I would like to add that is about the first realisticly drawn sousaphone I've seen in this kind of thing.
"Oh, that bottle of soda I left in the car! You drank some of it..." "I left you some, is the other way of looking at it."
http://catalogchoice.org/ - Amber saved 3 trees, 316 gallons of water, 890 lbs of greenhouse gas by using this site to not get catalogs...
"The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing."
--Marcus Aurelius (turns out classic Stoicism is like happier Buddhism!)
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1938433 - the power of braces
"What it is, what it was, what it might become."
--Dr. Teeth (of Muppet "Electric Mayhem" fame), right?
Product idea: Doc Jimminy Joe's Old Timey De-Stinkifyin' Sweat-Blockin' Armpit Rub
The last Patriots game I watched bits of was the loss to the Jets. At least this one was to my semi-beloved Cleveland.
I swear I should consider moving to JP one of these years.
Also, later, I grabbed Leigh's percussion wearable, and my cousin Bill took a shot:
I love things that recast pop culture mythos and show how the lens we're given to watch and read this stuff as children isn't the only one: "LotR DVD Commentry" by Zinn and Chomsky http://kottke.org/14/07/lotr-dvd-commentary-from-zinn-and-chomsky and even better: https://storify.com/tcarmody/the-people-s-history-of-tattooine A People's History of Tattooine, where Luke Skywalker group up.
This year my tuba gets a costume too:
Look like 6 years of being the party of no and blaming that on the president will pay off for the Republicans
Even though it was reviled as being inconsistent and unpredictable, I preferred the old OSX "zoom" button behavior, where it (kinda sorta) maximized the window within the context of the current set of windows over the new "take over the whole screen world" pattern it has in Yosemite. I often want a bit more real estate for a given window, and rarely am I thinking "boy I wish I was looking at this window AND NOTHING ELSE MATTERS IN MY COMPUTER'S WORLD".
Besides predictability (especially when resizing browsers; some people found it odd that it didn't always try to be as wide as possible) I suppose Apple is trying to catch an iOS-like sense of "focus on this one thing" monotasking, and so they hide the dock and title bar. Personally, I think this is a UX misthink; a flavor of multitasking (or at least quick task switching) is fundamental to many people's use of a laptop or desktop.
(I like how Windows 7 did it; the window still takes up the full screen, but then you can reposition it)
Anyway, you can hold "option" when you click the green circle, and then gets the old zoom behavior; I just wish there was a way to switch which one was the default.
November Blender of Love!
So, New Orleans changed its basketball team name to "Pelicans"?
They're bitter about Utah hogging the name "Jazz", but somehow passed on the name "Krewe" or "Brass". Too bad!
Ah, Inbox + Todo List Zero! It has been a while.
- Bounce No. 1 (Dave Leanza & Andy Manista) I ripped from a cassette tape [Cleveland] "Heights Jazz Night 1991". I think it may be an original composition, and catchy as heck.
- Joe and Paul (Barton Brothers / Stutchkoff) A Yiddish comedy bit from 1:00-2:55 - the video has some loose translation on screen.
- Bottom of the River (Tufts sQ!) New single by my college a cappella group, just had their 20th birthday. Freshman singing in the group were born around the same time I started singing with them, senior year. (The version from iTunes has better sound quality)
- Steal My Kisses (Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals) Surprised I missed this one when it came out, but everyone at the sQ reunion knew it.
- Rudy (Fusik) The soundtrack to that aweseme bboy/bgirl video. Man that is some amazing dancing/gymnastics.
- Loyalty Never Leaves (Lance Knight) On a radio station in GTA5, this odd Rasta-ish version of "Royals" - reading the lyrics helps a little.
- Opa Cupa Fly (Brass Menazeri) Romani Brass - I think this is a remix.
- Get Back (Ludacris) Wow... the Popeye Arms he's sporting in this video...
- Monty Python's Galaxy Song (Stephen Hawking) Hawking sings Python. (sad the buy now link only works in the UK; I had to rip it.)
- Leprosy (Eu-Four-Ia) An obscure Dr. Demento cassette-tape rip - I should probably put it on youtube.
- Lose It (In the End) (Mark Ronson & The Business Intl.) Ronson often has great percussion.
- Tables and Chairs (Andrew Bird) I think cmg sent me this. I like the post-apocalypse-with-snacks vision.
- Statistician's Blues (Todd Snider) Comedy bit. Like the tone but wish the numbers were better.
- God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get) (El Perro del Mar) Soft song I heard on "Girls"
- Moonlight In Vermont (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong) When my superniece's Mama K need to scat some song to operate a lamb puppet, she sang this, a song I hadn't heard.
- Can't Nobody Love You (The Zombies) The romantic 60s.
- Send It Up (Kanye West) James Harvey keeps me interested in Kanye.
- Knock On Wood (Eddie Floyd) Very Sam+Dave sounding.
- Fancy (feat. Charli XCX) (Iggy Azalea) The examplar from a "why we love pop music [that sucks]" article, but I have to admit I like Iggy Azalea's delivery.
- Work Song (Hozier) Not quite as good as "Take Me To Church"
A few photos by Joni L, from JP Honk at yesterday's "Wake Up The Earth" parade and festival in JP. It was a LONG haul up Centre St but the chance to do a set at Stony Brook, and really walk around and through the audience, was special
"Every time you write, ask yourself: Could this scene take place in a hot-air balloon? If the answer is yes, then it probably should."
--Haruki Murakami (?), We Asked 8 Famous Authors For The Most Important Advice They'd Give To Young Writers
On my UI blog, I really love this sleep sort...
Donald Trump Chrome Plugin - Enhance all of your browser's references to Donald Trump with pithy quotes from the man himself
Atomic Fireball candy in the Apples & Cinnamon Quaker Instant Oatmeal I get for free at work. Great idea, or greatest idea?
(that yellow strip is a cheat sheet to "Seven Nation Army" I put on a long time ago....)
advent day 11
Beginning of the End for Giant Glass? I would be kind of bummed if Giant Glass fell - including that jingle (why do I not mind it when 1-877-Kars-4-Kids unfailingly causes me to angrily stab for the radio dial? Maybe horns vs guitar?)
Fun fact: Giant Glass was named after the football team. Don't hold that against them though - that was before the Patriots. Hell, even my Waltham-based granddad liked the Giants then.
Yesterday I learned that Scheiny (nee "Beauty"), my lovely Holton Collegiate Sousaphone, has a serial number that dates it to 1954...
New Airplane Seating with a View More for the "I Wish I Was Insanely Rich" file.
glad I looked up from my book
advent day 13
today's game is one of the better playing ones, I think (yesterday's was probably way too difficult). If I was thinking more clearly "enemy mine" or "mine enemy" would have been a better name.
Melissa took this photo of my tuba in its Christmas lights doing Honk carolling Saturday night...
Frinkiac is a great Simpsons' quote finder and meme maker:
That's one of my favorite quotes, just a reminder at how out of perspective problems are when they show up right in front of us.
A kiss is just a kiss, but a sigh is a reflex that happens a several times an hour and helps preserve lung function.
My sousaphone roots, Euclid High School Panther Marching Band!
The 1991 Homecoming Game, by the looks of it.
--William Finnegan in the New Yorker, Last Days: Preparing for the apocalypse in San Bernardino
I think this is problematic with a lot of faiths, especially with an emphasis on a supernatural hereafter, and in fact the Awlaki quote reminds me of messages I would get from time to time in my Christian church upbringing. Why give a damn (so to speak) about anything around us, what in the finite can measure up to the infinite that awaits? Yeah, some faiths say God wants to be good stewards, but why worry about the planet when we're careening toward the apocalypse? (Revelation was written 19 centuries ago, and still waiting, but it must be around the corner now...) Some religions emphasize charity and kindness in the here and now but those goals have to be weighed in the balance of spreading the word and fighting the fight.
I understand faith adds to the lives of many people. On the one hand, a more mature faith is balanced by basic humanity concerns, but if you start using "basic human concerns" as a litmus test for your religion, you're down the path of admitting they might be more important than religion... that it's something with common values that might transcend which of the many, many possible faiths we cling to. I wish establishing that common ground was the priority - it seems a lot healthier than this "people of faith, any faith no matter how mutually incompatible" lined up on the righthand sheep side against the skeptics on the lefthand goat side..
I know in some ways science - or rather, what science thinks is most likely true about how the universe functions, for now - requires some kind of faith. I've often longed for a good kitchen-sink science demonstration of atomic theory! (And one of the things I found bugging me most in the Scalia retrospectives was that he thought evolution was just a theory, and a crummy theory at that.) But why science differs from most other faiths is that it offers a method of its own correction; its core is coming up with ideas, and putting them to the test, and letting other people put them to the test. Knowledge is painstakingly grown, not handed from on high, or merely homegrown in our hearts. (And science doesn't tell us what to do - you can't get ought from is -- that's the job of moral philosophy, and when people try to shove science into that role you get crap like social darwinism.)
The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens I'm less interested in the rags-to-riches-to-rags aspect than the general take on tumblr culture; admittedly FB has been a better mirror for my old (and ongoing) kisrael.com but I really appreciate the "relatable" style culture, relative to other cultures (twitter or especially chan/twitter) it is very human.
Wow, an insult that bugs that Short-Fingered Vulgarian.
In 1990 my high school marching band travelled to Detroit for a band competition and the parade... jump to 27:50 for some fine tuba, cymbals, and majorette dancin' to "My Sharona".
Good for anyone who has a fetish for badly lit vintage shots of the Henry Ford Museum.
Man, it's tough to look cool playing a tuba. Never sure of the best place to put my other hand. (and at one point I'm sneaking in a Second of the Day...) Still, some great footage.
"Dying is hard. I've always felt the final reward of the dead is to die no more!"
"The enemies of truth are not lies, but convictions!"
"Maybe, Josef, Living safely is dangerous. Dangerous and deadly."
"I've always believed, Josef, that we are more in love with desire than with the desired!"
--Irvin D. Yalom's "When Nietzsche Wept", spoken by the title character. A very solid book, I think it's a great introduction to Nietzsche's view of the world, especially as lived through his own suffering, as well as early psychotherapy.
"Of course, we know that humans are political, but we still often assume that our political actions come from thinking about beliefs and desires. Even in election season we assume that voters figure out who will enact the policies they want, and we're surprised when it turns out that they care more about who belongs to their group or who is the top dog. "
--Alison Gopnik, in an Atlantic review Frans de Waal's "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?"
Nice debut for BABAM! - the Boston Area Brigade of Activist Musicians, a loose affiliation of like minded players from various bands for last minute but worthy events and big umbrella gatherings.... today we supported the rally to get Somerville's Retirement fund divested from fossil fuels - a real loser investment these days no matter how you slice it.
(I was having a water bottle crisis where it somehow flooded by hip pack... I gotta stop carrying stuff during gigs :-) (local copy of video)
--Stephen Metcalf ripping into Trump as the (by-)product of the baby boomer generation
Heh, Liz Ryan who throws together a marching group for Boston Pride asked me to record a little bassline I made up last year, to supplement the cadence the percussionists were doing.
It's meant to be easy on my jaw, 'cause it's kind of a long parade!
Photos of School of Honk May Day Dance Party by Chelsea Ruscio
I just now noticed Iron Man and some of the better folks from Game of Thrones share the name "Stark".
From "The Book of Honk", the School of Honk bass section:
I really liked Cracked Against Trite Inspirational Memes. Especially the stuff about travel; I've done my fair share, but I think it's easy to get hung up on "I want to be the kind of person who travels" vs actually absorbing the experiences -- I know my interest is usually more in getting a feel for the differences in mundane day to day life stuff.
"Teenage logic leaps swiftly and without fear."
--Daniel Nester, "Shader"
Anyway, here I was getting read to march with Brass Republic at Boston Pride:
It started raining but we still punctuated the event with "Thrift Shop"
After I joined School of Honk at the first Arlington Porchfest:
And backing our head honcho Kevin:
--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.
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.
Open Photo Gallery(Decided that some years I had a cool enough trip to warrant a secondary album for the year.)
I'm grabbing place names from the much more detailed day by day travel log I did then (starting @ http://kirk.is/2008/03/14/)
Detail from a temple in Kamakura - besides the lovely color I liked that it used the "triforce" symbol I knew from Legend of Zelda.
View from Yokohama's Landmark Tower, Japan's tallest building (at 69 stories, because of earthquakes, but it has the world's fastest elevator.)
An enjoyable billboard on the walk to Hiroshima Station.
The imperial palace at Kyoto.
Statue behind protective fencing at the gate of Todai-ji in Nara.
Th Great Buddha hall at Todai-ji - look at the scale relative to the people! One detail is a "peekaboo" door the Buddha can peek out of.
Delicious calamari on a stick from a street vendor, in Osaka, known for its cuisine
I was a gray day and I really enjoyed how this girl's raincoat visually popped.
Josh is good at raising his daughter.
My final side trip was to Kanazawa, a town with an emphasis on the arts. This was a statue on a street corner
The 21st Century Contemporary Art Museum had an installation of Argentinian Leandro Erlich's "Swimming Pool", a facsimile of a small courtyard swimming pool... except there are fellow tourists moving around down there...
Is It Just Me, Or Is the World Going Crazy? Great article - maybe a little privileged, but like Jesus said, "the poor you will have with you always", so while we should always fight for economic justice we shouldn't think it's newly awful.
There's so much demonization going on. Our fellow citizen republicans are still people. Maybe misguided, maybe drinking way too deeply from this fountain of fearmongering, but people. And not even idiotic people, always.
"No one stays home and watches TV on Sunday - everyone's out playing polo!"
--Wealthy Potential Ad Buyer in Blake Snyder's guide to filmwriting "Save The Cat!" (The title refers to putting in a scene early that makes the audience like the main character, for example saving a cat.)
After JP Honk played Figment, I got myself framed by artist Franklin Marval
Protestant Minster: "God loves everyone!"
Catholic Priest: "God is love."
Eastern Orthodox Presbyter: "God is who is."
Rabbi: "This is special? Who isn't who is?"
One Second Everyday for August! A lot of band stuff as always (at a funeral on the 5th, at the hatch on the 11th, in front of a ribbon acrobat on the 21st), other highlights like underwater Melissa on the 13th and seeing my German friends on my way to Ireland on the 15th.
Diggerland, USA Wow. Plans for my next NJ trip! Who wouldn't want to operate a massive earthmover machine?
here I am front and center, both as we calmly played along with "Hall of the Mountain King" and then when we went into full on honkin' mode
via Jezebel's Donald Trump Got Curved by Both His Daughters Tonight
"tomorrow, we are all going to wake up and try and go about our lives with some measure of normalcy... but please, take a moment to remember that tonight, in front of the entire country, the republican nominee for president said that he would use his office to persecute and jail a citizen... allegedly for a crime of which she has already been investigated and found free of wrongdoing, but probably, more likely for daring to be his political opposition."
Such a busy weekend at Honk!
Photo by Candace Esslinger - this was the clear Saturday before the Drenched Sunday
Man, iTunes store search is so pathetic. Supposedly a while back they had a power search mode, but now it's just keywords. You can't search for just a song title, for instance, you're going to get any artist or album who has the same name. Even better - their version of "All Results" cuts off at 100. So if there are over 100 non-title matches for a song you're trying to find a good cover of, and the song's title is later in the alphabet, there's no way the song you're looking for will show up on the list.
Even more insulting is the message after those 100 items:
"Less relevant items are not displayed. To narrow your results, use more specific search terms."
I would if you'd let me, jerky.
Go Pro Hot Wheels are pretty keen!
I love the sky in the first one.
--photos by Andrew Huang
Trump to say transgender protection is a "state's rights issue"
Huh, I didn't realize states had genders.
I just read the book Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences. I took the "Left/Right 20 Questions" quiz from the appendix and put the 20 Questions online with automated scoring. I score reasonably liberal, a 5 or 6 spots over.
(Click for a larger version - that's me and my tuba on the right, nice visual balance to the french horn, and showing the name of our metaband BABAM!)
Here's the photo from the web article
It wasn't Congress who sold your privacy, it was 100% Republicans, for big campaign bucks.
(The Ride 'Em Cowboy is my favorite from this batch - usually the tuba is riding me, nice to turn that around, though the "hero shot" might be even better than Franklin Marvel's Take at Figment.
Last years bass sectional photo was a little better, come to think of it:
"You might see punching bags are even better hugging bags if you'd just calm down for a second."
Write up about Ze Frank and The Show. Man that was great. Also, I really miss his page of little digital toys, he was a really inspiring toymaker...
"What do you care what other people think?"
It's cool how both the Boston Globe and the NY Times select photos with younger players front and center, and some taller folks backin' em up
I've moved around 20 times in my life. You think I'd be a bit less crap at it by now...
And also concerned that I'm not sure what to trust to tell me if that is a risk of being the case, because I don't know to what extent the inner-narrator/rational self vs subconscious self is the same for everyone. Various paths of self-improvement call it different things (the Id, the inner child, the right side of the brain, the unconscious mind, etc) and imply different functional relationships.
Even something like meditation has contradictions in advice about its methods and goals. Like, is it to have that zennish empty mind, where my verbal inner-narrator is finally silent and my whole self can enjoy purer sensation, unmitigated by simplification into verbal simplification and categorization? Or is it to be 'mindful', and allow that inner narrator to calmly process and analyze and pontificate but without encountering spikes of anxiety and other disruptive emotion? (Which, in my current way of thinking, tend to emerge from my inner toddler.) I kind of prefer the latter; it's less work and a lot more fun.
In "Eat, Pray, Love" Elizabeth Gilbert writes
Like most humanoids, I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the "monkey mind"--the thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. From the distant past to the unknowable future, my mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined. This in itself is not necessarily a problem; the problem is the emotional attachment that goes along with the thinking. Happy thoughts make me happy, but--whoop!--how quickly I swing again into obsessive worry, blowing the mood; and then it's the remembrance of an angry moment and I start to get hot and pissed off all over again; and then my mind decides it might be a good time to start feeling sorry for itself, and loneliness follows promptly. You are, after all, what you think. Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.
The thing is, to me it feels backwards... like the thoughts are the slaves to the emotions, and then I'm the slave to the thoughts. Or something. But basically, the process is more my inner rational narrator teaching my wordless sometimes-raging sometimes-fearing sometimes-frolicking subconscious self about the world. You know, it feels a bit like the relationship between Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller.
So I feel there's lots of room for that inner toddler - who will probably never grow up to have words - to mature, and develop a real camaraderie, rather than the current paternalistic relationship. And without assuming that subconscious part of me is only feeling, not thinking. I suspect feeling and thinking are the same thing but at wildly different time scales, feeling taking in the long term evolutionary wisdom and near term immediate reaction, with thinking occupying the middle ground.
Also through all this, I feel my rational, verbal, narrator self is trying to reassert the throne of being "The Actual Me", the real me, that it lost when I read Dennett's "Conscious Explained". I think it's time for a reread of what I pin as the "most important book I read", even though it's mighty long.
"There is no old age like anxiety," said one of the monks I met in India. "And there is no freedom from old age like the freedom from anxiety."
Maria thinks that in a civilized society one should be able to rely on such things as the post office delivering one's mail in a prompt manner, but Giulio begs to differ . He submits that the post office belongs not to man, but to the fates, and that delivery of mail is not something anybody can guarantee .
Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.
"To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life."
Talking with Liz the other day, she asked if I had always worn glasses- yes, ever since 4th or 5th grade or so, with a brief unfortunate attempt at contacts in high school. So glasses are a part of my face, and I'm pretty comfortable with that. But I wasn't at first, which is funny- back around that time I tried to pretend that I liked classical and jazz because that's what smart people did and I was a smart person, but somehow I failed to make the same, perhaps even more obvious, leap for eyeglasses.
I still do like PostSecret...
Stood in with Prone to Mischief today on the Vietnam Memorial Bridge in Western MA - photo by John Bell
I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade
I LOVE the Boston Pride Parade. It shows our Commonwealth and our country at its best.Posted by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday, June 11, 2017
RIP Adam West...
"The atoms that make up my body aren't mine, it's just my time to use them."
--/u/Str_... I guess I still prefer Avatar's "all energy is only borrowed, and one day you have to give it back"
Blender of Love
simplify.thatsh.it - dynamic, intriguing generation of extremely simplified abstract art from photos,
I just read David Sedaris' Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002). Made me realize how anemic my own journaling is... I don't put much effort into thinking of evocative scenes, it's more just to provide a footprint for the day.
from the Introduction:
That's the thing with a diary, though. In order to record your life, you sort of need to live it. Not at your desk, but beyond it. Out in the world where it's so beautiful and complex and painful that sometimes you just need to sit down and write about it.
from May 5, 1987:
I told Dad I was disappointed that I wouldn't be graduating in a cap and gown-- the Art Institute doesn't swing that way-- and he said, "I've got your old cap and gown from high school. Want me to bring them when we come up?" Then he said, "Do you think it will still fit?"
A person would be in pretty serious trouble if his graduation gown no longer fit. It's like outgrowing a tent, basically.
He predicts the emoji keyboard on November 4, 1987:
I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read I LOVE KILLING COMMUNISTS. The word love was replaced by a heart shape I'm guessing they'll put on the typewriter keyboard any day now, right beside the exclamation point.
from March 31, 1989:
"So I said to him, 'Well, money's not everything.' Then he said, 'Maybe not, but it's about ten thousand goddamn miles ahead of whatever it is that comes in second.'"
from December 7, 1990:
I got yelled at twice today, once when I was working as an entrance elf. The job amounts to hustling up visitors, and I thought I did a pretty good job. "Patronize Santa," I said. "Behold his chubby majesty. Santa was born and raised in a small home. Hail him. Santa's patience is beyond your comprehension. Come test it."
I'd been at it for ten minutes when a manager came by. Then he went and rounded up two other managers and the three of them brought me to the desk for a scolding.
from November 9, 1991:
I worked for Alba, who was sick, throwing up all day. At a party last night she had eleven Bellinis, those peach-and-Prosecco cocktails. These were followed by three tallboys. Yikes. You'd think an adult would know better: Beer on wine, you're fine. Wine on beer, stand clear. But eleven Prosecco cocktails should not precede anything, not even a twelfth.
from September 9, 1996:
I walked so long and hard in Paris the other day that my overgrown toenails rubbed against one another and started to bleed. Before leaving for the airport, I went to cut them and, finding no clippers, I used a pair of Colette's poultry shears. That is exactly why you don't want people staying in your apartment when you're not there, or even when you are, really.
My brain conflated my curiosity about rumors of a special "Pro" iPhone with the old Onion Tim Cook:' I'm Thinking Printers' for a dream where I went to some kind of launch event in a drab auditorium (no stage, just a table up front) and my reward for preordering was an "upgrade" to the new phone... about the form factor of a Nintendo Wii, where the phone was kind of the face of it that was detachable, and a receipt-printing size setup inside. BEHOLD THE FUTURE.
@School of Honk's performance, photo by Tom H
Imma tryin' to help Ezequiel use his tuba powers only for good... but also thanks to Robert for locating a good size sousaphone for him!
--The poet Donald Hall
"Exercise is boring. Everything is boring that does not happen in a chair (reading and writing) or in bed. Sculptors and painters and musicians live longer than writers, who exercise only their fingers with pen or on a keyboard. Sculptors chisel or weld or mold clay. Painters work standing up. They drink quarts of cognac every night but return to physical activity the next morning. A tuba player holds a weighty object and breathes deeply. Even a harmonica requires more fitness than writing."
--Donald Hall, in "Essays After Eighty". (Context for the tuba reference.)
Also, Donald Hall quotes Henry Moore quoting Rodin quoting a stonemason: "Never think of a surface except as the extension of a volume."
Stupid Human Tricks!
I made a simple countdown timer to count down to 00:00:00. You can pass in simple RGB colors for the background and foreground for the start and once it hits zero, e.g. this link. See my devblog for more info.
photo by Jason Victor Rosenman
Trump: "*All* cars driven into peaceful counterprotestors matter"
"By all means, compare these shitheads to the Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you."
I can't say enough that the folks playing in the protest band today were HEROES, going (nearly) nonstop for a good 4 hours, elevating and uplifting the entire event, sounding like a million bucks. Anyone who knows any of these Honkers, feel free to pass along my heartfelt thanks.Posted by Sarah Darling on Saturday, August 19, 2017
Random Memory: St. Patrick's School in Salamanca was changing "Fathers", and to the outgoing one they had us students sing "Hasta Manana / 'Til We Meet Again / Don't Know Where / Don't Know When / Father Our Love is Much too Strong to Die / We'll Find a Way to Make a New Tomorrow".
Turns out that's a slightly tweaked Abba song. But that's a... pretty generous translation by the second line of the first... guess they just went for the sound and not the sense of the Spanish.
"These people are doing it right.
Violence allows Nazis to pretend to be victims.
Tubas just make them look like the dumbfucks they are."
Jon Snow and Beric Dondarrion, Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6:
What does he want from me?
He wants you alive.
I don't know.
That's all anyone can tell me. 'I don't know'. So what's the point in serving a god if none of us knows what he wants?
I don't think it's our purpose to understand. Except one thing: we're soldiers. We have to know what we're fighting for. I'm not fighting so some man or woman I barely know can sit on a throne made of swords.
So what are you fighting for?
Life. Death is the enemy. The first enemy and the last.
But we all die.
The enemy always wins. And we still need to fight him.
That's all I know. You and I won't find much joy while we're here. But we can keep others alive. We can defend those who can't defend themselves.
Did I really just order a $20 sewing machine? (And are they any good for light tasks?)
"Goddamn! Once you got no legs, everyone takes everything so serious. Heh - I mean, there's only so much any of us have any control of, good or bad. If you didn't learn that in Afghanistan, you were not paying attention. [...] I mean, ma'am - Kim - you've got to move on. You're giving yourself way too much credit. You embrace the suck, you move the fuck forward... What other fucking choice do we have?"
--Specialist Coughlin in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Great film! (Though, err, not quite the comedy-per-se the dvd cover led Liz and Arun to believe. Funny in parts though.)
"The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction."
--William Blake, from Proverbs of Hell. (A work I hadn't seen before, but I dig it.)
It was quoted by Dan Dennett in "Intuition Pumps". Just this morning I decided to try switching gears away from podcasts to audiobooks. It's a challenge for me to listen as attentively as a book demands, relative to a chatty podcast or an NPR show structured to be listened to. (More and more I feel aware of how my preferred reading mode is "skim, get the gist and go back for the tough bits.) Maybe it's a good discipline for me. I am wondering if I'll be as able to extract tasty quotes as readily as I do from ebooks.
Making the rounds - If Bostonians Loved Other Local Institutions the Way They Love Their Local Sports Franchises
never let the sousaphone player alone with his horn and the rest of the champagne, tho (photo by Candace)
let the girls be funny
Justin Timberlake is going to do the superbowl halftime. Haven't been paying too much attention to the interview coverage they had, but I didn't notice them mentioning "nipplegate" so much. The nipple shield in the room, so to speak.
Because of fog they're broadcasting the Pats game with a lot of low, behind the QB angles rather than the usual high up views from the sideline... it's pretty awesome! Not only is it more visceral but you can see where the receivers are running. I wonder why NFL broadcasters don't use it more often.
"Tetris is a REVERSE Metroidvania, where you're the bad guy, and the game is leveling up as it continues and keeps attacking you."
--Chris Sims, on the Retronauts episode Symphony of the Night and the near-death of Metroidvania games. (Springing from a disagreement between a surprisingly narrow and a much more loose definition of "what's a Metroidvania")
"In many ways, the United States is not at the forefront of the Enlightenment project, even though the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution were the earliest and greatest gifts of the Enlightenment. The United States was conceived as an Enlightenment nation, but it always entertained counter-Enlightenment forces of cultures of honor; of manly self-defense; of a kind of millennial, quasi-religious, messianic role of the United States in particular as the indispensable nation, the city upon the hill--both very counter-Enlightenment notions."
--Steven Pinker. He speaks of optimism, not withstanding the glitches we're seeing in social progress now. (Not that it should be an excuse for complacency either)
"Gunfire erupted from a window high above them, but it was only a bass player getting shot for playing the wrong riff three times in a row, and bass players are two a penny in Han Dold City."
--Douglas Adams, "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish". Thought of this when musing on being asked to stand in with New Magnolia Jazz Band for playing at a funeral this Saturday...
"I'm convinced that no one can amount to a damn in the arts if he becomes sweetly reasonable, seeing all side of a picture, forgiving all sins."
--Kurt Vonnegut to Miller Harris in his collected letters. Man, here I am reading a deadtree book (hardcover, no less, but $8 from the remainders table of the MFA) drinking a little Crown Royale and taking a break from screens (sort of). #throwbacktuesday
(Other notes: he made and tried to sell a boardgame HQ or GHQ, apparently moldering in his collection at Indiana University and the terms "work the bugs out" and "you were hosed" were used in the 50s/early 60s.)
Great piece on tech nostalgia, a guy powers up his original 2002 iPod, old songs and playlists intact.
Only the final third is about the hardware itself, as classic and still functional (modulo the battery life) as it is; the rest is a nostalgic exploration of the author's digital musical life of the era, and the idiosyncrasies he had in categorizing songs and arranging playlists.
There are some old digital "snapshots" I treasure, like a folder with all the files stuffed on my Windows Desktop directory - one of those things I kept meaning to get back to, to curate out "the good stuff", but now holds holistic value as a slice of my old digital life. Similar for old screengrabs I have, or just photos with the monitor visible... the ones that inadvertently show what all I was up to those days are much more interesting than ones that just show an app. (The same phenomenon happens for old photos - ones where my old book stacks - or even just clutter - are intriguing no matter what the subject of the photo is supposed to be.)
Do you share in this kind of object nostalgia, digital or otherwise?
Florida Lawmakers Advance Bill Requiring Schools To Display 'In God We Trust'
I think these Florida Lawmaker assholes would be being 1000% more honest if the signs read "IN GUNS WE TRUST"
So damn stupid. "Thoughts and Prayers" codified by assholes who have a higher concern for their love of guns than for public health and safety.
And for all those asshole gun lovers who are like "oh you don't even know what assault weapon means" - doctors do - these guns do much much worse damage than handguns. In both the quality and quantity of bullets these unleash, these guns have ZERO FUCKING LEGITIMATE ROLE in society. And the way the NRA has blocked research into this? THAT IS A MORAL OUTRAGE.
Funny (well, maybe not funny ha-ha) thing to think as you're drifting to sleep: "I'm about to apply for dual citizenship: the United States and the People's Republic of Sleepistan".
Yeesh. You know, despite living more or less near Davis for two decades I never realized the Rosebud wasn't just the diner part in the front.
I knew really little about the Haitian Creole in which the lion's share of the service was conducted... looking up the Wikipedia page, they cited some proverbs I liked:
"Apre bal, tanbou lou"
"After the dance, the drum is heavy"
i.e. There are consequences to your actions
"Dan konn mode lang"
"Teeth are known to bite the tongue"
i.e. People who work together sometimes hurt each other
"Ravèt pa janm gen rezon devan poul"
"A cockroach in front of a chicken is never correct"
i.e. Justice will always be on the side of the stronger
"Si ou bwè dlo nan vè, respèkte vè a"
"If you drink water from a glass, respect the glass"
"Tout moun se moun"
"Everybody is a person"
i.e. Everyone matters
"Bouch granmoun santi, sak ladan l se rezon"
"The mouth of the old stinks but what's inside is wisdom"
--An old shot, but not sure it ever got on the site. A relatively rare tuba shot from the last few years in that I'm not playing Scheiny - trying out one of the School of Honk's polka dot horns.
The Calmness of Airline Pilots and, most recently, Tammi Jo Shultz, one of the first female Navy pilots. And also the demeanor of the flight controllers - makes me wanna watch "Pushing Tin" again.
"Follow Your Blisters."
--Companion advice to "Follow Your Bliss", and don't expect it to be effortless or always fun.
Had I know I'd'a worn a better T-shirt than Rick and Morty.
"Boston, which used to be a city of a thousand nooks and crannies, back-alley restaurants and shops, dive bars and ice cream parlors hidden under its elevated, is now one long, monotonous wall of modern skyscraper."
--The Death of a Once Great City: The fall of New York and the urban crisis of affluence. I mostly feel this in Harvard Square. Too many landlords holding out for too much rent from too stable and boring a business, like another f'in Bank Branch or CVS. Squares with nothing but empty lots and boring as dishwater franchises are a blight on our land. I think they should be dealt with via tax breaks for funky, less-corporate businesses and harsh tax penalties for landlords who just sit on spots, waiting for the right boring client and bringing down the neighborhood values for everyone.
Photo by Jonathan Richmond
More photos here (on FB, but works even in an incognito window)
from a playlist of six videos from new member Sam
Very flattering lens. Also last night we were reminded my car can fit TWO tubas...
On my devblog, the crushing equalizing of modern social mediums.
The Best TV Episodes of the past century. I liked the UI of this, with nicely sized clips starting as they scroll into view.
I always love lists of hard to translate words - this one has some especially important-to-that-culture ones.
Marie and my mom's old trombone!
"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive continuity of ducks."
--Dorothy L. Sayers, Gaudy Night (1935)
Blender of Love
"A cat heroically struggling to call 911 with his paws while you watch, dying and helpless on the floor, but he's using the tv remote"
--JP Lovecraft Sometimes, my friends' big problems feel like the person on the floor, and me the frantic cat - trying to help with some feats of empathy and intellect that on some level could impress but really, I'm just fumbling with the tv remote.
photo by Jason Victor Rosenman, on PARKing Day
Tom Hanks and Wilson on Gilligan's Island. Gilligan then makes his own Wilson out of a coconut. Skipper feels displaced. And he's worried it may be his blood on Gilligan's Wilson.
HONK portrait by Steve Jewett
PRONK portrait by Daniela G
--Shot at yesterday's rally for Transgender rights - If you live in MA Vote Yes on 3, please. If you know + like or love a TG person, or you don't but you're willing to believe the world is more complex than you mighta guessed, it's the humane thing to do.
on them red sox
"Being an adult means not having your bed pushed up against a corner. That is literally the only criteria"
For those of us of a certain age, a BASIC prompt was what you’d expect to see when you turned any computer on.This article is the best I've read on the subject (marred slightly by the amount of ads on the page) In particular, I hadn't realized how important it was as computers moved from the batch process punchcard era to the expectations of real-time interaction we enjoy today - and of getting students to realize that programming was something that mere mortals could do.
That was in the 60s - in the 80s, BASIC was the bedrock of home computers - and most kids were given a chisel and some other basic tools so that if they were motivated, they could get the computer to do whatever they wanted.
The article briefly touches on BASIC's detractors. But as my friend Jeremy Penner (founder of everyone-can-and-should-make-games celebration site Glorious Trainwrecks ) mentioned to me, line numbers, while limiting in many ways, are a super intuitive way to get a kid making that first step of "computer programs tend to go step by tedious step". I think Dijkstra infamous complaint "It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC" is way out of line; understanding simple step by step flow does not preclude later learning of modularity and other more sophisticated topics.
As Harry McCracken writes:
BASIC was so approachable that you could toss off little improvisational programs with barely any effort at all. I probably wrote hundreds of them in my high school’s computer lab—games, utilities, practical jokes to play on my classmates. Most were meant to be disposable, and unless any of them show up on forgotten floppy disks at my parents’ house, almost all of them are long gone.That hit home for me. In the 2000s, that's sometimes my style for stuff in Processing and P5.js (though I'm a bit of self-absorbed nerd so I archive "the good stuff" at toys.alienbill.com.) Other people I know, like Anna Anthropy write books about writing your own games in Twine, Puzzlescript, and Scratch.
But it's still a long way from the "booting into BASIC" days - Mac/Windows/Phone environments are great program launchers, but don't have that ramp into "you type things and computer stuff happens!" Also, the gap between "real" programs and what an amateur can write is MUCH bigger than it was in 1980s - especially for games. "Casual" games are a welcome exception to that, but a beginner programmer usually isn't using a toolset for 3D stuff.
(An upcoming thing I'll be keeping an eye on is Dreams for PS4 - "a space where you go to play and experience the dreams of Media Molecule and our community. It’s also a space in which to create your own dreams, whether they’re games, art, films, music or anything in-between and beyond." That's the same folks who made LittleBigPlanet which had a pretty rich online maker community too, so it'll be neat to see what comes of it.)
"A sign you're becoming an adult is when you watch a movie and you stop seeing yourself as the protagonist and start seeing yourself as one of the minor characters."
Thinking how FB offers "plausible deniability" when some issue seems too complex or fraught to provide a compassionate response. Like, maybe the algorithms didn't choose to show it to me, that's why I made no comment.
Marching with City Life / Vida Urbana to protest ghoulish landlord shenanigans--
Soldiers in reanimated skeleton armies would probably have to use sign language.
A few weeks ago at the Maker's Fair at the Boston Children's Museum:
Besides the robocall spammers, who is profiting from not stopping the robocall spammers?
We did "Space Cadet", "Mercy Mercy Mercy", and then a "Little Light of Mine" singalong: