kirk.is | archive | 2010 nov

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lego a go go

(5 comments)
November 1, 2010

AFOL A Blocumentary from AFOL on Vimeo.

--My mom mentioned a Sunday Morning special on these guys... I really need to break out by giant tub of bricks more often!
It's kind of telling and damning of the gamer community how many Wikipedia video game pages get stuck on the game's "coming soon" phase.

from Wendy's-- it's not a fork or a spoon or even a spork....
more of a "spoo"

ok went

(2 comments)
November 2, 2010

Congratulations to the Giants on their World Series win, especially coming not too many years after their Super Bowl triumph.
"And now the saddest moment of Halloween: blowing out the pumpkin candles, and admitting defeat. November wins. As ever"
--http://twitter.com/lileks
And I finally gave up the sandals. Sigh. Just too cold on the toes on the bike in the morning.
Voting is so weird. Your individual action is needed but it only matters in aggregate.
http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/ -- it's a good reminder vs the "Obama's done nothing" drumbeat, if you try to ignore politics...

roger wilco co

(2 comments)
November 3, 2010

--Space Quest was an old adventure game series-- sometimes the game stored the art in "Vector" format, with parts drawn in what might well be the artist's original sequence (minus any "Undo"s of course>) Neat to see, and informative for people who are still into making pixel art.

what?

(1 comment)
November 4, 2010

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/10/ideas-spread-when.html -- I spread your idea because...

john mccarthy says...

(3 comments)
November 5, 2010

via
Headphones in the store always sound better, because you're actively listening to the music.
Sweet, JoustPong is going to feature http://www.montrealindies.com/?p=93 (kind of an after-party for http://sijm.ca/2010/?language=en )

tuba weekend day 1

(6 comments)
November 6, 2010
I declare this lazy weekend to be Tuba Weekend, thanks in part to this image from xoxoBruce... (he seems to be keeping an eye out for tuba-themed images for me.)



I would like to add that is about the first realisticly drawn sousaphone I've seen in this kind of thing.

"Oh, that bottle of soda I left in the car! You drank some of it..." "I left you some, is the other way of looking at it."

tuba weekend day 2

(1 comment)
November 7, 2010

http://catalogchoice.org/ - Amber saved 3 trees, 316 gallons of water, 890 lbs of greenhouse gas by using this site to not get catalogs...
"The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing."
--Marcus Aurelius (turns out classic Stoicism is like happier Buddhism!)
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1938433 - the power of braces
"What it is, what it was, what it might become."
--Dr. Teeth (of Muppet "Electric Mayhem" fame), right?
Product idea: Doc Jimminy Joe's Old Timey De-Stinkifyin' Sweat-Blockin' Armpit Rub
The last Patriots game I watched bits of was the loss to the Jets. At least this one was to my semi-beloved Cleveland.

pizza

(3 comments)
November 8, 2010

--via. It's interesting how slowing down kid's voices sounds so much like a real voice, rather than just "weird".

steve martin and gospel music for atheists

(3 comments)
November 9, 2010

"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in."
--Arlo Guthrie
Just got a Macbook Air (for iOS coding). Annoying being a newbie again, it's been a while. (I don't think OSX is as good as Win7 frankly)

the stoic's glass

(7 comments)
November 10, 2010
We normally characterize an optimist as someone who sees his glass as being half full rather than half empty. For a Stoic, though, this degree of optimism would only be a starting point. After expressing his appreciation that his glass is half full rather than being completely empty, he will go on to express his delight in even having a glass: It could, after all, have been broken or stolen. And if he is atop his Stoic game, he might go on to comment about what an astonishing thing glass vessels are: They are cheap and fairly durable, impart no taste to what we put in them, and-- miracle of miracles!-- allow us to see what they contain. This might sound a bit silly, but to someone who has not lost his capacity for joy, the world is a wonderful place. To such a person, glasses are amazing; to everyone else, a glass is just a glass, and it is half empty to boot.
--William B. Irvine, "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy". Bill the Splut linked to the first of 3 Essays on BoingBoing by Irvine (listed in reverse order, there) and mentioned he thought he might be a natural stoic.

The first order of business is to realize that the English word "Stoic", in terms of being emotionless, is pretty far afield from the ancient Greek school and practice. It does have elements of seeking tranquility via detachment similar to Buddhism, but without Buddhism's insistence on detaching from positive and joyous feelings as well.

I'd say many parts of Irvine's modernization of Classical Stoicism (a supremacy of rationality, seeking of tranquility, strong appreciation for simple pleasures while not being utterly dismissive of the possibilities of finer ones, seeking to triage parts of the world into things we have total control over, partial control over, and no control over and only attending to the first two categories) hit home for me, but I disliked a bit of arrogance in it (it seems to insist on supreme confidence in ones own opinions, something I find impossible given my temperament in this postmodern world) and says nothing about the need for compassion or empathy.

I would sincerely like an app that graphed how much money I've spent on apps.

(made on my new Mac using my iPad as a ghetto Cintiq via "Air Display") - I've drawn many frogs, and many tubas, but maybe not a frog playing a tuba.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/11/fireball-tim - Hollywood's Awesomest Car Lot

a life in the day

(4 comments)
November 11, 2010

Kate did this haiku and art bit: "Length of a meeting ~ Discernible from doodles ~ This was a long one" http://twitpic.com/35ylt0

dr. c. wacko and the whiz-bang miracle machine

(8 comments)
November 12, 2010
Ever rediscover a half-remembered book from your childhood and realize that it was probably wildly influential on you? Such was the case with David L. Heller and John F. Johnson's "Dr. C. Wacko Presents: Atari BASIC & The Whiz-Bang Miracle Machine". I recently found a good PDF copy at Atari Mania's Page of Atari 8-bit Books

The book was a beginner-level but thorough guide to BASIC programming - I suspect I knew most of it by the time I got my hands on a copy, but it was still very cool. The style can perhaps best be described as "Early Doctor Demento" -- hardly a paragraph goes by without a gag of some kind, but still it seems like it would do a good job of explaining fundamental concepts. I can even see the book's influence in my own guide to Atari (2600) Programming, Atari 2600 101. (No cartoons, more's the pity.)
I was reminded of this book when I ordered some Eggs Benedict, and I thought about this chart in it:
Anchovy Burritos: 280 Calories each
Twinkle Cakes: 340 Calories a look
Guacamole Juice: 90 Calories per slurp
Clam Dip: 70 Calories a dip
Greaso Burgers: 470 Calories per bun
Quicko TV Dinner: 400 Calories a tray
Pizza a la Hollandaise Sauce: 900 Calories a sniff

I think that for years that was my main image of Hollandaise, some kind of insane calorie vortex. (I guess I forgot how the other foods needed only a glance...)

Atari Mania also finally let me read the book's -- prequel? It was much more advanced, but came first-- companion, "Dr. C. Wacko's Miracle Guide to Designing and Programming Atari Computer Arcade Games". I'd like to think if I had had this book at the appropriate time, I finally would have gotten those damn "player/missile" graphics and in general made some better games.


My therapist just tagged me on shoppybag.com w/ a "Designer Inspired Gold Heart Charm Toggle Bracelet Links Of Love" (+4 other folk, but hm)

decordova and ova

(9 comments)
November 13, 2010
A few weeks ago Amber and I went to the deCordova sculpture museum and garden, a first for both of us.


If I had a hammer...



Amber might be smiling because I had stepped backwards to frame the photo, tripped on a stair, landed neatly on my butt, and still got the shot. Then an attendant came over to tell us we're not supposed to take photos in the place.



Outside-- this shot is taken through a peephole in a sculpture called "Little Red Riding Hood and Other Stories".



So while most of the sculptures where of fairly traditional material (stone, metal, etc) there was at least one that was just trees constrained into a squared off fence pattern... so I got to keep using my line "Is this art or landscaping? Look for a plaque!"



At the end of the month it was Kate's birthday. How old? Old... Miller made up an idea Kate had previously thought of, a "strawberry quiche". It was pretty decent (much to Miller's surprise considering the disaster it made of his kitchen), kind of like a custard.



Kate's partner has a dog Ben, notoriously camera shy, leaving the place when a camera is even pulled out. My new camera has a great zoom lens though so I was able to get a shot.

from alewife to copley square

(17 comments)
November 14, 2010



I think I made an iPhone shot of the turkey around Alewife, but it still weirds me out.



There have been some nice sunsets this Autumn... this is over Brigham Circle



For my Uncle's birthday we went to The Palm, here he is with MELAS in front of the BPL.



Yet another shot of The Hancock, though from ten stories up. I'm always tempted to start a photoblog just of people taking photos of it. Can't blame them though, it the daytime it's so gorgeous.



It dwarfs the Trinty Church across the street. I don't think people realize what a big church it is, but if you look closely you can see a workman there. Those windows are at least twice as big as your eye tends to assume.

At that amazing Arcade Mecca of the northeast, Fun Spot, with Leonard. Would Pengo be so well regarded if it was called "Sno-Bee Holocaust?" I think not.

November Blender of Love Digest here!

"It wouldn't be the first time the power of love was responsible for a whole lot of bullshit."
--Leonard Richardon, "Constellation Games"

the funnest of all funspots

(5 comments)
November 15, 2010
Leonard was visiting, up from NYC, and we decided to take an impromptu field trip to Funspot, home of the American Classic Arcade Museum, what the Boston Globe calls "the Louvre of the '8-bit' world."

My favorite new (to me) old game was probably the first controversial game, Death Race -- you and a buddy compete in running down "gremlins" (probably changed to placate moralists) who give a thoroughly unpleasant squeal and they transform into a tombstone that then blocks the progress of your death-on-wheels car.


I liked it quite a lot.


Leonard was more staid.


Leonard playing a comically undersized game he remembered from his dentist's office, "Leprechaun".


I got the high score in Gyruss!


And Pengo. Though it looks like I was the first person to play that day. Still, still I got through many levels, honed from years of experience in the Atari 2600 version years prior... Leonard didn't know there was a "kick the wall to stun enemies" trick. Though as I cruched Sno-Bee egg after egg (to stop new Sbo-Bees from form to replace their squished-by-sliding-ice-block comarades I wondered if this game would have been as popular if it had been called "The Sno-Bee Holocaust".



"I don't have any solution but I certainly admire the problem."
--Ashleigh Brilliant

the toast of the web

(1 comment)
November 16, 2010

--This is undoubtedly the best toast based video you'll see this week! OK GO is just amazing.
"I don't mind going nowhere as long as it's an interesting path."
--Ronald Mabbitt
And with the closure of the bank acct of my old life, my Todo due/overdue list is empty, first time in months! Next stop: Inbox Zero.... only 3 or 4 starred items there but 2 are moderately sized projects.

young astronauts in repose

(3 comments)
November 17, 2010

Leonard pointed out this amazing Astronomy Picture of the Day taken on the ISS... two quick thoughts:
  • I think any geek worth his or her salt is now entitled to have an enormous crush on astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson.
  • The Cupola she's looking through looks suspiciously like the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon (also a bit like the front of a TIE-fighter)
Sigh. I dunno what's cooler about space, the microgravity or the view.
http://www.onefoottsunami.com/2010/11/16/mistakes-ive-made-drinking-four-loko/ - the tail of about the worst drink imaginable

well-armed

(1 comment)
November 18, 2010

--via
Wow- "Kate T" and her job offer has totally thwarted gmail's spam filter, like eight times over... is it the conversational tone?

http://www.csectioncomics.com/2010/11/iphone-vs-android-vs-blackberry.html ah, identity through consumer electronics!

wham zoom sploosh fwoom

(2 comments)
November 19, 2010
--xkcd has mentioned their thrice weekly schedule may slip due to family illness, but this week of backlogged "five-minute cartoons" are some of his freshest stuff in a while.

hanson blues

(2 comments)
November 20, 2010

--Decent enough song, and I dig the tribute to the Blues Brothers...
"I have learned
To spell hors d'oeuvres
Which still grates on
Some people's n'oeuvres.
—Warren Knox"
--http://twitter.com/siwisdom
At Jordan's IMAX ("Buttkickas. That's right, Buttkickas") waiting for Harry Potter they need to get over Cherry Poppin' Daddies. 

2020's ipad via 1995's wired

(5 comments)
November 21, 2010
In October 1995, Wired maazine had an interesting special issue: "Wired Scenarios 1.01: the Future of the the Future." Besides the nightmarish semi-apocalyptic scenario "The Plague Years: 1996-2020" (with its (at times badly) photoshopped yet evocative images of a 747 being torched at Signapore airport (to try to contain the "Mao Flu"), corpses floating in a bay ala Katrina, and United Colors of Benetton ad sporting a rainbow of gas-mask/hazmat ensembles) and the real ads for Windows 95, the part that really stuck in my mind was "A Day in the Life", four two-page spreads with first person perspectives of people looking at October 19, 2020's news on their distinctly iPad-like tablet devices.

The article says "Industrial Design and Alias work by Lunar Design" and attributes photos to James Porto. I can't find too much information on this article, or in fact, the entire issue --it seems like the thing was made when Wired was still uneven about getting its material online. (and Amber's library resources came up blank as well.) The design work is pretty cool though -- with the exception of the "Porsche Cortex" they're not quite as grindingly minimalistic as the iPad. The Swatch one seems to be designed for bicycling, and the "SonyShack" device has a custom button for the wagering/betting that all the models support.

In trying to dig up information on this article I found a 1998 Digital Systems Research Center report on The Virtual Book, that reminded me the concept wasn't entirely new: the movie and novel 2001 had the "Newspad" (Commentators in February of 2010 loved pointing this "ripoff" out, making fun of the name 'iPad', and generally predicting it would be a big flop) and there was also Alan Kay's 1968 Dynabook concept - that link quotes an interesting exchange between Jobs and Kay.








http://twitpic.com/38t4pe "Multiplayer gaming in a nutshell." via

back at ya

(1 comment)
November 22, 2010

--via
So excited Apple has finally released iOS 4.2 for iPad. Now I can finally tame those unruly screens of barely organized apps!

chinese stamps

(3 comments)
November 23, 2010
I bought a random Lego minifig (Robot from Series 1) and it happened to come from China, and so I got to see some interesting stamps:
The surfer stamp was good too:

Our JIRA bug numbering/tracking system at work is in the high 1000s/low 2000s, so there are a lot of "ah, a fine year" type jokes.

scrib1

(2 comments)
November 24, 2010
To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
scrib1 - source - built with processing
Very simple doodle program, made to celebrate me noticing that Processing finally added support for some of the newer Java syntax features. A bit Action painting-ish if I do say so myself, especially if you let it run for a while.
Oddly chipper. Wanna be motivational speaker to the world. The trick is getting off the treadmill of wanting more- appreciate what's there!
Oh man, how long has processing supported the new Java foreach and typed collections? I've been doing it the old way for WAY too long.
Yeesh. Despite working there for 7 months it took Amber to point out that the street # of my work address is the first 3 of my phone #.
Wow. Not only has Apple annoyed a big % of iPad owners by making the physical screen lock button to "mute"- the mute doesn't work! #ipadfail

orange i thankful?

(3 comments)
November 25, 2010
To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
scrib1_amber - source - built with processing

Ya, the same thing as yesterday but in the pretty orange amber likes.

Apple Laptops have too many modifier buttons - fn control option command - it makes a lot of key presses a guessing game.

allanime

(1 comment)
November 26, 2010

--I really dig when people are smart enough to notice patterns like this, like on tv tropes, because I'm pretty bad at it.
http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_95_25-hand-print-art-projects-way-more-badass-than-turkey_p26 - very clever.
When I heard about "Spandau Ballet" on Modern Family I assumed the name was made up: as I read about the name's derivation on wikipedia I just wish it was.

what, me worry?

(8 comments)
November 27, 2010
a To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
mad - source - built with processing

SpindlyQ, founder of Glorious Trainwrecks recently tweeted a great find: The MAD Computer Program, circa 1985, now lovingly scanned in and OCR'd. That link includes a video of the original program (Apple II flavor) running on an emulator, as well as scans of the original pages and BASIC and Java versions.

I took the Java version and enhanced it a bit - my version has fun with the inherent scaling of the way the thing was made, as well as recreating the "watch it being drawn" effect. Mouse over or press 1-9 to change the scaling, click starts over.

http://www.aprilwinchell.com/2010/11/16/holiday-mp3s-2/ - worst holiday music (via the maker of regretsy)
Between Motorstorm (amazing graphics) and Little Big Planet (terrific 2 player co-op and more) I'm thinking I downplayed the PS3 for too long...

the immortal haiku of laura silverman

(7 comments)
November 28, 2010
I am so lonely
And have a lot of problems
Be my Valentine?

A message to snails
Evolution has failed you
Your shells are a joke

Asked the universe
To please stop sending me signs
Has not responded

A pack of Wet Ones
Inadequately sealed shut
Is pack of Dry Ones

He has those two eyes
So very much like I do
It's destiny-ish

One in five experts
Agrees that the other four
May well have a point

Wearing fur's okay
If the animal was illed
In, like, self-defense

When old people fall
It rips my heart to pieces
Yet still they do it

There once was a girl
And she lived in Nantucket
And that's all I know.

--"the immortal haiku of laura silverman" (sister of Sarah) from Tufts magazine. (Though it seems she's more "School of the Museum of Fine Arts" which is affiliated with Tufts.) Also she was the receptionist on "Dr. Katz" which ks kind of awesome.
Bleh, just watched Woody Allen's "Match Point". Rich people to be envious of, then repulsed by, all for an operatic theme of no justice and a visual metaphor.
But thanks to Amber's persistence in having us put up a ceiling mount for the projector, we got to watch the movie on a 114" diagonal screen.

there and back again

(2 comments)
November 29, 2010

via
I dreamed of a restaurant serving a Clubbed Seal Club Sandwich. I wasn't sure if the restaurant meant it as a joke or not. Sounds fatty.
RIP Leslie Nielsen. Shirley no one will call you now. Though "Leslie" was kind of a strange name for a dude.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/8160622/Computer-identifies-the-most-boring-day-in-history.html - April 11, 1954 - a day that will live in non-infamy.
Note to the Twitterverse: few tweets are really improved by postpending them with ", bitches"
"Exactly two things have made airplane travel safer since 9/11: reinforcing the cockpit door, and convincing passengers they need to fight back. Everything else has been a waste of money. "
--Bruce Schneier, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/11/22/do-body-scanners-make-us-safer/a-waste-of-money-and-time
LOVE that the Bills' Steve Johnson blames God for his game-losing dropped pass; He so often gets the credit and thanks, why not some blame?

bobby, your bluebottle fly maggot bestest buddy

(8 comments)
November 30, 2010
--Closeup of a maggot, from Cracked.com's 12 Things You'll Wish You'd Never Seen Under a Microscope-- Surprisingly cute! (It didn't even need any photoshopping, unlike my idea for Tiddley, your Tummy Tapeworm Pal


"Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness."
--Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness
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