Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Years ago, back when I had free time, one of my hobbies was collecting and playing with fonts. I’d take one of my photos, set a bit of text, and call the result a “fontplay,” after the now-vintage website. I made most of my fontplays for Facebook (to the dismay of my graphic-designer friends). But […]


Did you hear about the latest scandal in which Facebook staffers called children “whales,” and discussed the merits of “friendly fraud”? Probably not … because who can keep track of all the Facebook scandals? In 2018 alone we learned that: • 50 million profiles were “harvested” to influence an election • Facebook and some 60 tech […]


After shooting some 15,000 frames in the past 12 months it took me a while to choose my 2016 Picture of the Year. But here it is, at last: Supermoon over Downtown. I know what you’re thinking. “IT’S TOTALLY OUT OF FOCUS!” Which is why it seems like a perfect metaphor for my past year. […]


It all started with an old record. Jalal Aro wanted to hear it, but couldn’t — not without the right machine. The quest to find that machine sparked a love affair that has bloomed into a business, and one of Paris’ most fascinating private museums. I visited Jalal recently with my friend Des, author of […]


Have you seen that “nature photo challenge” that’s going around on Facebook? I’ve been nominated by [beloved friend] to participate in the 7-Day Nature Photography Challenge. I’ll post one photo each day for seven days and will nominate one (lucky) person each day to pass this along, so we can flood Facebook with beautiful photos […]


According to Google, we have a fourth major religion! It doesn’t offer any festive holidays, but at least it’s easy to convert: Simply click “save as,” and then choose “PDF.” Happy holidays, friends.  


While I was out walking early one morning, I had a thought: “What if I keel over, or get chased by wild dogs, or am hit by a car?” (Because I think about these kinds of things during my morning walks.) “Perked up African dogs” courtesy of the World Wildlife Federation “Even if someone found […]


Most everyone is keenly aware of their physical self-image. But have you ever considered how you perceive your own mind? I’ve always thought of myself as having a poor memory: I seldom remember the plots of books and movies in any detail, for example, no matter how much I’ve enjoyed them. Over the years I’ve […]


Phoning it in

16Jan14

Technology is a funny thing: First it astounds you; then you get accustomed to it; and finally, when the novelty and wonder wear off, you take technology for granted. This cycle is natural and inevitable, I think — unless something disrupts it. Like, for instance, the technology suddenly stops working. I’d noticed that my iPhone […]


I’m exhausted. Work is busy, and the house repairs are nearing the last stretch. So why am I still sitting at my computer at 9 p.m., playing with Photoshop? Because it makes me smile. I hope it will bring a smile to you, too (with sincere apologies to my French friends).


Apocalypse not

23Dec12

Did you hear that the world ended on December 21? Yup, it’s true. In case you were living in a cave and missed the apocalypse, it was “predicted” by the Mayan calendar, which ended on December 21, 2112. The days leading up to the apocalypse reminded me of that scene from Ghostbusters in which Dan […]


Have you ever raised your camera to snap some sweeping vista — or maybe a cramped interior — only to discover that it won’t fit in a single frame? Happens to me all the time. I used to mutter naughty words and curse myself for not having a wider lens. Until one day, it occurred […]


Most people who look at this photo will see a sunrise. But to me, this photo is a miracle. It’s a miracle that I was in this place at this precise moment. It’s a miracle that I could still see it, in spite of the doctors’ grim predictions. It’s a miracle that I had a […]


65 years to the day after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier, Felix Baumgartner has done it again — this time, without an airplane. Photo illustration via UK Daily Mail But for me, the amazing feat isn’t that Baumgartner used just his body to challenge the demon that lives beyond Mach 1; it’s that […]


A couple of weeks ago my friend and fellow blogger DancingBeastie wrote about the uncharacteristic lack of snow in Scotland. I promised her that my next post would be in her honor, and that it would contain plenty of snow photos. (March is usually the snowiest month in Minnesota, after all …) And yet, as […]


Have you heard about Lukáš Kmit, the Slovakian musician whose performance was interrupted by a cellphone’s ringtone? Many hailed his response as “perfect.” Unfortunately, the Forbes article I read misidentified the instrument as a violin instead of a viola. (A minor detail—but not to my string-playing friends.) So I went looking for another link to […]


At the risk of turning this blog into a vapid regurgitation of the things my friends share on social media, I can’t resist posting these hilarious 10-second career snapshots. Don’t see your job listed? Don’t worry. More are being added every day. And remember: It’s never too late to switch careers!


I was a bit reluctant to leave Paris last November, when I hopped the train to Freiburg. But I soon forgot my misgivings: I fell in love with Freiburg at first sight. So I wasn’t too surprised this morning to find myself surfing for blogs about this beautiful German city. The first hit was something […]


I blog for my own enjoyment, for the pleasure of being able to relive what I was thinking or experiencing on a particular day. Still … occasionally I wonder whether blogging is worth the effort. Although I’ve made some cherished friends through HBlog, the majority of my posts seem to disappear into the great digital […]


In 1962, Arthur Clarke wrote that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Magic: That’s what Steve Jobs gave the world. He had the vision to not only develop dazzlingly advanced technology—but to also make it sleek and elegant and a joy to use. And in the process, Steve Jobs changed the world. Millions […]