2002 June❮❮prevnext❯❯

tiny update

June 1, 2002
Dang, gotta do a Loveblender this weekend, updating all my scripts to make its new look.

Link of the Moment
It's the web's tiniest website. Wasn't too overwhlemed by it 'til I started play the tiny, tiny Flash based games...pretty cute!

Quote of the Moment
If a painting can be forged well enough to fool experts, why is the original so valuable?
George Carlin

prime numbers and african artifact

June 2, 2002
For as long as I can remember, when you do a Google search on "kirk israel", this page comes up. It's the most random thing, I have no idea why Google thinks so highly of it. Even weirder, it just has a link to my entry in that thread, it's not the entry itself. So odd.

Funny of the Moment
Neither of my parents understand how an answering machine works. When my mother leaves me a message she's actually trapped inside the machine. It is just like a desperate cry. "Carol? Carol? Carol? Are you there? Carol? I'm in the machine." And my father's even worse. He leaves me these messages, "Uh, tell her that her father called."
Caroline Rhea

Link of the Moment
Back in the day, before the Internet ran smack dab into American popculture, there was the BBS. I missed out on that whole scene. I remember seeing some graffiti for "The Eleventh Hour BBS" (later the Durex Blender Corp) in my dorm's public restroom freshman year, complete with phone number and modem settings...that guy (Brian Moynihan, e-mail me if you read this) ended up being my roommate the next year.


June 3, 2002
Happy Birthday to Mo! (E-mail mo "at" protogeek "dot" com if you want to send good wishes... )

Link of the Moment
Ever want to see yourself as a Lego Mini-figure? Now you can, virtually. This is me to the right...not quite enough choice in shirts, or in things to hold, but overall pretty good!

Funny of the Moment
When you pick something up with your toes and transfer it to your hand, don't you feel, just briefly, like a superior creature? Like you could probably survive alone in a forest for a long time? Just briefly.
George Carlin

kirk's paradigm

June 4, 2002
Image of the Moment
From my old Tufts homepage. A guy at the Mac lab helped me cut out my picture (from a photo of me on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty) and came up with the weird idea for the background. I don't think the word "paradigm" was quite so overused in those pre-dotcom days

Link of the Moment
Interesting tool at the U.S. Census Bureau that lets find the ranking of first and last names. "Israel" is the 2962th most popular last name in the United States, and "Kirk" is 288th for guys...(edged out by "Kurt" at 249...is that why people keep folding my name into that?) (via Bill the Splut)

Quote of the Moment
Albert Camus won the Nobel Prize for his novel The Stranger, which says, in effect, that life is meaningless. But that novel's dust jacket carried a paragraph reporting that Camus died in a car wreck in 1960. It should have added, "Not that it matters."
Dexter Madison

flutter and flirt

June 5, 2002
Link of the Moment
An amazing page on the science and art of flirtation. Or, as they put it, "To save the human race from extinction, and preserve the foundations of civilisation, Martini commissioned Kate Fox at the Social Issues Research Centre to review and analyse all the scientific research material on interaction between the sexes, and produce a definitive guide to the art and etiquette of enjoyable flirting." It's got me analyzing all my little social gestures, and being so introverted and observant is exhausting after a short while! Warning, the article might make you feel like a lab monkey for a bit.

Quote of the Moment
Jeffrey Dahmer said he was temporarily insane and ate seventeen people. That ain't temporary. Somewhere around the fourth person you've got to think, "I don't think this is going away, I'm crazy."
Warren Hutcherson

hungry old people

June 6, 2002
Link of the Moment
Yeesh...Bill pointed to this article about 'starvation' diets, and how they are associated with surprising longevity in a lot of mammals. It makes me thing about my own diet, and while I don't think I'll be headed to anything near that, some how it's an inspiration towards dieting in general. And it makes me think how I'm kind of out of touch with what hunger really is...it seems like for me, time to eat is determined by traditional schedule, and wanting to put some that tastes good in my mouth...

Funny of the Moment
[on "ever wonder if there are others of Yoda's race, and if they all talk the same way?"]
Imagine the yoda-men in the office, around the water cooler.
Yoda 1: Hello, Bill.
Yoda 2: Morning, Hank.
Yoda 1: Finish that proposal, you did?
Yoda 2: Yes, finally. Quite a chore, it was.
Yoda 1: That Henderson, he is a slave driver, eh?
Yoda 2: Yes. To kick his ass I'd like. "There is no try, only do." Asshole he is.
Andy Simmons, rec.humor.funny.reruns...especially funny given that one perimeter quote from the last movie...


June 7, 2002
Oy. Feeling kind of woogy writing this, Bush's speech in the background (it's not the speech, I think the single agency idea is a good idea). The stuff that sets it off seems so detached from real life: the stock market sputtering, India getting ready to move in. Oh, and worried my project at work is biting off more than it can chew...

Link of the Moment
On a brighter note, there was an amazing interview on Salon with an author who thinks that the to a successful urban center is a core creative class. He says (and has done the research to get to this conclusion) a city needs 3 Ts: technology (a big technological base, associated with universities and tech investment), talent (have general aspects that appeal to that group) and tolerance (of diversity in general). It's why places like Austin have suceeded while Pittsburgh and Detroit are having more and more problems. Funny, and very true, excerpt:
"How do you choose a place to live and work?" and the answers just came out: Diversity, we want a place that's diverse, where there's different kinds of people on the street. Of course a job is important, but it isn't just "a" job: We need lots of jobs because we know now that "a" job isn't going to last long. We want a city to be creative, we want it to be exciting, we want it to have all kinds of amenities, we want it to have outdoor sports, extreme sports, rollerblading, cycling, art scene, music scene. Then we asked, "Do you do all that stuff?" and the answer was "No, we just want to know it's there."
Also, interestingly, he believes gay communties are kind of the "canary in the coalmine" for the creative economy.

Japanese Pop Culture of the Moment
Beer-chan loves beer so much!!! She looks young, but she is 20 years old. So, boys and girls! Don't drink it like her! You hear beer-chan saying "It's sooo good!" anywhere, anytime.
...I'm not making this up. Young boys and girls should take their cue from Beer Chan's younger relation, Chibi Beer Chan who is too young to drink, and can merely dance about with a beer glass on his (her?) head.


June 8, 2002
Happy Pride!

Link of the Moment
It seems that British Marines don't quite know what to make of Gay Afghan Farmers...the quote at the very bottom was kind of funny.

Funny But Evil Link of the Moment
Not to be anything but supportive of the whole Pride concept, but this Onion piece, Gay-Pride Parade Sets Mainstream Acceptance Of Gays Back 50 Years raises a few issues...
"I'd always thought gays were regular people, just like you and me, and that the stereotype of homosexuals as hedonistic, sex-crazed deviants was just a destructive myth," said mother of four Hannah Jarrett, 41, mortified at the sight of 17 tanned and oiled boys cavorting in jock straps to a throbbing techno beat on a float shaped like an enormous phallus. "Boy, oh, boy, was I wrong."
Personally, I like that not giving a damn is part of the point of the festivities, but it's something to think about.

Quote of the Moment
The heterosexuals who hate us should just stop having us.
Lynda Montgomery

nostalgia of the moment

June 9, 2002

1 eyed 6 toed
battery operated
laser sloths

drip drip drip

June 10, 2002
Idea of the Moment
The term "surfing the Net" is an insult to surfers--and nets. I was on this web site called "I Just Got Out of the Shower." It's people from around the world talking about how they're still a little wet. And when you dry, you get off it. Isn't it great how the Internet is going to bring us all together?
Bob Odenkirk.
I have a search of grateful that he didn't give the site name as "IJustGotOutOfTheShower.com". Of course, these days, there's absolutely no way you could publicize such a site without looking like a porn fetish site.

Link of the Moment
craigslist is one of the oldest community sites out there. There are even subsites for various cities, including Boston. (You can get a chuckle from best of craigslist)

Even thought part of the wonder of the Internet (Usenet and the web) is that it brings people together based on common interest and not accident of geography, it would be cool if there were better regional representation online. Someplace where I could go and talk about the Waltham high school hockey team, who won the state championship this Spring (I've seen banners around.)

not your daddy's screensaver

June 11, 2002
Link of the Moment
Wish your computer was doing more useful stuff in its off hours? (Of course someone pointed out that if you could get a handle on how much extra electrcity was being consumed by computers doing SETI@Home or whatnot rather than just going into idle, well, it would seem quite so free. Still, probably a good trade off.

Grumpy Old Rant of the Moment
Eighteen-year-old kid, head shaved, both ears pierced, both nostrils pierced, both eyebrows pierced, tattoos coming out of the arms. He's got baggy pants that start at the knees, and twenty-seven inches of underwear. What's that about? That's one of the basic rules we know about--the underwear goes inside the pants! That's why it's called Under-fucking-wear.
Denis Leary

the littlest tugboat

June 12, 2002
Image of the Moment

A cute tugboat from the docks by my new job.

Link of the Moment
Ranjit was disappointed that yesterday's ditributed computing link missed out on YETI@Home...

Quote of the Moment
The period and the comma are the only lovely marks of punctuation.

no time like the present

June 13, 2002
Quote of the Moment
When God created time, he created a lot of it.
Ironically enough, I'm making today's entry in a bit of a rush.

Link of the Moment
Yesterday memepool linked to QDB, the Quote Database Home for IRC. (IRC is an older form of chatroom.) If you're in a hurry, check out their Top 25 page. [PG13 links, that IRC crowd is a wild bunch.]

backlog follies

June 14, 2002
Rant from Last August
Wow. You know what I really hate? That stupid jokey kowtowing bowing gesture people make.
This has been in the kisrael.com backlog file since August. Do you know the gesture I mean? Both hands up in the air, elbows bent, then bow/put the hands down as if you were doing worship or something? Man, that's just embarassing to watch. (Followup: Ranjit thinks it ultimately might be the "we're not worthy" schtick from Wayne's World. (The IMDB Quote Page for that movie is pretty funny.))

Backlog Link of the Moment
From the same day (I knew I wanted to make this animation to link with, but also knew that it was going to be a big pain to rip out) it's Stress by Jim's Big Ego. A great song, and the Flash "music video" I've ever seen. (Inspired me to shoot this rather less cool small gif cinema entry.)

Quote of the Moment
Doubt is the fate of all thinking men

the existential despair of modern videogaming

June 15, 2002
Between a multiplayer themed videogame trademeet today and John's birthday tomorrow, I'm having a very videogame heavy weekend...

Link of the Moment
This oddly nihilistic ad for the Xbox was banned in Britain. You can see an explanation and a screenshot at Slate. You can also play with the very cool yet very irritating UI at the Xbox playmore.com site...funky little wireframe critters roaming around in a bar cyberscape...

History of the Moment
When Germany invaded Denmark at the beginning of World War II, exporting gold became a crime. Niels Bohr, entrusted with the Nobel Prize medals of Max von Laue and James Franck, didn't want those gold medals to fall into German hands or risk smuggling them out of the country. He and a colleague hid the medals for the duration of the war by dissolving them in acid, each medal in its own jar. When the war ended, the gold was recovered from solution and recast by the Nobel Foundation.
from "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" via kottke.org via Ranjit.
It reminds me of a very primitive version of the old thought experiments, can you tell if a Star Trek style teleporter tranports "you", or if it just kills you on one end and makes a clone on the other?

watch the skies

(1 comment)
June 16, 2002
Alien Invasion of the Moment
On rec.games.video.classic, Banazir the Jedi Hobbit (not his real name, I suspect) pointed out a disturbing similarity between the Spathi Eluder (a fighting spacecraft from one of the top 5 greatest PC games ever, Star Control 2) and a new logo manuevering menacingly across the blue sky in an ad for some kind of Yahoo! branded dialup service. While the Spathi were a cowardly race (which is why they have their strongest weapon pointing backwards, and try to disguise their crew quarters), they were the ones left to keep watch over the Earth after it had been been slave-shielded by the mighty and menacing Ur-Quan.

To paraphrase an ad for the new Scooby Doo flick:
Be Afraid. Be Sorta Afraid.

Link of the Moment
Ebay Dirty Harry: "You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?" (thanks Ranjit)

Quote of the Moment
The bigger they are, the harder they hit.

happy watergate!

June 17, 2002
Thirty years ago today the Watergate scandal was set it motion. From then on it wasn't just the hippies that distrusted the government, and we had that convenient "-gate" suffix for all our scandal needs. (And despite the buildup, John Dean still isn't sure who deep throat was.)

Quote of the Moment
It would be simplifying things, but not by much, to conclude that it was paperwork that brought the South Tower down.
The article is an unblinking view of the positive and negative aspects of the cleanup effort. He explains that not only did the towers withstand the impact of the airplanes, but they might have survived the jet fuel fires were it not for the supply of flammable paper in the offices.

What an odd reinforcement for the old goal of the "paperless office"! Also, I find a little hope in how not only did the towers not instantly topple as the terrorists had likely expected, but the plan was almost not much more successful than the 1993 bombing.

Small Gif Cinema of the Moment


--tying into the landmarks idea, the famous Boston sign

like the dukes of hazzard but with warships

June 18, 2002
News Link of the Moment
Making the rounds, a proposal to invade the Netherlands should we have to bust our boys out of the hooscow at the International Criminal Court in The Hague! Hopefully this legislation won't be passed. I love how the big powers (US and China) hold themselves above this whole matter. (The counterargument is the big countries don't want to let smaller countries with grudges bring politically-motivated lawsuits...still the whole idea that the soldiers of the major powers aren't subject to the same watchdogs shows a great deal of hubris. Right up there with our divine right to topple the government of Iraq.)

Funny of the Moment
The Onion had the funniest Red Meat cartoon I've seen in a while.

Movie Quote of the Moment
You're a brave man. Go and break through the lines. And remember, while you're out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we'll be in here thinking what a sucker you are.

get your mind out of the gutter

June 19, 2002
Image of the Moment
--Perhaps it is time to clean out the house's gutters. Rainspouts were not meant to support ecosystems.

Geekdom of the Moment
Oh, in case you were wonder what I did on my weekend, or what a small classic video game trademeet looks like, well here you go.

More Geekdom
PalmEvolution.com has a kind of interesting Visual Family Tree of the Palm Pilot. I love that thing.

not just in the alanis sense of the word

June 20, 2002
Man, I have weird food issues. I've had to tell Mo to stop bringing interesting pre-prepared food home for me from Bread & Circus. I don't need it like I did when I was unemployed and had a tendency to seek out random fastfood crap for lunch...but I'm tempted by it in the evening, when I'd kind of prefer not to eat. But I just get really curious about what its taste and texture, or maybe it's just another form of procrastination (it would be more fun to be eating than do whatever I need to be doing) and then I want to eat it just so I won't be thinking about it so much.

I'm trying to cut back in general, but it's not been as effective as some previous times at the outset, maybe my metabolism is changing. I'm having a nice chicken kabob salad for lunch, but either my weight's very stable right here, or the small snacks I have in the evening are killing me (usually I don't have an evening meal.)

Link of the Moment
Let's play spot the irony! (via camworld)

Quote of the Moment
If I ever get the chance, I have a couple of questions I want to ask God, and it's not the usual 'Why is there suffering?' I'd like to know what the biggest, grossest bug that ever crawled on anyone, but they didn't notice, and then it crawled away.
Julia Sweeney

summertime summertime sumsumsummertime

June 21, 2002
It's summertime!

Though I still think the seasons are shifted about a month from where they should be. (All of) June, July, and August seem to be the summer months, with September marking the shift into Autumn. I dunno.

Link of the Moment
You probably know MapQuest, right? Did you know it could do this? (That's where I work.) Aerial views! Not total coverage of the United States, but it seems to be good for most metroplitan areas. (The basic idea has been around before, that one MIT link I keep losing, and Microsot's TerraServer has a cool list of famous places, but none of them have an interface as slick as this.)

I find it a little spooky, but mostly weirdly nostalgic. Here's where I went to high school! Here's where I lost my virginity! Here's where I saw the Staute of Libery!

Quote of the Moment
I always give homeless people money, and my friends yell at me, "He's only going to buy more alcohol and cigarettes." And I'm thinking, "Oh, and like I wasn't?"
Kathleen Madigan

be werry werry quiet....

June 22, 2002
...I'm huntin' wabbit! (but not with a gun.) This littl'un was hoppin' around the front yard this morning. I guess I should have been more careful, it could have turned out to be one of those bunnies from Monty Python and the Holy Grail with the nasty, big, pointy teeth. Kind of an oddly Snow White morning, between the bunny, squirrels and chipmunks.

Flash Movie of the Moment
Bruno Bozzetto presents Yes & No, a dyseducational road movie...funny!

Quote of the Moment
I was a horrible date all through school and college. Here's an impression of me on a date in high school: 'Come on, chug it!'
David Spade

bleep bloop blurp

June 23, 2002
So, I'm trying to learn how to write games for the Atari 2600...it's very very tricky! I'd like to port JoustPong. A great result if I manage to pull it off though.

Quote of the Moment
Mass genocide is the most exhausting activity one can engage in, next to soccer.

Link of the Moment
Sarah pointed out these old ads rescued from the dying medium of microfilm (what newspapers used to use). If you just want a few links because you're in a hurry: Sarah liked this wartime ad, I liked the one for Oshkosh B'gosh and this fridge ad is very evocative.

Ah, just realize this is the same site that brings us the infamous Institute of Official Cheer, with its art of Art Frahm and the Gallery of Regrettable Food.

if it's wacky, it must be good

June 24, 2002
Link of the Moment
Wacky Uses has a ton of those "odd uses for household products" tips. Some are kind of interesting. The list of three banned experiments from "The Mad Scientist Handbook" are kind of cool as well.

Quote of the Moment
My grandfather lived to be 103 years old. The truth is, nobody knows what's good for you. Every morning he would eat an entire raw onion and smoke a cigar. You know what his dying words were? Nobody knows, they couldn't get near the guy.
Jonathan Katz

"peace requires a new and different [...] leadership"

June 25, 2002
Oy. I can feel myself getting a little anxious again, with the July 4th threat focus and ongoing economic doldrums. (The economy...how bad can it get? Hopefully not as bad as all that.) I'll probably have a bit less of an immediate, personal stake tied up in how both of those things turn out than I imagine, but I can feel my free floating anxiety/neuroses trying to latch on.

Bush isn't helping. He had his moment, the world's eyes were on him, and he just shoves Arafat into that big old "leaders the USA (currently) finds unacceptable" bin. We're acting like such wannabe Caesers, thinking we can appoint the govenors of the little regions beneath us. Jeez-o-man, we got gall. He gets points for point to a future for a nation of Palestine, but...man. Why the hell is the world looking to us anyway? Where is Europe in all this? For crying out loud, we got a not-too-bright oilman who didn't even win the popular vote at the helm...look elsewhere people! We'll try to distract him with some drilling in Alaska, you go lead the world!

Sometimes I want to change my name and ditch that whole "Israel" thing. I just want to avoid that karmic link. Roihl is a pretty cool name. Uncommon, too, I'd be one of like 5 or 6 in the country. kroihl.com. Hrrm.

Link of the Moment
Salon had a cool piece in praise of Pac-Man. I always thought that the overall look and sound of that game have held up really well over the years, not to mention the gameplay (I think the secret is the surprisingly complex behavior of the ghosts). The image to the left is a tiling Pac-Man wallpaper I made at tilemachine, one of a series of classic-game-themed graphics...you can right click and set it as your wallpaper if you're feeling masochistic.

Quote of the Moment
The Vatican came down with a new ruling: no surrogate mothers. Good thing they didn't make this rule before Jesus was born.
Elayne Boosler

hump day

June 26, 2002
Link of the Moment
The online comic Cat and Girl is literate and lowbrow at the same time. If you're in a hurry, just check out Girl Plays Games and The Picture of Cat

Quote of the Moment
They say that one day through virtual reality a man will be able to stimulate making love to any woman he wants through his television set. You know, folks, the day an unemployed ironwork can lie in his Barca Lounger with a Foster's in one hand and a channel-flicker in the other and fuck Claudia Schiffer for $19.95, it's going to make crack look like Sanka.
Dennis Miller

but you can't tuna fish

June 27, 2002
I approve of the ruling against the Pledge of Allegiance. In my believing days, I thought it violated that whole "don't take oaths" mandate of the Bible, and later, I thought it rude that, even if you stretch "God" to include Jehovah and Allah and all that, people who believe in many gods (ala Hindus) or no god at all (atheists) or aren't sure have to chime in and say 'under God' despite their belief...kind of like bending someone's arm and making them say uncle. I tended to mumble when I was in situations where I was obliged to say it. I think the fact that Eisenhower et al. just snuck it in there during the 1950s makes it worse. And I love how all the conservatives are all up in arms about the ruling. Too bad it'll probably be overturned.

Recipe of the Moment: Tuna ala Kirk
Can of Tuna
Grey Poupon Mustard

Open can of tuna. Preferably one of the kinds with the bigger chunks. Bread & Circus has a good brand that's cheap. Dump the water, pour remaining contents into a bowl. Give a few little pieces to the cats. Add healthy dollops of of mustard. Stir thoroughly.
I love this dish! Maybe I'm just a mustard fiend.

Quote of the Moment
If ants had nuclear weapons, they would probably end the world in a week.
Journey to the Ants, Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson

in blog we trust

June 28, 2002
Quote of the Moment
> This was also around the time Congress made
> "In God We Trust" the national motto (1956)
> and ordered that "In God We Trust" be printed on
> all the paper money (1957). (It had been struck
> on coins beginning in 1864.)

Invoking God in the Pledge of Allegiance is merely
an affront to the Constitution. Invoking God on money
is an affront to God.
Brad Ferguson, Michael Dalton, alt.obituaries.
I don't mean to harp on this too too much, but when Arab states have the Islamic equialent of that as their motto, it kind of scares me.

Link of the Moment
Great page with lots and lots and lots of data about and diagrams of skyscrapers!
(2019 UPDATE: I remember, years ago, working really hard so that the skyscraper would seem to be resting on the top of the next entry. That didn't survive the various redesigns, but I've added a black bar to capture some of the effect...)

anniversary getaway filler day 1

June 29, 2002

Love Calls Us to the Things of this World

    The eyes open to a cry of pulleys,
And spirited from sleep, the astounded soul
Hangs for a moment bodiless and simple
As false dawn.
                Outside the open window
The morning air is all awash with angels.

    Some are in bed-sheets, some are in blouses,
Some are in smocks: but truly they are. Now they are rising together in calm swells
Of halcyon feeling, filling whatever they wear
With the deep joy of their impersonal breathing.

    Now they are flying in place, conveying
The terrible speed of their omnipresence, moving
And staying like white water, and now all of a sudden
They swoon down into so rapt a quiet
That nobody seems to be there.
                     The soul shrinks

     From all that it is about to remember,
From the punctual rape of every blessed day,
And cries,
             "Oh, let there be nothing but laundry,
Nothing but rosy hands in the rising steam
And clear dances done in the sight of heaven."

    Yet, as the sun acknowledges
With a warm look the world's hunks and colors,
The soul descends once more in bitter love
To accept the waking body, saying now
In a changed voice as the man yawns and rises,

    "Bring them down from their ruddy gallows;
Let there be clean linen for the backs of thieves;
Let lovers go fresh and sweet to be undone,
And the heaviest nuns walk in a pure floating
Of dark habits,
                keeping their difficult balance."
Richard Wilbur.
We had to analyze this for a practice test for the AP English Exam senior year. I usually did really well in the class, but the teacher didn't think much of my theory that the "of dark habits"/"difficult balance" lines had an anti-organized-religion slant.

Every once in a while I quote that "Oh, let there be nothing but laundry" line, but of course no would get that but 2 or 3 people from that English class.

anniversary getaway filler day 2

(1 comment)
June 30, 2002
One sort, two sort
little jig'a'jam
bobtail dominick
little tory tam
virgin mary
hallum scallum
jingle 'em
jangle 'em
bowl 'em buck

william william
tremble toe
he's a good fisherman
catches hens
puts 'em in pens
some lay eggs
some not
how brow limble lock
sit and sing 'til 12 o'clock
the clock fell down
the mouse ran around
o u t spells out

a little singsong my grandfather
(Papa Sam) taught my mom and aunt.

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