Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Do you know where the name "Google" originated? The two founders of Google thought that "googol" -- the term for a 1 with 100,000 zeroes after it (or something like that ) would make a cool name, but they misspelled it. By accident. "We didn't have the Google spell checker at the time" they explained.

That's just one of the things we learned in our morning session, "Extreme Googling," presented by David Pogue, (technology columnist for The New York Times). Other fun stuff was presented, including David groveling apologetically because he didn't realize today was his presentation and was late. Then the projector wouldn't focus. No problem. His comedic style charmed the audience. Later this week he's giving a presentation about Leopard, Apple's new operating system.

Robin wasn't there because she was busy making her first Shakespeare presentation of the cruise to a nearly full house in the Wajang Theater on the ship. I left my event early and grabbed some video of the last couple of minutes of her show. As the audience left, I heard comments like "great" and "fabulous." Several people invited her to speak to organizations they're affiliated with.

We had a fancy dinner at the ship's fancy restaurant with Robin's mother, Pat, and her shipmate Louise. We saw Neil Bauman, wife Theresa, and Sandra (an Oregon Shakespeare Festival coordinator that helped organize the cruise) as we were leaving the restaurant. They gave Robin great, complimentary feedback on her presentation this morning. Lots of attendees have been passing along great reviews to Neil and Theresa.

My morning class was an excellent overview of Adobe CS3 Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw 4, presented by Derrick Story. It convinced me that I should be shooting more photos in the RAW format and using ACR4 more for of my image processing. Fun stuff. It also got me hooked on Photo Merge (automatically stitching together two or more photos into panoramic shots) and HDR photos (High Dynamic Range). Photoshop can combine several photos of the same subject -- each photo shot with a different exposure -- to create one photo that contains a wider range of detail in both shadows and highlights. In other words, instead of setting the exposure to favor either highlights or shadows, you shoot a couple of shots underexposed, a couple overexposed, then let Photoshop combine them and keep the best from each. You end up (in most cases) with a single photo that shows the best of both worlds: highlights with detail and shadows with details.

We docked at Aruba this morning. At noon we walked into town and ate at The Old Fisherman. Not so good. I had fried rubber bands. It was called "calamari" on the menu, but I brought most of it back to the ship to make slingshots and to strap my extra camera batteries together.

Because it was 88 degrees and humid in town -- and because the town just didn't seem very interesting -- we went back to the ship right after lunch. Pat and pal Louise took a tour of the island and said it wasn't very exciting. They did mention seeing a lot of cactus. Sweet Swan of Avon! I sure wish I hadn't missed that!

At 11 PM tonight (Tuesday) we pulled away from the island of Aruba and headed out to sea. Tomorrow morning we arrive in Curacao (pronounced cure-uh-sow, I think), another island in the neighborhood. No classes tomorrow, so we'll probably go ashore and see what's happnin'. Take some photos.

Also, tomorrow I hope to upload a blog from Robin for her take on the cruise and the Shakespeare and MacMania conferences.