Carrying Stones – moving a mountain one stone at a time

Beginning to Understand DNS

Montreal developer Julie Evans has been publishing information about the Domain Name System (DNS) that is easier to understand than anything I’ve read before. If you’re interested in learning more about the topic, check out these articles:

This “series” (my term, not hers) is up-to-date as of January 15, 2022. There may be more articles to come, so subscribe to Julie Evans’ Blog.

The modern curriculum | Seth’s Blog

The modern curriculum | Seth’s Blog:

It’s been a century of biology, chemistry, arithmetic, social studies and the rest. So long that the foundational building blocks are seen as a given, unquestioned and unimproved. The very structure of the curriculum actually prevents school from working as it should.

I think that a significant shift is overdue. The one [detailed in this article] could work for kids from the age of 6. It doesn’t eliminate the fundamentals of being educated, but it puts them into context. More important, because it’s self-directed and project-based, kids can choose to learn, instead of being forced to.

Seth has been talking about education models for years and I’ve always agreed with him. Society and technology have changed in the past century. Why hasn’t public education?

A Madonna Who Shows the Beauty in Going Overboard – The New York Times

A Madonna Who Shows the Beauty in Going Overboard – The New York Times:

What makes a picture “good”?

This is the question Jason Farago strives to answer in this New York Times article focused on “Madonna of the Long Neck” by Parmigianino.

I’m not sure what it is, but this article drew me in and somehow inspires me. Maybe it’s the short review of great art or the witty discussion with shifting focus on different parts of multiple works of “Great Art.”

Whatever it is, I like it.

Why handwriting is good for learning – On my Om

Why handwriting is good for learning – On my Om:

I have always taken notes and handwritten first drafts of articles on paper. That has allowed me to learn, recall and imagine better. I couldn’t recommend writing more highly.

Agreed. I don’t attend many meetings these days, but when I do I have a decent pen (the Pilot G2 is my OG) and a yellow legal pad with me.

Daring Fireball: Fleets, We Hardly Knew Ye

Daring Fireball: Fleets, We Hardly Knew Ye started with…

I’ll resist dunking on Twitter for this, because I think it’s better for Twitter to try more new ideas — even if many wind up abandoned — than to find itself paralyzed by indecision over how to evolve the platform.

…and pivoted to…

Fear of letting the other side achieve its goals when they’re in the majority has resulted in a legislature that can barely pass anything — and that hasn’t worked out well.

I really appreciate how John took an observation about Twitter’s rightful abandonment of “fleets” and turned into a conversation about the filibuster.

The filibuster is a bad idea. It’s OK to kill it and move on.

Opinion | Swiss Army knife or AR-15? The judge is right that there’s no difference! – The Washington Post

Opinion | Swiss Army knife or AR-15? The judge is right that there’s no difference! – The Washington Post:

What two items could be more directly and obviously comparable than an AR-15 and a Swiss Army knife? I can’t think of how many times I’ve used an AR-15 to open a bottle of wine. Whenever I need a toothpick but cannot find one, I just whip out my AR-15. Conversely, whenever I am entering a theater of war, I always remember to pack my Swiss Army knife. That way, if anyone comes at me, I can offer to help them open a bottle, which will be so confusing to them that perhaps I can just get up and walk away before anyone notices I have gone. I very much understand how things work in theaters of war.

I was thankful during the pandemic to find Alexandra Petri writing for the Washington Post. Her delightfully absurd (in the spirit of Monty Python) opinions always provoke anything from giggles to guffaws. Must see! Would read again!

More News Isn’t Good News

Several weeks ago I signed up for journalist Dan Rather's free mailing list (there is a paid version too). As a recovering journalist, something he wrote recently touched on a topic I often consider; the endless and ever-expanding explosion of news content.

For all the outlets, all the niches, all the competition, what does this change do for how we are getting our news? And how is it changing? Are we better informed? Hearing from more diverse voices? More overwhelmed? More distracted? More confused? How do each of you sort through the news? What sources do you turn to? These are the questions on which I would love to hear your feedback.

That's a lot to unpack. During my childhood, before I cared for such things, news came from three TV stations sharing updates at 6 and 11 p.m. There were two daily metro newspapers (the liberal Free Press in the morning followed by the more conservative Times in the afternoon).

My gut tells me that while the number of crimes and violent acts has increased since the 1970s, the percentage of criminals relative to a larger population isn't much greater today. Our generation's curse is seeing all of the news from everwhere. The growth of the internet and 24-hour cable news networks has transformed what used to be local drama into national tragedies. Any freakish thing that happens has the potential to become headline news around the world.

I have to answer "Yes!" to Dan's questions about being overwhelmed and distracted. There is so much more than local news reported on our TVs and other media.

Dan continued with a broad question. Has your news consumption changed with the new presidency?

Feel free to respond in any way you wish, but I would like to specifically ask if your news consumption has changed with the new presidential administration. Do you read or watch less news? More? Different sources? More or less on social media? Look for more news that isn’t about politics?

Again, "Yes!"

During the five years of the Trump era I felt it was a civic duty to tune into the news if only to see how he had harmed America during the night. I rarely watch the news now because that fear is no longer stuck in my brain. I sleep better knowing our president is focused on governance, not Twitter statistics and adolescent social media clout.

Cabin Week

Julie and I took a much needed break from responsibility and stayed at Mayfly Cabin built on a bluff overlooking Fightingtown Creek in Epworth, Ga.

It is perfect for the two of us. Small footprint with spacious interior and amazing decks and stairs leading down to rushing water below. We spent a lot of time halfway down those stairs on a large deck with a fire pit. Back up at the house there is a hot tub on the lower deck. The top deck is a screened porch stretching across the entire back of the cabin.

Everywhere we hear the water below and the song of the wind blowing through the pines and rhododendron. It is glorious.

blue ridge woods
Enjoy an album of photos like this one on Flickr.