Kirk Israel's commonplace and blog. Quotes and links daily since 2001.
2024.02.29

via Jay Pinkerton's Superman Origin Comics
(the comics are hilarious but juvenile and a tad foul-mouthed so clicker beware.)

So I sometimes like to start the day reading in bed a bit... and I sometimes like to juggle 2 or 3 books at once. But man, both books I started are kind of rough. One is "Welcome To Your World: How the built environment shapes our lives" - the author is an architecture critic, snobby as hell, but he's not wrong about many aspects of how as a species we've gone for expediency instead of more thoughtful design, and you can point to many detrimental effects, and so I can fill up bits of my helpless-rage-or-depression meter about that. And then I pivoted to "The Diagnosis" by Alan Lightman (who wrote two of my favorite books, Einstein's Dreams and Mr. g (the latter is a delightful creation myth compatible with science that I'll be going over for my UUSS reading group tonight)) - I grabbed "The Diagnosis" because of the author and because he throws in a lot of details of late 90s Boston, but honestly reading about a middle aged guy going through some major dementia-ish neurological episode on his Red Line commute isn't a delight.
Some hidden history of the iPod. My boss digs Steve Jobs' attitudes about excellence - and an aptitude for taking resources at hand (in the case of the iPod, a new small Toshiba hard drive) and applying them in novel ways.

Two things I hadn't heard much about:
1. the signature click wheel has heavily drawn from a phone, the Bang & Olufsen BeoCom 6000
2. Part of the secret sauce was a large 32Mb "skip buffer" - advertised as "20 minute skip protection" (remember this is an age of jostled portable CD players leading to poor experience) its true purpose was buffering of songs, so the device could load a few songs at once rather than have the little hard drive constantly spinning, and so tripling the battery life to meet critical performance metrics.
I think Mojo Nixon was wrong - there's at least a bit of Elvis in Michael J. Fox. (Though not in Alex P. Keaton)
2024.02.28
You can't be too happy, literally - thoughts on the importance of our internal emotional thermostats...
--Matt Blease
Really excellent overview charting the first dot com bust through to the current dreams of AI as the savior for tech.

I would say too, it's really bad the only micro-/nano-transaction model we came up with for the Internet was ads and all the privacy breaking and other nonsense that comes up with.



2024.02.27
I checked out the sunrise, found a new path by the hotel that later had some lizard friends..

Open Photo Gallery

back to Boston...

Hopefully a more stable link to horse desensitizing
2024.02.26
We got a tour to check out some cenotes (these underground limestone caverns, many with water and part of an underground river system) and snorkeling near the coral...

Open Photo Gallery

There are trees above that reach all the way down into the caverns below, the root trunks are curiously flexible. (I wonder if this was an inspiration for Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom's underground kingdom and lightroots)

In 2000, 97,488 "morally pure" Floridians voted for the Green Party. When the Supreme Court stopped the recount, George W. Bush won the state, and thus the presidency, by 537 votes.

If Al Gore had won the 2000 election, the US would have started seriously fighting climate change TWENTY YEARS AGO, and we would not have invaded Iraq in 2003. Over one hundred thousand Iraqi civilians were killed during the course of the war. Also, the Supreme Court would have fewer conservatives, and we wouldn't have dark money in politics, we would still have a national right to abortion, we would still have an intact Voting Rights Act, and we would be able to pass gun control laws without them getting overturned.

If a person's quest to stay morally pure makes them stand aside when an imperfect movement trying to do good needs them, they are no longer morally pure. They are directly helping evil with their inaction.
gardening-tea-lesbian on tumblr
2024.02.25

Open Photo Gallery

view through our hotel door peephole... three floors up, eye to eye with palm trees
Roof of one of the many buffets
The market near the Bareceló Maya Mall
2024.02.24

Open Photo Gallery

2024.02.23

Open Photo Gallery

Handsome man Dave
Less impressive dude Kirk
You can snorkel and maybe see Stingrays and Turtles but definitely Fish
Coral... I need to make a post about tips for underwater photography.
Jacked Jaguar
seafood at the Marenostrum
Our hotel the Barceló Maya Colonial
Drinks with Friends (Bareceló Maya Beach)