2016 June❮❮prevnext❯❯

June 1, 2016

"World's worst sorority"

--by @ElleOhHell

Personal highlights are that New England Book Show thing on the 3rd, Porch-i-Oke Hey Jude on the 21st, Great Aunt memorial on the 25th-26th - some visual peaks are slomo bird on the 9th, snuck John Williams and the pops on the 12th, virtual niece ice skate spinning on the 14th, and a great big Brookline turkey gobble on the 30th.

may 2016 new music playlist

As usual, in rough descending order of "you should hear this!", 4-stars in red.

June 3, 2016

Schmidt: "I don't know why I'm listening to you in the first place. You're TERRIBLE at talking to women. Case in point: you and Reagan."
[Reagan steps out of shower]
Nick: "Hey! Did you clean everywhere?"
Reagan: "Are you happy? Are you happy that you said that?"
Nick: "...I'd like to smell your towel [grimaces]"
New Girl
(That's Reagan as in Megan Fox's character, not as in the ex-actor/president.)
Creative writing teachers tell beginning writers to avoid adverbs because, on some level, bad imitations of Hemingway are easier to slog through than bad imitations of Proust.

On my devblog I talk about some interesting Palm Pilot history I stumbled into on the web...

June 4, 2016

RIP Muhammad Ali... (I respect his change of name and identity, but Cassius Clay was the coolest name I've ever heard...)

teach a man to photograph

"Street photography is like fishing - catching a fish is more exciting than eating it."
Speaking of which, I saw the opening of my cousin Bill's one-person showing at the Watertown Public Library today - check it out if you're in the neighborhood, up on the 2nd floor (You can get a feel for some of it at his website wdj3.com but there's different stuff at the show, and the larger scale of the prints has a big impact.)

June 6, 2016

Hah, wow... after asking permission to include it, Christian Speckner now has a working, in-browser version of FlapPing (formerly JoustPong) -- type "run" in the window to get things under way. No audio yet. Christian thought it was a nice, small-game with commented source code online, so a good test subject for his 6502 emulator written TypeScript.
Hatching an egg, without the egg? Insert womb-with-a-view joke here.

June 7, 2016


June 8, 2016

Just as my fingers on these keys
Make music, so the selfsame sounds
On my spirit make a music, too.

Music is feeling, then, not sound;
And thus it is that what I feel,
Here in this room, desiring you,

Thinking of your blue-shadowed silk,
Is music.
Wallace Stevens, from "Peter Quince at the Clavier"

Basic Instructions is now just rerunning its original run, but with some directors commentary. Still, today's opens with one of my favorite panels from it...

June 9, 2016

I've been pretty happy with the alien bill tattoo I got in 2009. It's inobtrusive, most often hidden, and of strong personal iconic significance.

It's too soon, for now, but I've been thinking about how important and useful "Amor Fati" and the reminder to embrace - to love- this circumstance, because it is THE circumstance, is. And at least toying with the idea of getting a tattoo to represent that.

If I liked more elaborate concepts, the Bnomio design I semi-commissioned might be good:

But I've been feeling like I'm not sure I like the idea of unharmonized designs on random parts of me, so I've been toying with keeping some related, iconish designs in a column on the same arm.

This is a Processing-generated (then manually stretched) rendition of a simplification of the Bnomio I've been putting on graph paper (and it reflects those roots; maybe a more circular hour glass would look better)

Besides the poor rendition, it's maybe a little too fatalistic and dour. Also, I'm a little biased against tattoos in languages the wearer doesn't speak. (And google has a few too many "Amor Fati"s in simple cursive script.)

Lately I've been thinking of something like this:

This is a pretty good rendition, actually, even if I'm still uncertain about the kerning... I had to fake serifs for the "I" characters, otherwise they were too skinny.

Eh, just some thoughts. Not sure if at the size I'm thinking if typeface matters, or if will have a kind of handwritten look in any event.

Willing to listen to counterarguments and criticisms. This might not be my best idea ever, but I've had worse.
Of course the other idea I flirt with is the first bar of the bassline I stole from Atari 2600 "Moon Patrol" and have been using when making music with friends ever since early highschool:

Communities organically coalescing at McDonalds. It's easy to be snobby about that place, and how "Mc-" as a prefix became a jokey signifier, but still.
Also I was thinking how "Big Macs" used to feel like, the ultimate indulgent sandwich, now they're one of the least caloric thing on their specialty burgers menu. (Which assumes cheeseburgers come in twos anyway) I had one on my way back from Connecticut the other week. It was ok.

June 10, 2016

I know sleep paralysis happens because the brain gets disconnected from controlling the body, so as to minimize taking in action in the real world based on the dream (but sometimes we notice, or there's otherwise a glitch) But there must be some similar paralysis of the gullibility part of the brain; the part of our heads that says "no, that's just weird and wacky" is weirdly suppressed.
Just read that today is kind of a palindrome 6 10 2016

June 11, 2016

Double tuba whammy today: marching with Brass Republic at the Boston Pride Parade and then hustling to join School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest (31 Sawin St in Arlington from 4-5pm)
Daddy Long Legs is a really pimp name for a spider

time for pride

Re Orlando: fuck fundamentalism of any flavor. When you "know" you have the answers before the questions are even asked, you're part of the problem. If your doctrine is more important than basic humanity, you are the problem. Anyway, then off to march with Brass Republic at Boston Pride: (and after School of Honk at Arlington Porchfest)

June 13, 2016

http://mightygodking.com/2016/06/13/one-thing-about-orlando/ - to paraphrase: there are 200K members of ISIL, tops, and 1.47 Billion Moslems. ISIL will always be able to mosquito bite us, but they win when they get our politicians to reframe this as "Christianity vs Islam", because suddenly their numbers look bigger.
Here's a bad joke! Why is Trump like ISIS? They both hate moderate Moslems!

June 14, 2016

Video from an undercover CIA operator - This video is a great reminder that no one thinks they're the bad guy of the story (and yeah, the USA really acts more like Star Wars' Empire than the Rebellion). BUT - to understand why the differences between relatively rationale actors is so strong, you have to look to the starting premises. And when that starting premise is one of the unfalsifiable, supernatural faiths, especially of the fundamentalist variety, anything goes. There's no real limit to the amount of hate you can theoretically justify, and then if you look to basic humane principles to judge one of these faiths as superior to a different one (for example, the Judeo-Christian Fundamentalists aren't generally dunking suspected spies into nitric acid, I'd say that's a plus) then you're admitting that humane principles are important - even if you think that the humane principles only make sense when coming from God (which I think is false) at least you're outlining some potential common ground, so we should run with that and promote that flavor of humanity.
What ISIS Really Wants I remember reading this a year ago, surprised I couldn't find myself linking to it.

Christians and Moslems who want are all anxious to bring on the apocalypse bug me out, man.

June 15, 2016

I admit I'm vaguely worried some USA gun fans are going to sneak into Australia and stage a massacre just so people pleading for some action on the gun control will stop pointing to Australia post-Point Arthur as effective action that can be taken.

Did I post the great god gun Moloch essay?
Sigh, realtalk time.

According to WebMD 90% of people get at least one cold sore in their life. I'm still uptight about mine, and cajoled my doctor into prescribing ongoing preventive doses of the powerful antiviral for it, and things were down to one appearing a year, generally in the fall.

Two days ago I was going over old pictures, and ran smackdab into a photo of me sporting a real brute of one on my trip to Japan. It was a little shocking. And then yesterday - sure enough, my first summer one in ages starts tingling, in exactly that place as the picture.

I figure, there's gotta be something psychosomatic about that, right? Yahoo Answers had some other anecdotes. (Ok, ok, Yahoo answers, but still) I know the plural of anecdote isn't data, and that sometimes a coincidence is just a coincidence, but still - there's a correlation with virus immune response and stress, so I don't think the idea is so outlandish - though it's still surprising to think a trigger could have been so blatant and direct.

If there WAS this mind/body connection, what kind of thinking / mantra / visualization might be useful? What attitude, like just telling myself it ain't gonna happen?

Anyway, with Acyclovir and Abreva I got to this stuff so I'm not sure anyone would even notice - and it is embarrassing to talk about, but I wanted to know if anyone had thoughts on applying thinking to this kind of scene...

Blender of Love

June 16, 2016

Man, the tech behind why you can't photocopy money is some next-level Illuminati-shiznit. Here's this weird advanced tech in like every copier and printer and many popular image programs that has veto power over what you do/edit, and no one knows much about it at all, or how it works.
I've been dialoging with some gunfans on FB. I feel a lot of groupthink and tribalism on both sides. The gunfans say gun control supporters have pretty shallow understanding of the technical issues and of the legitimate uses of this kind of weapon, the gun control supporters say that NRA has the nation in a stranglehold and no limits, no matter how common sensical, will be allowed to subvert this Cult of Gun thats demanded so many sacrifices over the past few decade.

But on both sides, I'm aware of tremendous social pressure to conform to the assumptions the group makes. And in issues of politics, too. (That said, I don't think there's a true symmetry; there are some neurological connotations behind the left/right split, specifically about disgust, along with a general concept like the circle of empathy and I think the left tends to have the high ground there.)

Back to guns: This article by an AR-15 owner seems to have a nice blended approach (TL;DR: it's the capacity stupid, limiting clips to 10 rounds might get a good balance in public safety and individual utility)
I just googled the PLU code number to tell me this is a peach (and not like a nectarine or something) ‪#‎nerdlife‬

Honestly I know there's a certain level of Trump fan who will like this and not get (or gloss over) the apocalyptic aspect.

June 17, 2016

TIL: The Japanese word "Ikari" means either "anchor" or "anger" depending on how it's written.

That seems kind of symbolic.

(And yes, I was looking for what the term in the arcade title "Ikari Warriors" meant.)
His code is 'write only'. It might work, but you have no chance of understanding or modifying it, you might as well burn it to CD.
Kirk Israel, circa 2001. I was thinking about how my quote journaling has changed over the years, and remembered when I made it onto someone else's webpage of quotes.

On my devblog: doing the thing right vs doing the right thing Latest round of me trying to figure out the appeal and mojo of TDD...
Sleep is like a 33% tax on life.

Y'know, as much as we like to figure out how to prevent awfulness like Pulse in Orlando, the reality is we might some day be living in a world where there's been a major dirty bomb or minor nuke-nuke in one or more major cities. Unlike cold war M.A.D. scenarios, life will pretty much go on after that, but it will put the current arguments in perspective, and will warp our culture even more than 9/11 did.

June 18, 2016

Throughout Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and North Germany, tradition associates some animal with every church, and it goes by the name of Kirk-Grim. These Kirk-Grims are the goblin apparitions of the beasts that were buried under the foundation-stones of the churches. It is the same in Devonshire--the writer will not say at the present day, but certainly forty or fifty years ago. Indeed, when he was a boy he drew up a list of the Kirk-Grims that haunted all the neighbouring parishes. To the church of the parish in which he lived, belonged two white sows yoked together with a silver chain; to another, a black dog; to a third, a ghostly calf; to a fourth, a white lamb.

Afzelius, in his collection of Swedish folk-tales, says: "Heathen superstition did not fail to show itself in the construction of Christian churches. In laying the foundations, the people retained something of their former religion, and sacrificed to their old deities, whom they could not forget, some animal, which they buried alive, either under the foundation or without the wall. The spectre of this animal is said to wander about the churchyard at night, and is called the Kirk-Grim. A tradition has also been preserved that under the altar of the first Christian churches, a lamb was usually buried, which imparted security and duration to the edifice. This is an emblem of the true Church Lamb--the Saviour, who is the Corner-Stone of His Church. When anyone enters a church at a time when there is no service, he may chance to see a little lamb spring across the quire and vanish. This is the church-lamb. When it appears to a person in the churchyard, particularly to the grave-digger, it is said to forbode the death of a child."

Thiele, in his "Danish Folk-tales," says much the same of the churches in Denmark. He assures us that every church there has its Kirk-Grim, which dwells either in the tower, or in some other place of concealment.
from Strange Survivals, by Sabine Baring-Gould, an 1892 book brought to my attention by Tom Kermode.

June 19, 2016

Two photos from an afternoon hanging out with Mama K and my super-niece Cora; she's quite the builderm that main tower is all her.


Talk about a city overdue!

And thanks Lebron James. I know he got a lot of hate for going to make sure he could get his rings, but the local came back, and made good.

June 20, 2016

People forget years and remember moments. Seconds and symbols are left to sum things up: the black shroud over the pool. Love, in its shortest form, becomes a word.
Ann Beattie, "Snow"

In io9's coverage of the earlier episode "The Broken Man", Rob Bricken references Septon Meribald's speech on how much being a soldier in one of those armies sucked, and it stuck with me. (Especially since some of the armies in the show seem pretty darn polished.)
RIP King Kong Kirk

June 21, 2016

Yes. Fruit is good, too, you mentioned fruit. Yeah. Fruit kept me going for a hundred and forty years once when I was on a very strict diet. Mainly nectarines. I love that fruit. It's half a peach, half a plum, it's a hell of a fruit. I love it! Not too cold, not too hot, you know, just nice. Even a rotten one is good. That's how much I love them. I'd rather eat a rotten nectarine than a fine plum. What do you think of that? That's how much I love them.
Mel Brooks as the Two Thousand Year Old Man.
He's right, just had one and they're great.
This was another shot from School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest:

By Nobuko Ichikawa. I'm not soloing (I think Carlos on the metal clarinet is), just dancing, but still, I love how expressive my posture and hands are... it's more cluttered than my previous profile-able tuba shot but has more energy, and I like that it's my own horn ("Beauty") not a School of Honk one I was borrowing for kicks.
Typeset in the Future takes on Blade Runner
Trump pays $30K to a well-nigh fictional ad agency. Jeez, what's the line here? "Mad Men, indeed?" "Truth is fictioner than fiction?" Trump is a shyster par excellence. He goes to where what his audience wants to hear; the trouble is some of that is understandable, but the rest of it is really, really gross.

June 22, 2016

Excerpts from Brady Carlson's "Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nations Leaders"... I admit I didn't enjoy the book as much as I had hope but it had a few cool bits:
Engineers told South Dakota's US senator Peter Norbeck it would be too difficult to carve the roads he'd proposed for tourists to access the site, but Norbeck insisted they go forward: "With enough dynamite," he told them, "anything is possible." It's not a slogan you'd want to print on national currency, but Borglum proved it correct, working right up until his unexpected death in 1941.
More recently the city tried emphasizing Dealey Plaza as a historical site well beyond its Kennedy ties, with one official describing the plaza as "a major public green space on the west side of downtown." (Reporter Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer summed up the message behind this effort as "One Unfortunate Afternoon Shouldn't Overshadow Dealey Plaza's Decades of Not Murdering Presidents.")
I am a blubber of water.
Andrew Jackson, suffering from fluid retention

But in 1880 the Republicans nominated Arthur as James A. Garfield's running mate to smooth out a squabble between two party factions. In less than a year, Garfield was a martyr and Arthur was the muttonchopped, well-dressed "Dude President." His first act in office was to lock himself in the bedroom and cry.
(I include this only mostly because it was Chester Arthur (or, specifically, a character that looked a bit like him in the video game "Time Splitters 2" that my cousin Ivan would announce as "Chester A. Arthur, America's Most Badass President". Ironic!)
The four [entirely incompatible factions of the Repubican party], by the way, are the ultra-religious theocrats, the libertarian "business is business" deregulators, the "subjugate the lesser countries" neocons, and Trump has revealed that the racists in the party are a faction all their own that can be courted.

June 23, 2016

From last night's School of Honk @ Aeronaut...


June 24, 2016

Ugh, Brexit.

Telling that the demographics are the Baby Boomers and older want out, everyone else wants in.

June 25, 2016

Trump recently "Accepted Christ". Which Christian values has Trump been exemplifying, exactly?
I made a print map for JP Porchfest again!

I talk about the process and compare it to last year's on my devblog.

June 26, 2016

"What time is it?"
"You mean now?"
Yogi Berra

June 27, 2016

You know what's wrong with living in a world that exists on the brink of atomic destruction? When you give up that hour in April--you're never sure you're gonna get it back again in the fall.

Making the rounds, the Monty Python-inspired cover about Brexit is great.

Interesting to see if the rumors of "well, it's just an advisory vote, maybe they can walk this back after seeing how stupid it is" could be true...
Quite simply, the English want England to stay relatively English, and voting Leave was the instrument they were given.
Another line from the article:
Of course, USA and Canada and a few others are mature nation states based on the very idea of immigration
. I guess what I'm thinking is, I do feel somewhat more comfortable with a concept of an ethnic nationalism in England than I am in the USA, at least in theory. There's still an ugly xenophobic tinge to it, and I'd rather everyone accept a concept of human rather than ethnic identity, but it doesn't bother me as much as it would in other contexts.

In some discussions I got in on this, it made me feel like more of a "fence sitter" than sometimes. I alternate between describing myself as an "extremist moderate" to a "loony liberal" (though the latter is more of a self-deprecating label when talking with some of my more conservative, but still thoughtful, friends.)

The symmetry between left and right is imperfect, and I do think the liberal viewpoint is ultimately more moral, somewhat more reality-based (if a bit too optimistic here and there) and has more robust mechanisms for correction from fundamentalist doctrine that the conservative side. The tribalism of both sides is nuts though - there's a lot of social pressure to toe the line.

June 28, 2016

Bug copy and pasting URLs from chrome on Macs Anyone else run into this? I mostly noticed copying from chrome into gmail under Safari (where I keep on any on personal email when at work.) Very frustrating - my workaround was to copy everything but the first letter of a URL, paste, and then type the letter (and maybe the http: )

LOL, time for a unit test for them I guess. (No, actually I guess it would have to be at least a functional or maybe even integration test...)

--from College Humor's Troll GIFs - GIFs really are the silent movies of our times
I don't know much about skateboarding but Tony Hawk's last 900 is bittersweet--

me: How much did you pay for the nipple clamps?
dad: Those are jumper cables. What the hell is wrong with you?

June 29, 2016

A cell is a machine for turning experience into biology.

Experiences Over Stuff Is a Tired--and Sexist--Idea Hmm. Still I hear the siren call of minimalism from time to time, or at least, a bit less...
Going over old photographs, saw some of John Maeda's Shiseido calendars (Java programs) that were on display in a museum in Portugal. Pain in the butt to get to run, but got to see them via Firefox and putting his site on the special "unblock" list in Java.
I see this logo for "Tischman", who are doing some building near Seaport. I really dig the design.

June 30, 2016

Last week with Porch-i-Oke at Make Music Boston...

So, a Zika bill poisoned by Republicans with amendments to promote the Confederate flag and other crap repugnant to everyone but GOP loonies. Republicans, you are unfit to lead. If you can't understand politics has to have SOME level of bipartisanship, you deserve Trump.

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