Ice Cream, Monkeys, and Wireless

Shiva MonkeyI’m currently sitting in JP Licks‘ West Roxbury location. The wireless access is free, provided by the Bruegger’s next door. I am a fairly frequent customer of Bruegger’s, by the way.

On the wall of the JP Licks are photos by Thomas Holmes Durand. All feature sock monkeys, although not all feature the Hindu deity Shiva. Praise be to the Hindu gods of wireless and photography!

Strange Maps

A funny thing happened on the way to the forums… That is, I was at the main WordPress.com page, and about to click over to the support forums, when I saw among the list of hot blogs of today: strange maps. It is as interesting, strange, and cartographic as I hoped.

For example, there’s a map of the most generic country ever.

The country is bounded in the south by an ocean called ‘Ocean’, which closer to land is labelled ‘Gulf’, ‘Sea’, ‘Channel’ and ‘Bay’. Several islands are named ‘Island’, except where they occur in a group, in which case they’re called ‘Group of Islands or Archipelago’.

T-Shirt Day

Funky TActually it’s Presidents’ Day in the US of A. The holiday is, I presume, why my feed reader has been less busy than on most Mondays.

I declare it to be t-shirt day, in that it’s time to link to a rather good post featuring 107 t-shirts for geeks that do not suck. I presume that the ambiguity as to who (the geeks?) or what (the shirts) is suck-free is deliberate.

The anonymous and Canadian //engtech provides well-chosen images, and links to the t-shirt sites whence the shirts can be purchased. He doesn’t use affiliate links. But I do! And the reason I’ve declared today to be t-shirt day is that Monday is new release day at Threadless!

Why are you still here, rather than earning me street team points… I mean, treating yourself and your loved ones to fine and well-deserved t-shirts at Threadless? Is it because you want to know about the t-shirt in this post? Yes, I like it too. Orange is my favorite color. The design is by the wonderful Ric Stultz, and it’s currently at the top of his works in print page.

Year of the Pig

PigIt’s Chinese new year: the year of the pig. Judy’s parents are here for the new year, which we are celebrating by eating a lot. Yes, pork is very much on the menu, and no, that doesn’t mean that we’ll be eating rat a year from now.

Thanks to KnOizKi for the picture of the pig, which I believe is in Hong Kong, and is apparently still celebrating Valentine’s Day. But not everyone there is so upbeat. “The Year of the Pig will not be very peaceful,” said Hong Kong feng shui master Raymond Lo. Meanwhile, in Korea, it’s the year of the golden pig.

From Boston, a happy new year of the pig to you, wherever you are, and whatever year you were born in. (I’m a dog myself.)

Walk Out to Winter

Aztec Camera’s first album, High Land, Hard Rain, has long been a favorite of mine. I never saw the band live. But there they are on video from those far-off days, when Roddy Frame was 19, doing “Walk Out to Winter.”

Other relevant Roddy-related resources include:

Perplex City

One of the good things about procrastination is that, if you do it long enough, the thing you’re putting off doing becomes irrelevant. This recently happened to me yet again. After nearly two years, a cryptic treasure hunt played out between the real and virtual worlds has been won. That’s from the BBC’s article on Perplex City.

I didn’t get any further than registering. The email that told me that the race had been run also reminded me that I had yet to leave the starting line. “You’ve scored 0 Perplex Points. That makes you number 44995 on the global leaderboard, out of 53954 players!”

Dogs, Drawn

FoxHoundHey, this looks like Betsy! Actually our dog Betsy is, we think, mainly Treeing Walker Coonhound, while this is a foxhound. But the coonhound breed was originally a mix of foxhound and some stockier dog.

The image is from the Wurstminster dog show. Perhaps my favorite image from that gallery is the Vizsla. Having found, and loved, that picture, I see that the artist lives just a few miles down the road from me, in Dedham, MA. Even so, don’t tell Betsy that “her” picture is not my favorite.

Zlango Has a Way to Go

Zlango 1Zlango is an icon-based language. Here are a couple of recent takes on it.

I want to like Zlango, but found it frustrating to get the above very simple message into this post. What I wanted was a the URL of an image so that I could link to it. I ended up emailing the message to myself and uploading the file, which was one of four attachments to the resulting email.

I also wanted to use words not currently available in Zlango, such as share, to see the page on which “my” messages were posted, to link to that page,…

So I hope that Zlango will use the $12M of funding reported in the first of the above quotes to implent the advice offered in the second quote. Then “we help Zlango help us,” words such as we will be added to the language, and the above message won’t have to be a palindrome for ever.