Check out these totally-sweet animal chess pieces. With the long-necked queen, I might actually not forget about (and lose) her!
Really inspiring photos
This article from The Atlantic offers a fascinating new perspective on the American Civil War. It questions whether or not the horrific bloodshed was worth the outcome.
… the war [did not] knit the nation back together. Instead, the South became a stagnant backwater, a resentful region that lagged and resisted the nation’s progress. It would take a century and the Civil Rights struggle for blacks to achieve legal equality, and for the South to emerge from poverty and isolation.
— Helen Keller, quoted in the Boulder, Colo., Daily Camera
It’s not big enough to completely cover a horse’s head, and it doesn’t provide enough air flow for them, either.
Melissa doesn’t understand why I enjoy these videos. And truthfully, I’m not sure why I enjoy these videos. But for some reason I am highly entertained by watching accidents…
I’ve recently switched all my Linux workstations to Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) with Cinnamon as my desktop environment. Overall this has been a joy, and I feel free of the Ubuntu weight that I’d been carrying around for a few years. But since Cinnamon is a fork of GNOME Shell, I’ve also had a few instances where things weren’t quite working the way I wished they would.
One such case is the screen lock. Anytime the GNOME Shell “screensaver” (actually just a black screen) comes on, I was forced to type in my password. In a work or public environment this protection makes sense. But when I’m home step away for a few minutes, it’s a nuisance to have to repeatedly type my password just to get back to what I was doing.
Searching around the Internet didn’t immediately reveal a quick fix. I figured it must be something I could control with gsettings, but I had no idea what the key would be. So I decided to take a look at the source code for gnome-screensaver and stumbled upon the following snippet:
#define LOCKDOWN_SETTINGS_SCHEMA "org.gnome.desktop.lockdown" #define KEY_LOCK_DISABLE "disable-lock-screen"
Ohhh, now that looks promising. Let’s see if the lock is enabled…
$> gsettings get org.gnome.desktop.lockdown disable-lock-screen false
OK, let’s disable it!
$> gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.lockdown disable-lock-screen true
Voila! No more screen lock. I certainly felt lucky to have found that code so quickly.
Now, there’s a caveat. This will entirely disable your screen lock. So you can’t hit
Ctrl-Alt-L to lock your screen if you are working on something sensitive. Turns out someone filed a buge with GNOME, so at least the developers are aware of the problem.
Mom was going through some old files recently and discovered a strange envelope labeled
Do not open until June 2003
A quick check of the calendar revealed that this letter was indeed 8 years overdue for opening. Thanks a lot, Mom. Geez. Inside I was surprised with a hand-written note, dated June 2, 1993, from my 12 year old self to my 22 year old self! Enjoy.
Accidentally shoot a video upside-down with your iPhone? Don’t worry, it’s easy to create a flipped copy that retains just about all the quality. Here’s how to do it using free tools on Mac OS X, though this should work on any *nix platform.
- Use MacPorts to install mencoder with the H.264codec.
$> sudo port -d install mplayer-devel +mencoder_extras
- Use mencoder to make a flipped copy of your video
$> mencoder -oac pcm -ovc x264 -vf flip,mirror -of lavf -x264encopts subq=6:partitions=all:me=umh:frameref=5:bframes=3:b_pyramid=1:weight_b:threads=auto input.mov -o output.movOf course, replace
input.movwith the path to your input movie.
Ideally we would just flip the video without re-encoding it, but turns out this is impossible. I’m not a video encoding expert, but this will produce a copy of your video that has no noticeable quality degradation. I like H.264’s quality/compression ratio, so I grabbed a few of their recommended high quality settings. One minor issue is that the flipped video has no video stream, only audio, in Quicktime Player 10.0. Oddly, they’ll play normally in a browser with the Quicktime plugin. Plus the videos will upload to Flickr or YouTube just fine.
See the difference for yourself