Home | Random | Downloads | About | Hikes | WebCam | Search | Sitemap | Email | Feed

Book reviews for June 2016

The Night Stalker (DCI Erika Foster, #2) by Robert Bryndza

The Night Stalker (DCI Erika Foster, #2) by Robert Bryndza

4/5

Decent police thriller, a notch up from the first in the series I thought. I'll buy the next one.

 

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers by Ian Stewart

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers by Ian Stewart

4/5

A tour of mathematics through the device of looking at what's interesting about different numbers. Brought back all sorts of things I learned in school and university that are now slowly fading again.

 

The Girl In The Ice (DCI Erika Foster, #1) by Robert Bryndza

The Girl In The Ice (DCI Erika Foster, #1) by Robert Bryndza

3/5

Bit linear but fun.

 

Share:

Bredo

Bredo

If David Cameron really cares about the future of the UK he needs to call an election instead of handing the reins over to (presumably) Boris in a few months.

A party which campaigned on a platform of ignoring the referendum and sticking with the EU would have a legitimate mandate to do just that. Especially if they bring back the good Miliband.

I can't think of anything else that works.

Share:

News: Brexit: British clubs could suffer in transfer window, warns sports expert

Brexit: British clubs could suffer in transfer window, warns sports expert

If only this had been made clear before the vote. FFS.

Share:

West Portal Timelapse of Timelapses

West Portal Timelapse of Timelapses

This is the third and strangest video in my series of timelapses from West Portal, San Francisco.

Each frame is a single-frame timelapse where each vertical line is from a different time of day. 4,320 photos go into each frame over 24 hours. The video covers 366 days (from June 21, 2015 to June 20, 2016 - summer solstice to summer solstice) so 1,581,120 photos total. For the video I also generated a ten frame fade between each SFTL shot to try and make the whole thing a little more comprehensible.

Photos were captured using a Google Apps Script that I wrote to pull frames from a Nest Cam / DropCam to Google Drive and then downloaded and processed around once a week for the past year.

Music is Erratic Revenge by JukeDeck.

I have one more coming...

(Previously, Previously)

Share:

Summer Solstice 2016 in Catfood Earth

Summer Solstice 2016 in Catfood Earth

It's the start of Summer (or Winter in the Southern Hemisphere). Unusually for June it even feels like Summer in San Francisco today. Rendered in Catfood Earth (Windows, Android).

(Previously, Previously, Previously)

Share:

Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar

Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar

Share:

California and San Francisco June 2016 Propositions

State

50: Yes - makes it harder so suspend a legislator but provides a more impactful sanction when this does happen. I don't think legislators should be suspended unless the circumstances are extreme. 

San Francisco

A: Yes - mostly hospital and fire station upgrades.

B: No - I like parks, but the city should decide how much to allocate to them. I generally don't like measures that carve out specific areas for funding.

C: I have no idea. Abstain. I don't have the time to untangle this one.

D: Yes, clearly more oversight of lethal force by SFPD is needed.

E: Yes, brings San Francisco sick leave in line with State rules.

AA: No, regressive per-parcel tax. Should be funded in a better way.

(Previously)

Share:

Book reviews for May 2016

When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt

When to Rob a Bank by Steven D. Levitt

3/5

I didn't realize this was just a collection of blog posts! There are some good ones for sure (my favorite is the evisceration of Good to Great for the exact same reasons that I hate that book). But it's just some blog posts and they're mostly too short and not fleshed out.

 

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

2/5

I'm not really sure what the point of this book is. I guess Dawkins is trying to bring people round to believing in science and so the main device used in the book is to mock religions and myths for a while before sketching in a light summary (very light for the non-Biology sections) of some area of science. If you're in it for the science then you're going to be mostly disappointing. If you're not of a scientific bent then you're going to be alienated by the heavy handed myth bashing and so I don't think you're going to be in a positive frame of mind to listen to what Dawkins has to say when you get the science bit. Not recommended for either audience.

 

Three Tales from the Laundry Files by Charles Stross

Three Tales from the Laundry Files by Charles Stross

3/5

 

The Mind Club by Daniel M. Wegner

The Mind Club by Daniel M. Wegner

3/5

The central theme of this book is some research about how people feel about different kinds of minds. At it's heart it's a Harvard Business Review style quadrant analysis with the two dimensions being doing and feeling (and doers doing things to feelers). This isn't nearly as interesting (or difficult) as actually trying to understand different minds. This is touched on briefly and mainly via that experiment where people report that they made a decision half a second after their body started doing the thing that they decided to do. Which is fascinating and hard to explain but it's only really a detour here. The meat of the book is how people feel about dogs and dead people and gods. There are some interesting anecdotes and the book is saved by the good humor and gentle snarkiness of at least one of the authors.

 

Share:

GGNRA Dog Management Round 3

GGNRA Dog Management Round 3

Today is the last day to comment on the latest version of the dog management plan for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. I've just squeaked in under the wire. My main concern is that the National Park Service is sneaking in provisions that will allow them to further restrict access over time. The specific pros and cons of the rules for each site are less important than preserving the GGNRA as a recreation resource for everyone over time. I'm not a militant dog person - I think that there should be dog free beaches for people who prefer to not have dogs around for instance. Much of what is in the plan is reasonable. I just don't trust the NPS to stop here.

If you agree check saveoffleash.com to see what you can do to help push back on this.

Here's my full response to the NPS:

Dear National Park Service

I am writing to provide my feedback on the latest version of the proposed rule changes for dog walking in the Golden Gate National Recreation area (RIN: 1024-AE16). I also commented extensively on the first and second round and so will limit myself here to a few key points.

My primary concern with the new rules is the provision for the superintendent to further limit or remove access based on the following language:

"If primary management actions do not sufficiently address the problem, the superintendent would implement secondary management actions. Examples of secondary management actions may include, but are not limited to increased buffer zones, and additional use restrictions (e.g. limiting the number of dogs off-leash at any one time with one dog walker, requiring tags or permits for accessing Voice and Sight Control Areas, or short or long-term, dog walking area closures)."

I feel that the tone of the proposed rule changes suggests that the National Park Service would just prefer to have the same set of regulations system wide and shut down off leash access to the GGNRA. Regardless of how reasonable or unreasonable the new rules are initially it feels like excuses will be found to whittle down access over time. Enforcement should be limited to individuals who violate the rules and not to shutting down access for everyone. I cannot support the rule changes while it contains this provision.

My family lives in San Francisco and we regularly visit Fort Funston, Crissy Field, Rodeo Beach and Hill 88 (Marin Headlands) with our well behaved dog. We occasionally visit Ocean Beach, Sweeney Ridge and other GGNRA locations.

Given our use of the GGNRA I feel that the plan has improved considerably compared with the previous two versions. My chief remaining concern is the Sand Ladder trail at Fort Funston. Unless you are contemplating improvements to the trail I do not feel that this is safe for on leash walking and it should be maintained as an off leash trail for the safety of dogs and walkers alike.

In the Marin Headlands we often walk the loop up the Coastal Trail to Hill 88 returning to Rodeo Beach via Wolf Ridge and the Miwok Trail. The proposed leashed access to a portion of the Coastal Trail and Old Bunker Road is much shorter. I would love to still be able to hike the Hill 88 route with our dog (preferably off leash, but on leash would be better than nothing).

Sincerely

Robert Ellison

(Tracking number 1k0-8pu0-jdnh)

(Previously, Previously)

Share:

Cranes

Cranes

Share:

Previous Page | Next Page

I Thought He Came With You

Robert Ellison's Blog

7,250,102,868 people still need to read this blog.

SFO

SFO

Monthly Email Update