Thursday, June 24, 2010

Orange day lily on the Shellpot Creek

These day lilies didn't bloom the first two years we lived here. After some growing years and, I suspect, more sun due to the removal of some trees, they are blooming.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day Gift - Survival radio with crank for the crank

My darling wife and son got me a survival radio for Father's Day, a Microlink FR160 MultiPurpose Radio from Eton.

It has a flashlight, radio with AM/FM and weather bands, and is rechargeable using its built in solar panel or a by turning a crank. It can even recharge some USB devices like cell phones. I guess they were inspired to get one for me during the recent (June 3rd) blackout in my area.

My twitter posts show some annoyance at not having a single radio in the house with working batteries to just see if anyone else was having the same issue. I did use my cell phone to check on twitter to find that @MattTheHearn in Claymont and @DECurmudgeon who lives nearby were also without power. S@DECurmudgeon said:

So now with my new radio with crank and flashlight I would have been better prepared and possibly even able to charge my cell phone if needed.

I would have also been able to follow the progress of the weather front that was moving through the area.

My new survival radio also has seven weather bands. The weather bands for my area of Delaware are, WNG704, broadcast from Hibernia Park in Chester county or KIH28, from Philadelphia.

WNG704 (map below) broadcasts at 162.425 MHz which is WX 2 on the weather radio band.

KIH28 (map below) broadcasts at 162.475 MHz which is WX 4.

These weather channels are broadcast by towers all over the nation with the frequencies varied so there is overlap everywhere, but not interference. I haven't had the chance to test out the weather radio part yet since the order of the day on Sunday was barbecues and visits with friends.

Monday, June 21, 2010

NERD HUMOR is no more

Finally got a picture of the repainted railroad bridge over Rt 141 just south of Rt 52. This view is the view driving south. There used to be a giant NERD HUMOR graffiti on the bridge but it has been painted over by the graffiti brigade.

Bob Weiner, our New Castle County councilmember, got his wish and got it painted over. The article says that the owner of the bridge, East Penn Railroad Co., didn't have the money to repaint the bridge and that the materials and time were donated, that seems fishy to me. They are installing a fence to make it harder for someone to get out onto the bridge and graffiti it.

The owner should use the bridge for advertising. It is in a very visible spot and high traffic location, perhaps an electronic sign would make it easy to change the advertisements. I am just suggesting this to get Bob's goat, he is not to hip on advertising, especially electronic signs, or chickens.

It's clean now, how long will it stay that way?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Super Original SAAB license on a Saab

There is no subtext to this SAAB personlized license plate on a Delaware Saab except perhaps that the owner has no imagination and might be a snaab.

I can say these things because I have owned three Saab convertibles in my life, so I was in the club. Never had that license plate or the old people Saab this person is driving though.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Where are people moving to?

Red lines represent moves out of the county and black lines moves into the county. The connections are interesting. There is a lot of red to very populous cities, folks are leaving New Castle County to go to New York, Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Dallas, and Houston. Presumably some are retiring to the Florida counties and to Las Vegas and Arizona. There also seem to be some moves, possibly due to the chemical industry to the Texas coast, New Orleans, Buffalo and Rochester.

There is expected inflow from obvious places like New York, and Philadelphia. I also see what I think is college inflow from Penn State area, Univ of Wisconsin, Univ of Minnesota, Univ of Michigan. All of these are my suppositions. The full data is available at the links below.

How much of a coincidence is it? The Walt Disney World couple

Boing Boing points the coincidence of a woman spotting her husband's father and her husband as a toddler in her old family pictures that records the fact that they were at Walt Disney World at the same time as children long before they ever met and then married. The future wife is with the Mr. Smee character in the foreground and the future husband's dad is clearly visible pushing a stroller with the future husband in it in the center in the background.

It's a wonderful synchronicity that foreshadows that they were meant to be from long before they ever met, or is it? What is the probability of such an occurrence?

I think it breaks into two problems:

Problem one: Given that you were at Disney World in your youth on a particular day, and you took a picture, what is the probability that someone you know was there on the same day and in the picture.

Problem two:On the other hand, we heard about this on the news, so we could state it another way and ask, how often would we expect to hear about someone having a picture from there youth at Walt Disney World, that captured someone they know now but didn't know then in it.

Here are two comments on BoingBoing trying to figure out this probability (one, two). I think the two possibilities above are more common than you think and that the second one is very likely, I just have given up trying to formulate the problem in a clear manner since I can't quite wrap my brain around the probabilities because there are some dependent ones in here. What do you think? I have provided some data below to help:

Some data that might be helpful:

According to Park World the attendance at the Magic Kingdom was 17 million in 2007. Other estimates of milestones reached by Walt Disney World are at Disney By The Numbers. For instance the 600 millionth visitor entered on June 24, 1998. The Orlando convention and visitors bureau estimated about 3 million international visitors in 2009 (from here). Assume they all go to Disney World and are part of the 17 million total mentioned.

Kodak estimates that approximately 4 percent of all the amateur photographs taken in the United States are snapped at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland.

Looking at the picture itself shows about 15 people in it.

Photos printed per year (from here).

Rolls developed per year. Within the amateur market, 710 million rolls of film were developed in 1995. Total rolls were down slightly from the 1994 figure of 716 million, but higher than the 1993 total of 694. (from here). Assuming 24 photos/roll gets to 17 billion pictures, and that these are US figures, which is implied in the report.

"In fact, in 1960 newborn babies and young children were the object of 55 percent of the 2.2 billion photos taken that year." (from here)

There are over 2700 photographs taken every second around the world, adding up to well over 80 billion new images a year taken on over 3 billion rolls of film, according to estimates published by the United States Department of Commerce. (from here via there) See also this chart of the number of photos taken/year.

(via BoingBoing, via The Disney Blog, via WXII TV, photo from WXII TV)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Asian Lilies celebrate the summer to come

These Asian Lilies bloom taller and brighter each year. They help fill the gap between the mid spring flowers and the early summer.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A PENGUIN in Delaware

Perhaps this driver is a Pittsburgh Hockey fan or likes Antarctica. The bonus on this DE license plate is that the owner has done the classic Delaware substitution of the special 1 written as a capital I to be the I in penguin. One wonders if there is anothe plate in the state with an real I in the I position.