Web accessibility, photos, travel and random noise

General tidbits

  • Reframing Climate Change

    This comment on an article about climate change really resonated with me:

    It's wrong to frame radical pro climate changes as sacrifices which we have to bear with gritted teeth. Its good for your health to eat less meat, cycle or walk instead of hopping in the car. Its good for peoples health too because of reduced pollution.. Its satisfying to mend thongs instead of throwing them away. Its a pleasure to use beautiful things for a long time crafted by people who enjoyed making them, instead of throwing things away in an endless cycle of obsolescence of the ugly.

    Most actions related to stopping cimate change would also be good for our general health, mental as well as physical.

  • Covid vaccination rollout in Europe

    With last month's arguments between the EU and UK, regarding vaccine contracts and deliveries I did some back of an envelope analysis. It seems the real issue is not so much contracts, but the general lack of vacciness, partially due to the inability of one specific manufacturer to deliver their promised amounts of vaccines. Here are the stats as of the 10th April 2021:

    Vaccination progress for the EU and UK
      EU UK Combined
    Doses given (millions) 93 39 132
    Population (millions) 445 68 513
    Ratio doses to population 0.21 0.57 0.26

    All data from Our World in Data.

    As can be seen from the table if all the vaccine doses administered by the 10th April had been spread evenly across the EU and the UK, the effect on the vaccination rate of the EU would have been minimal: an increase of 5 doses per 100 inhabitants. But in the UK the effect would have been drastic: a decrease of 31 doses per 100 in habitants. So whilst complaints about vaccine export controls and contracts mimicking such export controls might be valid, the real issue is the limited capacity to produce the vaccines. This is where the focus needs to be - not on blaming each other for hoarding vaccines.

    Let's get the job done. Stay home! Stay safe!

  • Five coping strategies

    Here's a nice post on coping strategies:

  • Power

    Those who want power do not deserve it.
    And those who deserve power do not want it.

    J.K.Rowling, ~2000 AD


    Only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it.

    Plato, ~400 BC


    Nothing new under the sun...

  • Equality, Equity, Fairness

    Two images I like which illustrate beautifully fairness, equality and equity.

    Equality and Equity

    Image showing that equality is three people of different height, each standing on a box to look over a fence at a baseball match. But for the shortest it is not enough. Then it shows that equity is the tallest giving his box to the shortest, who now has two boxes to stand on. Now all three can see over the fence.
    Image from Interaction Institute for Social Change | Artist: Angus Maguire.

    Fair and Equal

    Image showing jungle animals, including a monkey, bird, elephant, fish and hyena, standing in front of an exam invigilator. The invigilator says "For a fair selection everybody has to take the same exam: please climb that tree".
    Taken from Mr Smart Tax

  • The future...

    The future ain't what it used to be

    Yogi Bera
  • Martians found on, err, Venus

    Signs off life may have been found in the clouds above Venus.

  • The Relativity of Wrong

    Interesting concept of right and wrong. By Iscac Asimov.

    The Relativity Of Wrong

  • A brief history of Smugmug's acquisition of Flickr

    After acquiring Flickr, SmugMug have announced a limit of 1000 photos for the free accounts and a doubling of the PRO membership fees. Unfortunately not in that order.  So shortly after cancelling my PRO membership as I was unwilling to shell out double for no useful improvements, I am told I will lose 12000+ of my 13000+ images stored on Flickr. It seems to me SmugMug are blackmailing me to come back... Just as well I've already downloaded and moved all my photos to OneDrive about a year ago. Now all I need to do is recreate the albums and I can say, very sadly, goodbye to Flickr.  Looks like I will also be able to finally start closing my yahoo account.

  • Flickr, SmugMug and Yahoo


    So, SmuMug bought Flickr from Verizon a few months back (news always reaches me a little later...).  Will that be the end of my Yahoo account? I only have a Yahoo account for two reasons (in that order):

    1. Flickr
    2. Yahoo Mail
  • Yogi Berra Quotes

    If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else

    When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

    90 percent of it is half mental.

    It ain't over till it's over.

    About a restaurant:

    Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

    It's déjà vu all over again.

    You can observe a lot by watching.

    I really didn't say everything I said.

    And last but not least, this gem:

    Always go to other people's funerals; otherwise they won't go to yours.

    Face of Yogi Berra

    Yogi Berra, 1925 – 2015

  • Let's help kill software patents

    Ask Patents on StackexchangeI came across this post by Joel Spolsky about a new Stackexchange site called Ask Patents for finding prior art of patent applications. This is an excellent idea. If we all analysed one patent a day, most patents applications would be thrown out. Why? Because there is almost always prior art, it's just the patent examiners aren't able to find it due to the way the applications are written.

  • Epson Scan Window Won't Open

    I had this problem where the Epson Scanner software only opened briefly, showed in the taskbar but never actually displayed the Window. Here's the solution:

    Epson Scan Window Won't Open

    Registry edit required - so beware!

  • Flickr Uploadr

    I recently installed the Flickr Uploadr app to auto upload my photos from my Galaxy S2 to Flickr. Now that Flickr has 1TB of storage for free it makes it good for use as a backup tool.

  • Homeopathic Warfare

    Over the last couple of years I've been reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. I've almost finished Interesting Times, where he writes this:

    What do you think this is, homeopathic warfare? The smaller your side the more likely you are to win?

    Love it.

  • Boat of life

    I love this:

    Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.

    Jerome K Jerome

  • In praise of the quick hack

    Copy and paste, quick hacks and big balls of mud. These are rightly frowned upon in the software industry, but they happen elsewhere too. Often the programmer gets the blame for being lazy. Programmers will invariably blame poor management. But the real culprit is usually more simple: the budget.

  • The problem with Education? that it tries to treat everyone equally when we are not all equal...
    Instructor telling jungle animals including elephant, fish, penguine and monkey to climb a tree for a fair assessment

  • My first post using the wordpress android app

    This post is written using the wordpress android app. You can download it here.

    It has been written using android speech to text function. This works very well as long as you have a wifi connection. So it helps I am waiting for my daughter at the OMV petrol station which has free wifi!

  • Jogging away from over your inner demons

    Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. Not just on a physical level, but it also makes you "happier" due to the release of Endorphins, the body’s natural feel good chemicals.  Well, since I completed the C25K program I've started noticing there's much more to it than simply being happier. Jogging seems to have some sort of meditative effect, a fact I alluded to in my post on the anatomy of one of my jogs. I noted that once I really get going I am able to spend a few seconds at a time in a trance like state with a completely clear mind. On top of that, towards the end of the jog all the aches and pains actually dissapear. Well here's my theory as to why that is.


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