2009 September❮❮prevnext❯❯

scorpioncam!

(6 comments)
September 1, 2009


--from the Museum of Animal Perspectives (via)


Bad restaurant idea: "Barely Legal Seafood"
How does our econosystem support so many damn cellphone stores?

corporate shilling for fun and no profit

(3 comments)
September 2, 2009

--Weirdly captivating Japanese commercial for Sony's PS3. (via Offworld, which has some of the precursors to this ad)
Come to think of it I guess it reminds me more of this older Nike spot:

[on analyizing H1N1 in terms of bits of information] So it takes about 25 kilobits — 3.2 kbytes — of data to code for a virus that has a non-trivial chance of killing a human. This is more efficient than a computer virus, such as MyDoom, which rings in at around 22 kbytes.

It’s humbling that I could be killed by 3.2kbytes of genetic data. Then again, with 850 Mbytes of data in my genome, there’s bound to be an exploit or two.
--http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=353
Last month the manager at my consulting company said "yeah-we found QA was too much of a loss leader so we don't do it"-Maybe I shoulda run
"The rattlesnake approves of himself without reservations."
—Wislawa Szymborska, from "In Praise of Self-Deprecation"

photos from the grove and back again

photos
(6 comments)
September 3, 2009

Ocean Grove, New Jersey is a beautiful beach town. Our neighbors there really take the flowers thing seriously:


Thee heart of the town may well be the Great Auditorium, shown here behind a statue of clergyman Elwood Stokes.


Mostly I included that to set the scene for this view of Stokes:

(It reminds me a bit of that one statue of a woman in Kanazawa, Japan I took, but a lot less naked.)

The ruined casino in Asbury Park has this interesting tentacle flapper mural:


Back in the Grove, the had a very odd "Christmas in August" pageant. We missed most of it but it's a bit surreal hearing "Joy to the World" floating over the beach at night.:


Finally, back in Boston, it's JZ and Rhodesian Ridgeback pup Brody...


"My first crush on an Irish girl...I was ten years old, and her name was Elaine. Little red-haired girl; Well, she looked like you, But if you were ten, Which you're clearly not. Not that you look old, but you get my-- I'll just stop now."
--Jason Robert Brown "I Could Be In Love With Someone Like You"
http://www.slate.com/id/2226697/ - analysis of "Black Bart Simpson" T-shirts and related merch. If in a hurry just check out http://community.livejournal.com/pacific_novelty/31181.html
"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known."
--Garrison Keillor (via)
"Sometimes I really miss enforced naptime. Work is never like kindergarten in the good ways."
--http://twitter.com/littleayun
http://relaxationresponse.org/steps/ - I remember reading "The Relaxation Response" a long while ago at the recommendation of a college infirmary doctor. I was impressed that it seemed more concerned with helping people in a secular way than selling either a belief system or books. It somehow seems contradictory to say "I really should add a daily Todo app entry of 'medidate'" but I think I really should.
Finishing up a biography of Washington. His last act was to feel his own final pulse. As a society I think we've forgotten what a hero he was.
He then led his guests to the piazza facing the Potomac, where he paced back and forth and liked to talk about farming (plow designs, the dreaded Hessian fly, crop rotation schemes). He often enjoyed an after-dinner glass of Madeira, which he held casually with his arm draped over a chair while listening impassively to any political talk that he preferred to avoid. Awkward silences did not disturb him.
--Joseph J. Ellis, "His Excellency, George Washington"
Are you ever tempted to look at the human form as something alien? Regard a face upsidedown, mouth moving in the forehead... or the odd columns of arms and legs.

requiem for a nagbot

funnyaim
(8 comments)
September 4, 2009

At my old job, we had a nice kind of team culture going for the developers.

Our manager Scott asked us to do weekly staus reports at end of day on Thursdays. I thought it would be easy to forget that, so I set an iPhone alarm to remind me, and then figuring the rest of the team was in the same boat, I decided to get in the habit of nudging people. To do so, I invented a persona for our group Skype chatroom called "Nagbot 3000". In theory I could have made up an automated script to do the reminder, but A. that would be work and B. It was kind of fun trying to think of variants to keep things lively.

Nagbot 3000 was generally appreciated by my coworkers. Here are some excerpts I saved at some point...

[Aug 2 2007 16:31:21] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: status reports for sbruce.

[Aug 16 2007 16:30:20] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: status tonight!

[Aug 23 2007 16:30:31] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: STATUS

[Aug 30 2007 16:54:51] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: STATUS

[Sep 6 2007 17:12:06] NAGBOT SEZ; geez, i guess there's status though everyone seems hipdeep in demo prep...

[Sep 20 2007 16:30:31] NagBot sez: DO YER STATUS
[Sep 20 2007 16:30:48] NagBot sez: *beep*

[Sep 27 2007 15:02:45] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: status

[Oct 4 2007 16:31:28] NAGBOT 300 SEZ: DO STATUS

[Oct 11 2007 16:17:57] NAGBOT SEZ: STATUS

[Oct 18 2007 16:52:39] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: DO STATUS

[Oct 25 2007 16:31:02] NAGBOT 3500 (now with politeness module) SEZ: DO YOUR STATUS REPORT PLEASE

[Nov 1 2007 16:30:25] NAGBOT 3000 [NOW WITH POLITENESS MODULE] SEZ: KINDLY DO YOUR STATUS REPORT, THANK YOU

[Nov 8 2007 16:30:48] NAGBOT 3000 (W/ POLITENESS MODULE UPGRADE) SEZ: IF YOU WOULD BE SO KIND, PLEASE DO YOUR STATUS.

[Nov 15 2007 16:47:22] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: DO STATUS

[Nov 29 2007 16:33:46] *************NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: DO STATUS**************************

[Dec 6 2007 16:30:31] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: DO STATUS. PLZ.

[Dec 20 2007 16:30:14] NAGBOT SEZ DO STATUS

[Jan 3 2008 16:31:47] NAGBOT 3000 W/ NEW "X-TRA SASS" CIRCUIT SEZ: try to scrape together some kind of decent status report for this weird, holiday-stricken no-man's-land limbo of a week

[Jan 10 2008 16:37:17] NAGBOT 3000 (Freeware Basic Edition) SEZ: do sta.

[Jan 17 2008 16:32:11] NAGBOT 3000 (with music upgrade) SEZ (to the tune of Howdy Doody theme):
IT'S DO YOUR STATUS TIME,
IT'S DO YOUR STATUS TIME,
SCOTT WANTS TO KNOW WHAT YOU DID DO,
SO TELL HIM AND BE TRUE

[Jan 24 2008 16:40:47] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: IT IS ABOUT TIME TO DO YOUR STATUS REPORT.

[Jan 31 2008 16:31:11] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: SEND IN YOUR STATUS PLEASE.

[Feb 7 2008 16:30:34] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: STATUS STATUS RAH RAH RAH

[Feb 14 2008 16:44:56] NAGBOT SEZ: DO STATUS, CHA CHA CHA

[Feb 21 2008 16:35:07] NAGBOT 3000 (RHYMING UPDATE) SEZ:
The Time Has Come
The Walrus Said
To Write Things Done and Not:
Plus Obstacles, And Take All That Stuff
And Send It O'er Scott

[Feb 28 2008 16:31:22] NAGBOT 3000 (NOW WITH NEW BELLIGERENCE MODULE) SEZ: HEY YOU YA I'M TALKIN' TO YOU YOU GONNA GET YOUR DUMB STATUS INTO SBRUCE OR WHAT

[Mar 6 2008 16:36:01] NAGBOT 3000 (NOW W/ POWERPOINT MODULE) SEZ:
----------------------------
Status Reports
* Due Thursday E.o.D.
* Send to Scott
* Report 3 things:
-what you did this past week
-what you plan to do next week
-obstacles in your way
----------------------------

[Mar 13 2008 16:31:05] NAGBOT 3000 (JAPANESE EDITION) SEZ: 自分のステータスレポートをご覧ください。

[Apr 10 2008 16:30:56] NAGBOT 3000 (Mr. T Special Edition) SEZ: I PITY TH'FOOL WHO DON'T CUT OUT ALL THAT JIBBAJABBA AND DO A STATUS REPORT!

[Apr 17 2008 16:45:20] NAGBOT 3000 (with a little help from NagNAGBOTBot) SEZ: DO YOUR STATUS REPORT

[Apr 24 2008 16:28:01] NAGBOT 3000 (late 80s hiphop edition) SEZ: LOOKIN' AT MY GUCCI IT'S ABOUT THAT TIME

[May 1 2008 17:00:51] SLIGHTLY DELAYED NAGBOT 3000 SEZ: do your status!

[May 8 2008 16:30:30] NAGBOT 3000 (special Matrix Bullet-Time FX Edition) SEZ: dddddddddooooooooooooooooooo yyyyoooooooooooooooooouuuuurrrrrrrrrr sssssssttaaaaattuuuuuuuuuuuusssssssssssss rrreeeeeeeeepppooooooooooooooorrrrrrttt

[May 15 2008 17:23:45] NAGBOT 3000 SEZ (SUPER SECRET ENCRYPTION MODULE ENGAGED): qb lbhe fgnghf naq pbatenghyngvbaf ba xabjvat ebg-guvegrra!

[May 22 2008 16:33:20] NAGBOT 3000 (limerick edition) SEZ:
there once was a guy from rockport
whose career was nearly cut short
his work went unheeded
cause all that he needed
was to do his status report!


http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/judgments/2009/09/03/emotional-rescue - how moods are almost literally contagious, and what that means for the economy. "f you put two people in a room facing each other, without talking to each other, their moods will converge, or more likely, the mood of the less expressive person will move towards the mood of the more expressive person." What are the implications of that for how I want to live my life?

on my car, the first leaf of fall? AARGH!
(eh, maybe just from a dead branch but still)

http://magweasel.com/category/reading-room/ - has an amazing translation of "Phantom of Akihabara", about gamers after a Japanese censorship apocalypse. Also the site is a good PC-Engine blog too.
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-9-types-of-intelligence.html - Amber sent me the link. EVERYTHING needs to be evaluated in a many dimensional kind of way.... though you end up sounding too much like that "evaluating a poem's greatness" shtick Robin Williams has all the students rip out of the book in Dead Poets Society.

and then we'll take it higher

(1 comment)
September 5, 2009

My friend had this Facebook status:

Scott Richards is going to rock on to Electric Avenue

My response:


View Larger Map

thou shalt not

(6 comments)
September 6, 2009


--Life magazine put together this kind of noir parody of the Hays Code "Thou Shalt Nots", what you weren't allowed to show in movies of the time.
I. Law Defeated
II. Inside of Thigh
III. Lace Lingerie
IV. Dead Man
V. Narcotics
VI. Drinking
VII. Exposed Bosom
VIII. Gambling
IX. Pointing Gun
X. Tommy Gun

Seems like it would have been more efficient to have the woman pointing a Tommy Gun rather than having it awkwardly posed on the cop's head, but hey.

"It's the librarian fantasy, man -- glasses off, hair down... ...books flyin'"
"She doesn't wear glasses."
"Buy her some, it's worth it."
--The Station Agent, extremely quirky film
http://twitter.com/shitmydadsays - one of the funnier twitters I've seen in a while.
http://www.livescience.com/technology/060707_pacman_insects.html - news of the old, insects stepping in as the ghosts in Pac-Man
(In)famously, Apple's official recommendation for fixing the ill-fated Apple III was drop from a height of several inches. Oddly, for now this seems to have fixed my PC which was shutting itself off for no good reason.

(Note to future self: HP gear is attractive from a design standpoint, but ranks rather low on reliability and preloaded-with-crapware metrics. Heed this.)

new blender of love digest

tufts sq - magic suits

music
(8 comments)
September 7, 2009


Tufts sQ! - Magic Suits (1997)
  1. Bizarre Love Triangles
  2. Not the Doctor
  3. I Be Your Water
  4. 1979


In 1997, Tufts sQ!, then a small group struggling to find its place on campus after the founding members graduated, worked to put together an album.

That album never got made. (sQ! has since gone on to make a number of excellent albums, very highly polished and terrific sounding.)

However, Somewhere along the line- I think it might've been thanks to Austin Putman- I got hold of copies of the recordings they make.

This is a very rough cut album - in particular "I Be Your Water" has some patches that didn't jell, and I'm sure people with more refined ears than mine will cringe in various places.

Still, I'm proud to have been a part of this, and happy to put it out for the world to hear.

(One of the competing names for the album was "Dances with Trucks", the "Indian name" I bestowed upon Wayne after following him at speeds upwards of 90 mph on rainslick highways, trying to get to Pitt. in time for a show -- hence my own original album art shown here.)
Book idea: Kirk's Guide to Ineffective Childcare. Chapter 1: Consoling a hungry infant w/ full diaper.

i thought you knew

cool
(9 comments)
September 8, 2009


--Mighty God King (a mighty fine blog, from coverage of various comics to talk about how actually the Canadian health system is really quite decent) has pre-emptively declared this best comic moment of the year. I'm inclined to agree...
"We'd hoped for love of a different kind, love that knew and forgave our human frailty but did not miniaturize our grander ideas of ourselves. It sounded possible. If we didn't rush or grab, if we didn't panic, a love both challenging and nurturing might appear. If the person was imaginable, then the person could exist."
--Michael Cunningham, "A Home at the End of the World"

09-09-49

historyfamilyrambledad
(10 comments)
September 9, 2009

Today my dad would have turned 60.

6 years ago (six! wow, what a number - college plus half of high school! The speeding raceway of time reminds me why I was so anxious to start dropping these daily bread crumbs for later leisurely perusal!) I had noted I had lived as many days with him as without him, and wrote a kind of tribute that I probably shouldn't try to top here. In 4 years, May Day 2013 (assuming the 2012 doomsayers prove as wrong as every date-based doomsayer has been thus far) I will be as old as he was when he died. I guess I should get over it some time? Or maybe parents are just that kind of thing you never have to get over - maybe especially if you haven't had kids of your own.

(Again, you can calculate your own happy or sad little milestones with that date toy tool I threw together in 2001.)

I've tended to express my regret in terms of be being a graceless adolescent when he died, that so much of the becoming I've done, that I'm most proud of because of its deliberate nature -- I think before you're a teen, you kind of just are -- happened after he passed. But now, coming up to the ages I have memories of him being at, I can think too about how many interesting paths could have been before him... I listed a bunch of things he'd done in that essay, and sometimes I'm still in a bit in awe.
One interpretation I tend not to over-emphasize is that of all the people who've been in my life since his passing, I think I most saw echoes of a kind of insecure, maybe-compensating but still admirable use of books and diligent study to achieve various expertise in Mo. And their style is in contrast to my own too-smart-too-young, ego-protecting comfort zone I drift in when left unattended. I mean, there's a lot to be said for low-hanging-fruit, but over the past few years I've been working on putting up more of a fight for "stretch goals" that seem worthwhile.

Heh, it's another dumb little milestone today - the tenth anniversary of the 9/9/99 release date of the Dreamcast, a video game system beloved in the hearts of fanboys, but ultimately walloped by the DVD-playing, somewhat-more-powerful Playstation 2. I wonder what my dad would have thought of me and video games - not that it's such a big, time-consuming thing for me these days, but over the years I've sunk a lot of dollars and a lot of hours into them - but they were pretty primitive back when he was watching my early fascination with them. Lately I've been pleased by one thought though... here's a (pooorly photographed) example of some of his cross stitch (an inuit design I believe)


Man, what is cross stitch and needlepoint if not a crazy kind of folksy pixel art? So our interests maybe weren't as far apart as all that. (Hell, we might've collaborated on some of this stuff, I'm sure modern stitchers use all sorts of scanning and conversion high tech tools, rather than being solely reliant on the type of pattern books my dad had (and I remember being kind of fascinated by as a kid.))

Sigh. Guess today I'll fire up the old Dreamcast and... I dunno, try to have some place that cooks hot dogs in beer or something, like I think my Dad said they did in Ohio...

Miss you, Dad, Happy Birthday.

c:\data\media\images\animations\

gifs
(8 comments)
September 10, 2009

For over a decade now, I've put all my important files in "C:\data\" - it's the one stop shopping for what I have to transfer when moving to a new primary machine, and what I have to keep a backup of.

In the interest of decluttering, though, for the non-bulky stuff (music, photos) I'd like to start either posting it or just plain ditching it... so in the interests of "if it's worth hoarding it's worth posting", here is the (former) content of c:\data\media\images\animations\ ...

Star Wars in pixels:


Just one of those generic CGI things:


"Connie Dance" - Church of the Subgenius related?


Disco, Baby. (This one and the last I might have saved for use in evites. Man, I do kind of miss having big house parties.)


Already posted this, but what the heck... proof of concept for the game "Lemmings":


One image I'm repeating here 4 times:


Vroom:

http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/01/21/bebot-the-lilest-iph.html - Bebot is about the best iPhone music app/toy I've seen... $2 well spent!
http://acephalous.typepad.com/acephalous/2009/09/distance-learning.html and http://eye-of-a-cat.livejournal.com/176383.html?nc=195 - grading as text adventures
http://www.rpglibrary.org/articles/storytelling/36plots.html - the 36 plots of RPGs, though many are just background settings...
In high school we borrowed Huxley's "Brave New World"'s use of "pneumatic" for voluptuous. The Russian word for this translates as "juicy".
http://www.cracked.com/blog/how-to-f-like-a-librarian/ - 5 sex self help books. Seanbaby rides again!
"you're munchin' cabbage instead of chugging München's finest beer"
--The Hacker's Diet, http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/ -- a line that's been buzzing around my head and website.
http://programmersatwork.wordpress.com/ -Programmers at Work, continues, organically - original book is a gem, worth it for the Pac-Man inventor Toru Iwatani alone!
Oy, just found out that my uncle isn't really keyed into what season it is- guessed that it was the chill of spring, not fall.

c:\data\astro_BW

comic
(3 comments)
September 11, 2009


young astronauts in love: roughcut edition

In part because I had misfiled it (no way it should have been a toplevel directory) my attention was drawn to the original black and white sketches I had made for young astronauts in love. I've decided to release that as young astronauts in love: roughcut edition.

The images are black and white, and I wasn't sure if I'd have time to go back and color everything, so I worked to make leaner Lydia visually distinct and more feminine than more stocky Jake. (Which is kind of funny, part of the joke of the original 1 panel cartoon is that you have little idea about gender or personalities of astronauts involved.) In some ways, the color limitation let me give the holograms and Anomaly appearance a bit more visual kick, flashes of blue and green when everything else is strictly monochrome, and thus adding to a sense of "beyond normal physics". Also the panels are the size I sketched at, 400x400 instead of the 200x200 I used in the final version, and I find it kind of interesting how it feels more like a storybook.

Two New Bonus Panels at the bottom, too...


http://www.slate.com/id/2147309/nav/tap1/ - excerpt from the illustrated 9/11 report
http://www.slate.com/id/2227871/ - I mentioned before: "BigBelly" is the evolutionary ancestor of Wall*E
http://www.utne.com/Politics/How-911-Should-Be-Remembered-5279.aspx - a leftish reminder of the stoicism and bravery of ordinary people on 9/11. So weird it got co-opted to justify Iraq.
Boston Sports Radio is generally on AM, except new 98.5. Does iPod nano having FM radio only mean thats the way the tech is going?
I'm pro-Obama, but it's vaguely odd that his "It is a lie, plain and simple" is fine, but "You lie!" is a firestorm. Decorum uber alles!
http://www.offworld.com/2009/09/one-shot-3d-tetris.html - mad at your eyes? Punish them with Stereogram Tetris!
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112564382 - habit forming heartburn meds? - remember kids, pick FUN addictions!
Some friends of mine are experiencing first hand employment problems because of credit checks. What the HELL is the justification for those?

captain kirk is climbing a mountain

(3 comments)
September 12, 2009


--via backpacker.com (who gives the background in terms of Start Trek V's unconvincing free climb of El Cap. And as Ted Alvarez writes "That's going on my iPod right now."


http://www.sonnyradio.com/airfactory.htm - (ww2) how to hide a factory

c:\data\media\images\comics part 1

saved
(12 comments)
September 13, 2009

Random comics I have saved: (insert "fair use" argument here)







Arlo and Janis is really great - I love it when Arlo gets either melancholy and philisophical, and sometimes the whole sexy/innuendo thing with his wife is nice to see on the comics page as well... it's a darn shame Arlo and Janis doesn't seem to have many anthologies.





Man I don't even know how many times I've quoted that last one...

c:\data\media\images\comics part 2

(2 comments)
September 14, 2009







Those first two Dilberts don't seem that great to me anymore, I think they had more to do with my work situations then. "You only THINK there's a difference" can be the perfect line in the right circumstances.






GAH - going to Portugal Friday. Would have more options if I knew how to drive stick. Any way to learn by then??

shirtfest 2009

shirts
(4 comments)
September 15, 2009

In June of 2001 I started posting a series of photos of T-shirts I had gotten rid of. I apolgetically explained doing that back then. And I'm doing it again-- Amber helped me weed out my wardrobe, getting rid of about half of it, at least shirt-wise.

Here are the shirts I thought I might sort of miss, arranged roughly in descending order of coolness. Most of these shirts are technically irreplaceable, but that's the way the entropy bounces.
You know what, browsers? If you can only give me a readonly FTP view, no upload, forget it; don't try to grab ftp://
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1920944 - dark but funny, stormtroopers say "The Deathstar: never forget"
http://www.boston.com/sports/other_sports/articles/2009/09/12/espn_radios_boston_affiliate_set_to_sign_off/ - huh, things are afoot in Boston sports radio, like I mentioned with the iPod/FM thing. ESPN's AM affiliate is gone... preferred their "Mike + Mike" to the WEEI political bozos.
Then: The Wealth of Nations
Now: Invisible Hands: The Mysterious Market Forces That Control Our Lives and How to Profit from Them
-- http://yourmonkeycalled.com/post/185927647/book-titles-if-they-were-written-today
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/21/AR2009082101778.html -5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

c:\data\media\images\pixeltime\

art
(5 comments)
September 16, 2009

Images by other people I saved from long-lost Pixeltime.

You can see my Pixeltime tribute page for more things I did.

The final two are a nice tiny alphabet by Nick, which inspired my own version that added lower case, and then I must've used the expanded version of Nick's for reference.

I keep meaning to try to make a site that captures some of the old fun of pixeltime, even though it would mean I'd be looking at many, many pictures of pixelated penises. (The nature of public art forums, alas)






Had skipped shaving for too many days, went back to no-electric razor for the first time in years. Had forgotten the pleasantness of a hot water shave.

c:\data\media\images\personalhistory\

arthistory
(2 comments)
September 17, 2009


http://www.cracked.com/photoshop_85_if-video-games-were-realistic/ - more realistic video games
http://safetycenter.navy.mil/photo/index.asp - Naval Safety Center Photo of the Week. Kind of a less wacky "Safety FAIL" blog.
http://www.foddy.net/Cricket.html - repost of a fun little Cricket game. Great use of Box2D.
http://www.mvhsdrama.com/50sSlang.htm - slang of the 50s. Like crazy, man.
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/C-3PX - Cracked was making fun of it but I find something really appealing about a C3P0 assassin droid.

portugal: prelude

(5 comments)
September 18, 2009

Holy cats I'm off to Portugal!

(And don't try to break into my house just 'cause I'm publicly announcing I'm gone, I still have family there.)

Don't know if I'll yet have the access/gumption to make a full photoblog, so I'll fill with a backlog of videos I've been keeping around.


Famous psychology experiment redone... man it almost feels like child abuse!
At airport, Portugal bound! Grateful to Amber for the 6am drive....
London. Love how they have "LOOK LEFT" "LOOK RIGHT" on the curb so you don't get hit by a lorry. Also, I wonder if learning to drive on the other side of the road changes how you orient yourself on roadways, keeping the driver in the center rather than remembering left/right.
Interesting watching British TV, the polls about how Brits are very pro-public spending...
UK groceries are doing a lot of advertising on price, like digestives (type of cookie I think) for 60p.

portugal: calling london

travel
(2 comments)
September 19, 2009


--impressed by the deftness of this Python/Trek mashup. (via)

Photoblog of the Moment
So I'm not sure if I'll be able to match the photoblog I made in Japan last year, in terms of # of photos, in terms of internet access, in terms of Europe not being as exotic as Japan. (Heck, in terms of me lying about the apartment too much, though I'll try not to overdo that)

Still, here's a day of it. Because I didn't think things through, I ended up having an overnight stay in London. But it worked out ok, I got to see a little bit more than I would have otherwise, and maybe a layover in an English-speaking but foreign country helped ease the transition...

So, leaving Friday...

I'm on a plane! I'm on a plane! (not a boat - that would be slow.)

For reasons that are not clear to me, for the London-Lisbon hop I went for an aisle seat, and missed some better photops, but here's a castle on the way to London...

Like I mentioned, I love the "Look Right"/"Look Left" warnings they paint near the curb. (Of course, England seems to be very fond of posting lots of conservative, safety-minded warnings and disclaimers.)

Teehee, they call them "Bedrooms". Which I guess is accurate. But still cute.

I decided my schedule would be tight enough the next morning that I didn't want to risk travelling into London proper, so I explored the neighborhood near the Thistle Heathrow. The neighborhood seems to be strongly against the addition of a 3rd runway.

I thought I noticed a pub as the shuttle was approaching the hotel... The White Horse pours a good pint. (I decided not to be all touristy and photopgraph the interior, though I love the classic barman outfit.)

Again, the British fondness for safety. (Like, most people on bikes seemed to have dayglo vests with reflect stripes, the kind of stuff I usually associate with rescue workers.)I like the glowiness of these markers.

Finally, back at the hotel, one of the channels had this: no sound, no movement, just this:
Creepy!

portugal: lisboa!

travel
(5 comments)
September 20, 2009

Photoblog of the Moment

English has a big vocabulary, but Portuguese has a word, "brinde", for the secret toy surprises you get inside, say cracker jack or cereal.

--Time Lapse from an AMAZING $150 space balloon photography project - brilliant!

portugal: castle of são jorge

travel
(7 comments)
September 21, 2009

Photoblog of the Moment
Yesterday I walked around Lisbon on my own after getting up at the crack of 1PM. (Those external blackout shades they have here, with the pullcord on the inside, are terrific for that, just wonderful.)


http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20cameron.html?_r=1 - "I want to ask if it is in your heart to forgive me. You don't have to." and other last words on Texas' Death Row.

portugal: oceanário

travel
(12 comments)
September 22, 2009

Photoblog of the Moment
So the day started off kind of oddly - we thought we had ordered tickets for me for a quick hop over to Madrid, but the airline didn't get the message, so after some fumbling with getting around the airpot I took a bus over to the Oriente area. Near the Metro stop I saw this brilliant tacky old-Mini Cooper...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8201997.stm - hunting for fun/goofy leading economic indicators.

portugal: feira da ladra e cascais

travel
(6 comments)
September 23, 2009


From space, astronauts can see people making love as a tiny speck of light. Not light, exactly, but a glow that could be mistaken for light--a coital radiance that takes generations to pour like honey through the darkness to the astronaut's eyes.

In about one and a half centuries--after the lovers who made the glow will have long since been laid permanently on their backs--metropolises will be seen from space. They will glow all year. Smaller cities will also be seen, but with great difficulty. Shtetls will be virtually impossible to spot. Individual couples, invisible.

The glow is born from the sum of thousands of loves: newlyweds and teenagers who spark like lighters out of butane, pairs of men who burn fast and bright, pairs of women who illuminate for hours with soft multiple glows, orgies like rock and flint toys sold at festivals, couples trying unsuccessfully to have children who burn their frustrated image on the continent like the bloom a bright light leaves on the eye after you turn away from it.

--Jonathan Safran Foer, "Everything is Illuminated"
"You've gotta choose people who aren't much more motivated than you are - but don't surround yourself with total narcissists. Otherwise, things start to be about something other than you."
--Wonderfalls

portugal: évora

travel
(14 comments)
September 24, 2009

Photoblog of the Moment

MOMWARNING: Very, very weird, and just a tad homoerotic. But fun!



portugal: torre de belém e marcos

travel
(10 comments)
September 25, 2009


Botswanan roads are famous for having big potholes and big wildlife to avoid. There's a joke among South African overland drivers: if you see two eyes in the middle of the road while driving through Botswana at night, chances are it's a giraffe standing in a pothole.
--Conor Woodman "The Adventure Capitalist"

--Thanks to the (maybe meanspirited?) People of Walmart site, many many more people now know the inexplicable video genius of RickyTic3

portugal: berardo museum / aqueduct / bica

travel
(10 comments)
September 26, 2009

Photoblog of the Moment
My antepenultimate morning in Portugal! That pretty much stretched right into my penultimate morning in Portugal...
http://www.universityonyouthanddevelopment.org/ - Marcos set this up, with his role in the Council of Europe (sort of a non-defunct European League of Nations)

--from a Series of Video Game makeovers. Would be fun to use graphics like this in a real game.

portugal: sintra

travel
(3 comments)
September 27, 2009

Photoblog of the Moment
My final day in Portugal! Marcos and I decided to hit Sintra.



--Best Fight Scene Ever? Cracked has analysis and a few other candidates

portugal: back to boston

travel
(5 comments)
September 28, 2009


--100 years of Special FX (via via BB - click either the movie or that link to get to a list of the fims)


"Woman in Central Square wearing pajamas and reading cable TV manual loudly. If she were in Harvard Square, it would be performance art."
--http://twitter.com/SteveDelfino
"I love my puppy ... I love that he is so young and full of life ... And that he will still die first."
-- http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=480
"Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."
--John le Carre, "The Chancellor Who Agreed To Play Spy", The New York Times, May 8, 1974

portugal 2009

travel
(5 comments)
September 29, 2009

Table of Contents for my vacation to Portugal ... (by coincidence, exactly a year and a half after my Japan wrapup)

friday

calling london


saturday

lisboa!


sunday

castle of são jorge


monday

oceanário


tuesday

feira da ladra e cascais


wednesday

évora


thursday

torre de belém e marcos


friday

berardo / aqueduct / bica


saturday

sintra


sunday

back to boston



http://gawker.com/5369364/william-safires-finest-speech - the speech ready if the Apollo moon landing had left the astronauts stranded. RIP, William Safire.
"HULK feel pain, too! If Wolverine prick us with claws do Hulk not bleed green? If General Thunderbolt Ross tickle Hulk with Apache gunships do Hulk not throw tanks? If gamma bomb poison Hulk do we not become Hulk? And if Ducky ignore us for Kenya-born Nazi Commie, shall Hulk not weep like little Disney Princess?"
--excerpt from The Incredible Merchant of Venice: Merchants of MENACE!, Stan Lee Shakespeare, pub. 1596 (via Bill http://www.thoughtviper.com/newest.html )
"Hi Kirk, Hope you are doing in the best of the mood!!" -- random recruiter spam to me. Nice to see the recruiters out I guess...
dumb kosher-ness thought: babies drinking breast milk. Isn't that like drinking milk from a bottle made of meat? (Some googling explains breast milks is pareve, ok to eat with meat or dairy)

dimensions

(1 comment)
September 30, 2009


--Maybe not as definitive/accepted as it implies, still an interest mind-expander in how dimensions might work - via