Monthly Archives: June 2009

Eastern State Penitentiary

via flickr

Have you ever seen that Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis movie 12 Monkeys? Last weekend Kaela and I decided to check out Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia where the asylum scenes were filmed. Operating between 1829-1971, the penitentiary became the model from which most modern prisons were built. The notion of solitary confinement was taken to such extreme in this prison that inmates literally lost their sanity. Charles Dickens’ senses of the prison were so offended that he details them in his work American Notes.

In its intention I am well convinced that it is kind, humane, and meant for reformation; but I am persuaded that those who designed this system of Prison Discipline, and those benevolent gentleman who carry it into execution, do not know what it is that they are doing….I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body; and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye,… and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear; therefore I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment in which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay.

The prison is also notable for housing Al Capone, having a dog as an inmate, and being home to a few children over the years. Today the prison is in a state of “preserved ruin.” Be sure to check out my Flickr gallery along with the following links.

Eastern State Penitentiary Museum
Eastern State Penitentiary on Wikipedia

iPhone App Development

Stanford University has placed their entire iPhone Development Course online for anyone to download. After watching a few videos and reading through the documentation I decided to take the plunge and begin learning iPhone development. After installing X-Code and downloading the Software Development Kit direct from Apple I immediately began cranking away. After about an hour of tinkering the first sample program was complete.

1st App

The function of the program is very simple. The position of the slider assigns a number between 0 and 100. The numeric value selected with the slider is then displayed. Not bad for about an hour of work.

Up next: Assignment 1A and 1B

Taco Zeitgeist circa 1850

Before twitter, internets, the 1-800 number, magazine, daily newspaper and flyer… Taco Zeitgeist was distributed via Morse Code. Here is a sampling from the dusty archives.

- …. . – .- -.-. — … .- – – .- -.-. — -… . .-.. .-.. .– . .-. . . -..- -.-. . .–. – .. — -. .- .-.. – — -.. .- -.– .-.-.- – …. . — . .- – .– .- … -.-. — — -.- . -.. – — .–. .-. . .–. .-. — -.-. . … … . -.. .–. . .-. ..-. . -.-. – .. — -. .-.-.- – …. . .-.. . – - ..- -.-. . .– .- … … ..- .–. . .-. -… .-.. -.– -.-. .-. .. … .–. .-.-.- – …. . -.-. …. . . … . .– .- … — .- –. -. .. ..-. .. -.-. . -. – .-.-.- .. .-.. — …- . -.– . — .-.. -.. . – .- -.-. — -… . .-.. .-.. .. ..-. -.– — ..- .– — ..- .-.. -.. .-.. .. -.- . – — … . . .- .-.. .. – …. — –. .-. .- .–. …. — ..-. — -.– .-.. .- – . … – – .- -.-. — .–. .. -.-. – ..- .-. . .–. .-.. . .- … . … . -. -.. .- … . .-.. ..-. .- -.. -.. .-. . … … . -.. . -. …- . .-.. — .–. . .- .-.. — -. –. .– .. – …. .—- ..— -.-. . -. – … .-.-.- .- .-.. .-.. — .– … .. -..- – — . .. –. …. – .– . . -.- … ..-. — .-. -.. . .-.. .. …- . .-. -.– .-.-.-

Graduation Present

Those little packets of peanut butter that Smucker’s makes? Love them. I eat them straight from the package. If they are set out on a brunch table you best check my pockets. I call the little 0.75 oz. packets “PB-Shooters.” In celebration for (finally) graduating from college, Kaela bought me a bulk package of 200 direct from Smucker’s. Awesome.