- The hat size/shape measuring gadget that I mentioned in my entry for August 11, 2010 is called a conformateur, and here’s a whole bunch of pictures. It’s evidently a lot commoner than I thought, still in use, and works spectacularly well.
- And another kind of Fedora anxiety: I accidentally installed OpenSuse 11.3 over my Fedora 13 instance yesterday. Might be a good trade; nothing irreplaceable was lost with Fedora, and I need practice in KDE 4 more than I need practice in GNOME.
- A new, pre-shrunk iPad may be in the chute: 7″ diagoinal display but the same pixel resolution. Will fit in a smaller pocket, and may well render ebooks just as crisply. We won’t know until it happens. If it happens. But if it doesn’t happen, Apple will be way dumber than they look.
- Worry less about hurricanes, at least this year: Accumulated cyclonic energy (ACE) is at a 30-year low and still falling. ACE is a good proxy for hurricane number and strength (look at 2005 on the graph) so while it’s low, breathe deep and take that tropical vacation you’ve been putting off.
- This guy gets on my nerves sometimes, but he nailed it: We may someday create software that does much or most of what the human brain does, but we will not do it by reverse-engineering the human brain, at least the way that Ray Kurzweil thinks we will. (For a more detailed popular treatment of why the genome is not a deterministic description of anything, see Matt Ridley’s The Agile Gene.)
- There’s something very likeable about this Icelandic proposal to build high-tension towers in the form of skeletal human beings. Most of the ones I see here in the US look like angry bull heads–and all absolutely alike–so this would be a huge improvement of something huge that has long needed improvement.
- I see this little guy in sheet music fairly regularly, but never knew what it was until I hunted down this summary of just about all modern musical notation symbols. The symbol in question is called a fermata, but would you know a segno if you saw one? (Or, better yet, a hemidemisemiquaver?)
- What do vegan zombies crave as they stalk about like undead celery? Grrrainnns!