June 22, 2001
Links of the Moment
How False Memories can be Impanted, and How the Brain Edits Out What We See. These are more than mere tricks; I don't think people realize just how subjective their views of the universe are, and how unreliable their own perception can be.
Anecdote of the Moment
[walking after getting bar supplies from Williams Sonoma]
"Man, this stuff is heavy."
"Yeah. Remember, when you stare into
the margarita mix, the margarita mix
is staring back into you."
--Kirk and John, 2001-06-21
Old T-shirt: #3 of a Series
"Carpe Diem". I never liked this shirt, and didn't wear it much. I always thought the slogan was a bit dorky, and adding the translation underneath makes it more so. A lame visual design in colors that don't suit me and the use of an inappropriate font (Gothic? For Latin?) top it off. (2 comments)
July 17, 2001
Today, my mom flies off to England to live there for three years. That's pretty intense.
"Who cares what you think?"
--President George W. Bush, July 4, 2001, from this article.
Admittedly the author was being a bit of a dork but it's surprising how undiplomatic our "Mr. Geniality" president can be.
You Like To Watch, Don't You?
metaspy is pretty cool, you can see what terms people are searching for in "real time", and it comes in censored and uncensored versions.
from the T-shirt Archive: #9 of a Series
"Escher-Sketch". Cute parody of the famous escher lithograph. I've seen a similar title used for a computer program in Antic Magazine.
July 27, 2001Weird. Feeling very vaguely short of breath. Not desperately so, but in a way that makes me want to breathe deeply every 10 minutes ot so. Hmmm, should I be worried?
As Hosed As You Think You Are
Interesting page on PsyOps, the art of psychological warfare, or rather psychology during warfare. Dropping pamphlets, radio broadcasts, etc. I especially like the material about the Gulf War, especially the sample pamphlets. (This kind of thing probably had a big effect on the huge number of bloodless surrenders.)
Yet Another Geek Quote
My latest idea is for a beat-em-up game in the Mortal Wombat vein called Friedrich Nietzsche's Art Of Fighting. The player basically has two kinds of attacks: the first attack will actually increase your opponent's health bar, while the second will kill the opponent instantly no matter how strong he or she is. Thus, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, in every possible sense. I'm sure there's a market for it.
from the T-shirt Archive: #10 of a Series
Ratty and faded but beloved blue tanktop. Odd discoloration from too many washings. I think it had some kind of design on the front, like a kayaker, but that went away. Not up to my usual "interesting shirt" standards, but I liked it a lot, and prevented my mom from chucking it many times during high school.
July 31, 2001Quote of the Moment
"The original coffeehouse was a place where men of all types could sit all day; the tobacco they smoked made it possible to drink coffee all day; and the coffee they drank inspired them to talk all day," writes Gladwell. "Out of this came the Enlightenment."
--New Yorker Critic at Large. The article also talked about how messing with our brain chemistry has been going on for so long, from caffeine on up, that it should be considered part of what we are.
Creepy and Sad Link of the Moment
Yesterday's Cruel site was this website that starts "I assume that if you are reading this then i have died", written by an 18 year old before he committed suicide. I would have wondered if it was a fake, but it seems to be verified by this article in the Sun newspaper.
from the T-shirt Archive: #11 of a Series
"Destination Fun". Another tanktop. The design definitely doesn't live up to my usual standards for T-shirts, I guess I was more lenient with tanktops. (4 comments)
August 5, 2001
Wow, one things about deadlines (like the loveblender that I should be doing right now) is that they allow you can use them to be very productive (doing other things).
The Things That Make You Go "BOOM"
Hey, remember that "successful missile defense test"? The media hasn't playing up the fact that the test was more rigged than the last election. Well, maybe not. I suppose a "rogue state" might attach a homing beacon to their missile, and only release a shiny balloon as a decoy. Maybe they'll call us up and tell us what city they're thinking of blowing up to, that would be thoughtful. Oh, and of course they'd never just smuggle in a suitcase nuke or a bomb-in-a-boat. (via Bill the Splut's news)
Quote of the Moment
"I've never seen 'It's A Wonderful Life.' I could never get past that title."
from the T-shirt Archive: #12 of a Series
"Fuddruckers". An interesting retrologo design, from the restaurant of the same name. My family always enjoyed Mother Fuddruckers' Mustard. (Sigh, this series is creeping into the mundane. Ah well, it adds a bit of color to the place.) (1 comment)
August 8, 2001
Ok, it's really hot. I grant you that. It's too hot. Dangerously hot for some people. But what the hell is it with us and heat indices? C'mon, we can't say it's "95 degrees and humid", we need to pretend it can be mapped to a number? It's like windchill. We all feel much more macho when the windchills way down there "Sure it was thirty degrees, but with the windchill factor, it was like 10 or something!". These numbers aren't as reliable as people assume anyway, based on unreliable assumptions about heating and cooling.
Your New Best Friend
Read about this in a Wall Street Journal Marketplace someone left in the company kitchen... if you run AOL Instant Messenger, try chatting with SmarterChild, a news-stocks-weather-games-etc chatbot. It's an interesting concept in UI. Ranjit mentioned that the now defunct word.com was thinking about having an alternate frontpage chatbot interface, but the company tanked before he had to implement it.
Online chat is kind of cool, a great testing ground for AI and the Turing Test, since 1. Typing speed and the like can't be a give away and 2. It's awash in semi-literate goofballs anyway.
Salon Story of the Moment
Man, why can't I get Spam that's this well written?
from the T-shirt Archive: #13 of a Series
"Disfunctional by Choice". Grimm from Mother Goose & Grimm Oh jeez. Always strongly disliked this shirt, part of my general disregard for the general sentiment of "Hey look at me! I'm wacky!" My mom got it for me before she got handle on what kind of T-shirts I liked and disliked. (In general, I don't like well-known cartoon character shirts, though Bill the Cat was my first post-surfing-t-shirt I had.) (4 comments)
August 11, 2001
Hey, could the Wendy Wang who signed my guestbook contact me? You aren't who I guessed you were...
Video of the Moment
I guess NYC gets a lot of visitors this time of year. Very cool.
(Via mondain on thinkattack)
The Beauty of Understatement
"...the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage..."
--Emperor Hirohito, August 14, 1945
from the T-shirt Archive: #14 of a Tedious Series
Hard Rock Café. Ugh. Musta been a gift. (1 comment)
August 14, 2001
Link of the Moment
A site on Censored Cartoons, with a special focus on Warner Brothers. Kind of interesting reading what racist and violent stuff they cut out, though some of it seems to be edits for length.
Quote of the Moment
"Not Everything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well"
--Tom West, Data General. Words to live by, a new philosophy of "sometimes 'good enough' is best", at least in the big picture which includes resource allocation and the like.
from the T-shirt Archive: #15 of a Tedious Series
New Orleans Jazz. Probably a gift from a trip my mom took. Not a bad design, but black, which I don't wear often.(5 comments)
August 19, 2001
Links of the Moment
penismightier had some links on Biblical skepticism. One was the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. Although this kind of thing seems pretty comprehensive, some of the things they pick on are pretty penny ante, and others can be attributed to poetic license. But it is a fairly strong rebuttal to a very strict Bible literalist viewpoint.
This quiz is a bit of an eye-opener...I had no idea that what we view as the 10 Commandments are not what was chiseled in stone. The rules on the tablets, clearly labeled as "the 10 commandments" involve mostly what Christians see as strictly "Old Testament" and "Kosher" rules (against cooking a goat in its Mom's milk, making the right sacrifices, a week of unleavened bread, etc), Exodus 34:1-28, but the "Thou Shalt Nots" are mostly from what God said to Moses (Exodus 19:23-20:18).
Some of the quiz commentary is sour-spirited. ("Hah, would a Good God do this?" which assumes that a divine being can be judged by the same standards we use to judge human war criminals, which denies the idea that there might be a bigger picture we can't see.) Other things I've realized are quirks of translation... if you read Judges 1:19 in the KJV it sounds like God can be stymied by chariots made of iron, but more recent translations make a bit more sense. But Jeremiah 10:2-5 seems to be speaking poorly about Christmas Trees, a pretty good trick for the Old Testament.
Finally, logical rebuttals to Pascal's Wager, the idea that since belief in God will save you if there is a god and cost you little if there isn't, you should believe. (Found this link while searching for information about Invisible Pink Unicorns, a jokey strawman religion some online Atheists/Agnostics use to make rhetorical points about faith and proof.)
Incidentally, many of the Bible links above are from The BibleGateway, a really fast and powerful verse look up tool, covering many translations into many languages.
from the T-shirt Archive: #16 of a Tedious Series
Kenneth Cole. A gift from a gay friend. I think it was a bit small for me. Also a bit gay. But stylish! (And 'minimalist', which is always a plus.)(1 comment)
August 24, 2001
I had a brilliant but completely unworkable idea yesterday...wouldn't it be great if there was some kind of slashdot-esque moderation/rating system for drivers? Like, if someone does something nice, you could beam them a point of good karma? Or subtract a point if someone was being a jerk? And you could somehow see someone's rating, on their car? There are many reasons why this system wouldn't work and would be abused, but still, it seemed like a good idea. Sigh, I guess polite driving has to be its own reward.
Quote of the Moment
"There's a lot to be said for a lack of communication and so many problems we can't talk about simply go away after a while, such as the problem of mortality, for example."
--Garrison Keillor, Introduction to 'We Are Still Married'
Link of the Moment
This was in slashdot the other day: A Physicist with the Air Force in World War II. I appreciate his cleverness in math, materials, and psychology. Makes me wonder what similar stories there were for the 'bad guys' as well.
from the T-shirt Archive: #17 of a Tedious Series
"Birdpoop". A friend gave this to me. Various bird poops, all labeled. A bit too tacky too actually wear, but...err...a nice color at least.(1 comment)
September 7, 2001
Quote of the Moment
"I'm sorry, I'm afraid I subscribe to the theory of intellectual osmosis. As such, I must now cease our conversation and move away from you before my intelligence begins to drop. Good day."
--Acts of Gord, tales of customer stupidity at a video game rental/sales place. The guy ends up sounding a bit like The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy (actually, for best effect try to hear his voice while reading the above quote), but there's some funny stuff in there.
Toy of the Moment
Razor Scooters are so dotcom late-90s! What you need are some Heelys! Sneakers with a single removable wheel in each heel. It looks really cool, a kid in what looks like normal sneakers gets a running start, does a little hop, and then glides, check out this quicktime video.
from the T-shirt Archive: #19 of a Tedious Series
Given as a gift. Apparently by some one unclear on my gender. (1 comment)
September 16, 2001
Quote of the Moment
"He said, 'Brother, if you don't mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab my hand, let's get the hell out of here.' He helped me stand up, and we ran for what seemed like forever without looking back."
--A Muslim man tells how a Hasidic Jew helped him during the World Trade Center disaster, via this wired.com article
Stupid Link of the Moment
Just to get this over with, "Lucy" signed my guestbook and urged me to look up the "Virtual Shit" site. This thing has been around for a long time. It's the Virtual Dog Shit Creator. The joke is, it's even a bigger waste of time than it looks. You enter all these detailed parameters (weight, consistency, age, etc etc, a whole page worth), it tells you there's an error, you proceed anyway, you wait for 15 seconds, it 'calculates', then gives your picture of poo. The thing is, and I'm not sure if Lucy realized this, it's totally ignoring the parameters you select. Every time you reload the final page, it shows you one of several random pictures of poo. The huge array of parameters and the "working" timer page is just to get you to waste more time, and the random picture convinces you the controls are doing something.
Sort of funny, but more funny if you see what's going on.
from the T-shirt Archive: 20-22 of a Tedious Series
I'm getting sick of all these shirts (and actually, I think this is the dullest section, so I want to hurry through it) so I'm going to try three at a time.
Pink lizard, for some reason I think it might be associated with New Mexico, but I'm not certain.
Riverdance. Probably a gift. Ehh.
Oy, this one. A relatively attractive tank top, I think from Epcot at Disney World. But this is the thing... that little 'all nations' patch was rather cheaply sewn in, and it scratches the heck outta my nipple. I mean, really attacks it.
October 7, 2001Unbelievable Never to be Repeated Offer of the Moment
Supposedly they've been around for a few years, so it sounds like their business plan might actually work.
I used this picture as the basis for the gear. Also, I made up a full line of LoveBlenderWear, along with publishing a new Blender Digest.(2 comments)
August 11, 2002
Dang, almost forgot to do an entry today...this one is going to be quick.
Image of the Moment
|This is the main image from my favorite t-shirt ever, the lady in green. I've always loved the mood of uncertainty it seems to carry. It plays a small role in a set of correspondance I'm assembling, more on that later.|
I wish I knew where the image came from originally.
Quote of the Moment
"When I want to end relationships I say, 'I want to marry you so we can live together forever.'
Sometimes they leave skidmarks."