The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

(3)25th Anniversary

It was on this day in 1985 that I drifted off in Mr. Collins' Algebra class and arrived at the name of my corporation: Punzun Ltd.

The corporation became an actual legal entity on 17 February 2000.

Oh, and if he were still alive, Bach would be 325 today, and he would have over 100 children. (Oh, yeah—and if we hadn't switched calendars in the 1750s. If you convert to the current Gregorian calendar, Bach's birthday is actually March 31st.)

Have you seen this man?

There are two nearly-identical copies of this poster at Duke of Perth, one unfortunately vandalized by neo-Nazis. (I'm not kidding.) Does anyone have any idea where to get one?

I've actually tried getting in touch with Scottish & Newcastle, the company that acquired the John Courage Brewery, but they've since gotten bought by Heineken. No luck there. I even called a poster dealer in London, someone recommended by another poster dealer as specializing in that sort of thing.

Any information would be appreciated.


That's the code for "frontal passage" on aviation meteorological reports. Apparently yesterday while I was on my way to O'Hare I missed a big one:

While temperatures began dropping across the far northern suburbs as early as mid-afternoon, the city was invaded by 30+ mph gusts late in the evening rush hour, initiating a thermal tailspin. In a single hour's time, readings at the Harrison-Dever Crib, three miles off Chicago's shoreline, dove from 62°F to 42°F—a 20°F pullback—between 6 and 7 p.m. The same period saw readings at Northerly Island on the city's lakefront plunge from 64°F to 47°F. A minute-by-minute temperature analysis off a Weather Bug sensor on the South Side at the Dumas Elementary School indicated readings there plunged 15°F in only 12 minutes—from 62°F at 6:39 p.m. to 47°F at 6:51. By late evening, North Shore readings were uniformly up to 25°F off the 60°F levels of only hours before.

Yikes. Here's the art:

Today's forecast is for sunny skies and 26°C.

Oh, sorry. That's my forecast. Back in Chicago they've got snow and freezing temperatures. Sorry.


After a lot of procrastination, I've finally upgraded The Daily Parker to dasBlog 2.3.

dasBlog logoNothing outwardly has changed, but apparently the developer community has fixed a ton of bugs and, more helpfully, upgraded to .NET 2.0. I don't have time at the moment to go through the entire feature list, but I'm sure there are a couple in there I'll use.

Mainly I was tired of having an item on my to-do list since October 2008. (I said "a lot of procrastination.")

You have thirty seconds to comply

Ahem. No, RoboCop isn't pointing a gun at me. However, Avanade's personal blog policy strongly recommends that I post the following, and I happen to agree:

Avanade does not control or endorse the content, messages or information found in any public Weblog, and therefore specifically disclaims any liability with regard to this Weblog and any actions resulting from my participation in any Weblog.

Also, I am not authorized in any way to speak on Avanade's behalf.

This applies not only to The Daily Parker but also to re-posts, as for example the automatic content pull from The Daily Parker into my Facebook profile.

We will now resume your regularly-scheduled program, already in progress.

More confirmation about dog origins

NPR reported this morning that dogs likely descended from Israeli wolves:

To come up with their results, [UCLA researcher Robert] Wayne and his colleagues studied DNA from more than 200 wild gray wolves. "We looked at wolf populations in Europe, the Middle East and East Asia and from China," he says. In each case, they sought out and found genetic markers that were unique to these different wolf populations. So, for example, there were some markers that were only found in Chinese wolves, and others only found in Middle Eastern wolves.

Then they analyzed DNA from more than 900 dogs from 85 breeds, and looked to see which of the wolf markers dogs most closely resembled. It turns out that most dogs shared markers unique to Middle Eastern wolves, although there were some dog breeds that were closer to other wolf populations.

"Many wolf populations may have contributed to the genomic diversity of dogs, but the dominant signal comes from the Middle East," says Wayne. The new research appears in the journal Nature.

Finally: a solid explanation of why Parker wears a yarmulke.

End of an era

Or: How I learned to stop being irrational and give up a piece of history.

I'm about to mail (yes, use postal mail) a termination order to Earthlink, with whom I have had an account since they acquired Mindspring, with whom I had an account since they acquired Pipeline. That means I've had my Mindspring email address since 1998 (I got the Pipeline address in 1997, but Mindspring converted everyone over), and I've kept it as my spam account since I set up my own email server in 2000.

So, I'm feeling a little twinge. It's a piece of history, a connection to the days of dial-up and modems, of Outlook 1997 and Pine. It's also $7 a month, and every last scrap of email it receives with the exception of Earthlink payment receipts is junk. I've kept it because it seemed like a trivial expense to remain connected with the early days of the Internet. But you know what? The Wayback Machine does that too, and it's free.

Sed fugit interea fugit irreparabile tempus, singula dum capti circumvectamur amore. Literally: Time flees while we hold on to insignificant details.

Daily Parker post #2,000

I had hoped, as I hoped about Post #1,000, to write something lengthy and truly self-indulgent.

This will disappoint many readers, but I don't have time to do that. Instead, just a quick update: even though Inner Drive Technology still exists (as does all of its software and ongoing maintenance), I'm now working for Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture.

And, in the spirit of the season, on my way to Avanade's Chicago office yesterday, I noticed something...odd...about the Daley Center:

Gotta love Chicago. And tomorrow they dye the river green. Thursday they show up to work late.

Brewery tour

A friend and I toured the Big Boss Brewing Co. in Raleigh yesterday. Possibly owing to the gorgeous weather, or a widespread spirit of scientific inquiry, or—long shot here—the $1 33 cL beer samples, yesterday's tour seemed awfully popular:

Brewmaster Brad Wynn dragged all 642 of us around the tiny brewery, entertainingly explaining their brewing process quickly enough for us to get more of the aforementioned $1 beers:

Great fun. They're having a party on Wednesday which I'll have to miss, but their tap room is open Monday through Saturday. I'm looking forward to more Angry Angel, their crisp and hoppy Kölsch-style ale. It really is better right from the tap.

Next up: The Daily Parker hits a major milestone. Stay tuned.

Religion and prejudice

Via Dan Savage, a meta-analysis showing a correlation (not necessarily causation) between religious dogmatism and racism:

The February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Review has published a meta-analysis of 55 independent studies conducted in the United States which considers surveys of over 20,000 mostly Christian participants. Religious congregations generally express more prejudiced views towards other races. Furthermore, the more devout the community, the greater the racism.

This study finds that a denomination's demand for devout allegiance to its Christian creed overrides any humanistic message. By demanding such devotion to one specific and dogmatic Christianity, a denomination only encourages its members to view outsiders as less worthy.

Moreover, the study found that agnosticism correlates with tolerance, to which I think one should add "Q.E.D."

Again, the study doesn't show causation, only correlation. Religion doesn't itself make one racist. Possibly the conditions that lead someone to religious dogmatism also lead to racism; possibly the communities in which more-devoted religionists live are in areas with historically higher racism.