Ada, Countess of Lovelace

It’s Ada Lovelace Day… or was on the 24th… I missed it.

Ada Augusta Byron, Countess of Lovelace (quell romantic name!), daughter of Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke (her mother separated shortly after her birth so she never knew her father. She was his only legitimate child) was born 10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852.

Ada Byron was a life-long friend and supported of Charles Babbage whose inventions included what he called the “Difference engine”, made to compute values of polynomial functions (although he never actually constructed a model); and his Analytical engine used loops of Jacquard’s punched cards to control a mechanical calculator, which could then formulate results based on the results of preceding computations.

Byron’s deep interest in mathematics included a study of various areas of mathematics. Her translation, at the behest of Babbage, of the study of his Analytical engine by Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea, between 1842 and 1843, and her own notes on the work and on the machine, including her own algorithm encoded for processing by a machine (a method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numbers with the Engine. Had the machine ever been built, her program would have worked.) are considered the first computer program. While others, including Babbage, himself focused only on the calculating abilities of the machine, Byron forsaw greater uses of the machine. “The engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.”

The actual credit for the algorithm has been debated and some give Babbage the actual credit, However, her notes on the Menabera work confirm that she well understood both Jacquard’s punch-card system as well as that functioning of the Analytical engine. Indeed, Babbage who rarely mentioned the influence of others in his work,  stated that

“I then suggested that she add some notes to Menabrea’s memoir, an idea which was immediately adopted. We discussed together the various illustrations that might be introduced: I suggested several but the selection was entirely her own. So also was the algebraic working out of the different problems, except, indeed, that relating to the numbers of Bernoulli, which I had offered to do to save Lady Lovelace the trouble. This she sent back to me for an amendment, having detected a grave mistake which I had made in the process.”

Many believe it was actually she who suggested the use of Jacquard’s punched cards to Babbage for use in his machine.

Byron died at the age of 36 from uterine cancer.

PhotoHunter: Fresh

I figured that the best way to tackle this theme was to some of my favourite photos taken in the fresh air…

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Twenty-two years ago…

It doesn’t seem that long ago, at all…

My Dad passed away on March 24, 1988. He was my step-Dad, but he was my Dad. My birth-father died a month earlier but it is my step-Dad who I miss to this day.


We went out for a drive, today, but the weather and the light, and the route wasn’t exactly forthcoming on interesting ruins or the light to photograph them in. Hopefully, the next few weeks will bring about better weather and better lighting situations. Hopefully, too, I will have the time to get out and about to do some photographing. We should be moving in the next month or so, as soon as we get the go-ahead to move into the new house.

In the meantime, my hankering for ruins must be fulfilled vicariously…

I came across a posting about drawings of a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and other places, the work of Motoda Hisaharu, a Japanese artist. His work is stunning.

“Indication-National Stadium4 (Bird's Nest)”

“Indication-Tokyo University 2”

The Japanese seem to have it all where large-scale abandonments are concerned. For such a small country, there are a lot of very large buildings and complexes which have been simply left empty. They also don’t seem to have suffered quite as badly from vandalism as buildings elsewhere would have. Is it the general law-abiding nature of the Japanese? The remoteness of many of the locations? Perhaps it is  simply that the litigious nature of North Americans that generally makes such sites out-of-bounds, here.

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Child Haven International, a video

This is a video created by TVCogeco, in Kingston, about Child Haven International. Child Haven is run by my friends Fred and Bonnie Cappuccino.

My photo of them appears at about 1:19 in the video.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

PhotoHunter: 3

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

The Trillium is the official flower of the Province of Ontario. It is illegal to pick or dig up Trilliums in the wild in Ontario, though not to plant ones purchased from growers.

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The one-sided conversation…

“If you wanted to sleep with me… really wanted to sleep with me, you would just do it.

You wouldn’t joke about it. You wouldn’t say “I bet you wouldn’t” or “What would you do if I asked you…”.

Just quit pretending you think I wouldn’t or that there’s something stopping you. It’s just bullshit and I am to damned old for bullshit.”


…sigh, sigh, sigh….

PhotoHunter: Spiral

I have a number of tattoos.

Two are spirals.

The first is a commemoration of surviving “a very bad year”. It is an ancient sign which is the symbol of the sun in many cultures but also represents the Labyrinth — a journey inwards and an journey outwards. While it is a single line, it incorporates both the inward and outward journey… into the darkness and out to the light.

The second was to commemorate the second anniversary of “the very bad year”.

It is over my breastbone and represents a number of things. It is my Sacred Heart… It is (metaphorically) wearing my heart on my sleeve… It is a tendril unfurling… It is a knot untied… It is a release…

William Scott

Yo Soy Tono


Stone Cross


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