The New Raspberry Pi Zero.
The Raspberry Pi foundation has released the new Pi Zero, which comes in at an absolutely amazing $5 price. They are of course totally sold out so I can’t get my paws on one yet, but even so I know this is going to be amazing. I was excited about the size and cost of the model A+ which was $25. Now the tiny size of this new one opens up new avenues of creativity. The size is what I am all exited about, the price is just a nice bonus.
I was planning to do a keyboard computer conversion using a model A on a Apple IIGS keyboard, but now I think I will wait and get my hands on a model Zero for the conversion. In some ways the Model Zero makes the project even a little less impressive since it is so small. I am glad they didn’t populate the GPIO pins on this one, I had to de-solder the pins on one of my last projects, and I like that I can wire directly to the header with this one.
The Pi foundation has been very successful in promoting their single-board computers as learning tools for kids (or really anyone) getting into computers. They are low-cost and have an easy learning curve, so people who might otherwise be intimidated can start making things and experiment with programming and making electronics.. I am very impressed with what they have done.
This little micro board computer is vastly more powerful than my first computer: The ATARI 1200XL and it is smaller than a credit-card.
Truly amazing, I can’t wait to get one and start playing!
Where do we go from here?
Anticlimax is the word I would use to describe the state of the world at the moment. As humanity as a whole we no longer really have a goal. The world has shrunken and become less interesting as more and more exploration and discovery have lessened the mystery around us, replacing full questions with half-answers.
In the time of the Reformation and the Renaissance: the intellectual pursuits were knowledge and discovery for their own sakes. In the industrial revolution that came after; thinkers were replaced with consumers, and nation-states with alliances of nations that span the globe. What used to be petty wars between small entities became global conflicts that pushed humanity to the edge of destruction, and spawned the construction of weapons that for the first time in history have the power to destroy completely their own creators.
Tell me, where do we go from here?
To the stars? Or do we turn inwards and lose ourselves in the process?
I would be happy to say we will someday have colonies on Mars and perhaps in the high cloud-tops of Venus, but I fear that we are so close to a tipping point, that a mere breath will push us over the brink into destruction. The ‘modern world’ has been saved from the edge of destruction before, can we save it from ourselves again?
Years ago I took the Myer-Briggs Personality Type test, which is based on Carl Jung’s Personality Types, and I got an INTP result.
I took the test again today, and voila! got INTP-A again, so I used another site with slightly different question wording, and got INTP-A once more… so I would say that at-least as far as this test is concerned, the results are pretty consistent.
I read the generic description of the INTP type: http://www.16personalities.com/intp-personality and found it to be fairly accurate, a little like looking into a personality mirror. I don’t really put a lot of stock in psychology in general, since so much of it is subjective and based on the flexible opinion of whoever is writing the book, and very little concrete logical analysis, but I have found the Myers-Briggs test fascinating, and I do have respect for Jung -much more than for Freud at-least. Jung seems more down-to-earth and more fascinating than his more well known colleague: Freud.
Forget Me Not 1918
These pressed flowers were in a book I bought many years ago at a garage sale. I have kept the worm eaten book and these flowers for many years because they are special. I don’t know the story, I don’t know if this was a funeral bouquet for a fallen soldier, or an influenza victim, they may have been grown on the front and sent home to loved-ones, they may have nothing to do with the war: they might be a lovers bouquet, or just some flowers gathered in the springtime….
But I know that they have survived the years and were waiting for me to discover them. What years have passed into the dust of history, great men have risen through the ranks, to command despotic empires that have fallen crumbling into forgetfulness, and these small blooms have waited pressed between the mouldering leaves of a novel on a shelf.
Nations have risen in hope from the turmoil of revolution and then dissolved in chaos back again to rust and neglect, all while these little fragile spots of color waited for someone to notice them. What secrets could they tell us about the frailty of human lives and the short sharp pain of loss, if we would only listen? Someone picked these little springtime flowers and carefully tied them with string, and dated them. They pressed them between the pages of this book, and then time came swirling by and took all the meaning and memory away slowly and with gnawing blunt teeth.
No one knows now why they were picked and preserved, no one knows their story. What whispered lovers secrets were told in their presence? What fleeting kisses stolen on a secluded hillside awash with verdant springtime rainbows? These little flowers have a story to tell, but no lips to speak them with.
I will keep them so that they will outlive me, and their next discoverer can ponder the abyss of time also.
This is my Cuneiform Epitaph.
Scratches on clay the remnants of lives, tiny sparks that winked brightly and then went out; time consuming the present moment by moment, Langoliers following closely behind, watching for scraps and pouncing on wasted time.
When flesh grows cold, and entropy consumes blood, bones, and essence leaving nothing for the dusty shrines in the desert. Perhaps some would-be excavator will unearth or draw up from the bog and weedy rushes some ancient oxygen deprived preserved mystery. Some brine soaked encrusted memory devoid of identity. What sharpened flint points of logic and rhetoric will be discussed in papers of those learned and versed in the unknowable?
As Ötzi mulled over pre-stoic ideals and post-grazing utopias while munching roots and mushrooms, I am hunched before this scrap of plant fibers mashed down, boiled over and pressed out. I grasp my blunt tool and bleed dark Voynician prayers to the Old Ones still hidden in deep cold abysses of time and dark water.
Sawgrass riptide, silicate crystals smeared across my toes,
the pressed down deepened holes in the burning white,
where I run down to the harder pressed darker expanse of shallow sea.
There are gulls on the edges vision, screeching, diving, salty spray of feathers,
darting, running, scattering sandpipers leave tiny scratches on the hard-packed sandy horizon.
crushed bits of shell, tossed up to my cool twisting toes by the urgent surf, a gift of shattered pearlescent debris.
Éowyn is just turning 2 years old, and is full of energy already. She takes to things with no reservations or hesitation, she runs up and dives in with both feet. I see her doing this with things as simple as trying to get onto the recliner with me. She will run up with so much momentum, that she will bounce off and land on the floor. She wants to get up on my lap, but somehow the idea of coming up to me and then climbing up doesn’t occur to her. Watching her at the playground is a similar experience, she flies from the swings to the slides and back again. It is a workout just keeping up with her. I love to watch her have fun, she is such a little firefly darting here and there…
Its no wonder that we have nicknamed her: “TURBO”
I put a poem in the inside of every new moleskine I buy. I put this poem from Tennyson in the moleskine I used for the most chaotic, upsetting and exciting year of my life. (4-2014 to 3-2015)
An incredible number of things happened to me and my family during that time, and this poem has been on the back inside page of my moleskine journal the whole time. I have read this poem a hundred times if I have read it once.
Summer is finally here now.
My daughter Scarlette is 6, she is smart and observant, and sometimes the things she comes up with are really amazing. A few weeks ago she had a small splinter and after we removed it, we put a band-aid over the area, and Scarlette thought for a moment, and told me that she knew why band-aids worked.
I asked her to tell me why, and she said: “They work because they are like stickers”
At first I didnt realize what she meant, and then I remebered that when she was little we used to give her stickers whenever she bumped her head or scraped her knee or whatever. They were a placebo to take her mind off the pain, and so we would kiss the bump and give her a sticker to put on the sore spot. She remembered that, and deduced that band-aids were like stickers becuase stickers also worked and made her feel better.
That made me smile.
Éowyn and I walked talking Scarlette to school this morning, Scarlette goes to Oak Park Elementary which is just a mile or so up the street, so we walk most mornings. Unless it is raining or we got up late, we are walking to school so Scarlette can get there around 7:15am or so. I took this picture as we were coming back, Éowyn likes to spin around in her stroller and say baby-gibberish to me.
The morning sun low on the horizon, riding my bike early in the spring; while the northern leaves are still un-budded, and the grip of an icy winter is still fresh in the mind.
I used to ride my bike to the local “Tim Hortons” bake shop and Coffee shop when I had the time, and was otherwise free. These are the moments; preserved only in my memories and a few photographs taken over the years, those days are gone, and will never return… I have moved on, I don’t live in the north anymore (and I am glad of it) but I will miss those crisp mornings when the snow was finally gone, and I could take my bike out again. I will miss the feeling of new beginnings in the spring and of discovery and excitement to be back on the bike after a long cold winter.
The traitorous gravel on the sides of the path, the deep gashes in the pavement from the snow-plow blades were obstacles to avoid, people finally coming out of their homes in short-sleeves again even though it was only in the 50s….
That is what a northern spring feels like.
I have moved on to new things, to new ideas and areas… My memories will fade over time, I will eventually forget completely and then I too will be forgotten.. Time creeps slowly on, devouring memories, consuming concepts, dreams, fears and hopes.. Eventually times change, people form new habits, cities evolve and grow, or shrink and return to the wild. The morass of humanity keeps on building and destroying, ants building castles in the sand, one grain at a time, yet the wind comes up, and the rains fall…
The blunt teeth of time grind on.
“If it requires a uniform, it’s a worthless endeavor.”
“There is always a sadness about packing. I guess you wonder if where you’re going is as good as where you’ve been.”
-Richard Proenneke -One Man’s Wilderness
Scratching granular across the page; ink attaching at the molecular layer to mush paper fibers, bleeding at the feathers into the next line.
Dusty sharp pen scrawls push scent smells up and into my memories. Proust has nothing on mould, pens, papers and forget his damn madeleines.
Candles flickering at the corners of the page, dim lights turning my scrawling into mere shadows, fading from the light, dimly bleeding away.
Can we catch our tears before they drip from the page, and fall as ink into dust?
I am the shadow of a forgotten memory glistening on my windowpane,
All wet with morning rain.
The man I see, only fleetingly; is never me!
Yet his visage follows my every waking step.
A dash of wine; spattered on my ragged beard, like so much unneeded blood;
I wonder if it is mine.
The ache of forgetfulness seeps into my soul, and I am grateful,
For the reprieve.
There are things slipping away from me.
Little birds that don’t sit on my chair-rails; and a dog that never comes to me when I forget to call her. Maybe I should put the phone back on the wall… I think enough time has passed.
When the bell rings, I go down to see if there is anyone there, but there never is. I wonder if I should close the shop up early tonight?
All the trinkets are gone from the shelves, or they are drowning in their own private blanket of dust. Perhaps I will put up the ‘closed’ sign; and take a walk.
The night is just a piece of sad velvet after all.
Sitting on a rock in the cold sun.
The wind comes up from the sparkling river and whispers of a future spring.
There is yet a core of warmth in the twisting wind, a hope of dog starred August days.
Winter has for a moment lost the thread,
Lady frost is searching for clear moonlight, for razor pinpoints of light on hoarfrost frozen fields.
Poetry is not something that simply spills from the mind unbidden.
No, Poetry is an essence that travels from one being to the next; it is shared by ingestion of life.
A life absent from the poetic expressions found in the trees, the fall colors, the simple poetry of life will never give birth to anything more than a crusty paper of a lie.
One who lives on a steady diet of hard truth, dipped deep in the stone well of natural poetry will become suffused with the stuff until it weeps from the very pores, and spills dark ink upon the page already stained with tears.
Albert Einstein I recently read the biography of Albert Einstein by Walter Isaacson for the second time, Einstein has fascinated me ever since I went through a course on physics: his ideas captivated me then, and have stayed with me ever since. Einstein was more apt...
The New Raspberry Pi Zero. The Raspberry Pi foundation has released the new Pi Zero, which comes in at an absolutely amazing $5 price. They are of course totally sold out so I can't get my paws on one yet, but even so I know this is going to be amazing. I was excited...
Where do we go from here? Anticlimax is the word I would use to describe the state of the world at the moment. As humanity as a whole we no longer really have a goal. The world has shrunken and become less interesting as more and more exploration and discovery have...
Years ago I took the Myer-Briggs Personality Type test, which is based on Carl Jung's Personality Types, and I got an INTP result. I took the test again today, and voila! got INTP-A again, so I used another site with slightly different question wording, and got INTP-A...
My heart goes out to the beautiful people of Paris, and the whole of France during this time of senseless violence and brutality. May the spirit of France remain...
Forget Me Not 1918 These pressed flowers were in a book I bought many years ago at a garage sale. I have kept the worm eaten book and these flowers for many years because they are special. I don't know the story, I don't know if this was a funeral bouquet for a fallen...
This is my Cuneiform Epitaph. Scratches on clay the remnants of lives, tiny sparks that winked brightly and then went out; time consuming the present moment by moment, Langoliers following closely behind, watching for scraps and pouncing on wasted time. When flesh...
Éowyn is just turning 2 years old, and is full of energy already. She takes to things with no reservations or hesitation, she runs up and dives in with both feet. I see her doing this with things as simple as trying to get onto the recliner with me. She will run up...
I put a poem in the inside of every new moleskine I buy. I put this poem from Tennyson in the moleskine I used for the most chaotic, upsetting and exciting year of my life. (4-2014 to 3-2015) An incredible number of things happened to me and my family during that...
My daughter Scarlette is 6, she is smart and observant, and sometimes the things she comes up with are really amazing. A few weeks ago she had a small splinter and after we removed it, we put a band-aid over the area, and Scarlette thought for a moment, and told me...