Sunday, July 17, 2011

odds and odds and an end

Keeping bits of blogs that keep showing themselves of interest to me furnishes me with something like my own news service.  Weekends may be a bit static for blogs, which might not be new posts until the work week.  Still, several caught my eye this morning.

Jerry Apps is a retired UW professor and the author of many books.  He specializes in Wisconsin farming life, especially its history and the experience of living it during the last 100 or or so years.  The blogs listed on my page are steadily re-arranged so that the most recently updated ones are at the top.  I look down the column of snippets until I have looked at all those I haven't seen before.  The Jerry Apps blog has a recent post on trees, namely, bur oaks.

I don't see how anybody can be indifferent to trees.  I recall hearing that Georgia O'Keefe, the famous woman painter, was not inspired by outdoors scenery in upstate New York.  She complained there was nothing but green everywhere, unlike the New Mexico desert with a much broader palette of actual hues and shades.  But most people feel what seems to be appropriately reverend and respectful of the big earthly plants that probably figured in human evolution and have given us shelter, shade, fruit, nuts and building material for millenia, not to mention the importance of their bodies as a source of heat and light to humans.

Wired magazine runs around 8 to 10 blogs/columns on a very wide selection of topics, mostly having to do with things that use wire to conduct electricity.  This column on caricatures and their connection to computer facial identification got my attention.  As it says at the beginning, humans are exquisite at recognizing faces but computers have a much tougher time.  Not only do we want machines to recognize lost children but not those who are not lost, and criminals on the run, and terrorists but we want to be able to do that in poor light while they are moving and at a distance.

Finally, another Google service to mention: SketchUp, a 3D drawing program that is basically for design.  My granddaughter and grandson-in-law have professional experience as house and home designers.  They used SketchUp for a basic design for the house layout they want.  It is a free program and looks like something I should learn more about.  Being able to create a 2 dimensional drawing of a 3 dimensional object or scene and rotate the scene quickly and easily is appealing, even if I have little current need to be able to do that.

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