July 13, 2020

When I was about 11, my father was listening to NPR in the car and I was the captive audience in the back seat with no choice but to listen. It was some gardening and/or food themed show and the host was talking about how carrots grown in the winter produce more sugar. This is an evolutionary tactic on the carrot's part to survive harsh conditions. And that was when this man dropped the most banger line I've ever heard. "When you bite into a carrot and it tastes sweet, that's the carrot saying 'I don't want to die.'" I was floored, changed as a person forever. This line haunts me. The poetry. The emotion. NPR made me the sappy garden idiot I am today, romanticizing senescence and over analyzing the science behind vegetables.
(admittedly this could be mis-spun as a somewhat anti-vegan concept...)
Elsewhere, workers labor daily to extract gold that lies more than two miles underground [...] If you think that such depths are startling, consider the sheer number of holes humans dig. One estimate suggests that for every person alive, there may exist 21 feet of borehole hollowed out in pursuit of geothermal energy, and natural gas, oil, and other hydrocarbons. Even as human toil compiles new kinds of useful metals and crystals aboveground, it creates airy space where raw resources were once bestrewn below.
A long while ago I thought about the Paul Simon line "Too many people on the bus from the airport / Too many holes in the crust of the earth", and while I'm wary of analysis that says "it's too many people!" and not more about how shared resources are being exploited and used, it seems a foresightful line- that was way I heard about fracking causing earthquakes in otherwise stable areas and putting drinking water at risk.
Power, power, power! Up here where the world was like a toy beneath me. Where I held the stick like my cock in my hand and there was no one...to say me no!
Jonas Cord, in Harold Robbins' "The Carpetbaggers"
via Steven Levy's "Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution". I thought of this when Tom posted an image from an anti-mask rally with the comment "They’re doing a no-mask protest in Colorado Springs today. This is the level of sophistication. The woman has “No” crossed out."

July 13, 2019

I love how the summaries from these vintage Star Trek Trading Cards all sound a bit off, like they're written by a neural net or something.

And then the fun for fans is trying to figure out the episode!

July 13, 2018

flexible beyond belief:

The Wii is now as old as the Nintendo 64 was when the Wii was first released

July 13, 2017

Happy 1.5 Billion Seconds Unix!!!!! (In this time zone, that's Thursday July 13, 2017 22:40:00 (pm) ) You can find out similar stuff about yourself at TimeToy
This, here," Rat said, indicating another giant piece of wooden furniture, "is a free-standing Fluchtzbesser turntable. Inside that wooden cabinet is an eleven-hundred-pound piece of granite. Yes, sir, this is about the finest hi-fi ever assembled in the city of Baconburg."
"And it only has the one speaker?" Winston Bongo asked. Rat gave Winston a sideways look.
"Stereo is for sissies," she said.
Daniel Pinkwater, "The Snarkout Boys & The Avocado of Death". Also, I thought this was a fine description of a Kiwi: "We had Chinese gooseberries, which I had never seen before. They're fuzzy brown on the outside, and about the size of an egg. Inside they're green and taste somewhere between a banana and a lime. I liked them." I didn't not realize they were once called "Chinese gooseberries".

So for crimes, first degree is the most severe, but for burns, it's the least severe.

Sigh, language.
Should be a great August for Boston traffic

june 2016 new music playlist

July 13, 2016
So-so month for new music last month.
61 glimpses of the future, starting in the Far East.
I'm not a very privacy-minded guy, but Waze kind of freaked me out the other day - I was used to it "helpfully" asking "Are you on your way [Home]?" (after I registered more or less my home address with it") at random times I thought maybe there was some heuristic about home and realizing I wasn't near there. The other day it asked me "Are you on your way to [Stony Brook]?" - where we have our regular band practice at that time... Now, I entered Stony Brook as a favorite just for that purpose, but man... that moves Waze from "take a guess" heuristics to low-key stalker.

July 13, 2015

It was the month of June, the morning sun was emerging from the clouds, and Alain was walking slowly down a Paris street. He observed the young girls, who--every one of them--showed her naked navel between trousers belted very low and a T-shirt cut very short. He was captivated; captivated and even disturbed: It was if their seductive power no longer resided in their thighs, their buttocks, or their breasts, but in that small round hole located in the center of the body.
Milan Kundera, opening of "The Festival of Insignificance". Reminds me a bit of these old David Rakoff quotes I saved eight (!) years ago, http://kirk.is/2007/09/13/

I remember Veronika​ thinking that the drinking fountains at our high school were kind of weird and gross, and it's funny, and maybe not a great thing, that culturally we kind of came around to that way of thinking...

July 13, 2014

I'd like to think that had I known the truth, I might have been a kinder, more loving person. If only we knew the Truth, mightn't we all?
Tom Robbins in his memoir "Tibetan Peach Pie"

[The great spirits of the modern age] were like inventors who, having discovered electricity, knew nothing about insulation.
Henry Miller on Rimbaud

New idea for next World Cup: if still scoreless after the extra two quarter hours, match decided by foozpong.

love blender

July 13, 2013

you spin me right round, baby right round like a record, baby right round round round

July 13, 2012

Miller tweeted me this article about the tumblr rrrrrrrrrroll-- they have a theme and they're stickin' with it!
http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/what-your-social-web-use-says-about-your-politics - Politics and the Social Web
But we don't worry much about the ethics of the spark plug, the piston, the fuel injector, or the gasoline. Does the engine have a moral imperative to explode distilled hydrocarbons? Does it do violence on them? Does it instead express ardor, the loving heat of friendship or passion?
Ian Bogost, "Alien Phenomenology"

weighty letters

July 13, 2011

--So watching this reminds me of the distance between my mild "pseudo-dyslexia" and the real thing. (Mine is weirdly phonetic and based on "mouth shapes") Still an interesting attempt at helping the problem, though light on quantifying how effective the font actually is.
A triangle which has an angle of 135 degrees is called an obscene triangle.

around and around and around we go

July 13, 2010

--Detail from this brilliant work about the creative process, from the web comic subnormality...

Thought for the day: it just occurred to me how incredibly ironic it is that, when the Pledge of Allegiance was changed in 1954, they actually put 'under God' in between the words one nation and indivisible.
Phil Plait (via Bill the Splut) -- man, what a tin ear they had when they did made that blow against secular pluralism.

Note to future self: again, a param tag name="wmode" value="transparent" helps embedded Flash rest comfortably BEHIND div popups.
A little irritated HTML5 ditches framesets -seemed like great solution for keeping an index visible during browsing, what to use instead?
#RedSox fans should tip their cap, for George Steinbrenner gave excellent villain, and helped make for a whale of a rivalry.


July 13, 2009

--Oh good GOSH is that brilliant... their youtube page shows that this is a whole series... what a fantastic way of pointing out the silliness of the low rent rhetoric that DC and the news networks are swamped with.

Note to future self: squirt of windex, light scrub with steel wool, wipe with paper towel is a decent way of removing old parking permit.
http://www.macrumors.com/2009/07/13/apple-touchscreen-netbook-to-launch-in-october-at-800/ - Apple touchscreen notebook rumors. Wonder if it will be doodle-able (unlike the iPhone)

wii fitful

July 13, 2008
Here are some cropped screenshots from Wii Fit, and the accompanying text:
This is how a person looks when they stand with more weight on their right leg. This illustration shows what a person looks like when they're standing correctly.

I learned my lesson -- bad posture is sexier than good!
Other states make MA look wussy, in terms of allowing the metal bit so you don't have to keep squeezing the damn gas pump handle.
"Not all men are Charlie Chaplin" --MELAS- talking about how old he had kids, but what a visual!

vacation scratchlog flush #5

July 13, 2007
Possibly more than you wanted to know about Boston Bike Messengers. They say it's all about sex.
Decent optical illusion video. (I recommend hitting youtube's full screen video button.) I've seen most of these before. It's kind of funny that there are two new trends in optical illusions I don't remember seeing: careful use of color to create a sense of movement in a static imagery, and then a variation on the old after image trick (stare at this, and then look at a blank surface) where you look at colors that are already a bit like an afterimage, and the brain edits them out. A few weeks ago after posting that spinning female optical illusion I got a link from the guy who runs Mighty Optical Illusions. Seems like a very worthwhile stop if you dig that kind of thing.
Similar to that previous guy who put a digital camera on his cat, this is a camera peeking out of the box its being shipped in. Weirdly voyeuristic, in a business-world kind of way.
Some final pre-Chicago photos:

davis square twilight, 2007.06.28

airport t stop hydrant

the new beetle

July 13, 2006
So, yesterday I noticed an attractive beetle crawling on the window ledge at work:

click for full 600x600

I checked, and lo and behond, my Canon SD400 has a nifty "Digital Macro" feature. Once I learned to stop messing it up with additional zoom, I managed to get some decent shots. The focus isn't perfect for all of the image, but with these 2 shots (Both are heavily cropped) I managed to get the important detail.

click for full 1600x1200

The second one is resized to make good wallpaper, and both of these images have been added to my desktop wallpaper page. I think it's worth clicking to see the full version of both.

Hedbergism of the Moment
I was in a casino, minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move. You're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit. Unless you are a table.

Essay and Jokes of the Moment
A longish but worthwhile essay on the jokes people in communist countries told. I remember one that I think Lena told me in college:
Stalin was walking through the park eating caviar on a bulky roll. An old frail hungry woman comes up to him "Please, Mr. Chairman, " she begins, "may I have a bit of your sandwich?" "No, get away from me, you stupid woman!"

The woman returns to her friends and tells them what happened. "Oh, I'm so happy!" she says. "Why?" they ask, "he was totally rude to you!" "But... he could have had me killed!"
For some reason it's the detail of caviar on a bulky roll that makes me remember that one. Ksenia told me another joke:
A woman sees a starving woman and her son near a zoo. She takes pity on them and gives the boy the apple that she had with her. The mother prompts her son, "well, what do you say?" The boy looks down at the apple, looks up, looks down and says "Hello, Apple!"
I posted a version of that joke in the comments to help explain my Hello, Money! greeting of newborn cash from the ATM, but I left out the poverty aspect, which, after reading the article, I realize is what made it a political joke rather than just a bit of absurd humor.

News Event of a Past Moment
Color me parochial but I don't think it sunk in that Mumbai is what used to be called Bombay.

i don't know much about art. but i know what i like.

July 13, 2005
Interactive Art of the Moment

click here

"Oh" // Source code // Built with Processing
    Interactive art... I was caught by the images from this Wired piece (which seem to be from this site). The work uses an idiosyncratic UI, each change in horizontal mouse pointer direction advances to the next image.

smoke gets in your eyes

July 13, 2004
Ok, my announcement yesterday was wrongheaded and the wrong way of mentioning it. I thought it would make amusing kisrael reading, but I was wrong. I'm not sure if it would've been better to say "if I'm at a party, and people are smoking, every once in a while I'll have a solitary cigarette" which is all it amounted to, and all it will ever amount to. I think it came across as "hey, I'm taking up smoking, but in a limited way" and that's not what I'm doing. It's not meant to be a form of delayed teenage rebellion or acting out and I'm sorry to worry people who love me. So, sorry.

Quote of the Moment
Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.
Robert Orben

Music of the Moment
Cool if slow-to-load computer music video. Nice and percussiony and kinetic, kind of like an animated subset of Blue Man Group.

More Music of the Moment
Speaking of slow music, they're up to like the third note in the 639 year playing of John Cage's "As Slow As Possible". Excellent!

off to the bots

July 13, 2003
So, today Brooke and I should be off to New York City to look at robot artists! Don't look for much in terms of updates....

Advice of the Moment
Most men dry-clean their suits too often. Except for wearing one while waging global warfare, this is by far the surest way to kill a good suit, and the quickest way to age an inexpensive one. Do not dry-clean until a suit is visibly dirty or until you can't stand the smell of cigarettes, or the fragrance of someone you want to forget.
we spent a pretty big chunka change yesterday, getting me not just a decent suit (which I needed for the upcoming funeral) but a whole mini-wardrobe of nice stuff. They really do a good job there.

I adore the light melancholy note at the end of the quote.

from russia with love

July 13, 2002
Man, who's not shellshocked with he recent stockmarket moves? Ugh.

Joke of the Moment
"Ivan, do you know Einstein is coming to Odessa."
"Who is he? Is he a famous pharmacist?"
"No, he is a famous physicist. He is the author of the 'Theory of the Relativity'."
"What's that?"
"Well, how can I explain this...? You see, you have two hairs on your head. Is that a lot or a little?"
"A little."
"And now let's imagine you found the same number of hairs in your soup... "
"Can it be true? He is coming to Odessa with this stupid joke?"
from a page of jokes from Russia. Some of them don't make the cultural divide too well, but this one was a (possibly accidental) funny take on some other "explaining relativity" setups I've heard.

Contest of the Moment
Ranjit's moonmilk site is having a haiku contest. Submit the best haiku (there are some strict number-of-characters restrictions as well) and moonmilk will sponser it being monogrammed on a brick at Garner State Park in Texas, heavily damaged by recent flooding.

boom baby boom

July 13, 2001
I'm thinking about losing the "...of the Moment" titles I've been using, replacing it with smaller, content-based titles. Let me know if you have an opinion one way or the other.

--from this Super-Fun-Pak Comix edition of Tom the Dancing Bug (Ruben Bolling). I wish I could get a book of nothing but Fun-Pak Comix...

Rockets' Red Glare
You might be missing a lot of your skin and fingers after some of the ideas I've given you, but fingers and skin only last about 80 years. Freedom... true Freedom... that lasts a lifetime.

"It's like the coronation of the locust queen"
--Skinny Legs and All- one of the characters is always looking for accidental minipoems, and that was one that snuck by unlabeled.
I hope fox starts "a room with a bunch of knives and a pile of money"
--slithy@pobox.com [on the recent bout of voyeuristic/big money competition shows]

Ran into David Johnson last night- apropriately enough, on my way home from cutting out of work early (to try to exercise my demon of having to unlock Ness + Captain Falcon in Smash Brothers.) He stopped by me on the bike trail- I didn't recognize his grin in the full bike regalia. Hardcore looking bike as well. He's looking pretty fit. Wonder who the babe on the other bike was?
looks like cleveland temple has continued its downward slide.  What would it take for a revival?  Tough to say to myself that these problems aren't my problems.

I take back some of that-it was a good summer turnout.