Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April 17

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Walking home from yoga.  Looking west over West Park.




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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

color

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This original is sort of namby-pamby.



Here it is, with the saturation zipped up a bit.



And with the saturation slider pushed all the way.



A bit too much, even for me, which makes it a nice antidote to the "WAY too much monochrome" outside.  In my humble.

Isn't it fun, to be able to do this, in about two seconds?  I kind of like how much more abstract it is, when supersaturated........

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Monday, April 21, 2014

design class

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The Coursera Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society class I listened to last fall is being offered again.  I didn't/don't have a product idea to develop for marketing.  I "just listened" to the class rather than doing the exercises.

I thought it was a very interesting class.  I think any consumer would find it interesting, and any designer would find it useful.

Recommended.

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April 15 -- afternoon

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1:00 pm.





2:45 pm.
video




5:00 pm.





5:30 pm.



In 2007, the city decided which sidewalk squares needed replacement.  This square had the sticking-up edges sawn off, rather than being replaced.

A couple of years ago, the obligation to maintain sidewalks was shifted from the property owners to the city (via a proposal to raise property taxes very slightly to pay for sidewalk maintenance).  Now city workers are marking the squares again, for work to be done this year.  It's hard to feel all warm and fuzzy about all the work that was done in 2007-8 and now being re-done, because the work was done on the cheap a few years ago............

There are MANY concrete structures surviving from Roman times.  How is it that our sidewalks can't last even a few paltry decades?  And let's not even bring up our roads.....

Sigh.



Snow on our gate.  These fence boards are about 5.5" wide, so you can estimate how much snow is here.  This is more accumulation that I saw in other places. 


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

April 15

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Surprise! 

I knew it was supposed to be in the 20s (F) overnight, but hadn't realized it would precipitate until I opened the door to let the dog out.  (He was not amused.  Getting his tootsies damp is not on his list of preferable happenstances.)



Here's a more familiar landscape than the brown one we've been looking at for the last couple of weeks.






Cropping the above, and upping the contrast, for a more abstract look.  I rather like this.  Don't you think it would be spiffy, blown up to 4'x3', and hung on the wall of a chillingly modern loft?



Once upon a time, many moons ago (when my kid was in 1st grade), our school's excellent computer teacher asked me if I'd like to take a few 4th graders outside, a couple of mornings a week, to collect some weather data.  Those data would be sent to the Weather Underground database, which was accessible to everyone, online.  I agreed to take kids out.  I remember helping them decide which direction the wind was coming from (pointing out that we could easily tell which direction was east, on a sunny morning)......

I've had a soft spot for the Wunderground ever since.  It is my go-to source for weather info online.

Here's another surprise -- I discovered on the 15th that the Wunderground has completely updated its look.  It takes forever to load (we have DSL), but I quite like this. 

(Note that I've cut off the right side, which is where the legends are).

The pale blue bar graph is for "chance of precip", and the line-with-arrows at the bottom is wind speed and direction (I bet you guessed that one).

Pretty cool!  I was hoping that left-arrow by today's "partly cloudy" info would let me shift the whole works a few days in the past.  I wanted to show that it was 70 (F), the day before yesterday....  But that arrow didn't seem to do anything.  I believe there are a few glitches in this new look, but I like it.



Back inside -- luckily it is warm and comfy inside, even when it is "23.4, feels like 16" outside.

Can you tell that you are looking at the top of his head, the back of his neck, and his back (left to right)?  With his white schnoz at left, barely visible above the navy sweatpants he's using as a pillow?


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Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 14

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On the 13th, I walked in a tshirt.

On the 14th, I had a fleece jacket and a windbreaker over my tshirt.

Remember those incipient daffodils we saw yesterday?  Here they are, one day later!  (With squill.)



Up close and personal.



Yikes.  It was really windy, the morning of the 14th.  I saw another good-sized branch down, but not nearly as big as this one.  Mostly what I saw down were twigs.....



Hooray for daffodils!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

April 13 -- color in the landscape

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We've had some green all winter, thanks to all the evergreens.

So green in the landscape, at this time of year, isn't quite as exciting as yellow or purple.  Nevertheless, I'm glad to see green on the ground.



And blue/purple.  Squill.



Sunshine, on a cloudy day.



Daffodils, almost.



Maple tree flowers.  This whole bunch was less than one inch across.



Not much turquoise in the natural landscape, here in Michigan......  (If we look closely, we can see a little green in the shrubs behind these chairs.)



I've seen lots of tulip leaves, but this is the first evidence I've seen of tulip blooms.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

epigenetics

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It's almost time for my Coursera epigenetics class to begin.

They sent us to brush up on basics before the class begins.  This page has the most interesting of the videos I've seen so far.  (The others were cool to see, but lacked narration, and so were less useful to me than they could have been....)

It's mind-blowing how much we know about genetics, now, that we had no clue about 20, 15, or even 10 years ago..................

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April 13 -- grocery-store flowers

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Busch's, on Ann Arbor/Saline road.







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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

watch puppies; raise money

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The more views this video gets, the more money is raised to help dogs. 



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peanut brittle

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I love Zingerman's peanut brittle, and I'm not alone................ 

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....................

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Not so Silly Putty: UM researchers use one of its components to turn stem cells into spinal cord cells

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Ok, this the research described in this article is really cool............

Not so Silly Putty: UM researchers use one of its components to turn stem cells into spinal cord cells 

Not that the research actually has anything to do with Silly Putty, but still.

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April 11

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Heading to the airport, before the sun was high in the sky.  My daughter was going off to Maryland to visit friends.



Driving to the airport is not one of my favorite things, but it was as stress-free as that trip can be.  I-94 is in pristine shape, compared to Ann Arbor roads, which are very, VERY bad at present.  I had wondered how 94 would be, but it was lovely.  Just a few bad patches, which aren't nearly as bad as much of Huron Street (which I drove on to get to the highway).  And there was surprisingly little traffic, for rush hour........

Hardly anyone else was getting dropped off at 8:30 am.  The sky was cool, but you can't tell from this pic, alas.  Looking north.



Looking north, again.  Another not-so-great pic, but you can at least see that there was a lot going on........



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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 10

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We've seen rather a lot of the dog's shadow, lately.  Here's mine, as I headed downstairs with my tea cup.  Note I am only wearing a tshirt with my sweatpants!  No fleece jacket; no bathrobe.........



I enjoyed breakfast with my friend.

I happened to look out the window and notice the jet trails............



I walked home.

This tree had a lot of these cones with the spiky things (are those the seeds,I wonder?).



Crocus.




Sky over the Slauson back field.  More jet trails.



I couldn't decide if I liked the above better, or this one....



THAT's what I'm talking about.  Green, and PURPLE.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.............



With some interesting houses to look at.  I believe the white-painted decoration on the pediment is raised, as well as painted.

Triangular pediment, supported by columns.  Very Greek and Roman.

I am still listening to Roman Architecture.  One of her favorite themes is Roman architecture being "a model, and a spur" to those who came after.  It is surely true that one sees "the common vocabulary of Roman architecture" here, there, and everywhere............

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