Saturday, May 28, 2005

Hell's Kitchen!

Be sure to check out English Superstar chef Gordon Ramsay on Monday night on Fox (9 p.m Eastern). Saw him talking with Charlie Rose last night on PBS. This guy is intense! He and Anthony Bourdain of Kitchen Confidential fame should hook up! Reality TV in the kitchen - this should be a blast as 12 aspiring chefs try to please our boy Gordon - good luck is all I have to say.

How often do you check your email?

Got a chuckle out of Jeff Krimmel's blog today discussing how often people check email, in particular, the following comment by MDA "I’ve rewired a cochlear implant to interface directly with my hypothalmus (I can spare a few lower order functions like breathing, but there’s no way I’m giving up on my cortex’s ability to surf the web, enjoy a good movie, and… oh yeah… research). The implant has a wireless receiver on it it which is linked to my cell phone (along with a voice synthesizer which has also been hardwired into my cranium). The phone is set up to be constantly taking a call from my server which is continuously reading mail over the phone to me in a specialized shorthand I’ve devised for this purpose (I use call waiting to take more traditional calls). Since my email is now hooked directly into low order brain activity, not even sleep can break my connection. “Reading” email has thus become for me a continuous, inate behavior. "

I am happy to say I've ordered up a cochlear implant for myself!

Can Danica Patrick be the 1st woman to win Indy?

Image hosted by Just imagine - a 5'1" , 100 lb woman beating the big boys at the Indy 500. Now wouldn't that be a news flash heard round the world? And she has a chance! She qualified 4th ouf of 33 racers (inside 2nd row position), so she has a hot rocket to drive. Patrick, driving the No. 16 Rahal Letterman Racing Argent Pioneer Panoz/Honda/Firestone, posted a fast lap of 225.597 mph (39.8942 seconds) during the one-hour session on the 2.5-mile oval. She also recorded the fastest overall lap (229.880 mph) of the month May 15. Tune in Sunday at noon on ABC to find out if she can pull it off. No easy task - don't think the boys will let her win easily. To learn more about Danica, check out her web site .

Friday, May 27, 2005

Arriana's New Blog

For the latest buzz from Arianna, check out her new blog, called "The Huffington Post" . Always some good stuff here.

They called it "Stinky."

Stinky was the reason four high school students from the mean streets of West Phoenix won a national engineering competition last year against several colleges, including what might be considered the mother of all engineering universities: M.I.T.
Stinky, so named for the unfortunate stench of the glue used to create it, is an underwater robot that is able to perform a number of tasks that simulate a submarine salvage operation. Last summer, Lorenzo, Oscar, Christian and Luis, students at Carl Hayden Community High School in Phoenix, built it from scratch. They brought it to the national underwater remotely operated vehicle championships to go up against several colleges, and shocked everyone (including themselves) by winning. Stinky, as it turned out, didn't really stink.
So where are those students now? Harvard? Cal Tech? Maybe...M.I.T.? Think again. They are undocumented Mexican immigrants and they don't qualify for financial aid -- and obtaining in-state tuition in Arizona is difficult, if not impossible. For them, and the estimated 65,000 undocumented students who will graduate from U.S. high schools this year, the path to higher education is full of more than a few roadblocks. But there are many people who feel those roadblocks are rightful and necessary provisions of the law.
Theirs is a story about what happens when the underdogs trump everyone's expectations?and what happens after that.

Watch Nightline tonight (check your local listings) to hear more of this story. Sounds like it should be quite interesting!

Green Valley Book Fair

I've been gone for a few days visiting the Green Valley Book Fair in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Janet had read about this and we decided to head that way to see if there were any good book bargains. Whew! I'd say so. Bought a big thick volume on XP Home with SP2 info included (published 2005), which sold new at Barnes and Nobles for $44.95. I got it new at Green Valley for $15. Nabbed an AmPhoto book on Color Management by Tim Gray for $15 (retail $44.95). Got a copy of the adventure "Touch the Top of the World" (story of a blind man climbing the world's highest peaks) for $1.99 (retail $23.95). The list goes on and on. :) I won't say how much we spent, suffice it to say that we decided to skip staying another night in a motel to save some money and came home a day early. LOL If you're in Central VA, check this place out. It's out in the country just south of Harrisonburg, VA (exit 240 on I-81).

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Afleet Alex wins and survives a very scary moment

Scrappy T, was four lengths ahead of Afleet Alex and kicking toward the wire. But Afleet Alex was rolling like a bullet train, and Scrappy T's rider, Ramon Dominguez, knew it.

With a quarter of a mile to run, Dominguez slapped his colt's hip with his whip left-handed. Scrappy T suddenly bolted to his right. His feet became tangled with Afleet Alex's, and in an instant Afleet Alex was scraping his knees in the dirt.

Rose was staring at the ground between the horse's ears. The air was sucked out of the racetrack, and in a clubhouse box, the trainer of Afleet Alex, Tim Ritchey, let loose with a frightened expletive.

But Rose grabbed his colt's mane, clamped his legs and pulled; Afleet Alex reached out with his front feet, vaulted forward and immediately reclaimed his stride.

"We're going to win anyway," Ritchey roared.

And they did: Rose and Afleet Alex bounded down the stretch to finish four and three-quarter lengths ahead of the wobbly legged Scrappy T and his shaken jockey, Dominguez.
Courtesy NY Times

It was one of those great horse racing moments and I was sure glad to see that horse stagger up and go on to win. A really breathtaking moment - that jockey could have easily been killed if he had fallen off and had the 10 horses behind him run right over the top of him, not to mention the horse, who could have easily broken his legs. It shows you the incredible strength of these beautiful animals and the cool composure of Jeremy Rose, his rider, who was scared big time but hung on.

Some tips on the new Exposure Adjustment in Photoshop's new CS2 version

The Image >> Adjustments menu now sports a new "Exposure" option that may well become your first choice for significant shifts in exposure. The appropriately named Exposure slider will be the main one you are likely to use and works as you would expect it to. Calibrated in stops, it increases brightness throughout the image but affects the shadow areas far less than the highlights.

To read some more about this head to Earthbound Light's Photo Tips . I haven't tried this one out that much yet but will have to do so. Mainly I have been experimenting with PS's Highlight/Shadow tool , also found under Image>>Adjustments. It's an amazing tool for adjusting highlight and shadow areas.