Monday, December 26, 2011

Ever heard of SOPA? Hitler has

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So much for Facebook privacy setting for your photos



A software flaw in Facebook allowed a user to download Mark Zuckerberg's personal photos. The hole has been patched for now.  When I saw these, I have a  better opinion of him. He's hanging with his wife, friends, playing with his puppy and his dinner (chicken). Seems like a regular guy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

MozART group from Poland - Extraordinary




These guys are great, thanks to my cousin for the link:


Filip Jaślar | first violin
Michał Sikorski | second violin
Paweł Kowaluk | viola
Bolek Błaszczyk | cello
They are all well educated instrumentalists who graduated from prestigious Academies of Music in Warsaw and Łódz, but they decided to play classical music in a humorous way. They created a worldwide unique musical cabaret, where the music, not the words are the source of joy and laugh.
Take a classical composition as canvas, analyze its structure and theme, surround it with musical associations, brilliant, unbelievable ideas and while listening to the final product the listener is constantly surprised, amazed, laughing and moved to tears.
The musicians of the MozART GROUP have been playing together since 1995. At the beginning, they presented short musical jokes on Canal Plus Television. They gave their first debut in 1997 at the PAKA competition of young Polish cabarets in Krakow. In the same year, they presented their first cabaret program entitled "Mozart's still alive" and since then, they have given concerts in all of Europe, Canada, the U.S.A and Asia.
The MozART GROUP is a frequent TV guest including international galas and concerts. The Quartet received prestigious prizes like the Grand Prix of the XVIII Festival of Satire and Comedy in Lidzbark; "Pingwin z brazu" (the Bronze Penguin) - the prize given by the cabaret community of Zielona Gora, an informal capitol of Polish cabaret. The MozART GROUP also performances with colleagues around the world including concerts with the mime Irek Krosny or Bobby McFerrin.
The first show of the Group, in which they took Vivaldi as their patron, was entitled "The Four Seasons à la MozART Group". Similar subtitle has their CD "Creatures" where each of the "seasons" begins the same as Vivaldi's compositions. Later on, however, it runs freely in the direction of various world songs about spring, summer, autumn and winter. This show provides the listener with over 70 minutes of a sophisticated, perfectly arranged, sublime fun!
In 2008 & 2009 two DVDs of the MozART GROUP were released with great success and got a huge attention in Poland and abroad. The "Best of MozART GROUP" DVD was released in February 2010. Together over 100.000 copies were sold.
On October 24th 2009 the MozART GROUP won two GOLDEN TROUGHS at the RYJEK Festival in Rybnik/Poland
In July 2010 the MozART group was awarded a special prize from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Poland for outstanding achievements and 15 years on stage. On August 28th 2011 the quartet was awarded the GRAND PRIX of the 31st European Humor Festival GAGY in Slovakia. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Google Music Store - First Impressions


Those who know me realize what a fanboy I am for Google. My co-workers told me today they could have a drinking game based on how many times I mention Google.

In spite of the teasing, Google has a winner with Google Music. Sure iTunes has been around for a while but I see some great things here. What are they?


  • Sample plays are 1 1/2 minutes instead of 30 seconds
  • You can share a full play with your friends
  • Free Music
  • Upload 20,000 songs of your own for free to stream
  • Listen via the cloud
  • Integration with Google+  (the vast wasteland that I like)
  • Independent artists can post their music and collect 70% of revenue
  • Catalog seems deep enough, I found the Stanley Brothers (see image)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Survival tip - eat the bugs


The Perennial Plate Episode 78: Eating Insects from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

Make perfect sense to me. We eat Lobster for example, that is just a bug.

Bigfoot on Mount Monadnock





Even Bigfoot knows his rights! The ACLU will be suing the the State of New Hampshire on behalf of this sledding celebrity.

What will you do at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11?

From Profile Photos

Happy Veterans day everyone and thanks to all the vets for their service to our country.

As I write this and looking at the clock (East Coast) I see that in less than an hour it will be 11:11:11 on 11/11/11. Make a wish!

Let's make a wish for Peace and an end to war.

Check out my Navy slideshow on my other blog.

Next year we get a 12/12/12 to play with.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kaiser's Toilet



Marcus John Henry Brown - Thanks for being on G+

Portrait Lighting 101

As the holidays approach, many of us will be taking photos and videos. This is a nice instructional video on lighting techniques.

I don't have a soft box, but I do try to move the flash off to an angle, or bounce it to avoid that washed out red-eyed shot.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

What goes up must come down



Note that the "pilot" is not controlling this craft, he is merely a passenger. Love the exercise ball landing gear.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Word Clouds and Ripples

Have you ever seen a word cloud?

This is one I created for the blog blog.poltrack.net. They are created by linking the frequency of words in a document to the font size, boldness and sometimes color of the words. Obviously SNOW has been a prominent noun in my blog.

You can create your your own from the website wordle.net.

You can create one from pasted text, or any website that has a RSS feed  (try musings.poltrack.net).

I recommend you read the FAQ on this website, it's very entertaining especially the question about the "Sexsmith" font.

This cloud tells a bit about my use of words, but has no information about their importance to my readers. I get a vague idea if I get a comment or a +1 check mark, some analytic data about page hits and time on page but it is a hit or miss exercise.

Google+  recently added a new feature called Ripples showing how public posts are shared (on Google+). Presumably if your post  is interesting and compelling it will be re-shared.  For example the Dalai Lama:




Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween (Thanks Google)



Okay. I'll confess again.

I'm a Google fanboy. I use their tools to share all the family stuff. The website, the blogs, the pictures, the documents... everything!

I even have stock in the company, which was the right thing to do.

However even a non-geek will have to admit they seem to be innovative (and fun) place  to work.

They have different logos for different events. If you missed today's Halloween "doodle", watch this video.

When did you ever get paid to carve a pumpkin?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A political ad like no other



It's hard to decide which is my favorite political ad. It may be the classic LBJ daisy ad, Dukakis in the tank,  or the classic Carly Fiorina's Demon Sheep.

At least Herman Cain made me smile with this gem.

Walk like a robot



When it comes to robots, no one is better than the Japanese.

Monday, October 24, 2011

One clever dog


I have been guilty of posting many cat photos and videos, but I'm not adverse to clever dogs. This is one clever dog!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lytro light field camera




Definitely some cool technology which solves a real problem in photography

Why do I want to learn the banjo?

Because it is the perfect instrument for a Codger/Geezer.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fun with superconductors and magnets

This is so cool! I mean that literally since liquid nitrogen is needed to get the disk to superconduct.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's all this fuss anyway?


I got this email yesterday

Dear Poltracknet,Congratulations! On behalf of the Currier Museum of Art and WMUR, we would like to inform you that we have carefully selected your photographs “Freestyle” and “Codger” to be displayed in the exhibition Portraits with Attitude in the Currier’s Community Gallery.  Your Portrait with Attitude will be on display in the Currier’s Community Gallery starting this Saturday, October 15th.  In addition, we will include your name/ulocal username and description of the photograph in an attempt for other viewers to better understand your message.  We hope you will come by to see your photo on display. For more information about visiting the museum, go to www.currier.orgThis project is held in conjunction with the current special exhibition Backstage Pass: Rock and Roll Photography on view through January 15, 2012. For more information about the special exhibition visitwww.currier.org/nowonview.aspx.Save the Date! Portraits with Attitude exhibition will close with a celebration reception on Saturday, January 7, 2012 and you will be able to take home your printed photo.  An invitation will be e-mailed later this fall.Share this project with your friends and family so they can experience and admire your Portrait with Attitude at the Currier! If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at tmeyer@currier.org. We hope to see you soon! Sincerely,Tess Meyer
Please understand, I'm not as menacing as the character I depict. I was looking for a mood.

The kid on the bike put on quite a show at the New Ipswich playground during the Octoberfest of last year.  I hope he gets to see this at some point. They did air it on WMUR at least once.



20101228-JohnTheCodger
New IpswichOctober2010-60

iPhone 4s (Parody) release

We share a cell phone. It's dumb and has a keypad. You punch numbers into it and you can speak to people with no wires. That is pretty amazing if you think about it, but eventually I guess I will need to get a "smart" phone with apps and cool stuff.

Friends and family will wait for hours to get the latest iPhone and now I know why:


Monday, October 10, 2011

Exotic snack food

I've always depended upon the kindness of friends to introduce me to new and exciting culinary delights. Thanks Paul for bringing these into my life!

KidderMountain_20111010_4049

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I hate to paint but this is fun

I was in the Navy and we did a lot of painting. I only wish we could do it in time lapse
Pipe Plant from Sasha Aleksandrov on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Photos can now be purchased or sent as eCards

I'm now making some my pictures available as prints via the printing service fotomoto

Selections can be seen listed beneath the photo. There is no charge for the eCard selection which can be personalized with your own message.

Thanks for the continued support.

John




Friday, September 23, 2011

Remember those SNL routines that went on forever? The ones that weren't funny?




Lots of new features coming to Facebook. The timeline is interesting but I have no idea how much control you'll have over the information that is posted. It might be a wonderful boon for identity thieves.

However the addition of Spotify for music is a boon for all music lovers. It now shows as an app for your "timeline" on the left side of your profile.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No grunting allowed


Original Video- More videos at TinyPic

http://www.planetfitness.com/About-Planet-Fitness-Gym


The Judgement Free Zone®


As the most innovative health club brand in the United States, Planet Fitness is known for a lot of things – our absurdly low prices, our Lunk™ Alarm, and most of all perhaps, for our Judgement Free Zone® philosophy, which means members can relax, get in shape, and have fun without being subjected to the hard-core, look-at-me attitude that exists in too many gyms.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

TGIF Diversion - Sept 9 2011

I get some pretty strange email and G+ streams and I felt it would be appropriate to share with folks who read this blog in a new weekly series that I am going to name TGIF Diversion

Here is todays offering


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If This Is Goodbye


Voices of 9.11 (trailer) from Ruth Sergel on Vimeo.


There were phone calls from the towers on that day. Songwriter Mark Knopfler wrote a song which is featured on the album "All The Roadrunning"

  The title of the song is "If This is Goodbye" (Spotify Link)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

10,000 year clock

'The century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium.' - Danny Hillis, inventor

Link to article 


Video of  the Geneva wheel, a component of the clock:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hands off Google!

Their search engine is superior, they amaze me every day,  I count on my stock holdings to keep me alive in my twilight years. They let me share pictures, send email, host a family web site, write this blog, save my documents, see my GPS history. They provide jobs and delight with their Google Doodles.

I'm not complaining, If they have a monopoly it's because they are superior to the competition!

Tell the FTC to back off!

Link to FTC probe

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Got my first Medicare Card..... and it's cardboard!

I really don't care that my Medicare card is cardboard. I'm still working and only signed up for A coverage. However this is what irks me. Stamped in bold print on the card is my social security number! How stupid is this?

When some punk robs me and takes my wallet he'll get a card with my name, approximate birthday and social security number. I immediately dashed off a note to my senators asking why?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Ipswich Library Composite

I've been practicing with selection tools in Photoshop. The exterior of our library has changed only sightly in 100 years so it was a natural to choose to composite an old postcard and recent photo. I chose the area around the old entrance because that was a feature that had changed.

The perspective was different so I need to distort the selection area to match up the roof line. It's not perfect but taught me a bit about the tools. Here is the sequence:

Old Postcard

NILibraryPostcard2


Library 2009

20090817_NI_Library


Composite

NILibraryComposite

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Obama's birth certificate not a fake

I confess that when I saw the videos "proving" that Obama's birth certificate was faked, I believed them. However the multiple layers is an artifact of Adobe optimization for OCR.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where are all the war protests?

We are in a financial mess and for some unknown reason we are fighting 3 wars, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Actually in the newspeak lexicon of the Obama administration, the Libyan War is not really a war but a Military Kinetic Action.

What puzzles me is the lack of protests to these wars. We have casualties, it's enormously expensive and all three of these Kinetic Actions (a redundant phrase since kinetic implies action) are quagmires with no defined rules of engagement and no exit strategy.

 I had no problem criticizing GW for his miserable job performance but at least I had the solace that I didn't cast a vote for him, sadly that is not the case for Obama. Let's get out NOW. As a matter of fact let's draw the military out of all the overseas locations, we have enough work to do at home. For example defending our our border from the drug warlords  (or is that medicinal kinetic entrepreneurs?).

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone. "It means just what I choose it to mean - neither more or less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."
 

Lewis CarrollEnglish author & recreational mathematician (1832 - 1898)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Musician Profile: Abigail Washburn

Now that I have a banjo, all I need to do (besides learn to play it) is to master the Chinese language/



Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hooray for Amazon Cloud Player!

A while back I was a great advocate for Lala, a CD swapping and online music service. Later Apple bought them and killed their business which presumably was threatening their iTunes virtual monopoly.

In the last two weeks I lost a hard drive with ALL my music. Thankfully I had a backup but it made me think of how I liked having the music uploaded to a streaming service like Lala. I assumed Apple would use the technology they purchased to do a similar thing with iTunes.... NOPE!

This morning I got a message from Amazon about their cloud drive and cloud player. It has all the features that Lala had (except the 10 cent per song listen on website feature). It's integrated with iTunes and Media Player which means it will work with players and it's available with iPhones and Android device.

I know that I'm being a little too enthusiastic, but once again Amazon has come up with a solution that solves a problem as move into digital media from physical media. Check it out.


Amazon Cloud Player

Sunday, March 27, 2011

What were they thinking? - Push up bras for little girls?

You gotta hand it the Abercrombie and Fitch, they've done it again. I'm trying to imagine the clothing designers sitting around the table and creating this product line. I guess I should be encouraged that so many others find this inappropriate. The website now refers the these bras  as "lightly lined", instead of push-up which shows that Abercrombie may have a slight clue that maybe just maybe this was a bad idea.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Where is the IMMINENT threat to the United States posed by Libya?

Charlie Savage, Boston Globe Dec 20th 2007:

In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites -- a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)
The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.
As for the specific question about bombing suspected nuclear sites, I recently introduced S.J. Res. 23, which states in part that “any offensive military action taken by the United States against Iran must be explicitly authorized by Congress.” The recent NIE tells us that Iran in 2003 halted its effort to design a nuclear weapon. While this does not mean that Iran is no longer a threat to the United States or its allies, it does give us time to conduct aggressive and principled personal diplomacy aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

 Our third undeclared war, What's next?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Doomsday Watch: Underground bunkers surge in sales

Finally some good economic news! According to an article in CNNMoney sales of luxury doomsday bunkers is up 1000%. This makes me think of my childhood, living in the shadow of the bomb, polio and communism.

If you have the money you can contact a company like NorthWest Shelter System.

Or if you are the do-it-yourself type, I offer plenty of books at my Doomsday store.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Doomsday Watch: Magnetic pole shift may drive humans and animals mad

"Demented armies of zombie-like animals—rats, squirrels, raccoons, even beloved pets—could turn on humans in frenzied, bloody assaults."
writes Terrence Aym in a Salem-News article about the effects of the pole shift upon human and animal life. The recent news of mass animal deaths raises some questions, could this be a contributing factor?

Regarding human life, magnetic fields can influence mental states as research into transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown. One theory is that UFO sightings and abduction experiences are nothing more than the brain's reaction to shifting magnetic fields. There is a lot to ponder on this subject.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Doomsday Watch: Attack Squirrel in Vermont

Squirrel_20110310_382.jpg

"The squirrel reportedly stalks its victims, launching itself repeatedly at innocent people going about their normal business" - L. S. Carbonell
Yikes, more proof that doomsday is upon us.

Read about it here  and here and here and here!

Watch the terrifying video!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Doomsday Watch: Shortage of Nuclear survival items

The quadruple disasters in Japan are capturing the attention of the world (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear accident and even a volcano). In this country I've noticed that a lot of my nuclear survival items are out of stock. Could these shortages be a harbinger of the future when we really do have a local disaster? I remember the empty store shelves in the ice storm of 2008. Also the shortages of generators.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Balancing the Budget..

I can't quite find the best words to describe how distasteful our current state of affairs is.. I guess it you want a two class citizenry .. this is the way to go..
How to balance the budget.

Doomsday Watch: Earth's axis shifted by 4 inches

The scenes from Japan during the massive quake were horrific. Besides the devastation caused in that country, the entire earth has shifted it's wobble by 10 cm.

Details in this CNN article.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Ironic Life: Paying interest on a $0 loan

Imagine my surprise when I noticed a $1.50 minimum interest charge on my credit card bill. I guess I was being irresponsible by not carrying a balance. What was even more ironic was the customer reps comment that "all the card companies do this".

This is a great business model. I will now be offering loans for $0 to anyone who asks. All I require is a small monthly $1.50 minimum interest payment. A PayPal button is provided on this blogsite.

The card has been canceled.

Did you get one of those K-Cups coffee makers for Christmas?

Did you get one of those K-Cup coffee makers for Christmas? After a while you will be looking for sources for those little expensive plastic cups. Every Friday Amazon has some deals


Friday Deals at Amazon





Friday, March 4, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thinking about John Prine

I was listening to some tunes today and realize how much I like this guy's song writing. I figured I'd share a bit with you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Doomsday Watch: "Welcome our new computer overlords"

Doomsday Watch: "...entire field disappears exposing all life—including human life—to blistering, deadly radiation and the ghastly mutations that follow."

I always suspected it might come down to roaming bands of mutants.

Click to read the latest on magnetic pole reversal

Of course I am offering solutions:



Friday, January 21, 2011

Doomday watch: Betelgeuse to go supernova in 2012

Betelgeuse might already have gone supernova, and if it did the light might reach us in 2012 depending on the accuracy of our measurement of it's distance from earth. For a while Earth will be illuminated with two suns and a beneficial shower of neutrino particles.

This event (should it occur) would tie in nicely with Mayan predictions. For more information read this article from Gary A. David.

For more fun facts check out the website TheOrionZone




.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doomsday watch: The Stuxnet computer virus

Every New Year I make this silly resolution to be more positive and upbeat kind of guy. But that gets tiresome after a while, so I've decided to embrace my true nature as an observer of impending doom.

We've all gotten the email messages about greeting card viruses which will "destroy your hard drive". These viruses are annoying but they are unlikely to kill you.


The Stuxnet computer virus is the first worm virus that was designed to reprogram industrial systems. The Wikipedia entry speculates that is was used to attack Iran's nuclear program (another Doomsday choice for me) but naturally like all viruses, I have a strong feeling that this will be used for other mischief.

I'll leave it to the readers to imagine their own doomsday scenario but I think chemical plants, nuclear reactors, refineries and the electrical grid might be good targets. I hope someone is looking into this.