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My favorite quote from Taryn is, “Photography threatens fantasy.” Disney uses intricate interior design, photography, and video to construct fantasy. Advertisements, magazines, weddings, and portraits are about showing others the ideal instead of the reality. Have you seen the Dove Evolution video? (This one has music and singing by a Baha’i musician Devon Gundry.) What about the Ralph Lauren photo?

Reality bites. Hard.

(See Taryn Simon photographs secret sites on the TED site)

TED About this talk: Taryn Simon exhibits her startling take on photography — to reveal worlds and people we would never see otherwise. She shares two projects: one documents otherworldly locations typically kept secret from the public, the other involves haunting portraits of men convicted for crimes they did not commit.

Also: Taryn on Charlie Rose, Discomfort Zone (Telegraph)

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Writing a Blog Post About This Scam I noticed a little black and white sign: “Single? athensdating.org” a while ago. A couple weeks ago it came up in conversation. Today I saw it again. So I visited the site.

First impression: A local site should have images to represent something about the locality. Generic stock photography doesn’t cut it for me. The signup for wanted my home and cell phone numbers.

That sounded phishy to me.

Domaintools.com is a great site for looking up who runs a site. If the owner has selected privacy options with their registrar, then that would be a snag. Fortunately for us, the owner of athensdating.org isn’t hiding.

Owner: NuStar Solutions

The note “Email address is associated with about 4,690 domains” caught my eye. So I looked up NuStar and found this article about these popping up everywhere. (At least DomainTools gave me the info in one shot without having to do the same extensive research.) Lots of stuff online about these signs, who is placing them, and whether or not this is a scam.

I’m just going to assume it is a scam.

Picture info: Writing a Blog Post About This Scam on Flickr from sneezypb

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For a while I have meant to do this. Here I am with insomnia, so here goes… I have implemented Gravatars for the this Blue Zinfindel theme.

Here is coding I used to implement it to this theme’s comments.php (WP Design > Theme Editor > Comments). Normal text is for context. Bold is what I added.

<li class=”<?php echo $oddcomment; ?>” id=”comment-<?php comment_ID() ?>”>
<?php echo get_avatar(get_comment_author_email(), ’32′); ?>
<?php comment_author_link() ?>

The first place I saw to provide a function rather than a variable is the weblog tools collection post on gravatars. The above is their recommendation with size 32 image. I picked this size because it is the size of the icon inside the WP admin (tested 64, 48, and 30 with 30 seeming about right).

Once I decided to do it, it took me about an hour to find an example using get_comment_author_email() instead of $comments or $id_or_email. It’s easy to implement.

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Probably I missed or didn’t understand the announcement.

For the past month or so, I’ve noticed all these comments with the poster’s picture next to it on various blogs. I knew them to be WordPress blogs. I noticed my own WP had some default icon in the admin user interface. Today I finally put it all together.

A recent WordPress version incorporated Globally Recognized Avatars into the main code. (They are also known as GRAvatars) Using a hash on the email address, it locates a WordPress commenter’s 96×96 picture for including in the comment. Naturally, you need to register your email account with the gravatar service.

So, now many of you get to see my ugly mug!

Zemanta Pixie

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What is the American fascination with Tutankhamun? Personally, I favor Ramses II. Actually, Ramses II was one of my first obsessions. I knew everything there was to know about him at seven years old. Decades later, I’ve forgotten most of what I knew.

We share the phoneme “Ra”. Ra was an Egyptian sun god probably a tie for my interest in other sun gods and goddesses such as Helios, Sól, Amaterasu and Apollo. Unlike Icarus, I longed to fly too close to the Sun. Other kids thought about becoming police officers or fighting fires. I longed to travel to inside the orbit of Mercury near our Sun. Also, I thought about traveling to other stars.

As a child, my doodles were small to fairly large battles of militaristic or science-fiction themes. I especially liked strong, impenetrable bases. Later, in high school, the doodles changed into massive dungeons and mammoth castles. The builder expressing itself?

The dreams of my childhood seemed unattainable in my youth. Certainly I gave up on them too early. However, I like where and who I am today.

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New Theme

Using a new theme. I’m too lazy to make of my own. :)

Blue Zinfandel is a 2 or 3-column Widget-ready theme, made especially for online newspapers or magazines. Blue Zinfandel WordPress Theme

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Satires are an appropriate use of web2.0. What is the theme of web3.0?

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UPDATE: Boo! Video has been pulled. New version to appease the photographer.

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[info]shelchan told me about a restaurant called Bed where the customers sit on beds as they eat. Okkkkaaaaay….

What is your idea for a themed restaurant?

I suggested Dirt:

The dishes are made from worms, mealy bugs, and other creatures from the dirt.

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What is the cheesiest gift someone could possibly give you this year for Christmas? I’ve been reading quite a bit about what people want for Christmas. I’m curious about those gifts you would hate to get but others would think you would like.

Guess I’ll start.

People surely know I shop on ThinkGeek. They might think I would love to have this item below. However, this item seems dumb.

Snowbot OverlordThinkGeek :: The ThinkGeek USB Snowbot:

We welcome our Snowbot Overlords…

Color changing scan, eerie Snowbot sound, articulating arms…a ThinkGeek exclusive…

Last December, as we were settling down for a long winter’s nap, we were visited by two robots from the future! They spoke to us and now it is time to share their message. There’s good news and bad news. The good news is there are tons of really cool robots in the future. The bad news is they are divided into two factions, are waging war against each other, and have “downgraded” humans to pretty much servants and food. We quickly smashed the robots with hammers, and swore to devise a way to save humanity.

Before we destroyed the robots, however, we were able to learn two things. 1. Each army of robots uses a different color scanning light (red or blue); 2. We have no idea which side is in humanity’s best interest to win. So we built the Snowbot – a small, winter-themed beacon…and perhaps our only hope. Powered by a simple USB port, the Snowbot has a scanning light just like the robots from the future. You can change the speed of the scan, turn on/off the scanning noise, and (for future protection) change the scan color (red or blue). So no matter which robot army storms your home or office, a quick flick of a switch and you are rooting for the invader’s color. Hopefully then the robots will just make you a servant and not an appetizer. Good luck and happy holidays.

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Amazon.com: Dinosaurs – The Complete First and Second Seasons

Created before the days of computer animation, Dinosaurs is an early 1990s television comedy series featuring impressive anthropomorphic, animatronic creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The story lines challenge some of society’s most basic assumptions and explore some of the most universally troublesome aspects of “civilized” life. Set in six million three BC, the Sinclairs are your “typical” blue-collar dinosaur family attempting to adjust to the relatively new concept of communal living. The adjustments of moving from a nomadic lifestyle to one of domestication and social interaction are many, and challenging issues like the concepts of right and wrong, faith, and the intricacies of family relationships are forever besieging this every-man’s family. Naturally, the Sinclair family approach is to address each obstacle with an abundance of slapstick comedy. The Dinosaurs episodes regularly function on dual levels: the puppetry and silly antics like Baby Sinclair’s penchant for hitting her father over the head with a pan while hollering “Not the Mama” appeal to even the youngest children, but the often pointed social commentary and sometimes mature themes are squarely aimed at an adult audience. As a result, parental discretion and guidance are key in determining whether this series is appropriate for children under 9 or 10 years old. –Tami Horiuchi

Bold added by me. LOL This was one of my brother’s favorite shows when he was 6! I do recall not finding this show nearly as fascinating as Fraggle Rock. However, I was 7 at the time it came out on HBO (thanks, Grandma, for recording them all to VHS)!

TV is how I was babysat. Its how I babysat my little bro. Some would likely say its why I watch entirely too much TV. Perhaps…. I don’t watch all junk. At least a quarter are science or history shows. So I just repeat the misinformed soundbites. :)

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