Monday, June 24, 2013

Tempted by a terabyte --- plus gay marriage

I opened a Flickr account two years ago, posted something like six photos and then forgot about the whole thing --- until Sunday. The password came to mind --- like magic, it worked. Then the fatal message scrolled: "Smile Lucas Countyan. Flickr gives you one free terabyte of space. Share your photos in full resolution." Hooked.

What is a terabyte? A billion bytes. Or, 1024 gigabytes. Wow. That should be enough storage to last a while.

So now I've started posting a few more of the the thousands of images that live on my hard drive and various backup storage devices. I'm going to try to do this gradually by set organized into collections so that navigation is possible. The goal is to come up with a decent collection of images of buildings and other stuff in Lucas County that anyone interested can look at and use. Naturally, anyone who uses a photo will give appropriate credit. In my dreams.

Some of this is born of frustration. I wanted to see what a specific building in a specific town looked like yesterday. The only images I could find were the size of postage stamps and had been posted to a Web site that had been allowed to die.

Plus, Iowa is under-represented in the online image community. Sure, there are plenty of images of big-ticket places --- the State Capitol, Old Capitol, Terrace Hill, downtown Des Moines. The smaller places, like Lucas County, don't get much photographer respect. 

So we'll see how this goes. This is the link to the Flickr cover page. There's also a link via Flicker "badge" at the bottom of the sidebar at right. The badge is fairly ugly. I'll work on that.


This will be the week during which the U.S. Supreme Court announces some variety of rulings on the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8. DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in states like Iowa where such marriages are legal. Proposition 8 overturned same-sex marriage rights extended to Californians by their state Legislature.

It's not clear what, or how broad, the rulings will be, primarily because the court is divided along partisan lines, too, with swing votes the deciding factor. Whatever happens, it's unlikely anyone is going to be entirely happy --- and some are going to be unhappy.

If the rulings lean toward marriage equality, Tea Party and conservative Christian types will yowl like scalded cats, switch their tails, say all sorts of unchristian things and threaten armed insurrection. If the rulings lean against equality, LGBT people will be disappointed, angry and frustrated, then will get back to work finding other ways to advance the cause of justice. I'm betting on LGBT people, no matter what the rulings, to behave like the grownups here.

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