Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


Leave a comment

How to build a Light Rail Transit

via Tumblr

Toronto is building a new Light Rail Transit running partly above partly below ground. The noise and drilling has been manageable but not much fun. Traffic, already atrocious, is seriously affected.

This was taken today, steps away from where I live.

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Sons of Liberty – American History TV mini-series… and rethinking the Royals

Join, or Die by Benjamin Franklin was recycled to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule – Wikipedia

I don’t know much about American history. Probably because Canadians are so saturated with American culture that it’s just too close. Not exotic like ancient Greece or Rome.

This mini-series, however, really caught my eye. Beautiful sets. Good FX. Excellent acting.

Apparently it’s not too historically accurate. But I don’t mind that if the show captures the essence of an era. I always check on Wikipedia after, anyhow. That’s what I did with Vikings – similarly critiqued for not being historical enough.

One critic said Sons of Liberty was good except that the dialog sounded too 21st century. Well yes, that’s true. But I like shows that connect. Old, stodgy English dialects probably wouldn’t have done that for me.

The British in this show were made to look like real prigs. Back then they probably were. Not all, of course. But the general ruling elite.

Nunavut currently has a suicide crisis (click image for more) – Wikipedia

The person I watched this with kept saying… “Why don’t we get rid of the British like the US did?”

It’s true that each Canadian pays about $1.53 a year to support their royal habits. Multiply 1.53 x 36 million and you have $55 million per year.

Could that money be better spent on the impoverished north? How about on inner city street people? Or should we keep supporting the royals’ extravagant lifestyle?

I’m mixed on this point. My Masters was funded by a Commonwealth scholarship. True, the monies came from Indian and Canadian governments. But it wouldn’t have happened at all if Canada were not a member of the Commonwealth countries. And had I not made it to India, life probably would have taken a really unpleasant turn.

Royal Family – Wikipedia

Homeless man in Vancouver – Wikipedia

Instead of doing an Indian Masters in Comparative Religion I was scheduled to do a M.A. in sociology at Queens University, Ontario. Something tells me I would have disliked that. I dropped Queens (and lost a rent deposit) the moment news came that I had won the Commonwealth Scholarship.

So it’s always good to remember our past before becoming too critical of the present.

Still, that doesn’t mean things can’t change.

Myself, I’d like to keep my yearly $1.53 dollars instead of giving it to the royals. I think they are an anachronism fit for history books but not for today.

Just my two cents – nay $84.15 – on the matter.¹

1954 Series (banknotes) – Some of these were still around when I was a kid = memories! – Wikipedia

¹ $1.53 x 55 yrs (my age) = $84.15. The yearly amount likely changed over the years. But when I was a kid money was of more value. So $84.15 is probably the rough equivalent, taking into account inflation.

 

 


Leave a comment

Three Halloween pics that caught my eye

The first is sort of feminist. The young woman doesn’t really fit traditional stereotypes. The second two are more traditional. Especially the second. It reminds me of something I’d see in a children’s book when I was in elementary school.

via Tumblr

via Tumblr

via Tumblr


2 Comments

My latest very inexpensive Amazon purchase!

Image via Tumblr

If you’re like me you have a love/hate relationship with your touchscreen device. Take my tablet. For starters, it’s a Lenovo so I’m not sure if the screen is quite as repsonsive as say, a Samsung or iPad. But it works, has 2 gb RAM, which is pretty good, and I love the android OS because it enables me to do more than with a factory iPad.

Right now I’m typing this on my tablet using a very old HP computer keyboard. One of those pre-USB keyboards with the funny round plug instead of a USB connector. Also the mouse is from the same computer, with the same kind of round plug.

So browsing thru Amazon I found two things I needed for this. First I got the USB/OTG cable (black in pic) which enables plugging in of hardware peripherals to a qualified android tab or phone. Then, after seeing that that worked with a newer USB keyboard and mouse, I got a PS/2 to USB adapter (white in pic) to hook up the older, non-USB hardware. Basically two adapters have made my tablet a laptop.

All very cheap. The tablet, the apapters and … well, not the author! 🙂


Leave a comment

Plastic Bags – Fix Mix

Duh… I mixed the first one with my computer EQ boosted around the voice level (to hear an old movie). This morning I realized the error, which made “plastic bags” a bit quieter than intended. Here’s a quick fix.

I’ll leave the first one because sometimes my fixes turn out not as good as the originals. It usually takes a bit of time to find out which is best.


Leave a comment

Plastic Bags

goofing around with some freeware…


2 Comments

Turn your phone or tablet into a wireless webcam = cool!

“triple cam, webcam, iPHONE, android reflect” via Flickr – Artist Shannon Kringen shows how she’s way of ahead of me re the possibilities of this tech!

I haven’t tested out android wireless cams yet but for our old iPad2 and iPhone there are two free apps that I’m quite impressed with.

First, EpoCam Viewer is popular and seems reliable. But the free version has almost no options. You’re set at 640 by 480 resolution, and can’t choose image quality.

Also no recording or screen capture with this freebie. But it’s a good picture. So this would be appropriate for keeping an eye on baby… whatever.

IvCam has far more options, like screen resolution, image and sound quality. Also it records movies and (supposedly) takes stills. Whenever I tried the stills the app crashed. But the movie record feature works. So to get a still, I took a short movie and then used VLC media player to get my snap.

There’s usually a workaround for things like this.

Here’s a snap from around 8 am this morning at medium resolution (which makes for a smaller video file size).

And here’s another taken at high resolution, making the video file quite a bit larger.

The cool thing is I had the phone camera beaming up to my bedroom laptop, which then was linked with Team Viewer to my old Windows XP laptop in the dining room.

I don’t think either of these cams works with Win XP but with Team Viewer, they did with a kind of satellite setup.

Waste of time? Not if I catch a burglar! 🙂