May 2, 2007

I was looking at my old "Palm Pilot" journal, especially the early entries. Sometimes I feel I lost something switching to the blog-style of kisrael. I gave up keeping both when there was just too much overlap. (Heh, I found where I announced the end of the Palm journal... I'm surprised to see it only had a 4-year-run, it looms kind of larger for me than that.)

KHftCEA (the name of my journal when it was on Palm) was quirkier, and more immediate. I didn't have an audience in mind (other than myself; and actually it was letting Evil B read it that got me to shift it from a private to public thing) and it doesn't try to explain so much, had plaintive little diary-ish entries, and random prose bits. (I remember never quite finding the perfect journal program for Palm, one that would let me created images to embed in the text.)

Plus, the Palm journal seemed to have more interesting quotes; for a while I thought that was because I was reading less, but now that I've been tearing through a book every few days on my commute, I have to figure that it's because I'm paying less attention, or maybe that I've drifted away from Usenet groups.

Sometimes this site seems a bit sterile to me, or at least formulaic. Deliberately starting each day with an anecdote, then the "of the Moments"... the backlog has shifted from being a buffer for stuff I don't have time to write up and a stockpile for busy or uninspired days into a way of making each day have an anecdote and between 2 and 3 items...

So what to do? It can be a tricky balance. Amusing an audience is important to me, I consider Sharing Interesting Stuff a kind of humanist spiritual mission of mine. On the other hand, it's foolish for me to try and be a mini-BoingBoing or a MetaFilterFilter. Of course the two goals (a quirkier subjective journal, and an entertaining read for others) aren't necessarily exclusive.

What do you all think? What do you find interesting about this site? Are you in it for the links, the quotes, the anecdotes, keeping up with me because you know me in real life, the randomness, some of each? At the very least I think I'd like this site better if it more closely mapped into the interesting stuff I run into as I run into it, even at the risk of having some days more full than others. (Which was probably the benefit of the Palm; it was always there.) Be frank; if something strikes you as annoyingly self-indulgent or just is part of the appeal, let me know. I probably won't really see the "error of my ways", but still.

Doodle of the Moment

-From this morning's commute. On the one hand that's a good use of that tablet PC I shelled out for last summer, on the other hand it seems kind of pretentious and show-y (and I guess dangerous,-ish) to do on the subway. Doing casual art on the Palm Pilot would be cooler, though the resolution is pretty bad.

Video of the Moment
Bill the Splut found and linked to Gizmo!, a very cool 1977 documentary with all this great old footage of weird inventions (especially flying machines) and feats of physical ability. The link seems to have the whole movie, plus director Howard Smith's time on David Letterman after. (IMDB trivia: "Much of the newsreel footage, originally shot without sound, has dialogue dubbed in. A lip reader was hired to figure out what the people were saying in the newsreels, and actors lip-synched the lines.")

At around 20:20 in the film, there's a neat device that lets babies use their instinctive kicking motion to propel themselves around a circle... clever!

Article of the Moment
Huh! It looks like the problem with reviving people who aren't breathing isn't the lack of oxygen so much as what happens when the oxygen comes back. From Dr. Lance Becker in the article:
"It looks to us as if the cellular surveillance mechanism cannot tell the difference between a cancer cell and a cell being reperfused with oxygen. Something throws the switch that makes the cell die."
And later "The body on the cart is dead, but its trillions of cells are all still alive"... that's kind of spooky! And odd, how it might be a cancer-defense mechanism. Which makes sense since fighting cancer is pretty important, and CPR has only been here for a blink of evolutionary time.