News outlets have been ratcheting up coverage of the scheduled emergence of Brood XIII in Northern Illinois. So far, I have not seen (or heard) any in our area. Apparently this evening (Monday May 21) and tomorrow are the expected times for mass emergence.
It’s pretty interesting that this type of cicada has developed a 17-year lifecycle as a defense against predators. Because 17 is a prime number (as is 13, the other common lifecycle of periodical cicadas), potential predators cannot get in sync with them. Still, it seems sort of pointless to me, as they only live a few weeks once they finally emerge, after all that waiting underground.
I found a cool Google Map where you can pinpoint where you’ve seen these creatures, which might come in handy if you’re hungry. I hear they are delicious.
I’m a bit of an aviation buff, so I thought this was pretty cool, even though it’s been around for a while. A guy named Aaron Koblin created a bunch of animations based on FAA flight tracking data. It’s part of the Celestial Mechanics project, where there is some more interesting stuff about what is over our heads at any given time.
The fact that I couldn’t plug my BlackBerry device into a USB port on my laptop running Linux and have it charge really bugged me, and a whole lot of other people. A few weeks ago, I discovered the Barry project, a small part of which is bCharge, which tells the BlackBerry to request the correct power setting on the USB port, avoiding the dreaded message about insufficient power for charging. The latest version adds support for the Pearl and 8800 devices.
I used the openSUSE Build Service to create RPMs for SLED 10 and openSUSE 10.2. They are in my home repository here.
I got a copy of Microsoft Windows Vista through MSDN, and was having some trouble getting it to work. YouTube came through again, and this video really helped me out with some good tips.