2012 February❮❮prevnext❯❯

splish splash

From this kinda great Quora What's Your Favorite Parable page:
Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.
Douglas Adams

http://venturebeat.com/2012/01/31/html5-versus-flash-infographic/ the Flash vs HTML5 really got me thinking. At the very least I need to get offa Processing Applets...

RIP Wislawa Szymborska -- check out hisher brilliant Four in the Morning.
Today's date is 1.2.12. Better known as International Microphone Testing Day.

the other mona lisa


Wow, sister painting of "Mona Lisa" found?

We just got a Roku 2 XD box. (A bit like the AppleTV, for streaming.) It's so wee! And the UI so charmingly sparse- nicer than the PC we had hooked up to the tv for Netflix and Hulu etc.
http://english.bouletcorp.com/2012/02/01/darkness/ - best 24 hour comic I've seen. Really great.
The videogame EDF:Insect Armageddon and how it Fails to Go Up to 11.

i feel great

A while back I mighta referenced this parody Nutrigrain ad:

I got interested in the music behind it. Someone online claimed it was Ananda Shankar's Dancing Drums but I think it was actually Streets Of Calcutta. Both are pretty good, I need to get the MP3s.
Beli-chic -- could Bill Belichick be the best dressed coach in the NFL?
More like FUNrequited love.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyk7utV_D2I My goodness. GloZell and the Cinnamon Challenge might be the funniest video of 2012 thus far. kudos for her posting it! (You get the idea by 1:45)
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/destructive-austerity-usa/ Krugman on Destructive Austerity. After reading some Illuminanti trilogy , I think the GOP might be Illuminanti tools. (I mean duh, who isn't really BUT STILL)

we're not candy!

From the HEY I REMEMBER THAT! Department:

-- via Cracked's 6 Most Counterproductive PSAs of All Time
UGH, just poking around with PhoneGap for HTML5 fun on Kindle Fire gets me back to the Eclipse hell that helped draw me to UI to start with!
Gawd it sucks. Follow all the steps at http://phonegap.com/start/#android -- There IS no damn "New > Android Project" option. What he hell. Hate hate hate



click for fullsize
Not quite sure where I got this from...
"When you're wearing riot gear, everything looks like a riot." Even a big group of peaceful protesters. #occupyDC

The offense really dropped the ball on this one. Never been so grumpy at Welker.
This is what happens when you lose to like both of the >.500 teams you play in the regular season.
What, Boston is supposed to be reigning champ in just one of the four major sports at a time? Screw that. #patrots2012equalsrevolution2007 Aw well on to more meaningful pursuits. Would been nice for Boston though; half my sports passion is thinking New York has enough in general.

convo of the moment

L: have you ever asked siri about abe lincoln?
L: http://imgur.com/gallery/TPiRa
L: i hope she responded in a similar way
L: hahahahaha
kirk: that is kind of awesome
kirk: what a world we live in
kirk: anywhere i go
kirk: i can ask for pictures of boobs and get them
kirk: crazy!
L: hhahahaa
L: even when you aren't asking for them!
kirk: oh right... times when I'm NOT asking for them, those times
L: hahahaa
On French Parenting. They seem to have the knack for cultivating delayed gratification and patience. Wish I had that.
Screw software patents. Maybe hardware ones too. They're supposed to help innovation? Really?
You know it IS pretty weird for SO many people, yours truly included, to tie their equanimity with the fate of sports teams.

tiger tiger burning bright

From that Quora What's Your Favorite Parable? page:
Alice and Bob were walking in the woods when a snarling tiger jumped out in front of them.

Alice bent down and starting changing into running shoes.

"Why are you doing that?" asked Bob. "You can't outrun a tiger."

"I don't have to out..." said Alice before the tiger sank its razor-sharp death teeth into the soft flesh around her jugular. It takes at least a minute to change shoes, and the tiger was only, oh, let's say 20 meters away to begin with.

Then the tiger killed Bob, too. Not because it was hungry. Just because it lived for the moment when it saw the life go out of its victims' eyes.

Moral: Tigers are nature's perfect killing machine. By the time you see one, it's already too late.

--Mark Eichenlaub, graduate student in physics
atheists in hiding in America. People don't want to know that you don't have to take things on faith.
It's an atheist straw man argument to say having faith means you have to accept any horrible things done for faith, but you do have to admit something judges horribleness, and that something needs to stand outside and ultimately have precedence over faith. Which would be blasphemy.
Over a year later and this nearly jokeless cartoon of Einstein thinking "What the Fart?" still amuses me.
http://debbiespenditnow.com -- most obnoxious political attack page, most fun scrolling up and down HTML5!
I'd like to believe that I'd know and love "Sam & Dave" even if they weren't what the Blues Brothers had on their car's 8-track.

300 chess


(Making the rounds...)
http://midis.atari2600land.com/ - tried to dig up this Atari 2600 MIDI music site with a remix/cover of JoustPong/FlapPing title music.


        He is brilliant, yes, but evil.   
So evil I despair of comprehending him.  
This man doesn't want to murder his 
father and possess his mother: he wants 
to murder God and possess the cosmos.  
He would tear the earth from its 
foundations and throw the oceans from 
their beds, pausing only to lick the salt 
from his fingers.  His strength is the 
strength that extends beyond sanity.
        I know not the origin of these 
desires.  As a child he would dream of 
shaping the hills by the clapping of his 
hands, the nodding of his head.  Entire 
nations would be his plaything, all of 
literature a decoration for his room.
        As he grew, so did his imaginings.  
He saw himself capturing souls in glass 
bottles, of folding the sky into quarters 
and using it to wipe the sweat from his 
forehead.  He planned to suck the 
atmosphere into his lungs in one breath, 
to still storms with a word.  He studied to 
distill a dream that could cause a 
nightmare to bolt from its sleep.  He 
searched to make the atoms cry out in 
        And now, what more is to be 
said?  His rage grow every day.  I knew 
him once, he recognizes me no longer.  I 
will gaze at him, and tremble.
--I wrote this in college. The first 5 lines (up to "cosmos") I found on Usenet, but turn out to be from the "Illuminatus!" trilogy, which I have just read for the first time.

The whole thing is not as good as the original passage, but hey.
Definitely digging workflowy.com/ - its core is just hierarchical bullet lists w/ zoom-and-breadcrumbs but it nails focus vs "forget me not"s
Ironically enough, "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" is the first Kindle book I run into with "Due to publisher restrictions, copy is not allowed for this title." when I go to copy and paste a sentence or two.
"If there were more bloody noses, there'd be fewer wars."
Hagbard Celine, "Illuminatus!"

I Seem to Be a Verb.
R. Buckminster Fuller

the kart jam


I'm planning on hosting a small Boston get-together for the GDC Pirate Kart Weekend Jam. Let me know if you're interested in the details.
http://jalopnik.com/5883780/the-dark-underworld-of-toy-cars/ kinda fun look at the dark underside of toy cars

my tuba is back from the shop!

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--Man, I don't have the tuba lungs I used to. Plus, now I have a beard and mustache. Still, it's nice having my own horn for once, even if it's just an Eb. I'll call her "Ephie".

humor for and by geeks


--via b3ta. One thing I learned from my yoga class way back when is not many non-geeks get Shrödinger Cat Jokes

blender of love digest

basalmiq and the big blue arrow


For my devblog I made a mockup of basalmiq's big blue arrow. The way it always rotates to point to the middle of the thing is a subtle but terrific bit of User Interface design!
A thing about time is how things you anticipate (trips, graduations, product launches. etc) can all come to pass no matter how far ahead, but so does growing older...
http://www.mcfunkypants.com/nanoLD/ Loved Pile o' Gears, the made-in-48-minutes nanogames. Games that provide accomplishment w/o overstaying their welcome!

a valentine for amber


(mouse around to change flow)

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/10/the_ticking_clock Oy. Israel's (no relation) gonna attack Iran this year. Just when the world seemed a little more settled down.
Listen, when I was a kid, my mother said to me: 'Bruce, one day you're going to die. You're going to die if you worry or you don't worry.' I was brought up with that philosophy, so I don't worry.
Bruce Everiss

don't be nervous. work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring."
  3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can't create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it--but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

iPhone GTA3. Kind of amazing to have the microcosm of Liberty City in my pocket, but the controls sap all the kinetic fun out of it.
Envisioning a Post-Campus America -- thought-provoking McArdle piece on the implications if there was a major shift to e-learning that supplanted the traditional 4 year degree.
How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
Thomas Jefferson

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/the-way-greeks-live-now.html fascinating article on Greece. Had little idea how extreme the situation was there.

creepiest robobaby ever

Warning: Creepy!

From cracked.com's 5 Creepy Ways They're Replacing Humans with Robots. Also good was their lead-off:
This is the Talking Robot Mouth, and it's intended as a robotic emulation of the mechanical process that humans use to produce speech. And yet it stills sounds like a wet Atari begging for death.
http://i.imgur.com/2Kq6Y.jpg How to Tell HTML from HTML5
But a world is not for you. A world needs a substance, an independence, a sense that it doesn't just disappear when you turn around (even if it kinda does)

http://tevisthompson.com/ - I like the video game essays of this guy.
4 Years ago I started making playlists of new music I discovered that quarter. Reviewing old ones is oddly "I've known that for 4 years?"
Man, I forgot how many solid ports of great games were in the old GameCube Midway Arcade Treasures...

otherwise by jane kenyon

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.
--Jane Kenyon

pigmeat markham

A while back I talked about Pigmeat Markham's "Hear Come the Judge"-- comes off a little racist these days, but it was maybe the first recorded rap and it has a great beat they sampled in BAD II's "Rush"

Anyway, for no reason I could fathom, some "automatically find the album art" found this for the censored version of Lo Fidelity Allstar's "Battleflag"...

Just wanted to post it here so I wouldn't forget it, now that I have the unexpurgated song.

Also: "Pigmeat Markham" is kind of an awesome name.

our astronauts


They were corny as heck, I love it! via BoingBoing
Deep thought: there are profound similarities between the Super Mario Theme and Star Wars Cantina Band Song.

norman saunders attacks

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--from this page of Norman Saunders works-- it focuses on his odd and oddly-sexually charged Batman cards but also gets into the classic "Mars Attacks"
They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along & spoil it.



--via Boingboing who points out its Powerhouse's 75th Anniversary! Love that song.
http://gizmodo.com/5886574/its-time-to-exterminate-the-mouse hated this article. Is Gesture based computing that great? For me, its mostly a chance to accidentally do many things.
http://sincerelyhana.com/projects/switcheroo Wow. Having (mostly straight? Dunno.) couples swap clothes and redo the shot is weirdly compelling.
http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/2012/02/death-of-mouse-film-at-11.html Death of Mouse, Film at 11, my response to that dumb Gizmodo article.


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--I'd just like to say that I'm moderately proud of the setup I got together for Amber and I to play Centipede (her favorite game)I can get into the 20 Ks and the 30s once; her high score is like 45K.
Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
Robert Heinlein

Would you rather A. learn a new technique for something you already can do B. do something new with techniques you already know well? Me? Totally B. I hate learning new things just for the sake of it, but I love learning new things that empower me to do new stuff.

What about you? I think this a fundamental divide in geekdom and elsewhere.

fun with primates


--Clever idea! The bit at 1:58 made me laugh, but you should watch the whole thing.

happy 500th episode simpsons!





spartakiada - "a mass gymnastics display, which was held every five years at the Strahov Stadium in Prague, Czechoslovakia, when the country was under Communist rule." That is the coolest radically uncool thing I've ever seen.via 22words
if you got synesthesia i taste bad for you son

my spielberg face, sp-sp-sp-spielberg face

In celebration of tonight's Oscars it's...the Spielberg Face

091. The Spielberg Face from Kevin B. Lee on Vimeo.

--via slate
Looking at the Oscars preshow -- is this mustache and scruff thing just the Hangover actors or is it a thing?

shave face race

To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
shave face race - source - built with processing

This was the first game I made for the 2012 GDC Pirate Kart. I hosted a little get-together and a few folks from the Boston Indies community dropped in and we all made games together.

This game was kind of just a warm up, but it got me showing I could make music and sound fx (provided by Renzo, same guy who was on my team for the GGJ, he was really good....)
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/Teller-Reveals-His-Secrets.html - Teller (of Penn and...) tells all, sort of, but only in a meta-magic kind of way. Great read.


(1 comment)
click to play...

robotish - source - built with processing

Of all 5 games I made this weekend, I think this one was the most playable and developed from a game design standpoint.

It really matched my vision for it, which is a little unusual for these things... except I think I had something a bit more linear feeling in mind. But it got the idea of having to daringly dart out and drop the mines, where the offensive maneuver carries an element of risk. But in terms of nicely increasing difficulty, sense of satisfaction, and details like having the screen background mirror the game play a bit, it is more fully baked than usual, by my standards.
I gotta admit most of the scratchware games I make never reach the balance point of "time spent making it" vs "time people spend playing it"
Which is kind of ok. 2/3 or more of the point of it is the game is me making things.
You can lead a horse to water but actually you probably can't, unless you grew up on a farm or something.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/02/alt-text-science-books-kids/ I laughed.


click to play

dinobeeboxer - source - built with processing

The finest dinosaur boxing bees simulator IN THE WORLD.

Or maybe just the first.

It made it into this (slightly NSFW) video Small Compilation of Pirate Kart V Games.

Also, one of my fellow Jammers Darius ported it (sans sound, and running kinda slow) to Processing.js -- see it on jsfiddle here.

Probably my second favorite creation this go round... if I do a sequel, the bees will probably be stinging you, not just trying to get past.
I love how this is a bit of a "lost day" on the retrospect feature of my site, that 3/4 of the time, you skip right past 2/29 if you're going forward from 2/28, and miss the 3 or so entries there.
Am I a hack engineer if I think simplicity trumps flexibility? A hack UI guy if I say tables make better grid layouts than floating divs?

2012 February❮❮prevnext❯❯