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Showing posts from July, 2012

Book Review: 1491

Having read Charles Mann's 1493 (and reviewed here) I was eager to read his first book in this series, 1491 [Amazon Affiliate Link].

1491 is the study of the Americas in the time before Columbus.

He is rightfully dismissive of how school textbooks cover the topic.  Despite many new discoveries since I was in elementary school, textbooks for both elementary and high school today, as they did in my day, tend to gloss over the accomplishments of those here before the Europeans.

In school in the 60s and 70s, I learned that people came to the Americas from Siberia via a land bridge over the Bering Strait.

New discoveries made in Chile have man there about the time the first land bridge was open.  It is not possible for man to have crossed the land bridge when it first opened and make it all the way to the south part of South America by the time man has been proven to be there.

A Day in San Francisco

Sorry this post keeps showing up in different places, and in RSS feeds more then once.  I had some formatting issues with my blog, and deleted this post thinking it was the cause.
A friend asked what she and her husband should do with one day in San Francisco, before driving down the coast to L.A.  Unlike most visitors to San Francisco, they will have a car.
I lived in the Bay Area from 1980 to 1999, with 1986 to 1998 in San Francisco proper, near the Marina district.

First thing I would advise her is to schedule more time.  A day is not enough.
Some of my information is a bit old; it has been 13 years since I lived in SF. 

If I had only a day, this is what I would do.
First thing, people think California and think hot.  Most will be, but not San Francisco.  Be prepared to dress in layers.  It might be 50's or 60's in the city while you are there, and maybe 70's and 80's too, all in the same day.
Skip Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard St. etc. for such a short visit.  …

What does McHale's Navy and the Spruce Goose have in common?

When Ernest Borgnine passed recently it lead me to read the Wikipedia entry for McHale's Navy.  In it I was intrigued to see that the actual patrol boat used for some scenes had previously been owned by Howard Hughs and had been a chase boat during the one and only flight of the Spruce Goose.

Today I happened across a web page about the Spruce Goose with this photo.  I suspect that is what was to become, PT-73 with the Spruce Goose.


I really need to get to Portland, Oregon's Evergreen Museum and see this plane.


Family Tech: Stream Every Olympic Event

Follow an obscure sport?  Know an Olympian likely to be wiped out in the first heat?  From a country US television ignores in its Olympic coverage?

Now you can see every Olympic Event, if not on your TV, then on your computer. (Warning: Must be a cable subscriber anyway).

This is the topic of this week's Family Tech column.

Remember, all Family Tech columns are listed on their own page

Dropbox Drops its Price for Storage

The only thing I could ever say bad about Dropbox was that if you needed to purchase additional storage space from them, it was expensive.

When Google Drive came out, that became even more apparent.

Tonight, Dropbox announced lower prices for storage, and the option to buy more then 100 gigabytes.

They dropped the price of 100 gigabytes to what 50 cost, $9.95 a month.

Two hundred gigabytes is now $19.95 a month.  It was 100 gigabytes was earlier.

And now you can buy 500 gigabytes for $49.95 a month.

While much improved, it is still higher then Google.  

Google gives you twice as much for the same price :  $9.99 for 200 gigabytes, $19.99 for 400 gigabytes, and a full terabyte (1000 gigabytes) for $49.95.


It must be hard for Dropbox to compete with someone like Google who buys its datacenters by the square mile  (perhaps a slight exaggeration).  Even so, I love Dropbox and now feel like if I needed to buy more space on it, it would be a reasonable value.  Kudos Dropbox.


Of course, one of …