January 10, 2019

Grief, I’ve learned, is really love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot give. The more you loved someone, the more you grieve. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes and in that part of your chest that gets empty and hollow feeling. The happiness of love turns to sadness when unspent. Grief is just love with no place to go.

I'm probably late to the party on this, but Monster Factory (as recommended by Movies with Mikey) is so far up my alley it has its own onramp - LOL funny in the original sense.

Basically, slam the best of Mystery Science Theater together with video games (ideally open-worldish ones with extensive 'build your own characters') and this the result - where MST3K is limited to being a frame for a static piece of work, Monster Factory leverages the inherit feedback loop of games where the player can interact with and change the course of the action, beyond merely interpreting.

The only one I've fully watched is Saints Row 3:

Part of the shtick there is their monster child creation is against crimes, so they play a bit of that "try to do the game obeying all laws" thing, but Saints Row, even more so than GTA, really isn't that kind of game...

In general I love "make your own game within the game" My favorite personal example was in Mario Double Dash, where the Dry Dry Desert has a wandering tornado hazard. One time my estranged buddy EB and I decided not to finish, but instead invented a game where you get as close as possible to the twister without being sucked in. Of course, parking just outside the danger zone was just an invitation to be nudged in by the other player... I should make that idea into a multiplayer game.

Never, ever give up. Don't give up. Don't allow it to happen. If there's a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.

January 10, 2018

npm and new cities for trojan horses A slightly more interesting than average post on my developer blog.
Great comic essay on How WW2 nostalgia plus 9/11 let conservatives erase what we learned in Vietnam.

January 10, 2017

The real way to get his attention, which I always wanted but only fitfully received, was through email, sent the way we all sent email on campus: telnet. It was black and white, devastatingly simple, with one-letter commands to delete, forward, reply. You couldn't attach photos, at least not without a great to-do; you couldn't use bold, or italics, or underline. The best feature was a secret widely told: FINGER.
You'd type in the command on the telnet homescreen, and then the six-letter username of the person you were trying to, uh, finger (the first four letters of the last name + first initial + middle initial). And then the screen would proffer the best/worst thing a lovesick college freshman could ever want: the date, time, and location from which person-in-question had last logged into their email account.

January 10, 2016

Aging well is largely a process of recognizing what you don't need to worry about, one thing at a time, until, presumably, you winnow it down to life itself and find you can easily let that go too

loveblender digest

January 10, 2015

--from the New Yorker

January 10, 2014

Everyone knows history is written by the winners, but that cliché misses a crucial detail: Over time, the winners are always the progressives. Conservatism can only win in the short term, because society cannot stop evolving (and social evolution inevitably dovetails with the agenda of those who see changes as an abstract positive). It might take seventy years, but it always happens eventually. Serious historians, are, almost without exception, self-style progressives. Radical views-- even the awful ones-- improve with age.
Chuck Klosterman, "I Wear the Black Hat"

January 10, 2013

Back in the day we used to read shampoo bottles in the bathroom like it was the internet.

How strange, how unexpected and how strange, that the establishing myth or narrative of Jewish and Christian morality deals not with murder, deceit, or theft but with expanded consciousness, with tripping. How strange to learn that our original sin--at least in the minds of those who wrote the Bible--was closer to taking mushrooms than taking a life.

what the kids are listening to these days

January 10, 2012
Wow. That is the most informative use of human beat box I've ever witnessed. (It was a cooler animated text thing)
http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2012/01/prisoners-of-style-201201 Wow. Style has treaded water for 2 decades. (And Wall St has morphed into extracting dollars not making value.) Huh.

fizzy... sweet... refreshing!

January 10, 2011

from Tom the Dancing Bug Bob's Adventure Through Time. Years ago I printed out these panels for use as cubicle art... I just love the realization that yeah, in the 1700s Sprite would seem pretty amazing. (from GoComic's surprisingly deep archive - glad I didn't have to rely on Salon.com for this.)
http://www.boingboing.net/2011/01/08/youtube-videos-of-ar.html So the shooter's nutiness may transcend violent rightwing bombast- but I still think having this kind of nut around argues against concealed carry.


January 10, 2010
Felisdemens writing on her beloved J in her LiveJournal:
My love is the kind of love that wants to destroy his enemies and bring their severed, dripping heads to lay at his feet. But he doesn't have any enemies. And if I brought him any severed heads he would look at me with benign puzzlement and say "I actually think I'd rather have a latte." And I'd get him one.

My love is the kind of love that rises from tar-black waters, all lashing tentacles and snapping jaws and insatiable hunger, primed to devour and subsume. But he leans out to put a warm palm between its mad yellow eyes, and it settles back under the surface burbling happily and does not eat either him or Tokyo.

My love is the kind of love that stands on top of the mountain with a fistful of lightning, prepared to bend the universe to my will and carve his name across the face of the sky. But he calls up to ask if I know where the checkbook is and if I want to get sushi tonight, and I let the lightning go, turn off the Doomsday machine and come down to discuss dinner plans.

I've been domesticated. But not constrained, not pressured to change. It's just that I walk beside a gentler man, and I want to keep his pace. Which is not to say that I don't have the Doomsday machine hidden behind the Triscuits in the pantry.
J, aka Mr.Ibis, is an incredibly good natured and jovial guide. Such a nice little tribute!
Patriots lookin' old and busted.


January 10, 2009
For some reason my recent series of Twitters about ads from old LOOK magazines is making me muse about a change of format for this site. As always, I know it's not the kind of issue other people are on the edge of their seats about, but if anyone has an opinion (other than an unadorned "stopping blogging would be good for you") I wouldn't mind hearing it.

What I'm realizing I like about Twitter is that I've made it a return to the old days of keeping a quote journal on my Palm, a certain spontaneity and joy of discovery... quotes and thoughts being added as soon as they're unearthed, rather than being collected into the presentation of a kisrael.com entry. It took having a smartphone with an unlimited data plan to bring that back, after I started to prefer making kisrael.com public, rather than accumulating stuff semi-privately.

There are some weaknesses to the Twitter angle, though; the 140 character limit is fun to work in at times, but it can also be a bit stifling. The "last 5 entries sidebar" is a bit arbitrary, and outside of my site's own archive and comment system. It isn't always a great match for the site's day-centric focus.

I think I do still enjoy having a devotion to "at least one interesting thing to look at a day", even if often it's just a found Youtube bit or something recycled from Boingboing. I could almost see an idiosyncratic, bimodal daily layout, the left having a "longer form" entry (pretty much what kisrael.com is now), the right having the twitter-ish whatever I encounter or think about that day.

Any thoughts? I'm not sure if a switch like this would make me drop Twitter out of the picture altogether or not. I suppose a few people find it easier to follow me there. In theory I could mirror one into the other.

Heh. If I had this side-by-side, longform/shortform layout, maybe I should add a third column to embed comments right on the side? That might be a bit much, though. (Especially if I don't get the spamming taken care of.) Maybe a hidden column?

Any thoughts? Maybe there is something to be said for the current layout though, that keeping the casual, quick blog its own thing apart from the more stately journaling has something to be said for it. (It's two, two, two blogs in one!)

Craft of the Moment

--There is something primeval-ly right about this sock monkey sarasvati. From this flikr account that has an equally compelling sockmoneky Buddha, Veus de Milo, and Venus de Willendorf

Quote of the Moment
"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things."
--Robert Louis Stevenson. Unfortunately, I think you could substitute many things for "business" and still be correct... work-life-family-friends-hobby balance is really hard to achieve.

"Everything happens for a reason" does not specify a "good" reason. For instance, not "to annoy the living piss right out of you."
Watching JZ explore the wasteland of DC in Fallout 3... he's so used to this kind of game he doesn't see how weird it is to loot a head.
Bowling trash talk gone wrong: "Is there a horse that you rode in on? I wish to make love to it. Wait, that's not right"
Ha, I just looked up the lyrics to the Kinks' "Lola". I had no idea! That stuff is funnier than the Weird Al version "Yoda", by a lot.
The oddly comforting sound of a bit of loose change skittering in the drier...
Google Groups has this thing where you can search for but not reply to an old thread. Which is ok, but I just "reply to author"d by mistake.

books to read and games to play

January 10, 2008
Just Read: Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Lathe of Heaven"
Excellent quick sci-fi read, future discussion topic for my UU Covenant group. It starts with a Twilight Zone-esque conceit of a man whose "effective dreams" can reshape reality, creating an alternative earth with its own history and only he and the people witnessing the dream have any idea there was another path. It becomes a brilliant debate between the positivism of the man's therapist (who has a machine that helps induce deep dreaming and implants dream suggestions that he hopes will remake the world in a better way) and the natural Taoism of the man, who is deathly afraid of exercising a right he doesn't have to reforge the universe.

Just Played: "Earth Defense Force 2017" on the Xbox 360
Fantastic B-movie of a game! A Scifi run-around and shoot things, with hundreds of giant ants, spiders, and walking robots marauding through cites with buildings that can be brought down by an errant rocket blast (doesn't really hurt you or the city, it seems... its rebuilt by the next level.) It also features some truly colossal enemies, like walkers about 3 or 4 times the size of a Star Wars AT-AT, and HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE spaceships that silently hang over the city in much the way that bricks don't.

It touches so many sci fi movie and literature tropes: So it's just fantastic. Watching the giant ants swarm up and over walls, engulfing the Seattle Space Needle-like tower in the distance, a Walker emerging from the fire and smoke from the wreckage of one of his brothers, guns blazing... really impressive.

It was odd though, the setting is Japan, and when the battle seems to be going poorly for humanity, the commander's radio broadcast goes with a theme of "well, we're screwed as a planet against this alien invasion, but let us show them how a real fighting force dies!" It made me think about the Japanese ferocity at the end of WW2...

Quote of the Moment
"Well, with a sharp enough instrument, almost any passageway of the head becomes a path to the brain."
--Erica Bial (paraphrased.) The conversation started with a reference those little ear lobsters from "Wrath of Kahn" and then devolved into various movies' way of invading the brain, like that one Schwarzenegger flick with big red bulb that gets pulled out of the nose.

long, long, ago... ok, a little longer than that...

January 10, 2007
Had my UU covenant group last night... it was hosted by Jerry, an older member of the group (I think in his late 70s, maybe even a bit more than that.) Anyway, it was interesting, we used this set of glasses showing 10 years of the Dow Jones... 1959 to 1969, I think. It showed the monthly highs and lows and a line graph for all of those years, with little callouts showing particular events, so you can see how they correlated with the ups and downs of the market.

You don't see many people making the same kind of correlation to day to day events these days... either the market is a bit more resilient to breaking news, or it's just tough to keep track enough to make the correlation.

Anyway, one thing on the glass that I hadn't heard of was the Pueblo Incident, where North Koreans captured a reconnaissance ship of the United States.

Video of the Moment

--Star Wars as a silent movie.... very well done. Given the way the films have some roots with the serials of the past, it fits pretty well.

when iris eyes are smilin'

(1 comment)
January 10, 2006
Quote of the Moment
"I really do believe I can accomplish a great deal with a big grin. I know some people find that disconcerting, but that doesn't matter."
--Beverly Sills

Creepy Image of the Moment
After this Google Homepage Ask Yahoo about Babies and Blue Eyes, I got to trying to research more about eyes changing color...I've had some dramatic swings, though the jury seems mixed about whether eyes gradually change color in healthy adults, or only for certain pathologies...

So I found this image from healty-option, which I find really disturbing.

If it's too much for you, maybe take a quick hop over to Cute Overload...

fry guy

January 10, 2005
Quote of the Moment
"I never let hygiene get in the way of a good joke..."
--Jan 9 2005. In this case, it was eating a french fry (that my Uncle Bill had given me) off of the pub tabletop when my own meal had been forgotten by the server...I treated the fry with great reverence, cutting it with a knife and fork like it was steak or something. It got a laugh.

Advice of the Moment
Oh, one other lesson I'd like to share with you from yesterday's reinstall fun...one practice I've had for a while now is to always put almost ALL my personal data in a specific folder on any given machine, preferably out of the usual C:\windows path (so not in "My Documents" etc...that way if you reinstall the OS without reformatting, there's a lesser chance the files will be wiped out when they reinitialize all the users.) I ususally pick C:\data . That means there's only one folder you have to backup, or one folder to transfer if you move to a new machine. (I cheat a little and use my Desktop as semi-temporary storage space as well.) I keep the install files for any program I can't easily get off the web or have the original disks for in C:\data as well. I'd recommend this practice for anyone.

Webcomic of the Moment

--The Perry Bible Fellowship is a very funny, rather macabre cartoon. Reminds me of the (even more offensive) Space Moose on a good day.) Rated PG13 or R at some points, like in this one, Not Today Little One. The Tree of Irony is pretty safe though.

I thought Reset was an interesting take on Nietzsche's idea of Eternal Recurrence. That idea was presented to me in high school, and then I saw it again in Kundera's "Unbearable Lightness of Being", the rather outlandish idea that time is a circle, and we are doomed to repeat what we're now for eternity.

One assumption both Kundera and my high school history teacher made was to imply that neccesarily this is the first go round. That's a big assumption...it brings up the old bugaboos of "where does freewill come from in a materialist and likely more-or-less deterministic universe"? Would someone who was repeating what happened in the universe before, dancing to prescribed steps, feel as if they had free will? Can you not have free will but not realize it? Is that what we're all doing now? I think it really depends on what your notion of self is.

By the way, if you haven't seen it, Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams is a BEAUTIFUL, thoughtful series of essays playing with other alternate ideas of how time might have ended up working...really lovely stuff.

brrr. brr brr Brr brr BRRRRR.

January 10, 2004
Record setting low temperatures in Boston, -3. The previous record of -1 was set in 1875. More gist for the mill of idiots who don't realize that what's somewhat-mislabeled as "global warming" is more like "climate instability"...some weather guy was saying this was an odd patern, cold air straight from the north pole, and not down over Siberia-Alaska-Canada. (Random techie note: IE, smart enough to allow line breaks by hyphens, isn't smart enough to disallow line breaks between negative signs and the following numbers without use of <nobr> tags)

Which doesn't mean it's all "our" fault, but it is our problem, and I'm disinclined to assume what seems to be a pretty solid consensus in the scientific community (at least the scientific community that isn't being directly paid by big companies to battle the other scientists) of humankind having a big influence on the problem is bunk.

Ramble of the Moment
I've been noticing a trend in media design, and I'm trying to find out if it has a name...roughly, it consists of using realistic computer-generated images in iconic ways. For example, some of the imagery certain weather reports use is really amazing, they extrapolate from satellite data and have effects of soaring and zooming into certain regions of the country. And I think the clouds they were showing this one time were real, but then they showed realistic looking snow falling from them, to indicate the affected areas...but when I thought about it, I realized those snow flakes would be the size of small cities. And in this one video game "Knights of the Old Republic", which is a fairly traditional "RPG" (Role Playing Game) with turn-based combat... (i.e. you do your attack while they just stand there, then vice versa) but it looks as if it's playing like a legitimate action game, there's no special battle mode, and overall it looks like a scene from a movie. You can still run around and stuff, though that temporarily drops it out of combat mode.

It's kind of an odd concept, photo-realistic animation being used symbolically. Can anyone think of any other examples of this? Especially old ones...

Manifesto of the Moment
From the geeks point of view, dating is just a problem waiting to be solved.

Quote of an Old Moment
"John's going to be freeballin' it in a skirt in my house? Oh good."
--Mo, during our trip to London, on learing that the party John was hosting at our place had a kilt theme. (I'm 'backlog flushing' my Palm Pilot, and I didn't want that little gem to be lost for the ages.) Continuing the Palm process, I was surprised that "misunderstanding modern art" gets zero hits on Google...well, at least 'til this page gets searched. I'm not sure why I jotted down that phrase in my palmpilot. Maybe it had to do with Damien Hirst's work entitled "Beautiful, cheap, shitty, too easy, anyone can do one, big, motor-driven, roto-heaven, corrupt, trashy, bad art, shite, motivating, captivating, over the sofa, celebrating painting" which I thought should've added a few more lines along the lines of "kiss my ass you poor wankers who make like 1/100th of what I do for this".


January 10, 2003
Oh man, the Ohio amusement park Cedar Point is about to reclaim the throne for the world's tallest, fastest Roller Coaster. this article has some of the details, later slashdot reported it with some additional links. Only 20 seconds (probably to help deal with moving people through at a good clip) but man do I need to get back to that park! I wonder if it's still calling itself "America's Roller Coast", because it's on Lake Erie (and tying into this "North Coast" moniker some of the US cities bordering the Great Lakes play around with.) My only problem is sometimes their coasters go for height and speed at the costs of loops...

Link of the Moment
It's the Infrared Zoo...cool pictures and also some educational sidenotes. (Though the sidenotes are basically "warm blooded animals are hot, cold blooded are about the temperature of their surroundings. And heat escapes through the eys and nose and mouth of fuzzy things".) Reminds me of those Predator movies. Also of the Infrared Visor in the game Metroid Prime...

Essay of the Moment
Cool 1994 Article on Creating Games (and the differences between games, puzzles, toys, and stories.) From the perspective of role-playing games, but with a lot of talk about computer games as well. He references SimCity as a non-goal-given 'toy'. Interesting that "The Sims", a hugely popular game by the same guy but on a more personal level, started out as a toy, but the latest ports to the PlayStation involve adding in explicit goals and the ability to 'win'. The author of that article has posted some other writings as well.

fake moonlight

January 10, 2002
Walkway Light Over Snow,
January 8 2002 1AM

Lyric of the Moment
"Kinko, Kinko, the kid loving clown, if the kids just love me back, I'll never wear a frown. Kinko's in his kinko car, pockets full of change, lots of dirty pictures and sticky candycanes. All the kids love Kinko for the presents that they get, silly leather clothes to wear and happy cigarettes."
--For some reason I remember someone writing the kinko car/pockets full of change line on a board in high school. Google search didn't come up with many matches (I guess they used to play it on Doctor Demento), but it got me the rest of the lyric.

Link of the Moment
Salon.com had A is for Arabs, an Alphabet of Arab Achievement . Amazing how many things their culture produced, but right now I think our culture's strength is being really good at co-opting things. Although many of the achievements listed are things they utilized from other cultures, I think in general they've gotten less flexible with time. I wasn't surprised when I found out one of the better translations for "The Great Satan" is "The Great Tempter".


January 10, 2001
There's this vision of purgatory that I've had for a long time... I imagine it being set up so that all you had to do to go on to some kind of heavenly reward is a certain task, but you'd have to do it perfectly. These tasks are generally trivial but impossibly difficult. Like, reconstruct a conversation you had years and years ago one fine Tuesday morning. I'd have to start putting random words together and hoping. I wonder if eternity would be enough to do that? Kind of like one of those mathematical functions, areas under a curve... Just because it stretches to infinity, its area can be finite if it decreases quickly enough.

Quote of the Moment:
"Tom will be working something like 4 jobs in the next few months. My advice to you - don't follow your dreams. It takes up too much time and leaves you poor."
--Dylan Murray on Tom the Actor

Joke of the Moment:
Surveys indicate that people in their 40s and 50s tend to indentify strongly with president-elect Bush -- but people with higher IQs hate him.
--paraphrased from Suck.com 'Transfer of Power'

KHftCEA 1999-01.1 January CB

Speaking of Binaca I remember backstage during Guys & Dolls rehersals, seeing how many sguirts we could brave *under* our tongues. Almost to the point where some of us couldn't sing...