reCAPTCHA is a free CAPTCHA service that uses text that OCR scanning technology couldn’t translate as the random text:

But if a computer can’t read such a CAPTCHA, how does the system know the correct answer to the puzzle? Here’s how: Each new word that cannot be read correctly by OCR is given to a user in conjunction with another word for which the answer is already known. The user is then asked to read both words. If they solve the one for which the answer is known, the system assumes their answer is correct for the new one. The system then gives the new image to a number of other people to determine, with higher confidence, whether the original answer was correct. (reCAPTCHA Website)

Truly, we live in the future.

I’m now using this system for user registrations (which are required to leave comments). So go register, and help read books!

Beautiful in PDX

It’s a beautiful day here in Portland — not too hot, not too humid, sunny but still with clouds in the sky (I have always been fan of a sky with texture), and a moderate breeze blowing through. This is pretty damn close to perfect in my view. Just got back from having lunch with my brother, with much coffee fueled discussion on a number of subjects that I won’t bother enumerating here. Suffice it to say, it was a good way to spend a few hours, and leaves me wanting to write a bit.

There are some things I simply don’t talk about on the blog, for a variety of reasons — you won’t see me discussing sex much, though I’ll freely admit I read several people who do. I try to keep the emotional baggage off the site as well (though they do happen from time to time). This is mostly because I fully realize that I’m a complete sap. I’m a hopeless romantic with an overdeveloped connection to the unrequited, and an underdeveloped sense of romantic objectivity. I’ve always been the moon-eyed lovelorn kid. I somehow doubt that’s going to change any time soon — I mean hell, I’m still beating myself up over a relationship that ended nearly two years ago, and still stuck on a girl I’ve not spoken to in a year and a half. (Working on moving on. Have a girlfriend again, and trying to let go of some of that baggage. Harder than it sounds.)

I COULD regale you with stories of emotionally charged dreams and idle thoughts and everything else, but frankly it just comes off as whiny, since it fails to affect any meaningful change in how I feel or my behavior — if it was remotely epiphanous and life-changing, perhaps I’d be less reluctant to share it. Sometimes some things strike a chord, though, and are worth sharing regardless. Case in point:

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love. (John Irving, by way of Melissa Gira, by way of Clayton Cubitt)