Archive for April, 2011

Royal Names in Spanish

April 30, 2011 By: erik Category: England, Musings, Spanish, Weird

Royal Seal of Reina IsabelThe Spanish news and gossip media has been aflutter lately with stories about the British royal family. It’s reminded me about a really bizarre phenomenon when it comes to names of members of the royal family. For some reason they are translated into their Spanish equivalent. For instance, the current monarch of England is called Reina Isabel. She and her husband, Principe Felipe have a son, Principe Carlos, who is next in line to the throne. Carlos has two sons, Principe Guillermo and Principe Enrique. That sounds so weird. In no other circumstance are names translated like this.
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Brainteasers: Missing Things

April 29, 2011 By: erik Category: Funny, Geeky, Musings, Stuff I Found

Missing SquareToday I wanted to share two of my favorite brainteasers. It’s just by chance that they are so similar, both tricking you into thinking something is missing. Every few years, I forget the trick to the first one – because I’m smart like that – and it stumps me again. The latter puzzle is more of an optical illusion than anything else. Like all good optical illusions, understanding how it works doesn’t ruin your ability to see it.
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In politics, the smarter you are, the dumber you are

April 28, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Politics, Science, USA, Weird

brainAs I’ve approached and entered my thirties, I’ve become increasingly interested in politics. Not that I would ever, ever participate beyond the ballot box or a donation, but as a spectator, I’m fascinated. Another of my interests in recent years is the psychology of decision making, belief, and logical fallacies. Of particular curiosity is the growing ideological gulf between the political left and right in the United States brought on by increased access to information.
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Kingdom of Fife Championship – Scotland 2005 – Part 2 of 7

April 27, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Photos, Scotland, Travel

Swilken Burn Bridge

In June, 2011, I’m going on a golf vacation to Ireland with three of my best friends, Paul (my father), Jeff, and Jacob. Six years ago, we took a similar golf vacation to Scotland. At the time, I posted photos and commentary to a website that predated this blog. In preparation for our trip this year, I’m re-posting my commentary on that trip in October 2005.

On Sunday, October 9, 2005, the Kingdom of Fife Championship was officially begun. In an unbelievable display of daring, defiance, and bravery, Jacob proposed a (gasp!) change to the itinerary which involved playing a course at Carnoustie instead of playing the Anstruther Golf Club again. After much discussion, several whiskies, and minimal name-calling, it was decided to drive to Carnoustie, without directions, and try to play golf there, without a tee-time!
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Kingdom of Fife Championship – Scotland 2005 – Part 1 of 7

April 26, 2011 By: erik Category: Golf, Photos, Scotland, Travel, Videos

Anstruther Golf Club

In June, 2011, I’m going on a golf vacation to Ireland with three of my best friends, Paul (my father), Jeff Fitzgerald, and Jacob Pittman. Six years ago, we took a similar golf vacation to Scotland. At the time, I posted photos and commentary to a website that predated this blog. In preparation for our trip this year, I’m re-posting my commentary on that trip in October 2005.

On Saturday, October 8, 2005, we arrived to the Captain’s Hoose in Anstruther, Scotland. It’s the house with the purple door. There is a spiral staircase from the front door to the attic.
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Princess William and Prince Kate

April 26, 2011 By: erik Category: England, Experiments, Funny, Photoshop

Princess WilliamAs much as I’ve been trying to avoid it, I’ve been unable to avoid seeing pictures of these two British faces around the news. There was something about this one photograph that struck me as being perfect for a Photoshop trick I’ve been wanting to try, called face switching. Sure, enough, their faces were angled just right such that it was really quite a trivial operation for someone with a rudimentary understanding of layer masks. If the royal wedding coverage gets too annoying, just imagine it’s this lovely couple instead.
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First Glimpse of Offspring0002

April 25, 2011 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, News, Offspring, Photos, Science, Weird

Take me to your leader!Today we saw the first episode of the second season of Pregnancy. It was Marga’s twelve-week ultrasound. There was an eerie sense of déjí  vu in the same corner of the hospital with the same nurses and same 12-week-ultrasound doctor as the last time. Just like last time, I was blown away by two distinct facets of our visit.
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A good friend remembers Chris Hondros

April 25, 2011 By: erik Category: News, Photography, Photos, Videos

Chris HondrosOn April 15, 2011, I was struck by the photograph on this news article. The caption attributed it to a photographer for Getty Images named Chris Hondros. I’d never heard of him, but, when I tweeted about it, I specifically mentioned his name. If my good friend, Kevin McCloy, hadn’t been on a Facebook hiatus, he might have seen my message about Hondros and proudly told me that Chris Hondros was one of his best friends from college.

Five days later, on April 20, 2011, Chris Hondros was killed in an RPG attack by Libyan government forces in Misrata. I heard immediately via Facebook from my friend, McCloy, and the next day it was the top news story across the United States.
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Spanish Lesson: Estar de Rodrí­guez

April 21, 2011 By: erik Category: Family, Spain, Spanish

Spanish QuestionThis is one of the more curious Spanish expressions to me. I think it was first introduced to me by my Spanish friends in England when my future wife traveled alone to Spain for a wedding and I had to stay behind because the British immigration officers were getting uneasy with me going to and from Spain so much. Here’s a brief definition of the expression, followed by a longer explanation I’ve gathered from some internet research:

estar de Rodrí­guez: adj. the state of being left at home alone to work by one’s spouse (wife, typically) and children, while they go on vacation.

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Dramatic Moonrise

April 19, 2011 By: erik Category: Damn, Nature!, Experiments, Photography, Timelapse, Videos

Tonight's MoonriseTwo nights ago, we were sitting in the living room, and Marga exclaimed, “Whoa! Check out the moon!” It was just peeking up over the tree-lined hillside to the east of our house. I ran to get my camera and snapped several pictures during the minute I had when the natural satellite was still behind the trees. Only one of them came out very good.

The following night, I decided that, if the weather was willing, I’d be ready to photographically ambush the moon as it rose over the trees.
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