Monday, December 26, 2005

Shoreline Park

© 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

William Skippping Shells. © 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Pick of the Week, too.

Mono Lake Winter, Photograph, Silver Gelatin Print, Copyright ©2005 Per Volquartz

It's the Christmas season after all.

Per Volquartz' image of Mono Lake is really nice. Splendid, in fact.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Pick of the Week

Lisa with Scorpion
Lisa with Scorpion, Photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe. Silver Gelatin Print with graphite. 1981-1983.

Over this past week I have looked at hundreds of Mapplethorpe images. This is a superb, stunning image, unique and interesting, and among my favorites. Lisa Lyon was the first women's body builder champion and one of Mapplethorpe's favorite models.

This is available through: Vered Gallery (631) 324-3303 Janet Lehr Inc., NY.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Elephant Arch

Elephant Arch in the Superstition Wilderness, near Hackberry Springs. © 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Some other elephant arches.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Beep! Beep!

Roadrunner, Copyright Shawn Kielty2005. All rights reserved.
Roadrunner, © 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Hide Your Nuts

Hey. It's Saturday again. I am drinking the Saturday swill. So good morning then; I have been over to the cafe of the beautiful people, where they are still trying to remember my name. Anyway -- after finding the coffee and remembering my name -- I was reading an article in Pravda. Let’s just imagine for a minute that we were expecting it to be a world class newspaper. I started with this article about killer squirrels and continued to look at the links. It occurred to me that the stories linked under words weren't really about the words, as one might expect (my comments are in parenthesis):

The witnesses said the squirrels fiercely eviscerated the dog (One could have seen a top model "eviscerate" a dog, too). When the people rushed to rescue the dog it was too late. The fight between the dog and the squirrels lasted for not longer than a minute. When the triumphant squirrels saw the humans approaching, they scattered carrying pieces of the prey in their mouths.

The incident made locals incredibly cautious and people now prefer to pass the park by and do not let children play there (Be really careful should you decide to put them to sleep instead). People fear that savage squirrels may attack someone again. One of the locals says that if another accident occured there it would make sense to fix traps in the forest to catch squirrels.

Mikhail Tiunov from the Far East Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences says he has never heard about squirrel attacking other animals before. "This sounds nonsensical that squirrels attacked a stray dog and tore it to pieces. If this actually happened, the life of squirrels in the forest seems to be really hard this year. It is typical of squirrels to feed on nuts, seeds and mushrooms. And it is unlikely that squirrels have become so aggressive as a result of some mutation," Newsru quoted the expert as saying (From

I have to say at this point -- that the picture I get of carniverous squirrrels feeding on nuts is more than a bit disheartening, but then when I looked at the deadly peanutbutter kiss story linked to that -- it became clear that either someone is a bit nutty, or there is no correlation whatsoever between the words "feed on nuts" and the story linked to it.

After I had followed the links for a while I found myself reading this story about what I would call a disaster:

A top environmental protection official urged residents of Russia's Far East city of Khabarovsk on Tuesday not to panic over a toxic soup headed their way on the Amur River, drinking a glass of water as television cameras rolled to demonstrate uthorities had the situation under control. But a spokesman for the World Wide Fund for Nature said the river faced "ecological catastrophe" as an 80-kilometer (50-mile) long slick of chemicals floated toward the Russian border from China, where a Nov. 13 explosion at a chemical plant spewed it into the Songhua River.

Again -- it is astonishing -- what the links hook to -- And I really thought that this blogperson might want to know that the Pravda story has linked to his article. Let's keep in mind that I don't really agree with any of this -- but just want to point out the sanity of the links in the Pravda Article.

I think I am going to start making links like this -- which I will hereinafter call "Pravda Style" linking. This could be very interesting -- when defined as having anything even vaguely related to the story. It could be much more entertaining than the other options.

Have a great Saturday -- enjoy your coffee and steer clear of the nuts.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

The Wood Shop is Open

The wood shop is up and running!

Japanese style workhorse, which is also good for learning to balance.

The post vise.
© 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Finished Kestral Box

You'll notice I didn't follow the plan, which is not unlike me.

© Shawn Kielty 2005. All rights reserved.

Kestrel Nest Box

I am going to build a kestrel nestbox today. I think it's important to provide the kind of places that encourage birds to thrive. I will leave it here when I go.

It appears that the state of Iowa has an American Kestral Trail along one of it's highway coridors, with a nestbox every mile:

In 1983 Ron Andrews of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources originated the interstate nest box program for American Kestrels. Working in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Transportation, nest boxes were attached to the backs of information signs along the interstate rights-of-way. Twenty nest boxes were placed on signs along I-35 in Northern Iowa that first year as an Eagle Scout project, and eight were used by kestrels. Nest boxes now occur nearly every mile of I-35 from Missouri to Minnesota. This corridor represents the nation's first statewide kestrel trail along an interstate system. These efforts have been coordinated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Nongame Wildlife Program and implemented at the local level by state nongame personnel, county conservation personnel, and a host of volunteers. Hundreds of nest boxes have been attached to highway signs elsewhere in Iowa. Many other states, including Rhode Island, Nebraska, and Idaho, have adopted the kestrel box program.

Information about programs like this can be found here. It says to hang the box from 10-30 feet in height. I prefer personally to stay below 20 ft, and given that the only two things in this desert that are 30 feet tall, saguaros and power poles, I think I'll just put it about ten feet up on a pole near the house.

I found this great plan here.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Camera Toss

A Camera Toss Series
Canon 20D
© Shawn Kielty 2005. All rights reserved.

Zebra Problem -- No one has the Zebra

The Einstien Riddle is actually a variant (presumably) of the Zebra Problem published by Readers Digest circa 1962, see this (Scroll down) nice page by Rick Archer. Several others have attributed this to Lewis Carroll which seems plausible. The amount of chatter about it seems to be recent, however, giving the most plausibility to the readers digest theory (personal testimony does have it's merits).


1 5 different colored houses on a street, with five men of different nationalities living in them. Each man has a different profession. Each man likes a different drink. Each man has a different pet animal.
2 The Englishman lives in the red house.
3 The Spaniard has a dog.
4 The Japanese is a painter.
5 The Italian drinks tea.
6 The Norwegian lives in the first house on the left.
7 The owner of the green house drinks coffee.
8 The green house is on the right of the white house.
9 The sculptor breeds snails.
10 The diplomat lives in the yellow house.
11 They drink milk in the middle house.
12 The Norwegian lives next door to the blue house.
13 The violinist drinks fruit juice.
14 The fox is in the house next to the doctor's.
15 The horse is in the house next to the diplomat's.

The question? Who has the zebra and who drinks water ?

I believe the solution will be the same as the Einstein Riddle (see this).

Since zebra and the water are in the question only and not in the rules -- it is possible that the 5th animal is cranes -- and the fifth beverage is soda - and therefore no one has any fish, nor drinks any water. This doesn't constitute the answer, but determines that the answer is a set of possible solutions that includes no water drinker and no zebra owner, and no water drinker or no zebra owner.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Hoppy, flappy, squawky bird.

Copyright 2005 Shawn Kielty. All rights reserved.

Oh Gosh -- Pop -- Have a look.

I bet it would be hard to solve these with a slide rule. I always read the blogs of note -- and today's was nice. Most Some people should enjoy this. She is pretty smart I guess. This prompted me to think of a good question.

Einstein's Riddle.

1. On a street there are five houses, painted five different colors.
2. In each house lives a person of a different nationality.
3. These five homeowners each drink a different kind of beverage, smoke a
different brand of cigar and have a different pet.

The question? Who owns the fish?

The Clues

1. The Brit lives in a red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The Green house is on the left of the White house.
5. The owner of the Green house drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7. The owner of the Yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8. The man living in the centre house drinks milk.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12. The man who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

Please don't tell me the answer -- OK? Yeah right. The real beauty of this is the simple truth of it. If I tell you that I know who is the owner of the fish and who it is, it doesn't really spoil it for you -- because you won't believe me. First -- it requires verification against a complex set of rules, and second -- knowing that won't even come close to helping find the solution. Finding the solution allows for some assumptions, so there are several different matrices that arrive at the conclusion which -- once discovered will just mean you write in the word fish.

What is a more interesting question to me is how to solve it. Any sort of brute force algorithm seems out of the question. Trail and error combined with intuition and and logic was very fruitful. I expected this to be harder to solve. Stochastic hillclimbing could be an interesting way to solve this. I wonder if I can figure out what that means exactly.