Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • After being in the water for as many as four years, a broken camera turns up on a California beach with the SD card still in it…and still functional, complete with a hundred-odd photos taken before the camera was lost. I marvel first at the durability of these cards in a corrosive medium–and then at how little circuit board there actually is inside the SD card itself. Wow.
  • There is an ice cream truck that goes down Alles Street here in Des Plaines, playing a midi riff of a familiar old song–and, periodically, a slightly creepy woman’s voice calling, “Hello!” This is evidently pretty common, but judging by some quick online research, the songs are different for almost every ice cream truck out there. (The “Hello” voice appears to be the same.) The truck came by here late yesterday, shortly before the storm rolled in, and I suddenly recognized the song: a bouncy variation on the old Southern hymn “Holy Manna,” often known as “Brethren We Have Come to Worship.”
  • And pertinent to the above: I only recognized the melody because Lorie Line played it in a medley with “The Lord of the Dance” on her Heritage Collection Volume 1 CD. She plays it fast, much faster than I’ve ever heard the majestic old hymn itself played in church. (The song is not credited by name on the CD, but it’s there–and the CD is very much worth having.)
  • Damned if these don’t look like drumlins. On Mars. (The other kind of drumlins–and yes, I am very familiar with them. More on the naming of alien artifacts in an upcoming entry.)
  • I’ll come back to this issue once I’m home and decompressed a little, but Glenn Reynolds posted a case history of a man who had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (also called NASH in some circles, for Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis) eventually ascribed to eating/drinking fructose. Depending on your genetics and how much you consume, fructose can send you all the way to cirrhosis and death. This article (linked to by Reynolds) is a must-read. This one is worthwhile as well. (Thanks to Bruce Baker for alerting me to the post.)
  • And while we’re slogging through the Carb Wars, well, fake fat makes you fat. (More and more research indicates that real fat does not.) And let’s not forget that little issue of “anal leakage,” gurrkh. (Thanks to Pete Albrecht for the link.)
  • Xoom, meet SD slot. SD slot, meet Xoom. You guys have been traveling together for over a year. It’s time to shake hands. In Europe . The problem in the US has to do with the “Google Experience.” Somebody at Google is holding back card slot support, and thus (I’m guessing) a great many sales, including one to me. I smell rentseeking somewhere.
  • On the other hand, if all you want is an Android ebook reader, this might be worth a look. $99? Who cares if it’s only Froyo? (Forgive me if I’m skeptical that it’ll ever see retailer shelves at that price.)
  • The creator of this device calls it “technofetishism,” and it is. That doesn’t keep it from being amazing, and killer cool. (Thanks to Bill WB4WTN for the link.)
  • Finally: How To Make a Mask With Photoshop. I always wondered if that would work.

3 Comments

  1. Andy Kowalczyk says:

    So, is the Des Plaines theater still there? And is it still 50 cents :) ?

    1. It’s still there–and two blocks from our condo. Alas, it’s been a Bollywood house for eight or ten years now, open only two nights a week, and recently closed completely. However, there are people working inside on the lobby so I can only assume that somebody’s trying to resurrect it. As of this week, no info on whether or when it will be a theater again. It would be a fine, fine thing to have it within strolling distance of my Des Plaines branch office!

  2. [...] A wonderful photo collection of vintage ice-cream trucks. We saw the Good Humor trucks regularly on our street in the 50s and early 60s. The driver rang bells by pulling on a string. He did not play obscure hymns or creepy recorded voices saying “Helllo!” [...]

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