Sunday, August 2, 2020

UI Challenge

This is an actual screenshot from a highly popular domain vendor.

Question: is this switch set to "Auto-Renew," or is "Auto-Renew" set to "Off?"

Friday, July 31, 2020

To Open School, We Could "Open" School

Or open-school, if you prefer hyphens to scare quotes.

We've done it before. Over a century ago, tuberculosis was same killer that Covid-19 is today. So the same question arose: how can we send our children to school without making a lot of people sick? The answer was to change where school was held. It was actually done outdoors, in the sunlight (with canopies), where fresh air breezes could help blow the contagion away. It worked.

It is hard to believe, even with a president and other people in positions of power denying the findings of scientists, that we could not do as well today. Here's a picture of what New Yorkers did to teach their children over one-hundred years ago:

That's class, being held on the deck of a ferry boat. Manhattan is behind them, to the west, and that's the Brooklyn Bridge, upper right, to their north. They are on the East River. On a boat. In school.

Yes, they are too close together by the standards we would use today. And they don't have masks on, again because we know more about stopping infection than our great-grandparents did. But what they knew and did worked. We could only do better.

Worried about the sun? Use a tent:

Worried about the cold? Use an "eskimo bag" and a block of heated soapstone under the feet:

Keep the windows open for anything indoors. And have lots of windows:

Or just stay outdoors:

Remember, this was all done by people with a fraction of the knowledge, technology, and resources that we have today. Our great-grandparents may be watching. Let's show them that they taught us something, both in those classrooms through our parents' parents, and through those pictures, to ourselves and for our children.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

This Time Last Year

We all do the one-year-ago thing from time to time. Here's one of mine.

I was carrying a package addressed to my son and holding it up so I could take a picture of it to send him, when something kind of unexpected happened...

Monday, July 27, 2020


Had to admit the whole current situation(s) in America kind of got to me a bit this morning. So, to cheer myself up, I went outside with my pruning shears. It was warm and sunny, with a bit of breeze. There was no screen in front of my face and, for a few minutes, I wasn't backspacing over the latest in my endless series of typographic errors as I use my keyboard, which is pretty much all I do all day.

I cut these blossoms from two of our crepe myrtle trees and put them in a glass vase with water. Just doing that simple thing and having these flowers to look at cheered me up some.

If you are feeling down, go outside, feel the sun and breeze, and pick a flower. It helps.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

What's Wrong With This Picture?

The icons displayed on my household thermostat are supposed to indicate the current state of the weather outside my house. No doubt, this one means "sunny."

Ignoring the problems that professional heliologists would discern, do you see an artistic component of this image that makes no sense whatsoever?