--Neil deGrasse Tyson
LOL John McCain getting back from brain surgery to help people not have medical coverage. What a fuckin' hero!
Let me amend that list line to take into account what Susan Tutu mentioned on FB; that my statement was a bit churlish, and we should look to what he actually said - I actually googled before I wrote, didn't find it, but tried again - here it is-
What that speech lacks is much talk of the topic at hand - medical coverage. It's all very meta about procedures and bipartisanship. So while the call to be reasonable and seek compromise can be a noble one, there's also an air of "Teach The Controversy"! about this. Obama et al spent a lot of political capital - and in the end squeezed the ACA through an a procedurally unsavory way - against the party of no, whose demonization of who was a clearly qualified and professional and thoughtful man carried a lot of ugly undercurrents. Republicans have 3/4 of a decade to come up with a better plan, and they have jack and squat. Trump said "You're going to have such great healthcare at a tiny fraction of the cost, and it is going to be so easy," and while his supporters are probably even better than his detractors at accepting his flim-flam, on the campaign trail and after, as mere signaling of mood and intent than actual substance, it's still embarrassing how badly the Republicans with all their gerrymandered power right now, are handling this. McCain's line "All we've managed to do is make more popular a policy that wasn't very popular when we started trying to get rid of it." is telling- Republicans don't have a story to tell about something that will actually help non-wealthy people, from the poor to the middle class, because that's not their story, at all.
The pier at the Ocean Grove NJ boardwalk. I think the fishing house at the end had been rebuilt after the Blizzard of '96, and then got destroyed again during Hurricane Sandy.
I guess the last photo of Mo in "Best of" is this one of her at Home Depot, as we got the house ready for sale.
I released JoustPong at Philly Classic that year (note the custom T-Shirt, a giveaway with the first batch of carts) and shared the AtariAge booth with Howard Scott Warshaw - creator of the Atari game Yar's Revenge and, more infamously, the rushed version of "E.T." that "caused" the Great Video Crash of 1983.
For some reason I had to stop by Mo's new apartment at Davis, and we took turns doing portraits with her new fancy Rebel camera. I feel like this is one of my best pre-beard portraits of me.
EB helping me patch the crumbling concrete of the front stairs of the house. (Actually it's funny how much time I'd spend waiting for him at Home Depot, as he enlisted me as unskilled labor getting his new place into shape.)
My favorite Professor at Tufts, Alva Couch, speaking at some department alumni thing.
EB and I went through a phase of playing darts at Flat Top Johnny's where we met this pair. Nothing more than goofy half-flirting happened, I just find this photo amusing. (Also I was amazed that one time when EB+I inadvertently skipped the check at FTJ's, the staff immediately told us when we came in next time. I think my face blindness would be a handicap in that kind of job.)
EB and I on a tandem ride of the "Skycoaster" at Six Flags.
Jane outside of work - we'd go toss a football in the parking lot sometimes.
And Jane at a restaurant, near work. She was a big supportive help that year, though her advice to get me out of the big jeans I would wear all the time kept me in nothing but khakis for the better part of a decade.
I visited Mike in Cleveland, and for his birthday his friends subjected him to a kind of prank mystery car ride.
Cousins in motion at the Family Reunion.
BONUS BONUS! Months after assembling the photos, I couldn't remember why this one didn't make the cut.
Slate on The Hillary Haters. Saturday at a party I was showing around some old Spy-magazine covers about Hillary from the 90s (I remember 'Hillary as dominatrix in particular.) The endless dislike of her has a lot of roots in sexism, without a doubt.
I just finished "Don Quixote" for a second time (living out some old maxim that just as a piece of architecture should be viewed in the morning, mid-day, and dusk, so should this book be read as a young person, a middle-aged guy, and an old man.)
I read Edith Grossman's 2003 translation. Some highlights I made to record here:
The one passage I remember from my first reading is from Marcella's defense, as she's being accused of a shepherd's death because of her failure to return his love:
Heaven made me, as all of you say, so beautiful that you cannot resist my beauty and are compelled to love me, and because of the love you show me, you claim that I am obliged to love you in return. I know, with the natural understanding that God has given me, that everything beautiful is lovable, but I cannot grasp why, simply because it is loved, the thing loved for its beauty is obliged to love the one who loves it.
(In the same way I sometimes dig the KJV version of the bible, this translation is nicely old school.)
Another idea I saw cited in Jack Kerouac's "Dharma Bums" was "Comparisons are Odious":
'Stop right there, Señor Don Montesinos,' I said then. 'Your grace should recount this history in the proper manner, for you know that all comparisons are odious, and there is no reason to compare anyone to anyone else. The peerless Dulcinea of Toboso is who she is, and Señora Belerma is who she is, and who she was, and no more should be said about it.'
While here "Comparisons are Odious" mostly applies to people, I find it critical in my understanding of "Amor Fati", the love of one's fate; we spend so much effort comparing this world to all these other, slightly more pleasant alternative universes (just like this one, but I'm not stuck in traffic!, for instance) that it makes us miserable with very little return.
Harold Bloom's Introduction to the work mentions: It remained for La Rochefoucauld to restate the other side of the paradox: some people would never have loved if they had not heard of love.
The book cites verses from other source, such as Commander Escrivá's
Come, death, so secret,
so still I do not hear your approach,
so that the pleasure of dying
does not bring me back to life.
and there was also a reference (Sancho watched everything, and not one thing caused him sorrow) to
"Nero, on Tarpeian Rock, / watched as Rome went up in flames; / crying ancients, screaming infants, / and not one thing caused him sorrow."
Of course, much of the joy of the book are the proverbs and quotes, famously by Sancho but also Don Quixote himself:
- too much wine cannot keep either a secret or a promise.
- The ox who's free can lick where he pleases.'" (Grossman explains "A proverb that extols the joys of liberty.")
- stultorum infinitus est numerus: "The number of fools is infinite."
- Whether the pitcher hits the stone or the stone hits the pitcher, it's bad luck for the pitcher
- "I have always heard, Sancho, that doing good to the lowborn is throwing water into the sea."
At one point the Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance says "Now you will see, said Agrajes" which Grossman footnotes "Agrajes, a character in Amadís of Gaul [One of the most established tales about knight errantry] would say these words before doing battle; it became a proverbial expression used at the beginning of a fight."
Some passages still resonate today:
- "Be quiet," said Don Quixote. "Where have you ever seen or read that a knight errant has been brought before the law no matter how many homicides he may have committed?"
- "In short," said Don Quixote, "it seems clear, Sancho, that you are a peasant, the kind who shouts, 'Long live whoever wins!'"
- "Even so, I want you to know, brother Sancho," replied Don Quixote, "that there is no memory that time does not erase, no pain not ended by death."
I was interested in a view of the year that seems to put the year into five seasons, not four:
spring pursues summer, summer pursues estío, 1 estío pursues autumn, autumn pursues winter, and winter pursues spring, and in this way time turns around a continuous wheel;
Finally, I loved this rant:
"Oh, base, lowborn, wretched, rude, ignorant, foul-mouthed, ill-spoken, slanderous, insolent varlet! You have dared to speak such words in my presence and in the presence of these distinguished ladies, dared to fill your befuddled imagination with such vileness and effrontery? Leave my presence, unholy monster, repository of lies, stronghold of falsehoods, storehouse of deceits, inventor of iniquities, promulgator of insolence, enemy of the decorum owed to these royal persons. Go, do not appear before me under pain of my wrath!"
Like this site says:
Polarized lenses can be troubling for people who need to see LCD (liquid crystal displays) screens clearly. In fact, wearing polarized lenses can make an LCD screen difficult to read and can even make it seem to disappear completely at certain angles. Therefore, operators of heavy equipment or pilots should not wear polarized lensesUmm, given the number of screen based gadgets we have in our lives, that kind of means NO ONE should wear polarized lenses. Duhhr.
And it wasn't just my local gadgets (it was kind of funny, actually: my iPad 2 was fine in portrait mode and a totally black screen in landscape) but I'd see weird patterns on electronic billboards and gas pump LCD screens etc.
Also, without asking they included a brown tint; for a while I thought the kind of weirdly omnious, pre-storm-looking shade was a side effect of the funky blue mirroring I requested, but no: they just slapped it on. The remade lenses will have a more neutral gray tint.
Man, I hate bad "default settings" for stuff like this... ah well, their (company's) lost, it just cost me some time.
https://github.com/jehna/VerbalExpressions - seems like a great idea of regexs!
A while back a friend tried to convince me that both political parties are equally as Machiavellian. Nope. NY Times on the Great Gerrymander of 2012 - found this after reading about how North Carolina is rolling back the clock with voter surpression, thanks to a shitergy with gerrymandering and the Supreme Court's trashing of the Voter Right's Act
another great clip, with George Jefferson teaching his neighbor Tom how to be black...
"Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?"
I like taking things and people at face value, because I'm most interested in how things relate and interact, which is utterly dependent on their surface levels and presentation.
"We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones."
--Francois de La Rochefoucauld
http://www.glorioustrainwrecks.com/node/3832 -- Some 'Wreckers have made a bit of art out of my Asteroids/RTS mashup game....
Amber was taking photos from the boat...
Once again, nice view...
I liked the coordinated efforts to reel the chute in at the end...
Back to the dock... Amber got the rubber chicken because she didn't feel like heading up herself.
"There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: 'Not today.'"
--George R.R. Martin
When Leonard and I first moved in together, I asked him to get rid of those big pint glasses he had. They were chipped and scratched, but that's not what I minded. I just didn't like dealing with glass, because glass breaks. Anything glass is on loan from a jealous God. I feared the inevitable smashes, so goodbye glasses.
Somewhen I found myself thinking, so what if the glass breaks? There's a saying that you must drink from the cup as though it is already broken. Maybe I'd just had enough hard knocks to appreciate ephemeral joy and function for what they are, instead of clutching them so hard they fall apart. Maybe I'd had enough hard knocks to know that I won't fall apart even if a glass does.
There's a Jorge Luis Borges quote:
Nothing is built on stone; all is built on sand, but we must build as if the sand were stone.So now I've bought a few commemorative pint glasses, on trips. One from Pacific Standard. One from Borderlands. One, from an art shop in Providence, featuring two astronauts in love.
We drink water from them, mostly. The clear round glass admits light, lenses it, lets me see a dream of what's on the other side.
They are for him. They are for us. They are for me. They are whole, and someday they will be broken. Not "but," but "and." But I chose them, so I can distantly imagine even cherishing the memory of their deaths.
From half a mile away
In Central Square
Where police still hang
After headquarters moved
Because they are called here eventually
And they like that Italian place I go to.
The unused tricycle.
And the occupied holding cell.
If he really said
"I'll speak to you your momma outside,"
That would be the best part.
On top of a hill called "Class"
Looking at another hill called "Race."
Or the other way around.
It is hard to tell which hill is higher.
Chapter 272, Section 53
To "rogues and vagabonds."
It now merely threatens
"Common railers and brawlers."
Everyone should be afraid of the police.
Even though no one should have to be.
Amy lived on Ware St.
She sat in my living room
Describing how well Skip dresses
How he smiles at strangers.
That southern thing.
Andy had never heard of Gates.
But knows one of the cops
Who showed up in a news photo.
A Cambridge cop once yelled
Because I came too close
To an exploded manhole.
"I'm sorry. I don't want you to get hurt."
Melissa Harris Lacewell
thought you should know
#SkipGates...likes white folks.
If you yell at a cop in my part of Cambridge
It is usually okay.
As long as you are homeless
Malcolm X. asked
What do you call a black man with a Ph.D.?
In Cambridge, you call him a rock star.
Some people do, anyway.
I too have had
Just-got-back-from-Asia jet lag.
It makes you crazy.
With all due apologies.
--from Ayun's LiveJournal. So brilliant! And so right about the "yo mama" line!
"The Butterfly Effect" was a pretty good flick! Kind of like an extended Twilight Zone episode.
"First there is a time when we believe everything, then for a little while we believe with discrimination, then we believe nothing whatever, and then we believe everything again - and, moreover, give reasons why we believe."
--Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
The IKEA catalog, strangely soothing and hypnotic- all those idyllic scenes painted in words. Are those real apartments done up, or sets?
Flies are dirty, dirty, dirty!
I am delighted every time I see one of the burly workman deconstructing the hallway in my office using a "Henry" vacuum cleaner:
Road photos! Was crazy about the inter-storm light last night...
Finally, one shot not taken by me, but I love it: EBBaby on a fender of the trailer they're using as they move this weekend.
Incidentally I've changed the layout of kisrael.com to allow for slightly larger photos to be posted. Good? Or does the readability of paragraphs suffer too much?
Dig neuroscience books-fun to think about thinking, and if my brainwork is on the unusual side, or if my mental life is par for the course
katwinx "bring out the gimp! ... so we can show him this property's lovely, lovely floor coverings."
consciousness is like eyesight. peripheral vision is supper-blurry but we don't notice 'cause everywhere we look is in focus.
I always feel a little bad for the people handing it out. As well as for the folks selling the more traditional papers.
Overall that seems like a lot of trees on a daily basis, and I wish there was a corresponding upgrade recycling program.
International News of the Moment
Slashdot reporting on Iranians capturing squirrels they claimed were spying, that is, wired with high tech gear and what not. "Wait Wait Don't Tell me" had the best line about it, roughly paraphrased:
I can just see the situation at the White House, Cheney turning to Bush at the conference table and saying "OK, we tried your idea, now could we please get back to business?The show then devolved into Rocky the Flying Squirrel "Moose Undt Sqvierrel" jokes, but still.
Failed Products of the Moment
Format Wars, The Tech That Should Have Won. (Warning, gratuitously cheesy illustrations.) The (largely USAian) Slashdot readers thought it was junk as were the technologies it championed, but this gentleman points out that most of these did pretty well in the UK, where the article came from.
Joke of the Moment
Married 25 years, I took a look at my wife one day and said, "Honey, 25 years ago, we had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black-and-white TV, but I got to sleep every night with a hot 25-year-old blonde. Now, we have a nice house, a nice car, a big bed and a big-screen plasma TV, but I'm sleeping with a 50-year-old woman. It seems to me that you're not holding up your side of things."
But my wife is a very reasonable woman.
She told me to go out and find a hot 25-year-old blonde, and she'd make sure that I would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car and sleeping on a sofa bed.
--Herby H, rec.humor.funny. A tad on the misogynistic side, but I enjoyed the way it played with parallels.
The same guy sent in a joke earlier about a man who asks his wife to bring him a beer quickly, "before it starts", as he plunks down in front of the TV. His wife brings him a beer. He repeats the request then, and the wife is angry but complies...the third time though, she explodes, angry that he just came in, didn't say hello, demanded beer, after she'd been cooking and cleaning and ironing all day... "aw crap," he says, "it's started."
Again, both of these jokes aren't very woman-friendly, but they have interesting conceptual constructions, one with parallels, the other with self-referential systems.
I'll come right out and say it : LOGO blows. So does Lisp, but at least you can actually write programs in Lisp, if you are masochistic enough. Forth is for engineer nerds who think FORTRAN 77 is too high level, Smalltalk is for liberal flannel wearing publishing geeks, Java is for abstraction wonks who like to make up phrases using odd words like 'facade' to describe perfectly ordinary comp sci stuff from 30 years ago that they have just now 'reinvented', C++ is for overly caffeinated control freaks who will argue for hours about inheritance and then go write it in crappy C syntax anyways when nobody is looking, assembler is for wierd ninja-geeks who sit around in dark rooms mumbling about cycles, straight C is for power tripping egomaniacal maniacs who would rather spend twenty hours rewriting ALL of your code BECAUSE YOU DID IT WRONG rather than spend an hour learning to use something somebody else wrote, Pascal is for teachers who flunked out of English class but still wanted to pretend to be superior.
And Basic? Basic? BASIC?
Basic is for the rest of you.
--"danwinslow", on various programming languages, from this Batari BASIC for the Atari 2600 thread.
Game of the Moment
I while back I kisrael'd Zombie3...now there is Zombie4, and it feels a lot more like a game than a demo, relative to the previous version. Pretty tough though!
Not the most original thought, but new to me...dialing up voice mail on my cellphone starts to sound like the opening notes of "Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear?" (Samsing phones remap the keys from regular touchtones to the musical C-scale). So I got to thinking about that song (mostly I know it from that Simpsons' Episode where they buy a doorbell that plays just the first line, but gets stuck and plays it over and over) and how that lyric could be read so differently, in like a Hitchcock-ripoff horror movie: "It's eerie...you show up, and then all these different kind of birds show up and start attacking and pecking at everyone's eyes! I never knew a humming bird could be so vicious....what the hell is up with you? Are you cursed?? Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear Every Time You Are Near???"
Banner of the Moment
--from typoGenerator, a tool for making coolish but meaningless banners with text.
Comic of the Moment
Fleep is a very odd comic...a guy is trapped in a phonebooth surrounded by concrete, with what (he estimates) about 48 hours of Oxygen left..."Using only the contents of his pockets (two pens, a paperback novel, three coins and 20 ft of unwaxed dental floss) our hero must fashion and execute an escape plan before he runs out of oxygen". Very strange, some of the Macguyver-like details seem a little suspect, but very cool.
So, previously I discussed my newfound philosophy of dance mixes and here's the latest and bestest incarnation of it--up to three CDs now. I like randomly theming mix sets, starting them with an appropriate .wav, and stumbled on a Star Trek theme...although I still like to push the best songs to the first mix, I used a very geeky method to assure all three were ok (divided the music into hiphop, covers, and misc, and then each of those into two tiers, and then as even a distribution as possible of the 6 categories...Captain Kirk got the first pick from each category though.)
When I posted my last attempt at the perfect dance mix, Deevaa wrote "I want a copy of your CD!!" in the comments section, so I sent her a set, all the way to Australia this morning.
Link of the Moment
You can click on the links above to hear the sound clips I found at Star Trek in Sound and Vision, a site with tons and tons and tons of audio and video clips from all things Star Trek. A really amazing amount of material.
News Line of the Moment
Slate.com had a great front page caption for their story on Blair: "Finally, a Politician for Grown-Ups (Too bad he's English)". I respect Blair a lot, though Bill the Splut was greatly amused when I mistyped his name "Bliar", given his involvement in the whole WMD spindoctoring.
Also the other day Slate.com had a good piece on typical summer jobs for teens, giving "They say you learn how to", "You really learn how to", "Upside", "Downside", "Wages", "Minimum age", "How do I get this job?", and "Hook-up factor" for each.
I cannot seperate her
from the beautiful body.
She has charm and a very
gay spirit; in every way
she's attractive. Intelligent
and she reads good books.
But it's the faultless body
that forces me to make a fool
of myself, pursuing a virtuous
girl I could never possess.
Geek News and Links
How to really secure your PC against theft-- it's the Google cache, without images, for some reason the original is gone. NASA tries to build that little floating sphere droid Luke learns lightsabering with in the original Star Wars. Finally, the new geek rallying cry is "Free Dmitry", the guy who got arrested 'cause he pointed out Adobe's system wasn't as solid as advertised. (The former geek cry was "Free Kevin", I think Mo has the bumpersticker somewhere.) (Most of this stuff via slashdot)