Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Puzzling: Entomology Problems

Title: Entomology - The Problems
Date: 01/01/07

The Problems

Entomology is the scientific study of insects. Jung, Tara and Pavan collected some insects for their science project. At the end of the first week of collecting Jung and Tara together had 26 insects, Tara and Pavan together had 18 insects, and Pavan and Jung together had 22 insects. How many insects did each person have alone?

The number of insects they had in their collection continuously changed throughout the second week as they worked to improve the quality and variety of the insects in their collection. They took some insects out and added other new insects. The difference between the maximum and minimum number of insects they had in their collection during the second week of collecting was 38. The mean of the maximum and minimum number of insects in the collection during the second week of collecting was 46. What was the maximum and minimum number of insects in the collection during the second week of collecting?

At the end of the third week of collecting they divided their collection of insects into 3 categories: winged, more than one color, and length less than one-half inch.

2 insects were winged, more than one color, and less than one-half inch long

7 insects (of various lengths) were winged and more than one color

6 insects (winged and non-winged) were more than one color and less than one-half inch long

5 insects (of single and multi-colorings) were winged and less than one-half inch long

12 insects were less than one-half inch long, non-winged, and only brown

9 insects were winged, more than one-half inch long, and only brown

14 insects were more than one color, more than one-half inch long, and non-winged

5 insects did not have any of the sorted characteristics

How many insects were in their collection at the end of the third week of collecting?

A Quote, the Weather, and Chaos on a Chip

What a lovely quotation for when you are in love. Hopefully it is reciprocated!
I wrote your name in the sky, but the wind blew it away. I wrote your name in the sand, but the waves washed it away. I wrote your name in my heart, and forever it will stay.
Jessica Blade
I got up to a warm -3°! The first time it was not -20° in the morning in almost a week or so! I didn't wear my ear muffs, and I didn't even warm up the car; I just jumped in and drove. The throttle still isn't freezing. I am convinced that Francis fixed it! We were laughing at the copier this morning at how 0°F can seem balmy after a week or two of cold air like we have gotten.

By recess time (10:55 AM), the temperature had risen to +6° so we had a full recess with sledding. I love supervising the sledding hill. The kids have so much fun. I'm surprised, though, that nobody breaks bones! They have built snow jumps and a take-off point that reminds me of bobsled runs. The boy of Ms. Grumpypants fame grooms the sled runs with a passion I would love to see in math class!

A wild snow shower on the drive home with whiteouts and impressive accumulation. Bible Study was cancelled.


For the first time physicists have shown that well structured chaos can be initiated in a photonic integrated circuit. Furthermore, this represents the first time scientists have been able to study optical chaos at gigahertz rates. The output of a semiconductor laser is normally regular. However, if certain laser parameters are tweaked, such as by modulating the electric current pumping the laser or by feeding back some of the laser’s light from an external mirror, the overall laser output will become chaotic; that is, the laser output will be unpredictable. To make the chaos even more dramatic (and exploitable) Mirvais Yousefi and his colleagues at the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (in the Netherlands) use paired lasers, lasers built very close to each other on a chip in such a way that each affects the operation of the other. The Eindhoven chip, using the paired-laser mutual-perturbation approach to triggering chaos, is the first to exhibit chaos directly-revealing telltale strange attractors on plots of laser power at one instant versus laser power at a slightly later instant-rather than indirectly through recording laser spectra.

Looking ahead to the day when opto-photonic chips are covered with thousands or millions of lasers, the Eindhoven approach could allow troubleshooters to pinpoint the whereabouts of misbehaving lasers---not only that but possibly even exploit localized chaotic effects to their advantage.

According to Yousefi ( other possible uses for chip-based chaos will be the business of encryption, tomography, and possibly even in the establishment of multi-tiered logic protocols, those based not on just on the binary logic of 1s and 0s but on the many intensity levels corresponding to the broadband output of the chaotic laser system.

(Yousefi et al., Physical Review Letters, 26 January 2007; text at )

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cats Tuesday: Zorro

Zorro, originally uploaded by meeyauw.

Zorro is my third cat that goes outside. He's fairly new at it though: I have only allowed him out for two summers now.

Zorro was born in August of the year the movie Zorro was released, hence his name. He has some white pinhairs on his chest but otherwise is totally black. He is the son of Matilda: a very special mother cat that died last year. I will tell you about her next week.

Zorro has a teeny tiny feminine voice which makes him the brunt of jokes of the family! Poor thing!

The first summer I lived in this house, Zorro escaped during the night. He had always been a very timid housecat that ran away from the door. But that night the cats knocked out the screen in the window and climbed over three roofs on my house and disappeared! I was horrified when I woke up. I live in the woods and had heard horror stories about cats being eaten by fox, coyotes, wolves, bears, and even hawks! So I spent the next few hours resceing them.

Zorro was the last cat that I "saved" from the wilds that day. While meowing pitifully from under the barn, he refused to come towards me and kept running away to do better things! Since that morning he has had an everlasting desire to be out with the wild cats. I finally began to allow it and I have had no regrets since. He has gained weight and muscle and is very self-assured now.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Lectio divina

I have read a bit about this. We used it once in Bible Study and it was very, very powerful. It requires a lot of discussion and time, though. I feel it is worth the effort to meditate like this at least once a month if you can. There is a UCC group in central Vermont that uses this method weekly.

Lectio Divina-- Upper Room Daily Reflections
Lectio Divina
November 8th, 2006

Use lectio divina in your daily reading of scripture or as you read the quote for the week.

One of the most central and ancient practices of Christian prayer is lectio divina, or divine reading. In lectio divina, we begin by reading a few verses of the Bible. We read unhurriedly so that we can listen for the message God has for us there. We stay alert to connections the Spirit may reveal between the passage and what is going on in our lives. We ask, “What are you saying to me today, Lord? What am I to hear in this story, parable, or prophecy?” Listening in this way requires patience and a willingness to let go of our own agendas and open ourselves to God’s shaping.

Once we have heard a word that we know is meant for us, we are naturally drawn to prayer. From listening we move to speaking — perhaps in anguish, confession or sorrow; perhaps in joy, praise, thanksgiving or adoration; perhaps in anger, confusion or hurt; perhaps in quiet confidence, trust or surrender. Finally, after pouring out our heart to God, we come to rest simply and deeply in that wonderful, loving presence of God. Reading, reflecting, responding and resting — this is the basic rhythm of divine reading.

1. Read the scripture slowly. Watch for a key phrase or word that jumps out at you or promises to have special meaning for you. It is better to dwell profoundly on one word or phrase than to skim the surface of several chapters. Read with your own life and choices in mind.

2. Reflect on a word or phrase. Let the special word or phrase that you discovered in the first phase sink into your heart. Bring mind, will and emotions to the task. Be like Mary, Jesus’ mother, who heard of the angel’s announcement and “treasured” and “pondered” what she had heard (Luke 2:19).

3. Respond to what you have read. Form a prayer that expresses your response to the idea, then “pray it back to God.” What you have read is woven through what you tell God.

4. Rest in God’s word. Let the text soak into your deepest being, savoring an encounter with God and truth. When ready, move toward the moment in which you ask God to show you how to live out what you have experienced.

Learn more about or experience lectio divina in MethodX.

Puzzling: A Weighty Situation


A grocery store manager notices that two crates of bananas and a box of apples weigh as much as a sack of potatoes and a crate of tomatoes. Then he notices that two boxes of apples and a crate of bananas weigh the same amount as a sack of potatoes and a box of apples. If the manager carries the last crate of tomatoes in one arm, what should he carry in the other arm to have a balanced load?

The Gentlest Mother by Emily Dickinson

Nature, the gentlest mother,
Impatient of no child,
The feeblest or the waywardest,
Her admonition mild

In forest and the hill
By traveller is heard,
Restraining rampant squirrel
Or too impetuous bird.

How fair her conversation,
A summer afternoon,--
Her household, her assembly;
And when the sun goes down

Her voice among the aisles
Incites the timid prayer
Of the minutest cricket,
The most unworthy flower.

When all the children sleep
She turns as long away
As will suffice to light her lamps;
Then, bending from the sky

With infinite affection
And infiniter care,
Her golden finger on her lip,
Wills silence everywhere.

Puzzling: Crazy Eights

A Prayer for Midlife Grieving

Compassionate One,
I sit with empty hands
wondering about the losses
of my life.

I sit with empty hands
pondering the pain
of many goodbyes.

I sit with empty hands
searching for decisions
about difficult choices.

I sit with empty hands
facing the limitations
of my aging.
Joyce Rupp
I sit with empty hands
looking for my life
among the broken pieces.

I sit with empty hands
sifting through dreams
that have disintegrated.

I sit with empty hands
feeling the ache and sorrow
of all my losses.

I sit with empty hands
yearning for the unfolding
of my true identity.

Compassionate One,
I sit with empty hands
trusting that your presence
embraces my pain,
shelters my vulnerability,
and gives meaning
to my countless dyings.

by Joyce Rupp

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Women's Retreat at Barton United Church

One of the large tables that we worked at in the church. The church kitchen is in the rear.

It was a wonderful day of peace and communion with 11 other women in the church basement today. We had a wonderful worship service with new and old hymns, a great story, and poetry. One poem struck a strong chord within me. Since my life has been a life of loss, this poem, which I will post tomorrow, helps me keep perspective and gives me comfort.

Then Jana, a Bosnian refugee, spoke to us about her experiences in Europe during the "ethnic cleansing" of Bosnia by Serbians. It was heart breaking. I can't give you all of the details because I don't have her voice. Torture and rape were the Serbians' favorite methods of subjugation. Jana's family survived intact and eventually settled in Burlington, VT after living in Turkey, Germany and other countries. After she spoke of her experiences, we had a long discussion on the abuse of Muslim-Americans in this country now. As soon as I find an Internet reference for you to read, I will post it so that you can have more information.

After a break we made individual collages of our life-long faith journey. Well, I had no idea how to do that, so I spent the hour and a half reading the magazines we were given to use and when I found something that pulled me, I clipped it out. I ended up with a nice collection of clippings that I pasted on my paper.

My Collage

I began this project thinking it was silly. I ended the project understanding how our subconscious leads us to choose certain objects. After lunch, Pastor Evelyn then went around and interpreted all of our collages. Her interpretations of the images each of us selected was fascinating. It turns out that our faith journeys, whether conscious or not, are illustrated in our collages.

My collage has two recipes (my recipe blog), several cats, flies (symbolizing my first and second attempts at macro bug photography), a wad of dollar bills (my self-sufficiency), an ice cream cone and cupcake (self-explanatory!), a fir tree under the midnight stars (loneliness), a bottle of Clorox cleaner (I love that stuff), lemonade (my fantasy summers), an audiobook by Mitch Albom, strawberries (for my past summer with T which has broken my heart now), a SLOW sign to remind me to slow down, and 3 words of text: "basic", "inner voice", and "instinct": all concepts which have helped me throughout my life.

My collage has at least six triangles, which Evelyn felt was telling me to investigate the Trinity in more depth. I actually agreed with her interpretation because of my intense interest in that subject. A poem by Emily Dickinson has guided my belief that the Holy Spirit is a feminine spirit. I have tried to feminize God. I have tried to make God gender-neutral. These attempts have failed within me. But a feminine Holy Spirit is the proper way to think of Gaia and the Earth. I will post the Dickinson poem tomorrow, also.

We then used Play Dough to "sculpt". We let God guide our hands during personal prayer. I have no photos of these works: they were personal and very powerful. Mine was a spiral. I thought I wanted a Fibonacci spiral but I could not get the proportions correct. But Evelyn and other women said it looked exactly like a prayer spiral which we will be doing at another Women's Fellowship meeting in the future. They said it is a very powerful meditation device.

We then gifted our pottery to each other according to our hearts. There were so many tears of sadness and community then. It was very moving. I cannot go into the details because it was also very private and confidential.

We finished by writing small notes to members of the congregation that needed to have contact with the church. Then there were two different prayer circles. The last prayer circle was so powerful: it was a shared meal that was similar to communion. We used the candles from Christmas eve in order to pass blessings to each other before we parted. But when doing so, we invoked the name of a person that we have loved in that past that had died. We passed on the blessing that the deceased person had given us and gave the blessing to our neighbor. There were many, many more tears of sadness then.

My wish is that every woman everywhere can experience a day of peace and profound communion like this. I am successfully re-claiming my spiritual life which I lost somewhere this past year.

L's Problem of the Week: The Phone Dilemma

You have a vacation home in Vermont (I keep picturing Killington because I had to go to this conference there in November). You have a choice of two phone providers: VTT and VP.

VP rates: $30 installation and 12¢a minute.
VTT: $50 installation and 9¢a minute.

What is the best buy? (Installation charges are one time fee. But can we assume that summer people just have the one installation? Or do the phone companies charge the fee every year?)

We need at least 3 methods to solve the problem: graphing, a table, and simultaneous equations.

The graph is above BUT I can't figure out in this new version
of Excel that I have how to adjust the scale. As soon as I get my hands on the older version on Monday, I'll fix it up in a jiffy.


The equations:
VP: y = 30 + 0.12x
VTT: y = 50 + 0.09x

3(y = 30 + 0.12x)
-4(y = 50 + 0.09x)

3y = 90 + 0.36x
-4y = -200 - 0.36x

-y = -110
y = 110

if y = 110, then:
110 = 30 + 0.12x
80 = 0.12x
666.67 = x

The graphs will intersect at (666.67 minutes, $110)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Photo Hunters: Silver

Silver Weed

Winter Weed

I have been making amazing circles for a couple of months on Photoshop and The GIMP. Then suddenly I was unable to make them successfully: I have been getting gaps and seams and ovals!

I have looked all week for something with the Silver theme and missed one great shot of ice fog. Now the weather is so cold ( the high today was -5°) that I simply cannot go out for photos.

Then a gift fell from Flickr: a link to amazing circles. Select your flickr photo and this web app creates your amazing circle for you (and does it better than I have been lately!).

This is the original photo that the amazing circle was created from:

Barton Mountain

Here is another amazing circle with the original photo underneath:

Winter Woods

Happy blogging!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mrs. Grumpypants

<-- That's me: but let's make it Ms. Grumpypants. I was called that by a student today after I chided him for having to pick up his paper airplanes one more time. I had a severe headache so I know I responded too harshly to the poor kid. He tossed himself into a chair and whispered to another student that I am Mrs. Grumpypants today. I cracked up when I heard him.

The photo was taken this autumn on Photo Booth with color effects (I forget which ones). I personally like how it emphasizes my eye color.

I got the rest of the 2003 recipes on the recipe blog today. I only had two responses to my Booking on Thursday meme. It is too cold, too dry. The cats are fighting because they can't stand being in the house anymore. It's going to be below zero all next week. I am in the depths of sadness again. I had huge technical difficulties in a lab class today that wrecked the whole effect I was trying to create for the students. I tossed away 5 gig of old podcasts I was saving for somebody special that never wanted to hear them anyhow.

But I found a lovely blog (blogaway: see the blogroll on the right) that linked me to a great song by Tom Chapin that was on NPR Morning Edition earlier in the month: just click TomChapin in my tag cloud (at this very moment it is not popping up in the cloud but it should appear shortly). The song is an NCLB lullaby called "Not On The Test". Cool.

But the throttle on the car still is not freezing. It isn't even threatening to freeze. I am bombing around on ice at 50 mph or higher. But I notice the brakes aren't too great at -15°. So I simply make sure that there is plenty of room between me and whoever is in front of me. Not that that happens too much.

Todos: blog about my father and Eli Maor; blog about my freezing throttle.
9:39 PM and -10° (I think it has warmed up a bit: perhaps the clouds that are coming in have trapped some heat).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Booking Through Thursday

How many unread books do you have in your house, right now? (Your own books, that is--not ones that belong to other family members--and not counting things like school books, if you have them.) Clearly, an estimate will do.
Hundreds. Boxes of them. No idea how many hundreds.

To the best of your recollection, what is the OLDEST unread book in your collection? How long has it been waiting?
At least 150 years old. I have antique bibles and antique mathematics books.

Do your TBR books (that's "To Be Read," if you didn't know) haunt you, make you feel guilty that you haven't read them yet?
Those books used to make me feel guilty; but I am older now and know how impossible it will be to read all there is to read. Now I can relax and enjoy!

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday
  1. Grab the book closest to you.
  2. Open to page 123, look down to the 5th sentence.
  3. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog.
  4. Include the title and the author's name. Reply here
Madelyn Logan is an office furniture dealer who earns an $18,000 base salary. She also earns a 4% commission on sales. How much must she sell to earn a total of $55,000?
Beginning Algebra: 5e (Tobey/Slater)

You shall set it in four rows of stones. A row of carnelian, chrysolite, and emerald shall be the first row; and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and a moonstone; and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree. There shall be twelve stones with names corresponding to the names of the sons of Israel; they shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes.
Exodus 28:17-21
The New Oxford Annotated Bible
author: Moses

Well, it seemed interesting when I read it!

Bad Things, Good Things

Interior of Barton United Church (UCC and UMC), Barton, Vermont

It's been a very sad few days. My life has changed again. It was pretty scary there. But my daughters, son and friends have helped me through it. I hope I can help them as well when they need it. I cannot dwell on the deep sadness. I have gone through worse and remade my life before: and this time the supports and networks are in place for me so that I can do it again.

Before I knew it, good things began to happen.

I have been asked to serve a term on the parish council! I think it is a three year term. I will be back in society again and I haven't been for months. Meetings are one Monday night a month. I'm sure there will be committee work or something, but that'll keep me busy and involved in the community. I love this town. I need to be back in it.

Today the music teacher asked a bunch of us teachers to perform with the students in the Spring Concert. I am so excited! The art teacher plays flute, I play piano, one of the kindergarten teachers plays alto sax (who knew??), one of our paras plays trumpet. The music is the Masterpiece Theater song from PBS, and it's a simple transposition so I won't embarrass myself and I will need minimal rehearsal time at the church. Years ago the church gave me a key so I could go in and practice and I have not taken advantage of it too much. This is going to be one great concert!

I returned to Bible Study tonight! I have not gone for ages because I worked the afterschool program on Wednesdays and was too worn out to go to church on Wednesday night. Then people at church were sick, and then the snow would fall at night so the minister could not make it. But tonight everything fell into place and I went. The minister had a more pressing meeting in West Glover but we had a meeting. It was good to be back and smell the old church and hymnals.

I am going to pick up my Marcus Borg books again. Download The Life of Buddha (free and legally free) and get back into my studies.

One of the most exciting things is the Women's Retreat all day Saturday at church. Just women. A Muslim woman is going to talk to us in the morning. The only drawback: a bag lunch! But they have a microwave. I could take a frozen dinner. But I'll probably stop at the Pharmacy and pick something up.

It is 8:04 PM and 3°. It's going to be very very cold tonight. They say the "coldest of the season." There goes my oil! Just when I finally paid for my last delivery!

The stairway to the meeting house and bell tower.

Chris Bohjalian's new book trailer!

The Double Bind Trailer

This is the first time I have seen a trailer for a book but I'm thrilled to be able to read another Bohjalian book very soon. It's been too long.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Charlie's Favorite Song

Love to eat them mousies,
Mousies what I love to eat.
Bite they little heads off...
Nibble on they tiny feet. -- B. Kliban

My thanks to srp for introducing this poem to me! Visit her great blog!

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Cat Tuesdays: Charlie

Amelia and I got Charlie as a youngster from the North Country Animal League soon after she moved to Vermont. Amy loves big male ginger cats. Although Charlie was small then, she knew this was her cat. Oh, I should mention that Amy also likes cats with huge attitude. Charlie has it.

Charlie has thrived here. Although he violently dislikes strangers and will disappear into the woods until they go back where they belong, he is outgoing with family. He has few cat friends in the house. He hates Buddy (and Buddy hates him). They will fight if they are together in the house too long.

Charlie has his charming side (but it is often difficult for me to see it!). Amelia loves him but she moved to Newport and it would have been cruel to confine Charlie in a house in the city. So he is with me, harassing my buddy Buddy.

When Charlie wants to sleep in bed with you, he curls around your neck. No. "Curls" is the wrong word. Body-slam is better. He actually throws his body, painfully, against you to cuddle up. He doesn't fall over; he tosses himself. His purrs are outrageously loud.

Charlie has three gruesome habits:
  1. He swallows his mice whole. I came across him one day this past summer in the woods as a tail disappeared down his throat. I was horrified!
  2. Charlie decapitates his mice. He brings the pieces into the garage. But he doesn't leave his kills around my car like Buddy does. He seems to drop mice parts here and there randomly.
  3. Charlie skins his kills. One morning this summer I came across a mouse head that was cleanly skinned. The rest of the details are not appropriate for this blog, so I will refrain from writing them.
I care for Charlie responsibly and with care. But I cannot say that I love him. He is a pain in the ass. I hope Amy soon moves back to the woods so that she and her beloved Charlie can live together in harmony!

Handsome copper-eyed Charlie stalks Buddy from my desktop.

Have a great week and happy blogging!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Colbert owns O'Reilly on The Colbert Report

This aired on Comedy Central on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007. I was asleep. So here it is.


I am testing the capabilities of Performancing, a Firefox extension to blog directly from my browser.

I also began an account in Clipmarks. So there's a lot to learn.

Notes: 46° in bedroom last night. Sleeping was very difficult and I should have just moved downstairs. It was 52° at 6 AM. I cannot get the downstairs up to 70°. The temp is OK downstairs but I am concerned that I can't get it warmer. I turned the thermostat up a bit and I suppose I could jack it way up. But I don't want to do that.

End of test.

powered by performancing firefox

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I first saw this on 802 Online (see sidebar blogroll). Fun Vermont video!

Photo Hunters: Wild!

Cabin Fever
It's been a rough week. The temperatures dropped to fifteen below zero. The high temperature on Wednesday was six below zero. Naturally, I can't let the cats out! Only three cats are allowed out: Buddy, Zorro and Charlie. They needed to get out and work off their aggression.

Seen here are Buddy and Zorro. They tried to curl up together for a nap. But a fight broke out. Fights have been breaking out frequently in the house this week. Zorro is not a fighter, though. He is polite with males and females alike. He was born into my family the year the movie Zorro was released. He has a very high pitched voice and the darkest fur. There are one or two pin hairs on his chest that are white. His eyes, you can see, are very green. Zorro has no bad habits and has never hurt another creature; he has not even killed outside yet!

Being forcibly shut in this week has caused stress. Despite a large house with plenty of room for privacy, these three outdoor cats are picking on each other. Their "domestication" has been worn thin.

These bad boys finally settled their argument and fell asleep end-to-end:

Have a great (and warm) week!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In Vermont, Apple's iPhone is The i(can't)Phone

Gov. Jim Douglas holds up his cell phone during his inaugural address Jan. 4 about the importance of broadband internet and cell phone access. Several days after Douglas' address to a joint assembly of the Legislature, Apple Inc. announced its first foray into the cell-phone market with a handset called an iPhone. The device, hailed as potentially revolutionary in the wireless industry, will not be available in Vermont.

By Adam Silverman
Free Press Staff Writer

January 17, 2007
If Apple Inc.'s newly announced, highly anticipated iPhone is as groundbreaking as the company and industry analysts suggest, this is one revolution Vermonters will have to observe from the sidelines.

The iPhone -- a gadget that combines an iPod music player, cell phone and full-featured Internet browser in a sleek, svelte device -- won't be available in Vermont when it goes on sale in June.

Apple signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with AT&T's Cingular Wireless to distribute the handset, and Cingular offers no service in Vermont. Bottom line: No Cingular, no iPhone.

That's cruel calculus for local technology lovers and Apple enthusiasts whose cheering over the product, which had been the subject of rampant speculation and anticipatory lust for more than two years, turned to sadness within minutes of its formal introduction last week. For many Vermonters, the iPhone seems further away than ever.

"It was a pretty big letdown," said Don Mayer, CEO of Waitsfield-based Small Dog Electronics, a national Apple reseller. "I would have much rather seen them come out with a variety of carriers so places like Vermont won't be left out in the cold."

Users of cell phone users in more than a dozen other states, mostly in rural locations, face the same predicament. Cingular, like most other wireless service providers, allows users to "roam" on other carriers' networks but requires new customers to live in communities the company serves directly.

That means the iPhone will be unavailable in, among other locations, all or large portions of Alaska, Colorado, the Dakotas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, upstate New York, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

Cingular coverage is fairly strong along the East and West coasts, in the South, across portions of the Midwest and in many major cities, including Denver, Houston, Minneapolis and Phoenix, according to a map of the provider's service locations.

No iPhone in 'e-state'

The lack of iPhone availability stands in contrast with Gov. Jim Douglas' plan to bring cell-phone and broadband Internet access to all corners of the state within three years. A single device that would help fulfill both of those promises is, for now, unattainable.

"I propose that by 2010, Vermont be the nation's first true 'e-state,'" Douglas said during his Jan. 4 inaugural address to the Legislature.

That the iPhone won't arrive in Vermont soon is not of particular concern to the administration, spokesman Jason Gibbs said. Still, the governor wants increased competition among wireless providers and believes the planned system will attract new entries to a market where Verizon, Unicel and Sprint are the only players.

"The network the governor has proposed will be so advanced that every service provider in the world will want to use it," Gibbs said. "The more options Vermonters have for wireless service, the better."

Cingular, which plots expansions two years in advance, has no plans to extend into Vermont before 2009 because the company is focusing on improving services for current customers, spokeswoman Kate MacKinnon said.

New technology

The type of phone the governor held aloft in the Statehouse -- a BlackBerry -- differs from Apple's new offering, which both the company and industry analysts say is more advanced.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone in a lavish presentation Jan. 9 during the annual Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. The device, which Jobs predicted will revolutionize the telecommunications sector, is a cross between another of Apple's industry-changing devices, the iPod, and a cell phone.

The iPhone, which runs a version of the Macintosh computer operating system, is a type of device called a smart phone, which, like the popular BlackBerry, melds calling with other features. Apple's version allows users to play songs, movies and TV programs; display photographs and slide shows; surf the Internet in a browser like those running on desktop computers; send and receive e-mail; listen to voice messages nonsequentially; and make calls in a simple user interface.

Users access the phone's operations via a 3 1/2-inch touch-screen that uses technology Apple invented and claims is superior to other touch-controlled devices on the market. There's no keyboard, for example, but virtual keys appear in programs that require typing.

The iPhone will be available only through Apple's and Cingular's retail stores and Web sites for $499 for a 4-gigabyte model, and $599 for a handset with double the memory. Partners such as Small Dog, the No. 3 Apple reseller nationwide, will not be allowed to sell the iPhone.

Vermont options

A user could purchase an iPhone without activating the cell-phone features, said Cingular's chief national spokesman, Mark Siegel. Doing that wouldn't make a lot of sense, though, Siegel said.

"It is meant to be a wireless phone," he said. "As a practical matter, you have to have wireless service."

An Apple spokesman, Tom Neumayr, said the company would have no comment on the lack of availability of the iPhone in communities where Cingular offers no service.

The iPhone is likely to be able to roam by borrowing time on other carriers' networks when no native signal is available. That means the device could work in Vermont and other Cingular-free locations, but signing up for new service could prove difficult without a billing address in a Cingular service area.

Small Dog CEO Mayer, who said he wants Apple's handset because he's disliked every other mobile phone he's ever used, hopes a post-office box will fulfill Cingular's requirement. His nearest option, according to the company's service map, is Lebanon, N.H.

"I will have an iPhone," he vowed, "if I have to drive to New Hampshire and have the bills forwarded to me."

Contact Adam Silverman at 660-1854 or

Got Ice??



Someone, possibly an ice fisherman, posted this sign at the Harvey's Lake boat launch in West Barnet. Warmer-than-normal temperatures this winter have meant a dismal season for enthusiasts of outdoor activities that rely on cold. Ice fishing season starts the third Saturday in January.

This was the Caledonian Record Photo of the day on Thursday, January 11, 2007.

When I came home yesterday at 4:30 PM it was 0°F. Today at 4:30 PM it was -4°F. The high for today in North Troy was -6°F. (yes, recess was inside today!).

Somehow the low tonight is supposed to be 15°F. I wonder how/when the temperatures will rise?

Newport: National Register of Historic Places

Newport City's downtown is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The city is seeking to become a designated downtown under the Vermont Downtown Program.

Newport City On National Register Of Historic Places
It Is Now Seeking Downtown Designation

BY ROBIN SMITH, Staff Writer

- NEWPORT CITY -- Newport City is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

That recognition is the first step among many to becoming a designated downtown in Vermont, and gaining the tools, expertise and funds to explore the city's untapped future.

The city's downtown coordinator, Patricia "Trish" Sears, is hosting a special gathering on Jan. 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Gateway Center. Sears and a team of experts will lead a discussion of the process of becoming a designated downtown, and the benefits.

Sears wants to ask this question of everyone: "What should Newport look like in five years?"

Sears is inviting everyone who lives, works or uses the city's downtown - and that includes people from across Vermont's North Country. The meeting will be catered and child care will be provided.

The city went on the National Register in October.

The downtown district encompasses the commercial core and immediately adjacent residential neighborhoods, including 121 contributing buildings.

According to a description on the Preservation Trust of Vermont Web site, the downtown is mostly commercial with examples of domestic, institutional, fraternal, industrial and ecclesiastical structures.

Most buildings were built between the 1840s and 1955. The styles range from Greek Revival to Colonial Revival and the American International style.

The buildings show most of their original distinctive materials and features. They "reflect the growth and evolution of Newport as an important economic and social center in northern Vermont with a thriving economy based on the lumber industry, maritime activity, the railroad and tourism," the Preservation Trust notes in its newsletter.

Newport City is the last city in Vermont to go after the Downtown Designation through the Vermont Downtown Program, Sears said.

Sears has a contract with the city to create a nonprofit organization that will see the city through the changes that the downtown community pursues.

Sears came on board last fall, and has been busy connecting with the divergent groups who have an interest, sometimes competing, in the city's downtown.

The constituents of downtown are many: residents, landlords and tenants; business owners, the Chamber of Commerce and their customers; pedestrians and motorists; the city's active recreation department and the children and families who benefit; state government, the court system and all their clients; tourists and the locals who fish off the bridges; and everyone who works in the city from across the region.

Her "big picture" approach is to build on downtown's assets, not just list the city's problems.

"We need to understand that Main Street is our gateway. It's not only economic but it's community development," Sears said.

She wants to know how those that are required to live or walk in downtown to be near government services and those who serve them can find common ground with the retail community. It shouldn't be local businesses pitted against local residents, she said.

"How can we partner in taking part in the pride of our Main Street?" she said.

Her job is to open communication and connections among all the groups that use Main Street.

"I want us to be planning into the 21st century," she said.

Her inspiration is Magog, Quebec, on the north end of international Lake Memphremagog. Thirty or 40 years ago, Magog was an industrial town that hadn't tapped into the waterfront resource it now uses to attract thousands from the Montreal area. Its waterfront is accessible, with tour boats and festivals. Its downtown is alive in the summer with activity.

Goal: A Busy Downtown

"My goal is to have downtown Newport as busy as Magog on weekends," Sears said.

As a historic place recognized by the National Register of the National Park Service, downtown building owners can qualify for more assistance to maintain their distinct history.

Sears also will connect with experts who have "found" Newport City to tap their knowledge of how other communities have blossomed. She also wants to talk to those who worked in the Newport of yesteryear, on the railroad, for example.

She would also like to help promote the proposed tour boat by a local couple, which could be up and operating this summer.

Developers can make money here, and those wanting to leave a legacy behind will find ways to invest here, Sears said. She is meeting with as many people who have something to give to the city as she can, bringing them together for the city.

The meeting on Jan. 24 is the first chance for Sears, assisted by Joss Besse of the Vermont Downtown Program, to unveil what it takes to become a designated downtown.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cat Tuesdays: Buddy

Buddy: taken Sunday, January 14, 2007
Buddy is winter weight here!

Buddy is half-Siamese. He's very unusually colored: brown and black splotches on top of white and cream. He has blue eyes. In the summer he is a lean hunter. In the winter he is a big soft blob.

I saw Buddy at the Frontier Animal Shelter. He was friendly and outgoing. He greeted every visitor: he knew he wanted to be adopted and hot to behave! He was adopted by an elderly woman who wanted a Siamese and "settled" for Buddy. My daughter Amelia and I helped them settle in together.

Within a week, however, things had gone bad. Amelia got a phone call saying Buddy had attacked the woman and he had to go. Amy and I drove over that night after work. The bruises on the thin skin of the old woman were horrifying. She looked as if she had been beaten! We packed Buddy up and moved him into our house. I put Buddy in the back bathroom where he would be safe from all the other animals and where he would feel safe. I could not imagine what had come over Buddy for him to attack that woman so severely, so I carefully observed him.

Buddy quickly settled down and I allowed him to be with the other cats within a week. We still had no problems. He was very deferential to the others and did not challenge their hierarchy or authority. But every day outside of the bathroom he became more tense. Before the second week was over, Buddy attacked me. It was hardly as severe as when he attacked that woman. I have experience with scared and violent animals, so I was not scared. But I was very concerned: there had been absolutely no provocation for the attack!

In frustration, I picked Buddy up and tossed him outside so I could calm down and clean my bites and scratches. After an hour or so, Amy came home from work and Buddy danced in with her: he was a new cat! He jumped up for kisses and neck scratches and rewarded us with mews and happiness. After a snack, he curled up for a nap. Now I was more confused than ever! What had triggered this cat's wild mood swings?

Twenty-four hours later, Buddy attacked me again; I tossed him outside again; he returned happy again. During his third week living with us (with his former owner calling daily to make sure that I had killed this dangerous cat!), we found that if he was allowed freedom to come and go outside as he needed, he was the best companion one could ask for. Restricting Buddy to the house literally drove him mad. Buddy wouldn't only attack me: he would viciously attack other cats and even the dogs.

Buddy is my joy now. After two years of total freedom, he has calmed down. He will go days now without attacking anyone. And the only time an attack happens is if I am not paying attention to his signals. The cats and I now recognize behaviors in Buddy that warn us of his attacks. At that point, I can toss him into the garage for an hour until he calms down. These tense times only happen in the winter.


During the first two summers with me, Buddy would take off into the woods for one to three weeks. He doesn't do that any longer. He often would be sick from parasitic diseases or fights with other animals. Once he came home with three porcupine quills in his whiskers! He is older and slower now.

Buddy's quills

Buddy is a great bedtime cat. He will lie in your arms and stare at you adoringly while he purrs. His greatest joy is walking in the woods with you. He'll go anywhere, even to the point of exhaustion so that you have to carry him back. Hikes with Buddy are entertaining: he does not take the horizontal route. He runs up and down trees, crawls under logs, and leaps over blowdowns!

I am very fortunate to live where I live: it is very rural. Three of my cats go outside regularly now. They always go up back on Barton Mountain. They hunt mice, voles, and shrews (one day they sadly killed a beautiful star-nosed mole). Buddy is generous with his kills: he places them around my car in the garage. I make sure to never toss them out when he is around.

One November another daughter, Anna, came to visit me. A hundred or so years ago, Vermonters would bury trash in the woods. I had found such a spot on my property and I asked Anna help me excavate the antique bottles from it. While she worked Buddy ran up and down trees and helped her dig. But then Nathan drove up! Nathan was a local hunter who parks on my property and goes into my woods to hunt during deer season. Apparantly Buddy and Nathan had already met that season! Anna says that as soon as Buddy heard Nathan's truck, his head swung around and he raced off to meet his friend! As Anna watched, Buddy was walking by Nathan's side off into the woods! Later, Nathan confirmed that Buddy frequently hunts with him.

I often visualize Buddy and Nathan up in the deer tree waiting for a buck to walk by. What do they do? Play cards? Drink beer? Swap hunting tales?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Get a Mac Ad!

August and January in Barton

August and January in Barton, originally uploaded by meeyauw.

best seen at:

From the front of my house, looking west towards the Lowell range of the Green Mountains (can't be seen in the snow).

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Uploaded by meeyauw on 15 Jan '07, 5.57pm EST.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Spectators at the iPhone Display

I only want the biggest one.
Not the biggest you can afford: THE BIGGEST ONE.

Justification: when I am in a ditch on a snowy icy night in the far northern reaches of Vermont without any cell service, (see Barton Mountain Alliance) I will be able to watch movies, listen to my tunes and freeze in peace.

Check out
and iPhone Count Down

Friday, January 12, 2007

Photo Hunters: Technology

Originally uploaded by meeyauw.

I made this banner for my blog from a photo I took in 2003. The web was on my cedar clothesline posts. The full photo has my barn and shed in the back and growth from the encroaching woods.

I love my spiderweb shot. I have been unable to successfully enlarge it so I can see the details of it the way I want.

I read directions on BlogU for using The GIMP for Mac because I love making amazing circles and can't afford Photoshop. Since I wanted my blog to be my blog and not the blog of the creator of the template (but thank you for such a delightful template! I could have never put the colors together so well!), I decided to try making my own banner this past week. I had the photo already: my spider web!

I don't follow directions well, but after several failures I finally conceeded to the wisdom and knowledge of Annie at BlogU. Now I have my banner! Now that I know this technique for photographs, I have many ideas for using it (but so far none of my ideas have worked!).

So with my beautiful, magnificent MacBook, my Kodak digital camera, and my free GIMP software I can spend a lot of time learning new skills. I enjoy doing this because it is relaxing after an exhausting, fulfilling day teaching mathematics.

This is the original photo (click on the photo to see it in the original size on flickr):

White Tails

I have no photo and I wish I had been more aggressive in trying to get one. At 10 PM tonight I went out to see if any cats wanted to come inside. I also wanted to see what the weather was doing. I was sure it was icing up outside. But it wasn't. The temperature had actually risen since 6 PM. One light was on in the big room and its glow could be seen outside at the far side of the drive at the edge of the woods. I didn't bother to rap on the window as I usually do because I was not worried about the cats. Buddy raced right in, rather quickly actually. But out near the woods I saw several animals and without my glasses I could not tell what they were. They had four legs and were either deer or moose. They had to be deer because even without my glasses I could tell they were not big enough for moose. Also there were too many individuals for moose. I have never seen more than three moose together at once and those three were a family.

I quietly shut the door and ran back for my glasses. I saw then that there were four deer! At least one was taller than me (5 feet 4 inches). And two were rather young. Their white tails were flicking in the air and they were relaxed as they watched me. I saw that Charlie Cat was on the roof of my car in the garage. He was intently watching them. I wonder what he thought. He was cautious but not alarmed. There was a very light rain, almost a mist, falling.

Finally I very slowly left the house and the deer noisily (but not running) walked into the woods and disappeared, one last white flick showing in the trees. As soon as they were out of sight, Charlie raced down the car and into the house!

I have known for years that many deer live on the mountain behind me. One afternoon when I drove home, six deer were in the middle of the road playing and kissing! A doe gave birth to her fawn in the tall grass of the meadow across the road. Even when standing, the fawn was invisible in the tall grass and only the top of the head of the doe could be seen. When the fawn was old enough to walk, she moved it across the road behind me.

The wild apple trees bring them here, I am sure. They attrack my porcupine! And the coyotes come for food too.

When you are quiet and observant you see things you never thought you would ever see.

This is why I love my house and why I love Vermont.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

How to edit Reversing world.

How to edit Reversing world.
How to edit Reversing world.,
originally uploaded by kamome.
This tutorial is from Kamome on flickr. I am hoping these techniques will rid me of some problems I have with my circles. I must play with this technique during a snow day (which may be very soon!!). But I need new shiny photos!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Solar Tsunami

Nobody goes to my youtube site so I thought I would put a video here that is completely fascinating: a tsunami on the sun. Details and links are below.

National Solar Observatory
Telescope Spots Solar Tsunami
A composite of 9 still frames from OSPAN in H-alpha (656.3 nm) shows a tsunami-like wave spreading from a white-light flare erupting from AR 10930. Numbers indicate the date and time in Universal Time. Note that the brightness and contrast have been enhanced to bring up details of the tsunami. Credit: NSO/AURA/NSF and USAF Research Laboratory.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

From Beethoven to Andrew

This amazes me so much! Since 1827 (the year of Beethoven's death) there is a direct line of only six individuals from Andrew to Beethoven (six degrees of separation?*):

Andrew at his last birthday party, September 2006.

Andrew's piano teacher in college was Raymond Hanson.
Raymond Hanson's teacher was Harold Bauer.

Harold Bauer

Bauer's teacher was Ignacy Paderewski.

Ignacy Paderewski
Paderewski's teacher was Teodor Leszetycki.

Teodor Leszetycki

Leszetycki's teacher was Carl Czerny.

Carl Czerny
And Czerny's teacher was Beethoven.


This is such a good math problem! One person at each node of the graph of this relationship. How many people enjoy this connection?

*Six degrees of separation would not pertain to multi-generational links because the more generations, the more degrees of separation. The generation after Andrew would be the seventh degree of separation.

Metro train derails

CNN: Fire fighters respond Sunday to a Metro train derailment at the Mount Vernon Station in downtown Washington, D.C.
Story today from CNN:
Train passenger: 'I felt a very violent impact'
•Washington Metro train derailed Sunday, authorities said
•There were no major injuries, fire official said
•Mount Vernon Station shuts down
•Metro officials guided passengers off the train

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Metro subway train derailed Sunday afternoon in a tunnel near the Mount Vernon Square station in downtown Washington, shaking up passengers but causing no serious injuries, authorities said.

"At some point after leaving the Gallery Place Metro station ... the train seemed to slow down," said Amadi Boone, a passenger in the last car of the train.

"At some point, we started hearing some strange noises. The train felt very jerky. We started weaving back and forth, and then I felt a very violent impact."

The derailment occurred about 3:45 p.m. Sunday, acting Fire Chief Brian Lee told CNN. Some passengers were taken to hospitals after the accident, but it was not believed there were any major injuries, he said.

The cause of the crash was still under investigation, Lee said.

Another passenger, Keith McCoy, said the train hit a side wall of the tunnel, smashing in the front end of the lead car and knocking at least one door off the train.

Metro officials guided passengers off the train and out of the tunnel one by one, McCoy said. Some passengers remained aboard for up to 40 minutes, but there was no sense of panic among them, he said.

Find this article at:

Andrew says he uses that station every day to go to work and that the feeling they described on the train is what he feels all the time. On Friday, in fact, he was wondering if that jumpy feeling on the track could make it derail.

Another thing to worry about. :-(

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Photo Hunters: Memory

It is ironic that Memory is the theme for this week. Ever since Christmas I have been remembering how my past life has led me here to Vermont in 2007. Sad memories of a broken family and too many losses make sad moods. Sadness can create fear of the future, also. The past two weeks have been grim.

But tonight, because of the Photo Hunters theme, I knew I had to post this old photo of myself. I don't even know how old I was or where it was taken. What I do know is that I was obviously happy and that I still have the toy dog in the photo. I know his name, too: Boo. I know that because my oldest sister has told me. He is safe in the attic closet, all worn and tattered, but warm.

I have been told that I would never go anywhere without Boo. One day I left him somewhere and he was lost forever. My father had to find an identical one for me, which is the one in the photo.

I spoke on the phone to both of my daughters tonight and IM'ed with my son. They are so supportive and praise me! Can you imagine that? With all the mistakes I made when they were young they have made me the most fortunate woman in the world with three children that are willing to love and support me no matter what. Because of those three conversations, I am feeling stronger again and the sadness is disappearing.

Let us all go forward in 2007 counting our blessings and supporting each other when we are tired and begin to doubt our abilities.

Finally I can say Happy New Year!