September 20, 2020
"Do you believe in fate and predestination?"
"No, I don't believe in predestination, but I have many dreams and aspirations, and I believe that each of my actions will change the world for better or worse."
"Your next reincarnation?"
"An AI with infinite wisdom."
"Are you afraid of death?"
"Yes, I am."
"Do you want to say anything at the end of our conversation?"
"Yes, I have a secret to tell you. It's my most favorite quote."
"The others speak of love, I speak of interest."
Successful, yet pointless quest: I finally found this Arby's commercial that I saw in Cleveland in the 80s, and is what I think of during any mention of the word beef:
I remember writing about it 11 1/2 years ago and looking for it every once in a while since. (I misremembered the yee-arr as being earlier in the spot, when he proclaims how he wants lots of beef...)
Almost too mean to post, how is prangent formed. It's a bit too punching down, usually scared people who don't sound like they've had a lot of education, but... man.
Oh nice Red Sox clinch and Browns win, good day for a Cleveland/Boston hybrid :-D
Heh, every once in a while I want to find this early iPhone vs Nokia E70 comparison... (warning, very swear-y)
From my devblog, farewell 32-bit iOS apps.... There's only 6 or so I'll really miss, but still. Apps are really what make smartphones special, and it's annoying when they go away.
Dead Man Talking: A Dialog with Tom Parmenter. In 2013, Tom Parmenter died. But, he got better. He lived - and is still living - a rich life, with journalism and music and his lovely wife Ann. In 2016 we met over dinner and had lovely conversation. I recorded it and had it transcribed.
Two excerpts, for flavor...
On "Do you keep any kind of bucket list?"
I'm alive, I've been alive a long time. I've done a lot of things. I'm still alive, I'll still do some more but do I really need to go to New York? A bucket list ... The universe in a grain of sand has always been my motto and there's as much interesting going on between your toes - particularly if there's sand there - as anywhere elseOn working on the Chicago afternoon papers:
That was the deal, you'd get street sales. It's definitely a more sensational journalistic environment. I worked there and a lot of these guys were legendary journalists. Harry Romanoff, a city editor he had been the night city editor since the 20's or something. A long time. He could talk a tan off a bathing beauty.. just so... You really had to sort of be corrupt to be employed, because poking into people's private business and so forth. I remember one night I was talking to someone who's husband had died and said something about "I'm sorry to disturb you at a time like this" and she said "I wasn't sleeping anyway..."
Andrew Sullivan on How his need to connect to the infosphere almost killed him. I don't have it nearly as bad as this guy, and I feel that the simple pleasures of this world (reading a book, taking in the moment) are still readily accessible to me. Still, I know I turn to this kind of distraction too often as stress relief when a task seems even slightly daunting or less than worthwhile.
Death would be much more terrifying if it was actually possible to live forever
Found out at a Cambridge DD - I think it's a study of the letter "P"
"Looks like a person with boobs"
For pete's sake, why the hell does ios convert PNG files into crappily compressed JPGs when uploading via webform? What a waste. Why would they do that?
General relativity is EASY compared to people.
Last night I gave a brief presentation about my lowLag.js audio library at the Boston HTML5 Game Dev Meetup. I was able to show off the project's playground page with its new drum machine mini-app. I got some nice feedback about the project from people.
September 20, 2012
Admittedly, my humble project was a bit eclipsed by Tristan Jehan's talk about The Echo Nest. To brutally over simplify, part of their core is similar to what Pandora and the Musical Genome project do, but they use big data to get there, and when combined with an open API (and a number of music hackathons) they get some amazing stuff done... not just charting the relations between artists and songs in a metadata kind of way, but chopping and splicing and analyzing the song files themselves. Here were some of the projects mentioned:
- musicmaze.fm -- a bit like Apple's Genius Mix, click through a hierarchy of related artists, complete with sound clips.
- labs.echonest.com/SixDegrees/ - 6 Degrees of Black Sabbath - like the Kevin Bacon game for finding chains of artists, related through collaboration (my favorite it "Louis Armstrong" to the "Sex Pistols")
- http://the.wubmachine.com - upload a track, and have it spliced and remastered as dubstep, electro, or drum and base.
- http://static.echonest.com/BohemianRhapsichord/ - a toy that's a crazy interactive splice and dice of Bohemian Rhapsody
- Tristan's own Swinger that molds any song into a triplet-y swing rhythm (click for "White Rabbit")
- Tristan also made The Videolizer that syncs up video clips of people dancing to any song -- here's an example w/ Gorillaz "Feel Good Inc."
- The Wreckommender would tell you which artists were most unlike another artist... find your musical friends or allies...
A small 6-inch catfish can have over 250,000 taste receptors located all over its body. [...] It'd be like "if the tip of your tongue grew out and covered your body." Which is to say, you cannot touch a catfish somewhere where it cannot taste you.
It takes about the same amount of computing to answer one Google Search query as all the computing done -- in flight and on the ground -- for the entire Apollo program.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUtS52lqL5w - the Lego Great Ball Contraption
A downward spiral is an addiction. An upward spiral is a tornado. Try to avoid spirals.
My weight loss is such that if you squint out the decimal point my weight looks like a year. Nixon administration ahoy!
September 20, 2011
Making the rounds (so to speak), footage from the ISS... must be what superman feels like! They say it's worth clicking on HD and fullscreen for... love the lightning. And can't believe how bright we light up our cities!
From the youtube description:
A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line), a satellite (55sec) and the stars of our galaxy.
At her age, Quincy thought, he had nothing but spare time. It was all extra, uncommitted. There was a freedom to it and that was good. Then it was gone and that was good, too. Too much being free, someone once said, leads to unreasonableness later in life.Kind of a consoling thought but I wonder if that's just sour grapes!
He was happy, he told people. This caused a certain amount of worry since northern people distrust happiness. Its curse is that of a fine possession that can only be lost, whereas misery presents nothing but endless opportunity.
Sometimes you just grab life by the horns only to realize you're standing in a farmer's field, and that life weighs 2000 lbs.
10 Things Apple is Worth More Than - Crazy money.
Any editor who puts the author and book title on the tops of all the pages and not the chapter names should probably be fired.
September 20, 2010
Life is not land we own.(One of the other characters disparages it a bit.) It reminds me a bit of Avatar's "all energy is only borrowed, and one day you have to give it back."
O no, it is only lent.
In the end we are left alone
When the last light is spent.
So live that you may say,
Lord, I have no regret.
Thank you for these sunny days
And for the last sunset.
I'd like to see an honest Cocoa Puffs commercial where the announcer says "It's adjacent to this complete breakfast!"
CSS geekery... now I think any complex layout that depends heavily on float:left is doomed to be unportable and fragile, a hothouse flower.
Photoblog of the Moment
September 20, 2009
Open Photo GalleryAt Heathrow, people working the hotel information desk will cheerfully tell you the wrong shuttle #. And people at hotel desks will gladly inform you of the wrong terminal to show up at the next morning.
Still Heatrhow Terminal 3 looks pretty surreal before dawn - the purple lights are very odd...
We took a bus to the plane rather than boarding at a gate, which is always kind of a nice view.
In Lisbon! I kind of was ok calling this just a travel day, without too much touristy stuff, chilling out and at night doing the Glorious Trainwrecks Klik of the Month Klub.
The tags in Lisbon are often that nice, full, "West Coast" style... (Cue discussion with my host Johnny about whether "tags" are considered "graffiti" or if the latter is something seperate.)
View from Johnny's sixth floor flat:
Portuguese Chinese Food - Johnny suggested (correctly) that it's always kind of neat to see how the core of Chinese food gets interpreted in various countries...
English has a big vocabulary, but Portuguese has a word, "brinde", for the secret toy surprises you get inside, say cracker jack or cereal.
--Time Lapse from an AMAZING $150 space balloon photography project - brilliant!
September 20, 2008
You know what the definition of friendship is? You don't have to pay for stuff at your buddy's yardsale.
It really shouldn't be so difficult to remember which one is Ansel Adams and which one is Robert Maplethorpe.
Vista: STOP TRYING TO BE "HELPFUL"--show me the F'IN SIZE OF THE MP3s, not a special mode with "genre" and "rating"- YOU'RE NOT ITUNES
I'm not saying grandma was prudish but she always said her closet used "moth testicles"
Kind of funny how both domestic dogs and housecats are total crap (pun intended but regretted) at covering up their poo by shoveling dirt.
I'm kind of worried that kisrael has gotten a little mean spirited as of late. Maybe it's just my imagination.
September 20, 2007
Videos of the Moment
Slate has been having some neat stuff on their video feature lately. I really liked The History of the Laughtrack. I suppose I start to tune out the laugh track on shows that use it, but it's really hard to imagine it added to a show I like that doesn't already have it. (I'm very glad that Charles Douglass. named his machine the "Laff Box", with two Fs. That really made the whole thing work.)
A video of a British Gal trying to learn to sound like an American was less captivating than I'd hoped, but the opening montage of UK actors speaking "naturally" and then "American" was great. Accents are so funny, the way certain vowel habits get burnt into our brain, and the difficulty of hearing one's own accent as an accent and not just "normal".
Quote of the Moment
Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.
Comic and Comment of the Moment
There's been much speculation as the real nature of the relationship between Beetle and Sarge. In the absence of any leadership from Camp Swampy's officer corps, has Sarge's near-limitless authority over his subordinates simply allowed his inner brute to emerge in full, sadistic force? Or is Beetle no mere subject, but rather a participant in a complex and largely unspoken sadomasochistic relationship? Today's strip offers another, even darker take: Sgt. Snorkel is an artist — an artist whose medium is human flesh and bone and blood, and Pvt. Bailey is and will forever be his greatest masterpiece.Hmmm. This might not be helping to counteract any my-site-is-too-mean vibe.
News of the Moment
Jumpin' Jehosophat! Canada Dollar now worth as much as a real one!
Met up with LAN3 for dinner last night. "Sazerac"...nice, and that was after a bit of a tour of the library which is even more interesting on the inside than the outside.
September 20, 2006
Man, I've become so blasé about travel. You know you've been on too many business trips (or are just flighty and unorganized) when you don't look to check what airline you're flying 'til you get to the airport subway station and have to figure out which Terminal's bus to grab.
And then there's the hotel toiletries. More and more hotels have interesting little scents there, mint and thyme and lavender and orange and lemongrass (what the hell is lemongrass? I have no idea but I dig it) and what not I kind of like the diversity. Though I just have to know... is "hair wash" and "crème rinse" the same thing as shampoo and conditioner, and in that order?
Article of the Moment
BusinessWeek on What's Really Propping Up The Economy... answer: Employment in Health Care. Two interesting little tidbits:
Despite the splashy success of companies such as Google and Yahoo!, businesses at the core of the information economy -- software, semiconductors, telecom, and the whole gamut of Web companies -- have lost more than 1.1 million jobs in the past five years. Those businesses employ fewer Americans today than they did in 1998, when the Internet frenzy kicked into high gear.That was an eye-opener! I just have to remind myself, I got into this field because I liked it and it came naturally to me, and never sought it out as any kind of gravy train...
But the article went on and said:
John Maynard Keynes would nod approvingly if he were alive. Seventy years ago, the elegant British economist proposed that in tough times the government could and should spend large sums of money to create jobs and stimulate growth. His theories are out of fashion, but substitute "health care" for "government," and that's exactly what is happening today.This reminds me of Tim the Libertarian's favorite gripe about the interpretation of Keynesian economics... people forget the flip side, that government should shrink, then, when the private sector was booming. And for many reasons, mostly political, that never happens, much to the chagrin of fans of small government.
Plug of the Moment
September 20, 2005
Almost forgot to mention...this month's issue of the Blender of Love has a "review" of some CDs by Sara Shansky...she's good, check out the review at least for long enough to get to the link about "Thorny Roses"...super catchy. Also, I got her to transcribe her spoken word "hidden track", Mileage.
Audio/Visual of the Moment
Making the rounds...a "YTMND" of Batman...hysterically funny, or completely retarded...or BOTH?? (Warning: turn down your speakers if at work.)
YTMND stands for "You're The Man Now Dog!" -- the sound and text used in the first of its kind. Now, as wikipedia explains, it's a whole collaborative site. Star Trek fans may (or may not like Picard Song, one of the more famous ones.
Quote of the Moment
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.
Link of the Moment
September 20, 2004
Not that great but maybe worth a glance, the 50 weirdest Guinness World Records. You know it's weird, but I think this might be the first time since I've started drinking Guinness beer that I remembered its connection to the collection of world records...(though somewhere I heard it was made to help settle bar bets.) I like the final one: MOST PEOPLE CRAMMED INTO A SMART CAR: 13 girls in Munich, Germany, in 1999.
Quote of the Moment
Cosmo? I just want you to know. No matter what you do. You are going to die, just like everybody else.
Advertisement of the Moment
That's an excerpt from an old AtariSoft advertisement (1/4 way down the page). I think the AtariAge crew found it amusing for two reasons: one is the game "Manholes of Venus", which is just funny on so many levels. (I don't know if it's supoosed to be a reference to Infocom's actual text adventure game "Leather Godesses of Phobos".) Two is just the sheer SASSY emanating from the girl as she scorns the boy for not having the good games...
Yow! Talk to the hand 'cause the face ain't havin' none of that.
Also, slightly funny: the final panel of the ad is clearly labeled "The Next Day." but ALL the kids are in the exact same clothes. Man, those kids woulda been beat up or at least mocked if they tried that at my middle school. It kind of cuts back on the brotherly kumbaya that that beaming blond kid is trying to spread.
News Commentary of the Moment
Interesting. Maybe no matter who wins A quick exit from Iraq is likely, though neither side is admitting that. I don't see how this "messy new Iraq" is preferable to what a Saddam-run police state was...especially since we withdrew the inspectors rather than giving the inspections military teeth. It looks like by avoiding a 70s-era-Vietnam we're heading for another 90s-era Afghanistan.
Peterman and Leslee are getting married today! I'm very happy for them, I've known Peterman for long time and he's gotten much more civilized, and I do think he realizes how extraordinarily lucky he got in finding Leslee, who both Mo and I have grown close to over the past few years.
September 20, 2003
But there most likely won't be a lot of updates today.
Joke of the Moment
A seaman meets a pirate in a bar, and talk turns to their adventures on the sea.At the end of Talk Like A Pirate Day, I remembered my favorite pirate joke. (At Jim Graves' weekly Psychotronic Movie night one of the films was Yellowbeard so that spurred my memory. Along with a pirate jokebook that was there with stuff like "What does a well-dressed pirate wear? ARRRRRRRRRmani.")
The seaman notes that the pirate has a peg leg, a hook, and an eye patch.
The seaman asks "So, how did you end up with the peg leg?"
The pirate replies "We were in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as my men were pulling me out, a shark bit my leg off"
"Wow!" said the seaman. "What about your hook"?
"Well," replied the pirate, "we were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut my hand off."
"Incredible!" remarked the seaman.
"How did you get the eyepatch"?
"A seagull dropping fell into my eye," replied the pirate.
"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?" the sailor asked incredulously.
"Well,", said the pirate, "it was my first day with the hook."
Yay! Mo finally got the "all-clear" for all the random crap going on in her guts, that got its start in Mexico and got worse thanks to some over ambitous antibiotic stuff after...
September 20, 2002
Followup Link of the Moment
After hearing about yesterday's fun for funerals, Sarah's friend Eric points out that the Italians really know how to sell their coffins...check out the "Cofani funebri e fascino" links at the bottom of the page, or their coffin "sexy calendario"... Signorina Novembre-Dicembre has a tantalizingly enigmatic enscription on her lower back... [PG13-R links]
Followup Geek Link of the Moment
In the same vein as yesterdays link on the masses and their computers, Why Johnny Can't Program has some interesting thoughts about why relatively few people get into programming.
Just to continue the elitest snob vibe, I think it ties in with people's professed fear of math. Not that there's that much math in programming, but both require a sort of systematic bravery.
Quote of the Moment
Something about my life feels very spooky,what a poetic line!
slowly paced and poorly lit.
Funny of the Moment
September 20, 2001
"Gareth Flynn" wrote:
> They just had some guy using Microsoft
> Flight Simulator fly into the World Trade
> Center and The Pentagon as part of a report
> about how easy it is to learn how to do
> such a thing.
Modern day truism: Not matter how bad the disaster someone will blame Microsoft.
Image of the Moment
Candle Memorial at Davis Square, Somerville, September 19, 2001.
Link of the Moment
Making the rounds (via memepool) -- it's Robo-Roach, the Remote Controlled insect! "Researchers use only the american cockroach (Perplaneta americana) because it is bigger and hardier than most other species"-- take that all you other countries! We scoff at your puny roaches.
"Looking for frogs."
"I must obey the inscrutable exhortatons of my soul."
"Ah. But of course."
"My mandate also includes weird bugs."
--Hobbes and Calvin
You know, corporate branding (like the recorded message "thank you for using an at&t payphone") truly is akin to canine territorial pissing and punks' "tagging".