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Thirdmonth

Be patient.
990324

Calendars and Almanacs that might be interesting in an expanded almanac entry or just seem to be interesting references:

990322

Java scripting for the index page on Friday was pretty successful and has left me with all sorts of ideas. One is to link to the appropriate meteor shower calendar page: http://medicine.wustl.edu/~kronkg/calendar.html. Also, vis a vis CSS. Possible color block solution from studying Web Review article.

990316

The begonia I received as a birthday gift from B is doing spectacularly. It didn't come with any sort of identification, though, so I'm hunting for it in the Time Life plant encyclopaedia. I'm pretty sure I have some sort of Rex Begonia: the leaves are shaped like those of Begonia 'Merry Christmas'.

Rex begonias need to be protected from direct sunlight at all times.... do best in night temperatures of 50 to 60, day temperatures of 68 to 72. Pot in a highly organic soil mixture (up to 1 part peat moss to 1 part packaged potting soil).... During the growing season, let [it] remain barely damp.... Fertilize every two weeks during the growing season.... rex begonias can be grown from stem or leaf cuttings or by division in summer or fall. Generally pest free.
990315

Sewing should help people develop very good spatial reasoning skills. Being able to piece together the flat pieces to bring about a 3D construction is no simple matter, and I'll dare anyone to set a sleeve who disagrees with me.

From this observation, it occurred to me that an sewing could be a wonderful way to teach mathematical and geometrical skills. Doing an Alta Vista search on

sewing AND "spatial reasoning"

turned up two papers about the same project to use a cross-curricular approach in introducing science and technology concepts in middle school American history classes.

They chose textile technology, for a number of reasons, but they also note that the spatial reasoning skills involved in sewing are typically denied as a skill women have. Thus, they challenge that preconception when discussing the history of factory sewing.

990315

Web design reading brings me to the admonition to use style sheets instead of tables in layout in order to improve accessibility. Great. Just managed to get the style sheets and a template for the monthly pages settled, and now I'm going to have to change them again.

Style sheets are so hard to edit at Tripod. With the justification that this is what a New Media Specialist should be spending her time doing I'll do it.

Well, I've done it. And it really does improve the readability of the code. On the other hand, some of the nice effects of using tables to get block background color are gone. The background style just works under the text. Hmmmmm.

990311

Spring and Easter rituals approach. I had expected not to do any pysanky this year. I still miss M, my pysanky partner, and the long winter evenings we spent around the candle's flame. M is a Catholic witch with a Czech background, and she taught me the craft. With M gone, it seemed too much of a bother to mix all the dyes and sit by myself and decorate the eggs.... And spring has just slipped up on me. (Just like I had no interest preparing for the Winter Solstice this year.)

When K visited yesterday and asked how to decorate eggs that way, I was shocked and stunned. An egg partner! She's an artist, too, and i expect she'll do stunning work. On the other hand, the whole dimension of prayer and mystic, magic celebration will be absent: K seems very much a rationalist. Ah well.

990311

The new Primroses. What are they? Not auriculas, there's no powdery 'farina' on my leaves. Not vulgaris or parryi; mine has a rosette of leaves on the ground. (Another parryi. A diagram of vulgaris - i can see the similarities.) Close! Primula x polyantha. Yes! Thanks to NCSU's guide, I'm sure.

990309

It's funny how ideas and interests merge. Green space interest leads me to reading about Bartram's Gardens and The Woodlands, and then the history of my neighborhood, and finally to urban planning.

I'm reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. In general, I support her analysis, but I ponder her requirements for residence density. West Philadelphia is probably under-dense in her estimation. On the other hand, West Philadelphia is early suburban, not urban. I don't think that dooms it, and I love how I've watched the Baltimore Avenue area grow over the last decade.

990308

Philadelphia Flower Show! I've already been -- I attended on the 7th, the opening day. It was my first time attending, so I've learned some lessons for next year. First, what I found most interesting was the contest entries like best foliage plant in 6" pot or smaller -- Mainly because I think I could pull off a ribbon myself.

Next year
  • Go alone
  • during a long lunch break & after work
  • with printouts of the awards to take notes on
  • and a one-use flash camera.
    Budget
    $16 entrance
    $ camera
    $developing
  • 990301

    We went to the art museum, briefly, on Sunday. There was a very small O'Keefe & Steigliz exhibit. Three of the O'Keefe paintings are etched in my mind. One was of a birch & pine tree. The birch was in the foreground, three white smooth trunks reaching upward, sensuously, across the canvas. Behind was a dark pine trunk in the shadows, its thick green arms embracing the birch.

    I wanted to see 'my' Kadinsky, but they appear to have removed it (It'd been up for over 5 years there, i'd have put something new up, too). I decided that a Paul Klee work is now 'mine.' It's called Fish Magic. I've the post card right in front of me, but i'm still not sure how to describe it. Do you remember ever, in a grade school art class, taking crayons and thickly covering the whole sheet, then painting the surface over with black paint, and then scratching through to draw designs that reveal the colors underneath? Somehow Klee caught that effect using oils & watercolors.

    990201

    The world of the very small is just getting way too amusing. I'd say 'interesting' but that should be reserved for topics where i wish i had the time to do the math. These things are just cool to think about and look at. A story on friction leads the way to looking at bugs in microscopic gears. Very cool movies; you *must* watch them. And here's a nanobalance.... Here's graphiti etched on microprocessors....