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Showing posts from February, 2008

Thanks! It Worked! Social Networking, Shriner's Hospitals and Pancakes!

Recently a series of posts

Sick Kids: Srhiners, IHOP, and the Austin Digg Community

Free Pancakes!!! Social Networking Charity/Volunteer Experiment

Austin, TX, Free Pancakes Today, February 12th!!!

ran on this blog that asked the question:

Can social networking sites serve as philanthropic vehicles to move users to action in the real world? Could Digg,, stumbleupon, reddit and other social networking sites be utilized to bring people to a fund raising event for the Shriner's hospitals.

And the answer is absolutely: YES!

The preliminary fundraising numbers are in, and the amount raised went from $8,000 last year to $13,000 this year! There isn't any information yet on how much of that money came from social networking, but as Andrea Grimes of 'Girl On Top' noted:
Turns out this little experiment is quite cool: rather than promoting the event traditionally--which is why when I Google Newsed it, nothing came up but Shriner's minutes meetings--they're pushing…

In Silicon Valley Even the Hotels Have License Agreements

Spotted on a recent walk through San Francisco.

More Cowbell! Record Production using Google Forms and Charts

First, the what:
This article shows how to embed a new Google Form into any web page. To demonstrate ths, a chart and form that allow blog readers to control the recording levels of each instrument in Blue Oyster Cult's "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is used. HTML code from the Google version of the form included on this page is shown and the parts that need to be modified are highlighted.

Next, the why:
Google recently released an e-mail form feature that allows users of Google Documents to create an e-mail a form that automatically places each user's input into an associated spreadsheet. As it turns out, with a little bit of work, the forms that are created by Google Docs can be embedded into any web page.

Now, The Goods:
Click on the instrument you want turned up, click the submit button and then refresh the page. Through the magic of Google Forms as soon as you click on submit and refresh this web page, the data chart will update immediately.

Turn up the:

The Three Great Lights of Masonry and Freedom of Religion

One of the most prominent images on the patent is the altar. It's shown four different times. Each time the altar is portrayed with a Bible, a square and compasses on it. These are known as the Three Great Lights of Masonry. They are always present on the altar when a lodge is open.

Click on the pictures for larger images

The Degree Manual of the Grand Lodge of California has the following to say about the Bible on the altar:

Altars shown on the patent

The Volume of the Sacred Law (VSL) is an indispensable part of the furniture of a lodge. The Grand Lodges of the United States use the Holy Bible as the VSL on their altars. In our jurisdiction, a candidate may request to have his own sacred book present on the altar with the Bible during his degree ceremonies. In some lodges in other countries, other sacred texts are placed on the altar in place of the Holy Bible...In some jurisdictions, any sacred text that's meaningful to the initiate will do. I've sat in lodges in the M…

Masonic Patent: The Masonic Degrees

Several movies like, National Treasure, Book of Secrets have popularized Masonic imagery. The page 47 mystery and its Masonic ties are highlighted here ... y aquí. This Masonic Patent, (click the image for a larger picture), is representative of the Masonic initiates experience. Masons attend a series of initiations called degrees. There are three initial degrees that an initiate attends before they are a full fledged Master Mason. These are the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Each of these initiations consists of a similar ceremony, each with it's own unique symbolism that imparts some new Masonic lesson. The symbolism of the three initial degrees of Freemasonry with some overlap are shown in the tree highlighted areas of the patent.

Much of the source material for these posts will come from the California Grand Lodge's degree manuals. Notice the highlighted text at the bottom of the patent. The degree manual fort the EA has this to say:


Masonic Patent

The picture below is of an old, circa 1887, Masonic Patent. The story goes that Masons used to present these to gain access to lodges they visited in their travels. The next several posts will point out some of the symbolism of this patent, and what it means.

First though, has any reader seen this patent in their lodge? It portrays the York Rite degrees as the viewers eyes move from top to bottom. I'd like to find out what regions of the country this patent may have been used in.

Boulder, Colorado: Dakota Ridge 360 Degree Snow

The panoramic view from Dakota Ridge during Boulder's Valentine's snowfall.

Boulder Valentine's Snow

It snowed in Boulder on Valentine's creating a beautiful white landscape in town and up on Sanitas Ridge.

Dakota Ridge

Sanitas Valley

Dakota Ridge

Spruce St.

Beautiful Boulder Sunrise!

Wednesday morning from the top of Dakota Ridge

The UFO Reader

Today, we take a little break from UFO data analysis to insert a little levity. While Acrobat Reader's default reading voice may not be ideal for say Hemingway or Tolstoy, it's perfect for reading UK Ministry of Defence UFO reports!

"An object fell from the sky. It had like a green halo around it."

"They were totally still in the sky. They were very white."

Top 9 UK Cities for UFO Sightings: 2007

While I've been reporting on the analysis of Ministry of Defence UFO sighting data for the last decade, UFO sightings continue to occur:

read more | digg story Reporter Unemployed Amidst Stephenville UFO Controversy
read more | digg story UFO spotted in skies above Grantham?
read more | digg storyNew UFO Sighting in Sthephenville, TX
Today, the year by year analysis of the data begins. In 2007 Shrewsbury reported 3 sightings while there were 8 other cities that reported two UFO sightings each. The map and data follow.

View Larger Map

City#DateSigthed or
ReportedDetailsShrewsbury312-Nov-07 SA series of lights in a circle that had an inner circle. There were fifteen extra lights on the outside of the outer circle. They were moving clockwise, then anti-clockwise through the sky and then back again.24-Sep-07RFour orange lights were seen crossing the sky. There was a gap, and then threemore lights followed. The lights were moving at quite a fast rate. (Message taken -24 Sep …

Ten Most Consistent UK Cities for UFO Sighting in the Last Decade

Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IV

As my track coach used to say: "It's all about consistency!" Shown below are the top ten cities in the UK with the most consistent UFO sightings, year after year.

Row Labels19971998199920002001200220032004200520062007Grand TotalYears