Elkin High School Graduation

Congratulations, graduates!

On this auspicious occasion I’d like to blah blah blah blah blah. Furthermore, yadda yadda yadda. Which reminds me of an amusing story: blah blah blah.

It’s a difficult thing to make a graduation speech work. Who wants to listen? Everybody’s so distracted by premature nostalgia or postpartum dread or pre-party anticipation, you might as well address a crowd of milling sheep. Most speakers are wise enough to realize how hopeless the situation is and cut their losses by delivering a speech that takes little or no time to prepare and almost no energy to deliver.

It is possible to make a graduation speech stand up and work for a living. Here’s one entertaining example: Conan O’Brien speaking to last year’s graduating class at Harvard. And included below for your reading pleasure is the speech given by my nephew Ben upon his graduation from Elkin High School. It shares with Conan O’Brien the common theme of failure… a worthy point of rumination for us all.

And in conclusion, graduates, blah blah blah blah blah.
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Fun picture of the Internet

Fun picture of the Internet from CAIDA, which stands for Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis. The image does a good job splitting the difference between geographic location (which is displayed as longitude around the edges) and network relationships. For instance, you can see that Europe is closely linked with itself, whereas in Asian countries traffic tend to come all the way to the US before being routed back to another Asian country. Lots of other good net visualization tools on this site, including GTrace, which is a geographic traceroute visualizer. Network visualization is a tough problem.

Here’s another close up of

Here’s another close up of the Face on Mars courtesy of
APOD. Love those guys. This picture looks a lot more like the famous version than some other recent shots I’ve seen… you can see how the shadows must have fallen. Although I suppose it’s just possible that once the inhabitants knew we were onto them (you know they read the Weekly World News), they spent several years flinging dirt around to make it look natural again. Here’s more commentary on the Happy Martian from Malin Space Science Systems.

Check out iLOR Search. It’s

Check out iLOR Search. It’s built on top of Google, and it shows some real promise. They’ve clearly been watching people using search engines and figuring out how to accelerate their work. They have some nifty tools, like a quick “my list”, that fit very well with my Google usage style. Good usability in action.