Friday, November 08, 2013
1. My wife was headed out of town and needed
her Windows netbook, which suddenly and semi-mysteriously had become unable to
join networks. Unfamiliar with Windows and having only a few hours to work with
-- but having a hunch about the source of the problem -- I googled around and
found two pertinent-looking solutions at the Microsoft support site. One,
by a Microsoft employee, looked quite thorough, but time-consuming. One person
reported finding it helpful. The other, by one "sheeko1", looked a little
dubious (but not outside the realm of possibility for an obscure and
dumbed-down OS). Thirty-one people found this one helpful. It would
take less than five minutes to try and, if it didn't work, I knew exactly what
My hat goes off to Microsoft for hosting a good support site and to sheeko1 for saving me a couple of hours and some stress -- and my wife from having to lug around a full-sized laptop.
2. There is nothing like having a toddler to reawaken one's appreciation for the night sky. At dusk a few days ago, as I was taking my little girl out of her car seat, she suddenly pointed at the sky across the street, and asked, "What is it?"
No stars were visible, but with some effort, I was able to find a planet just over a rooftop and behind some tree branches. I moved so we could both see this better. "That?"
I told her it was a planet, maybe Jupiter (which we saw lots of last year), but I wasn't sure which.
We went inside, and she proudly told her visiting grandmother that she had spotted a planet, even repeating that it may be Jupiter. (That's the tidy version. What really stands out in my mind is how much of my short litany she remembered and restated.)
I quickly checked my sky map phone app -- What parent would be without one? -- and told her that I was able to find out that it was Venus. She asked me to take her outside to see it again, which we did. I enjoyed telling her that the world we live on is a planet, and that Venus and Jupiter are also planets, but that they look like stars because they are so far away.
3. At least some scientists now believe that, as the title of this Smithsonian article puts it, "Long Before Trees Overtook the Land, Earth Was Covered by Giant Mushrooms".
4. Why I follow Arsenal:
It has been almost a fortnight since I saw this mind-bending goal unfold, and I still can't get over it.