kisrael.com | archive | last weeks
2014.08.01

  ...of the moment  

(iPhone 5 macro mode isn't half bad. Although the lens isn't up to my Canon's quality, the touchscreen helps...)
The performance that Inspired the new James Brown movie. I checked out the soundtrack for the new James Brown movie on iTunes, and was kind of bummed that it was the original versions, and not remixes with a modern feel - as great as the classics are, they've been available for a while. Anyway, watch this. James Brown was the showman of the century.
"At my husband's grandmother's wake my MIL took my 4 or 5 year old up to see his grandmother in the casket. Everyone was hushed, listening. He paused, looking curious. "Why is there a pillow under her head?" he demanded.
My mother in law faltered. "Ummm, so she could be comfortable," she said, trying to placate him.
He looked at her incredulously and spoke to her as if she understood nothing at all. "Grandma, she's dead. How could she be comfortable? What do you mean? You could take a chain saw and cut her up and it wouldn't matter at all. " Everyone was literally speechless."
--Anita Bozzo, via http://www.quora.com/Parenting/What-are-some-of-the-best-questions-asked-by-kids
http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/news/companies/radioshack-future/index.html Say goodbye to Radio Shack, for reals. I'll miss it; sometimes for the odd bit of obsure electronics it was pretty great. (Not to mention for my first laptop in 1991, an hard drive free 1100 FD (haha someone put that 20 year old machine on the Internet via the serial port... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs4vvUoueOE )

Now I've now started grabbing little things like that from Amazon - that's the dark allure of Amazon Prime, stopping me from having to arrange trips out for things I can wait a day or two for.

It will be really hard to convince the next generations that the name "Radio Shack" was kind of a retro thing in the 80s and after, that it wasn't quite as out of date as the juxtaposition of "radios" and "shacks" would suggest.

Also, http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/ for all your old RS catalog nostaligia needs... I can almost smell the weird newsprint they used.

2014.07.31

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"girl your body is a temple. but itís the water temple from Zelda so once Iím in there I have no idea what to do"
--http://twitter.com/lawblob

2014.07.30

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Satanists protest Abortion Restrictions on religious grounds. Man, I didn't realize informed consent laws were so obnoxious. Between those and that Florida law where a doctor CAN'T talk about gun safety -- The New Conservatives. We'll force the medical profession to reflect our make believe reality.
Doodles from a 15th century Manuscript:

Sometimes I'm a little startled at how bad iTunes search is. It can't get to K-OS' Superstarr from "k-os superstar".

2014.07.29

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from http://ohscience.tumblr.com/post/91376654885/nevver-x-ray-specs-carrie-witherell



"3D printing is the macrame of the 2010s."
--http://twitter.com/sugarfreak
"It could be said that, in many ways, the trombone is the Village People of musical instruments."
--http://twitter.com/DanielNester
"'Obama thinks he's king. He's so arrogant. Everything is about him. Please subscribe to the TV channel I named after myself' - Sarah Palin"
--http://twitter.com/a_girl_irl

2014.07.28

  ...of the moment  

from Contra: Hard Corps via http://pixelclash.net/ ....
"Every day is a parade if you lower your standards a little."
--Man in lawn chair watching local street traffic in Tony Carrillo's F Minus, http://www.gocomics.com/fminus/2014/07/20 -- I think this is a good principle in life in general.

2014.07.27

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PROTIP: If you have an expired PC laptop and want its harddrive (either for retrieving files or for cheap disk space) you can get a USB enclosure for small money. This one runs about $7 and comes with everything you need, even the USB cable and tiny screwdriver.

2014.07.26

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Today we played at the Haley House Community Table, in Roxbury! The local, pay-what-you-want/can food was so good, as was the DJing after, and this panoramic glitch photo of the Honk Band is so awesome...

2014.07.25

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Another great song and video by my favorite German group...

2014.07.24

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As so many of us commute this fine summer morning, take a moment to appreciate the ground lively and verdant and not buried in snow.
Two smart articles:
The War Nerd on ISIS. His analysis always seems very straight forward and pull-no-punches. In short: ISIS isn't really a threat for further domination, but they may represent a defacto partisan trifurcation of Iraq.

Slate on Putin. I didn't realize how insular Russia was becoming. That story is so sad, really.
Lately I'm wondering if "UI Engineer" is not a good description of what I want to do as a career. There's this legion of engineers who seem to dig build systems and complex frameworks more than, you know, building cool interactions and powerful UX. (And I know I can build robust, maintainable systems with simpler, fewer layers of indirection, more-native-browser tools.) But what is the term for this kind of role?

2014.07.23

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Fireworks from A. on Vimeo.


2014.07.22

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from Quora What are concepts in other languages for which there is no English word/phrase

Dinesh Jayaraman, Language enthusiast
Votes by Gautam Ganesh, John R Bryan, Mark Harrison, Daniel Walker, (more)
This is a very simple concept, and I was quite surprised when I realized that English has no word for it (or even a simple way to phrase it). The word எத்தனாவது (roughly etthanaavadhu) in Tamil is hard to translate into English. The closest you could get, if you took some liberties with English is "which-th".

This is a "question word" like "what", "who", "where", "how" etc. Let me illustrate its usage with an example. Suppose A is B's son. The information you want to get from A is:
If A is B's n'th son, what is the value of n?

That isn't really English, of course, and there is really no direct and concise way of asking A a question in English that would elicit the information you want. You'd have to get this information in some roundabout way. Maybe you could ask: How many older brothers do you have, (who were also born to B?)? or How many sons did B have before you? and then add one to whatever answer you got.

If English had this "which-th" word, you could phrase the question thus:
Which-th son of B are you?

tuba, front and off-center
2014.07.21
Me at Saturday's JP Porchfest... I have to say the day was a smashing success! Awesome turn out for a first-year event and great enthusiasm and fun all around. As far as I could tell my lil' website for it (http://jpporchfest.org/) held up fine - in fact I've heard rumors some of the Somerville Porchfest Organizers (who were the (freely admitted!) inspiration for this event) might like to pinch some of our ideas to punch up their own site.



I swear I should consider moving to JP one of these years.

Also, later, I grabbed Leigh's percussion wearable, and my cousin Bill took a shot:

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I love things that recast pop culture mythos and show how the lens we're given to watch and read this stuff as children isn't the only one: "LotR DVD Commentry" by Zinn and Chomsky http://kottke.org/14/07/lotr-dvd-commentary-from-zinn-and-chomsky and even better: https://storify.com/tcarmody/the-people-s-history-of-tattooine A People's History of Tattooine, where Luke Skywalker group up.

2014.07.20

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Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold Well thank heavens the cops are there to protect the vulnerable citizenry from untaxed cigarettes
O fer cryin' out loud -- when Titanfall for Xbox 360 came out, I found out I had to get an HD for my Xbox Slim. So I ordered one, but the video for installing it intimidated me... I had to get special screwdrivers, and I put off the whole business for a few months.

Turns out the installation was A. open door on case B. push in HD 'til it clicks C. close door.

Yeesh. But, I guess I should be grateful. How many things end up being much much simpler than they first appeared?
The weirdest thing about this optical illusion video for me has little (I think) to do with the main illusion; it is that when I'm distracted by the visual pattern and realize that the letters for reading out loud (I think mostly meant to keep your eye in place on the center) spell words, I don't read the letter names but the phonemes they're making. The f of of I read as "of", the "a" I read as "uh" as in phonetically saying "uh good idea", when I see that p, e, r, c, e is there I read the "p" as "cep", since my mind has jumped to what it has spelled. That phonetic jumping is so fundamental to how I process information, it takes a great act of will to restrain it.

2014.07.19

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Sitting in the backyard, enjoying the twilight and my hammock. Dictating texts and emails to old romantic flings, and irritated by the iPhone always hearing hammock as Hamic...