October 24, 2016

"Reddit user Noerdy rearranged leaves around the base of a tree in order to make it appear to be glowing."

On the fourth floor tower two trophy cases--each empty. Doesn't Barron at least have a snow globe collection that he could stick in one of these? There's another case on the fifth floor that showcases a perfectly lit....nothing. Seriously, this building is like a giant metaphor museum.
--Nell Scovell visits the startlingly decrepit Trump Tower
Harvard Square classic Cafe Algiers closing forever Sunday after abrupt announcement
Well, that sucks. Bright side: room for more ATMs and maybe another CVS? Viva Harvard Square.

October 24, 2015

"That seems to be the psychology behind Atari. You can never win, and you always can get better."
----Major Robinson on Battlezone et al in Martin Amis' "Invasion of the Space Invaders"

October 24, 2014

Wow -- so the other week I was musing about the difference in music I dig, and music I intellectually think I should I like, but don't (like The Meters' Cissy Strut) I thought maybe the difference was the downbeat, that music that just has a groove, even a funk-ish one, still leaves me cold unless it has the big bass-y downbeat. (Not to mention my disinterest in jam bands.) Today, by semi-coincidence, my coworker Jeff shows me this video, a one minute lecture on Bootsy's Basic Funk Formula. And -- IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ONE. For Bootsy style funk, everything is rooted in that downbeat, and then you build off of that.

I don't know what's the cart and what's the horse, in terms of the tuba playing and the musical appreciation, but it all ties together.

October 24, 2013

"Here were the people that nobody wanted anything from at all. This was where they gathered for shelter until they were periodically shooed out. There was something people wanted from them, in fact--their absence. That was in hot demand, but not easily supplied. Everybody had to be somewhere."
--Douglas Adams, "Long Dark Teatime of the Soul"

October 24, 2012

http://www.lostinmobile.com/how-did-we-get-to-the-iphone - fantastic article about the devices of the last 2 decades that led to the iPhone, and beyond...
"There is an overwhelming peace of mind that comes from knowing, to the depths of your being, that the universe doesn't give a shit."


October 24, 2011

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil suggesting maybe Gaddafi was killed by his own folks. That's chutzpah!

the harvest

(1 comment)
October 24, 2010

--A small harvest of N64 controllers, for the N64 is the only way of playing Dr. Mario 4 players in English,which is the best way to play and my family digs it.

dirty jokes: the newlywed trilogyjoke

October 24, 2009

Yesterday tooling around with Amber and EB we got to thinking about old dirty jokes we liked as kids... Here are the two I remember telling most often in middle school and high school- MOMFILTER engaged, highlight to read:
So a newly married couple can't afford a hotel and they're staying at the groom's parents' house. The bride doesn't want to because she thinks his folks are snoops, but he convinces her to anyway. That night, though, the new bride says "I can't stand this. I know your parents are listening in. I don't care what it costs, lets go to a hotel." The guy reluctantly agrees, and they go to close up their overstuffed suitcase - but it won't shut. "Ok, let me try getting on top" she says, but the bag won't shut. "This isn't working," she says, frustrated, "you get on top." Still, no luck. "Jeez, ok, lets both get on top." Voice from behind the door: "now this I got to see!"
Ok, another newlywed couple. The guy is older and more experienced, and the young bride is really nervous. Plus they're having to honeymoon at her parent's house. "It's fine, dear - I'll wait downstairs. If you have any questions or problems, just come downstairs and ask me". So the girl says ok. That night, after the long wedding, they're in the bedroom, and the guy takes off his shirt. The girl runs downstairs - "Mama mama, he's got hair all over the top of his body!" "That's ok dear, Men are like that. Go back upstairs." So she does. Then the guy takes off his pants. Gal runs downstairs "Mama mama he's got hair all over the bottom of his body!" "That's totally normal dear, men are like that, go back upstairs." Now this guy, he also had a prosthetic leg, and he starts to take it off. She runs downstairs "Mama mama, he's got a foot and a half!" "You stay down here, I'M going upstairs!"
Ok, newlyweds again, but they're staying at a hotel. This time it's the guy who's nervous and he goes to his friend, "Look what if I don't know what to do?". "No problem pal... I'll wait outside the room -- any question you got, just yell and I'll yell back." So ok, but the guy's still really nervous, and he spends like hours in the bathroom fretting and stuff. But the woman REALLY has to go to the bathroom, keeps knocking, but he won't come out. So she finds the shoebox her wedding shoes came in and goes in that. Finally he comes out, and now she goes in to freshen up before anything happens. So he's pacing around the room, and finds the box, and opens it, and yells "There's shit in the box!" And his friend yells back "Turn her over!"

I can't believe how dorky they were, and in retrospect, how much they reflect the insecurities and wonder I had about the unknown world of sex at that age...

So before that age, my family had another, more innocent joke. It was from a jokebook I had, and for some reason my family decided to put it to a little tune:

Of course, the all time classic still remains the one the dad taught me a bit after that one, so either of us could set it up and have the other answer: "Did you hear the one about the constipated mathematician?" "Yeah, he worked it out with a pencil!"

vw ads from back in the day. ish.

October 24, 2008

Got not much of anything to say today!

I think I've posted some of this before, but the other day (thanks to this series of unpimp your ride ads I had missed that my coworkers were discussing) I got to thinking about all those great VW ads with awesome music:

I ended up buying a CD for each of these. But althe first two ads do such a good job of creating an emotional response, and the last one a visceral "wow, that's cool..."
Dow futures already down 500. We've gone beyond where someone needs to be holding its hair back; campus EMS should have been called.
"What was missing was a regulator who understood markets, rather than worshiped them." --http://norris.blogs.nytimes.com/ on Greenspan
Dear maker for my GPS... assuming I know if I want to search in "Amesbury, MA" or "Amesbury Twn, MA" is a bit optimistic, nu?

thump thump thumpthumpthump

October 24, 2007

Let's Go Red Sox!
thump thump thumpthumpthump
Let's Go Red Sox!
thump thump thumpthumpthump

Link of the Moment
MLB.com FAQs on the Sox and the Rox.

Review Snippet of the Moment
Slate on Ben Affleck and his new "Gone Baby Gone":
Some cities are blessed with great filmmakers. New York has Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Spike Lee. Baltimore has Barry Levinson, David Simon, and John Waters. But the good people of Boston have been deeply unlucky in this regard. Whether it's the city's clannish insularity, the fine-bore segregation of its neighborhoods, or the mix of effete, overeducated latte swillers and "gritty, working-class" knuckleheads, Boston has never translated well on film.
The article reminds me that my attempts at a Boston accent are all pretty horrendous. Also, "Next Stop Wonderland" is not a bad film.

Prediction of the Moment
The Rockies have been living an October fairy tale. Sure, it's too bad they won't be getting their happily ever after. Sure, it's a bit disorienting for this Sox fan to feel like the wicket stepmother. But if some bigger, richer, American League team has to crush their sweet, expansion-team dreams, at least it's our team doing the crushing.
--Sarah Green in the Boston Metro

BTW: I've decided that BostonNOW is to the Metro what the Metro is to USA Today, which in turn is what USA Today is to a real newspaper. Today BostonNOW. Their Halloween advice: try being a 'sexy' version of a 'pirate, nurse, French maid, [or] schoolgirl.'

look at all that action!cool

October 24, 2006

So yesterday my coworker Rob showed me this piece of art he had bought off of his son:

"Untitled" by James Young (Click for Fullsize)
The original asking price had been a dollar and ten cents. During the negotiations, dismayed at his dad's lowball offer of a quarter, young James pointed out "but look at all that action!". The final agreed upon price was a dollar.

And the Artist was correct... that's a heck of a lot of action:

I really liked some of the monster design:
Rob's a shrewed negotiator. This work was definately work at least the original asking price.

sky, tree, stones, waterphotos

October 24, 2005

Three photos from three consecutive Augusts, added to my desktop wallpaper page. The water one is probably the best background... nice how it made kind of a squared off Yin/Yang.

Sports Note of the Moment
Not that I have a dog in this fight, but the injustice of a blown call in Game 2 of the World Series rankles me to no end. It just ain't right. The Umpire said it hit the guy, not the bat, every bit of replay showed he was dead wrong, but still, there was no recourse.

I hate trivial injustices almost as much as the big ones.

science fiction and comedy make successful mix for young playwrighthistory

October 24, 2004

By Pamela Zoslov
Assistant Editor

When he isn't dreaming up ideas for a new play or working out video game strategies, Kirk Logan Israel, 15, is "fooling around with his tuba." Israel, whose play, "Kinda Feeble Fables" was a winner in this year's Dobama Theatre, plays tuba in bands at Euclid High and in the Salvation Army Band.
"It's basically a comedy -- no message, no symbolism."

That's how Kirk Logan Israel, 15, described his play, "Kinda Feeble Fables," a winner in the 11th annual Marilyn Bianchi Kids' Playwriting Festival at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights.

"It tries to find humor in three cave explorers who are lost in a 'Dungeons & Dragons'-type adventure and meet a series of monsters."

Although the play has no heavy message, he quipped, it has three morals -- "Never give a map to a guy who is likely to sell it for magic beans, always go to the bathroom before a long journey, and watch out for monsters armed with photon-slingers."

THE CLEVER YOUNG dramatist, who will be a sophomore at Euclid High School this fall, had the privilege of seeing "Fables" performed by a cast of professional actors during the festival, June 7-9.

The play has a narrator who wryly comments on the action, and characters named Marcus, Valkyrie, Bruno, Union Monster, and, funniest of all, Wimpy Monster.

"Fables," one of 20 plays chosen from 593 entries, is Israel's second play to win in the festival. Last year, Dobama produced his first effort, "Star Pox."

"It was about two guys who used a spaceship and don't know how to fly, and they meet three ghosts.

"After I won last year I thought would be neat to enter again," he said.

Israel, who gets his story ideas late at night while drifting off to sleep, admires science-fiction humor writers like Douglas Adams, author of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

BEFORE MOVING to Euclid last year with is parents -- his father died recently -- Israel got his start in playwriting when his English teacher at Monticello Junior High in Cleveland Heights required the class to enter a a school playwriting competition.

Israel wrote "Star Pox," which was performed at the school and later entered in the Dobama contest.

Seeing his works performed on stage, he said, is "great, an amazing feeling. Sometimes you get down on yourself, if the audience doesn't get the jokes."

Despite his literary ability, his favorite subject in school is not English, but biology -- "although I think dissecting frogs is the grossest thing in the world. I like math - ... I'm terrible with grammar."

Israel revealed a fondness for video games, especially Nintendo's "Blaster Master." He also is a talented musician, playing tuba in school bands and in the Salvation Army band. His mother, Betty Israel, is a Salvation Army officer.

HIS MOTHER is understandably proud of Kirk's achievement. "I credit the teachers at Monticello," she said, "And in Glens Falls (N.Y.), his sixth-grade teacher had them make a story book.

"We're readers. and there's always been theater in the family."

Betty speculated that her son's writing talent grew out of a need to create his own reality as her Salvation Army duties took the family from city to city.

"He has to create his world wherever he goes -- to fall back on himself. By the time he was 4, he was in his fifth city," she said.

"He was born in Philadelphia, and we lived in New York, the Virgin Islands and Cleveland Heights. I'm hoping we'll stay here until he finishes school."

Kirk already has some ideas for his next play.

"It's called 'Normality's Revenge,'" he said. "I haven't quite decided what it's about, but I have an idea for it. It opens in a darkened theater, and suddenly a guy jumps out and starts lying on the floor. It turns out he's the narrator."

Asked about his penchant for using narrators in his plays, Israel laughed, "I'm too lazy to tell the audience what's going on."

As for his future plans he said he's undecided, "I'm pretty much keeping it open. I want something that allows me to be creative and a little unusual."

"I like my life different from everyone else. I just don't like to try to fit in. I like to be different and off the wall."

--A few notes: I'm not sure what local paper this appeared in. It's interesting in that I have no memory of biology being my favorite class, I'm not sure if that's true or not. And also, English did start to win out during high school, largely thanks to my Junior year teacher Judith McLaughlin, with whom I'm still in touch. (And if I wasn't thinking about grammar, I wouldn't have taken such care with that last sentence.) My mom's quote "there's always been theater in the family" kind of sounds like a euphemism for "my son is gay", though she's mostly talking about her own experience doing community theater, and "He has to create his world wherever he goes" makes me sound a bit like a psycho in the making. And "fooling around with his tuba"? Ah well. Hometown journalism at its finest!

I never did write "Normality's Revenge".

Quote and Bad News of the Moment
"I'll tell you, before we get out of Iraq, it's going to make Viet Nam look like a good idea. [...] I can't think of a single case where a popular local guerrilla movement failed to defeat a conventional foreign occupying force. From the American Revolution through Viet Nam, the guerrillas always win. Usually, it takes them a long time and they suffer most of the casualties, but they win."
--Anonymous CEO of one of our "corporate security" firms in Iraq, from via John Perry Barlow's blog. I grabbed the article a few days ago, but was reminded of it when I saw a CNN piece: Bodies of 49 Iraqi soldiers found. Combining that with reports about how international reporters are housebound in the green zone...the bad guys are running that country. The bad guys are running that country. Hell, sometimes I think we're making the USSR in Afghanistan look like champions...and they had us giving the guerillas stinger missiles. This rule of thumb about guerillas explains why Osama thinks he's such hot stuff...when it comes to this kind of struggle, he's right. The USA might not be a "paper tiger" military wise, but we are not going to achieve anything like our stated goals in Iraq, save for getting rid of Saddam.

Anyone disagree? LAN3, do you have a different interpretation?

feedback feedback

October 24, 2003

Guestbook Quote of the Moment
"Support GFD (go fork a donkey)... i pooed in woods!"
--anon on my older guestbook page, from Monday. I'm happy to note that as of this writing, my guestbook is the #1 Google match for go fork a donkey, with or without quotes. (On the other hand, without the quotes, if you put a + sign before the a, it is only the second match. Google is a harsh mistress.)

Comments Followup of the Moment
Another nearly forgotten mascot character is Mr. Zip, advocate for those new fangled sets of five digits that help our mail get delivered in a timely fashion. Here's a page about his background that mentions he was phased out when they started to use Zip+4...you would think they could give him 4 little helper kids or something. At least one webpage wants him back. (Thanks to LAN3 who wrote mentioning him the other week (after the Floyd D. Duck incident,) and then Mr. Zip came up in yesterday's comments. I guess he does bear a passing resemblance to Reddy Kilowatt.)

Essays of the Moment
I've posted this Star Wars vs Star Trek site before, but yesterday I got into its essays page. The one called Brain Bugs was my favorite, pointing out idiocies in Star Trek writing that I hadn't thought much about. (He also gets into some of the cultural issues, not just sticking to the 'science', and makes some good points.) The guy is kind of funny, he's such a "hard" sci-fi guy (ala the old school rockets and metal kind) and he makes very logical arguments, but they tend to miss the point that they argue the nature of entire fictional universes based on what the tv or moviemakers assume would look cool on film for one scene or another. (Also, though he would probably deny this, there is an implicit "this sci-fi is better because its technology is more powerful" factor. I mean, I could put forward a sci-fi universe with technology so powerful that it uses Death Stars energy beams like we use AA batteries, but that doesn't mean it's an interesting universe. This guy would argue that no, it's just an academic "which tech is more powerful" argument, and that my universe is pointless without describing the technologies that would make it happen, but still.)

Heh. Between these essays pointing out how the Trek universe is a jingoistic, communistic nightmare, and some other essays about Star Wars (not to mention my latest video gaming disappointment, Rogue Squadron 3: Rebel Strike where Luke slashes his way through dozens of Daogobah indigineous critters as 'training', and uses machine-gun like emplacements to mow down literally hundreds of stormtroopers in what can only be called a massacre), I'm thinking the sci-fi universes I loved so much as a kid were much darker than I realized, that maybe the shows and movies are just propaganda for the Federation or Rebel Alliance, respectively.

News of the Moment
Neurotics, start your engines--Solar Flare on its Way to Earth! (If it's Saturday night when you're reading this, then we're fine. Well, we're probably fine anyway.

Day of the Moment
I remember the Car Talk guys mentioning today is "National Slack-Off Day". I wonder if that ties into it also being Take Back Your Time Day? Which seems to be semiserious in some of its goals. (I think in both cases, the choice of date reflects the fact that American workers (on average I assume) work 9 more weeks per year than their European counterparts.

duck in a noose

October 24, 2002
News of the Moment
So they made some arrests in the Maryland sniper case. This morning the morning talk programs were proclaiming it over, while the newsier slant was playing it more cautiously. And not to sound like any kind of conspiracy nut, but some elements of this seem almost too easy. And what's up with 'We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose' quote that the snipe was all hot for the police chief to say? I'm surprised those talk programs didn't play up the idea that that could be some coded message to terrorists.

In other news, Salon headline article on how bad Bush is doing with the economy, and how the Democrats aren't taking advantage of it. There's definately a partisan tone to this, but still...gah, is the outlook for the semi-near-term economy as bad as all that? (He asks, as his good friend just gets laid off from Lycos the day before...damn it, weren't we supposed to be out of the layoff woods?)

I liked the recent Onion headline: Bush On Economy: 'Saddam Must Be Overthrown'.

Pop Culture of the Moment
Boston Globe piece on why good movies age better than good tv shows.

Limerick of the Moment
The time I've lost in wooing,
In watching and pursuing,
The light that lies
In women's eyes
Has been my heart's undoing.
--Thomas Moore (early 19th-century Irish poet)

Economic Outlook of Past Moments
Just following up on some earlier posts, I google'd on "economic outlook" and the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research page came up. Just browsing the headlines for the past 7 or so years makes for some interesting reading.

Quote of the Moment
"SOY! SOY! SOY! Soy makes you strong! Strength crushes enemies! SOY!"
--Injoke on Everything2. (Hi, Sawers.) Indirectly referenced in this O'Reilly article on building online communities, which made me think about what's grown on the Love Blender.

think negative

October 24, 2001
Image of the Moment
This is a photographic negative of a stunning Earth at Night image from NASA. You can really see the difference between rural and urban areas, it's very interesting. (It almost makes you forget that it's never dark everywhere on Earth at once.) I'm not sure why I like the negative version of it, but I do, for a while it was my wallpaper. Turns out you can also get a poster of the image online. (via cellar.org's Image of the Day though I had seen it before.)

Newsflash of the Moment
This just forwarded by Mo, Citing anti-Israel bias, 2 firms pull funding from WBUR. Now on the one hand I acknowledge that currently I'm angrier with Israel than with the Palestinians, I think the settlement policy is a real travesty. And I acknowledge that some of this opinion might be shaped by the news I consume, which has a large NPR component. But still, you have to wonder why the sponsors are harping on this particular issue...frankly, if they are jewish, then it's hard to believe that they are being more impartial and even-handed than WBUR is, and it smacks of censorship.

Sometimes I really hate my last name. Not too long ago I was thinking about using my AOL-IM name "kirkjerk" as my domain name instead of kisrael.com. Crap like this makes me want to revisit that decision.

And for the record, I want to say it's not judaism I dislike, or even religion, but fundamentalism. And right now it seems like Israel is going through a right wing/fundamentalist resurgence.

Joke of the Moment
There were two cows in a field. One said "moo", the other one said "I was going to say that!"

KHftCEA 1999-10.3 October

by Bryan O'Sullivan

you could spend an hour counting the petals in a flower
it might take you a year to count the veins in each petal
if you spent ten lifetimes, maybe you could count its cells

but you'd have completely missed the point
you fuckhead
--cDc #300
Give me something
to bite my teeth into,
like your wool socks,
gray and soft,
best when worn without shoes,
displayed, kicked up
on the coffee table.
Better yet...
your jeans; five pockets,
rivets, amber thread stitching,
with a zipper fly.
Again and again they thump
and tumble
with mine in the dryer.
Never offering resistance
to its heat.
I admit to being frightened
at the thought
of such a hunger.
--Give Me, by Tery J. England (Spare Change)
"Who thought I'd laugh this much in church"
"Practical. Spiritual. Fun."
--Subway advertising for Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Cambridge (www.cambridgevineyard.org)
"Life is made up of impossible plot twists designed to lead to cheap sex. Who are we to question life?"
--Jordan Lee in Dreamlover
The other day slashdot had a reference to a guy who rigged up Doom so that killing monsters killed procceses on the system. Not too practical, but the first time I saw someone actually attempt that staple of cberpunk, VR mapped to "real life" computer tasks.