Author: William

Photos of Central City

A few weeks ago, after a day spent preparing for the wedding, Brit and I decided to grab the camera, hop in the car, and head west towards the mountains. Brit suggested Lookout Point, but before we arrived we decided to just keep going; eventually we decided to follow the signs to “Hidden Valley” and ended up in Central City.  I’ve been meaning to check it out for a few years, but wasn’t intending to do it this month! We went in to one of the casinos and lost $5 in a video poker machine for the heck of it, but mostly we just wandered around and took photos. I thought I’d go ahead and post a few of the pictures here. These have not yet been photoshopped or altered in any way, with the obvious exception of shrinking down the file size so this page doesn’t take forever to load! The photos were all taken with my Nikon D300 using a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8. One of the first things you see upon entering the town, we weren’t able to snap the Hawley Mose Warehouse immediately, but after circling around for a bit to find parking, we eventually ended up above it. Central City really keeps that “old-time” feel (in spite of every other building being a casino); lots of steep roads and odd parking! We love Vegas, but...

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What I’m Reading

I’ve been reading quite a bit of different material lately; here’s a quick roundup. As I mentioned last week, I recently finished and reviewed SEO Warrior by John Jerkovic; I’m currently reading books on iPhone application design and Javascript programming, which I hope to finish by the end of the month, and I have one on PHP I’ll be reading after that. I’m currently looking for full-time work, and I’ve always been interested in web development, so I decided to take advantage of whatever free time I have to pick up the skills that are in demand in this area. Thanks go out to O’Reilly for keeping me supplied with good books lately! FiveThirtyEight has an interesting article, with discussion, about the history of countries cutting spending during a recession. The Baltic states, for example, slashed spending immediately after the credit bubble popped in 2008, and have since suffered the deepest recessions in Europe. China, on the other hand, increased government spending with a massive (relatively the world’s largest, although smaller than America’s in absolute dollar terms) that went towards infrastructure (as I’ve argued that most of ours should have); as a result, not only is the country being upgraded, but wages are actually increasing.  In fact, China’s economy grew by 8.7% in 2009. I’m currently contributing five articles per month to BrightHub, mostly on the topics of college and...

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Have a .edu email address? Get Amazon Prime free

Amazon.com has a cool promotion going – sign up for Amazon Student and get a free year of Amazon Prime (and they reserve the right to possibly extend that). For those not in the know, Amazon Prime is a $79 a year service that entitles you to free second day shipping on anything that’s eligible for free super saver shipping (ie, pretty much everything Amazon sells); next day shipping costs $3.99 per item. When I saw this posted on Lifehacker, I ignored it at first because I already have Amazon Prime; I got in on a free trial years ago and found it to be too useful to do without.  Then a friend of mine who also has Prime added her student account and found that they canceled the remainder of her Prime subscription, refunded her for it, and signed her up for the free year. That got me moving; it turned out I was only a few months from renewal, so I got a year free and a $13 refund on my subscription. Woot! Share on...

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Scam, scam, scam

I hardly ever get chain emails, because I have a tendency to do a “reply all” debunking everything in them, which annoys the people sending them. I don’t know if they stopped sending them or just stopped sending them to me; either way, mission accomplished! However, my dad still gets them and he’ll pass them on to me to ask if there’s any truth in them (there generally isn’t). The latest one I got is regarding HR 1388, The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which expands the size of Americorps and other volunteer programs. The email claims that Congress and President Obama  are secretly spending over $20 million to bring members of Hamas to the United States. As with many email scams, it pulls from several actual bills to create something that will fool the gullible. HR 1388 is a real bill, that has nothing to do with Hamas, and Obama really did sign an order authorizing $20.3 million towards humanitarian needs in Gaza, on top of the $27.5 million that Bush  allocated for the same purpose two years earlier. Neither, of course, had anything to do with bringing members of Hamas (or anyone else) to the US. Really, people, there’s a pretty simple rule you can follow: if you get it through email and it makes outrageous claims, particularly about the democrats in Congress, it’s almost certainly...

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