Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 12th, 2006

Another bumper sticker

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The Wife saw this one today: “Someone Else for President.”

Written by Leisureguy

12 July 2006 at 5:47 pm

Microsoft OneNote 2003

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James Fallows writes good articles on technology, usually at The Atlantic Monthly, and in the most recent issue he discusses an intriguing software program: Microsoft OneNote 2003. (OneNote 2007 is currently under development, but close enough to release that you can try it outUPDATE: hmmm. It looks as though the beta you can download is for all of MS Office 2007. I say, “No, thanks.” But OneNote 2003 is really nice, and I look forward to being able to upgrade to OneNote 2007.)

Essentially, OneNote is a program to let you quickly capture thoughts (text (entered or copied), pictures, audio, video) in free-form pages stored within folders within notebooks. When you copy something from the Internet, the URL is automatically footnoted, which is very handy indeed. Re-organizing stuff is easy, as is carrying it into the various Microsoft Office programs (as a document or email or contact or whatever).

The Microsoft OneNote 2003 Web site has more info, and you can download a trial version that’s good for 60 days. You don’t want to buy OneNote directly from Microsoft, though: it’s $35 from the vendor linked to above, $100 from Microsoft. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

12 July 2006 at 5:29 pm

Cool idea: Zipcar

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The Eldest told me she pointed this out to The Son, who’s moving to New York City: Zipcar, a car-sharing service that looks very good. They have them in New York, Boston, DC, Chapel Hill, Toronto, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco—Chapel Hill? Yep, that’s what it says.

Written by Leisureguy

12 July 2006 at 11:43 am

Posted in Daily life, Technology

On learning things

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As a break from dividing everything into two parts, let’s divide learning things into three parts:

  1. Those things you learn by reading
  2. Those things you read but still have to learn
  3. Those things you don’t read but learn on your own

As an example of the first: When chopping vegetables (carrots, celery, onions, radishes, etc.), don’t push the knife straight down. Instead, while exerting downward pressure, slightly pull or push the knife across the vegetables, so that it slices down through the veggies. (You may want to try it, but really you’ve learned the technique simply by reading.)

As an example of the second, check out the instructions on how to juggle—or, for that matter, on how to shave with a safety razor. The instructions get you started, but the real learning takes place through your own practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

12 July 2006 at 11:13 am

Posted in Daily life

Dowd skewers Haynes

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Excellent Dowd column today in the NY Times (behind a subscription wall):

“The State Department characterizes the use of dogs as an interrogation aid as torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment,’’ Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said to the Pentagon general counsel. “We publicly condemned the countries of Libya and Burma for using dogs in interrogation. In November of 2002, you recommended that Secretary Rumsfeld approve the use of dogs to intimidate detainees at Guantánamo.

“The Department of Defense’s own investigation concluded that this technique migrated from Guantánamo to Iraq and Abu Ghraib. At least two members of the armed forces have now been convicted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for using dogs to frighten detainees. It is striking that as these soldiers were prosecuted, you were being promoted. What message are we sending our troops? And what message are we sending the world, in light of your role in promulgating abusive interrogation techniques, like the use of dogs, stress positions and forced nudity. What message are we sending if we promote you to the second highest court in the land?” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

12 July 2006 at 6:11 am

Wednesday cat-blogging: Sophie with googly eyes

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Sophie with googly eyes

Note the goo-goo-googly eyes—only they’re not her actual eyes! In a wonderful bit of adaptive mimicry, some cats have evolved a short dark stripe above each eye (see: Monday cat blogging). Their real eyes shut when they yawn, but these “eyes” stay open, making a predator think the cat has temporarily gone crazy, as shown by the googly eyes. The predator, frozen with fear or (more likely) convulsed with laughter, is temporarily stopped in its tracks, and the cat can end its yawn, open its real eyes, and make its escape.

Written by Leisureguy

12 July 2006 at 6:04 am

Posted in Cats, Science, Sophie

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