kisrael.com | archive | 2012 may

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this simple flowchart
2012.05.01
Nearly 20 years ago, I got this e-mail from my buddy/mentor gowen, who kind of inspired my decision to pursue a double major of English (which had influenced my choice of University) and Computer Science (which I was actually good at), which was what he was doing.
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 93 19:24:17 EST
From: Gregory Owen
To: kisrael
Subject: Re: !Si Si Si!


Follow this simple flowchart.
1) Go to a party with pretty women.
2) Find a pretty female engineer. Say "I'm a CS/English major." Watch her laugh, mutter something about leisure arts, and go over to that dork from your ee128 class.
3) Find a pretty female lib-arts major. Say "I'm a CS/English major." Watch her laugh, mutter something about "fucking geek," and go over to that dork from your Shakespeare class.
4) Get drunk off your ass, man. You are a Liberal Arts Outcast. Neither side wants you. At least you get good head off a beer.

gowen
Still, I think the double major worked out pretty well for me. ("The English to keep me well-rounded, the Comp Sci to keep me well-employed" was my quip at the time and I think I mostly lived up to that... and despite the joke, it was surprising to me to find out how many of my fellow comp sci majors were in it in a trade school kind of way.)

when the 80s met the 90s
2012.05.02

random doodles
2012.05.03
--Man, I need to get back into doodling more.

  ...of the moment  
"Be lazy."
--Shigeru Mizuki statue in Sakaiminato
Apple is making money selling older models as lowend product, and dropping the model # w/ product names ("the new X") -- recipe for Future confusion?
Years after it lost me a Trivial Pursuit question "The kilogram is the only SI base unit with an SI prefix as part of its name" still rankles.

steven king on taxing the rich
2012.05.04
Making the rounds on the left-leaning social media is an excerpt from this rant by Steven King:
I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies. Mitt Romney has said, in effect, "I'm rich and I don't apologize for it." Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want--those who aren't blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money--is for you to acknowledge that you couldn't have made it in America without America. That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it's not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden. Not fair? It's un-fucking-American is what it is. I don't want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that--sorry, kiddies--you're on your own. That those who have received much must be obligated to pay--not to give, not to "cut a check and shut up," in Governor Christie's words, but to pay--in the same proportion. That's called stepping up and not whining about it. That's called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn't cost their beloved rich folks any money.
What's interesting is that they leave out the more right-leaning prelude:
At the risk of repeating myself, here's what rich folks do when they get richer: they invest. A lot of those investments are overseas, thanks to the anti-American business policies of the last four administrations.
I guess I'd like to know more about his view of that.

via BB

  ...of the moment  
What if realists were in charge of U.S. foreign policy? -- we need a Realist Party.
"The practice of art isn't to make a living. It's to make your soul grow."
--http://twitter.com/Kurt_Vonnegut
"What kind of codes do pirates scan? Q-Arrrr Codes! Hahaha just kidding, they don't scan them either."
--http://twitter.com/matthewbaldwin
"Test driven development is like grammar driven literature."
--Bob Walsh

val kilmer removing his glasses
2012.05.05

--via

  ...of the moment  
"I like it when your beard is trimmed, but as it grows longer you look more like an ewok."
--My Mom Friday Evening

mike marnie and kirk
2012.05.06






Scanning photos from my days in Euclid in preparation for our 20th (!) reunion. These were 3 of my favorites. The first one is Mike at the Science Museum in Boston during a band trip up here... since then they've moved the dinosaur outside. The middle is Marnie at Winterfest, I think-- she wasn't my date that night but man I dug that dress, I think her grandmother did the sewing, with a great fabric that shimmers from green to purple-- I've seen the fabric since, but not for years after that dress.

Finally it's me before the Atlanta Christmas Parade in 1991.

Still bummed that at how much more poorly documented life was back then. And the photos were usually less adventurous.


(1) hats!
2012.05.07
Guys just aren't wearing enough hats these days.

  ...of the moment  
http://kirkdev.blogspot.com - on my devblog: "lose dozens of Mbs just by following this one weird old tip!"

timing is everything
2012.05.08
Synchronicity: I hadn't worn this shirt for months, randomly pick it to wear today. RIP Maurice Sendak...

See also this nice, newly unlocked piece about Art Spiegelman's visit with him from the New Yorker in 1993. Also I just found out about his time on the Colbert report... funny stuff!

  ...of the moment  
"There are ALWAYS easy answers. It's just that they're wrong."
--http://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod
"You cannot kill time without injuring eternity."
--http://twitter.com/siwisdom
"You can rationalize anything. It's good mental exercise. It allays guilt. Plus it clears your conscience. So yeah, rationalizing is good."
--http://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod
http://funprogramming.org/ - Program for Fun. Maybe the Profit comes later, but it's ok if it doesn't.

(1) VERBS!
2012.05.09
After I posted my thought
Verbs are stronger than nouns. Nouns may try to be constraints for verbs, but verbs transcend those boundaries all the time.
on facebook James Brooks posted this awesome blast from the past:

  ...of the moment  
"Social Conservatives", please all hurry up and die so that the next, more loving and empathetic generations can undo your damage.
"For all the talk about "protecting marriage", it's worth mentioning that Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the United States"
--http://twitter.com/Pres_Bartlet
Verbs are stronger than nouns. Nouns may try to be constraints for verbs, but verbs transcend those boundaries all the time.
UPDATE: "Social Conservatives", please all hurry up and die peacefully, in your sleep, surrounded by your loved ones, so that the next, more loving and empathetic generations can undo your damage.

(1) lonely robot
2012.05.10

--Messing around with Instagram

  ...of the moment  
"I lost all respect for myself when I bite my own tongue. I've been chewing for decades, how did I manage to fuck that up?"
--from http://www.lamebook.com/week-starting-wins-27/

(1) wolfenstein!
2012.05.11
There's a browser port of Wolfenstein 3D (a classic PC game from 1992 or so) -- fun! I wrote about it at my UI dv blog. This is a soldier sprite from the game:


And check out this cool walk through with Wolf3D creator John Carmack.

  ...of the moment  
http://photooftheday.hughcrawford.com/ - wow, a polaroid a day, every day, from 1979 'til 1997. Wow.

(2) hubcrawl-a-go-go
2012.05.12
Today I captained team "Barkin' Aura Rainmaker" (an anagram of Amber, Arun, Ariana, and Kirk-- I thought it sounded more clever than my first idea AAAK but it was harder to remember) in the 2012 Hub Crawl, a photo scavenger hunt with puzzles... this year the rally point was near Faneuil Hall and the main areas were from there up to the tip of the North End.

You end up taking a lot of photos like this alleyway of saints, because you get more points the more team members you have in the frame.

Here is a 24-hour bakery in the North End.

In the North End we met 2 people who were on a DIFFERENT scavenger hunt. (I imagine local businesses must get used to a lot of odd requests from these things.) They needed 2 extra people to have a picture with all blowing a bubble. So, I got a piece of gum to blow bubbles with, plus the team got directions to the aforementioned alleyway of saints.


At some point we posed with Team "Jumping Amazing Super Optimistic Noodle Squad". I love the name... surprised it gets a lot of google hits, not sure if it's the same folks or not.

Also Bowties were involved.

(3) mlk jr, pool shark
2012.05.13

--Man looks like MLK jr had some mad pool skills. via Cracked

  ...of the moment  

some photos
2012.05.14
Lately I've been seeing window washers...
at Copley Square...


And Faneuil Hall...


You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs...


My mom got me one of those Heroica Lego boardgames, Amber and I tried it out a few weeks ago.

Finally this weekend we went to see her brother's commencement at Saint Michael's in Vermont.


The night before we went down to Lake Champlain... lovely twilight.

  ...of the moment  
I need to remind myself unnoticed meanings exist as well. It isn't the noticing of some thing that makes it true or false.

the sounds of aronofsky
2012.05.15
Darren Aronofsky has a very distinctive gimmick in his films:

--via kottke

(1) slashmaze
2012.05.16

slashmaze - source
(click to redraw)
Our marketing director Gerard LaFond pointed me to an upcoming book by his co-collaborator (and Serious Games superstar) Ian Bogost... the books is called 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 and that happens to be a working program for the Commodore 64 that generates a pattern very much like you see here.

I'm looking forward to the book! Should be a good read.

  ...of the moment  
http://imgur.com/pOXX1 - creepiest patent image ever? (via ranjit)
Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is -- brilliant metaphor... living la vida "straight white male" is the easy mode in the game of life.
"The reason for your complaint, it seems to me, is the constraint which your intellect imposes upon your imagination...you reject too soon and too severely."
--Freud quoting Poet Schiller
"So the man who falls in love with beauty is quite different than the man who loves a girl and feels she is beautiful and can see what is beautiful about her."
--Donald Winnicott
"The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"
--The Treaty of Tripoli, signed by President John Adams and ratified by only the third ever unanimous vote of the US Senate. Man, what you learn reading Lamebook sometimes!

(2) whooooooosh
2012.05.17
Making the rounds is this awesome series of photographs of people facing very, very strong winds...

Man, I wonder if that hurts? You can see more on Tadao Cern's Facebook Page.

  ...of the moment  
"Celebrate Diversity" used to seem a bit trite, and unappealing to my pragmatic, engineer-y self... "Why celebrate diversity? Why not enjoy stuff that seems objectively better somehow?" But celebrating diversity-- for its own sake-- is one of the few countermeasures I can think of to the natural human tendency to assume "most common" is also what's "normal" and better, and well on the path to thinking everything else is undesirable.

(1) large men yelling in coen brothers films
2012.05.18
Warning: loud and swear-y:

--via

  ...of the moment  
Digging http://www.tunefind.com/ -- identifies incidental music used on shows. Helped me find out "Infinity Guitars" by Sleigh Bells on Girls...

<3
2012.05.19

--Amber drew and colored this heart on the paper tablecloth at Full Moon restaurant.

(7) a day in dc with jz
2012.05.20
Took a fun little jaunt to DC with my buddy JZ, partially to see the "Art of the Video Game" exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery...

US Navy Memorial Plaza:


JZ in front of a rock at the Air and Space Museum.


Me reflected in their model of Sputnik.


An important note on early flight! From the gift store there...


Dragon at an Asian Culture Street Fair.


Hippo at the Natural History Museum.


Cool atrium inside the buildings that make up the portrait gallery.


Finally we went to a DC United Soccer game...

god uses lisp
2012.05.21
There were some great eclipse photos this weekend... my favorite has two different clever captions:

For normal geeks: I'm sorry to inform you that Earth is about to be been eaten by a fire demon --Ben Brockert, from the original source

For computer geeks: Guess God really does use Lisp. --Colin Barrett on twitter
(Explanation for non-computer geeks: Lisp is a computer language that is know for using many, many parentheses...)

  ...of the moment  
"In other words, the opposite of "complex" is not "simple," the opposite of "complex" is "isolated.""
--Jamais Cascio

(2) u, g, l, y, you ain't got no alibi...
2012.05.22
--via io9 -- Amazing optical illusion... keep your eye on the center point, and the faces to either side are crazily distorted. Look at either face directly, and you see they're fine.

(1) true names
2012.05.23

--New England as seen in the Atlas of True Names that displays the etymological roots of places, and makes everything feel a bit more like Tolkien's maps of Middle Earth.

hello computer
2012.05.24

  ...of the moment  
"When life gives you lemons, just say 'Fuck the lemons,' and bail!"
--Kunu, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall". Terrific movie!
http://london2012.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/longing-for-the-return-of-dueling-pistol/ -- Olympic sports they should bring back ASAP!
The toilets at work are delayed autoflush- I love hearing it go while I'm washing my hands at the sinks, makes me feel like an action movie hero not looking back at the fire-y explosion.
"The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to believe there is such a thing as being smart."
--Kurt Vonnegut
"I don't like your lesbian music."
"Ani Difranco isn't a lesbian."
"You don't have to be a lesbian to make lesbian music."
"..."
"Am I right? Am I right? Don't tweet that."
--Amber and Me

more photos from back in the day...
2012.05.25








I scanned in another small batch of photos in preparation for my 20th high school anniversary-- a small selection, me and Mike in the hallway, my favorite teacher Mrs. McLaughlin (looking like she's setting a boozy example for us at '91 Prom), Marnie showing a little leg before prom (so strange how entrenched the garter dance tradition was there, for prom...) and finally Kofi "Reggie" Obeng and Ernalisa...

(1) tetris: the movie
2012.05.26
--What if they wanted to make a Tetris movie as badly conceived as Battleship? via

  ...of the moment  
I feel like Amber and I may have been the only two people watching "Men in Black III" and "My Dinner with Andre" today.

(2) READY TO MAKE SOME JAZZ
2012.05.27

click for larger

--Other people have been posting some photos too... I love this one of my Jazz Band in 20111991...

  ...of the moment  
http://boingboing.net/2012/05/27/an-american-on-the-eurovision.html - writeup of Eurovision. I dig the idea of it so much, even if I only like 1 in 10 songs of it...

(1) greaser batman
2012.05.28
Loved this re-imagining of Batman... check out the the source for the Joker, Riddler, etc... really terrific stuff.

afri-cola!
2012.05.29
I remember Tufts' University bookstore having Afri-Cola in the early 1990s... I wondered where it was from, what it was all about... I'm not sure this commercial from the 1968 would really have explained things. It kind of reminds me of that old Simpsons bit of faux-agitprop Worker and Parasite... via

  ...of the moment  
"What will survive of us is love."
--Philip Larkin
"We must love one another or die"
--W.H. Auden

that's hot
2012.05.30
from Diane's Google+:

  ...of the moment  
"Enjoying a Davis Square Libre: whiskey somebody forgot at your house with pepsi max from a promoter in the square. Garnish with a lime."
--http://twitter.com/kadamwhite
"The Bible is the best fan fiction ever written."
--http://twitter.com/TheTweetOfGod
"Girls" is not without its flaws, but it has good comic timing and taught me you can txt your GPS location to people if you want.
"The gods have no mercy, that's why they're gods."
--Cersei on "Game of Thrones"
http://www.slideshare.net/Wolfr/design-for-developersonlineversionlong -- decent if light "Design for Dummies" (well, Developers)
http://www.indieshuffle.com/the-tallest-man-on-earth-graceland/ -- I dig this cover of Paul Simon's "Graceland"
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/05/dvds-and-blu-rays-will-now-carry-two-unskippable-government-warnings/ Can't get over how fucking stupid unskippable piracy warnings are. Hey Kids! Pirate this stuff to not see stupid warnings! Such a fundamental misthink of how to get a message through to people.

(3) postcards from the republic of empathy
2012.05.31
from Sam Lipsyte's short story "The Republic of Empathy":
"Is it too soon to say I love you?"
"Yes. No."
"Soonish I will say that I love you."
"And in the meantime?"
"I will merely love you."
(via the recent "Sci-Fi" double issue of the New Yorker)

  ...of the moment  
http://www.wrvo.fm/post/world-war-ii-vet-caught-floridas-voter-purge-controversy Florida Election Officials are amoral Machiavellian jerks. (The state that was home of the Butterfly Ballot and the Elderly Jews for Pat Buchanan that gave the national election to Bush in 2000.) Between this and a nationwide trend of voter role purges, I have to say my opinion of Republicans as jerks who value their own agendas over the process of democracy isn't going anywhere.
"I'm a citizen of the republic of empathy."
--Sam Lipsyte
http://www.fastcompany.com/1837966/mustafas-space-drive-an-egyptian-students-quantum-physics-invention Quantum Space Drive??? Oh wow...
The whole morning I thought my overshirt lacked a pocket. Nope, it was just on inside out. Gonna be one of those days.
Cap'n Crunch's full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch.
I know my friends have no shortage of reason to hate PayPal, but their incessant shilling of "Bill Me Later" is what gets my goat.
"Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer."
--Brennan Manning
http://mobileopportunity.blogspot.com/2011/06/windows-8-beginning-of-end-of-windows.html - looking forward to a cheap laptop w/ Windows 8. Expect I might hate it though. Wish OSX was less app, more task based
"You got keys and money? Good, 'cause I got nothin'. Except you. Which is good, 'cause you got the keys and money."
--Amber, before we headed out for dinner

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