News for December 2009



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Rad: Newport Beach, California




Radiation tri-blade 2009.Dec.29 » Created a dedicated 'Guides' page. See here » Radified Guides. Been meaning to do that for .. eons. This will allow me to off-load the guides listed here on the home-page, so I can clean it up.

MODx Content Management System (CMS)A 'Guides' Page & Installing MODx Revolution

I indented & right-aligned every other link .. to make them easier to read. What do you think? When the links were all lined-up together & left-aligned, they seemed too .. similar.

Eventually I'd like to include a representative graphic for each guide/link. But for now, I just wanted to create a page that contains a repository of the links to all our guides.

On a related note, I've been looking more deeply into MODx, the Content Management System (CMS). They are fixin' to release a new version (complete-rewrite, from the ground up, based on PHP5) .. called » REVOLUTION. (Current version is called » EVOLUTION.)

Drupal would be cool, but it's way too sophisticated for what I need. I don't want/need a PhD in CMS's. Here's a MODx site, for example. (I used to live in Lancaster, PA .. the heart of Amish country. Nice people there.)

I'd like to become intimately familiar with a good CMS .. as another skill to add to my digital toolkit. Only way to do that is » use one daily.

The good people at MODx claim a 'Release Candidate' version of REVOLUTION will be coming » "Winter 2009" (.. which is now). [ Notice how the words 'Summer 2009' have been lined-out. ] UPDATE » They just changed the RC date to "Spring 2010". Hmmm.

The MODx site is running REVOLUTION. I'm in no hurry, tho. Rather make a good decision than a hasty one.

Today's entry concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog III .. see here » A 'Guides' Page & Installing MODx Revolution CMS (beta5)

Radiation tri-blade 2009.Dec.21 » First day of winter, otherwise known as the » winter solstice. The word solstice means 'sun stopping,' because the sun appears to cease its southerly trek for a few days around this time each year, before heading back north.

Pooh's Heffalump MovieWinter Solstice = Longest Night

The exact time when the sun reaches its southern-most point = 10:47 AM PDT. Interesting how they can pinpoint the exact moment.

Today is the longest night of the year (most hours of darkness). Starting tomorrow, the days begin to lengthen. The seasons are caused by a tilt (23-degrees) in the earth's axis .. as we make our annual trip around the sun.

Of course, if you live down in the southern hemisphere, everything is reversed. Today is your first day of summer, with the longest day of the year. Summer solstice.

Consider this » the earth is 92 million miles from the sun (give or take a few mil). Let's call that distance » the 'radius'. We can calculate the distance of our annual orbit by using the formula for the circumference of a circle » pi x diameter .. which = 3.14 x 184 million, which means we travel » 578 million miles every year (around the sun) ..

.. at a speed of 578-MM / 365 days per year = 1.58 million miles per day, which = .066 million miles/hour, which equals » 66,000 mph (if my math is correct). That's almost 100 times faster than the speed of sound. We're bookin'. Better fasten your seatbelt. Imagine hitting something at that speed. Ouch.

The seasons remind us of the cycle of life .. rebirth, renewal .. that no matter how dark things might get, brighter days are coming. And that dark days come to us all.

Today's entry concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog III .. see here » Winter Solstice = Longest Night (& Heffalumps)

Radiation tri-blade 2009.Dec.18 » The 101st annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade began Wednesday. It goes on every night in Newport Harbor (from 6:30 to 9PM) 'til Sunday, which is the grand finale. Saturday will probably see max crowds. We went last night (Thursday) and the island was hoppin'. Electric.

101st Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat ParadeNewport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade

The boats are colorful and fun to watch. Sure. But the best part of the boat parade is simply being out among the festivities .. with a big crowd of Orange County people, who are all in a festive mood .. exuding the Christmas spirit. (And it's all free.)

All the houses on the island are decorated to the hilt. (One guy told me his electric bill was $600/month. His meter was spinning like a dang gyro.)

Some years the weather is freezing (by Southern California standards), being on the water, but last night it was downright balmy. We saw at least two brass bands, complete with tuba, playing your favorite Christmas songs.

The Bug brought along his scooter (razor), which worked well for getting around. We started on Balboa Island and rode the ferry across to the peninsula, where we played in the fun zone for a while. (I let him beat me at air hockey, 7-to-5, and then shoot a gun in a stand-up video game, where he blasted lots of villians.)

Of course we had to get some hot buttered popcorn, and after that, a light-saber from a sidewalk vendor, who pushed a dazzling cart surrounded by eager kids. What a great time we had.

Today's entry concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog III .. see here » Newport Harbor Christmas Boat Parade

Radiation tri-blade 2009.Dec.15 » The White House re-launched its website on Drupal. Can you believe that? Not sure why this blows my mind. In searching the web however, I see many others have also sat up and taken notice.

George Washington at the White House running on DrupalThe White House (Gasp!) Goes Drupal

No doubt the White House has content to manage. Sure.

But I think the reason it's so unexpected is that Drupal is simply too cool & cutting edge for the White House .. which we normally associate with stodginess and somnolent formality.

Then there's the fact that Drupal is not an American product. It was born in Belgium, at the University of Ghent (.. as a message board for fellow-students enrolled there).

And you know how RADICAL college students can be. Downright revolutionary at times.

It could also be that we associate politicians with being less-than-honest about their true intentions .. while Drupal is open source, and therefore completely transparent. (Imagine how people might feel if Hitler were caught parading around town wearing a scarf knitted by Mother Teresa.)

Dare I mention how the government TAKES your money .. without even a thank-you note, and gives it to people who have much too much already. While Drupal, released under GPL, is better than free (as in 'free beer'), cuz it's also open source (free as in 'freedom').

The whole thing feels grossly incongruent .. as tho two vastly different worlds have collided. Matter and anti-matter. Good omen, tho .. for both the White House and Drupal.

Today's entry concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog III .. see here » The White House (Gasp!) Goes Drupal

Radiation tri-blade 2009.Dec.12 » Had my first futuristic dream last night. It seemed so real, vivid. Most striking is how dismal and gray everything looked. No color. No trees. No plants — anywhere. Concrete all around. A canopy of low-hanging clouds block out the sun. The air was cool, damp, dank.

The futureFuturistic Dream

Toxins have accumulated in the environment — or so my dream goes — to the point they've affected 10-15% of the population. Those most sensitive among us have reacted violently.

Especially affected are creative types » artists, musicians, poets .. what Ezra Pound calls the antennae of the race. [Tho not me.]

I'm standing in a parking lot that's surrounded on three sides by the industrial walls of a medical facility, some 3 or 4 stories tall. It seems to be a cross between a hospital and a high-security Psych ward. Gray, dreary skies hang low overhead.

A whoosh of steam startles me. A large, disc-shaped metal plate opens in the middle of the parking lot. Others run away, scattering in all directions. Up from a treatment facility located deep underground rises a grotesque body strapped to a gurney. It hardly looks human, but is.

When the steam clears, two attendants, dressed in white lab coats, wheel the gurney into the building. They take the heavily-sedated patient up to one of the rooms.

No single toxin is responsible for these adverse reactions, but rather an aggregate that has accumulated in the environment over many years. [ How I know this I don't know. You know how dreams are. ]

I need to retrieve something from the room where this new patient was taken. Drat! I should've fetched it earlier, I think.

Today's entry continues & concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog III .. see here » Futuristic Dream

Radiation tri-blade 2009.Dec.08 » Have a special treat for you today. Earlier this year I spent my Saturday mornings (8 weeks worth) up at Chapman University. There I participated in a co-parenting course called » Kids First (.. for a second time, both court-ordered).

The curriculum is designed to help divorced parents put aside their disappointment & resentment and focus on putting their » kids first. (Hence the name.) Excellent course, taught by seasoned professionals who really care. ($300)

Friedrich NietzscheCenturies of Philosophical Thought

My particular classes were held in the same building where Chapman's Philosophy/Religion department is located. [ The combatants, uh I mean parents, are assigned to different classrooms, as you might expect, to minimize the number of brawls. ]

Posted on the bulletin board outside the office to the Philosophy department was a large laminated poster that contained a list of the major philosophers throughout history, with a representative quote beside each name.

I enjoyed reading those quotes each week .. so much that on the final day I stayed late to copy them down, along with the name of each philosopher and their corresponding dates. I've been carrying around that piece of paper ever since. (Tho it's getting ratty.)

Today I finally transferred these quotes to 3 web pages (7 entries per page), and included a picture for each philosopher (which the original poster did not have). I also added a brief historical description to complement each entry.

Today's entry concludes in Ye Olde Rad Blog III .. see here » Centuries of Philosophical Thought

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