Wednesday, May 25, 2022

شوارع إسكندرية بتقنية 360 درجة 360 VR Street view - Google Maps

I just watched a video that talked about how Alexandria was one of the ancient world's greatest cities. Just out of curiosity, I wanted to see where it was on the map, but I already had a pretty good idea.

So I dropped into Google Street View and looked around.  From Google Street View, If you look down then you will see a hand positioned above the car.  Apparently, this person drove around the city a couple of times holding an omnidirectional camera above his car.,29.9251883,3a,75y,123.21h,90.9t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipOM9M_9kKVFeudqgkU9Qo5T5sr4WnRxHjW6I00!2e10!3e11!!7i5760!8i2880

Friday, May 20, 2022

Firearm or Bear Spray? Detailed Analysis for Backpackers, Hikers & Hunters, Gun Bear Defense

A friend of mine was followed by a bear in Yellowstone National Park.  Apparently, the bear just wanted to walk on the same trail as him.  He climbed up a hill and the bear just kept walking.

My uncle went hunting with three other guys and they were attacked by a cougar who had been stalking them.  Fortunately, all four guys had guns.  The result was Humans 1, Couger 0.

Personally, I don't see a reason to be in a place where animals could stalk you.

Here's an idea:  Let's go to the arctic circle and watch polar bears.  I probably look like a chicken nugget to a polar bear.

Special When Lit: A Pinball Documentary

This is a good documentary about Pinball.  It was made in 2009.

I remember seeing a non-electric antique amusement machine that was probably from the 1930s,   It wasn't very big, but it worked by putting in a coin, like a nickel, and turning a handle to get roughly 7 to 10 metal balls.  Then you would pull a lever to shoot the balls at holes.  If the balls landed in the holes then they would accumulate in the "score" window.  Although the game had a football theme, it was more like a pinball version of skeeball.  As primitive as the game was, it was somewhat fun to play.

Growing up in small-city Indiana, there wasn't much amusement in the early 1970s.  I remember seeing some mechanical games, like a baseball-themed game and a shooting game, both of which I found thrilling to play.  I definitely felt addicted at first.  I was young and impressionable.  This started me down a path of enjoying games.  

As a side note, in late 1974 I began to enjoy playing chess immensely which I still do.

Around summer 1975, an arcade opened up in my local mall, which had mechanical games.  My friends and I enjoyed meeting and playing the games.  The cost of pinball was 2 games for a quarter.  These mechanical games eventually would mostly give way to video games.  

There was a perfect storm of events in the second half of the 1970s that would shape my life forever.  I already was very interested in electronics because at the time this was the cutting edge of technology.  I started reading about computers and I first got to use one in 1975.  I learned how to write simple computer programs, taking to programming as a duck takes to water.  In 1976 I made friends with someone who had built an extremely primitive computer from a kit, and I learned how to program it using "machine code" which is the more difficult language of the microprocessor itself.

In 1977 video games were starting to become popular and the movie Star Wars came out.  Both were very influential on my life.  The late 1970s were culturally defined by video games, pinball, Starwars, and disco.  It was a time of cheap thrills when the economy was probably the worst since the Great Depression.  We had an oil crisis, massive inflation, and unemployment.  Most people today are too young to remember how difficult those times were.

I not only became interested in video games but I wanted to write games.  I was fortunate that my high school bought computers and taught simple computer programming in algebra class.  I was already developing programming skills and I spent much time writing programs on the school computers.

In the mid-1980s I was able to get my own computers and I started a business selling programs that I wrote, some of which were relatively primitive video games.  

In 1985 I temporarily had a job at a Showbiz Pizza maintaining and doing minor repairs on the videogames and mechanical games.  In 1993 I got my first job as a video game programmer in Utah.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The 20th Century Transformation of U.S. Agriculture and Farm Policy

In the 20nth century, we went from 41% of the workforce being employed in agriculture to 1.9% of the workforce being employed in agriculture.  That is an amazing transformation.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

Blessings on the hand of women!
Angels guard its strength and grace,
In the palace, cottage, hovel,
Oh, no matter where the place;
Would that never storms assailed it,
Rainbows ever gently curled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Infancy's the tender fountain,
Power may with beauty flow,
Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
From them souls unresting grow—
Grow on for the good or evil,
Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Blessings on the hand of women!
Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
And the sacred song is mingled
With the worship in the sky—
Mingles where no tempest darkens,
Rainbows evermore are hurled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
- William Ross Wallace, 1865.

Monday, May 2, 2022

3 AWFUL Habits That Make People Instantly Dislike You

I think that this advice can be summed up as you should make other people feel involved and appreciated.

I saw another video that claimed that the way you gain confidence is to practice.  This odd advice might not seem applicable to most things, but I think that it is.   I would not be confident making a speech or in an awkward social situation, but I am pretty confident over a chessboard.  However, if I had spent 47 years making speeches then I most likely would be reasonably competent at it. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Stars in the sky

According to what I read, we can only see about 5,000 stars with the naked eye, out to a distance of only about 4,000 light-years.  That is in a galaxy with 100 to 400 billion stars and a diameter of 100,000 light-years.  

The Milky Way Galaxy is only about 1,000 light-years thick.  That seems pretty thin compared to its diameter.  So a distance of 4,000 light-years would represent a volume of 50+ billion cubic light-years for just 5,000 visible stars.  That is roughly 10 million cubic light-years per star.


Friday, April 15, 2022

The cause of Freedom

This came from a man who was a socialist.  I suppose that some people have different ideas about what is "freedom".


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Solving The Problem Of Human Perception | Jordan Peterson Lecture at The University of Cambridge

Jordan Peterson went through at least 18 months of suffering because of illness, so he often gets emotional in his lectures when previously he was cool as a cucumber.

He talks at such a high intellectual level that it takes effort to keep up.  He covers many topics and jumps around so much that sometimes you wonder if you are listening to a crazy person.  He does a halfway good job of tying it all together, but I feel like he could be more succinct. 

He quickly gets to the point before moving on to related topics.  Then he wraps it all together with a conclusion.

His claim is that we perceive the meaning or the utility of objects rather than just the objects.  Since we are talking about automatic mental processes, it is hard to say in what order the brain processes information.  Maybe we first recognize the object and then its function.  Maybe function is so tied to our perception that we perceive it simultaneously.  Since it is hard to know, does it really matter?

If You Struggle To Find Meaning In Your Life, Watch This

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Wednesday, February 16, 2022


A friend introduced me to Wordle, a puzzle game on the New York Times web page. It is a guessing game where you try to guess a five-letter word. Any correct letter will show up in yellow, or green if it is in the correct position. You have six chances to guess the word.

The on-screen keyboard helps you because it shows which letters have succeeded or failed so far.  In my second and third guesses, I tried to use new letters so that I could narrow down the answer.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Ugly, Dangerous, and Inefficient Stroads found all over the US & Canada

I find this interesting.  I like having neighborhoods where I can walk and ride my bicycle.

In a hypothetical future world, you might have trains that could take you anywhere you want to go within a few blocks.  It might be too costly.  However, roads tend to get more crowded over time.

There is a famous old science fiction story called, "The Roads Must Roll", where a future society has high-speed people conveyors, like the slow ones you see at airports.  These are massive where you could go to a movie theater or shopping on the road while it is moving.  The closest we might ever come to something like this is a train.

The most convenient form of transportation is automobiles, but you need much infrastructure to support it.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Piecing together the history of jigsaw puzzles - CBS News

The very first jigsaw puzzle is said to have been made by London mapmaker John Spilsbury in the 1760s. "He pasted a map onto a thin piece of wood, and he used a scroll saw to cut it up; England would be one piece, Germany would be another piece," said Anne Williams, a jigsaw puzzle historian and author of "The Jigsaw Puzzle: Piecing Together a History."
jigsaw-puzzle-john-spilsbury-europe-map-puzzle-620.jpgJohn Spilsbury's European map jigsaw puzzle.  CBS NEWS
"He marketed these to the very affluent and influential people as a tool to teach their children geography."

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Jimmy Crack Corn

I had a memory of Bugs Bunny singing this song.    It took me like 3 seconds to find it on youtube.

I was thinking about how politically incorrect it was.   You probably couldn't use it today.  I'm surprised the cartoon is not banned.

I think I remember singing it in school 50 years ago as part of music class.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Quotes for Each of the 9 Enneagram Types

The most dangerous way we sabotage ourselves is by waiting for the perfect moment to begin. Nothing works perfectly the first time, or the first 50 times. Everything has a learning curve. The beginning is just that — a beginning. Surrender your desire to do it flawlessly on the first try. It's not possible. Learn to learn. Learn to fail. Learn to learn from failing. And begin today. Begin now. Stop waiting.
— Vironika Tugaleva

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.
— Seth Godin

With confidence, you have won before you have started.
— Marcus Garvey