kirk.is | archive | 2014 jun

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June 1, 2014

"If, once a year, we had to take a bite of a homeless person, we'd treat them much differently."
--Doyle Esch

June 2, 2014

What a month it was! Especially at the beginning...

My new formula for coping with life's setbacks: multiply the annoyance/impact level by the amount I can do to improve the situation by the malicious intent I can presume. So if any of those are near zero, I should be more able to take it in stride. (Historically I think I've been thoughtlessly assuming too much malicious intent, like with traffic holdups.)

may 2014 playlist

June 3, 2014
Check out "Coffee", if nothing else.
  • Sexual Healing (Hot 8 Brass Band) New Orleans Cover, saw it in the movie "Chef"
  • Tightrope (Wondamix) [feat. B.o.B and Lupe Fiasco] (Janelle Monáe) Cool duel version of a great song.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force Theme (Schooly D) I've always enjoyed the meatwad section of this theme song.
  • It's a Miracle (Singing Nun) Very random song I remember from my childhood.
  • Riot Rhythm (Sleigh Bells) With its shoutiness, hooks, and big beats, I think Sleigh Bells would be the kind of band I'd make, but they turn it up to 11 where I would be content with 8 or 9.
  • Hanky Panky (Tommy James & The Shondells) Was reminded of the existence of this by "Coffee" below
  • Modern Family Another TV theme -- one episode had an extended version I was hoping to find but I wasn't able to locate it.
  • I Say It's Spinach Not the version I have. Kind of obsessed with this phrase since reading that New Yorker cartoon book.
  • Semi-Charmed Life (Third Eye Blind) I'm kind of amazed how raw the lyrics to this song are in parts.
  • Coffee (Sylvan Esso) A beautiful song and nice video.
  • Tradition (London Festival Orchestra) Another song from my youth, my mom was in this musical. Hella fun to sing along to.
  • Underground Theme (Nintendo) from an unreleased Super Mario Bros. 2 prototype. Not usually a huge chiptune fan, but this one is simple and good.
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll (Big Joe Turner) This song has coma-ending powers.
  • Wobble (V.I.C.) I just love this video, not the official one, just a hilarious scene from what looks like a camp.
  • Round Here (Counting Crows) I don't know if it's shmaltzy but I appreciate the emotional space Counting Crows explores.
  • Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler) I've had some covers of this song, but the original has some power.
  • Come Get It Bae (Pharrell Williams)

June 4, 2014

Ben Fry, as one of the inventors of the toolkit Processing (the thing I make so many of my toys and games in) is kind of a hero of mine. He currently runs Fathom, a company that does awesome interactive data visualizations. I got to see him speaking at a Thomson Reuters "Knowledge Worker Innovation" series:

(a 2 minute tl;dr highlights version is available as well.)
Saw a firefly on the bike ride back from the UU tonight. Fireflies and daylight that lasts and lasts and lasts; the 2 things I really miss about summers in Cleveland.

June 5, 2014

"I once went out with a guy with a 'DTF' neck tattoo, so no, I'm not really interested in watching your hilarious dystopian future comedy."
--http://twitter.com/BoobsRadley

June 6, 2014

If we ever meet up with an alien civilization, I'm betting they won't have Tetris, which will work to our advantage:

"We have come to share the secrets of fusion, interstellar tachyon drives, and matter transfer. What do you have to offer us?"

"Um, ultimate Frisbee, microwave popcorn, and, um, Tetris."

"Hmm. Tell us of this 'Tetris.'"

"Here, give it a try."

Six months later everyone on their planet will be staying up till four in the morning mumbling "All I need is a straight one. Just one." and we'll have infested the cosmos like fire ants.
--The Brunching Shuttlecocks, Classic Video Games.

Happy Birthday Tetris!!

June 7, 2014

YKK makes the best zippers in the world. Seriously, there's at least even odds the zipper on your fly right now is YKK (it'll say right on the zipper pull) and the way when I do have trouble with a zipper, it's NEVER a YKK, is remarkable.

The company also has its own philosophy and assorted weirdness, almost like a little cult, and the opposite of Ayn Rand-ism...

Given the way capitalism has progressed, with the emphasis away from investment in value propositions to speculation and high frequency trading (with 'too big to fail' at the highest levels to bail the gamblers out), I find this idea hopeful.

June 8, 2014

Me and Lucas parasailing at the Joisey Shoah...

"Say what you want about money, but theres no better mechanism for getting a stranger to make you a burrito."
--http://www.piecomic.com/ ...

June Blender of Love

Parasailing today. Really wanted to take my 1 Second Everyday up there, but I forgot my waterproof case, so I used a baggie, rubber bands, and some twine to make a waterproof case and lanyard.

June 9, 2014

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/08/the-drunken-downfall-of-evangelical-america-s-favorite-painter.html Someone posted this, here I think. I'm still not crazy about the final product but I have more respect for the outlook of the man, and pity for his plight.
"The world is more than rationality."
--Editor Bob Mankoff, explaining the justification for absurdist cartoons alongside the articles in The New Yorker.

I'm glad no one's here, just me by the sea
I'm glad no one's here, to mess it up for me
I'm glad no one's here, just me by the sea
But man I wish I had a hand to hold
--Edie Brickell

June 10, 2014

Boston: timelapsed, super-saturated, and tilt-shifted. I'm kind of proud to be working so close to so much of this...

On an Amtrak train back to Boston, drinking Cabernet Sauvignon from a box. (Kinda like a juice box for grownups)

Livin' the dream, is what I'm saying here.

June 11, 2014

PHILLIPS: Analysis should do two things that are linked together. It should be about the recovery of appetite, and the need not to know yourself. And these two things--

INTERVIEWER: The need not to know yourself?

PHILLIPS: The need not to know yourself. Symptoms are forms of self-knowledge. When you think, I'm agoraphobic, I'm a shy person, whatever it may be, these are forms of self-knowledge. What psychoanalysis, at its best, does is cure you of your self-knowledge. And of your wish to know yourself in that coherent, narrative way...

--Adam Phillps in the Paris Review -- this is an excerpt of an excerpt from kottke.org. Having a hard time wrapping my head around the goal of desiring less knowledge. For me, the sticking point is always accountability; if I can understand an urge, rationalize it, "hammer at an emotion until it becomes a thought" as one therapist once put it, than it is controlled, and if it's not, "who knows what would happen". The full Paris Review interview is interesting but not a "must-read", IMO.

June 12, 2014

A fluffy little piece on my devblog: Arrange Icons by Face.
Also on my devblog: Thank Skew Very Much. Man if I had actual graphics design skills I'd really be a force to be reckoned with.
The end result of that last post:

June 13, 2014

This makes me Laugh Out Loud every time I see it...

Apparently it's part of the MMM3000 project, trying to make a helmet so hungry gamers don't have to take their hands off the controls. Fill their final prototype with the Soylent product and you'd be set for a good long while.
"There’s something magical about the brief period spanning 2004-2009 when digital cameras finally reached a mass appeal price point. Suddenly, people were taking more photos than ever before, but hadn’t mastered the concept of “how to look good in pictures” that came once smartphone cameras took over, ushering in the era of selfiemania."
--from The Definitive Oral History Of The Wikipedia Photo For "Grinding"
1. I think this thing in Iraq is semi-huge. and underreported I know getting into Iraq was a mistake, I'm not convinced our complete pull out wasn't.
2. Recent I read (maybe in that "Think Like a Freak" book) how Saddam threw out the UN inspectors not because they'd report he had WMD but because they'd report he wouldn't; I (and a ton of other folks) had a rather-USA-centric view that didn't let me think about how he felt more threatened by regional rivals than by us.
3. If they weren't such a bunch of fundamentalist barbarians out to install a repressive region of utter intolerance, I'd almost have respect for these jerks. As it is I will just find it hilarious they are called "ISIS" just like the people in the animated series "Archer".

June 14, 2014

Saw "Edge of Tomorrow" -- at first it was all Idiocracy meets Starship Troopers but then it turned into Groundhog Day meets Saving Private Ryan, so it was alright.

June 15, 2014

Reducing the drudgery of taping before painting by pretending I'm set decorating for a really low rent version of Tron...

June 16, 2014

"It's <year>--I want my jetpack [and also my free medical care covering all my jetpack-related injuries]!'"
--Today's xkcd hover caption -- http://www.xkcd.com/1382/
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/red_velvet_mite - Kind of a gross and raunchy and insect-y metaphor for something I know a little too well.
haha ew I MEAN METAPHORICALLY O NEVER MIND

June 17, 2014

http://liquidtelevision.com/video/beat-dedication-2/ Early CGI, robodrummer vs robofly. Primitive-looking now, but I remember seeing "Beat Dedication" at the old Boston Computer Museum, and it was awesome, and the "VW Bug" was influential to my doodling. I have a haunting suspicion that it was also an influence for the extremely unfortunate gold cross (magnetic) earring I had for a brief time in high school.

June 18, 2014

"Typical" OKGO analog visual wizardry and wonderfulness; plus I find the lyrics kind of moving.

"And anyway, when did sexual attraction become the sole metric for physical beauty? Is a sunset 'ugly' just because you don't want to fuck it? What about a waterfall? A horse? Ireland? A song?"
--Lindy West, Why We Need More 'Ugly' People On TV
"Never compare your daily grind to someone else's highlight reel."
--http://twitter.com/KameronHurley

June 19, 2014

Got all 4 tires replaced on my car, a few were looking pretty cracked and old. But I realized I didn't have a good mental model of how a tire works, like, how there's no inner tube or anything. Coworker explained, http://goldwingdocs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15560 had some useful diagrams (found via google image search). A tire isn't much like most other inflatable things in our life, so it's not super intuitive how the air pressure inside is pressing the rubber of the tire so firmly against the metal rim that it's airtight, even with the weight of the car and road conditions and other abuse tires have to take.

June 20, 2014

There is no cause. There is no effect. There is only correlation.

I'm really starting to suspect that this might actually be the case.
I think that "Yo" app, sort of like text messaging that can only say one thing, is kinda brilliant. Not $1 Million of brilliant, but a low friction way to say "I'm thinking of you"

June 21, 2014

I think everyone hopes to find a previously unsuspected precocious talent, like the way my friend Sarah can allegedly play any tune by ear on the recorder. Over the past few days I have come to terms with the fact that I do not have a latent secret genius for painting the inside of houses. I mean I am not terrible, but I am really not any great shakes at it.

June 22, 2014

(We really need a "NSFW"-style marker for "This Information is likely only interesting to coders"- anyway, apply that here.)

Man, is my Perl getting rusty, even though it's still my goto (no pun intended) language my shared web server. In particular using curly braces for a map reference (e.g. $someMap{$keyval}) vs javascript's all purpose "like an array" syntax (e.g. someMap[keyval]) is looking really old and futzy to me.

I should really look into doing more of this stuff in node.js. (Hmm, looks like last year I enquired on my cheap webspace about getting it going, but didn't follow up)
"Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you recognize a mistake when you make it again."
--F.P. Jones

in maine with jane

June 23, 2014













"Success isn't permanent, and failure isn't fatal."
--Mike Ditka
On Google+, a friend pointed out sometimes failure IS fatal. I countered with well yeah, but that's rare; once-in-a-lifetime, at most. Said friend counter-countered with well for say Doctors, it can be someone ELSE's life we're talking about, and he finds Ditka's inspiration sometimes trivialzing, and he wanted a better way to say what Ditka was getting at. My countercountercoiunter was this:

I mean, you could pull the punch with a modifier ala "failure generally isn't fatal" (because he wasn't saying "failure is never fatal in any circumstance".)

But I don't think this is a trivializing sentiment. In fact, I'd say picking on him for not including mortal peril edge cases is a bit trivializing -- because for a certain ("fixed") mindset, fear of failure and seeming foolish, and/or having your limits put in stark relief, can be paralyzing, and I find his sentiment a bit inspiring.

In terms of a better way to put it... an attitude I need to learn to get is "So you maybe fail. So fucking what. Trying and failing doesn't take away from what you are, the potential you embody. But on the other hand, never trying means you're a person who doesn't try - and that's a killer of potential."
"What's red and bad for your teeth?

A brick."

--From this list of anti-jokes. I like the sense of menace in that one (via Bill the Splut)

June 24, 2014

Never been a prescriptivist with language, but wondering if I'll ever get used to people using "u" in email. Txting I kind of see. I guess. But IM it just seems gross and lazy, and email it seems even worse.

Poetically I guess I like that "u" is symmetrical to "i" but still.

Kids today. And grownups.
"Assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different."
--Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO
XRay of a 900lb man. 900 lbs is almost inconceivable to me. The image is kind of beautiful in a way, though

June 25, 2014

"Do not suffer life to stagnate; it will grow muddy for want of motion: commit yourself again to the current of the world."
--Samuel Johnson. Henry Hitchings' book "Defining the World" describes his post-Dictionary life thus: "The Johnson of legend is Johnson the pensioner, free to ramble, idle and adventure, to travel with Boswell and Hebrides and sleep on hay in his riding coat, to try hunting (which he did not enjoy) and impersonating a kangaroo (which he did), to 'have a frisk' with his much younger friends and dine on veal pie with plums and sugar, to investigate ghosts, to teach himself Dutch, and to laugh uninhibitedly 'like a rhinocerous'.
TIL (well, last Saturday); cars these days are smarter than my 10 year old Scion, and keep the power for the radio and windows on until you open the door.
http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/2014/06/improved-ux-in-cars.html

June 26, 2014

"Personally, I've found maturity an overrated quality except in wine, for both creative artists and lively people in general have much to gain from facing the world with the unsullied vision, flexible responses, and playful sensibilities of a child."
--Tom Robbins, "Tibetan Peach Pie"
Watching some Futbol. For everything Americans don't dig about it-- the scarcity of scoring, the flopping-- the lack of time-outs is pretty awesome. The game is 90 minutes, with the 15 minute halftime and then a few extra minutes at the end, free of baseballs and football's start and stop, no strategic timeouts, none of basketball's endless fouls to end a match, etc etc. And no time for commercials... probably to the sport's finances detriment in this country.

June 27, 2014

"'Junior devs think they know everything. Experienced devs think they know nothing. Senior devs hate computers.' via @savagematt @darrenhobbs"
--http://twitter.com/lunivore
USA! USA!


http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-ux-of-99-bricks-wizard-academy.html - my review of the UX of a great physics Tetris game.

June 28, 2014

From 50 Photos Of Actors Behind The Scenes That Will Change How You See Their Movies Forever-
I love the hand-tinted look of this one:

I just watched the series "Life's Too Short" with Little Person Warwick Davis- I'm kind of blown away by how young he looks here. (Oh, I guess he was just 13 or so. I imagine a host of 13-year-olds who'd at least consider trading places with him here, short stature and all.)

June 29, 2014

So I do that "stuff you buy from smile.amazon.com gives a small % donation to the charity of your choice" but it feels pretty manipulative, especially the nag screen that says "remember to always start at smile.amazon.com". I guess the play is to get a amazon-based page as the homepage, and eliminate people seeing competing offers if they start a search on google or what not.

June 30, 2014

Get companies the F*** out of healthcare. This is just stupid.
Near end of workday conversation: How many syllables in "world"? (Sprung from a comparison of the difficulty in sayin "world wide web" vs "double-u double-u double-u" which in turn came from me saying "Eff Double-u Eye Double-u for FWIW", just to be annoying. LOL!)
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