2010 March❮❮prevnext❯❯



beebash - source - built with processing
A silly little game for THE 371-IN-1 KLIK & PLAY PIRATE KART II: KLIK HARDER. We made over 500 games!
http://cyberneticzoo.com/ - neat old robots. Man I remember being fascinated by that stuff as a kid.
My life makes a little more sense now that I recognize I've kind of been mixing up "Ron Paul" and "RuPaul". Just a bit.
QUIZ! Do you know which years are leap years without looking? Amber was surprised I knew, I was that she didn't. A programmer/Y2K thing?
http://www.newsweek.com/id/106554 - heh - on the one hand it's easy to mock the cyberskepticism, on the other, 15 years is a LONG time...
Commercial videogame development is architecture. Hobby videogame development is making pillowforts from anything in reach.

Let's admit that dialog is emerging as our generation's way to develop and share knowledge.

If I could change one thing--this is going to sound stupid--but if I could go back in time and change one thing, I might try to interest some early preliterate people in not using their thumbs when they count. It could have been the standard, and it would have made a whole lot of things easier in the modern era. On the other hand, we have learned a lot from the struggle with the incompatibility of base-ten with powers of two.
Guy Steele, in "Coders at Work"


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moobak - source - built with processing
It's the opposite of Atari 2600 "Kaboom!"... you have to toss bombs down and try to get them past the buckets. 90% of this is from the Java Advent calendar... It's also not a very good game.

One small argument in favor of Intelligent Design: at least toenails grow a lot slower than fingernails, eh?
Everyone check under your seats! You all get gum!

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/02/ff_google_algorithm/ - on Google's algorithm. Damn, that's some smart stuff.
Deep-rooted abandonment issues leave most orphans highly susceptible to shame-based psychology (for a complete list of opportune moments to obliterate the esteem of test subjects, please consulting Training Video #89-D, 'You'd Perform This Test Better if You Had Parents')

Objective assumptions in English-"it'd be The Cake Is 'A Lie'", vs 'The Truth'. We can have "truisms", but kinda assume there's one "Truth".
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/03/01/petition-to-make-hel.html - I support making "hella-" the official prefix for 10^27
Heh - David "Pitfall!" Crane's "2600 Magic" iPhone tutorial gets Atari playfield graphics a bit wrong- it oversimplifies the bit order! (see http://alienbill.com/2600/cookbook/playfield.html ) I guess it's "teacher's license" so as to not confuse things, but it's good to feel smarter than David Crane if only for a moment.
I love to juxtapose the Sony "Y2K.01" bug with 'Sony commits to PS3 for next decade" from http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/9699.cfm



beetimetrials - source - built with processing
This is probably the best single player game I made this weekend, even though it's just "Rotatin' Rocket Race" with a differnt control scheme and some of the graphics from "beebash" -- still, I like the little dial controller, and it's pretty easy to try and beat your time.

I wonder if it's possible to beat ten seconds? The best I can do is 11-12.

South Station was all iPod Touch, then plus some Palm, now all Palm- go lil' guy! Weird to see hand sized devices shown bigger than a person...
http://www.thebigmoney.com/slideshow/faces-behind-famous-hands - heh, hand models. Megan Fox has REALLY ugly thumbs, never would have guessed but a few seconds of Googling shows it.
http://metrics.admob.com/2009/06/ipod-touch-users-younger-than-iphone-users/ - A. those are the worst pie charts I've seen - someone really needs to read their Tufte. B. 46% of iPod Touch users are 13-17, but only 6% for iPhones. My guess is the Touch is a "first computer" - interesting if the iPad furthers that.
Don't usually bother with Google's frontpage unless I need "Language Tools"- I guess they're trying to split the difference of the traditional "just a logo and a search box" with their new features by making everything else on the page slowly fade in.
So for a while I've been using "softly, softly" to help me spot notepad++'s poorly-defined icon on the taskbar. Googled and realized the full phrase is "softly softly catchee monkey" which is probably not the most enlighted thing. Ah well.

rocket dorkicus

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rocketdorkicus - source - built with processing
So, yeah, this is just the "grab all the blocks" 2-player-only fun of Dorkicus with a new control scheme. Actually it predates regular Dorkicus, except I went back and added rocktes, since driving paddles like they were rocketships didn't make much visual sense.

With both versions of Dorkicus, it's interesting how it feels like it would be a very different game if the goal was stated as "shove blocks at your opponents side" vs "bring blocks to your own side". (I didn't have a good idea for the color coding for the former case, so I went with the latter... also it feels like more complex of a goal somehow.)

[photo: 2 'Clearblue' tests w/ 'Pregnant']
"Your crazy! Very happy 4 u!!!!
R u having twins????"

http://www.cracked.com/article_18443_6-famous-movie-wisemen-who-were-totally-full-shit.html - Cracked on would be gurus.
@burntbythesun RE: "Admiral Akbar: fish or mollusk? Discuss." - Admiral Ackbar vs Admiral Adama in a knife fight - who wins?
Wow. #ATT 3G service is so crap in Boston the iPhone just knocked itself down to Edge.
Left thumb is starting to ache- violated my usual rule about not reconfiguring keyboards and remapping Caps Lock to Ctrl. Feels pretty good!
http://www.cracked.com/blog/your-3rd-grade-science-textbook-as-written-by-gary-busey - the URL pretty much says it all.



spidercon - source - built with processing
This game actually came before "beetimetrials", but seems more complex.

Actually I modified it from the Pirate Kart version; originally the control was just like beetimetrials, where you used the dial to control the direction and thrust of the bee. Now, however, the control is relative to the current position of the Bee, which means you can use the mouse as a rough form of aiming. (But you have to watch out and not gain too much speed, lest you go crashing into the spider you're trying to take down.)

http://ie6funeral.com/ - IE6, the Netscape 4.7 of our time.
http://gizmodo.com/5354422/commodore-64-iphone-app-approved-removed - Apple removed an C=64 app because of BASIC?? But is there anything stopping a Safari/Javascript mini-programming IDE?
The knack to using a ToDo list w/ due dates is don't sweat pushing forward dates that don't matter- better to push then to drown in "overdues"
Found out that the best way to Google for next-gen iPhone rumors is "iPhone 4G" even though that name is 98% sure to be inaccurate and misleading.
Geek Note: I just realized I dislike XSLT in the same way I developed disdain for Prolog back in college Damn it people, "Matching" is no replacement for "Programming"...

the ape in someone else

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The other day I was wondering around and found a used book store in the basement of the Old South Meeting House.... I picked up a book, "The Ape in Me" by Cornelia Otis Skinner. She's a bit like Thurber and Dorothy Parker with a touch of Erma Bombeck, writing here in the late 50s. Anyway, in the entire book, a single passage was outline in pencil (with "hell") double outlined:
It's usually into the outer hallway where, after bustling into wraps and coats, they come to a dead halt. And there they linger because they all at once recall an anecdote they've forgotten to tell you, or they feel obliged to repeat some of the ones they've already told you, and there you stand on one foot, then the other, trying to make polite response and hoping that the wan leer on your face is concealing the ardent wish in your hear that they'd get the hell on out.
I just like the rage and frustration expressed in choosing that particular passage...

...also I was a little surprised at the amount of breastage on the cover.
The Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3D.... not too bad but I found the bandersnatch to be insufficiently frumious.
How low could cellphone rates be if we all got phones online and didn't have mobile stores like Starbuckses? Seriously what justifies 'em?

did you mean: alright

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I'm weirdly captivated by the "makes me a big deal. Ha ha." part of this add for Palm at South Station.

In a similar note, I'm both amused and alarmed at what I've been teaching my iPhone auto-correct...

I went with Amber and Kjersten to see the Alice in Wonderland. The "lightshow" they do beforehand is kind of boring (but where else is one going to hear Big Bad Voodoo Daddy these days?) so we made our own fun with pictures.

Kjersten apparently had a lot of trouble getting just the right shot of me and Amber so I made a montage of this series...

smal gif cinema version:

fanpop.com is gaming Google! Google (no quotes) "wikipedia alice in wonderland" - the 1st link that says (2010 movie) (3rd in all) is fanpop
I know I'm tempting Murphy and His Law but- the sandals are back!
Machines take me by surprise with great frequency.
Alan Turing

It's kind of weird how every Oscar is "for" someone else, at least according to the person receiving it.

playlist: season_2009 4 winter

Like I made after last summer and the fall, here is a list of the music I discovered or rediscovered and added into my collection over December through February.

(I like putting the new music in really heavy notation for a while, so it becomes more a part of my life than it would otherwise before going into the mix with the 2,000 other songs I deem iPod-worthy.)

So, most interesting is the (fairly?) new music I ran into: 3 cheers for Shazam and its ability to ID a tune, and 3 cheers for friends who keep me in mind in their own musical journeys and send me sugestions - or sometimes it's just "making the rounds" online. So there was a bunch of music that I remembered from my past: either I used to own it in a different format, or it wsa the 1990s and I liked the song but not enough to look for it on CD, or it's just something I wanted to own. And a few songs that I remembered from hearing them in "Boogie Nights".. My UU covenant group did a Valentine "pick a song you find most romantic" deal... (I thought it was going to be a difficult pick for me but then Amber reminded me of First Day of My Life. Duh.) So I burnt a copy of the play list for everyone, and these were 3 songs I added to my regular rotation... for some of these it was as much the description the group member gave than the song itself. So, probably the lion's share of songs came from Amber and I watching the 5 hours of the VH1 Top 100 Hip Hop Countdown Then I had some CDs that I had missed ripping... when Zune was introduced, one of the very few sample songs they included was from a group called Bitter:Sweet -- interesting future lounge feel to this. Then, jeez, Eminem's "Curtain Call". It was like 1/6 of the songs on this list, but it felt like even more. And then there was that DJ Santa outside of Macy's with good sounding remixes of Christmas standards -- basically an exercise in my theory that any song is better with a big old beat behind it. Couldn't find much information online on the cd I bought from him, but it had something to do with the slightly overly corporate DJBeats4Sale... Finally, last but not least, semi-famous artist Harvey James and his girlfriend do a lovely haunting duet... no video, just a link to the MP3... Pretty good season for music!
There is no safety in numbers, or in anything else.
James Thurber

iPhone's Visual Voicemail raised the bar, but if Apple was really smart they'd stop showing a separate "missed call" if the caller left voicemail-- it's annoying to have to check two lists. Heck, even an answering machine knows better than that.
It occurs to me that when my cat licks me, I don't know whether that means I'm delicious or filthy.

http://www.cracked.com/article_18461_5-creepy-ways-video-games-are-trying-to-get-you-addicted.html - B.F. Skinner, patron saint of video games. Scary stuff, I don't feel so bad about playing so few games these days. Plus, I know "novelty" is what I'm really looking for. Well, that, and the ability to fly a helicopter around.
I guess twitter gmail et al. are my skinner boxes of choice. At least their pellets are based on novelty!

what's the big todo

Five years and one day ago I posted my "big project" Todo list. A year and a half ago I went back to that page, crossed out the stuff I had gotten done, italicized the stuff that didn't matter to me any more.

Time to remake that list! Now organized by site/field of interest.

kisrael.com random projects games loveblender.com improvements
ATT slogans for Bos/Camb: "might as well get the iPod touch" "5 bars, no service", "works in more places like ScrewYouiPhoneExclusiveIstan" (Actually, it's weird: popular sites seem to load OK on 3G, obscure ones time-out. Wonder if AT+T just has retarded server problems.)
ATT slogan: "Cannot Open Page Safari could not open the page because the server stopped responding."
"RE @ATTNews #ATT recently released a new study into causes and solutions for the dropout crisis: http://go-att.us/e556 -oh SCHOOL not calls-"
Man- earbuds are a bit gross, even for the reasonably well Q-tipped. On the other hand, dunno if I wanna be "that guy" w/ the DJ headphones.
Just finished "Look Me in the Eye", an Aspergers memoir. Two thoughts: A. These folks are "logical" but miss enough details that they're not always 'rational' B. I think I would be good at explaining things to people with Aspergers.

beeracer time trials


beetimetrials - source - built with processing
OK, at first glance it looks like I already posted this - BUT - if you do a lap, you'll notice that you now have an opponent: you get to play against the ghostly recording of your best lap. It makes it a much more fun game, and kind of with the psychological/learning aid of my previous try, I ended up to get well under 10 seconds...

http://www.slate.com/id/2246107/ - liked this piece on the big red EXIT vs. the international running man, esp. the Japanese vs. Russian variants.

http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/58280 - sigh, the dot com bubble. Heh, they mention Palm - guess I'm glad I didn't go w/ "invest in what you know + like" idea.
Finally got the hypersensitive "tap to click" disabled on work laptop by installing Dell utils... incidental thumb brushes were turning into rough equivalent of butt dialing.
Happy to see Nomar Garciaparra retiring with the Red Sox if only because "NOMAHH!" is insanely fun to say in a townie accent.

smart monster

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--I always wanted this kind of look for the Honda Civic Hatchback I had in the 90s or my current Scion xA... that, or just mad hydraulics to go jump, jump down the street.

via Archmage's Friday Pix, always a nice weekly read.
Might have 2 job offers to consider. Better than 0, but HATE big decisions, polling friends. Consoling myself with new found Coconut M&Ms.
I like my women the way I like my coffee: detrimental to hippocampal neurogenesis, but conducive to short term memory and attentional control.

welcome to the working week

Something I wrote recently to rile up the Libertarian types who frequent a private message boards I sometimes frequent


So of, like, all the Industrialized world, we're the one with no minimum leave.

I know the Conservative/Libertarian view is it should be left strictly as a negotiation between employer and employee, but the fact is the base line for what's "typical" is awfully low here, getting 3 weeks feels like a triumph, when with many other places it would below the minimum.

It also makes me think about "productivity". Increased productivity does correlate with higher unemployment, right? To some degree. Take it too far and it's worse for everyone. But a small company that's squeaking by with 3 employees doesn't want to higher a 4th til this all blows over...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_time - when I hear about how bad Unions are, I think about the bumper sticker that points out it's what brought us to a 5 day, 40 hour working week. I value the 2 day weekend so much i can barely imagine life w/o it.

I think about this, from the great online mini graphic novel The Guy I Almost Was

What I would be doing for a living? I didn't care. According to OMNI magazine, the technological changes of the Eighties were going to be so vast, so profound, that the job market would be unrecognizable by the time I entered the workforce.
Nearly any job I trained for now would be obsolete by 1990. Computers and solar-powered robot factories would be doing most of the work. Consumer goods would be mostly free, and the U.N. would be paying us all not to work.

And of course that's a fantasy. But why? If it could work like that, would it be better? Or at least splitting the difference?

Heh, Lex, maybe with your studies in Utopia/Dystopia, youi can tell me which that would be...
Remember that the word "synesthesia" is spelled with a silent freshly mowed grass odor.

if we fell in love in a forest would we make a sound?

http://smilepanic.com/index.php/fun/34-crazy/483-moar.html - heh, picture of Mo's cat yawning from back in the day at the bottom of "MOAR!!!" page.

always wanted one of these!? well we've got two - you can have 'em both!


--Man, I gotta get my TV huckster voice going.



BeFunky.com is a very cool website, lots of nifty photopshopy filters to play with.

And yeah, I gotta get over this photo as my "go to" photo for image manipulation fun. Still it came out kinda nifty here.
Hooray it's DST already!
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds that darkness has always got there first and is waiting for it.
--vishal, http://loveblender.com/
Between stuff like Hulu.com and craptastic #comcast dvr and cable service, amber and I are thinking cable tv might not be for our next place.

short attention span theater

Increasingly, nowadays, the context for writing is a very short form utterance, with constant interaction. I worry that people will lose the ability to state a thesis in unambiguous terms and a clear logical progression. But because they'll be in instantaneous contact with their audience, they can restate their ideas as needed until ambiguities are cleared up and their reasoning is unveiled. And they'll be learning from others along with way. Making an elegant and persuasive initial statement won't be so important because that statement will be only the first step of many.
Let's admit that dialog is emerging as our generation's way to develop and share knowledge. [...]
If the Romantic ideal of the solitary genius is fading, what model for information exchange do we have? Check Plato's Symposium. Thinkers were expected to engage with each other (and to have fun while doing so). Socrates denigrated reading, because one could not interrogate the author. To him, dialog was more fertile and more conducive to truth.
The other week at my UU Science and Spirituality reading group, one of the members asked "could I make a request? Could you finish a sentence before starting another one?" And I know I'm a tangential thinker, but I also think it is a different form of communication based less on the monologue and more on the classic dialog. Still, I tried to mold my sentences to be a little more complete before I uttered them, and preweed the tangents.
Feed a fever, starve a cold. Lightly sup with rickets."
Animal Crossing: Wild World

new blender of love!

AT&T: drop it like it's hot, drop it like it's hot
Nature is cruel, but we don't have to be. We owe them some respect!
Temple Grandin (on cattle at the slaughterhouse)
from excellent HBO film - one of the best things I've seen this year
REQUEST ACCESS TO CLU PROGRAM CODE 6 PASSWORD TO MEMORY 0222 'Oh, man, this isn't happening, it only thinks its happening.'
Tron- still great! Can't wait for the sequel



Man -- some people get PAID to do "the robot"!

Kind of makes me wish our traffic lights were smart and more aware of traffic waiting. I am unwilling to relocate to North Korea to get that however.
Bostoners: you may have forgotten, but that big bright thing in the sky is the "sun". DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT IT.

Also, a tint of blue in the sky, rather than the typical grey-white, is acceptable.
The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful and has nobody to thank.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti

It's seven PM and daylight. I can't even tell you how much love I have for Daylight Savings Time.
I am a humanist, which mean, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead

super o'heroes


--from designrfix'spage of Comic Book Inspired Vector Artwork
"Erin Go Braless!" Man will I ever get tired of thinking that?
The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.
Henry James. Man that's why I look for the interestingness of everything!

It is better to be quotable than to be honest.
Tom Stoppard

Today's weather: scattered begorrah

If I'm gonna go down in history for one quote, let it be "Everyone knows cupcakes are just muffins in drag."

I think I was a strictly rationalist skeptic in a former life.

new job!

I just accepted a new job with Pearson Education, a kind of pseudo-startup in an incubator program they're running.

Weirdly I had two offers at around the same time... the other was for a company called Media Friends Inc. They have some awesome products and I may be missing out on a big stock payday by not going with them, but ultimately it wasn't the techie lifestyle I wanted. (They liked my history in diverse tech environments, and my first job there would have been in the language "Lua" (which I've never used) porting their SMS-based tv-channel chatroom app for a new bigname client.)

It is surprisingly stressful to have two awesome sounding job offers at once. In some ways, it is probably more stressful than (a short or medium length time of) having NO job offers; you have a binary decision to make, and it will affect your quality of life in ways you can't triangulate now.

I made a big list of pros and cons and polled friends and sweated it and at one point even just about went all the way down the other path. But ultimately, Pearson brings me to 4 places I want to be: I'm grateful to Lincoln Peak, the company I'll be leaving on fairly good terms, and I wish well for them - but this year taught me, I don't like the lifestyle of consulting. It's too much uprooting, and on some projects, serving two masters, where there can be a bit of a zero sum game on the client/consulting company relationship. You're troubles aren't their troubles, you're just expected to have expertise in everything. (And having to learn everything new every few months... that's one of the things that kept me away from Media Friends, where they were looking for a guy who they can throw at anything. I can do that kind of work, but it stresses me the hell out, and ultimately I prefer to make cool things in known technologies than have to create in new environments.)

This will be my ninth job since graduating in 1996, which is kind of a lot... I got to thinking about where I'd been, and why I left...
companyhow foundhow long therewhy left
IDDpersonally recruited 2.5 yearspersonal growth
Banta IMsent resume 2.5 yearspersonal growth
Event Zeropersonally recruited 1 yearlayoff
Galepersonally recruited 1 yearlayoff
Taxwareheadhunter 3.5 yearspersonal growth
Refreshpersonally recruited 1 yearlayoff
Enpocket/Nokiaheadhunter2 yearslayoff
Lincon Peakpersonally recruited 1 yearpersonal growth
Pearsonpersonally recruited .......
So half the time I leave because of my personal professional development, and the other half I'm laid off - though on a few of the times I leave on my own, the company is not the same one I joined, by a long shot. (Leaving Banta and Taxware are the main ones that felt like seeking greener pastures.)

UPDATE: I miscounted, I was at Taxware 3.5 years, not 2.5, which puts a slightly different spin on some things -- I think I do like putting roots down (though come to think of it, I had been searching off and on during my stay at Taxware, which wasn't a super exciting business domain, and a grinding commute to Salem.)

And I guess the numbers bear out the idea that networking is better than headhunters for finding jobs, though that's tempered by how hit and miss it is - headhunters are generally reliable at finding SOMEthing, even in rough times. There were 6 personally recruited jobs, but only 2 of those were after layoffs, when I was proactively looking. (I'm not counting IDD... though the personal recruitment from there is what made me pick them with 7 other offers on the table, I kind of overdid it after college, and had a kick ass resume for someone my age.)

Sometimes I wish I had kept closer track of where all I applied over the years, though that might depress me a bit -- especially during the Taxware years, I had a number of unsuccessful interviews. I guess overall that would bring the hit ratio for headhunters way, way down, I've only had a few attempts at personal recruitment that didn't payoff.

(But I'm proud to note that both of the companies I worked at as a consultant in the past year made implicit or explicit suggestions that they would be happy to try and get me a fulltime gig there.)

Now, to deal with this endless stream of random search-engine-using recruiters trying to get me to go to Virginia and California and what not...

2019 UPDATE:
companyhow foundhow long therewhy left
IDDpersonally recruited 2.5 yearspersonal growth
Banta IMsent resume 2.5 yearspersonal growth
Event Zeropersonally recruited 1 yearlayoff
Galepersonally recruited 1 yearlayoff
Taxwareheadhunter 3.5 yearspersonal growth
Refreshpersonally recruited 1 yearlayoff
Enpocket/Nokiaheadhunter2 yearslayoff
Lincoln Peakpersonally recruited 1 yearpersonal growth
Pearson/Alleyooppersonally recruited 3 yearslayoff (essentially)
Thrupoint/CafeXpersonally recruited1 yearpersonal growth
Millennial/AOLapplied online?2.5 yearspersonal growth
CarGurusHR (shoulda been referral)......

a. All babies are illogical
b. Nobody is despised who can manage a crocodile
c. Illogical persons are despised
So: babies can't manage crocodiles

hear the birds?


It was warm enough to sleep with an open window and we could hear bird song the next morning and it made me think of the above short clip... I decided to transcribe it (for no particularly good reason, just to try to capture the delivery.)
"Beautiful day, isn't it?"
"Yes it is."
"Hear the birds?"
"Sometimes, I like to pretend that I'm, that I'm deaf? And I try to imagine what it'd be like--"
"--not to be able to hear them..."
"...it's not so bad."

My sore neck provoked me into using a backpack rather than a courier bag. Irritating not to be able to easily stow and retrieve a book - also I feel so awkward using both straps, since using just one was de rigueur in middle and high school. But of course the style changed to the utilitarian in the early 1990s. "Still, asymmetry is always cool..." I point out to Amber. "Right, but beauty is based on symmetry." Odd, those two opposing relations.
http://www.slate.com/id/2248274/ - interesting rule for cell etiquette: use the same rules as you would for excusing yourself to bathroom...
http://www.ocregister.com/news/alcala-238591-women-murphy.html - 70s era photos of killer Alcala's possible victims, the police looking for help IDing. As a collection, the images are haunting- but many of them are just great photos of people having fun.
Hmm. The iPhone screen, made of glass, is very durable. But the case scratches easily... (I suspect Apple doesn't mind the scuffs as something that would get people to upgrade sooner, but without disrupting use of the device.) Makes me think that an iPhone with the case made out of glass would be very durable... not to mention frickin' sweet.
Well, we've had a good time tonight, considering we're all going to die someday.
closer of Steve Martin, back in the day

"Legal Size": it's the 16:9 widescreen of copier paper!

painted lady

So, pretty decent oil painting of a woman...

Except it's not a painting of a woman, it's a painted woman...

Here's the page with even more mind-bending examples. The "WHAT IS THIS?" look on the other's guy face in that one shot is priceless.

dogs in slow motion


--This makes me want to buy some dog food. And maybe a dog.

church of many colors

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Kjersten pointed me to a great set of photos from Boston.com's "Big Picture" who provided this explanation:
Last Monday (March 1st), people in India and other countries with large Hindu populations celebrated Holi, the Festival of Colors. A welcoming of Spring, Holi is celebrated as the triumph of good over evil. Hindu devotees and others enthusiastically drop their inhibitions, and chase each other in temples and through the streets, playfully splashing colorful paint, powder and water on each other. People also attend bonfires to commemorate the story of Prahlada, a Hindu figure and devout follower of Lord Vishnu who prevailed over his father and the demoness Holika with the power of his devotion.
It got me thinking about the UU church I go to - I went to the Sunday service for the first time in a long while, mostly because my Covenant Group had volunteered to do the snacks for the post-service coffee hour. The day before I had been explaining the church's "liberal" (mostly in the accepting and pluralist sense, but also the political) religious ideal to my friend Lena, and she asked about the symbols they used... well, I was able to take a photo of a banner with the whole smorgasbord...
Yow! Besides the traditional UU flaming chalice in the center, there's a Christian Cross, Jewish Star-of-David, Buddhist 8-spoked-wheel, Taoist Yin-Yang, Islamic Crescent, Shinto Torii Gate, and a few others, including a Wiccan pentagram. Aesthetically such inclusiveness is a bit of a mishmash I'm afraid, but still, it speaks to to the UU sense of respect for each other's journeys and the broad palette of human religious experience.

That's kind of the thing about the liberal religious tradition. The various flaovors of Fundamentalists can't all be right! But they're probably not all wrong, either. Like I quoted my fellow group member John a while back:
"You don't have to have a particular belief to go to the UU church.."
"Well what do you all believe in, then?"
"Well, we believe in going to church."
Anyway, I also like my church's Earth, Air, Fire, Water set of banners:

From a design standpoint those are pretty awesome. So the UU church can be pretty colorful, and I'm not even including one of the other design motifs, use of the rainbow (there's a set of tile plates on an outside wall, and some new quilt-looking wall hangings in the rec room) signifyin the gay-friendly "Welcoming Congregation" nature of the place.

Still, it would be cool if they had their own Holi celebration...

I was explaining "Bcc" to a friend, and was struck by how funny it is that we call it "Carbon Copy" in the first place- typewriters ahoy!
The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination--but the combination is locked up in the safe.

you meet the nicest people making videogames

--Kind of amazing project to make a movie about making video games. I'm pledging a couple of hundred, and urge anybody to put in as well - it's a great idea. (Click for a preview movie.)

Someday You Will Be Nostalgic For Now.
Suicide Girls

The iPhone Gmail web app is pretty sweet, but the load times are gruesome. Wonder if one of those standalone apps that are mostly just wrappers fix that?
Hee, for reasons symbolic and utilitarian I'm making the Google Calendar that Amber and I share the default one on my iPhone.

the haul of the mountain king

I guess technically I kisrael'd this a bit in 2001 but this Atari Age thread included Randy Ball's neat map of the Atari 2600 game Mountain King, including the secret areas:

(The thread has the fullsize version.)

That secret area on top is really intriguing... I've always suspected it was the map-reading part of the cartidge reading non-map parts of the game ROM/RAM -- especially how the area changes based on user inputs and movement, but I'm not 100% certain that it isn't (at least a bit) intentional. this page analyzes it to a great degree.

Man. I don't think I ever quite beat that game.
Got a pair of workwear-able Skecher's Shape-ups. Weird,like walkin' on a mushy hill everywhere. (Plus almost like wearing lifts or someting)
I'm amazed at how at least 3 or 4 times a day I'm annoyed by the stickiness of Visual Studio's "Search Up" checkbox in its Find dialog.

Cracked.com: If Classic Movies Had Made
The Worst Possible Casting Decisions

Huh, like that the NFL is fixing its stupid OT rules; weird that (for now?) it's just for the postseason.
My "!psyched" playlist - 28 high energy songs, familiar enough not to distract - it's like chaingang shackles for my brain at work. :-/

love potion #10 or 11

MOM WARNING: cussin' and sex ahead, a bit

Wild-eyed, flop sweating man runs into a gypsy's tent...
"I need more of that love potion!"

"Did you drink the potion?"

"No no - it got spilled ... I just need another one. I'll pay again!"

"How many times? The POTION is NOT for YOU ... she drinks the potion. SHE... DRINKS... THE POTION..."

"I know, but I just can't stop thinking about that potion!"

"Get out of my tent."

"You should sell it in wide-neck flasks that you can fit your cock into!"


So, Oglaf claims to have started as an attempt to make pornography that degenerated into sex comedy almost immediately. Funny as heck, very often NSFW, and actually pretty sexy in parts when that's what the story calls for...
Aw man, the super cool huge glass spiral starcase at the Boston flagship Apple store now has ugly black felt safety carpet and runners.
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds that darkness has always got there first and is waiting for it.

Earbuds are icky and fragile and headphones w/ mics have too few < $200 options. Gonna try a Monster $10 clip-on mic w/ normal headphones.
I can't prove to myself that I'm not immortal- I'm going to have to take everyone's word for it.
Well, except the idea that I don't want to make the Citizen Kane of games. I want to make the Fred from the B52's of games.

keep on truckin'


--I just kinda liked this, but then the transition at 0:29 made it all worthwhile... it might be a mockup, but still, excellent.

Sometimes I really miss the Boston Computer Museum.
http://www.moma.org/explore/inside_out/2010/03/22/at-moma/ - I am all for MoMA's "acquisition" of "@" - it's a great bit of design work.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2010/mar/21/tom-bissell-video-game-cocaine-addiction "Outside of the inarguably violent missions, it is not what GTA IV asks you to do that is so morally alarming. It is what it allows you to do."

fool me once

--via failblog
A MAD Magazine compilation is my current bathroom reading - usually it's not so funny, but it was formative to me as I grew up- taught me not to take the grownup world so seriously. When I said that to Amber, she joked "maybe THAT'S my problem, no MAD growing up" - then she realized, maybe there was some truth there.
Woo-doubly nifty day: picked out a sweet apartment w/ Amber, then early birthday gift: helicopter flying lesson (!!!) <3 amber, helicopters.

jz eb + me: pax east

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JZ, EB, and I went to PAX East, a great big fun video game thing kind of sponsored/founded by the online comic strip Penny Arcade.

At PAX- heh, it's Curt Schilling on a panel on the future of MMORPGs....

willkommen, bienvenue, welcome, etc...


--Various rejected poster art for the Broadway revival of "La Cage aux Folles.", from this NY Times piece that has some audio about each one. I love the one at the breakfast table.
The other day played "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court"- what could YOU as a time traveller give history? Lena's answer: cucumber eye masks.
I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.
Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking

There is no substitute for good manners, except, perhaps, fast reflexes.

There's no way I would take six years painting a ceiling. But I guess you do what you've got to do, and I just want to commend Michelangelo.
Boston Celtics rookie Glen Davis

the start that date that kiss that gift

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--Lacunar Vals by "9000" -- Wired had a piece on this artist, check out the photostream on flikr
If I knew the world was going to end tomorrow, I would plant a tree.
Martin Luther

My birthday is tomorrow. I was born around 20 past midnight which makes me doubly grateful for Daylight Savings Time: without it my birthday would be "March 30" which you see less often than 31, which is the last day of the first quarter. (Though I guess I'd be making "the 30th is twice the ides of March!" jokes)
You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real
Diamond Dave

stratos falls. and i'm frickin' thirty-six!


--"Fall Of Stratus" by Brian McCarty, from Under The Influence: Masters of the Universe Tribute Art Show. (Stratos was one of He-Man's buds, a bird-man with cool goggles. I was just a bit too old to really get into He-Man toys, but it was a fun little bit of pseudo-mythology.)
My birthday -- 36! That's a perfect square. Also, like two 18 year olds stuck together.
The whole fuss about Ricky Martin coming out made a little more sense once I realized it wasn't about that Rickroll "Never Gonna Give You Up" guy. But only a little.
Remember Tock the watchdog from "Phantom Tollbooth" who wigged out about "killing time"? Some days I need a wigout like that at work.

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