jlm-blog
~jlm

21-Nov-2015

If business hours are 9–5, noon should be 1 PM

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 08:36

Today the sun rose at 06:55. I rose at 07:15, being one of those morning persons who madden the folks who go to bed at 03:00, by which time I’ve been conked out fo[u]r hours. Yep, even being one of “those people”, I still missed the sunrise (and that’s normal for me).

Yet, today’s sunset… it’s at 16:53! The “day” closes before the banks do! Now, this crazy skewing of things isn’t because western California is geographically displaced from the reference meridian: high (“solar”) noon here is 11:54. If we’re only 6 minutes displaced from solar time, how come there’s so much more daylight in the morning than the evening? It’s because our standard “business hours” are shifted away from the center. Starting a working day at 09:00 and ending it at 17:00 has three hours before noon but five hours after it. If we shifted our clocks so that solar noon was ∼13:00 (which is what we do for the majority of the year which has DST in effect) then things would be more sensible: about four working hours before solar noon (09:00 – 13:00) and about four after it (13:00 – 17:00). The sun would have risen today at 07:55 and set at 17:53, and wouldn’t everyone be happier with that? Why don’t we just have “daylight savings time” in effect year-round? And then we’d also get the bonus of not having to move our clocks an hour twice a year. And of not having motorists on the roads with an hour less sleep than they’re used to on that one day in spring where DST starts and traffic accidents spike — which, come to think of it, is a far more important reason to quit doing a semiannual time change.

20-Feb-2011

River maps, conformal maps, misc. maps

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 18:54

Daniel Huffman has produced some interesting maps of the US’s major river systems, done in the style of intracity rail line maps. I especially like the one of the Columbia’s system.
He talks about generating these river maps here.
Naturally, he has other interesting things to say about maps, such as a discussion on projection conformality.

25-Dec-2010

Dec. 25

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 08:27

Centuries ago, we lived in ignorance, our vision dim, not even knowing what we didn’t know. Now and then some people struck sparks as we stumbled in the darkness, and saw something others had missed.
But, on this day, a man was born who was to kindle a torch and connect heaven and earth.
Though his work and teachings, he changed our worldview forever. He revealed truths and laws that mankind had had no conception of before. He turned our old notions upside-down with a new understanding of the heavenly realm, and of the world on which we live. His teachings have stood the test of time, still being taught, analyzed, and widely used in practice to this very day. The great thinkers of later ages have taken what he revealed, and built magnificently upon it, each generation using the work of the previous to go further.

Happy birthday, Isaac Newton!

24-Jun-2008

2000 in 1910

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 12:07

It’s the twenty-first century. Where are the flying cars? The videophones? What about the robot barbers and tailor engines? I’m kind of glad we didn’t get radium fireplaces though.

More images of the year 2000 from 1910 at the National Library of France.

17-Dec-2006

Hectic holidays

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 16:37

A friend of mine called this time of year the “hectic holidays”, and it’s absolutely correct.
I love the getting together with my family, the Christmas feast, the time off… But the gifting is very stressful. It’s hard to pick out gifts for people, it’s hard to ask for gifts, and shopping is a huge pain: Even when you know what you want to buy, going to retail stores right now is an exercise in frustration. And then the effort is wasted because they’re out of stock!
How many people can we get together under the idea that Christmas is better off without the gifts, so we can focus on nobler ideals. Can we make Christmas a holiday that’s not about commerce, but a celebration of our brotherhood with our fellow man?

18-Sep-2006

Peeve

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 16:25

I hate in when I look up foo in the dictionary and it says “not bar”. Thanks, now I’ve gone from having to look up a word to know what it means, to having to look up another word to know what the first means, you’ve been a big help there.

22-Jan-2006

Bad service: Kinko’s

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 17:23

Kinko’s has changed the way you make copies at its self-service copy centers: Instead of putting coins into the copy machine, you buy a card at vending machine (with $1 increments) and the copier takes the card and deducts from the card’s value. You don’t get change from unused value left on your card, you “get” to keep the card for your next use. Yeah, like it’s going to be worth 70¢ of my time to hunt around for their stupid cash card. This is not an increase in automation: The copiers used to be self-vend already, without having to detour to buy a card. It’s just getting extra money they’re not entitled to from people not using all the money on the card and customer tracking. How about using your local non-chain copy center instead? I bet they won’t end up costing 50¢ a copy if you need only two and lost your Kinko’s card.

22-Aug-2005

Make your own robot

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 21:15

Someone has done something creative with that Flash engine which is used to make all those insipid dress-up “games”.
Newgrounds link

It won’t let you really make a robot. But you can make an image of one:

[image of robot]

10-Aug-2005

Party

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 17:28

[Edit: Link down due to technical problems.]

Pictures from a backyard party I was at in PDX.

[Link]

Can you find me?

17-Jul-2005

Wallets

Filed under: misc — jlm @ 19:51

So, this guy pulls out his wallet.

I say, “Hey, that looks just like my wallet.”

He goes “Uhhh…”

I take out my wallet, and it looks just like his.

“Oh, I thought you were going to accuse me of taking your wallet.”

Powered by WordPress