Monthly Archive for August, 2006

FrameMaker 2006

From The Content Wrangler comes this news about FrameMaker Chautaqua:

A wide variety of presentations will be offered covering hot topics like localization, DITA, and Controlled English as well as practical sessions covering FrameMaker basics, structured content development, HTML, XML, XSLT, and Help. FrameMaker users will not want to miss this must-attend event, during which Adobe will be announcing the release of … oops, we’re not allowed to tell you about this just yet.

Some “guesses” (wishes?) in the comments section include a new Frame for OS X, Frame 7.3, Frame 8, Frame add-in for InDesign, etc., etc. Everyone’s got their own idea of what would be ideal!

My personal desire would be for some sort of Frame-add in or support for InDesign. Bring it into the Adobe CS world… “FrameMaker CS,” - I kinda dig that. Combining InDesign’s typographic and tagging engines with Frame’s robust backbone would make one killer product.

In related news, MadCap Software is continuing to develop Blaze, a Frame alternative. I can’t wait to compare these two new products. You can bet I will, though… so stay tuned to this space for the inevitable usability reviews.


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Save Pluto

Hilarious Photoshop contest over at Worth1000: “Promote and advertise the ninth planet.”

copyright worth1000

Funny stuff.


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Subliminal advertising - logo edition

“Jaller Raad Rehab Center is dedicated to improving the quality of life of all its patients.

…Their professional staff treats a wide variety of conditions: Arthritis (Osteo and Rheumatoid); Back, Muscle & Neck Pain; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; Bursitis; Plantar Fascitis; Fibromyalgia; TMJ / Jaw Problems; Tennis Elbow; Tendinitis; Sprains & Strains; and Wound Healing.”


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Link roundup

Here are some interesting articles and happenings floating around the tubes of the Interwebs…

  • Alan Boyle over at the Cosmic Log has written a fascinating article about the newly released Spitzer telescope images of M42, (the Orion Nebula).
  • Speaking of Orion, the folks at collectSpace have another scoop - what may be the new Project Orion logo and patch (Project Orion is our generation’s Project Apollo).
  • Andy over at Tech Write Tips has put together an awesome series on getting high definition PDFs out of Flare (link goes to Part 1).
  • Drew over at End of the Bench has moved to WordPress (welcome to the club, Drew!).
  • The preseason BlogPoll is out, and OSU is #1 with 20 votes. One of those votes came from us over at MotSaG, of course.

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It’s official…

Xena**UPDATED**: A previous version of this post contained inaccurate information (thank you, BBC and NPR). What follows is straight from the horse’s mouth - the IAU.)

We have 12 planets now.

As I wrote a couple of months ago, the International Astronomical Union met this summer to finally define what a “planet” is. At issue is the quandary that many astronomers find themselves in today. Objects bigger than Pluto have been found, but to date, they’ve been assigned identifiers that classify them with asteroids, comets, and the like.

This created a problem for astronomers: If there are objects bigger than Pluto that are not considered planets, then why is Pluto still considered one?

The IAU has proposed a resolution that will be refined and voted on during the meeting of 24 August. Here are a few relevant snips from that resolution:

The IAU therefore resolves that planets and other Solar System bodies be defined in the following way:

  1. A planet is a celestial body that (a) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet.
  2. We distinguish between the eight classical planets discovered before 1900, which move in nearly circular orbits close to the ecliptic plane, and other planetary objects in orbit around the Sun. All of these other objects are smaller than Mercury. We recognize that Ceres is a planet by the above scientific definition. For historical reasons, one may choose to distinguish Ceres from the classical planets by referring to it as a “dwarf planet.”
  3. We recognize Pluto to be a planet by the above scientific definition, as are one or more recently discovered large Trans-Neptunian Objects. In contrast to the classical planets, these objects typically have highly inclined orbits with large eccentricities and orbital periods in excess of 200 years. We designate this category of planetary objects, of which Pluto is the prototype, as a new class that we call “plutons”.
  4. All non-planet objects orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as “Small Solar System Bodies”.

What this means is that we now have the following 12 planets:

  1. Classical planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
  2. Plutons - Pluto, Charon, and 2003 UB313 (proposed name: Xena)
  3. Dwarf planets - Ceres

Our new solar system, courtesy the IAU. Click to embiggenate.

I used to be split on this one. I never felt that it was appropriate to classify an object incorrectly just because it was sentimental to do so. Otherwise, what is the purpose of classifying objects at all?

But I am pleasantly surprised that, instead of wasting time arguing over whether or not certain objects should be ‘promoted’ or ‘demoted,’ the IAU addressed the root of the problem by coming up with a proper definition for a planet, and creating new sub-classes that define its members. It’s an opportunity to be more precise, and specific.

And that’s cool.

Image credit & copyright: “Artist’s Representation of Xena,” BBC News. Original caption: “At 3,000km (1,860 miles), the object is significantly bigger than Pluto.”

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Photoshop goodness

Do methane lakes exist on Titan? The Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn has returned data and imagery indicating that it is a possibility.

I found myself imagining what a methane lake would look like from the shoreline… frigid, viscous liquid; hissing a drizzly mist as Titan’s strong winds rolled over it; with Titan’s yellow mist blurring the sky and scattering sunlight everywhere:

If you want the image for desktop wallpaper, choose your size and download:

Note: to find out which version to use, right-click on your desktop and select Properties. Click the Settings tab, and note the setting in the Screen Resolution box.

If you are using Internet Explorer, once the image appears, you must mouse off of the image. When you mouse back over the image, an Expand box will appear in the lower-right corner of the screen. Click it. After the image returns to 100%, right-click the image, and select Set as Background.

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Yes, theMonkey is still alive. Sorry for my recent absence.

Most of my blogging the past couple of weeks has been over at MotSaG. Football is only 24 days away, so most of my spare time has been on psyching myself up for a great Buckeye season.

If you’re interested in good sports articles, feel free to stop by& check us out. Otherwise, stay tuned here at monkeyPi, and we’ll get the content back up and flowing as soon as the creative juices allow.

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