One Second Every Day for February:
March 3, 2014"'God is dead, God is dead'...Perdition! When God dies, you'll know it."
--Confessions of St. Argentine. (I think this is a fictional reference, the epigraph for "Petra" by Greg Bear, a cool short story I first saw in the "Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology")
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/02/what-we-mean-when-we-say-hello/283860/ - interesting study in how we try to connect to new people. I'm thinking of trying to adopt its suggestion of "So what's your story?" I've been using "So what do you do, for fun or profit?" as a way of trying to find out what people are about without presuming they define themselves through work, but without judging them if that's how they DO define themselves, or find most compelling to talk about. (Also I like how the article starts with the Somerville/Cambridge habit of taking it to the square or subway stop level.)
http://gizmodo.com/how-solar-time-compares-to-standard-time-around-the-wor-1535080399 A study in time zones. Confirms my suspicion that I moved from a late sunset area (Cleveland) to early (Boston). Cleveland has it better in my mind, no doubt: trudging to school in the dark in winter was a small price to pay for those long summer nights.
"Sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station."
"Art isn't everything. It's just about everything."
"Cynicism helps combat how terrifyingly beautiful everything is."
--http://zachholman.com/posts/only-90s-developers/, a joyfully semi-misleading history of web design in the 90s.
"'That could be the motto for heaven,' said Tim. 'Almost too perfect.'"
--B. J. Novak, "No One Goes to Heaven to See Dan Fogelberg"
"CONFUCIUS SAY: NOT EVERYTHING IS A THING"
--B. J. Novak, "Confucius at Home"
The one silver lining to life with eyes full of floaters - I don't really mind that my glasses can get smudgy, I'm well trained at not really seeing the things I'm not focused on. (Of course, writing about said floaters puts them in "don't think about a pink elephant" territory) http://sploid.gizmodo.com/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-pop-corn-in-90-1536477014/ Wow - popcorn gets liquified before it pops... so a fluffy kernel is (more less) like a snapshot of a tiny starchy tsunami...
"The only trouble is ... with each step south it grows harder to ignore the fact that the scriptures - let alone Catholic dogma - are full of the mot grotesque errors of fact and logic. Why should a revelation from a perfect, loving God be such a dog's breakfast of threats and contradictions? Why should it offer such a flawed and confused view of humanity's place in the universe?
Errors of fact? The metaphors had to chosen to suit the world view of the day; should God have mystified the author of Genesis with details of the Big Bang, and primordial nucleosynthesis? Contradictions? Tests of faith - and humility. How can I be so arrogant as to set my wretched powers of reasoning against the Word of the Almighty? God transcends everything, logic included.
--Greg Egan, "Space of Lies", positing a reality where suddenly religious belief is strongly geographically influenced.
Greg Egan also made me realize it's not just that lotteries and gambling is a "Tax on Stupidity" -- even if you get lucky, congrats, now you're the Taxman, collecting your proceeds from the unlucky masses. But the house always wins."
I have to admit, the other day I saw this GIF and was tempted to get a second tattoo... all the letters in one pleasing, art-deco-ish font monogram.
I've had second thoughts. I can't find enough about its origin, and "Gee I Like Words" doesn't seem like a very personal message to wear permanently.
Pulp Scifi Movie Poster Remakes:
March 9, 2014Songs I added last month. In reverse chronological order, which is actually how I listen to 'em.
- Fix You (Jake Coco & Savannah Outen) The sweetest version of this Coldplay song I could find.
- Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens) A enigmatic (but pro-apocalyptic, I think) brief song. Used for the credits of Ricky Gervais' show "Extras".
- Achy Breaky Pt 2 (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) (Buck 22) What is Larry King doing here? Insanely catchy hook and a good little bit of hiphop. Also, I've never seen dancers so undressed without actually being naked.
- Boobs a Lot (The Fugs) Read the disappointing comic novel about "The Beats", and this group had a connection to the movement. Crazily sexist song, but catchy.
- Hard Work (The U.S. Army Airborne) Finally found the song used in the Eastern Bank commercial (the trick was they're saying "Hard Work Work" not "Aww Work Work". I think if I ever get back into running I might try to use one of those CDs of military cadences.
- Little Sadie (Crooked Still) Cool little bluegrass-y number.
- Coffee and Wine (Chadwick Stokes) Also kind of southern feeling (I'm so crap at identifying genres) -- hook-y chorus
- Everything Is AWESOME!!! (Tegan and Sara & The Lonely Island) The Lego Movie was pretty great.
- I'm Awesome (Spose) It's really funny how this track comes up after the Lego Movie one. A weird exercise in self-deprecating rap. "Lyrically, I'm not the best / Physically, the opposite of Randy Moss, and yet..."
- Friendship (Remastered) (Kay Kyser and His Kollege of Musical Knowledge) Man, this song is great. I love the variations on a rhyming theme. Also the understatment of "and If they ever put a bullet through your brain -- I'll complain."
- Forest Whitaker (Brother Ali) More self-deprecating hiphop, a little more polished.
- Wut (5kinAndBone5) (Le1f) Some say Macklemore ripped off the riff, but I think just the sax sound? Still, great gay hiphop, not just that ally stuff Macklemore makes.
- Bitter Rivals (Sleigh Bells) Shouty Girls. Man, these gals record LOUD.
- Don't Wait (Mapei) Hard to pin this one down, but it has a nice sound.
Even my bedside clock (that also projects the time onto the ceiling... highly recommended) self-adjusts for Daylight Savings Time. I was psyched thinking I had caught up on some sleep before I realized that my clock, phone, and laptop all had automagically switched without mentioning it to me.
"you are a fabulous arrangement
of whatever it is we
are made of"
--Star of David, on the loveblender
New Blender of Love
--T. Rex in Dinosaur Comics, check out the full comic http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2587
Man, I was so psyched for iOS 7.1, because I thought it was the return of the list view in the calendar (rather than having to go through the search icon, and keep up the blank search.) But I got the screenshots backwards; the new icon just lets you see what events are on the currently selected day in the month view, and you can't even do a "blank" search to get a continual list.
Basically, too many calendar programs cater to people whose schedules are always jampacked, and ignore people just want easy visual scanning of a more sparse set of things to remember.
I might go back to using Savvy App's "Agenda".
Why am I seeing so may references to Kale this past 24 hours?
"George Zimmerman might be the first person to leverage killing an unarmed teenager into celebrity-autograph status http://pic.twitter.com/3fpA2SmJsL "
"jQuery UI is the Ask Toolbar of jQuery."
Almost 7 and enough light to see by; Daylight Savings is the time where I feel winter is beat.
The DST downside: so easy to stay up late, but even easier to forget that the wake up time will make that a zero sum game.
Tubas in the Moonlight
Playing for me all night
Tell me what I want to hear...
Am I only dreamin'?
Am I only schemin?
Stars above me,
Why can't she be
sitting here beside me?
Tubas in the moonlight
Will bring my loved ones home
"If you look after truth and goodness beauty looks after herself."
--Eric Gil. (quoted in Edward Tufte's "Beautiful Evidence"- I'm attending a daylong seminar of his. He was impressed that for his lunch break "office hours" I used the technique he suggested for going to to the doctors: hand over a physical list of the things you'd ideally like to discuss while you look at a copy too (yay iPhone+iPad))
March 13, 2014"That left brain/right brain stuff is total bullshit."
--Edward Tufte via Stone Brown Design
12th Century Kid's Drawings:
"You know when you thumb-wrestle somebody who beats you and is wayyyyyy too into it? That's kind of what I imagine monogamy feels like."
WOW. Both sonically and thematically, I think this is where Harlem Shake was headed; the idea of a supernatural, infectious force spreading from a patient zero, breaking the continuity of time and space and granting superhuman powers that just overwrite everyday conventions for a goal of getting down. (Not explicit, not quite SFW)
More thoughts at Rolling Stone.
Rayman Legends for Wii U-so good. Great art, awesome, unique, and forgiving co-op play, slapstick physics, and a terrific physics-y "soccer" Kung Foot
March 17, 2014"They're called 'alpha males' because they're broken, primitive, buggy versions of real humans."
--http://twitter.com/Pat_Brenhttp://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/03/rootworm-resistance-bt-corn/ - my take: scientists can be smarter than the free market.
http://www.businessinsider.com/check-out-the-earliest-work-of-apples-design-leader-jony-ive-2013-11 Is that really the famous Jonny Ive Pen? Doesn't look as amazing as I'd hoped.
It's not as easy as you imagine to be polite when you have to scrounge for a living. You give me a surefire way of getting rich quick, and I promise to behave perfectly from that moment on.
Very well. Think of a business that particularly caters to some legitimate need of single people. There must be nothing about it that suggests recreation--not even music playing in the background. The atmosphere should be no-nonsense, utilitarian and eminently respectable. Then devise some way of keeping all your customers waiting. Service should be delayed just long enough to get people grumbling to one another, but not long enough to make them walk away in disgust. You should aim at having a good-sized group of unattached people standing together with a common practical purpose and nothing to do but to talk to one another while they wait. Miss Manners realizes that she has just described a laundromat, but perhaps you can think of something else.
My new rallying cry for the Nerf fights at work: "WELCOME TO SH*T-JUST-GOT-REAL-ISTAN. POPULATION: YOU"
via. I saw this Marvel Avengers movie reference a few week ago and it stuck with me, so I tracked it down... kinda sadly true.
March 21, 2014
"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
--N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society.
March 22, 2014On my devblog, I wrote about the cool moving elevator background in the movie "Her". I included the following GIF to show the idea, as well as a processing applet I made to play with the concept... (mouse over to change the up/down speed)
Kind of sucks feeling manipulated like that.
"How to fall down stairs
--Ikat in Greg Egan's "Induction", a story about mankind's first (semi-virtual, but also very physical) arrival on a planet of a different star.
"Our daughter's choices--like everything else--had been written in stone at the birth of the universe, but that information could only be decoded by becoming her along the way."
--Greg Egan, "Singleton"
"Plot idea: 97% of the world's scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies."
"I was lookin' for ya... you weren't in my car."
--Biology Teacher on "New Girl" http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/25/us-usa-court-contraception-idUSBREA2O11W20140325 Why the hell do corporations need religion for? They're already frickin' potentially immortal. I mean it would be great if we could teach 'em to "do unto others" but at best they'd be doin' unto other damn corporations.
Friend got me White Rabbit Creamy Candies, a Chinese import. These things are like vanilla milkshake in semisoft candy form.
--Dahlia Lithwick at Slate. Great point. Either a Christian Scientist / Jehovah's Witness owned business could skip out on any coverage at will, or this is all about Your Employer in Your Bedroom. Corporations shouldn't have it both ways, protecting the owners by being a fake person, but also following the religious beliefs of those owner at the expense of the rules that govern everyone else.
http://kirk.is/features/retrospect.cgi?date=2014.03.31 - with my birthday looming I was looking ahead at what I had written on my birthday over the past years. Just realized how weird it is to say "I've been doing this blog thing since I was 26" -- I think that it's telling that that sounds longer than "for almost a decade and a half", but I'm not sure I understand why.
"I mean, doesn't 'Fracking a supervolcano' already sound like the last thing a civilization ever did?"
--http://twitter.com/quinnnorton against the "chilling effect" requesting parties disclose possible financial conflicts in the data they're relying on to help make policy decisions?
And one more reason to be against the death penalty is that we do is so badly and inhumanely. (The execution of our executions leaves much to be desired.)
It's this kind of thing that always made me think most religions are pretty arbitrary... with so many faiths, with mutually incompatible explanations of what's Out There -- it's more of a problem if you think one has to be literally true, and not just poetically so.
"I don't understand why people have audible ring tones. If I can't feel the phone vibrate, I'm not wearing pants. If I'm not wearing pants, I'm not taking calls."
--Passerby mother to kid in Arlington MA
Man, white people are terrible.
March 31, 2014
"I don't think... Personally, I don't think there's a Heaven. I think maybe there's a God, but there's no Heaven. I think that's the best news you're gonna get. You die, and you're like, "Hey God!" And he's like, "Yep?" And you're like, "Where's Heaven?" And he's like, "I don't know who's telling people that! I'm supposed to make a universe and then another whole amazing place for afterwards?! You guys are greedy dicks down there!" "
--Louis C.K. on on SNL