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If you've taken any photographs of a high standard on the theme of travel, you might consider entering Wanderlust Photo of the Year 2015. Entry is free, and appears to be open globally, though the travel prizes do originate from the UK, and they explicitly note you're responsible for getting to the point of departure. The four categories are People, Wildlife, Landscape, and Travel Icons; you can enter up to four photos, in any combination of the categories, with category winners receiving a photo commission to Western Australia, and can bring a companion along. Entries close soon, though: Halloween.

You might want to take advantage of rather a generous free ebook offer, for Tiffany Taylor's compilation of illustrated scientific poems, "Great Adaptations". Confirm your email address, and you'll receive an unprotected PDF of the work (Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial 3.0 Unported license!). I'll leave the first two of the five pages visible, and pop the others under a cut, to keep the entry from growing to skyscraper proportions. Each links to a full res version, though just getting the original PDF would probably be simpler. ^_^








The tiny end of an era.. =:) I finally removed Slashdot from OmniWeb's favorites bar, demoting it to residency in the Computing News main bookmarks. It's still not a bad site, but Hacker News tends to be more timely, as well as having markedly superior comments, occasionally involving the authors of the article in question.

We could soon be learning more about Venus, with Akatsuki due to be placed into an eccentric orbit on Dec 7 2015. It's not clear sailing for it, though - it had originally been planned to be put into orbit in 2010, but thruster failure meant it's been in a heliocentric orbit since then.

A scene of geeky wonder: 2600 people celebrating DNA's discovery.

I finally got around to checking out what the sound track for Kyowe - 幸せになれる隠しコマンドがあるらしい (踊ってみた) was (one of my favorite short furry music vids!), and established the official vid is a somewhat different mix, Yuzuki Yukari - There's Supposed to Be a Cheat Code for Happiness. (The ending of the furry version now makes a bit more sense =:)

You've probably heard about the rather odd "doesn't really seem like just a planet" that was discovered recently, which certain segments of the media have been playing up into a full-blown alien hunt. Well, now there's a comic strip to match. ^_^

Of some random geeky interest, in the wake of the news that Western Digital's buying SanDisk, a chart showing HDD industry consolidation, if you're wondering where all those other companies went, like Maxtor and Quantum. Now, we're down to three vendors (and loads of brands): Toshiba, Western Digital, and Seagate.

Electrically powered flight is still very much in its infancy, but it's fascinating to see it is indeed beginning, with far grander plans in Airbus' long term E-Thrust project. There, the current concept has one jet engine, supplying power to a battery array, in turn powering six fans for thrust. The key is that the jet can be optimised for electrical power generation, improving its efficiency, and be much smaller, as on takeoff and ascent, power would be supplied by both the jet and the battery; in cruise, the fans would help recharge the battery. There is, of course, much work ahead, with lithium air cells to develop, as well as the superconducting cables required - this isn't an aircraft you'll be able to experience any time soon.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie has entered production. =:D

A wonderful review of a memorable performance of La Vestale, by Bernard Levin. =:D

Here's another rather nifty inflatable Toothless costume. No idea what the price is, but Qian Abby and her minions apparently make and sell them.

Relatedly, here's one person's account of dealing with the news that that pain in their back is actually cancerous, likely terminal within months. (Note that it does lean heavily into the political and religious sides)

ponitacupcake noted the existence of a My Little Pony café, in Harajuku. Regrettably, it's only a pop-up, until Nov 29 2015 - but, who knows? Maybe Hasbro will see the concept can work. ^_^ (Interestingly, it embraces not only the current FiM generation, but previous ones as well)

I threatened, a while back, to highlight some folk you might like to befriend here, if you indeed don't already know them. ^_^ So, maybe I'll start with..

  • jakebe's vignettes convey you to new worlds in but a paragraph, with people you'd love to meet. His entries are similarly eloquently written.
  • huskyteer publishes her short stories less frequently, but they're always an absolute delight - and you'll also get to enjoy daring tales of travel on two (powered) wheels, with insightful observations along the way.
  • lupestripe doesn't believe in photography, but his travelogues nonetheless are meticulously, engagingly written, going into historical detail you won't find in mere guide books.

    I've only met two of the three in person so far, but I'm hoping to remedy that in the coming weeks. ^_^ (And, at least the delay in being able to do so might mean being able to go along to the White Horse's excellent Barleywine & Old Ale Festival in late November! Perhaps my favorite styles of beer, and not generally easily found, let alone maybe thirty of them in the same place. Add in some very good food, and it's not a difficult decision to make =:)

    And the buns have actually been relatively active lately! It was quite a joy to see so many out and about on Thursday evening - in one spot, I could see around a dozen out satisfying their grasslust. (Even including one tinybun!)



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    Heh, "dognition". I agree, too, dogs are very intelligent once you give them proper credit for what they can do and don't expect them to do abstract math or understand cultural nuances that are meaningless to them. OTOH it's important to note that it hasn't been a one-way street towards grander intellects; compared to wolves dogs have simply changed. They gained some things, but lost others.

    But yeah, very good message, and very cute to boot.

    The tiny end of an era.. =:) I finally removed Slashdot from OmniWeb's favorites bar, demoting it to residency in the Computing News main bookmarks.

    Oh my, Slashdot... I remember when the site was actually worthwhile. 15 or 16 years or so ago, it had decent stories. 12 years ago, it had decent comments. These days, it's pants. :P (I gave up on it long ago, but actually took a look again this last week. It's gotten even worse.) Stick a fork in it, it's done!
    Mm, a cute term. Quite canny - it'll tickle people, whilst also mildly prompting them to consider the points at hand.

    Similarly, I'm struck by how clearly evident thought is in evidence with the buns I watch, and emotion as well. Human cognition is clearly deep and profound, but there's no way anyone can seriously argue that thinking and feeling are in any way unique to humanity.



    QED. ^_^

    Ah, I wouldn't say /.'s that terrible, but.. egh, the comments are - all too often, struck by that need to comment, whether or not they have anything new to add. It's a widespread phenomenon, of course - MacRumors is a great place to keep up with Apple news, but the forums and news comments.. oy. On the tech front, about the only other venue (beyond HN) that comes to mind immediately as having forums worth reading is probably Ars Technica - there's the occasional bit of sniping, but mostly, points are discussed on their merits. (And the SLU forums are rather noteworthy too, with even political discussions held without rancour, in the seemingly apocalyptically named "Politics, Religion, and Society" forum)

    Likewise, I gave up on Dilbert a couple years back. Adams can still tell a joke, but.. so often, it's just the same ones, endlessly rehashed, never offering any hope for change or improvement, so much as intended to be posted on cubicle walls and to sell calendars. I'd far sooner spend my comics time with the likes of Skin Horse and Heavenly Nostrils. ^_^
    Smart bunny, that. :)

    I don't think feeling is unique to humanity, quite the opposite. It's probably unique to animals, and sufficiently non-primitive animals at that (I don't know if, say, a hydra has feelings), but the bar's still very low. Happiness, stress, anger, fear, trust, all those are things that many animals will be able to feel, dogs and bunnies included. (I don't think it's even limited to mammals. Snake owners I've spoken to, for instance, have told of surprisingly strong bonds that their snakes former with them.)

    Thinking, yes, I see what you mean. Animals feel, but for the most pat they don't think in the sense that humans do.

    As for Slashdot... there's many things that are wrong with it. In addition to the "need to comment", there's groupthink. People tend to not read linked articles (or, often enough, even the summary), and instead use it as a mere excuse to rant — and more often than not about their favorite red flags. There's rampant pontification. Commentors are prone to giving advice on matters they don't understand, in fact understand so little they don't even understand HOW they don't understand them. Moderation is, by and large, used not to highlight interesting, informative or insightful posts but to say "I agree/disagree". The linked articles are often clickbait, sometimes outright wrong, and the summaries are exaggerated and written to fan the flames rather than invite reasonable discourse.

    There used to be a time when Slashdot articles had actual debate in the comments, when comments moderated to +4 or +5 were genuinely interesting, insightful, or informative, and when you would see a variety of points and counterpoints. It also used to be that people actually talked to each other on the site; these days people are just yelling at each other to force through their own point of view and call everyone who disagrees a moron.

    Not that other forums are better, mind you.

    And Dilbert? Yeah, I agree, that strip pulled a Garfield some 20 years ago.
    Thank you for the mention - always happy to meet new people! And the racing rabbits are lovely.
    Ah, cool beans! I'd been a little concerned folk might have reservations about being hoist on a pedestal (not that I'd consider my journal exactly prime-time viewing =:) but thankfully, nobody raised any objections, and it seemed like long ago that I'd posited the idea to actually follow through.

    I just like the idea of helping folk meet new, nifty LJ peeps. ^_^ Now and then, I'll check out my Friends of Friends page, and see who else is out there, which has led to the discovery of some very neat folk indeed. Definitely something I'd recommend!

    I'm just so pleased to see the buns remaining active! It's often around this time of year they start becoming much more scarce in any numbers, not helped by the suddenly shorter days, which they have no objections to. Seeing them actually even dare venturing past me, on their way underneath the large metal gate to the leafy bounty beyond.. that's just so charming.
    Dig yer icon, with the bunny huggin the cat! .. Also thanks for the many links and the woof/caveman tale... :>
    ...& have loved readin' Jakebe from all the way back since he was portrayed as a bird by Jedd and others! :D .. http://yerf.metafur.org/holcodis/jakebe.jpg ..
    Yay! It's actually one I found a while back, but for some reason, never got around to actually uploading to my collection until a few weeks ago, along with a couple cute Sweet Valerian icons I made. Reminds me, I should watch that series again.. it was good, cute, leporine fun. ^_^

    The book's definitely worth picking up - all the stories are similarly gorgeously illustrated.

    Coo, I think I might have even seen that early Jakebe! Wow, 2002.. feels like another planet sometimes. Not a bad one, either - I'd had a couple really fun gigs before then, both highly memorable, though one was more of a delight in a social sense, the other in a professional context. Even for me, it's been difficult to find both at the same time, though Trilobyte was outstanding in both regards. And actually, whilst it had its downsides, the keypads projects introduced me to a very cool guy who's had to endure more than any father should ever know, and was my gateway into wildlife photography. ^_^ (Why yes, I've just seen Inside Out =:)
    Mmmmm, grasslust :D
    Beautifully captured bunny photos, but you know that!

    *sigh* Why are the cute books written in rhyme? I see this at work most of the time. The loveliest pictures are surrounded by verse, I can't think of anything that's much worse.... ;o)
    'Course, they'll happily launch into berries where available, sometimes craning themselves up as far as they can stretch, to reach those delicious morsels. Adorably, of course. =:)

    Frustratingly, there's one photo I was really looking forward to, but where the AF failed! I can only imagine it was confused by the relatively low contrast on the bun - the actual focus fell several inches in front of them. Still, I do have one a few moments later, with them looking aglance at me, mouth open.. ^_^

    The wonder of doggerel! Perhaps eclipsed only by limerick. ^_^

    A mosquito cried out in pain:
    "A chemist has poisoned my brain!"
    The cause of his sorrow
    was para-dichloro
    diphenyltrichloroethane.
    Ah bunnies, they are so much fun to watch!
    They're always a joy to watch. ^_^ There's quite a bit of activity in a rabbit's social life, even if that may include trying to dissuade potential suitors, who are perenially terrible at taking a hint. But that can result in some occasionally dramatic rejections, as, I suspect, with "Momentary". =:D

    Now, if I could only figure out how to reach people wanting amazing leporine moments on their wall or desk, to help finance it all. =:/