Tag Archives: wells

Remote Control Hummingbirds!

Mother Jones

It tuns out that one of features of my new camera is the ability to control it remotely with my cell phone. If you have even a gram of nerd blood in you, this should make you insanely jealous.1 It’s the coolest thing ever.

And yet, as cool as it is, it still left me twiddling my neurons trying to figure out what I could do with it. One possibility was situations where I need to minimize camera shake. Put the camera on a tripod and then snap the shutter remotely without actually touching anything. But that would be just another example of using a thousand dollars worth of technology to do what a ten-dollar cable release can do. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Then Marian suggested I could set up the camera by our hummingbird feeder and wait for hummingbirds to fly in. So I did. Here’s what the setup looks like:

Then I went into the living room and watched Roger Federer play Stan Wawrinka at Indian Wells. Every time a bird showed up on my camera, I held down the remote shutter button and shot off a few dozen pictures.

Which did me precious little good. Damn, those little buggers are fast. Even with the shutter speed allegedly set at 1/2000th of a second, the pictures were blurry. Also out of focus most of the time, which was a combination of my fault and the camera’s fault. Still, live and learn. Here are the two best shots I got:

The top one is a male Anna’s hummingbird. The bottom one is, I suppose, a female Anna’s hummingbird. The bird folks can enlighten us in comments.

Anyway, I’ll have to try this again. It’s certainly a way of getting some good nature shots without sitting on my hump for hours on end in a muddy patch of dirt. Then again, since the WiFi range for the camera is about ten feet or so, maybe it just means I get a little better selection of where to sit on my hump for hours on end. I’ll have to think of some way to try this with the cats.

1Unless you already have a camera that can do this.

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Remote Control Hummingbirds!

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Protests erupted across the nation in an 11th-hour effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to withdraw $3 billion from the bank, in part because it is funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the city’s mayor said he would sign the measure.

The vote delivered a win for pipeline foes, albeit on a bleak day for the #NoDAPL movement. Earlier in the day, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will allow construction of the pipeline’s final leg and forgo an environmental impact statement.

Before the vote, many Native speakers took the floor in support of divestment, including members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Tsimshian First Nation, and Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Seattle will withdraw its $3 billion when the city’s current contract with Wells Fargo expires in 2018. Meanwhile, council members will seek out a more socially responsible bank. Unfortunately, the pickings are somewhat slim, as Bank of America, Chase, CitiBank, ING, and a dozen other banks have all invested in the pipeline.

While $3 billion is just a small sliver of Wells Fargo’s annual deposit collection of $1.3 trillion, the council hopes its vote will send a message to other banks. Activism like this has worked before — in November, Norway’s largest bank sold all of its assets connected to Dakota Access. With any luck, more will follow.

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Protests erupted across the nation in an 11th-hour effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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Trump says he didn’t get a single phone call opposing his pipeline approvals.

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to withdraw $3 billion from the bank, in part because it is funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the city’s mayor said he would sign the measure.

The vote delivered a win for pipeline foes, albeit on a bleak day for the #NoDAPL movement. Earlier in the day, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will allow construction of the pipeline’s final leg and forgo an environmental impact statement.

Before the vote, many Native speakers took the floor in support of divestment, including members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Tsimshian First Nation, and Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Seattle will withdraw its $3 billion when the city’s current contract with Wells Fargo expires in 2018. Meanwhile, council members will seek out a more socially responsible bank. Unfortunately, the pickings are somewhat slim, as Bank of America, Chase, CitiBank, ING, and a dozen other banks have all invested in the pipeline.

While $3 billion is just a small sliver of Wells Fargo’s annual deposit collection of $1.3 trillion, the council hopes its vote will send a message to other banks. Activism like this has worked before — in November, Norway’s largest bank sold all of its assets connected to Dakota Access. With any luck, more will follow.

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Trump says he didn’t get a single phone call opposing his pipeline approvals.

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Exciting Chip-and-PIN Update

Mother Jones

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In the past, I have whined at great length about the fact that most new chip-based credit cards are chip-and-signature. This is both insecure—anyone can scrawl a signature—and incompatible with card readers in Europe. But the boffins who run our banks figured that Americans were too dumb to remember a PIN for their credit cards, so chip-and-signature it was.

However, my Wells Fargo debit card claims to be chip-and-PIN. Is it really? Today at the supermarket, a little sign told me that their card reader now accepts chip-based cards. So I stuck in my debit card. A few seconds later it asked for my PIN. Be still my heart! I entered it, and the transaction was approved.

So I can now report definitively that at least one debit card is true chip-and-PIN. And quite handily, the PIN is the same as the PIN for getting cash from the ATM, so it’s easy to remember. Thanks, Wells Fargo!

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Exciting Chip-and-PIN Update

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These Are the 4 Marines Who Were Killed in the Chattanooga Mass Shooting

Mother Jones

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The US military has identified the four Marines killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military sites in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While media attention is certain to continue focusing on the killer in the days ahead, the stories of the victims began to emerge into view on Friday. The slain Marines join an ever growing list of mass shooting victims in the United States.

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan
Sgt. Sullivan, who grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, joined the Marines in 1997. He was awarded two purple hearts and a Combat Action medal for his service during the Iraq war, where he served two tours of duty. After returning from Iraq, Sullivan graduated from American Military University with a degree in Criminal Justice. The 40-year-old was an artillery instructor, and, according to Oak Lawn Patch, was planning to retire in the next few years. He was known as “Tommy” to friends and family. Several posts expressing condolences have circulated on Facebook, including one from his brother who owns the The Nathan Bills Bar and Restaurant, and from the punk band Dropkick Murphys, one of Sullivan’s favorite bands.

Staff Sgt. David Wyatt
Staff Sgt. Wyatt, 39, was an operations chief who specialized in field artillery and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded several medals for his service, including a Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal. An Arkansas native, Wyatt was an Eagle Scout who studied at University of Montana. He is survived by his wife and two children.

Sgt. Carson Holmquist
A Wisconsin native, 27-year-old Sgt. Holmquist was an automotive maintenance technician who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. ABC News reports that Holmquist was so proud to be a Marine that he visited his hometown immediately after bootcamp dressed in his formal blues. His former football coach told ABC News that Holmquist was an “avid sportsman who loved to hunt and fish, a young man committed to succeeding.” He is survived by his wife and young son.

Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells
Cpl. Wells was just 21 years old. From Marrieta, Georgia, he reportedly left Georgia Southern University to follow his calling and was serving in the Marine Forces Reserves at the time of the attack. His mother Cathy told Fox News that the two had visited Disney World last week, where Wells was honored as a member of the military, and that he died “doing what he loved for the love of his country and his family.” ABC News reports that Cathy was a single mother and that Wells was her only child. He played clarinet in the marching band and ROTC, and had just arrived in Tennessee the day before the shooting to report for a two-week assignment.

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These Are the 4 Marines Who Were Killed in the Chattanooga Mass Shooting

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