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Entries from blogs tagged with “National Interest”

Timelapse: Growing shadows

I've been experimenting with a new camera which let me takes series of photos so that I can create timelapse movies. This is the first of my efforts.

Reply 2 comments from Lawrence Morgan

In Plain Sight(??) 9/12/2012

Previous: IPS 6/24/2012

It is amazing I have the nerve to show my face around here, but I saw something worth a post, so it is below.

If you've seen it, and can identify it, you're welcome to do so in the comments. Otherwise I'll do so in a day or so. I was headed back from an auction this weekend and this subject caught my eye.

IPS 9/11/2012  1 and only image

IPS 9/11/2012 1 and only image by David Klamet

Reply 1 comment from Tange

Fiber in Douglas county?

With all the attention Google is getting with the fiber plans in Kansas City, I thought it was a good idea to share some things I've heard, and see if anyone knows more.

A few years ago, I was sitting in the barbershop. The gentleman next to me was telling us that he'd received a letter from Sunflower/Knology (don't recall which who it was. or exactly how long ago it was) announcing that they would be deploying fiber based internet in his area. He lived southwest of town, somewhere near the Wakarusa school.

A call to Sunflower (or whoever) at the time, and a few inquiries since, have not elicited any more information.

However, there is one more interesting item. About a year ago, I was googling trying to find information about fiber deployments. Somewhere, and I can't find it again now, I saw a map of the Dougas county area that showed fiber deployed in a narrow band north and south of Clinton Lake.

Is there anyone out there with a fiber connection from Knology? Does anyone know anything more?

Yes, I know I haven't posted an IPS photo in a while. Don't give up hope. I haven't.

Reply 1 comment from Dustyacres

IPS 6/24/2012 (Solved)

Previous: IPS 6/14/2012
Next: IPS 9/11/2012

hujiko quickly identified the subject this week.

This is the 163rd post since since December 20th of 2007. Within the next week or so, I'll post an index of all those photos.

But, in the meantime, I am in dire need of subjects and ideas. I know there are more interesting things out there, but they have become increasingly difficult to find and I need your help.

This means YOU!.

I've added an appeal with ways to contact me below.


This week, I thought it best to just post the complete photo from the start. It may be obvious (or maybe not), but anything less than the entire photo is just an anonymous bunch of flowers.

IPS 6/24/2012 (1 and only)

IPS 6/24/2012 (1 and only) by David Klamet

The burroughs Creek Rail trail, looking south from 15th St.


Suggestions for subjects or ideas are ALWYAYS welcome, you can contact me via my LJW account here. Or directly via email at dave at klamet.net. You can send an idea, or even a photo if you like and if I use it, you'll receive the thank of millions, .... or thousands, well, maybe hundreds....

The image(s) above is(are) of a part of a photo of a subject somewhere in the area. I'll add additional parts of the entire photo over the next few days. You are invited to try to guess the subject and location. I'll notify the first person who correctly identifies the subject or location of the entire photo. That subject or location won't be revealed until later, after the answer is obvious. I suggest that people indicate that their guess is "Final" as opposed to just speculation and limit themselves to one final answer per person.

Reply 3 comments from Hujiko Tange

In Plain Sight 6/14/2012 (Solved)

Previous:IPS 6/2/2012
Next:IPS 6/24/2012

Alia Ahmed identified this week's subject. See the bottom of this post for the subject and complete picture.

Many years ago, I was watching coverage of the Olympics, I saw a short segment that I still remember. It was about the last man to finish the marathon. He was never a contender, and he finished the race hours after the winners and far behind everyone else, but I guess he was too determined to stop.

Some days I think I know how he felt.

I have been creating an index of all the IPS (and SMTS)posts. I started on December 20th of 2007. I'm up to Feb 6, 2011 and my count is 127. Whew. Just thinking about it makes me tired. I surely didn't know what I'd gotten myself into.

But by golly, don't get your hopes up, I'm not done yet. One reason I finally got around to creating an index of my posts is so I could be sure I hadn't done this week's subject already. It turns out, I only duplicated one subject in all that time, and that was a special case anyway.

I think I'm up to about 160, and I don't want to stop before 200.


The image(s) above is(are) of a part of a photo of a subject somewhere in the area. I'll add additional parts of the entire photo over the next few days. You are invited to try to guess the subject and location. I'll notify the first person who correctly identifies the subject or location of the entire photo. That subject or location won't be revealed until later, after the answer is obvious. I suggest that people indicate that their guess is "Final" as opposed to just speculation and limit themselves to one final answer per person.

After all this time, I FINALLY used this subject...

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IPS 6/2/2012 (Still going)

I guess when you fall off the front page you fall off the edge of the earth.

I just added a 3rd image, no one has attempted a guess of a subject in the current space time continuum.

http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/in-simple-words/2012/jun/2/in-plain-sight-622012-1/

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Venus Transit in Progress

Well, I have a telescope and the last transit of Venus across the face of the sun for over a hundred years is happening right now.

I've set up a somewhat crude rig to project the Sun's image on some white posterboard.

As Lawrence suggested in the comments, DO NO LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN! It is very unlikely that you could see it anyway.

Sun will set soon. Transit will go on without us.


BTW: And here is the last IPS post. No one has identified the subject.

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In Plain Sight 6/2/2012 (Solved)

Previous: IPS 5/23/2012
Next: IPS 6/14/2012

It is time to give it to 'frankie8'. See the bottom of this post for the answer.

Still trying to my rhythm back, hopefully I'll do this on a regular basis, even if turns out to be less than once a week.

To that end, you can help by sending suggestions for subjects. I've done more than 150 of these, at last count, and my "dry periods" have gotten, as you might notice, somewhat longer.

You can send a private message though my account here on the LJW site. Or, to "myfirstname@mylastname.net". Uh, don't actually send it to that address, there is a little decoding you need to do first.

In other news, I'm finally getting around to compiling a list of subjects and links to all the IPS (and before that SMTS) posts. You'd have thought I'd have done that before now, being a software engineer and all. I chalk it up to using my underdeveloped right brain for this.


The rapidity with which the last few subjects have been identified has been, shall we say, distressing. To counter this disturbing trend, I have trekked far off the beaten path to find a subject this week. Of course, far is relative term.

OK, this is the complete photo. I'll provide more hints if this isn't enough.


The image(s) above is(are) of a part of a photo of a subject somewhere in the area. I'll add additional parts of the entire photo over the next few days. You are invited to try to guess the subject and location. I'll notify the first person who correctly identifies the subject or location of the entire photo. That subject or location won't be revealed until later, after the answer is obvious. I suggest that people indicate that their guess is "Final" as opposed to just speculation and limit themselves to one final answer per person.

A piece of play equipment, or maybe sculpture in front of Pinkney Elemenatary.

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Things That Aren’t Downtown

I'm spending a day downtown, mostly in the library, while my car is in the shop.

This has, not surprisingly, given me a chance to consider how the character of downtown has changed.

While walking up to Milton's this morning for breakfast, I was reminded of a visit to the doctor when I was young. His office was over one of the shops on the east side of the 800 block of Mass, as near as I can recall (it was 50 years ago!).

Don't know of any businesses above any of these shops now, at least the kind without music to loud for my middle (ok, maybe late middle) age ears.

I don't see any grocery stores near downtown anymore. Nor drugstores.

Is there anything to do downtown during the day besides shop, eat, and get a haircut? Is there anything to life besides these three things?

In the evening there are the bars and Liberty Hall. It and Ernst and Son hardware are the only things I remember from the downtown of my youth. Did I miss anything?

BTW, I still have time to do an IPS post this week. It could happen!

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In Plain Sight 5/23/2012 (Solved)

Previous: IPS 5/16/2012
Next: IPS 6/2/2012

Well, I certainly thought this would take longer to identify, but dancemomx2 nailed it quickly. See the bottom of this post for the answer

Well, I haven't gotten into the rhythm of posting on a particular night yet, so please bear with me. These will likely be a little sporadic for a while.

Houses are the one continuing subject that fascinate me as I travel around the area. If I had the talent, I would be a "house" painter. I.e. a painter of paintings of houses.

The first image is of the distinctive feature of this week's subject so I expect this to be snapped up in no time.

Whoa, I almost made the first image too easy this time, luckily I came to my senses before I actually posted this entry.


The image(s) above is(are) of a part of a photo of a subject somewhere in the area. I'll add additional parts of the entire photo over the next few days. You are invited to try to guess the subject and location. I'll notify the first person who correctly identifies the subject or location of the entire photo. That subject or location won't be revealed until later, after the answer is obvious. I suggest that people indicate that their guess is "Final" as opposed to just speculation and limit themselves to one final answer per person.

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The Lawrence We Remember Redux

Four and a half years ago I posted about Lawrence, The Way We Remember it. It and another similar post were very popular and I've avoided revisiting the subject. Until now.

My thought is to revisit East 23rd St., before the new K-10 was built. I invite you to submit recollections, photos, or links to relevant information.

In the future, we might visit our memories of other areas in (and maybe even around) Lawrence.

I mentioned the AquaForum, which was initially on East 23rd. I'm sure when all the work was being done rebuilding E. 23rd, the business suffered. I believe it moved, for a while, to somewhere near where Pet World is now. I moved away in 1976 and think it was still in business. When I returned around 1980, I'm not so sure.

The old gentleman who ran it (although he might not have been much older than I am now), still sticks vaguely in my memory.

Does anyone else have recollections of him and his shop? Or anything on E. 23rd around that time? Please post your recollections below, or if you prefer, you can contact me with the information and I'll make sure it's visible.

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In Plain Sight 5/16/2012 (Solved)

Previous: IPS 5/13/2012
Next: IPS 5/23/2012

Sorry I was slow to acknowledge jehovah_bob for having quickly identifying the subject. Darn him anyway. :-). See the bottom of this post for the subject

I had such a good time posting earlier this week, that I'm going to post one more as I happened to see a likely subject the other day.

Hopefully will get back in the groove and become a regular again.


The image(s) above is(are) of a part of a photo of a subject somewhere in the area. I'll add additional parts of the entire photo over the next few days. You are invited to try to guess the subject and location. I'll notify the first person who correctly identifies the subject or location of the entire photo. That subject or location won't be revealed until later, after the answer is obvious. I suggest that people indicate that their guess is "Final" as opposed to just speculation and limit themselves to one final answer per person.


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In Plain Sight 5/13/2012 (Solved)

Previous: IPS 9/14/2011
Next: IPS 5/16/2012

Cody got it, what else can I say. See the end of the post for the complete photo.

Life changes have brought me back to my old haunts. Among other things, I work in Lenexa now and drive through town on my way home. That means I have fewer excuses for not looking for a subject.

The last post was 8 months ago, almost to the day. Is anyone still out there?

If this is, indeed, the start of a new round of IPS posts, then I've started you off easy. Please go easy on me.


The image(s) above is(are) of a part of a photo of a subject somewhere in the area. I'll add additional parts of the entire photo over the next few days. You are invited to try to guess the subject and location. I'll notify the first person who correctly identifies the subject or location of the entire photo. That subject or location won't be revealed until later, after the answer is obvious. I suggest that people indicate that their guess is "Final" as opposed to just speculation and limit themselves to one final answer per person.


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You saw it here first.

OK. I know it been a long time since I've posted any photos. I keep meaning to...really, I do.

I happened to see this link on CNN where my idea has been used on a more global scale.

For those of you who don't what I'm talking about, I had a long series (spanning more than 3 years, starting in 2007) where I posted a small photo (or portion thereof) and invited readers to try and identify it. Here is a link to the last (or I'll hopefully say latest?) in that series of posts..

Where did I put that camera anyway....

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Recess: Studies confirm common sense

This article from CNN, describes some elementary schools that reduced or eliminated recess--and parents efforts to rectify the situation.

I recall when my youngest son was in sixth grade here in Lawrence. Recess was eliminated or drastically curtailed because of the time it would take from academics.

Now, having read the article below and reconsidered, I deeply regret not taking action. I'm older, crankier, and more confident that I don't (always) need studies to make decisions. It shouldn't have taken something like this to wake me up. I, and all the other parents in that class, were persuaded that it was for the best.

Let me say now, what I should have said then. THEY'RE SIXTH GRADERS, PEOPLE! Or second graders, or ...

If you have elementary age kids, how much time do they get outside at school? Is this an issue in Lawrence? In my, or actually my son's, case, it was ten years ago. Is it still going on?

Does this have anything to do with the U.S. being the most obese country in the world?

One final, and somewhat satirical question. Is there anything our educational system does right?

(Hey, I know there are a lot of good teachers out there doing their best under difficult conditions).

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Abdicating Responsibility

http://www2.ljworld.com/polls/2012/mar/should-teacher-larger-class-be-paid-more-teacher-s/

(I consider this to not be one of my usual rants, but an insightful analysis. Your opinions may vary)

Does anyone think that the suggestion in this poll has any merit whatsoever?

Using such a simple method for adjusting, or maybe even determining, teacher salaries is a symptom of the mentality that has come to dominate our dysfunctional culture. Although I suspect, or at least hope, that no one would consider making this the primary factor in determining a teacher's salary, it is just an extension of the common practice of trying to find measurable, and preferably "simple" metrics to free us from having to make difficult decisions.

We all know that decisions like this just aren't simple? Right? Just as in private industry, a supervisor or manager is usually responsibile for determining an employees performance and their worth to the business. This worth equates to the amount of money the company is willing to pay to retain them--at least in theory-- assuming competent management (not a safe assumption).

So why do we think that should be different in education? Because it might not always be fair? Because it could become political?

Guess what, that's life in the real world.

My contention is that our "leaders" most fervent desire is to find ways to avoid responsibility--to put everything they can on someone else. In essence, the goal seems to be to come up with a complex series of rules and policies so that the effort consists of evaluating the problem in the context of those rules and policies instead of looking at the actual facts and merits of the situation under consideration.

Why is it we have to make everything so hard...so complex?

We all know that there are many factors that affect how effective a teacher is, right?

Let's face it, some of our students come from backgrounds where they have tremendous disadvantages, and to expect a teacher to overcome those is criminally naive.

Let's not forget some of the some others. How many teachers have the support of their administration? How many times to they get the backing of their principal or district superintendent when their is a parent complaint? Some students just don't care, while others are motivated to learn on their own. It's a much larger and complex problem than I can do justice to here.

Is it just human nature to look for easy answers to difficult problems?

Has the time when we met challenges head on come to an end?

Are we unwilling to accept the possibility that it is possible for someone to make a decision with the best intentions, using all the information they have, and still have it turn out badly? I see enough decisions turn out badly (enough for hundreds of blog posts), that I'd be happy about a bad decisions, as long as it was acknowledged and the maker learned from it.

Heck, I have to admit I've made bad decisions. I know I leared from at least some of them. Maybe they should be the subject of another post.

Leaders are those people who make decisions and take responsibility. Maybe if we can find some, then everyone else won't really mind because it will just make it easier for the "shirkers" to avoid their responsibilities.

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A New Convenience

I write this will sitting on the K-10 connector to Lenexa/Olathe. I started a new job in November of last year and since then have had the mind numbing drive each day from near Stull to College blvd near I-35.

When I first started, the "Jo" routes in Johnson County didn't make using the bus feasible. Recently, though, they have extended the routes and now I can go from 23rd and Crestline to JCCC, change busses and be dropped off a block from my office.

The travel time is longer, but since I just filled my tank at $3.65/gallon yesterday, and I hate burning 2 hours a day behind the wheel even more than paying for gas, this is a great alternative.

Who knows, I may finally fulfill that dream and write the great American novel in those two extra hours I now have each day.

And if not, at least I've left the ranks of the morning zombies who accompany me each morning (and evening) on K-10.

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Common Sense Isn’t: What is a Session?

If the hottest topic in the news is whether or not one person going into the senate chamber every 3 days constitutes the aforementioned body being "in session", then this country is in deep trouble.

If a significant number of people think that such actions really mean that the body (Senate) is "in session", then this country is in deep trouble.

I can define the current behavior of the the House and Senate as bipartisan and productive. That does not make it true.

Even Rush Limbaugh had an appropriate phrase "Symbolism over Substance". That was back when I considered myself to be a Republican, now I must force myself to capitalize House, Senate, and Republican (Democrat, too for that matter). I'm sure Rush is taking the side of symbolism now, though.

Not that I have an opinion, one way or the other on "recess appointments". Is it just me, or are they just making up the rules as they go along?

Oh, and the punch line?

This country is in deep trouble.

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Simplify (Wall Street?)

Don't know where that title came from, except maybe in a bolt of blinding inspiration???

I don't have any resolutions this year, but I've been conscious of reducing the stress and hassles in my life these last few years. So when I saw this article on CNN, it caught my attention.

8 ways to simplify your life in 2012

Although this article is aimed specifically at women, I think the stresses of "modern" life hit everyone.

My big prediction, not necessarily for this year, is that computers and technology will actually be used to simplify and improve our lives. In my opinion, that isn't happening yet... (I've probably said it before and I'll say it again)

What things in your life cause the most turmoil, aggravation, and stress? Or what things do you want (or hope) to change?

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The 1% strikes again?

From the title for this post, you can see that I am obviously a staunch supporter of the OWS movement. Although I wish different people were doing the talking and I'm a little dismayed at what I think are some misdirected priorities, I'm thankful that a such a movement has started and that it has endured long enough to give me confidence that it is more than a fad.

Of course there are many "activists" who protest because that is what the do. And yes, many of them are naive and some are downright silly.

However I gain a little more hope each time there is some inane attack on the protesters. Whether they come from comments here on LJW, FOX news, CEO's I know, or wherever.... It is the people that I see and hear being disparaged, but not the ideas.

I guess we take it for granted that you can buy anything with money: influence, fame, and politicians to name a few.

Chad Lawhorn's article on rising farmland prices today caught my attention. If, as he reports, farmland is being bought for investment purposes and that is the cause of the increasing prices, then we should call this activity just what it is.

Speculation. Brought to you by the same guys who lent money to anyone with a heartbeat, then refused to restructure loans even though it would have reduced their losses, then foreclosed, then negligently neglected many houses causing them to be trashed (frozen/broken pipes....).

There are those who claim that speculation is a sign of a free market and therefore a good thing. It definitely is, at least for the speculators. For those of us who pay for the products grown on this land, or the vanishing family farms, and those of us who don't have the money, or the leverage to invest in any commodity and drive the price up, well, I don't think that it is such a good thing.

We can chose to look at some of the antics of the OWS movement and find fault. Or we can listen to the message and make a decision based on our experience and common sense.

Perhaps you can watch the coverage of people having their belongings piled on the sidewalk and not feel shamed and anger at the greed and stupidity that caused it. Maybe you can make yourself believe that it could never happen to you.

The truth is the truth, no matter what we think of the speaker. The way things are now is not the way is they must remain.

These people may not have done things the way I wish they had, but they have more gumption and determination than I do...than we do.

Our history is filled with people who'd had enough. Each time, I imagine it took a while before we recognized them. They're the ones who were at the Boston Tea Party, campaigned for civil rights, and protested against the Vietnam War.

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