2010 August❮❮prevnext❯❯

photo roundup


newbury street panorama


click for fullsize
This is the view off the patio of my company's cafeteria, overlooking Newbury Street. It is made with a super-nifty iPhone 4 program called You Gotta See This -- it utilizes the new gyroscope in the thing and is well worth the $2 price.

The photo is quite a lot like the collage FoSO shot with my borrowed Kodak DC20 back in like, '96 or '97 -- but now it's a heck of a lot easier.
Your life's Episode IV starts at 30. Everything before that is just prequels.

http://www.slate.com/id/2261955/ - I guess what technology has given nerd romance in 'Net dating it is taking away with the rise of e-readers...
http://technologizer.com/2010/08/01/the-great-operating-system-games/ - heh, just thinking about GORILLAS.BAS and Space Cadet Pinball. Seriously, someone out there is the best 3D Space Cadet player... I wonder who...
Strangely hungry this AM. Might end up being a 3-Atomic-Fireball morning.

take all da music from 2009 and put it in a big blender!


http://tinycartridge.com/post/866743831/super-creepy-pokemon-hack - darkest Pokemon hack ever? Did it really exist at all? Spooky.
"The net's so slow today, it's like watching paint dry!"
"Watching paint dry-- people say that, but really it's way underrated"
"No, I've done it for real, it sucks"
"You obviously weren't inhaling deeply enough."
Pedro and Me just now

kittehs on deck

Kittehs on deck...

The first time I see a jogger smiling, I'll consider it.
Joan Rivers

Heh, the last photo on this iPhone 4 admiration page shows how much it looks like that German scale
When I'm in deepish codemode I "chainsmoke" drinking 32 oz waters. Healthy, but man, all those trips to the men's room...

whoa! slow down, edison!

--via The Comic Curmudgeon. It is a nice turn of phrase. You know, visually, Blondie is something kind of special, relative to a lot of the other comics out there these days.

'[M]oral disapproval, without any other asserted state interest,' has never been a rational basis for legislation

the bit too simple life


--Kinda fascinated by this "Camper Bike Blueprint by kevincyr.net" -- the page I got it from has additional renderings and an intriguing "shopping cart camper" as well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111_Huntington_Ave - one of the odder bits of the Boston skyline, the part of the Prudential complex with a skeletal "R2D2"-ish top, was apparently picked by Mayor Menino--

Geeknote: just found out about Firebug's console, and if you start it up it will track all the Ajax GETs and POSTs, input and output - nice.
Sometimes I wish I was one of those coders who felt subroutines should have ONE "return" statement. Arbitrary stack popping feels GOTO-ish.

stop action flight of the bumblebee


Hdfnff fgbgg jedjv NTSC NYC uv hn vgc jffkhdgkyfb HDTV itdcjb VHS. KGB hdfnff jrafjjgb g
Amber testing iPhone's SMS character count

aagh! spidercows!


august blender of love is here!

Lesson learned with HDMI plugs and cables.... seems like it's sometimes not so "hot swappable", so try powercycling before you go nuts...
For very good & for very bad, success seems to come from an abundance of nerve.

hazy shade of winters

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--Jonathan Winters, back when prop comedy was based more on imagination and less on wacky oversized props. Funny how low key stuff was back then - and also, as one commentator noted, how Robin Williams stole his shtick. Also I really like his sound effects. (via)
New kitchen device: the kvetchen oven. "what? You've left me on? You want dry turkey? AND you run the AC? You think we're made of money?"

Rinku is like "I made a game from dreams and fears and starlight and it's kinda neat but I have no idea what you all are so obsessed with"

http://mightygodking.com/index.php/2010/08/08/what-the-hell-fox-news/ - Fox News takes on Mr. Rogers. Yeesh.
Factoid:[Tchaikovsky] would often hold his chin with his left hand while conducting after once imagining his head falling off his shoulders.


So I'm at the family vacation homestead in Ocean Grove New Jersey, "God's Square Mile" just down the street from Springsteen's Asbury Park.

http://arst.ch/lyv How Star Trek artists imagined the iPad... 23 years ago
A city is a large community where people are lonesome together.
Herbert Prochnow

http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident/ - this was twittered as "iPhone users are whores" but I dig the camera/photo details comparative analysis.
Cracked.com's Real Life Death Stars and their Fatal Flaws - interesting historical superweapons and their fatal flaws...

i love to waterski snowboard jetski skydive PARASAIL handglide rollerblade mountainbike bungeejump well i mean i'd love to do these things if i ever had the time

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For a while I've had in my head a list of three activities I'd like to do before I got too old: Skydive, Bungee Jump and Parasail...

Extreme Outsourcing. Just like the photos yesterday, it's always (academically) interesting to hear what kind of approaches work best at starting romance internetally, but even if I were looking, I think I'd have to be me.
"Kid, I don't know what kind of crap you're trying to pull here, but you are CLEARLY NOT A TEAPOT!!!" New day care guy: not working out.

The cool thing about snorting while laughing, really, is that it gives you something to do on the inhale....

to haz, or not to haz


--Amber noticed this local blatant Reserved Parking FAIL... or is it a Handicap WIN? Doubt it'll make Failblog but who knows.

There's not a sky in the cloud...
Nice Turn of Phrase by MELAS

That's what I look forward to about getting old- advances in kitchen appliances.

Atlantic City, 9AM
If you like it then you shoulda put a ring pop on it... I have low standards.

shore thing

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click for fullsize

Surprise find: Asbury Park's Silverball Museum- lots of awesome old school pinball from across the decades!



--Peggy the One-Footed Sea Gull, who was screeching and generally hassling us last evening on the beach.



--Supercharming Lego CubeDudes by Pixar Animator Angus MacLane. Doing the heads at a 45-degree angle is so clever...be sure to click the link for more.
The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it.
H. G. Wells

Math should advertise more.
(after I kinda geeked out on how Chipotle's "over 60,000" combinations was probably 2^16)
http://samizdat.mines.edu/howto/HowToBeAProgrammer.html - How To Be a Programmer
http://kiuchi.jpn.org/en/nobindex.htm - notes of a Japanese Soldier in a USSR prison camp. Sweetly human.
Things I wish I knew how to google: the tracklists for McDonalds 80s "Shake Burger and Fries" (I think) giveaway tapes - great 50s-60s music
http://inessential.com/2010/08/09/flexibility_and_power - good points on UI design and when "less (flexibility) is more (power)", though I still miss having some basic options on iDevices, like "open this link in the background"

--All-iPad Music! I'm keeping my eyes open for the equivalent of GarageBand for the iPad; maybe then I can meet my "self-appointed goal for my 30s" of getting electronicified versions of all the basslines and riffs I was working with in high school.
FUN FACT: Space-sickness is measured in "garns", a unit named for Rep. senator Jake Garn, who politicked his way to a space trip and upchucked like mad...
heh, Pam's purple/green shimmerchange dress at Office Season 2-3 cliffhanger is what M. had at EHS Spring Fling '92- so nostalgic for me, it was such a gorgeous dress...
Forget iPhone antennagate and the "grip of death"-hold ANY iPhone "wrong" for a game and you totally block the sound. #speakergate #whatevs
Insects' mouth parts are modified legs. A similar process may have given us our language of thought.
Steven Pinker, "How The Mind Works"

Osmos (for iOS, PC, Mac, Linux) is amazing; elegant physics (including emergent intuitive orbit mechanics) and a solid "eat or be eaten" mechanic... the "Rich Get Richer, Poor Get Poorer" idea of the latter is interesting, I remember a fellow A-life student in college who was playing with a more linear version of that... never thought of its game potential until Osmos added a "burn mass for thrust" aspect.

http://gizmodo.com/5613877/worlds-laziest-adventurer-traveling-length-of-britain-via-street-view - point and click tourism!
http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=9039615 - crap, I can't believe I fell for that Back to the Future thing and missed Bionic Commando Day
These ambiguities, redundancies, and deficiencies recall those attributed by Dr. Franz Kuhn to a certain Chinese encyclopedia called the Heavenly Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. In its distant pages it is written that animals are divided into (a) those that belong to the emperor; (b) embalmed ones; (c) those that are trained; (d) suckling pigs; (e) mermaids; (f) fabulous ones; (g) stray dogs; (h) those that are included in this classification; (i) those that tremble as if they were mad; (j) innumerable ones; (k) those drawn with a very fine camel's-hair brush; (l) etcetera; (m) those that have just broken the flower vase; (n) those that at a distance resemble flies."
Jorge Luis Borge.
The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge's Taxonomy wikipedia page says that no one was quite sure how seriously to take this. I like the note that "Keith Windschuttle, an Australian historian, cited alleged acceptance of the authenticity of the list among many academics as a sign of the degeneration of the Western academy."

--Mahó Beach, St. Maarten, via this National Geographic Photo of the Day that has a larger version
Today's diet experiment: is a large iced "dark roast" with Splenda about as satiating as one with sugar?
Starting a cult of Wendy's Baja salad at work. I've lost over 15lbs with it as my regular lunch! Today 2 coworkers went over with me.
It's worry, worry all of the time / You don't know how to laugh / They'll think of something funny / When they write your epitaph
I just finished Steven Pinkers excellent "How The Mind Works" -- in reading it electronic form I made a backlog of quotes from it, often him quoting others but some new passages as well...

Friday is covering Saturday and Sunday so I can't have Saturday and Sunday if I don't go through Friday.
Preschooler in a study by psychologist Melissa Bowerman
This is an example of how children spontaneously develop there own space and motion metaphors
I don't like spinach, and I'm glad I don't, because if I liked it I would eat it, and I just hate it.
Charles Darrow
No, but for two brothers or eight cousins.
Biologist J.B.S.Haldane (when asked if he would lay down his life for his brother)
Geneticist humor!
It takes a mind debauched by learning to carry the process of making the natural seem strange so far as to ask 'why' of any instinctive human act.
William James
If there were a verb meaning 'to believe falsely,' it would not have any significant first person, present indicative.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
There's one way to find out if a man is honest: ask him; if he says yes, you know he's crooked.
Mark Twain
Was it a millionaire who said 'Imagine no possessions'?
Elvis Costello
Natural selection does not forbid cooperation and generosity; it just makes them difficult engineering problems, like stereoscopic vision.
Steven Pinker
Parental love causes the fundamental paradox of politics: no society can be simultaneously fair, free, and equal. If it is fair, people who work harder can accumulate more. If it is free, people will give their wealth to their children. But then it cannot be equal, for some people will inherit wealth they did not earn. Ever since Plato called attention to these tradeoffs in The Republic, most political ideologies can be defined by the stance they take on which of these ideals should yield.
Steven Pinker
In the laboratory, some early experiments claimed that men and women showed identical physiological arousal to a pornographic passage. The men, however, showed a bigger response to the neutral passage in the control condition than the women showed to the pornography. The so-called neutral passage, which had been chosen by the female investigators, described a man and a woman chatting about the relative merits of an anthropology major over pre-med. The men found it highly erotic!
Steven Pinker.
This says so much to be about the male condition. Like Susan Sarandon's character says in "Bull Durham", "a guy'll listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay"...
Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.
H.L. Mencken
The conclusion of the book was a pitch for the idea that maybe brains aren't smart enough to understand themselves; that we're darn lucky to be able to figure out so much of the universe, from atomic theory to art, with a brain that was basically setup to help us navigate complex social relationships and manage hunting and gathering... as he puts it:
We can well imagine creatures with fewer cognitive faculties than we have: dogs to whom our language sounds like "Blah-blah-blah-Ginger-blah-blah," rats that cannot learn a maze with food in the prime-numbered arms, autistics who cannot conceive of other minds, children who cannot understand what all the fuss around sex is all about, neurological patients who see every detail in a face except whose it is, stereoblind people can understand a stereogram as a problem in geometry but cannot see it pop out in depth. If stereoblind people did not know better, they might call 3-D vision a miracle, or claim that it just is and needs no explanation, or write it off as some kind of trick.

So why should there not be creatures with more cognitive faculties than we have, or with different ones? They might readily grasp how free will and consciousness emerge from a brain and how meaning and morality fit into the universe, and would be amused by the religious and philosophical headstands we do to make up for our blankness when facing these problems. They could try to explain the solutions to us, but we would not understand the explanations.
Steven Pinker, "How The Mind Works"

Wish I had someone who was an advocate for divs vs tables, layout-wise, and not sick of arguing about it. To me it seems that tables provide a robust, flexible, "stretchy" grid-style layout, and avoid some of the weird alignment crap you can get into with float and overflow issues with div-- but I hate designers thinking I'm sort of Web 1.0 baboon for thinking this way. It's not like I'm advocating giving up CSS styling...
Skywriters at the Public Garden- it says INTL AIRSHOW- you know skywriting is cool but the dot-matrix type seems a bit lazy...
Making the rounds (JZ sent me a link but I think I saw a reference to it somewhere) is this eye and ear and mind candy for computer geeks: what different sorting algorithms (routines for ordering giant bunches of numbers) sound like... Not sure why Heap Sort gets its own, but here it is:
A bit more of a writeup at the geek.com article. So the sound is cool, but I admit I'm getting more information from the visual part-- it's the sound that makes it compelling, though...
http://gizmodo.com/5617755/ultraviolet-light-reveals-how-ancient-greek-statues-really-looked "The color? Always something tacky."
http://howbigreally.com/ - kind of a neat webapp to overlay big structures historical and present over a map of your zipcode.
The other night Alewife there was a guy with a Decepticon symbol on one calf, Autobot on the other. C'mon dude, pick a side!
Just kinda liked this thing from cracked.com...

Great film makers know how to give us lines to read between.

https://www.youtube.com/user/CeeLoGreen#p/u/2/CAV0XrbEwNc - Gnarls Barkley returns with an F U kinda song...
click to play

discapede - source - built with processing
Made with Amber's videogame interests in mind, it's a classic Arcade game in circular form... more of a toy than a game, there's no score, no dying... just lots of centipedes and mushrooms to shoot at. Space resets everything.
http://kisrael.com/java/ - just updated my java page, mostly KotMK. Man that's a lot!

--Man, I love Nancy's stylized an anchronistic oddness! via Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog
Notes synching on iPhone 4 is f'in broken. I lost data - notes WEIRDLY reverting - to a broken "feature" I barely knew I had. Sucks.
In the fight between you and the world, back the world.
Frank Zappa

http://www.slate.com/id/2264312/ - cool piece on Quicksand: it's decline and fall in popculture, and the people who fetishize it...
I cry a little on the inside when I see a super slow site with a ".jsp" URL. Friendster was the worst. Now Bank of America? Yeesh.

--Savage Chickens has all of Chewbacca's lines from Star Wars- click for more panels. I love the art style.
The Misleading World Of Atari 2600 Box Art

Finished Runyon. Love the names; Regret, the horseplayer, The Sky, Brandy Bottle Bates, Horse Thief, Sorrowful, even good ol' reliable Nathan Detroit...

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard Shaw

If Sir Mix-A-Lot has taught me anything, it is that the anaconda wants what the anaconda wants.

Wild Turkey at Alewife!

Web design folks: any statistics on typical browser widths? (as opposed to screen resolutions- people don't always run maximized...)

--originally via archmage's friday photos but I found this animation somewhere... maybe gifanime?
Eyes are so crazy good at adjusting for your head's movements! Watch yourself in a mirror, shake and bob your head, they stay locked- weird!
"Improper Bostonian says brine-based garnishes are the new thing."
"Like brine.... shrimp?"
"Dude that's sea monkeys."
"Ew, never mind."
cmg and me
Too more from the Rockport Legion Band last night... kinda cute how the kids were all running circles around the bandstand...

http://www.inspirationandchai.com/Regrets-of-the-Dying.html - I should a link to this for "mortality for skeptics" ( http://mortals.be )
The other week I found out my dad sometimes used the family name "Dyke" as a kind of second middle name. Snicker-worthy, but interesting.
So many headhunters are looking for roles all over the country. Are they just lazy or is there a whole subculture of migrant coders?
What is the speed of light? As far as you're concerned, it's nine inches per nanosecond.

Friend Indy's Hypothetical Drink idea -- Gin, Curacao for Blue Coloring, and Peach Rings (Yellow Side Up) -- it's a Gin + Sonic!

Just watched "The Big Chill" for the first time. Good flick, good soundtrack, good wishing for group of friends that cohesive(ish) and big.

--For me it's less about the speed and ways they've found of "breaking" the video game Metroid to get the best possible time than the view of the game that shows more than the room Samus is currently in... it's like those old Nintendo Player's Guide maps come to life...
http://www.kungfugrippe.com/post/1035451042/fuzzy-little-boy - on old color photos. It is sometimes a bit hard to remember that the world wasn't b+w from 1800-1950 or so, and that old Roman statues were originally in garish colors, not the "classy" monochrome stone colors we now see them in.
if you laid all the cups of tea I've ever drunk end to end it'd be a big mess and a terrible waste of tea.

I'm always weirded out how Photoshop et al crop out transparent pixels when you try and copy and paste- does that feel 'right' to designers?
Amber's Turkey Meatloaf of Love

2010 August❮❮prevnext❯❯