Monthly Archives: August 2004


BarterBee looks like a most interesting service. I thought about what it might take to build a service like this a while back and even discussed it with a DVD-swapping programmer friend (right Steve?) but alas, we never did a thing with it and I sell all my DVDs that we don’t want on Amazon which works great. However, this is an excellent idea and I’ll give it a go very soon.

Company Name Etymologies

Wikipedia has a great list of Company Name Etymologies. Here are a few that caught my eye just now:

AltaVista – Spanish for “high view”

Canon – from Kannon, the Japanese name of the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy. The name was changed to Canon to avoid offending religious groups.

Cisco – short for San Francisco. It has also been suggested that it was “CIS-co” — Computer Information Services was the department at Stanford University that the founders worked in.

Intel – Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore wanted to name their new company ‘Moore Noyce’ but that was already trademarked by a hotel chain, so they had to settle for an acronym of INTegrated ELectronics.

Kinko’s – from college nickname of founder, Paul Orfalea. He was called Kinko because he had curly red hair.

Pixar – Action (verb) of making pixels in Spanish. According to “The Second Coming of Steve Jobs” book by Alan Deutschman, Ed Catmull and John Lassetter were looking for a sticky name and came up with “Pixer”, but they thought it sounded better in Spanish: Pixar. The company was founded after Steve Jobs bought the computer graphics division from Lucasfilm for $10 million.

Qantas – From its original name, Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services.

Six Apart – company co-founders Ben and Mena Trott were born 6 days apart (in September 1977).

Starbucks – named after Starbuck, a character in Herman Melville’s whaling novel, Moby-Dick.

Volvo – From the Latin word “volvo”, which means “I roll”.

Yahoo! – an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle. The word Yahoo was invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book Gulliver’s Travels. It represents a person who is repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human. Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos.

Amazing map of Washington, DC

The DC Flyby map is incredibly useful. I think I like this type of view better than a top view only, even with color coding or color overlays.

I first started seeing this type of illustration in early issues of MacWorld Magazine and that was because the square pixels on the early black and white screens made this type of view relatively easy to draw in fatbits. Of course, this illustration goes well beyond anything I remember in MacWorld.

Lilypads on Gritman Pond

lilypads on pondWhile kayaking on Gritman Pond in Warren yesterday I was yearning for a polarizing filter for my camera because my sunglasses gave me a view of both the water’s surface and the life underneath that was spectacular. This is the best I could do without a polarizer.

Heron Fishing on Gritman Pond

Heron fishing on Grifman PondWe decided to take our kayaks up to a local pond here in Warren which is more of a swamp than a pond. But, we thought we might see some wildlife there as swamps are where it’s at.

Well, we paddled out to one of two little islands in the middle of the “pond” and I disembarked and got up on a rocky rise in the middle of the island, put the telephoto adapter on my G3 and zoomed in on this heron fishing. Man, I wish I had a tripod and a Canon D20 with a 100-400mm zoom telephoto lens with image stabilization. This would have been a fantastic shot with stuff like that.

To get a sense of where this pond is, check Gritman Pond, Warren, Connecticut. You can see the little island the shot was taken from and then if you zoom out you can see where the pong is in relation to Warren and where Warren is in relation to Connecticut and where… right.

My First Udu

clay udu drumWas up at Joy Brown’s studio yesterday for our first annual udu clay drum workshop. We watched a video on playing them, played some early attempts that folks had made, then got to work making our own. This is my first effort: two chambers connected in the middle. Hopefully it will hold together through drying and firing and it will sound, well, like it will sound. Stay tuned.