Dropping Fast

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Thanks to a note from a friend, I found out that in the last week or so, I’ve lost several hundred links and several hundred points in the link race at Technorati.

I guess I had my 15 minutes of, well, I couldn’t call it fame. What could we call it? Dubious distinction of being a now smaller blob in a small, finite, and rather arbitrarily controlled world of other blobs? Or as Sally Fields would say:

You don’t like me! You really don’t like me!

Sorry, having a bit of fun.

Anyway, I’m sure to drop even further in points once I figure out how to respond to something like Recovery 2.0 which is being held in San Francisco, as part of O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 conference.

In the meantime, a couple of other photos of Cairo, which is 652 miles from New Orleans. What’s interesting is that Cairo’s demographics reflect those of New Orleans, though at a much smaller scale: 1/3 of the people live below the poverty line; blacks make up the majority of the population; it is dependent on the whims of the Mississippi; it has been slowly dying since the early 1900’s.

what remains of a brick building

All that remains are the trolly tracks

Here’s the explanation for the Technorati ranking change:

The change affects how Technorati ranks its over 18.5 million blogs. Our new link counts expose more active blogs and rising stars, allowing readers to discover blogs currently receiving the attention of the blogosphere.

Which I guess means, since Technorati is the authority on such things, my weblog is of much less interest, and would be considered a falling star. Throw in who knows how long I’ll be on Shelter Duty, and I’ll probably fall of the charts.

And that’s the real problem with ranking systems such as this: they imply a worth. And when you’re ‘rank’ falls, it’s the same as saying that you are worth less.

I wonder how many new voices this will enable; how equitable this will be. I don’t know. From a first glance at the top 100, I don’t see an increase in representation or diversity. Still see a lot of the same faces.


Botanical goodness

I wanted to thank Daniel Mosquin for his kind words about my photographs, and also take this opportunity to point to his Botany Photo of the Day site. It’s really a terrific site to explore. In fact, I was exploring it, via Tim Bray when I had a note from Daniel, asking if I minded if he linked my Botanical Garden photo set.

It is a small, small world. With lots of pretty plants.


Update on giant squid

I’m being inundated with Google and other searches looking for information on giant squid or architeuthis dux, and people coming to my previous entries (such as this). This is such an amazing story, and lots of people are hopping up and down today.

To keep up with the reports, check in with the SquidBlog and the other SquidBlog. One of the better reports from the media is at the BBC. In addition, the scientists’ paper is out now, and you can access it through SquidBlog number two.



There is more to the South than Mardi Gras, Blues, Cajun cooking, and white guys with confederate flags in the back of their trucks. Photos from Cairo, Illinois.

Tenth Street

Gem Theater
Eighth Street

Cairo had two strongly distinctive faces. On the one hand, there’s been an attempt to restore much of the history of the town, including its many unusual buildings: some dating from the Civil War when General Grant was stationed in the community. On the other hand, the poverty of the people manifests in the many boarded up and abandoned buildings, some used as wild cat havens; or destroyed by tornado and just left, fallen in the streets. There is no yellow tape around the remains, no warnings of danger. You could walk in the middle of the street, and no one would care. In addition, a racial divide is strong in the town: walk along 8th street, and the people are white; a block over, they’re entirely black.

Mansion Two
Historical society mansion

Mansion One
Glory days gone

Imagine, also, a finger of land about a mile wide, bordered by two of the biggest, fiercest rivers in the country; accessible by one bridge going to Missouri, the other, a 1/4 mile away, to Kentucky. What land there is, is the richest in the world; top soil a hundred feet deep, as one would expect from the northernmost point of the Mississippi Delta. To this geography, add a Civil War history, turn of the century opulence giving away to extreme poverty and race riots. This is Cairo, Illinois.  This is the South.

river barge
Barge heading from the Ohio to the Sip


Giant squid captured on film

If this checks out, the giant squid, Architeuthis Dux has been captured on film by a Japanese research team.

Marine biologists have been trying to film a live, adult giant squid for decades. This is a major breakthrough, especially as they have a sample from the creature filmed, for DNA verification. The Washington Post article has a single frame of the film. To get some perspective on the find, this particular squid is as big as a school bus. No news when the film will be released.

Tipped to the story by the SquidBlog.

Scott sent a link to a National Geographic article with several other photos.