Conservatory A Perspective

Conservatory A perspective

Originally uploaded by Ezra F

Today is a Baha’i holy day. So I took the day off from work. Rather than sleep in throw off my sleep schedule, I ventured over to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia during the morning wonder light. The garden routinely pays off in great flower photos.

The Conservatory here looks like the outside of an A or upside down V. Clouds on reflective surfaces rock.

I'm No Daisy... But This Is Patriotic Mocker

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Relative Truth

Found an interesting comment on an article the state of Georgia observing the Confederate Memorial Day….

The truth of history means very little to those who are dead set against learning anything from it. No matter what the history books used in our public school system say, most will never believe anything other than their own opinion about the Civil War. History revisionist are the celebs of the day. As long as people like Rev. Wright, and David Duke exist, history’s truth will be filtered through lies and distortions. Few observe Confederate Memorial Day: UGA to display original constitution; state offices closed

Truth may very well be completely relative. Back during the US Presidential election, I ran across an interesting article in the Washington Post discussing research John Bullock did about the effects of misinformation and idealogical bias ties. I used to think it had to do with a handful of people stuck in their green, second ammendment, pro-life, pro-choice, capitalist, regulation views. My favorite pasttime in college was assuming positions contrary to others even when I agree with the others.

I doubt the effect solely affects conservatives as was proposed in the article. More likely everyone has some blindspots in determing truth from myth or fiction kind of like optical illusions. (Yes, even myself.) We have to choose which information to believe any time we interact with information. Much of the rules in philosophy and science are built around combatting the biases we have.

Rather than force ideas on others, I think we should be teaching children from an early age to recognize when others and most especially themselves are operating under a bias. Its the only way to find detachment.

Dwarf Cornflower

Dwarf Cornflower
“In folklore, cornflowers were worn by young men in love; if the flower faded too quickly, it was taken as a sign that the man’s love was unrequited.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornflower Its been a while since I last posted a photo here. Last year I saw the field as I was headed out of town and didn’t stop to get some photos. So when it came back this year, I made sure to stop.

Dwarf Cornflower

Dwarf Cornflower Field

Flickr Uploadr Ordering Broke?

Dwarf Cornflower When sending more than five pictures to Flickr, many photographers want the last one or five sent to be their best one. The Contacts page can be set to show the last one or last five photos for each contact. Meaning, the last one should be the best one.

I thought I was crazy at first.

An explicit feature added in Flickr Uploader 3.0 was the ability to upload the pictures in any order. This helps ensure which photo is in that last spot. Despite putting my cornflower picture last, the photos were uploaded in reverse chronological order anyway. Did some testing. Sure enough, Flickr Uploadr 3.1.4, the most recent version was doing it wrong. So I uninstalled 3.1.4 and installed 3.0.5 and did some more testing. That version ordeded the upload correctly. Finally, I upgraded to 3.1.4 and testing showed 3.1.4 worked again.

Probably it was just my install was botched at some point…

Glad I don’t have to be crazy any longer.

TED Talk: Picking apart the puzzle of racism in elections

By Nate Silver

A less than convincing point… The list of states with voters reporting a racial bias only well matches the Obama-Clinton difference map because Nate draws the audience to the states he’s picking on: Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia (5 hits). He totally ignores the strong race bias in South Carolina, Alaska, Missouri, or Indiana didn’t translate into more votes (4 false negatives). Also Wyoming and Oklahoma both had no reported racial bias and voted more against Obama (2 false positives).

Smart Boys

George and I talked about this some last night.

Nature vs Nurture… I tend to think of both as bottlenecks for human development. The debate about which does more to me makes as much sense as debating which is better for a web application: Apache or MySQL? Both are involved and affect the end results. The debate should be about how to leverage the synergy of both, but that is another blog post.

We humans have 46 chromosomes. 23 from each parent which come in pairs. Males have an XY pair. Females have an XX pair. Brain Rules was the first I’ve read that ~1500 brain-related genes are on the X and ~100 on the Y (and losing ~5 every million years). So the X chromosome is quite important for determining brain development.

For boys, the one X they have comes from the mother. Girls inherit an X chromosome from both her mother or father. To set up the strong potential of great genes for boys, look to women who are really intelligent. That tells you there is a 50% shot for the boy to get a good X. If both of the woman’s parents are intellectuals, even better.

Be smart about it though… Don’t make an IQ score for the parents part of a prenuptual agreement.

My mother has occasionally said things I enjoy remind her of her father. That’s a biased sample. 
🙂

Session Oddities

One of the clients we host complained about losing their session. Blackboard recommended we switch how our load balancer is handling the session persistence. Before agreeing to do that, we decided to use Blackboard’s script to determine if there is a problem before trying to fix something which may or may not exist.

An acceptable number of sessions showing on multiple nodes of a cluster is less than 5%. When I ran the test, I found 35.8% matched this criteria. But wait just a second, this seemed like an extraordinarily high number. I ran a second test for an identically configured cluster on the same hardware to find only 4.3%. Why are these so different?

Most cases of this “duplicated session” I spot checked were 1 hit for autosignon on another node. Blackboard confirmed these happen before the user has logged in, so they could appear on the other node. So I ran the test again ignoring these autosignon requests and found we were down to 7.2%. Close to acceptable but not quite.

 Similar to autosignon, the editonpro.js appeared in the majority of the cases I spot checked as the sole hit another node. Once, I removed those from the test, I was down to 0.7%. My control cluster was down to 1.4%. 

One would hope the the script used to determine the amount of duplicate sessions would ignore or remove from the data set the known false positive log entries. 

One would also hope the script instructions (requires login to Blackboard help site) would help users account for these false positives. I did leave a comment on the instructions to hopefully help the next person who has to do this.

Losing My Mind

CPR/AED training requires time on the floor rescuing dummies. Objects in pockets, like my Digital Elph, interfere with rescuing dummies. Digital cameras on desks without supervision have a tendency to disappear. (Not so much from coworkers kleptomania but from my distractions.) So I put it in my work backpack. 

Today is the First Day of Ridvan. So earlyish this morning I went down to the Botanical Garden since I wasn’t going to be at work and didn’t go this past weekend. I spent ten minutes looking for the Elph in the work backpack. So I went and just shot with the Rebel. I chalked it up to having left the camera at work. After all, the last place I recalled seeing the thing was at work.

I decided to look at what I took. So I looked for the card reader in the main part of the camera backpack. To my surprise, the Elph was right there in the wrong backpack. The only thing that makes sense is I moved the camera but forgot I did so. 

Perhaps better brain food could help? Fish providing omega-3 fatty acids is already a healthy part of my diet. Maybe more eggs with choline with the vitamin B precursor could help?

Blame It on Oprah

Ev said, “To those asking: Site slowness today had nothing to do with @Oprah.” Social networks are amusing and fun at times. I’m just a fan of moderation. Too much of anything will ruin it. Ever since Twitter became the new Golden Tool of PR, I knew it would be a matter of time.

Friends and coworkers bring up Twitter as though they have nothing else to say. Apparently the web sites we use define who we are just like fashion did in the 1980s and 1990s. Well, I am a black teeshirt and shorts guy.

🙂

So… I’m spent on < 140 characters.

Update: Maybe not… I’ve culled the list of people I am following from 96 down to 37. Maybe more if I look at it anymore. (Even the 10 most extraordinary tweets couldn’t diswade me.)