January 21, 2020

via Bill
What Do Machine Learning and Hunter-Gatherer Children Have in Common? - "They acquire knowledge in remarkably similar ways" - there's a takeaway for the West's kids too - provide high quality environments with lots of stuff and habits kids can use or emulate, from books to tools.
Selling Hedonism in Postwar America. Trying to ponder what I've seen from early-20th + 19th century advertising to see if I can agree that hedonism was kind of a new element. And if it's more of a conspiracy, or more a byproduct of being the richest nation standing after WW2...

January 21, 2019

James Harvey pointed out Olivia James is killing it on Nancy:

Unfortunately Tom Brady is the QB Maroon 5 fans deserve

January 21, 2018

Blender of Love

January 21, 2017

I already reposted Richard Wilbur's poem Love Calls Us to the Things of this World".... here is the cover of the paper I wrote on it in highschool. Even now when doing the wash "Oh, let there be nothing but laundry!" comes to mind. (It was an injoke too with Marnie, whom I took the class with.)

January 21, 2016

--Various Easings as posted in my devblog

January 21, 2015

Wondering if I should switch back to paper books. Mostly because of the concept of worst retention etc with e-texts. Also paper books are great because you can put them on a shelf and look smart and easily lend them, but terrible because you have to put them on a shelf.

Sometimes I think keeping such close track of my book consumption year after year isn't a great thing, that I'm more biased towards activities I've quantified/gamified that way vs, say, coding (for recreational or self-education purposes)
O jeez is there any way to remove the [Username] button from the top right of the new version of chrome? It's like having your mom sew your name into your underwear.
I do think satire is a good weapon against ISIS propaganda.

January 21, 2014

A restless night for me last night, but my dad made a cameo in one of my dreams.

He was standing in a pavilion near a ferris-wheel type ride I had just been on. The dream was half-lucid; I remember kind of arguing with the narrator of dream, trying to mentally persuade the dream powers-that-be to let this scene linger; it felt like it had been a long while since I had seen him.

I went up to him to drink him in visually as much as I could. He had some sort of obscure gadget in front of his face (some of my coworkers are into Google Glass, maybe it was dreamworld parody of that.) I looked at his face closely; his eyes were a little blood shot. He didn't have much to say but I told him again and again how much I miss him, and then those dream powers-that-be had their say and the scene was finished.

The world has changed a lot since the late 1980s, and so have I, and I wish he was around to interact with both.
from 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World:

coffee n cream

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January 21, 2013

never meta joke i didn't like

January 21, 2012
At work, I don't make 420 jokes, which might violate company policy, but I do make metajokes with Hannah. (At this point, it might be a metameta joke.) I appreciated her screen capture, tasteful cropping (or at least to the point of plausible deniability) and posting to FB.
I dunno. I'm kind of foreseeing a monoculture world where everyone buys anything via Amazon Prime and all computers and phones are Apple's.


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January 21, 2011

--I really liked Steve Jackson's "OGRE" boardgame back in the day, even if it seemed unbalanced -- at least the way my friends and I played. The game is about a GIANT automated tank rolling through more conventional forces to demolish their HQ... I think the non-OGRE side could shoot the treads off and win consistently.(via)
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/01/the_20_best_nic.php - 20 best mafia nicknames in the recent bust.
See? Life is FULL of meaning... but so is an eviction notice.
Stuart Hample, "Inside Woody Allen"

I've got to get a new broom.
As I sweep with this one, the straw drops out, and I have to sweep it up, and more straw drops out, and...
-on second thought maybe I'll keep it.
It's a perfect expression of the meaning of life.
Stuart Hample, "Inside Woody Allen"

I used to think humans were worms in a cosmic plan.
Then I remembered, that in the final analysis-
-the worms win.
Stuart Hample, "Inside Woody Allen"

http://is.gd/JWCtog - it's not about being right, just progressively less wrong. This is why science is better than fundamentalism.
Last night I led a discussion at my UU "Science and Spirituality" group on William Irvine's Stoicism Book "A Guide to the Good Life". One woman who had previously flustered me by asking "would you please finish a sentence?" (meaning she was having trouble following my rambling mode of talk, how I can tend to jam my parenthetical asides in too early and then wend my way back) said I was much improved that night; I admit her original comment kind of irked me, but I took it a bit to heart and tried to improve, but I was still surprised (as was she!) that there was a noticeable improvement, and it was lovely of her to mention the change.

phillip glass on sesame street

January 21, 2010

I kissed a girl and I think I didn't like it. Seriously, they're all mushy and smell like dryer sheets. What's the point?

The "Cosi" at my building has an iced coffee that tastes oddly of tea. I kind of like it.
Aw jeez, that pretty boy, filibustering Scott Brown is from Tufts? At least he was at BC when he was posing naked in Cosmo.

god's eye view

January 21, 2009

God's Eye - well, technically "GeoEye" - view of
Washington D.C. National Mall 2009 Inaugural Celebration.

It's funny how for a lot of people, the biggest reference point of "recent event big enough that everyone watches TV at work" is 9/11.
One of the odder legacies of my years of marching band is loving finding the harmonies in "Star Spangled Banner"
HotenDotey is back??? http://www.hotendotey.com/ - WARNING don't actually look at that site.
Eisenhower was raised in a household of Jehovah's Witnesses and was baptized Presbyterian twelve days after his inauguration. WHO KNEW?
James A. Garfield discovered a novel proof of the Pythagorean Theorem [...] while serving as a member of the House of Rep's. WHO KNEW?
Just realized I was 50% of the way towards totally writing the same dumb "should I change my blog format" post. NO ONE CARES THAT MUCH.
masukomi Feeds suck. There's something- in theory- nice about stripping pure content, but you miss so much of the visual texture of sites!
Stormy night/not even a/star in sight/On my way/to where the sky is dark/Can you tell me how to get/how to get to Yellowstone Park?-DonMusic
I keep forgetting my iPhone has Shazam. Awesome for IDing old forgotten mixtape tracks. It's pretty awe-inspiring tech, actually.
"Tainted Love", Gloria Jones did the original, not just a campy R+B cover? WHO KNEW?

absolutely phoneme-inal!

January 21, 2008

phoneme - source - built with processing

I've made a lot of nerdy things in my time but this might well take the cake. The phonetically spelled words drift down, type the word and press return to destroy it. It's not very polished (except for the way the solved invader collapses) but not bad for a bit over 2 hours.

In the pre-KotM time I grabbed the "2of12inf" word list from 12dicts, and then crossed referenced it with the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary at KotM-time. (I found a link to the latter when I was looking for some kind of downloadable rhyming dictionary file... I had a different game in mind but couldn't find the resources for it.)

The core game idea is kind of fun I think. It's an interesting challenge to phonetically suss out a word, and then it becomes a bit of a spelling challenge.

oregoing, oregoing...

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January 21, 2007
Ever stop to consider that "Hall of Fame" is kind of an odd name for that kind of honor? Not "Hall of Greatness" or "Hall of Devastatingly Awesome Football Ability, Strength, Smarts and/or Courage", just "Fame". I mean, the people there are there because of their abilities, not because of their fame, and they'd generally be famous even without the Hall.

Video of the Moment

--So winter has finally let its presence be known here in New England, albeit with bitter cold rather than large amounts of snow. But over there in Portland, OR, they've had a pile of ice to (fail to) deal with...

It's funny how plastic-y lightly crashing cars sound these days.

Anecdote of the Moment
[British tragic actress] Sarah Siddon's high dramatic style tended to spill over into her everyday life. (As Sydney Smith observed of her at the dinner table, "It was never without awe that one saw her stab the potatoes.") In Bath to play some of her favorite tragic roles, she visited a draper's shop to buy some fabric. Picking up a piece of muslin, she looked with great intensity at the shopman and said with the utmost solemnity and dramatic effect, "Did you say, sir, that this would wash?" The draper suspected that he had a lunatic in his shop. Mrs. Siddons recollected herself at the sight of his surprise, apologized, and repeated the question in a more normal voice.
via Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes
...I just wanted to say that that sounds like a fun way to be, if you can get away with it. A little obnoxious, but fun.


January 21, 2006
Back from Dallas, safe and relatively sound...

Vague Sexiness of the Moment
The report found that each breast moves independently of the body by an average of nine centimetres during each step taken on a treadmill.
I found it weirdly sexy, in a "10 year old looking at African women in National Geographics" kind of way. It goes on to say that during a metric mile (I looked it up-- 1500 meters, 93% of a normal mile) a woman's "breasts bounce up to 135 metres under their own steam". Yowza! Unfortunately the original article goes on after to talk about the pain, discomfort, and ultimate sag associated with this, but still. I kind of like the "found sexiness" angle of that.)

Web Digression of the Moment
So today's title comes from Unwrap Party, a decently written piece of indecency that I remember from back in the day, where it's mentioned that "Wubbeda" is "the sound of jostling breasts". I remembered the term well enough to Google for it and find the story, along with the sad tale of Mark Wubbeda, no longer allowed to witness for Jesus while answering the phone at work. That site led to this article about short-lived, post-9/11 religious symbol Lucky Charms... "red crosses, yellow menorahs and blue minarets". I think the site is just a big deadpan hoax, but I just love the revision of the old jingle I thought of... "Frosted Lucky Charms, They're Magically Sacrilegious!"

Site Update of the Moment
So, I've upgraded the Comments Spam feature once again... there's this one linkfarmer who loves to have a script praise a site in a effusive but non-specific kind of way, and then have a link to a random theme site (like for certain medications), a blatant ploy to make up their rankings on the Search Engines. Luckily, they're not sure if their potential spamhosts support putting HTML in comments or not, so they tend to have the bare URL followed by the URL in HTML, so I now weed that pattern out.

For some reason this one is very fond of this day's entry. I don't know if that's a particularly Google-juiced page or what.

Farkin' spammers. Repent your wicked ways or die slowly and painfully.

quite a feet

January 21, 2005
Dialog of the Moment
"Aaaaigh! I can't breathe!"
"Dear, that was your own smell."
"I know.... ...don't think I'm too happy about that."
Evil B. and wife during a heated round of "Tetris Attack".
This was after Evil B had boasted about his secret gameplay weapon, that his feet were really stinky that day.

Thank goodness I always have my Palm nearby to record such golden moments for posterity.

Image of the Moment
--BoingBong pointed out that this 1952 cover of "Time" beautifully predicted the recent Huygens probe.

requiem for a sammich

January 21, 2004
In the big-whoop site update news, I made a permanent home for Etch-A-Sketch Animator wing of Small Gif Cinema and put a link at the far end of the latter to the former.

Oddly, the glitch I thought I was responsible for on the bottom of the skeleton animation turns out to be an IE thing.

AIM Chat of the Moment
LAN3 (5:28:01 PM): Hmm, I've got half a club sammich left from lunch, but I'm hungry now. What to do?
kirk: (5:28:29 PM): I'm not seeing the dilemna here.
--LAN3 and me (times adjusted to Seattle time). Immediately after the exchange he said he that if he had a blog he would post that, and I thought--wait--I have a blog...

Link of the Moment
Heard this on the radio, but LAN3 gave me the link with the following headline: F*** THE NAZIS, SAYS CHURCHILL'S PARROT...turns out Churchill's parrot is still alive, and still does the Nazi-cursing that the former prime minister taught her. What I want to know is, how did he teach her to swear in asterisks?

You know, if I was part of some tribe that had parrots around, naturally, and they picked up my tribe's speech...man, that would really freak me out. You wonder what kind of model "primitive" tribes have of animal intelligence vs. us city dwellers.

News of the Moment
Slate has some decent and cutting analysis of the last night's State of the Union speech, as well as some thoughts about the official and unofficial responses to it.

Fetish of the Moment
Odd fetish, or just a parody? You decide...it's Girls Eating Sandwiches! Interesting to note that it's links all over the place, not a localized collection.

ice ice baby, too cold, too cold

January 21, 2003
Man, it's so dang cold. Nice weather for frozen ducks.

Taking a breather from those backlog flushes, even though I still have three more ready to go...don't want to risk losing my blogging vibe completely. Plus, although backlog flushes can be a bit out of date, they are pretty content rich, so I don't want my usual 2-to-4 bits daily to start suffering in comparison to its formal ten...

Of course, I doubt few of my readers think it's worth the fretting I'm giving it here.

Quote of the Moment
"Lust is what makes you keep wanting to do it, even when you have no desire to be with each other. Love is what makes you keep wanting to be with each other, even when you have no desire to do it."
Chiasmus is wordplay based on a phrase being followed by an inversion of that phrase--this page from the site is an excellent introduction.

Nostalgia of the Moment
"Let's play a game. I'll start by saying 'I one the sandbox'. You say 'I two the sandbox'."
"I two the sandbox."
"I three the sandbox."
"I four the sandbox."
"I five the sandbox."
"I six the sandbox."
"I seven the sandbox."
"I eight the sandbox."
"You ate the sandbox!? How did it taste?"
An old childhood gag I loved.
I think I got it from Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street. Popped into my head when we were talking about a 'sandbox' computer system for software testing at work.

Wargame of the Moment
Bill posted Gulf War 2, putting a not entirely implausible prediction of future events in the form of a mock computer wargame...scary stuff, you wonder if our leaders are given this much thought to the regional consequences.

Political Phrase of the Moment
"coalition of the willing"
Bush's term for "those violent mofos" who are willing to attack Iraq no matter how many people in the UN think it's a bad idea. Hm, I wouldn't count myself personally among the willing...anyway out of this coalition?

can't make him think

January 21, 2002
Quote of the Moment
You can lead a horse to bullshit, too.

Video of the Moment
From the makers of that brilliant Atari VCS themed video, it's Total Control, a audivisual study in Slot Car Racing and branding/iconography. (Their navigation isn't the easiest to follow, click on Veja/Watch in the top right corner...some of the other parts are interesting too, like "Making Of" and "Carros/Cars") Also, the site has some decent decent Electronica.


January 21, 2001
The News
So we now have "former president Clinton". Man, that's just sad. Bush talks about bringing his "small town" values to Washington. The thing is, he says that like it's a good thing. When I think small town, I think closed-mindedness, prejudice, intense conservatism (in the non-political sense of the word), lack of interest in the arts, unwillingness to compromise, hurtful gossip, etc etc.

Looking at how the country voted-- more urban areas for Gore, more rural for Bush-- it's pretty clear Bush might not get us city folk, in more ways than one. I love his refusal to bring up any hint that he didn't win the popular vote in his speech Saturday. Salon.com has an article on W's speech. It pointed out the 14 references to God in his speech, as well as the impressive return of "Jesus". This bothers me a lot. "Jesus" of course excludes millions of Jews and other non-Christians. And it seems like no politician can resist bringing up God in general. It's such pandering. The assumption that as a nation we can't share morality without sharing faith is ridiculous and ultimately harmful.

And then there's the whole cowboy boots and women in furs thing. Gah. I don't want our national discourse to look some rerun of Dallas.

Quote of the Moment
"Now the opera gets a subsidy from the National Endowment for the Arts, but, by and large, Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks don't. Those of us who drive our pickups to those concerts don't get a subsidy, but the people who drive their Mercedes to the opera get a subsidy."
John Ashcroft, September 17, 1997

(More small town wisdom, I guess.)

Quote of the Other Moment
I tried to give as good as I got.
Bill Clinton, January 20, 2001

"I'm Drew Carey, God's Hackey-Sack"
Y2K: sometimes I'm panicked, sometimes I'm just a bit uneasy.  Lena things it's silly to worry as much as I do.  I get the feeling this might be a very long year.  Glad I have Mo along, for those reasons among many others.   Once we move out of the Big Yellow House I'll do a wee bit of stockpiling in ernest.  
"Kirk is his own Enigma- 'I just don't understand myself'"
          --Paul Morville