Monthly Archives: September 2012

Google Maps adds underwater imagery – go diving in Hawaii, Australia, & the Philippines

Maps go underwater now as Google has added panoramic imagery of Hawaii, Australia, and the Philippines. From the Google Maps Blog:

Find a sea turtle swimming among a school of fish, follow a manta ray and experience the reef at sunset. in the Great Barrier Reed. At Apo Island, a volcanic island and marine reserve in the Philippines, you can see an ancient boulder coral, which may be several hundred years old. And in the middle of the Pacific, in Hawaii, you can join snorkelers in Oahu’s Hanauma Bay and drift over the vast coral reef at Maui’s Molokini crater.

The images are stunning as seen in this video.

 

 

The feature works like Street View in Google Maps. And the images were captured using an SVII specialized camera while traveling at 4 kilometers an hour.

View the full collection of 12 dive sites at Google Maps Ocean.

Happy Native American Day!

September 28 is an official holiday in the state of California – Native American Day. Established in 1998, it is celebrated in our schools and government offices, but mostly ignored everywhere else. Only a few states (South Dakota, Tennessee) have a similar holiday, and there is no Federal recognition.

That’s really sad – we should have a nationally recognized day to celebrate Native Americans.

If you live in California there are some festivities to enjoy. San Diego is hosting a series of events, here is one:

Running Grunion storytelling

Abel Silvas will combine comedy, storytelling and mime, offering an interpretation of Native American history and culture from past to present.

And just outside Los Angeles:

To experience the distinctive cultures of California Indian people firsthand, we invite you to attend a free public celebration, featuring traditional Native American bird songs, music, art, and food.

Finally, in Sacramento Valerie Taliman will receive the Native American Women in Leadership Award:

An award-winning journalist, Taliman received the Richard LaCourse Award from the Native American Journalists Association last year for her groundbreaking investigative series on missing and murdered First Nations women. She continues to highlight violence against women and the racism inherent in violence against Native families. in her articles for ICTMN.

 

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Alternative map of the American West – as sustainable water regions

From Mapping the Nation:

A beautiful–and extremely controversial–map made by John Wesley Powell…best known for his insistence the west must be understood as an arid region, one that demanded irrigation and management rather than a reliance on rainfall. In the late 1880s, Powell undertook a large-scale survey of the far west to demonstrate that the region was made up of interdependent watersheds, or what he termed irrigation districts.

And he brought this knowledge before Congress in 1890 asking them to use this map as the foundation for establishing Western states. At the time they were distributing large parcels of land – in no particular order – through the Homestead Act.

They didn’t listen and the dream of a sustainable West – without water problems – was lost.

 

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Profile of Pinterest users – interests, favorite stores, vacation spots, and metrics

Pinterest is still growing with more 20 million users and 1.9 billion views worldwide. And the average user spends an astounding 14 minutes on the site. Most of these pinners are ages 25-54 and largely female – 79% female to 21% male.

Their interests are:

  1. Visual Arts & Design
  2. Crafts
  3. Hobbies & Leisure
  4. Baked Goods
  5. Interior Decoration

 

And, their favorite stores.

  1. Victoria’s Secret
  2. Sephora USA
  3. Barneys New York
  4. Williams-Sonoma
  5. Nordstrom

 

Favorite places to visit.

  1. DisneyWorld
  2. Florida
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Chicago
  5. New York

 

Finally, Pinterest users spend $100 more than users of Facebook and Twitter – when clicking through a link to make a purchase.

  • Pinterest – $180
  • Facebook – $80
  • Twitter – $70

 

Source: Infographic – The Astounding Power of Pinterest

 

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Apple Maps workaround – maps.google.com – get the features of Google Maps

From David Pogue:

You can still use Google’s maps — on the Web. Visit maps.google.com…You won’t get spoken directions, but you’ll get written directions, public transportation details, live traffic reports and, of course, Google’s far superior maps and data.

He also says Google’s Street View will be coming to iOS devices, and for local restaurants there is the app – Google+ Local. And that should make this a complete workaround.

iPhone owners are rooting for Apple Maps to be a winner, but in the meantime we need to get where were going.

Visit Google Maps for more features available in this workaround.

 

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China launches its first aircraft carrier

But it’s used and has no planes. China bought the vessel in 1998 from Ukraine and had it refurbished – few details of its capabilities are known. But, from Reuters, “defense experts say it lacks the strike aircraft, weapons, electronics, training and logistical support it needs to become a fighting warship.” And so it will stay in the training fleet until they figure out how to land a plane on it.

The response has largely been mocking, from the Brisbane Times, ”if it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbours, it’s a sign of bullying.” And those neighbors are the ones in the crossfire. Japan has disputed territory with China in the East China Sea and the Philippines are arguing over a shoal in the South China Sea.

Still, it is a sign of the rising military power of the Chinese – after all, only 9 countries have an aircraft carrier. Seven of them only have one, Italy has two, and the United Kingdom only uses theirs for helicopters. So the launch could be a symbol of pride, that the Chinese are equal to the other powers. But they have a long journey ahead to challenge the United States and our 11 aircraft carriers.

 

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New papryus shows Jesus had a wife, female minister – and it’s been proven authentic

A Harvard researcher, Karen King, has a tiny piece of papyrus – no bigger than a credit card – that is sure to shock the Christian world. It is barely readable and only fragments of sentences are available, but like a politicians gaffe on CNN, it is enough to draw attention. Jesus says “my wife” and, from Smithsonian:

The “wife” Jesus refers to is probably Mary Magdalene, and Jesus appears to be defending her against someone, perhaps one of the male disciples.

“She will be able to be my disciple,” Jesus replies. Then, two lines later, he says: “I dwell with her.”

Wow, so Jesus was married and living with his wife and had plans to make her a minister. How’s that for upsetting the balance – Catholics and celibacy, all Christians and female preachers – and the inevitable Dan Brown, Da Vinci Code, references.

Did he get it right?

It’s possible, but the papyrus was written a century or so after Jesus’ crucifixion and could be as much fiction as Dan Brown’s novel. But the age and authenticity of the text has been verified and so this story is ready to explode into the Christian mind.

As long as it isn’t proved to be a fake…

The Smithsonian has the inside story on this controversial text.

 

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Legoland shuts down for day – time for some cleaning (in pictures)

Every year Legoland gets dirty and it has to shut down for some toothbrush scrubbing. Getting all that grime off those blocks isn’t easy, but neither is dusting the top of the House of Parliament. And while it’s quiet we might as well trim the hedges.

For more pictures – The Guardian

 

source: The Guardian

 

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StumbleUpon gets new design for website and iOS devices…do you Stumble?

StumbleUpon was once just a browser add-on in Firefox. Then it became internet famous and was bought by eBay – only to be sold back the founders two years later. And today it is humming along with 25 million users and two bold new designs for its website and iOS – iPhone, iPad.

 

The new design for iPhone, iPad (source: TheNextWeb)

 

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Tumblr blog – celebrities reading poetry

It’s that subject no one wants to study in English class. It’s that aisle in the bookstore that’s always empty. It’s that stuff that star-crossed lovers spout at each other through open windows.

Explains the author of this Tumblr, called SpeakCelebrity. Offering that poetry isn’t scary, “it’s exciting, and comforting, and new, and old, and it can be clear-cut or all jumbled up, but most of all, it’s human.”

I couldn’t agree more and it’s a delight to browse through the celebrities:

  • Al Pacino reading – “Sonnet 150″ by William Shakespeare
  • Meryl Streep – “In Vain” by Emily Dickinson
  • Morgan Freeman – “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley
  • Ralph Fiennes – “Ode to the Sea” by Pablo Neruda
  • Benedict Cumberbatch – “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
  • Johnny Depp – “The Girl of the Ghetto” by Jim Morrison

My favorite so far is Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series – and Johnny Depp. Both invite you into the poem and let you forget the world around you.

Dig-in and enjoy - SpeakCelebrity.

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