Friday, June 20, 2008

Water in, In Water

The homeowner association rules state that while in the pool area one must "bring a nonalcoholic drink in a plastic container." Now usually I flaunt this, preferring to wait until later in my own dining room to attend to re-hydration needs, But the weather was warm today, so I brought an 8 ounce container of eau municipale along with my Liz Claiborne hat, and my goggles. There were a handful of kids in the pool throwing around beach balls, and they politely moved over a bit to accommodate my mini lap swimming. On one corner of the deck some non-aquatic types blabbed away in deck chairs. One of them found the need to chain smoke.

I didn't stick around much after swimming. It wasn't only the smoke, there was this alarming brightness everywhere. My hat and the Aveeno non-oily sunblock on my nose were no match for the ionizing radiation. When I got back, I mentioned the smoker to the PrissKids.

Zbigniew said, "You should have whipped out a one hundred page book and pointed to the rule."

I responded with more theoretics, "Here is my non-alcoholic drink in a plastic container. Where's yours? And put out that cigarette!"

Monday, June 16, 2008

Rolled Oaths

A current Slate article discusses the practice of California State public colleges of requiring that new hires sign a loyalty oath as a condition of employment. Two teachers objected this requirement based on their religious beliefs. They are both Quaker, and the oath includes a provision that they will "defend" state and federal law against "enemies." To them, this terminology would commit them to engage in violence should the constitution of California or of the U.S. government ever come under attack. These two instructors have had some success after drawn out negotiations, in becoming eligible to work while objecting to that specific part of the oath.

This solution appalls me. Citizens and those with visas allowing them to work in this country are eligible to work in this country. Their employment should be based solely on ability and performance. While something like this may be appropriate for military and possibly for law enforcement, teachers should not be required to serve as a reserve militia. If their area of study extends to exploring possible constitutional changes, the product should be treated the same as any other researched opinion.

The problem is the loyalty oath, not one specific item within it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mark of the Beastie

Camera recognition of hand signals, or of other body movements, eventually including facial expressions is going to replace the touch pad inputs we have gotten used to. A small camera facing your hand could pick up signals for all text characters or menu/toggle choices.

In this video, the user outlines an object in their hand, or the hand itself for the camera. The program then recognizes it as a pointer for playing a game or using an interactive music application.

Video and article at Techcrunch

The only downside I see is that I may need to learn sign language.

This is going to be huge!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

He did it!

A major milestone for my eldest tonight. Beautiful ceremony, and I only cried a little bit. My daughter was there too, to cheer him on. Now it is midnight. They are sleeping like the babies that they used to be.

Media Reality

Poignant article on the whole mother daughter dynamic. If any of you guys read it, comments here would be great. What it made me think about is that our lives aren't going to be idyllically perfect. Family life is stressful. That's why so many people who are financially able to live alone, end up doing so. (Then some of them bemoan their lack of a partner.)

The Zbigster is graduating from High School today, and Maddy is trying to get out of attending based on her homework and dance rehearsal obligations. Empty nesting is just around the corner here in Prisstopia.