What I learned this week, May 16, 2014

Ink & Paper

As a small child I remember watching a linotype operator keying his machine and fascinated by his callused hands handling the hot lead slugs.

The Mystery of Go, the Ancient Game That Computers Still Can’t Win

How to Deal With Negative Press

How does George R. R. Martin do his actual writing?

Using a separate computer for writing is brilliant. I wouldn’t go back to Wordstar – I’d use Wordperfect 5.0 – the best word processing program I’ve seen.

I like his rant against auto-correct – “If I had wanted a capital, I’d have typed a capital.”

Kaiju-a-go-go: Every Godzilla Monster, from Lamest to Coolest

I can’t argue with King Ghidorah at #1, but I would have ranked Mothra higher.

Rate of US bicycle commuters rises by 60%

The only thing better than biking to work is biking to somewhere other than work.

Mesquite steering away from groundbreaking DART pact

I have no sympathy for Mesquite in this deal. I lived there, years ago, when the DART vote went down. Mesquite voted no. The reason I heard was, “If we get a train and a bus system, poor people will move here.” Wrong. Young professionals that work downtown and are looking for affordable housing will live there and take the train to work. And when the young profesionals move to other suburbs (with dense, transit-oriented development) what do you have left?

Google Street View sleuth: help us identify our cities’ biggest failings

There are plenty of bad spots in Dallas. Here’s one that I particularly abhor. It would be a very useful route to get from Downtown/Cedars to the Santa Fe Trestle Trail… if it wasn’t a death trap. It looks like there are sidewalks and stairs too – don’t be fooled, they go nowhere… fast.

Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato)

Leonhardt Lagoon, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

Leonhardt Lagoon, Fair Park, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)

I made it a point on the Stop and Photograph the Roses bike ride to swing by Fair Park. I love the Art Deco architecture, sculpture, and murals there. Plus, there is Leonhardt Lagoon, with the incredible 1986 walk-on sculpture by Patricia Johanson, Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato).

“The lagoon was in the middle of Dallas’ largest park with four major museums along the shore, and it seemed a wonderful opportunity to convert it into a home for native wildlife—ducks, turtles, fish, shrimp, insects—by cleaning up the water and conceiving of landscaping as food. The “sculpture” was thought of as not just aesthetic, but rather a means of bringing people into contact with the plants and animals and the water.”
—-Patricia Johanson

It’s interesting, but there really is a Sagittaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato) – it’s a water weed. The only thing is, the real thing is spelled slightly differently than the title of the sculpture (one G, two T’s). I’m sure she did this on purpose – for something of this size, you want to get it right.

Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato)

Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato)

Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato)

Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato)

Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato)

Saggitaria Platyphylla (Delta Duckpotato)

Pond at Fair Park

A pond in Fair Park. The red paths are part of a massive sculpture by Patricia Johanson. I have always loved those red paths running through the water, weeds, and turtles. A neglected jewel in the city.