Friday, March 25, 2011

The Link is not the link - the Choice of words is the link

In an article here - entitled, "Tending the Web 2.0 Garden: WebSquared, Popsicle Sticks and Glue", I talked about a need for a greater "human signature" on the "Where" "Automata "content Web 2.0 is creating through the emerging "always on", or smart phone technology that produces gobs of data that describe place, direction, temperature, speed, orientation (up/down/sideways) etc. . I was worried that all this automated data would drown out the personal, the human qualities of the web that act as a mirror for human civilization and called on developers to step back from the leading edge of new media capabilities, and as best we can, bring to new content production the old media tools, "pen and paper, the cassette player/recorder, popsicle sticks and glue".

It occurs to me today that people are starting to use one of the 'old' systems of the web to enable a "Spirit Commons" cornerstone of the web as operating system - they are personalizing the emerging web by using the good ol' Search Engine in a new way.

Not too many of us are aware of it yet, but I've seen several examples of this lately - a article quoted, but no link attached. Is it laziness? Or another example of someone lagging behind the technology, a Hack still in ignorance of the capabilities of the technology? Or just shoddy journalism? There's a lot of that around these days - I am not sure, but the places I've seen this are usually places where the proper practice of the art of journalism is practiced (like; so it has lead me to the following idea:

Search engines have reduced the need to use the link tag 'href' - the tag that allows an author to high-light text and attach a web address to it; so a reader can click on it and look at the document the author is referencing (see example below).

If an author uses an exact quote, A Search Engine will find the document quoted.

If the writer chooses the exact title of another writers article - the reader simply highlights the quoted phrase and runs it in search. The search engine will then find that page with out knowing the HTTP address, but by using the words, in the order high-lighted.

So it is the human selection of words in a piece of creative writing that is linked, not the HTTP address.

A bit of the "Spirit Commons" enabled by new media technology.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Google 12th Anniversary Giveaway Pr ize Notification" is SPAM!

Got this in my Gmail inbox today, March 17, 2011. I think it is SPAM.

Note the error in the headline, "Pr ize"

I didn't open this but I'm pretty sure this is Spam - and maybe evil, screw up your computer spam. It has the gall to use the Google trademark name - so it will probably be effective - if short-lived.

Here's a screen shot.

Mark as Spam.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Charlie Sheen does his best Hunter S Thompson on Chuck Lorre, CBS - and the wide-eyed mob

I haven't been following this spectacle story. It has nothing to do with anything I find important. Until now I was happily unaware and outside this meme. I watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, commercial free online. My consumption of media is a tool, a part of a creative process - not a titillation that makes me feel guilty and gleeful at the same time.

Today I heard CBS canceled the show (fired Sheen) - so I thought I'd use the tools of the Internet and find out what the man had to say - un-filtered, un-spun.

On my first and last stop on this glutinous, envious, spiteful train was this video by the man. Here was Charlie Sheen doing his best Hunter S Thompson - and well, in my opinion - and like the scene from Moby Dick he tears in...
"... Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! ..."

Here he is; Charlie Sheen doing, The Great Hunter S Thompson:

Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

For my two cents, perfect buddy - fuck em all. Greedy, frightened, poor bastards; swimming with the sharks; they sell out their "friends" at the moment of truth. They're all going to hell Mr Sheen, don't spend another minute on it; clean up and create more bitch'n art - I know you will!


Video via UStream user: Sheen's-Korner.

"You're either in Sheen's-Korner or you're with the trolls."

(sorry about the commercial, original source is important here - it's Sheen's fault - sans commercials at


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Have you ever seen the wind?

Tornado in Pupping

Via BoingBoing - Mar 9, 2011:"Slow dust devil lifts plastic sheets off of a strawberry field" by Mark Frauenfelder.

Via Youtube user: etschi123.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How the new "2011 Blogger Baseball Scorecard" works

(This piece was simultaneously published at "Michael Holloway's Baseball Blogs".)

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser won't show certain properties of border tags which make up the diamond shape of the 'At Bat' boxes that are at the centre of the new 2011 Blogger Baseball Scorecard's design.

The two images below (side by side) show Microsoft's Internet Explorer's rendering of my code:

Internet Explorer Rendering

Below are images as above, from the same web page, this one rendered by Firefox 3.6.15 browser:

Firefox Browser Rendering
Valid HTML 4.01 TransitionalThe code has been validated at W3C as HTML 4.01 Transitional - Passed. I'm working on finding out why Internet Explorer won't render the border tags properly, and fixing it. In the meantime if you want to read this years scorecards, you'll have to do it with a different browser.

Firefox browser is available here. I have found that I can have more than one browser on my Windows XP Operating System. In my experience even running both at the same time doesn't compromise performance on my machine.

On Sunday March 6th, I used the new scorecard to score-keep the Toronto Blue Jays at Pittsburgh Pirates spring training game in Bradenton Florida, which was on Rogers SNET-1 in this market. You can see it here - if you must, it's an awful mess of scoring. As I say at the Internet Baseball Scorecard Blog, "This is the new, never before used in-game, 2011 Internet Baseball Scorecard - bear with me." I scored all the runs, but missed a lot of outs, and substitutions and even the staring line-ups were incomplete - etc., etc., etc.. But you can see that it functions as it's supposed to. So far, I'm really happy with it.

How it Works

(Border: 30px height: 90px width: 260px)

Above is an example of a border tag used to make a simple two tone border - note the angles at the corners. In the scorecard, each quadrant of the diamond is actually the corner of a border (see Figure 1.) - it's the only way to make an angle with HTML!

At the top of this post - in the Firefox Browser Rendering, 2 image set - the left image has all four of the vertical border lines set to "solid black" - and the horizontal border lines set to match the background colour, thus they are invisible. In the image right next to that, the four horizontal border colours are set to a slightly darker colour than the background - so the appearance is of a frame around a diamond.

A scorekeeper can change the horizontal border's colour attributes on the fly, using the Blogger Compose mode "Text background color" widget. By selecting one of the four horizontal borders in each AB box, and changing it's colour with the "Text background color" button, one can indicate the progress of a runner around the bases:

The first box on the left, is how all the boxes in the entire scorecard appear before the game starts. The next box shows a runner on First Base, next one on Second Base, and so on. A solitary black diamond indicates a Run Scored - just like in pencil and paper scoring! :)

How to score with it

To change the attributes of the borders that make up the black diamond while scoring a baseball game is easy. Below I've taken a screen shot of me about to change the colour of the south-east quadrant - in order to indicate a runner is on First Base The colour indicated in the palette is the slightly darker peach. I'm about to change the colour of the horizontal border to the colour right above the one indicated - to the same colour as the background of the quadrant box:

First you highlight the border attribute by left clicking beside the diamond in the quadrant you wish to change. Next, left click on the "Text background color" button and choose the colour you want.

And Viola, a runner is on First Base:


I think there's more than enough space in the 2011 Blogger Baseball Scorecard to score the game with any iconography you wish to invent.

Below (or above) each angle of the diamond there are four lines for text, room for 10 uppercase letters or 12 lower case letters on each line.

In the Pitches column there is again, more than enough room for the number of pitches in the best plate appearance (a great plate appearance is around 12 pitches).

Modern Project Scoresheet defensive notations and ball trajectory notations can be noted in the Pitches column as well.

Also note that if you have to, you can keep on writing outside of any of the boxes - the letters render where you put them - by hitting return you can create a block of script that extends into the next inning's AB box (which usually remains empty - unless the team bats around).

In a few days I will finish the new 2011 Blogger Baseball Scorecard.  It still needs Per-Inning totals boxes; Pitchers Totals boxes and a Per-Inning Box Score table for across the top. When all that is done I will post the code for the 2011 Blogger Baseball Scorecard to a Google Document and you can run it in a special extra-wide Blogger blog.

The Extra-wide Blogger code is available below:

Blogger Code to make your Blog Wider

(to view the code, right click over the frame, highlight "This Frame")

To read an overview of how to install this code into a Blogger Blog go to, "2011 Scorecard: Bigger! Better!"

(Note the "2011 Scorecard Bigger! Better!" is an article about a simpler version I used in the 2010 MLB Postseason - it doesn't have the diamond feature - but the width of the blog you'll need for this, new version is the same.)


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rome, and before that the Greeks, and before that... Ethiopia? - Who Knew?

The BBC produced a 4 hour series on the pre-Roman and Greek history of Africa hosted by Dr Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford entitled, "The Lost Empires of Africa"

Each of the four, one hour films starts in part with this overview:

"The African continent is home to nearly a billion people. It has an incredible diversity of communities and cultures, yet we know less of its history than almost anywhere else on earth.

But that is beginning to change. In the last few decades researchers and archaeologists have begun to uncover a range of histories as impressive and extraordinary as anywhere else in the world."

Dr Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford takes us on a tour of ancient Africa guided by his understanding of the art and architecture of Christian and pre-Christian empires dating back 2,500 years.

Lost Kingdoms of Africa | Ethiopia

(part 2 of 4 of the series)

I think the good Doctor is leading the way in writing and popularizing a narrative of the history of civilization on the African continent that is, especially in the western historical canon, sorely lacking in detail and context.

Dr Casely-Hayford begins to put into context the history just before the Mediterranean centric history (Egypt, Greek, Roman) that you and I likely learned in school was the beginning of western civilization.

This one hour film focuses on the eastern side of the African continent in Ethiopia. In the first chapter of this series, "Lost Kingdoms of Africa | Nubia" Dr Casely-Hayford talks about old rivers that stretched across the North African Desert - the beds of which can be seen despite the shifting sands of the expanding North African Desert via new satellite imaging technology. From the Great Zimbabwe Empire and the associated kingdoms around it in the south, to the Great civilizations all along the Nile, we know that African civilization was much more wide spread and advanced than western scholars have given them credit for.

Is it too much to guess - as has always been my conjecture - that eventually we are going to find examples of great civilizations on the western side of the continent as well? Along the great  Congo River Basin perhaps we will find evidence of kingdoms that were connected with these early African trading empires. May we discover that these Western African Empires disappeared at a time when the North African Desert began to expand about 3,000 years ago - forcing the Nubian migrations south and perhaps cutting trade routes to the west that had been used for 1,000's of years - leading to the collapse of great civilizations on the Atlantic coast?

The BBC has commissioned the Doctor to do a second series, due in 2012.

Stay tuned!

Dr Casely-Hayford completed a PhD in African History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University where he taught MA level classes in International Culture. His is the former Executive Director of Arts Strategy, Arts Council England, and Ex - Director of the Institute of International Contemporary Art (inIVA). Dr Casely-Hayford has offered leadership to some of the most high profile arts organisations in Britain. He has advised the United Nations and the Canadian, Dutch and Norwegian Arts Councils, commissioned to develop the future audience vision for the Tate family of galleries and has written widely including for papers like The Guardian and The Independent.

This bio is a compilation of biographies found at the Guardian online, the talent agency, "Peters, Fraser and Dunlop" (PFD), and from Wikipedia.

Lost Kingdoms of Africa

(My Youtube Playlists)

Part 1 (Playlist - 60 minutes) Lost Kingdoms of Africa | Nubia

Part 2 (Playlist - 60 minutes) Lost Kingdoms of Africa | Ethiopia

Part 3 (55 minutes) Lost Kingdoms of Africa | Great Zimbabwe
Looking for copies to embed.
See it now at TVO:
(may be taken down at any time: )

Part 4 (50 minutes) Lost Kingdoms of Africa | West Africa
Looking for copies to embed.
See it now at TVO:
(may be taken down at any time: )


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Direct message from Karl Rove - Oh Noooo!

Direct message from Karl Rove

When I saw this in my inbox, the first thing I thought was,

"Oh No!! He's found me!"

(I follow Karl Rove to keep up with the far right's plan to destroy the middle class.)