Nappy Appy


Today, Pampers introduced Lumi, a “smart diaper” scheduled for release later this year. In collaboration with Logitech and Verify (formerly Google Life Sciences, a research company owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet ) smart diapers are designed to track babies’ personal information soon after birth.

Included with purchase of Lumi are two packs of diapers, two WIFI enabled reusable detachable sensors for monitoring sleep patterns and detecting urine or stool, a wide angle HD video monitor with night vision and two way audio to track room temperature and humidity. Translation – doting parents get an alert from Lumi when diapers need changing! Has the world gone mad?

Google subsidiary and Pampers launch creepy smart diaper which tracks soiled diapers, sleep patterns, and more

Anyone remember Tamagotchi? Handheld devices popular in the 90s, virtual pets whose “health meter” required constant attention? Meters compelling children to walk, feed or play with pixelated pets to maintain digital health? See where I’m going? The Tamagotchi generation is all grown up, older not wiser and ripe for diaper apps.

It’s bad enough people worship smart home technology, Alexa do this, Alexa do that. Now we need an app telling us when diapers are soiled? What’s next, text alerts warning time to feed, hug or play with your child? Analytics calculating optimum minutes of personal interaction with family? Smarten up people!

Koch Snowflake


Yesterday work found me on a luxury yacht, a 60th wedding anniversary celebration with finicky moving parts. As chefs began plating passed canapes I voiced dissatisfaction with presentation – no symmetry please! Later that night one of the chefs, a close friend and co-worker of nine years messaged – in all our years working together why haven’t you corrected my symmetrical arrangements? Adding, “Google informs me  “Symmetry in everyday language refers to a sense of harmonious and beautiful proportion and balance”. He asked “what would you call your preference? Randomness, disorder or perhaps asymmetry “. I replied, “Ask any staff member what makes me crazy, I guarantee one of two answers – symmetry or bartenders who put caps on empty wine bottles.” My preference? Asymmetry of course!

Why asymmetry? What compels me to hammer notions of symmetry out of new staff? Why do long-time staff members laugh out load when they hear me train new staff, “pay attention” they chime, “she hates symmetry, no bookends, twos or fours, only threes and fives”. Cheekier staff punctuate with “relax, as long as it’s random she’ll be happy”.

Random? Asymmetry isn’t random, it’s pleasing and calculated to my eye! Without warning a fractal bomb went off – wait a minute, fractal symmetry is absolute perfection!

Ponders scurried from Mandelbrot Sets to Koch Snowflakes.  From https://fractalfoundation.org/resources/what-are-fractals/ “A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Fractals are infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales. They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamic systems – the pictures of Chaos. Geometrically, they exist in between our familiar dimensions. Fractal patterns are extremely familiar, since nature is full of fractals. For instance: trees, rivers, coastlines, mountains, clouds, seashells, hurricanes, etc. Abstract fractals – such as the Mandelbrot Set – can be generated by a computer calculating a simple equation over and over.”

In 1904 Swedish mathematician Helge von Koch published a paper titled “On a Continuous Curve Without Tangents, Constructible from Elementary Geometry” – translation, one of the first published fractal theories. Koch Snowflake is an elaboration of the Koch Curve. Be it curve or snowflake, fractal mathematics are the same – whenever you see a straight line divide it in thirds, build a equilateral triangle on the middle third, erase the base of the triangle so it looks like the shape to the right.

Animation of the first seven Koch Snowflake iterations –

Koch Snowflake

Shortly after his first query, my friend reminded me of mutual affinity for Mandelbrot sets (example below). So why asymmetry, he pressed. Why, indeed?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandelbrot_set

Oh man, I replied! It’s too late for this ponder! Obviously fractal symmetry warms my heart, but until the day chefs definitively represent fractal perfection with smoked beet tartare on a passing platter – asymmetry remains an art form, symmetry makes me cringe. Go figure.

Bad People Doing Bad Things …


Filosofa's Word

red circleLook at the circle above.  What colour do you see?  What?  Red?  No, I call that blue … definitely blue.  You still claim it’s red?  Then you will not be allowed to speak about the colour of the circle, for your view does not match my own, and thus is wrong.

Dr. Rod Schoonover was a senior intelligence analyst with the U.S. State Department and is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.  Last week, Dr. Schoonover left the employ of the State Department.  Why?  Because he is a scientist.  Because he looked at that circle and called it red, even though Donald Trump and his administration warned him to say it was blue.  And then, Trump taped his mouth so he couldn’t say it was red.  And Dr. Schoonover decided he had enough and resigned his position.Rod SchoonoverDr. Schoonover was invited to speak before the House Permanent Select Committee on…

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A Message To My Little Boy …


The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

I wrote this:

If my son turns to me and says he’s gay, I would hug him and tell him I loved him and that I hope he finds someone who makes him happy.

If my son told me he had found a man that made him truly happy, I would hug him and tell him I am so excited for him and can’t wait to meet him.

If my son told me he had met the man of his dreams and told me he wanted to get married, I would probably cry tears of joy and say I am proud

I mean every single word of that … and yet, despite it being 2019, the LGBTQ+ community continue to face constant harassment and exclusion.

This scares me to death because as a parent, I would never want my son to suffer for his sexual preferences. And no one should.

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Now Be Fair


A few minutes ago my head exploded. Tempered debate of racism focused on recent Trump remarks suggesting four Congresswomen of colour go back to their native country. Polite reminders, all but one (Somali born representative Omar) were born in America, met begrudging acknowledgement. Then this, a comment so absurd violent brain splatter erupted without apology –

“Now be fair!

None of the 20 or so women that have accused Trump of sexual assault or rape are women of colour.

Surely this shows he greatly respects them compared to white women?”

Pardon me? Were you dropped on your head? WTF!!!!!

Trump Tweets That Democratic Congresswomen of Color Aren’t American

What Will Be Left When We’re Gone?


Life Unscripted

Bones, Plastic, Radioactive Waste, and Lots of Garbage.

Robert Macfarlane goes underground to see how humans will be remembered.

This story was originally published by Grist

Millions of years from now, what will be left of us?

At the rate we’re going, nature might well have taken over. Moscow and Mumbai will be sand and gravel cast across the desert expanse; New York City and Amsterdam will be sediment on the ocean floor, softened by the unrelenting tides.

20060320-radioactive-waste-new-mexico

But beneath the Earth’s surface, preserved in bedrock, some of the structures that supported life aboveground might still be intact: subways, quarries, and sewage systems. To piece together the story of our species, a hypothetical archaeologist might have to hunt for clues underground, much as today we dig for fossils to learn about the past.

This is what’s on Robert Macfarlane’s mind before falling asleep in a chamber deep in…

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Cuba Calling….


Ah vacation, weeks of planning, simmering expectation and promise about to become reality. This time next week we’ll be in Havana at Mercure Sevilla (pictured below)

Three nights in Havana, a flight to Santiago de Cuba later, four nights at Casa Granda to experience Carnival.

Next we hire a driver to take us to Trinidad de Cuba, a distance of roughly 600 Km. The fact we have to spend 3 nights at “all inclusive” pictured below, is over shadowed by adventure of driving there.

Time to hire another driver, back to Havana for two nights at Estancia Bohemia –

From Havana, a flight to Toronto for Caribana –

Home on August 4th.

Words fail to describe how much Notes needs a vacation. I’m exhausted, Cuba promises to put everything right.