Author: Joe Wilcox

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When Magazines Mattered

To promote the Macintosh 22 years ago, Apple purchased all—as in every—ad space in the Newsweek 1984 election issue. That was 39 pages.

The folks over at Graphical User Interface Gallery (aka Guidebook) have preserved every page from that Newsweek issue. It was a time when magazine advertising really mattered, unlike today when the Internet undermines magazine circulation. 

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The D200, After All

Okay, so call me bogus. Back in February, I made clear that there would be no camera switch, as I previously contemplated—from the Canon EOS 20D to the Nikon D200. I’ve been unhappy with my EOS 20D for sometime, even as I acquired several nice Canon lenses. The Canon camera’s ergonomics doesn’t suit me, nor have I been satisfied with the photos compared to the Nikon D70. The Nikon D70 felt more like an extension of my eye, capturing images just as I saw them.

But low-light photography is important to me, and that’s one area where the EOS 20D excels over the Nikon D200, based on tests like PBase forum member Norm’s 20D-D200 photo comparison. I resigned to sticking with the EOS 20D—after all, I had some nice lenses. 

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Funerary Relief Bust Lament

I took my daughter and her friend downtown today, hoping to catch some remnant of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. But there was none. Day before, my daughter and I braved the steady (and pelting rain) for a few short hours. We gave up on the parade, but managed to shop the merchandise along Pennsylvania Ave. I bought her a kimono jacket and trinkets.

But, today, cars rather than merchants filled Pennsylvania Ave. So we continued the walk up 12th Street to the National Mall. For young girls the mall means someplace to shop, so I explained the difference of this Mall. I have yet to break my daughter of calling the Washington Monument, which flanks one end of the Mall, the “big pointy thing”. 

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When Nerds Fight

Encyclopedia Britannica has taken out an advertisement in several major newspapers demanding that magazine Nature retract a December story that showed fairly even accuracy with Wikipedia. The ad appears like a memo, “RE: Demand for Retraction”. Ouch, I guess the normal editorial channels didn’t respond. The memo, uh, advertisement, describes the Nature article as “an affront to the principles of sound scholarship, and we urge Nature to issue a full and public retraction of the article”. From “we urge” is underlined.

Who says there’s no drama in science? 

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Not So Fast

I really dig the New York Times redesign that launched yesterday. There’s something blog meets print paper about the new layout. I’m reading more than ever, and I love the great emphasis on digital content. Strange, I likely will continue subscribing to the Sunday paper, which gets opens access to online premium content.

Anyway, today I devoured story “Living on Impulse“, which I probably would have missed if not for the redesign. Reporter Benedict Carey masterfully gets to the bottom of science studies about impulsive behavior. His story is non-fiction, science writing at its best. 

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Let Be the Midwives

The New York Times looks at the prosecution of midwives in Indiana, where only doctors and nurses can legally assist births. I believe the same may hold true in Maryland, where we used a licensed midwife-nurse for our daughter’s birth.

Midwifery certainly predates any law governing the practice or the modern-day practice of hospital deliveries. This doctor-hospital thing is a fairly recent practice, while midwives have been birthing babies for millennia. 

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Another Measure of Beauty

I find pragmatism to be an attractive quality, assuming that’s the right word. Today at IKEA, I observed this petite blonde with a tape measure clipped to the right back pocket of her jeans. There was something unwomanly about it that I find really appealing.

I feel the same way about women with cell phones clipped to their front jeans pocket; and to think so many women wear earrings! I’ve never had much taste for girlie girls that wear more makeup than frosting on cake. But this…