Kirk Israel's commonplace and blog. Quotes and links daily since 2001.

Three factoids:

From Cracked:
The show [Thunderbirds] was shot using a technique invented by program creator Gerry Anderson called "Supermarionation," where pre-recorded vocal lines triggered sensors in the heads of carefully crafted marionettes and moved the puppets' lips in sync with the dialogue.
(I had heard of Supermarionation (not to be confused with Super Mario Nation) but didn't know quite what it was.

Then two from Tom White's traditional 52 things I learned in 2021:
Until 1873, Japanese hours varied by season. There were six hours between sunrise and sunset, so a daylight hour in summer was 1/3rd longer than an hour in winter.
Now THAT is a beautiful way of reckoning time!
Short afternoon naps at the workplace lead to significant increases in productivity, psychological well-being and cognition. In contrast, an extra 30 minutes sleep at night shows no similar improvements.
And that one seems like it might be useful... in theory I have everything I need to add that into my life now, I just need to figure out the optimal strategy...

December 1, 2021

The Joshuan Project
Short track with some great human beatbox.
Via this tumblr post about cute bugs.

Super Mario 3D Land Demo Underground Powerdown
The classic Mario song with a fun slow to a halt,
via this "small mario findings post, it's an unused track from Super Mario 3D Land.
Shine On Harvest Moon
Betty Carter
Slick torch song.
Mentioned in Tom Stoppard's play "Jumpers"
One More Second (Future Islands Remix)
Matt Berninger
Indie Mood Song - really sorrowful breakup piece, I didn't think about the lyrics enough during the month it was playing it. I added it to my playlist "saddest".
Mentioned by my friend Leigh on FB I think, by the main singer of The National.
Let's Get It On
Late-90s hip hop, smooth flow, the character select screen music for Street Fighter: 3rd Strike
Mentioned on the podcast "How Did This Get Played" -- awesome podcast, having writers/improv people who love games talk about games makes this one the best.
Solid Eurovision song, love that shouty girl chorus stuff...
Learned about Montaigne when she did the My Brother My Brother And Me podcast soundtrack, wanted to see if she did something I liked better.
Destination Calabria
Masove, Brendan Mills & Tess Burrstone
(content notice, video is a lot about T+A) Dance hall stuff with awesome fun sax.
Some random tiktok.

Want It All Back
Mai Yamane
Awesome funky R+B song - I love the way it sounds like the singer is singing lower, out of her comfort range.
from "Cowboy Bebop", the anime series with a legendary soundtrack, been watching a bit.
Tokyo Drift (Fast & Furious soundtrack)
Teriyaki Boyz
Hiphop, leans heavily into asian stereotypes I think.
Mentioned on the hilarious video game podcast "How Did This Get Played", talking about songs from video games, and a few from movies.
The Magic Bomb (Questions I Get Asked) [Trap Remix]
Trap Remix Guys
from a random Tik Tok, where it's considered a good track to dance to while FAQs and their answers appear onscreen.
Stand By Me
Florence + the Machine
Nice sweet cover of the old standby.
I guess they used this in a Final Fantasy game soundtrack, via the funny videogame podcast "How Did This Get Played"
Mannish Boy (Single Version)
Muddy Waters
You know, I think this is like the Ur- blues song, that has the rhythm everyone would sing when they were clowning and singing a blues song in the 80s.
via Apple news talking about a series of Levi Ads in the 90s with famously great music.

Amazon Is Helping Researchers Study How to Dim the Sun I feel like "dimming the sun" is a misleading term. Like we're not messing with that nuclear fusion mass' output... we're talking screening it a bit it as it hits the atmosphere...

Secondly, the Matrix "We don't know who struck first, us or them. But we do know it was us that scorched the sky. At the time, they were dependent on solar power. It was believed they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun." is not as close a reference as Snowpiercer's "CW-7 is being deployed into the upper layers of the atmosphere where it will bring down average global temperatures to the optimum levels of the last century. And we are witnessing it!"

So ya know, "TikTok" as an endless firehose of content doesn't interest me, but, like with Vine (RIP), I'm interested in as a thing, and sometimes there's a theme that really catches my eye.

This "Answer to Annoying and sometimes invasive FAQs" dance is intriguing (the music is one of the songs listed above)

Reminds me of Biff's Question Song by Tom Wilson who played Biff in Back to the Future.

Overheard at work:
"My update: To use a word from Kirk, the Group Outlook calendar is Wonky."

I did not realize "wonky" was so idiosyncratic a term!

But I've been told that it's a tough road for me to hope to maintain anonymous on the theoretically anonymous feedback part of our sprint reviews, my voice (or maybe just weirdo word choice) kind of comes through...
November 29, 2021


Ever stop to think about how that celebratory helmet bump thing is pretty much how football players kiss?
Yesterday I took took my semi-regular pilgramage to Asbury Park's "Silverball Retro Arcade". Nice to see it humming along even in winter - though I guess it was a holiday day.
I suspect pinball fans might gripe amount the increasing amount of floorspace being dedicated to arcade machines vs pinball. After all, videogames are subject to emulation and duplication in a way that pinball machines are not! Still, there's something special about real arcade games, especially ones with distinctive controls... they had a "Discs of Tron" (regular standup, not the immersive one) and even Time Pilot's controller has a distinctive feel. (Being so enamored of its sci-fi sibling Time Pilot '84, I forgot what a nice dogfight feel the original had - the looping around to try to get out of danger and onto offense is fantastic.)
I'm typically not much for conspiracy theories about the British royals, but the idea that they're desperately trying to keep the Queen going until next year specifically because if she abdicates or dies before February 6th she'll go down in history as having had a sixty-nine year reign is the funniest goddamn thing I've ever heard.
I slightly touched up this photo of Star the pup...

it got me thinking about what I thought was a controversy about photoshopping up a photo from the 1984 Olympics... but, ironically enough, I can't find any evidence of my memory - I write about that on my devblog, some possibly false memories about the history of making false memories
It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.
Q on "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

The UX of LEGO Interface Panels