Readings: Raising kids

Added on by Bill.

 The Secret to Raising Smart Kids: Scientific American Annotated

Research is converging on the conclusion that great accomplishment, and even what we call genius, is typically the result of years of passion and dedication and not something that flows naturally from a gift. Mozart, Edison, Curie, Darwin and Cézanne were not simply born with talent; they cultivated it through tremendous and sustained effort.

The research suggests there are two perspectives: a "fixed mind-set" and a "growth mind-set."


...more than 30 years of scientific investigation suggests that an overemphasis on intellect or talent leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings.


...studies show that teaching people to have a “growth mind-set,” which encourages a focus on effort rather than on intelligence or talent, helps make them into high achievers in school and in life.

These two different perspectives offer insight into how people deal with failure: helplessly as an individual short coming or mastering it as an opportunity.

[in the former group] mistakes crack their self-confidence because they attribute errors to a lack of ability, which they feel powerless to change. They avoid challenges because challenges make mistakes more likely and looking smart less so.


The mastery-oriented children, on the other hand, think intelligence is malleable and can be developed through education and hard work. They want to learn above all else Because slip ups stem from a lack of effort, not ability, they can be remedied by more effort.

May be not just for children.


Best in Category: Artistic

Added on by Bill.

This photograph was taken in Brugge, Belgium. The subject was located in the lobby of the hotel that we were staying in.


What I found impressive was that it was constructed of various used parts from other mechanical devices. Very much in keeping with its Bork-like resemblance; a sort of recursive element adding another dimension to the piece itself.

Year-end wrap-up: Photograph of the year

Added on by Bill.

Lots of things to wrap up for the end of the year. Beyond the mundane is reviewing my photographs and picking the best of 2007. This is a bigger task than I thought it might be when I first considered coming to this choice.

My library has 10,504 photographs, 5,304 from 2007. Of those 5,304 I have flagged 123 as "favourites." 123 0f 5,304 isn't too bad, just about 2.3%. But it's still a number larger than 1, and 1 seems a long way to go.

To get closer what I've chosen to do is look for the best of category. I categorize all of my pictures as part of my tagging process. As all my photographs are already categorized this should make the task a little easier. My current list includes nineteen subjects:

  • Art / artistic
  • Beach
  • Buildings
  • Car
  • Cityscape
  • Cottage
  • Family
  • Flowers
  • Food
  • Garden
  • Golf
  • Historic sites
  • House
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
  • Resort
  • Sunset
  • Winterscape
  • Terrior
For the most part a category is closely related to a physical subject, with the exception of Terrior which is more about feeling. Terrior:
is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir-faire, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine [1].
But I use the term in its broader context "goût de terroir" which is the characteristic taste and flavor imparted to a wine by the environment in which it is produced. Translating this to a photograph, it means to me, a picture that in some way captures a representative sense or feeling of a place or moment. A taste.

Of the 123 photographs, 77 are from three categories: Landscape (35); Cityscape (24); and Family (18). Seven of the nineteen categories have no pictures this year. This is because none in that category were that great and didn't make the initial cut or I just didn't take any.

Readings: Photography, Bhutto, Writers strike and calendards

Added on by Bill.


richard cleaver » Blog Archive » Digital Photography Work flow.

As my photo library passes 10,000 I've started to review my work flow and tooling. Of course, a work flow describes some sequence of steps towards some end (or purpose).


Obviously one purpose is to keep order and avoid an electronic shoe-box stuffed with digital images (e.g., you can find the pictures taken, which becomes harder as the number grows). But may be there are other, less obvious goals. This will require more thought.

States of Emergency: Bhutto and the Candidates: The Talk of the Town: The New Yorker Annotated


In 1993, Mary Anne Weaver wrote a Profile for this magazine in which she described the paradox of Benazir Bhutto:

She is part Radcliffe and Oxford, with an extremely well-stocked mind, full of feminist literature, peace marches, the Oxford Union, and with a very liberated social life. She is also part feudal Sindh, a haughty aristocrat, the daughter and granddaughter of immensely wealthy landlords, whose inheritance gave her the right to rule. . . . She is an Eastern fatalist by birth, a Western liberal by conviction, and a people-power revolutionary—who has carefully modelled herself on Evita Perón and Corazon Aquino—through sheer necessity. She is an expensively educated product of the West who has ruled a male-dominated Islamic society of the East. She is a democrat who appeals to feudal loyalties.

LILEKS (James) the Institute of Official Cheer.

This site hosts a number of retro-media including old advertisements. I don't recall yeast as the cure for pimples, but then I went through that period in the 60's so by then there was Clearasil.

Letterman Reaches Deal With Striking Writers - Silicon Alley Insider.

The writers strike has been going on for a little while; I had not really noticed. Just goes to show you the diminished role of TV in one's life.

Feature: Supercharge Your Scheduling with GCal

How many calendars do you have? I have 8:

  • a wall calendar in the kitchen at home
  • a "tent" calendar on my desk at the office
  • Desk calendar at my home office
  • Outlook
  • Blackberry
  • iCal on my iMac
  • Calendar on my iPod
  • Google calendar

The real question though is where do I keep my appointments. The first three are paper-based, so they are really just for reference (e.g., quickly finding the date of some weekend in June).


Outlook is for office appointments, and that synchronizes with the Blackberry.

The last three are for personal appointments. I'm thinking that putting them up on Google will let me share my calendar with my wife. In the past we used the wall calendar in the kitchen for that. May be now we can automate it. Some how I doubt it.

Project 365

Added on by Bill.

Over the last year, each day (well almost) I have taken a picture of myself. Now this was not undertaken to satisfy some self-infatuation, but was prompted by a combination of events: my PC having a built-in camera and a report I read about Project 365. So, I undertook the project myself.