Photos from our Maryland/DC trip

Laura and I had an invigorating and restorative weekend in Maryland and DC.    On Friday and Saturday, I attended the MITH Workshop on APIs and the Digital Humanities, at which I gave  an introductory talk on APIs.  We took the workshop as a chance for the both of us to take a road trip to visit family, friends, and some of the big sites of the DC area.    Here are some photos I took from the weekend:

Autumn books and colors

I'm glad that I walked home this afternoon, which gave me an opportunity to figure out where the CMU Bookstore is. I always get a little burst of intellectual energy walking among assigned textbooks for courses which are either familiar or new to me. Autumn colors do much to compensate for the impending darkness of winter days.

Personal intersections: Ozu, Berkeley, and Freebase

One of the wonderful aspects of living part of the time around Berkeley is having access to such events as a next week's symposium dedicated to the work of Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu.  Years ago, it was the Pacific Film Archives (which is involved in this symposium) that introduced me to the work of Ozu.  Even though I won't be able to spend much time at the symposium, it serves as an occasion to revisit the filmmaker's work, which touched me deeply by its portrayal of family relations.  I'll start by watching again his most famous film Tokyo Story, which is conveniently available to be streamed to my computer via Netflix.   I'm also taking this as a chance to explore the coverage of Ozu's films in Freebase (roughly speaking, a Wikipedia of facts in database form). As a fan of Ozu and Freebase, it's natural for me to verify whether film is indeed one of Freebase's strengths.  (It's a promising sign that Freebase lists 26 films to Ozu's credit.)

Westminster House in the NY Times

It's nice to see an implicit mention of Westminster House, a Presbyterian campus ministry on whose board I served for six year, in Matters of Faith Find a New Prominence on Campus - New York Times:

    At Harvard, more students are enrolling in religion courses and regularly attending religious services, Professor Gomes said. Presbyterian ministries at Berkeley and Wisconsin have built dormitories to offer spiritual services to students and encourage discussion among different faiths. The seven-story building on the Wisconsin campus, which will house 280 students, is to open in August.

“MacArthur Maze Meltdown”

Overpass Near Oakland Collapses After Truck Explodes - New York Times:

    The crash, which occurred at approximately 3:40 a.m. Pacific time, sent flames soaring hundreds of feet into the air, according to witnesses. The overpass carrying eastbound lanes of Interstate 580 overhead quickly buckled, causing it to collapse onto part of Interstate 80 below. The accident occurred near the approach to the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco with Oakland, Berkeley and other cities on the east side of San Francisco Bay. Several major highways converge at that spot, a complex multilevel interchange known as the MacArthur Maze.

Note THE MAZE MELTDOWN / First commute day: Free rides as transit leaders work on plan:

    All transit systems are offering free rides today to ease the congestion anticipated on the region's freeways following the collapse of a major section of the MacArthur Maze.

Useful links:

does purple cauliflower stay purple after cooking?

purple and orange cauliflower

Laura and I had never seen purple cauliflower before our trip to Berkeley Bowl on Thursday. According to All About Cauliflower, "This variety of cauliflower has a purple colored curd rather than white as on regular cauliflower. It cooks faster than white cauliflower and has a little milder taste. When cooked, its color changes from purple to green. Purple cauliflower can be substituted for white in most recipes."

Not in our experience though:


A Flickr gathering in SF last night

Laura and I attended the Flickr demo @ the San Francisco Apple Store last night. As often happens, intense interaction online leads to a desire to get together in the same room. I was very curious to see who would be folks like us who would take the time and effort to see with our eyes not only the staff of Flickr but also our fellow Flickrites. Laura and I didn't want to rush to make the 6pm start time. Neither did we stay on for drinks at 111 Minna.

Below is my sparse collection of pictures of the event. Because my own pocket 5MP Pentax is at the shop right now, I was largely abstaining from what was predictably the most commonly engaged activity in the room: snapping photos of the event. When I did have the urge, I was left taking low resolution, badly lit cameraphone pictures:

SF Apple Store

superhero presenting her photos

Andrea Sher (aka superhero)

Laura taking pictures at SF Apple Store

Stewart and Eric

Stewart Butterfield in front of uploaded pictures

A note on tagging pictures for the event. Since I hadn't seen any requests to tag photos of the event in a certain manner along with the announcement of the event, I was wondering how to tag my pictures. By consulting the list of hot tags from the last 24 hours, I figured that 'sflickr' must be the tag folks have been using. By looking at Flickr: Photos tagged with sflickr, I learned that sflickr has been used to tag pictures associated with the San Francisco Flickr User Group, which has been having meetings, including an upcoming one tomorrow. Because the sflickr tag is generic (see clusters of photos marked by 'sflickr'), I wanted a way to mark photos from just last night. Upon a cursory search, I didn't see anyone tagging pictures from last night in a way to distinguish them from other meetups, I decided to use sflickr20050802 as a way of doing so.