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July 2004

June 2004

Raw images of Saturn

SaturnNASA -- The latest 500 images of the Cassini-Huygens satellite are on NASA's site and most of those images will never make the rounds as parts of press releases. With its stunning rings and dozen of moons, Saturn has intrigued schools groups for ages. Barely smaller than Jupiter, it formed four billion years ago and it is made mainly of gas. It is also the only known planet that is less dense than water, meaning that if it could be placed inside an imaginary gigantic bathtub it would float. Saturn has a huge magnetosphere and a stormy atmosphere, with winds clocked at 1,118 mph near its equator.

JPL -- "Cassini-Huygens Mission"

Konfabulous desktop dashboard

KonfabulatorKONFABULATOR -- The slickest desktop dashboard in my space is the Konfabulator. It only works on the Mac but one look at its crisp features is enough to get our web developers salivating. And that motivation will lead under the bonnet with Flash MX Professional for widget development because there's plenty of horsepower inside Flash to produce a compelling MX digital dashboard.

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Ars longa

KILKENNY -- While listening to some local artists jabber on the terrace of the Kilkenny River Court Hotel, I remember the words of Sister St Irminus, IHM. "Ars longa, vita brevis." It means life is short and to master art takes a long time. There are exceptions--Mozart, Keats, Rimbaud--but they do not live around these parts.

Sent in the sunshine along the River Nore using Typepad moblog sevices.

Atrophy at American Scholar

PBK -- My Autumn 2004 edition of The American Scholar will be the last one for most of the Scholar's staff. Citing budgetary reasons, the Phi Beta Kappa Society has asked four editors to leave the magazine. The majority of the Contributing Editors and Editorial Board members have chosen to leave as well. This feels like my favourite library has shut down. Here in Kilkenny, far from the American academic press, it's worse than being an orhan abandoned on the stoop.

Sent mail2blog using Typepad moblog service in Garringreen, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Towards electronic journals

Owl Monkey on robotic armNYT -- Pamela Burdman reportes that "when Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, a neurobiologist at Duke University, decided to release a groundbreaking study in an upstart online journal, his colleagues were flabbergasted. The research, demonstrating how brain implants enabled monkeys to operate a robotic arm, was a shoo-in for acceptance in premier journals like Nature or Science. " But Nicolelis opted for an electronic journal and joined a stream of other researchers doing the same. It's a long-running debate on Nature.

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Studio MX Reflections

DUBLIN -- A day after Jason Kottke runveiled a minimalist redesign (maximising the power of HTML and CSS), I attended a presentation by Macromedia in the National College of Ireland and heard some things about the "perfect Web experience" that explains the Macromedia perspective. Steve Burnard had 68 slides to show 37 people. I remember dotcom days when 100 creatives, developers and programmers would attend these events.

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