(iPhone 5 macro mode isn't half bad. Although the lens isn't up to my Canon's quality, the touchscreen helps...)
The performance that Inspired the new James Brown movie. I checked out the soundtrack for the new James Brown movie on iTunes, and was kind of bummed that it was the original versions, and not remixes with a modern feel - as great as the classics are, they've been available for a while. Anyway, watch this. James Brown was the showman of the century.
"At my husband's grandmother's wake my MIL took my 4 or 5 year old up to see his grandmother in the casket. Everyone was hushed, listening. He paused, looking curious. "Why is there a pillow under her head?" he demanded.
My mother in law faltered. "Ummm, so she could be comfortable," she said, trying to placate him.
He looked at her incredulously and spoke to her as if she understood nothing at all. "Grandma, she's dead. How could she be comfortable? What do you mean? You could take a chain saw and cut her up and it wouldn't matter at all. " Everyone was literally speechless."
--Anita Bozzo, via http://www.quora.com/Parenting/What-are-some-of-the-best-questions-asked-by-kids
http://money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/news/companies/radioshack-future/index.html Say goodbye to Radio Shack, for reals. I'll miss it; sometimes for the odd bit of obsure electronics it was pretty great. (Not to mention for my first laptop in 1991, an hard drive free 1100 FD (haha someone put that 20 year old machine on the Internet via the serial port... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs4vvUoueOE )
Now I've now started grabbing little things like that from Amazon - that's the dark allure of Amazon Prime, stopping me from having to arrange trips out for things I can wait a day or two for.
It will be really hard to convince the next generations that the name "Radio Shack" was kind of a retro thing in the 80s and after, that it wasn't quite as out of date as the juxtaposition of "radios" and "shacks" would suggest.
Also, http://www.radioshackcatalogs.com/ for all your old RS catalog nostaligia needs... I can almost smell the weird newsprint they used.
July was terrific for music, especially R+B wise... The first 4 songs here I all rated 4 stars.
August 2, 2014
- Apache (Fat Boy Slim Remix) Apache is a song that has been sampled all over the place, like Missy Elliot's We Run This. I wanted to find a version that wasn't as ridiculous and racist as the Sugarhill Gang's version... this remix draws heavily from The Incredible Bongo Band's Version and is pretty slammin'- love that drumbreak.
- What Is Hip? (Tower of Power) Knew about this song, but the live version (heard it at the Milky Way at the JP Porch Band after party) kicks up the speed a notch and is great.
- Hard to Handle (Otis Redding) The big horns and big piano mean the original is better than the Black Crowes cover (which is pretty good too.)
- Graciously (Chandler Travis Philharmonic) Starts a little slow, but I dig the simple bass riff, and then it builds beautifully, and the refrain "Gra-cious-ly" is really resonant.
- Bob What's-Is-Name (Chandler Travis Philharmonic) Another catchy song with subtle-y terrific lyrics.
- It's Time to Make a Change (Madison's Lively Stones) Gotta love this tuba. Ya gotta!
- Tootie Ma Is a Big Fine Thing (Preservation Hall Jazz Band & Tom Waits) Waits' gravel voice works pretty well here.
- Little Numbers (BOY) Great indie piece. I'm a little distracted because phone numbers aren't "7 little numbers" any more.
- Superstarr Pt. Zero (k-os) The sample of Pal Joey Hot Music has one of the most complex beats I've heard in a hiphop piece.
- Wait (The Whisper Song) Remix (Busta Rhymes, Free, Lil Scrappy, Missy Elliot, Mr. Collipark & Ying Yang Twins) Probably the sexiest hiphop song ever; the gimmick of the whisper from the original is pretty effective. (I like the poured scotch sound at 0:12)
- Down the Road (C2C) Groovy blues/house remix.
- Mission Statement ("Weird Al" Yankovic) Love the vacuous joy of business speak set against a decent cover of Crosby Stills & Nash and the white board video is enjoyable on its own terms.
- Yakety Yak (The Coasters) Don't talk back.
- My Girl's Pussy (Harry Roy & His Orchestra) Single entendre from the 1930s...
- We Can Work It Out (Stevie Wonder) Getting back to the R+B, a good cover.
- Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys (Johnny Paycheck) Of all the versions I had to pick, I think I grabbed this one because I love the name Johnny Paycheck. (Err but this is the Jennings/Nelson version)
- Don't Let Me Die (R. Kelly & JAY Z) Nice big sound to this hiphop, plus you don't hear too many songs where the MC lets himself sound scared.
July One Second Everyday:
Highlights include Fireworks on the 3rd, Cora on the 5th, Porchfest on the 19th.
"And by the way... Your ship is filthy."
"Filthy? She has no idea. If we had a blacklight, it would look like a Jackson Pollock painting."
Gamora and Peter Quill, "Guardians of the Galaxy"... pretty good flick!
"We are not members of different generations, as unlike, as some people would have us believe, as Eskimos and Australian Aborigines. We are all so close to each other in time that we should think of ourselves as brothers and sisters.... Whenever my children complain about the planet to me, I say 'Shut up! I just got here myself.'"
"We are so lonely because we don’t have enough friends and relatives. Human beings are supposed to live in stable, like-minded, extended families of fifty people or more.
Your class spokesperson mourned the collapse of the institution of marriage in this country. Marriage is collapsing because our families are too small. A man cannot be a whole society to a woman, and a woman cannot be a whole society to a man. We try, but it is scarcely surprising that so many of us go to pieces.
So I recommend that everybody here join all sorts of organizations, no matter how ridiculous, simply to get more people in his or her life. It does not matter much if all the other members are morons. Quantities of relatives of any sort are what we need."
--Kurt Vonnegut. That's why I'm in a band! I guess that's why I stick around church, a bit, but on the outskirts. Maybe the Arlington UU is too big for me.
"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to maintain it."
Fun, low-key-raunchy music video I found looking for the "I could eat a peach for hours" Nicholas Cage clip - but I can't find the MP3 anywhere (except for a crap island remix someone made) Any suggestions? I hate it when I can't find someone to "shut up and take my money!"
"Fun Fact: Saying 'I SUMMON ENTROPY' actually creates entropy."
--Sunday Morning Breakfast Cereal, http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=3441
FOLLOWUP: A FB friend Josh pointed me to http://www.deturl.com/ a kind of metasite with links to various "grab file from streaming" services. http://convert2mp3.net/ was able to make an MP3 from the video, and then http://www.telechargerunevideo.com/ was able to grab a different youtube movie that I had previously updated but the OSX app Grappler was choking on. (Grappler wasn't able to do the Peach MP3 because "video not available on mobile").
"protip: refer to all your mistakes as 'artistic choices'"
Slate on adjective order. I heard about this a while back... it's one of those things that kind of freaks you out when you notice how wrong "Red Big Barn" sounds vs "Big Red Barn".
"I saw Owen, yes. He's just as melancholy, just as charming, as uncomfortable with himself, quiet, nostalgic, sharp.... and we went out and had a pleasant round of small talk, and we went home. And like a good little trouper I explained how I don't spend my time in love with people who don't love me back anymore, I'm all grown up now, adults don't do that, and now he doesn't have the burden of guilt that all that messy unrequited shit brings. I'm all grown up now, I'm 'just anyone', and I don't have grand romances anymore."
"And what did he say?"
"'Ah.' He said 'Ah.' Nothing else. I could tell he was hurt, maybe more hurt than he had been at not being in love with me. He's just as stoic as he ever was, though. Good ol' Owen. Tucked me into bed in a green room with faery prints on the walls. Made me breakfast in the morning. And then I left. I finished up with business and came home...." My voice drifted off to silence. I blinked to keep back tears and turned off the hot water. I noticed the orange juice and began drinking it in big sips.
I leaned back into his chest to wait, trying not to seem overeager. I could hear his heart beating, a soft thudding in my ears. I was reminded of a time we had gone swimming at night. Phillip had held me against him so that I was floating in the water. I had closed my eyes and listened while he hummed lullabies. I'd heard them like this, muted and deep, my ear pressed against his heart. I was soothed again, as I had been then.
--Two snippets from "In The Bath", a story from Usenet's rec.arts.erotica. The original some BDSM themes that may squick some folk, but it's well written, and these paragraphs have stuck with me.
http://www.newsroom24.co.uk/the-great-british-hidden-language-a-must-see-for-all/ a guide to British undestatement
"When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them."
--Andy Warhol. RIP + Happy Birthday!
http://www.warriorsmovie.co.uk/gangs - I love the design work that went into the gangs of the 1979 "The Warriors"
FACTOID OF THE MOMENT: When you say the word "crisp" it moves from the back of your mouth to the front as you say it. (via)
So cool, really points out how important sound design is!
bouncy house! bouncy house! bouncy house!
"Love a friend, love a wife, something, whatever you like, but one must love with a lofty and serious intimate sympathy, with strength, with intelligence, and one must always try to know deeper, better, and more."
--Vincent van Gogh
blender of love
I enjoyed this film/film audio mashup.
"Justin was happy, like a clam at high tide, but abruptly ending his musings he recalled that he had every reason to be happy (in his own small way) because he was a quahog and it was the highest of tides, and he squirted with delight."
--Mike Mayfield, Austin, TX, 2014 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest Winner: Children's Literature Division.
http://betabeat.com/2014/08/civilians-in-abandoned-mcdonalds-seize-control-of-wandering-space-satellite/ In happier news, this is a lovely bit of real life Cyberpunk (and has NASA's tacit blessing)
"The internet is one huge experiment in confirmation bias."
It's almost scary how lighting can change the appearance of a face in photography.
"Comparisons are odious."
--Old Saying. Its interpretation in a zen-ish context is important to me; I find it rattling around in my head. Comparing, especially to a sense of how things should be, is a super common but only marginally useful activity for grownups.
Over the past few years I've realized that I use an idiosyncratic visualization for certain kinds of time; I see the cyclic nature of the twelve months of a year and the seven days of a week in the form of a circle, both going counter-clockwise. I spent some time today generating images reflecting this view. Here's a reflection of what a week is like for me:
August 15, 2014
I guess the specific rotation and counter-clockwise direction reflects a dash of synesthesia, and also how important physical layout is to my sense of recall -- if I'm trying to do a week-based day calculation, I'll often use my hand to as an arrow to mark my place in the week, in the same way I'll still unconsciously shape an "L" with my left hand to recall which direction is which.
I'm less certain why I place the weekend down. My best guess is see that as the start and stop of a week, and is either "heavier" or "where the week meets the road" (to stretch the physical metaphor, since I view myself as moving in the fixed week-wheel rather than it moving to accommodate me.) The counter-clockwise motion then springs from that - I read left-to-right, so the Saturday-Sunday "start" to the week is in that "forward" direction, and thus drives the rest of the loop.
Years are even more strongly laid out in my mind's eye:
Here the calendar starts at the top, as one might expect, but I think that's because I view a year as progressing from school year to school year, with the loveliness of summer vacation anchoring as the base (though a separate desire to have the numeric transition be straight up tilts the thing a bit.)
Neither visual is strongly color-coded for me, but week vs weekend and the various seasons have a different ephemeral feel, here color-coded for grins.
"It would be fair to say that the concept of a forest is simpler than the concept of a tree."
--Ray Kurzweil, "How to Create a Mind"
So the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park got a classic Pong (sadly the head of one of the dialsis missing) I was a little shocked to see that it has a fancy end/attract screen! Pong is shorthand for "the simplest game possible" but the physical production of it had some serious nuance, from the return angle of the pongbats to stuff like this. Honestly it's still a game that's fun to play, so well-tuned to a social night out with beers.
Probably the best JP Honk Vid yet!
"If there's one thing I wouldn't want to be twice, zombies is both of them!"
--Mantan Moreland in "The King of the Zombies"
"Maybe I'd stumbled onto the secret for eternal happiness: Keep your dreams small and stupid."
--Brad Warner, "Hardcore Zen"
The jaded sousaphonist...
RIP Don Pardo
"How was the 7-minute workout?"
"Great, except for the Triceps dip. Man did that hurt. In fact, I think Triceps are just made up to make people feel bad. Uhh, ok, you got Biceps, lets get you working on your... Triceps. Yeah. Then we'll do Quadceps and Quintceps, ok?"
Just brought a 240-count jug of Atomic Fireball candies into work. Let the dieting commence! (Seriously, a 30-calorie candy can do a good job of knocking out a craving for many hundreds of calories of something else.)
"I'm going to start a bar and call it 'Pour Decisions'."
"That's almost as good as what mine's gonna be: 'Cocktails & Wifi'."
-Me and Jeff F. on our company outing a few weeks ago
ALS Ice Water Challenge. I lost an Aunt to this, and it's such a terrible thing...
Dead at Noon. Gillian Bennett elected to end her life rather than give into an inevitable slide into dementia. She tells her story and makes her argument elegantly on a website published after her death.
August 22, 2014
When I posted about my timehoops, my friend Christa Terry posted her mental image of time, a kind of upward spiral:
I made a rough interactive webtoy of it, which unfortunately isn't playing well with some browsers, so I baked it as a looping GIF here.
I kind of admire how she surely used less time doodling out her view than I did with my timehoops, or my webtoy. In fact I kind of like her rendition better in general! All well, c'est la vie (et la vie et la vie)
A comic strip I drew today, visting with EBB + Co in Rockport. The panels came to me in a dream a few weeks back.
August 24, 2014
"Sitting here in jail, I don't like what I see in the society I'm about to enter. I don't think I'm going to fit in. It's too loud. Too colorful. The lack of aesthetics. The crudeness. The inanities. The trivia."
[On the human condition] "I did examine myself. Solitude did increase my perception. But here's the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn't even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free."
[Asked for insight he gained] "Get enough sleep."
--Christopher Thomas Knight, The Last True Hermit. His story of living in the harsh woods of Maine for decades, ocassionally stealing and becoming a true local urban legend in the process, is astounding. Read this!
August 26, 2014
--humon on deviantart...
ALL IS HERESY!!!
Geek time! Thinking about how I so strongly prefer libraries, where you call the code, to frameworks, where their code calls you. (More or less.)
Looking at the trouble I've had lately with frameworks, it seems like there's always some mismatch between the end result we're trying to produce, and what the framework does naturally - and the hacks to get from point A to B are UGLY. To that extent, I realize frameworks are inherently "Waterfall"-ish, because you have to have a good idea what you're coding from the very outset. Libraries tend to be more swappable, and you're less beholden to the clever Frameworks makers having pre-guessed your requirements.
Don't get me wrong; Agile always gets messy. But I think the messiness that results from keeping things simple is easier to cope with than the messiness of hacking around something complex.
Just got Verizon FIOS. So far seems pretty good! The real test will come at 10PM, when Netflix Hulu et al would go to total crap.
WARNING: this post is not very interesting to anyone except weirdly geeky stalkers of me.
August 30, 2014
Usenet used to be really central to my online life... before the web really got into gear, it was a great set of forums over myriad topics, and it was cool to have so many different forums all with the same interface, one that the poster could choose. (Especially compared to web-forums, where every forum requires a new login and uses a slightly different interface.)
Years ago I used Google groups to do some basic metering of how much I posted to Usenet. Today, cleaning out an old HD (including a snagged snapshot of my old cs.tufts.edu account home folder) I found a copy of my ".posted" file, a list of references to Usenet posts I made. I crunched some numbers and came up with the following...
Here's how much I posted per year:
Here are the groups I posted to most often. (I posted to 441 unique groups, 193 only once, and 65 only twice.)
Finally, here were the threads I participated in the most:
|What does Micro$oft do Well ?||46|
|Tufts Lifeline Taxi||45|
|Tufts on NPR||40|
|Worried about IDSA killing emulation?||23|
|What did Nintendo do that Atari couldn't?||19|
|Defending Emulation / some ROMS.||17|
|Just missing immortality, defining a life well-lived||17|
|Reorganization RFD has been submitted||14|
|Landware Go Type Pro keyboard comments||12|
|whats your favorite classic system (cannot include arcade emulators)||12|
|The string of lights down the hill||11|
|Dont buy Palm: Retarded OS with 4K memo limit||11|
|Atari VS. ???||10|
|Gameboy vs 2600: The Ultimate Classic System?||10|
Anyway, here is the raw .posted file, the full data analysis, and the node script I wrote to crunch it.
More Usenet fun- my favorite .signature quotes... i had a Perl script that would pick a random one each time, and glue it onto my contact information.
"Stars and People are made of the same stuff" --Bill Nye the Science Guy
Now is the winter of our discontent-- and I'm makin' snowballs!
There are no "facts"-- there is only *the fact* that man, every man
everywhere in the world, is on his way to ordination. Some men take the
long route and some take the short route. Every man is working out his
own way and nobody can be of help except by being kind, generous, and
patient. --Henry Miller, _Tropic of Capricorn_
"All life is 6-to-5 against, just enough to keep you interested" --Runyon
"I remember two things very well, and that is that ladies are pretty
and money pays the bills when you get it" --B.B.King
"The time has come," the walrus said, / "To speak of manic things,
Of shots and shouts, and sealing dooms / Of commoners and kings."
"It is not true that life is one damn thing after another--
it's one damn thing over and over." -- Edna St. Vincent Millay
There is no god and Murphy is his prophet
"Well, we all got misery, but it passes, it always passes!"
Insecurity knocks once in a while. Invite her in. Sit down, have coffee
with her. And once you have heard Insecurity out for a while, take that
sugar spoon and poke her in the eye. --Erica Bial
"Context is strawberries" -- firstname.lastname@example.org
"When life gives you poop, make poop juice." --Max Canon's Red Meat
"Looking back on your life, what would you say satisfied you most?"
"...I'd say women."
--Interviewer and Man Ray (sculpter, photographer, artistic genius)
"And isn't sanity really just a one trick pony anyway? I mean all you get
is one trick, rational thinking, but when you're good and crazy, oooh
oooh oooh, the sky is the limit!" --The Tick
"The question is complex and life is short"--Protagoras on theism v. atheism
when you see infrared we're all luminescent
The cat is trying to open the door on the hinge side. I laugh, then
realize that I make the same mistake with people, ideas, and doors, too.
--New Yorker cartoon
"Life's too short to worry about it"
"I want to live like I type- fast, and with lots of mistakes"
"Obscenity, by itself, is the last refuge of the vulgarian
and the crutch of the inarticulate motherf**ker." --Lawrence Paros
"I'm going to kill everyone in this room."
"Now that's DARN rude."
--The Joker visits David Letterman, The Dark Knight Returns
"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the
winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got
about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies--
'God damn it, you've got to be kind.' " --Kurt Vonnegut
"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around,
and don't let anybody tell you any different." --Kurt Vonnegut
"We're all soldiers in the war against entropy." --alt.folklore.computers
"I spent an interesting evening recently with a grain of salt."
--Mark V. Shaney
"No why. Just here." -John Cage, Life Magazine's "Why are we here"
But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me / The entirely beautiful.
--W.H Auden, from "Lullaby"
"If I cannot be free, I'll be cheap" --Joe Boswell
"I'm out to shave with Occam's Razor"
"We don't know if there's a god- but there *are* women..."
--Woody Allen, "Deconstructing Harry"
"How do we stop an elephant if it goes berserk? What do we do? Do we use
an AK-47? An M-16? An AR-15?... Frankly, would that stop an elephant?
I really doubt it. Do they have a bazooka?" --US Senator Bob Smith
"I believe that Ronald Reagan will someday make this country
what it once was. . . an artic wilderness." --Steve Martin
"The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews." --W.H.Auden
"When I'm clicking through the hundreds of E-mail messages that await me
each morning, sometimes I imagine I'm a mighty information whale, sifting
through thousands of tiny (but nutritious!) krill bits. Yum!"-J. Quittner
"So many women, so little nerve." --Bruce Bethke, "Headcrash"
"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: This is the ideal life."
"The ant's a centaur in his dragon world" -- Ezra Pound, Canto LXXXI
"I think art should be in the place in our culture where religion
used to be. Where magic used to be, there should be art."--Teller
We come together making chance into starlight --Jeff Buckley
"We don't know who discovered water, but we're certain
it wasn't a fish." --20 Past Midnight
"As they say in my country, the only thing that separates us from the
animals are mindless superstition and pointless ritual."
--Latka Gravas in "Taxi"
"Since God is silent, man is his own master; he must live in a disenchanted
world, submit everything to criticism, and make his own way." --Peter Gay
[Stegosaurus] Two words: spiked tail. "Oh, so you're sneaking up
behind me to eat my delicious body? WHAM! Spikes! For you! In your head!"
--Brunching Shuttlecocks, http://www.brunching.com
"Is God willing to prevent evil but not able? Then he is impotent.
Is he able but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?" --David Hume
"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad.
People are either charming or tedious." --Oscar Wilde
"Sleep... Those little slices of death; O how I LOATH them!"
-- Edgar Allen Poe
So we keep asking, over and over, / Until a handful of earth
Stops our mouths-- / But is that an answer?
--Henrich Heine, "Lazarus"
"...the greatest bargain since Jesus bar-Miriam was was sold for thirty
pieces of silver to the Romans, who, God wot, have been selling
him ever since..." -- Avram Davidson, "The Redward Edward Papers"
i seem to be constantly reminded that everything is temporary.
the older i get, the more this bothers me.
"Striving for excellence, like a moth beating itself
to death on the side of a light bulb."
--Josh Space, church of josh
"Without music, life would be a mistake. ...I would only believe
in a God that knew how to dance." --Friedrich Nietzsche
> All positive integers are interesting! Any doubters?
No, no, no. All positive integers are boring. Proof by contradiction:
Let n be the smallest non-boring positive integer. So what? QED.
Car broke down / Wife left me.
Life is lite, / and then Hefty.
Tiger got to hunt, / Bird got to fly; / Man got to sit and wonder,
"Why, why, why?" / Tiger got to sleep, / Bird got to land, /
Man got to tell himself he understand. --Bokonon