February 12, 2019

Whoa, a watch with touch screen gesture/number recognition- from 1984!


February 12, 2018

had a dream that i was getting sorted at hogwarts but i got into an argument with the sorting hat so he made up an entirely new house called 'GrungleBunk' just so i would be forced to sit by myself in the dining hall for the rest of my life

Best Rube Goldberg I've seen in a while. Love the pinball-ish elements, magnets, and loaded springs:

February 12, 2017

Re: that album cover yesterday, Bill the Splut mentioned "Record stores in the day would arrange these by year, because there was an ongoing storyline, seen a year apart."

CRUISIN' the 50s and 60s is the way back machine for an old tripod site with the complete album cover story and a lot of background. Pretty cool idea for a series really, and the song selection was great.

amor fati

February 12, 2016
"My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it--all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary--but love it."
I enocunted the concept of "amor fati" the other day. Roughly translated, it's "the love of one's fate". More roughly translated, it's an admonition to love this life, this circumstance; it's the only one you're going to get.

I feel like in the mid-90s; somewhere between the end of the Cold War as we knew it and before I started listening to the Y2K worrywarts, I carried myself with a bit more joie-de-vivre; I remember a receptionist commenting on how I was more likely to walk around with a boppy little song.

More recently, I've been so frustrated with my own sense of rage at minor inconveniences, like bad traffic, or recalcitrant computer hardware and software. I wonder if really embracing Amor Fati could help with that.

I think it would make a good tattoo. But maybe I'll start with my phone wallpaper or my next custom case.

Photo semi-related -- Tempus Fugit has some similar implications, but has more anxiety producing potential. But I really liked the design, by Bnomio

The Scots-Irish or "American" whites who see Trump as their champion are profoundly different from the metropolitan whites who dominate the upper echelons of U.S. society--so much so that the convention of lumping them together as "white" detracts far more from our understanding of how they fit into our society than it adds to it. J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy, a forthcoming book on the place of Appalachian whites in modern America, estimates that roughly one-quarter of whites belong to the Scots-Irish tribe that has embraced Trump. If we were to separate out these Americans as a race or ethnicity unto themselves, Vance writes, we would finds rates of poverty and substance abuse that would shock our national conscience. But we don't generally collect detailed statistics on the Scots-Irish. We don't have a clear sense of how their labor force participation or disability rates compare to those of other Americans, including other white Americans. And so their experiences and their collective traumas blend into whiteness, where they can be safely ignored. Whites are privileged, after all.
Subtitled 'I do hate the Republicans who've enabled his remarkable popularity.'

That may be a rather profound point about "whiteness" in the USA. I mean I think there will always be some privilege from, at a glance, looking like the privileged class, but it might not be as much as us city slickers assume.
There's a lot I agree with with David Brooks on Bernie's Danish Dream and a lot that I don't.

February 12, 2015

I believe that Ronald Reagan will someday make this country what it once was. . . an artic wilderness.
Steve Martin - that seemed funnier to me 15 years ago!

Of course, the player can't entirely dismiss the possibility that by trying to be Mr. Hero, he's hurting more than helping. The Humanoids might want to be mutated, as they haven't even evolved enough to work out how to build houses.

I'm helpless. I'm helpless. I'm helpless. I'm powerful.
Rob Fulco on Pac-Man and related games.

Here's my IF desk, and here are my IF papers and my IF cup and I'll drink out of it.
Jeremy Douglass, in "Get Lamp"
The quote is on a (sometimes unfortunate) tendency for Interactive Fiction authors to recreate their own local environments. Decent little video but I wish it came out later and/or had something to say on Twine games.

February 12, 2014

http://twentytwowords.com/cat-tries-to-apologize-but-gets-an-icy-reception/ You need to watch this whole video.
Fun Fact: as much as we roll our eyes at low-cal sodas targeted at Bros, the UK has us beat. Thanks to some gender-focused ad campaigns Diet Coke is like the girliest thing you can drink there, and my Coke Zero-addicted coworkers over from Wales go for the normal, sugar-laden stuff when the main other option in the office is Diet.
A 'butt' was a Medieval unit of measure for wine. Technically, a buttload of wine is about 475 liters, or 126 gallons.

http://everytimezone.com/ is a nice bit of visual display
http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2574 real life go-back-in-time machine. It works!
Flappy Bird as metaphor for romance: you think the long flights are gonna last forever- then thwack. And overthinking is a quick death.

February 12, 2013

learning at the state house

Man, I am going to have a rough time working for a company that specializes in video chat if I can't stop making funny faces everytime I'm looking at myself in a chat window.

Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.
Albert Einstein

Make peace with the fact t hat some of the best people in your life are fallible, unreasonable, and downright annoying.
Veronique Vienne

humor for and by geeks

February 12, 2012

--via b3ta. One thing I learned from my yoga class way back when is not many non-geeks get Shrödinger Cat Jokes

blender of love digest

six haiku about insomnia

February 12, 2011
one day soon at noon
i'll drink chamomile to prove
how well that shit works

a window pops up!
could it be you, on iChat?
fuck you, McAffee.

ambien you say?
thanks but i'll skip showing up
nude at my super's.

tapes of whale noises
great way to feel dumb for your
tapes of whale noises.

sleep eating, my ass
cigarette butts in mayo
are plain delicious.

try melatonin?
you would be "tried" as a witch
in 1602.

finally sleepy
just drifting off ... PHONE VIBRATES!
oh cool, a groupon.
She's also the best Twitterer ever.
Cold Pad Thai = Asian Kugel. SO GOOD.
Wha...? "Murder" ???? I was trying to dial "N" for "Nachos!"

Bob Slate Stationaryis closing. Damn it Cambridge, why can't we have nice things?

valentine's blender of love!

current mood:

(1 comment)
February 12, 2010

the bees of goonswarm

February 12, 2009
--The Bees of GoonSwarm. (Incidentally, you have to Google on almost that exact phrase to get this image.)

Here is the explanation of it that got me interested.

GoonSwarm is an alliance in the massive game EVE online (Sometimes I'm surprised I'm not into this, it looks a little bit like Wing Commander 3, one of my favorites from a decade ago.) They managed to use treachery to utterly undo another alliance, Band of Brothers (rivals, but who were thought to be cheaters and/or jerks in general.)

The description of the takeover is compelling. So is reading about GoonSwarm, legions of often newbies pilots recruited from the discussion forums at SomethingAwful. They use swarm tactics, and emphasize the importance of the small pilot, like you can see in this for the want of a nail like poster they made and this music video to the Bee-themed parody of "Let It Bee" --err, Be.

I know ain't none of it health food, but it seems weird that a Dunkin Dounts chocolate chunk cookie is almost double the calories of a Boston Kreme Donut.
See, you dump Republicans? The answer to cheaper gas wasn't "drill for more oil!" it was "turn the economy into a trainwreck". Duh.
almost forgot! HAPPY 200TH BIRTHDAY DARWIN!
Updating webpages I made when I used to do all my HTML in all caps (made it stand out a bit from the text, actually)
Oh, and Lincoln was born on the exact same day, 200 years ago? CRAZY
Watching some CGI recreations of the ironclads Monitor vs Virginia reminds me a bit of BattleBots.

bodies have more fun

February 12, 2008
Sometimes I feel like I'm weirdly snobbish about reading books over magazines... there's definitely a hierarchy, like how I do record the books I read and movies I watch over the course of a year but not magazines, and I'm not sure that's justified. There are smart magazines, just like there are dumb books. And magazines put you more in touch with your time.

I keep thinking about that old line "Time: the magazine for people who can't think, and Life: the magazine for people who can't read."

Mashup of the Moment

--James Brown & Pavarotti??? Wow. Thought I heard about that on Morning Edition this morning but wasn't quite sure if it was just something from a dream... James Brown has a pretty amazing voice.

Quote of the Moment
Human beings are divided into mind and body. The mind embraces all the nobler apparitions, like poetry and philosophy. But, the body has all the fun.
Woody Allen, "Love and Death".
The top-of-the-page-quote for the Valentine's version of the Blender of Love, which I finally got done last night. The thing is I don't really agree with the sentiment, I think the mind is plenty entertaining and entertainable itself.


February 12, 2007
So at my mom's I stayed in her guestroom, aka "Aunt Susan's Room". It has it's own bathroom. That's definitely a nice small little luxury, your own bathroom right off of where you're sleeping, you never have to walk anywhere cold or worried about excess domestic nakedness.

Exchange of the Moment
Mom: So, what kind of animals do you think we will see at the zoo?
Small boy: I think elephants and snakes... Mom? Are there also pretend things there, like dinosaurs and God?
Mom: I think we need to have a talk when we get home.
Article of the Moment
One is Shi'a on Shi'a, principally in the south; the second is sectarian conflict, principally in Baghdad, but not solely; third is the insurgency; and fourth is al Qaida, and al Qaida is attacking, at times, all of those targets.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates explaining how Iraq is four, four, four wars in one! As quoted in this Slate article.
Wait, didn't he get the memo that it's all just a slice of THE war, the war against terror?


February 12, 2006
Random kisrael.com thought...I'm trying to remember what made me select "three days" as the standard to display on the kisrael.com frontpage. What would be the impact of upping that, maybe to 5, or 7? The page might be a little slower to load, but...I dunno, would the site seem more "serious" somehow? Five seems like it might be good.

UPDATE: decided to go with five for now. Let me know what you think. At least with this many I don't have to worry so much about the main content being shorter than the sidebar!

I realize I can't really look at my sight site (thanks FoSO) objectively, I really don't know how it looks to someone seeing it for the first time, or even to a regular reader.

Which brings us to the first link...

Link of the Moment
Current Style in Web Design. I wish I was better at codifying, and then acting on, what makes a site look professional. This essay does a good job of isolating some features (some of which this site has, I think) I wonder when Love Blender will need an overhall. I think Lupschada did a great job with it back in the day, but now it's a bit cluttered. Plus, she hates me.

food is love

(1 comment)
February 12, 2005
Encyclopedia Entry of the Moment
If you really love someone, you want to know what they ate for lunch or dinner without you. Hi, sweetie, how was your day, what did you have for lunch? Or if your mate was out of town on business: How was your trip, did the meeting go well, what did you do for dinner? Jason will stumble home in the wee hours from a bachelor party, and as he crawls into bed I'll pry myself from sleep long enough to mumble, how was the party, how was the restaurant beforehand? The meal that has no bearing on the relationship appear to be breakfast. I can love you and not know that when you were in Cincinnati last Wednesday you had yogurt and a bagel.
Panorama of the Moment
A Quicktime VR panorama of the last men on the moon from the Apollo 17 mission. It's so sad that the space age was the 60s and 70s and we've been marking time ever since.

helloooooo, sarah!

February 12, 2004
So, Dylan's Pointless Sidebar is getting a little somethin'-somethin' extra; our friend Sarah will now hopefully be a regular contributor. Sarah's a pretty gal with great hair and an English accent. She and Dylan go way back to their days at Boston University. In fact, Sarah was probably Dylan's last great crush before he figured out he was all gay and stuff. Here are some old pictures of both of them just so you know your source of sidebar pointlessness that much better.

Quote and Link of the Moment
"Ideas rot if you don't do something with them.
Don't hoard them. I blog them or otherwise tell people."
I was amazed at how well Danny O'Brien described my geekish preferences and note-taking habits.

Art of the Moment
The Infinite Cat Project. I would've sent in a picture of Murphy, but it was near feeding time, and he was a lot more interested in food than some stupid monitor with a cat on it.

Cartoon of the Moment
One of the worst things I've ever heard: what might be the world's only Human Computer Interface (HCI) Rap. Man, it's painful even to type that. Though the cartoon it came from, "OK/Cancel", is actually pretty decent for geeks who try to make computers easier for squishy humans to use.

got a light, bud?

(1 comment)
February 12, 2003
Thought of the Moment
Consciousness is a smaller part of our mental life than we are conscious of, because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of. How simple that is to say; how difficult to appreciate! It is like asking a flashlight in a dark room to search around for something that does not have any light shining upon it. The flashlight, since there is a light in any direction it turns, would have to conclude that there is light everywhere. And so consciousness can seem to pervade all mentality when actually it does not.
Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.
The book was quoted in "The User Illusion" which I just finished. I don't know if I buy into Jayne's theory, that consciousness/the sense of "I" as we know it didn't show up until a few thousand years ago...or at least not some extensions of that idea, how that would have changed people's view of themselves, and that maybe "consciousness" disappeared (at least in Europe) for most of the dark ages and came back around the time of the Renaissance...

Flash of the Movement
BoingBoing pointed to this Flash site that is a true triumph of style over substance.

Report to Home of the Moment
So, kind of like yesterday, a MetaFilter conversation trying to figure out the authenticity of this report, supposedly from Davos. It seems a stretch that the journalist it's supposedly from would take this kind of tone and make so many mistakes, but it is supposed to be a casual note. In any case, it's an exploration of the "just what level of deep economic doodoo are we in" dilemma. I wonder what the hell I should be doing from a preparation standpoint?

Slashdot Funny of the Moment
> I am repeatedly surprised by the amount of spam
> out there that does not contain any way
> to contact the spammer. How do they expect to
> make money if there is no way to contact them?



February 12, 2002
So yesterday the announced an "All Hands Get Decked"... errr... "On Deck" that is... meeting at 10:30 AM. Doesn't bode too well!

(Man, I have a real love/hate relationship with the gallows humor right before and after a layoff. On the one hand, it sucks to be in a situation like that. On the other hand, it can be really funny, and help a lot.)

So to prepare for today, I went home a little early yesterday (just a tad) and played and finished Luigi's Mansion. Cute little game, pretty much a very cartoony take on Ghostbusters. Full of nice touches...Luigi tends to hum the main spooky theme as he wanders through the haunted house, but the lower his health is, the weaker and shakier the humming becomes.

Backlog of the Moment
"Decay is inherent in all compound things. Work out your salvation with diligence."
Last Words of Buddha.
I had seen these before, but also in the article The true Buddhist. It touches on a lot of interesting topics, from how we tend to judge our own prosperity strictly in relative and not absolute terms, to the idea of a sense of self being an artificial construct.

Link of the Moment
An interesting piece on how Deaf People in the U.K. are really taking to cellphone-based text messaging. Too bad systems over here are more primitive and less universal. (via Camworld)


February 12, 2001
Yesterday I read Machine Beauty by David Gelernter. Interesting book. I like his suggestion for a definition of beauty, beauty=power+simplicity, and that a feeling for beauty and elegance transcends culture and is probably a convenient wrapper for a host of analysis we can do intuitively. On the other hand, I disagree with his theories as to why ugly DOS/Windows beat out beautiful Mac. "Is prejudice against beautiful technology a deep-lying part of our national character?" he asks. I think he's oversimplifying. His writing is a bit juvenile at times as well,a bit over the top (saying some computer interface was "causing us to reach for the air-sickness bag".) And he thinks it's the 'technologists' who are responsible for featuritis (the addition of too many features in software) and not marketing.

He also doesn't realize that the quest for elegance, for trying to shoehorn a complex problem into an 'elegant' solution, sometimes results in the worst kind of ugly. (When you're in love with your beautiful hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.)

Quote of the Moment

"While some look at what is and ask 'why?' and others look at what could be ask 'why not?' I look at my coffee table and ask 'where are my sunglasses?'"
Quote of the Other Moment
Selling out is the new integrity.

 I don't kill flies, but I like to mess with their minds. I hold them above globes. They freak out and yell "Whoa, I'm way too high!"
--Mark Pitta
Jung says I'm an entp. Mo's a intj.
An organism is not adapted to its environment. It is adapted to the environment of its ancestors.
  --Begon, Harper & Townsend.   
I've been so damn quiet with this quote journal lately.  Energy dedicated to PocketC, maybe?  Could be just one of those things as well.
"egoboo"- the fandom mode of "human attention being the next currency"
In a McDonald's between Boston and New York (right after Connecticut border)- odd + cool to think of Mo as 'girlfriend'.