have expected.

Both editorials make excellent points. Every developer should read them.

Wednesday 15 June 2011 15:10:42 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Software#

I've always thought this photo looked cool:

October 1985, Northbrook, Ill., Kodachrome-64.

Wednesday 15 June 2011 11:31:11 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Tuesday 14 June 2011

Adam Mansbach's new book hasn't hit stores yet, but already Audible.com has it available for (free!) download, narrated by—wait for it—Samuel L. Jackson.

Brilliant. Feckin' brilliant.

Tuesday 14 June 2011 15:49:13 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink#

The UK Independent's Jon Rantoul won't be using clichés any time soon:

Normally, though, politicians are the worst offenders. It is not clear how much they themselves are to blame, or how much they are simply overwhelmed by the substandard drafting of civil servants and speech writers. Perhaps they lack the time to put a pen through it and rewrite it themselves. It is a national scandal that the Civil Service provides such ghastly drafting of official documents, full of turgid abstractions that are intended, perhaps unconsciously, to conceal the thinness of the content. As for speeches, what do politicians pay their speech writers for?

The Prime Minister's speech on NHS reform last week was a shocker for clichés: "pillar to post; in the driving seat; frontline; level playing field; cherry picking; one-size-fits-all; reinvent the wheel; let me be absolutely clear; no ifs or buts". If each of those were not on the List [of banned clichés] before, they are now.

The Daily Parker has adopted the list, effective immediately.

Tuesday 14 June 2011 10:05:17 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Kitchen Sink | Blogs#

Along a public footpath, Amberley, West Sussex, U.K.:

14 August 2009, ISO-100, 1/250 at f/8, 18mm, here.

Tuesday 14 June 2011 09:39:27 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Photography#
Monday 13 June 2011

A B-17 bomber built during World War II crashed today and was completely destroyed by a post-crash fire. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Unfortunately, the 67-year-old airplane, restored to flying condition just a few years ago, was a total loss:

The B-17, christened the "Liberty Belle," took off from the airport at 9:30 a.m. and made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Highway 71 and Minkler Road in Oswego after the pilot reported an engine fire, according to Sugar Grove Fire Chief Marty Kunkle. Witnesses said he set the plane down between a tower and a line of trees.

One person on the plane was treated at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora and released, hospital spokeswoman Courtney Satlak said.

The plane was one of the world's last surviving WWII bombers. The article had more on its history:

The plane that crashed was manufactured in 1944. It was sold on June 25, 1947 as scrap to Esperado Mining Co. of Altus, Okla. and was sold again later that year to Pratt & Whitney for $2,700, according to the foundation's website.

Whitney operated the B-17 from Nov. 19, 1947 to 1967 to test turboprop engines. It was donated in the late 1960s to the Connecticut Aeronautical Historic Association in East Hartford, but was heavily damaged in 1979 when a tornado threw another aircraft against the B-17’s mid-section, breaking the fuselage, the foundation said.

Monday 13 June 2011 15:59:07 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Chicago#

Another one of my favorites, from Maho Beach, Sint Maarten:

14 February 2009, ISO-400, 1/2000 at f/8, 31mm, here.

Monday 13 June 2011 13:50:39 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Geography | Photography#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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