kirk.is | archive | 2015 apr

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April 1, 2015

One Second Everyday:

Image for the final shot, a reflection at the end of Thorndike Street :

"If Christian businesses really stuck to their principles, they'd serve everyone regardless of their sins..."
--http://just-shower-thoughts.tumblr.com/ - I might put sins in scare quotes, but in either direction it's a huge point. So many Conservatives worship Conservatism, and assume they have the spirit of the Bible on their side, when they just don't. Like Vonnegut said: "There are plenty of good reasons for fighting, but no good reason ever to hate without reservation, to imagine that God Almighty Himself hates with you, too."
https://vimeo.com/64586136 - Gruber on the simplicity of Pac-Man, the Early Mac, and iOS. A little long (I wish Vimeo had the same "1.5x speed" option Youtube sports) so: Pac-Man = iOS, Android = Mr. Do, and simplicity is awesome.

march 2015 new music playlist

April 2, 2015
Ok month for new music... 4-5 stars in red. A lot more instrumental stuff than usual.
  • Trouble (feat. Jennifer Hudson) (Iggy Azalea) I really dig this... nice gospel(?) sound with good percussion, and fun lyrics with a slick delivery - kind of like that Kanye West "Gone"
  • Palladium (The Hip) (Liz Brady) Super-hip French song. The lyrics are mostly about dancing... I like Le Monkey sound though.
  • That's the Way (Daniel Lenz) Random clubish (?) music via "Broad City"
  • Freedom Hangs Like Heaven (Iron & Wine) Still acclimating to this foksy piece.
  • In My Cult (Jim's Big Ego) Odd little heaven's gate reference by the makers of Stress (love that video)
  • Dear Future Husband (Meghan Trainor) - kind of retrogade bit from the "All About That Bass" gal. I enjoy the naughty "left side of the bed" fake-out rhyme.
  • The Creator (Pete Rock & CL Smooth) Old school Hiphop.
  • 928 Horn Jam (Trombone Shorty) Minute long piece, reminds me of Dirty Dozen.
  • Hurricane Season (Trombone Shorty) Used as a bumper on his appearance on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me - great horn "fall"
  • Night Falls (Wont Back Down) (B-Side Remix) (Booka Shade vs. Plastic Operator) Electronic groove with some "Won't Back Down", DJ was playing this at the "Bring Your Own Beamer" art event
  • Whiplash (Hank Levy) Decent movie. I learned how the 7/8 time signature makes the title song a "Time Chart".
  • If I Were a Bell (Guys and Dolls) My friend Liz's fav. I like how-- y'know, she actually sounds a little tipsy (the singer, not Liz)
  • Adelaide's Lament (Guys and Dolls) But I kind of missed this one too...
  • Puttin' On the Ritz (Pomplamoose) Cool cover.
  • DJ White Shadow vs. PacMan(tm) (DJ White Shadow) The 90s called... and they were with their friend the 80s. Came from a Bud Light commercial. Pac-Man is in the air lately...


--from http://dogscantlookup.com/post/115268609033 ...

"C'est la Vie!"
accepting that
"this should not be!"
but coping
more stoically; philosophically--
"C'est la Vie..."
--A poem I wrote 7 years ago... I had forgotten about it, but really it was the same idea I rediscovered recently, the concept that if you expect life to be suboptimal, and stop demanding that it live up to all of your momentary hopes and expectations, it can be easier and less scary when small(ish) things do go wrong -- SNAFU usually won't lead to FUBAR.
"[On worrying about "Skynet" scenarios] Humans are going to die on this planet. We're not going to go through a wormhole to another galaxy; it's just not going to happen. What will survive on our behalf is AIs--if we manage to create them. That's not problematic, it's desirable."
--Alex Garland, talking with Wired about his new film "Ex Machina". I really agree with his point here. (Also, is he getting a dig into the film "Interstellar"?)

April 3, 2015

The Bitmap Brothers were (are) a video game house from the UK; I really liked their name and logo...

Slate on changes in the body language of losing basketball players.
http://kirk.is/2004/03/10/ - 15 years ago I noticed I wasn't listening to music much, and didn't have enough music in my life in general. Thanks to technology and a honk band, I am happy to have fixed that problem.

April 4, 2015

"Helle is very understanding, but she doesn't understand a whole lot."
--Rita, the title character of a Danish series about a teacher/single mother (on Netflix)

April 5, 2015

"Years ago I made a foray into beer-snobbery and found that it was deeply unrewarding. A growler of Old Man Inquisitor Excoriationist Old Sea Shipwater Man XLVIIIIIIII Ale Stoutale Nitro Interlocutor Behemoth Alestout is great, sure, but so is a can of crummy light beer on a hot day. Every beer is pretty good."
--Jon Bois, The Worst Internet Things bracket
http://loveblender.com/

April 6, 2015

The literary references of Archer... (PG13)

underseewon

April 7, 2015

underseewon
Click to play -- this is a collaboration I made with EBB1 (EB's Baby 1 - now in third grade....) Trying to get these gals interested in programming! It's fun making little interactive things with them.

underseetoo

April 8, 2015

underseetoo
While collaborating with EB's older daughter, the younger (Kindergarten age) wanted in on things, and worked a bit more independently to provide the source art. Hers features an octopus and a ghost with a popsicle stick. The direction she provided for the critter movement was more organic than her sister's, but probably because I was less trying to make it a pedagogical event.
I have a song I just ripped from an old mix tape - Leprosy by "Eu-Four-Ia" (I think). I can't find it anywhere else online - the tape was from a bunch of Dr. Demento songs Major Schenk‚Äč made for my dad when was sick.

What's the best way to put in online? If I put it on Youtube and someone complained, would my whole account be at risk, or could I just remove the offending material? Or is there another place to go?

FWIW, here is my best pass at a tracklist: (and RIP Stan Freberg...)
Side A
Leprosy (Eu-Four-Ia)
Hal and Lulu (The Amazing Pink Things)
Valking in my Vinter Undervare (Stan Boreson)
The Ballad of Irving (Bob Booker / George Foster)
Masochism Tango (Tom Lehrer)
Banana Boat (Steve Freberg)
---
Side B
Dead Puppies (Ogden Edsel)
The Dingy Song (Ruth Wallis)
Little Blue Riding Hall (Stan Freberg)
Oh Boy (Allen Sherman)
Shticks And Stones (Allen Sherman)

Most of the other ones I can find around, but not that version of Leprosy (they weren't the only ones to make the same kind of parody of "Yesterday")

This tape was pretty influential to me growing up... thanks Major Tom!

April 9, 2015

You know, a lot of readers our age think about the childhood milestone of switching to "books without pictures"- it's a huge deal! But I just started wondering how e-readers are likely to change that equation... reading your first kindle book might be an even more grownup feeling deal!

in general most e-readers are only so-so at books with pictures, and most kids lucky enough to be raised by loving and smart people are swimming in picture books, even at the age those loving smart people are reluctant to give them unaccompanied screen time. I guess I can see a few different scenarios here based on the technology at hand (colorful books on iPads vs REALLY adult feeling e-ink kindles)

Having just done a big book winnowing- The physicality, or lack thereof, of my Kindle library is an interesting topic, though I guess it has more to do with vanity (and book sharing) than anything else.

April 10, 2015

A funny set of Golden Age Superhero parodies by Kerry Callen...

April 11, 2015

I'm not saying I have a James Harvey "problem" but I just got my wooden (!) iPhone case with a custom Alien Bill commission he did as a sweetener on our collaboration, to go with my "Sgt Pepperella" Tyvek wallet I had custom printed the other month. (And I had that same Alien Bill printed up on large ( 30" x 21") canvas for a blank piece of bedroom wall I ran into.)
The wooden (maple) case is pretty keen. It's warm, relative to the plastic one (imporinted my other James Harvey Alien Bill, see http://alienbill.com/ ) and along with the nice smooth black rubber edges it has a terrific organic heft to it. I don't think I laid it out perfectly; I wanted to get the "Alien Bill" text at the bottom, but the text is too hard too see, so the visual balance isn't quite right, a bit high. Still, I dig it.


"It also means you have an excuse for not tidying away your reference books, a consideration not to be lightly cast aside in this office, where books are used as bookmarks for other books."
--Terry Pratchett
"All the child proofing in the world won't stop your toddler from running straight into the wall."
--MPK

April 12, 2015

"If someone says 'pinch me, I must be dreaming'. You shouldn't pinch them, because if they wake up you stop existing."
--http://just-shower-thoughts.tumblr.com/
A redneck's call for racial responsibility... plenty of cussing but I like this guy.

April 13, 2015

April 14, 2015


I like making Alien Bill a bit thicker; he looks less like that usurper from Monsters Inc...
I love wikipedia pages that show the scars of edit wars:
In recent years, sousaphones have been available made of fiberglass reinforced plastics instead of brass. Today, the fiberglass versions are mainly used for marching, with brass instruments being used for all other situations. Depending on the model, the fiberglass version normally does not have as dark and rich a tone as the brass (King fiberglass sousaphones tended to have smooth fiberglass and a tone somewhat more like a brass sousaphone; Conn fiberglass sousaphones often had rough fiberglass exteriors and a thinner sound; the Conn was also lighter). Regardless, fiberglass sousaphones are lighter than their brass counterparts and work well for smaller players who could not otherwise play the heavy brass instruments in a marching band. Although the tone of fiberglass models tends to be thinner and less "warm" (earning them the nicknames "Plastic Bugle", "White Trash", "Toilet Bowl", and "Tupperware" among players in some ensembles), it is considered acceptable by the high schools in which the instrument is most common due to the tradeoff in durability, cost, and weight.

I'm tempted to add a "citation needed" to that nickname bit... I do dislike that type of snobbery.

April 15, 2015

dragonish cloud

April 16, 2015

On FB someone was asking about the rational behind this IndieGogo kosherwitch, that would seem to be some kind of technicality-wielding not-switch-in-religion-only lightswitch.... I offered the following sense of the justification for this kind of thing:
(Usual 'pretty much a goy despite the name and some family background' disclaimers apply) - in terms of the rationalization, I've heard some concept of humbleness before the divine on the Sabbath - in effect, you're giving up your role as an effective creature in the universe. So some of the gimmicks are an attempt to move things from 'changes I would have to affect' to 'the way the universe is' (which happens to be the way I want it)'. To me it seems analogous to accounting reshuffling... to quote Monty Python, "Ah, I see you have the machine that goes 'ping!'. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to - that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account."

April 17, 2015

"You shouldn't get ten of anything."
--Amber, last night, in the store UNIQLO, when I said maybe I should get rid of all my graphic Ts and just get ten plain gray t-shirts.

She also mentioned that one thing she didn't miss was being quoted all the time on kisrael...

Ringo is my favorite Beatle.

April 18, 2015


PROTIP: not only does Youtube let you playback videos at increased speeds, but you can just hit "greater than" to make it go faster, you don't have to go to the settings menu.
Speaking of Youtube videos... and Star Wars... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSuDjjlIPak

I
wonder if anyone tried to fit the room the droids are running around in into the canon.

April 19, 2015

A plus sign + is two minus signs - - stuck together. Which makes sense, because X - (-Y) is the same as X + Y.

April 20, 2015

"Nothing says 'summer' like ripping out handfuls of grass and putting them on the person sitting next to you."
--http://twitter.com/owlcity/

on cities

April 21, 2015
A friend of mine is pondering moving back to the Boston area, a person I'm dating just got back from a trip to SF, and so I'm thinking about cities and where I live in a way I haven't for a while.

One essay that I paraphrase a lot (and so am surprised I can't find links to it on this site) is Paul Graham's Cities and Ambition. My rough paraphrase usually goes:
Every big city whispers a secret message, about what you should be. For New York it's "You should be richer than you are." For Paris it's "You should be more stylish than you are", for LA "You should be more famous". For Boston and Cambridge, though, it's "You should be smarter than you are". And I like that message.
Another article I can't quite relocate, maybe more than one article, and maybe from the Atlantic, talks about how gay friendly cities tend to be the most creative, and it's not just that gay people are creative, it's the correlation with being open to new ideas and alternate ways of being. And similarly, people want to be near museums and parks less because they use them a ton (though sometimes they do!) but because it's nice to know it's around, and also to be around other people for whom that's important.

Living around Boston more than 20 years, the story of my youth (the kid who moves around a lot) is being supplanted... I move around the same pace, but just from 'burb to 'burb. I have professional and personal connections here that are pretty deep; families where I'm the virtual uncle, I've had the same doctor for over a decade, I know a bunch of folks in the tech industry. I know the places I dig, but I'm still finding new places I've never seen.

I dig this city! (Insert "Big Dig" joke here) (Insert admonition against the laziness of making metajokes rather than things that are actually funny here) (Insert further admonition against unduly self-conscious attempts at framing via metahumor, and a request to let the meta-analysis stop here.)

whoa

April 22, 2015
Missed doing an entry today! Too distracted by seeing John McEnroe play tennis.

April 23, 2015


Her name was Danuta Danielsson and she was originally from Poland. Her parents died in a concentration camp. The nazi was later found guilty of murdering a homosexual man. --via http://dogscantlookup.com/post/117158123091/combatbootsoftolerance-sonounsoffione-a-woman that talks about the controversies of proposing a statue in her honor.
"The Fear Will Never Go Away As I Continue to Grow"
--Susan Jeffers' "Truth 1" from "Feel the Fear ...And Do It Anyway". Continuing this self-help book kick I've been on. Not quite as tuned for my needs as the Albert Ellis, but certainly compatible in outlook, and with some useful thoughts even if I don't embrace it mantra-wise.

This concept is good though... if I'm a little nervous and anxious as I go through my day, that's a sign I'm doing it right. If I retreat to the low hanging fruits only, that's not so good.

http://pando.com/2015/04/19/the-war-nerd-the-art-of-turf-war/ - The War Nerd on turf war. Major, "low-level" ethnic war is happening in South Africa. Gary Breecher's realpolitik view takes such a richer, more informed view of what's going on than the simplifications, and frankly, disinterest of mass media.
Like if you want to understand the situation in Yemen

April 24, 2015

http://www.ferryhalim.com/orisinal/g3/floats.htm - this is a game from a long while back, but it's so good and the sound and art hold up well.
http://now.tufts.edu/articles/big-man-campus Oh, guess Tufts replaced the Jumbo statue-- the old one was a bit crap, without any detail (compared to the cool School of the MFA rhino, it really suffered in comparison)

Who remembers someone painting #292 on the side, and why?

Kirk 15K

April 25, 2015
15K
It's my 15K Day - I am 15,000 Days Old, exactly.

To commemorate this, I revamped an old Javascript toy, and am launching it as TIMETOY.net/...

Plug in a birthday or other big date, and it will show you the upcoming interesting superday milestones, or you can use its calculator to figure out the seconds / hours / minutes / days / weeks between 2 dates (or vice-versa)

April 26, 2015

Superman, the solution to all of our problems...

A few days ago I posted about someone painting 292 on the side of the "Jumbo 2" elephant. On FB Adam K mentioned it was Tufts' place in an ordered ranking of top 300 "party schools" from a short-lived magazine called Inside Edge (that he actually wrote briefly for, before it folded) that was maybe a trailblazer for patterns Maxim and FHM would use.

I found this Baltimore Sun article on it from way back when --"We're the male version of Sassy," says Jonathan Hsu, editor in chief of Inside Edge, during a phone interview from his dorm room at Harvard University.

That's kind of hilarious too.

April 27, 2015

Made this:

April 28, 2015

Boston Globe: Few favor death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, poll finds I'm never a big fan of killing on my behalf.

April 29, 2015

"Our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real."
--Hannibal Lecter, via this tumblr entry that points out he's significantly less creepy than the guy from "50 Shades of Grey". Anyway I like the quote.
Doodle transcribing a dream artifact...

"It is a joy to be hidden but disaster not to be found."
--Winnicott

April 30, 2015

David Letterman on 33 Years of Late Night I really like his attitude about what he was doing.
There's a lovely, mischievous pleasure drinking cran-vodkas in the flower-bedecked yard of your high school English teacher, years after the fact. (Along with trying to work up the guts to call her by her first name, now that you're "allowed" to.)

RIP Mrs. McLaughlin.
At the 1991 EHS Prom:
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