SSH gateway

ssh -N -L 12345:

ssh -p12345 -XYC # Username is for a user on the target server, of course


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A Javascript learning project — Google Maps

Starting out with the goal of deepening my knowledge of Javascript, I decided to create a page which displays a Google Map of the United States and allows the user to view outlines of every county. Taking the idea a step further, the user can also display a filled-in version of each county, with the darkness of the fill determined by setting a percentage value. Such functionality produces a map which makes it easy to visualize statistical data.

I am likely to separate this post into its own page, depending on how much time I devote to extending my project into a teaching opportunity. Until that (maybe) happens, here are some bullet points which might be of interest. Please post questions or comments if you are so inclined.

1) The page takes a minute to load initially. There is a ton of data associated with drawing the county polygons. As long as the JS files are cached locally, subsequent page load times will be short.

2) You can view the JS code to see what I did and to get ideas.

3) I haven’t gone back & cleaned up the code or done a whole lot of re-architecting of the project. The first versions of the code and design were quite ugly, and I cleaned up the code only to the extent that cleaning up the code helped improve the functionality of the page.

4) Some of the counties may have polygon coordinates that are off in left field, and this causes problems. I’m aware of only 1 county with this problem, so I’m not in a big rush to worry with it right now. If this were to become a production application I would manually check every county. Until then, I’ll live with an occasional page crash.

5) One of my goals was to create a page with some separation between UI & code while avoiding the constant back and forth between client and server to load UI stuff. I’m of the opinion that to the extent possible, UI elements should load & reload from the server only when the UI itself changes. When a data field changes, the UI code for that field shouldn’t reload.

County Data Intensity Map


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My Day

Here in Polymagnumville, we’ve appointed a poet laureate. No note pad is safe when she has something to say, especially when she has a really good day.

Oh, I just realized I’m a poet and didn’t know it. I make it rhyme . . . [Readers can complete the sentence themselves. If you’re having trouble, I’ll have our resident poet get in touch with you for some remedial rhyme training.]

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Found Another Creative Work

Emma just turned 5 years old, and she wrote a note to her now 8 year old sister, Britany. We found this creative work in a stack of papers destined for the scratch paper drawer. Apparently, “fum” (with the backward “F”) really means “from”.

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Rules of My Town, or “Which of these things doesn’t belong?”

I found another of my 7 year-old’s creative works. She always has a project going.

Her town seems like a nice enough place to live, except for rule #1. I couldn’t live that one.

(For those who don’t know, “barbuque” is pork, slow cooked over a wood fire and slathered in a mustard-based sauce. Well, that’s what it is to my 7 year old.)

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Filed under Britany Sandy Springs, Georgia – The City that Outsourced Everything


While cities across the country are cutting services, raising taxes and contemplating bankruptcy, something extraordinary is happening in a suburban community just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.

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Seven going on 13

My children, the oldest of whom is 7, are home schooled.  Mommy has set up the classroom in the bonus room, and every day after breakfast she spends several hours up there as teacher and commandant.  Sometimes she gets pushback from the troops.

Several weeks ago, my oldest, a second grader, wrote about her “best recess”.  The assignment entails writing a draft, then copying it to a journal.  In her original work she completed the draft but did not copy it to the journal.  Part of this week’s assignment was to redo the entire assignment, because she had had some new experiences which could be included.  The pupil, however, didn’t feel that redoing the draft was necessary and wanted to just copy the original draft into the journal.  A tug-of-war began:

After a stern talking-to, she once again was instructed to write a new draft:

She hasn’t decided whether she’s going to start law school in the fall or run for office in 2012.

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