2012 September❮❮prevnext❯❯

cleveland air show


playlist: season_2012 2 summer

At the end of every season I make a list of the songs I added to my rolling "latest music" playlist, all stuff I consider 3 stars or above, and I dig up links and post it here so people who share some of my wide-ranging musical sensibilities can find more of what they might dig.

I found a lot of new music this past summer! Some really great stuff in all...

These songs were 4 stars: Bluegrass or Rural Tinged Hiphop Novelty Instrumental Softer Retro Clubbish Other/Alt
--from this list of submissions to Isaac Asimov magazine

hazy sunday in cleveland


http://kirkdev.blogspot.com/ on my UI dev blog: EMPOWER EVERYONE - What Google Hangouts, AppleTV, and ITS PDP-6 have in common

so tense

From Garrison Keillor's new Guy Noir novel The Straight Skinny:

As I got skinnier, I got great pleasure out of swanning through a crowded room and leaning against a pillar or abutment and striking an elegant pose and watching women fling themselves at me like moths on a lightbulb. On May Day, a child of twenty-one named Moxie hit on me in the Brew Ha Ha. She was plump, like a popover, and wore daisies in her hair and a smock that said Color Me Happy, and she said, "I'm sitting over there and I'm going, like, Who is that totally hot guy? And I'm, like, Do I dare walk over and talk to him? And I'm going, No way. And then I'm going, like, Why not. You look hot. Like, how old are you?"

"Darling child, if you and I were to talk and my shoulder brushed your shoulder, we'd be caught in a rushing torrent of ravenous passion and down the white-frothed spillway and over the roaring cataract of romance and into a whirling vortex of desire--kissing, caressing, clutching, grabbing, thrusting, crying out with hunger and delight-- and, beautiful as our intentions might be, it simply wouldn't work and here's why--I live in many different verb tenses, such as the imperfect indicative, the past imperfect, and the subjunctive, and you, sweetheart, only in the present indicative. I mean, you're going, like, Who is that guy? but I have gone or might have gone or will have gone, but you just pretty much keep going, and someday you may look back and wonder where I went. And I'll be, like, not there."

She gave me a triumphal smile. "I had been hoping you could come to my apartment and we might have come to know each other better," she said, a predicate that almost stole my heart away.

Love it. Despite the English major, I don't remember ever having had learned about the various tenses, so being able to identify them still carries magic for me. I am very fond of using the present tense in storytelling, however, because it makes things so much more immediate. (Similarly, I don't mind the use of 'like' as a framing device, in lieu of 'said', since it implies the quote that follows will be acted out, rather than merely recited.)
Nothing human disgusts me, Mr. Shannon, unless it's unkind, violent.
Hannah Jelkes in "Night of the Iguana"

Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.
Natalie Goldberg

I feel like a lot of common game design patterns today were originally invented as monetization tools for arcade games. We got used to them.

it's my life


The Secret Service code names: "Renegade", "Celtic", "Javelin" and now "Bowhunter" for Obama, Biden, Romney and Ryan, respectively.

lifetimes to go

from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

7 years to master something? Does that mean working fulltime at it? Anyway, 7 years are nicer chunks than the 4 I started thinking in with high school and college...

know the feeling?

from electric sheep comix' sketch blog...

http://www.drawastickman.com/ - great interactive animation -- you draw the character and the props, and they animate a little story - good js stuff
Nostalgia is a way of recycling value from the past, rather than just getting more and more time poor. I recommend being nostalgic as hell.
Fear is the dark room where the Devil develops his negatives.
Gary Busey

http://factlets.info/EgoDepletion "judges approved parole in about 70 percent of cases heard first thing in the morning, but less than 10 percent of those heard in the late afternoon." That's horrible. Also: "Willpower turns out to be more than a folk concept or a metaphor. It really is a form of mental energy that can be exhausted."

i like packies with a sense of humor!


Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe tears into Maryland politician about gay marriage... makes me a bit more of a Vikings fan! (Warning, NSFW language to put it mildly)

apple trees and sky

On my resume, under skills, I put 'has a landline.'
Charlotte in 'Tiny Furniture'

four instruments at once


--I have a weird sense of pride that the tuba couldn't really be in that mix. And some of what they're doing isn't QUITE as hard as it looks... but still pretty impressive!
My last ten semi-daily weigh-ins have been five different weights ending in ".6". Increasingly convinced bathroom scale is exhibiting primitive, digital sense of pranksterish humor.
http://www.thisismyjam.com/kirkjerk - Cole brings a sensual sweetness to an early Beatles song...
In many ways, a lot of porn is comparable to junk food. It's a highly distilled and concentrated formulation that is engineered to tap into some of our most basic urges. As a culture, we're really good at taking something that's good for us or fun and distilling it to the point of toxicity. In the case of food, it's salt, sugar, and fat. In the case of porn, it's formulaic, unrealistic sex that follows predictable conventions and neglects genuine pleasure. In both cases, real diversity and variety is removed and instead, superficial differences are promoted. When it comes down to it, what's the difference between Cheetos, Doritos, Fritos, etc? They're all corn products, with salt, fat, and variations in flavoring additives. Their purpose isn't to nourish- their purpose is to get people to buy their products so the producers can get as much money as possible.
Charlie Glickman, The Porn I'd Like to See in the World

so much bill murray


UX thought: odd that Apple sticks with separate Address + Search boxes for Safari; Firefox and Chrome seem friendlier. In iOS, the address box hints its non-search by a ".com" button and lack of space bar on the keyboard. Desktop Safari, it's jarring.

a bad case of the crabs

Man, I had some of these guys when I was a kid...

But this was the video I first embedded... many many many hermit crabs all at once...
Funny to think about sound like two pixels running at 44100 frames per second and 16 bits of 'color'.

Death is the dark backing that a mirror needs if we are to see anything.
Saul Bellow

this guy digs trains


20 or so pages in, my favorite part of Ursula Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" is the colony planet's term for toilet: "shitstool"
Looked at Sam "im-" Bacile's video. Great, we lost tons of good will and a respected Libyan ambassador to a video "Jack Chick Tract".
My son is writing a musical. 'The jaws help you eat / When it goes open and shut / When you have something sweet / It sends it to your butt'

what google's street view sees

Jon Rafman's 9-eyes is an amazing capturing of some of the more interesting stuff Google's Street View cars have seen while scouring the globe... this was one of the better ones.

Also a fair number of street walkers and people flicking off the camera...
There is no finish line. There is no starting line. There is no track. There is only Me, your cosmic gym teacher, screaming at your fat ass.

Cubism was perverse when Picasso first did it. People justify it by talking about looking at an object from three sides and so on, but it always seemed to me much more about seeing the ass and the breast at the same time. That's basically what Picasso used it for, and even after he gave up Cubism, he still habitually drew the ass crack, the pussy and the breast on the front.
John Currin

subway shots


It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.
Jonathan Swift

I look in the mirror And I see a monkey But then I remember I love monkeys

Coding Geekery and Curmudgeonism:

http://vimeo.com/49092644 - unconvincing video about the merits of Test Driven Development. Circular definitions and strawmen ahoy!

I think TDD is hunting for that promised land of tests that aren't A. trivial B. implementation coupled C. externally dependent D. more fragile than tested code. I'm not sure it exists.

Those are my practical reasons for disliking TDD. In theory too, it fails: its been mathematically demonstrated that any sufficiently powerful testing setup is as as prone to error as the thing being tested...
I am I, plus my circumstances.
José Ortega y Gasset

toy boat toy boat toy boat


from a collection of artifact toys my mom brought me,
some i recognize from my childhood, but some i don't, like this...

corn maze day


storm by tim minchin

EB pointed this great animation / spoken word piece. It's intensely skeptical, some harsh language, but the rhymes are so catchy!

I've been cultivating increasing awareness of how my conscious life is mostly just making up the story of what my unconscious just decided. Like I'll be debating whether to get out of bed in the middle of the night, pros and cons, finally my unconscious decides, the rest follows.
SMBC has the most amazing deconstruction of Pac-Man I've ever seen.
http://www.thisismyjam.com/kirkjerk -- fun swaggering cowgirl / go-go blend
Yesterday we went with EB and his family to the Marini farm corn maze-- 8 acres of twisty fun. Personally I recommend take a snapshot of the map with your cellphone... for me, deliberate navigation was more fun than random wandering, especially when we had to split into two groups (a kid needed a bathroom break) and EB would send helpful txts with photos saying "we are here" to help us find them....

Success key: Design your life to minimize reliance on willpower.

Zipcars scare the shit out of me. You know what your Zipcar says to me? 'I haven't driven in six months. Where's the Ikea?'

For the record I did not say to Noah "There's gonna be a floody-floody." It was an apocalypse, not a summer camp.

We can't teach C++ anymore. It's like trying to explain Lost now - you had to be there. No one's going to want to watch all 6 seasons



The idea that the working poor live off the labor of the wealthy rather than the other way around is remarkable.

Your funeral is the one thing in life you can totally blow off [planning for] without suffering any consequences.

Twice today I provided the requisite shouting that helped a commuter get back a dropped item (sunglassses, scarf) another person was trying to get back to them. Talent!

what's going on

I think sometimes we forget about how devastating Hurricane Katrina was... found a reference to this song w/ Chuck D and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and this powerful slideshow...

"Yarrr... I'll scalawag the lot o' ya, yarrrr, with the walk-the-plank. Keel-haul." I'm not a very good pirate #talklikeapirateday
Lately I've stumbling with the UIs of GarageBand and Xcode, fumbling without grokking the core interaction metaphors... the silver lining is that it's a chance for empathy with my non-techy friends and family I try to help, where the OS and browser can also seem opaque and inscrutable.
http://www.xkcd.com/1110/ - today's xkcd is amazing. Play with it, then check out the "cheat mode" at http://xkcd-map.rent-a-geek.de/

about last night's html5 game dev meetup...

Last night I gave a brief presentation about my lowLag.js audio library at the Boston HTML5 Game Dev Meetup. I was able to show off the project's playground page with its new drum machine mini-app. I got some nice feedback about the project from people.

Admittedly, my humble project was a bit eclipsed by Tristan Jehan's talk about The Echo Nest. To brutally over simplify, part of their core is similar to what Pandora and the Musical Genome project do, but they use big data to get there, and when combined with an open API (and a number of music hackathons) they get some amazing stuff done... not just charting the relations between artists and songs in a metadata kind of way, but chopping and splicing and analyzing the song files themselves. Here were some of the projects mentioned: Some of the others tools using the API seem to not be (or no longer online), like Finally, we witnessed the launch of the Brainworth Kickstarter. The idea is a platform that teaches html5 game programming by playing games. It looks to have crazy fun social elements and general flexibility.
A small 6-inch catfish can have over 250,000 taste receptors located all over its body. [...] It'd be like "if the tip of your tongue grew out and covered your body." Which is to say, you cannot touch a catfish somewhere where it cannot taste you.

It takes about the same amount of computing to answer one Google Search query as all the computing done -- in flight and on the ground -- for the entire Apollo program.
Seb Schmoller

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUtS52lqL5w - the Lego Great Ball Contraption
A downward spiral is an addiction. An upward spiral is a tornado. Try to avoid spirals.

My weight loss is such that if you squint out the decimal point my weight looks like a year. Nixon administration ahoy!

September 21, 2012

HAHAHA Romney is a fake-baker! Way to pander, chief! Romney Puts on a Fake Tan to Speak to Mexicans
When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.

I just can't get over how Scott Brown continues to refer to Elizabeth Warren as "professor," with the subtext that it is a pejorative.

In devops is turtle all way down but at bottom is perl script.

Jeez, iPhone 5 putting the audio jack on bottom (and digital-only lightning plug) really screws up listening to music w/ a cradle, eh? :-/

September 22, 2012


study in black cat and white ikea daybed

meta! the history and turning points of kisrael

So I've decided its time for me to shift this blog once again, and indulge in some self-absorbed reflection...

I started keeping a "quote journal" in early 1997... it was a series of text notes on my Palm Pilot (loved that thing) and I called it KHftCEA, or "Kirk's Home for the Chronically Easily Amused". (It was never really meant to be public, but some time after letting a few close friends into its digital pages I decided to post the whole thing online.)

In late-2000/early-2001 I decided to start one of those new-fangled Weblog (or "'blog" for short) things. (For a few weeks I kept up both web and Palm, but then the Palm version seemed redundant, and I dropped it.) Pretty quickly the blog morphed into its regular format: a "clever" title, a general paragraph of chatter, then a series of "____ of the Moment" entries. And it was very important for me (I called it a secular spiritual practice) to put up something interesting every day, as well as act as a bit of a hub for some of my friends.

Meanwhile, Facebook happened. I think Facebook has had more of a change on how people socialize on the Internet than any other website, including Google (there were always search engines, just not as good) and Youtube (the scale of Youtube still astounds, and it was a new fun online activity, but not as social.) I'd say Facebook has drained away much of the importance of my site as a way of finding and sharing interesting stuff, since FB is more egalitarian, and has a much better comment and community sense. (I prefer to "blame" facebook for the shift away from people commenting on my site (as well as the decompression of Loveblender after some explosive growth) over thinking people just don't like me as much as they used to...)

Of course, Twitter also happened. Twitter also has a back-and-forth aspect that my site lacks, but I still like having kisrael as my "site of record" so in 2008 I established an "of the Moment" section to more easily mirror what I was twittering. Soon after that, I shifted the main part of each entry into a "one interesting thing a day" mode, often a video or big image from someone else, or a project I had worked on.

So now I'm thinking of getting rid of the "one big thing". I'll still post stuff as I find it, but I'll stop hoarding stuff away to post on a rainy day, and I hope the site will become more immediate, more in the moment like my early Palm stuff.

Again, I'm not sure how many people will even notice the change... I don't know how many folks come here for regular entertainment (In which case Facebook and 22 Words are probably better bets, with a little BoingBoing thrown in.) I'll still be posting interesting links and videos as I find them, and we can just take it from there...
Tommy, Tommy, everything is connected and everything matters. There is not an atom in our bodies that has not been forged in the furnace of the sun -- now isn't that cool?
I ♥ Huckabees

http://www.walkscore.com/ - cool way of getting a feel for how walkable a neighborhood is.
Someone is aiming to be geek daddy of the year:

I love how well paced (and cleverly animated) the video is... it really tells a sweet story.
Xcode is so weirdly difficult. I want to add a new .js file to a phonegap project... put in anywhere but the project root? UNPOSSIBLE!
Those one-piece metal bend/flex snap hair barrettes are great things to fidget with, like external knuckles to crack over and over.
http://www.thisismyjam.com/kirkjerk - Yeah, co-opted an overplayed but "I Got You" is amazing
Why should a man give a woman a useless diamond engagement ring when he could buy her a nice big potato, which she could at least eat?
Geoffrey Miller

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.

Man, I have never heard a whole stadium united in the a chant of "BULL-$#!7" Wacky calls both ways in the Pats/Ravens game.

holy mackerel, mr. science!

"Oh, hello there, Jimmy. You're just in time to watch me perform my latest fascinating experiment."
"Gee willikers, Mr. Science. I'm always fascinated by your fascinating experiments. Which one are you going to perform today?"
"Well, Jimmy, today we're going to observe what happens when we boil water right here in the laboratory."
"Great day in the morning, Mr. Science! . . . I don't understand what you're talking about."
"Well, it's not as complicated as it sounds. You see, each chemical property has its own particular temperature point at which it changes from a liquid to a gas. And loosely defined, steam is the form of gaseous vapor that water is converted to when we heat it to 212 degrees."
"Holy mackerel, Mr. Science. I don't understand that even worse than what you said the first time."
Bob & Ray "Mr. Science"
I thought of that final line when I saw this article about Quantum Unmeasurement... quantum stuff, and the idea of the uncertainty resolving when you measure it is weird enough, but UNmeasuring?
Old paint program (PSP5), default is "select tool" New paint program (Paint.NET) default is paintbrush. Result: I tend to go to select and crop to the region in the comp I want to focus on, and end up scribbling over it instead. Every time. Some people believe in learning from experience, but I have not such way.

Lurelle Guild's Dump truck of the future, from this piece on cautious WW2 futurism... loved this linked city of 1895's future as well

via Jay Kamins on facebook...


September 25, 2012

Point of the game is to take over the world by financial means only. You learn Marxist theory, and that is inseparable from fun!
Seth Alter on his game "Neocolonialism" at last night's Boston Indie Gamers.

I like love

http://www.flickr.com/photos/47607517@N04/7977944264/sizes/k/in/photostream/ - writing advice from Vonnegut, from an ad from a 1980 International Paper Ad.

September 26, 2012


Benjamin Franklin Acquires Electricity, via 22words

Having all the answers just means you've been asking boring questions.

He wrote to tell me about Krishnamurti, a spiritual leader who died in 1986. Krishnamurti was once asked what is the most appropriate thing to say to a friend who was about to die. He answered 'Tell your friend that in his death, a part of you dies and goes with him. Wherever he goes, you also go. He will not be alone.
Randy Pausch

But superstition, like belief, must die,
And what remains when disbelief has gone?
Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky,
Philip Larkin, from "Church Going"

People with the best self-control aren't the ones who use it all day long. They're the people who structure their lives so they conserve it.
John Tierney

September 27, 2012

Dutch people, ages 0-100:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19670686 - UKisms making their way unto the USA vernacular
'There but for the grace of God,' said John Bradford in the sixteenth century, on seeing wretches led to execution, 'go I.' What this apparently compassionate observation really means-- not that it really 'means' anything-- is 'There by the grace of God goes someone else.'
Christopher Hitchens, "God is Not Great"

The Quantum Theory of Romney

from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Nice, balanced piece on Presidential Leadership, Obama, and Romney.
latest pseudo-dyslexia: typing ebay when I mean facebook in the url bar. I think that strong "b", maybe along with the two syllable nature, leads to the mixup.

self portrait 1

self portrait 2

September 28, 2012

"Now we wait."
"No. We breathe. We pulse. We regenerate. Our hearts beat. Our minds create. Our souls ingest. 37 seconds, well used, is a lifetime."
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? Apart from the whole world, obviously.

I would rather have written Cheers than anything I've written.


September 29, 2012

EB on a bit of a tear at the hardware store- so little made in USA, even the "Vermont American" (R) rand is made in China. #usafail

in the shop

September 30, 2012

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/28/aircraft_carriers_in_space - sci fi and real navies

from Seanbaby on "The Ministry of Clowning"

2012 September❮❮prevnext❯❯