February 15, 2020

One of the ways that you can say 'I love you' in Irish is 'mo cheol thú' -- 'you are my music.'
Pádraig Ó Tuama
I've started listening to his Poetry Unbound podcast. The poem is read, pontificated on briefly and thoughtfully, and then read again, and it's beautiful. One of the few I don't listen to at 1.5x speed or faster- and not just because of the narrator's terrific Irish accent. Honestly it's a secular sermon.
Just passed a mum with her little girl, no older than 7, who was crying over a skinned knee.
Mum: I don't think we need to cry over this anymore.
Little girl, still crying: This is in NO WAY a WE situation.

I spent way too much of my childhood assuming the Harlem Globetrotters would have utterly decimated the rest of the NBA.

February 15, 2019

C'mon. Obama pushed for his electoral mandate and popular vote victory of healthcare with politics and compromise, not a trumped up facts-don't-matter "emergency". This is dangerous territory.

being a bad negotiator is not a national emergency

Mexico was going to pay for the wall
Mexico was going to pay for the wall
Mexico was going to pay for the wall
Mexico was going to pay for the wall...

Repubs must not allow Pres Obama to subvert the Constitution of the US for his own benefit & because he is unable to negotiate w/ Congress.

February 15, 2018

The Mystic Masters of the Pahjmannian arts boast near complete control over their pulse and respiration, as well as conducting enormous tremendous psychic and electrical energies. They are able to go extended periods without going number one, number two, or even number three (you really don't want to know about number three.)
from a dream the other night.
(Random point: I hear so much about the Oxford Comma but rather little about whether the period at the end of a parenthetical remark that finishes a sentence should go inside or outside of the parentheses.)
got this bit of phishing from someone who wanted me to be thinking of LinkedIn...

I like the phrase "Newtworking"

February 15, 2017

Dig this DK art, from the Colecovision version - so detailed!

via suppermariobroth
I've always loved Homer Simpson's "Could you, um, work any harder than this" style of management...

February 15, 2016

Stupid people only see the beauty in beautiful things. I'm gonna go get some string cheese!
Me to Melissa
From this morning. Then when posting this had to confirm that her name was spelled with just one "L". #bestboyfriendever

February 15, 2015

I kind of like the "Hothworld" descriptor I've seen floating around, even if the Star Wars geek in me pegs that as a bit redundant.

February 15, 2014

Saw the new "Robocop" today... not bad. I didn't like the new ED-209s much-- they really were a big part of the draw of the original. (Years later I read how they were purposefully over-designed, reflecting a parody of Detroit "looks awesome, runs terrible" thinking... but to a 12-year-old kid, they were just awesome.) Anyway, The Robocop Archive had this kickin' prototype sketch from the first movie:

February 15, 2013

Week 5 Day 2of RunWalkRun. Last time I realized the app has a pace meter, like from one bar to 7 or 8 or something... and the warm up / cool down is just the program setting that 1. (Also the user always has the option to tweak up or down during a run) And I think the goal of the program means more of the run is set higher on that meter, so I can finally get a feel for how I might be making progress. Still, it's so tough for me to gauge quantitative improvements, and I didn't even make it to the Spy Pond roundabout in 10 minutes, though at some points I had to run on the snow where the bikepath was a slush pool mess.

don't be nervous. work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

February 15, 2012
  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring."
  3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can't create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it--but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

iPhone GTA3. Kind of amazing to have the microcosm of Liberty City in my pocket, but the controls sap all the kinetic fun out of it.
Envisioning a Post-Campus America -- thought-provoking McArdle piece on the implications if there was a major shift to e-learning that supplanted the traditional 4 year degree.
How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
Thomas Jefferson

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/the-way-greeks-live-now.html fascinating article on Greece. Had little idea how extreme the situation was there.

photos from a valentine's day

February 15, 2011
So yesterday Amber and I kind of played hookie and headed toward that Mecca of Winter Romance, Swampscott..
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/newsgraphics/2011/0119-budget/index.html - pretty awesome infographic on the Obama budget.
Cracked on what has come from Donald Duck. No wonder there's so much love for Carl Barks, especially in Europe...
The Face of Watson the Jeopardy-playing computer... nice use of color and space.
I don't need no tv, I don't need no news. All I need is a bumpin' beat to bump away my blu-u-ues
Basement Jaxx, "Do Your Thing"
(Do Your Thing To The Music by Lenlow is the most amazing version with that lyric)
If you're at IKEA around Christmastime and they have gingerbread toffees for sale, BUY THEM. We got some for a quarter a pack on clearance-GREAT


(1 comment)
February 15, 2010

--I dig the sound of this so much! Bummer it might read as a bit racist, because those are some terrific musicians, and some great dancers.

work (n.) 1. That which makes modern life simultaneously possible and impossible.
It's a Lincoln fetish. For tall girls... REALLY tall. With beards and stovepipe hats. I... shoot them, and leap out a window yelling 'Sic semper tyrannis!'

Maybe it's early sour grapes, but after a few weeks of "gee iPhone feels small", now it seems like iPhone beats iPad like Palm beat Newton.

águas de março

February 15, 2009

--So via a link I added to from that Trader Joe's ad the other day, I found out that the ad's music gets its tune and structure from Jobim's "Águas de Março"/"Waters of March"

Jobim wrote two versions, one in Portuguese, one in English. The former is about about the rains of autumn, which is what happens in March in Brazil, while the latter is about March in the Northern Hemisphere.

Jobim's "spring" English version has much in common with the direct translation of the Portuguese, but I'm more drawn to the haunting Autumn interpretation. I'm posting this video of Elis Regina performing it here, even though it has some skips in it... you can see same performance with no subtitles, but no skips either.

Not to sound too emo about it, but I find a lot of cover versions - including other bossa nova versions by Elis Regina - get it wrong by being more uptempo and cheery. And the English versions run even worse (including Art Garfunkel, WHO KNEW?) though I was happy to find an excellent cover by my favorite Holly Cole available for free at Amazon in a Jazz Sampler.

I made "mortality for skeptics" available at my domain http://mortals.be/ . Mortality: the good news is: nothing to worry about. Bad news: that there might be Nothing, to worry about
Youtube starting to crack down on download tools? Sucks, especially because it's going to be hit or miss what's available.
http://www.theroot.com/views/exit-interviews-my-exes - glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks about this stuff.
USA 00s as USSR 90s. Scary stuff, but so was Y2K. I think there's a resiliency here.
http://xtracycle.com/ - interesting (if very hippy) bikes for hauling.

yay samosas

February 15, 2008
So a year ago I wrote about a small vending stand at Alewife station... I thought the stuff was "tourist food" though as Eric pointed out, I was eating it, so obviously it's good for commuters as well. (I'm still surprised at how cheap it is, that they can sell enough of it to make it worth their while.)

So the owners have upgraded from their pushcart-style stall to one of the newsstand-type installations there. Plus they added vegetable Samosas for a buck and similar beef-filled pockets for $1.50. I know its all on the fried-side but either can make a really tasty and distinctive breakfast treat. (It looks like they start to set up a full small Indian buffet for the lunch crowd, but I haven't been around to see it.)

So Hoo-ray for small business!

Video of the Moment
Reading TVTropes.org's entry on video game Nightmare Fuel I learned about Mimi, a character in the recent Super Paper Mario game... looking up more I found this list of scary Nintendo moments and then this video, starting about 3:45 or so....

Like TVTropes says:
The true form of Mimi from the same game deserves an honorable mention -- if she weren't done in a cartoony art-style loosely inspired by NES games, the appearance of a little girl with a bizarrely-warped, upside-down head with spider legs coming out of it, and her now limp and useless body dangling below her in Homage to The Thing, would be grade-A Nightmare Fuel, and it still manages to be creepy even with that art style.
Yeah! Daddy longelags are pretty spooky anyway.

phriendly phantom phonecalls

February 15, 2007
Heh. Kind of a restless night, and this morning around 6:30 I thought I heard my cellphone ring in the other room. I ignored it 'til like 10 minutes later, then went to check.

And it's kind of a good thing I did... even though it hadn't actually rung, it made me realize that my flight was leaving 2 hours earlier than I had been for whatever reason thinking.


Luckily I have time to spare, but still. Sometimes I think a year of business travel has made me a bit too blasé about the whole subject.

Quote and Insight of the Moment
More Upper West Side adults have pointed to Mozart, I'm quite sure, as a justification for sending their kids to excruciating early music programs, than almost any other historical figure.
Malcolm Gladwell
From this piece on the surprising gap between child prodigies and achieving adults.

That was a link from this MeFi post, and I was actually much more haunted by this New York Magazine piece on the danger of being a smart kid. To quote the MetaFilter summary:
Praising a child for being smart only teaches the kid to avoid any effort that might fail.
That, in a nutshell, is My Biggest Problem, and I set up roadblock after roadblock for myself to protect a surprisingly delicate self-image; so over-inflated that any prick of "I tried hard but failed" might cause the whole thing to come crashing to earth, and so I've setup a huge anti-needle, patch-and-glue brigade.

I'm not sure if it's just a result of over-praise, though. Smart kids are better at seeing the possible negative consequences of a given path, and I think a fair number of them are afraid of confronting a situation that might end badly despite all best efforts. Or maybe I'm projecting based on my own experiences, with family tragedies I could do nothing about, which taught me that even the best intentions don't always help.


February 15, 2006
Typo of the Moment
Ooh, weird...after a lunchtime work conversation I went Googling on Synesthesia dyslexia, I really wonder if there can be some connection between the two... it took me a few tries and a tangental search to get the spelling of the first word. The weird part was I then mistyped and actually searched for Synesthesia dysliexia... and there was exactly one match for that: me making the exact same typo exact same typo on slashdot in 2003. I guess the typo is pretty characteristic of the mistakes I tend to make, phonetically blending syllables a bit, the ending "ia" of the word getting me to insert the extra "i" in the syllable before.

THE THING IS, I keep thinking that this type of frequent mistake should clearly tell me something about me, like whether I'm more of a "visual" or an "audio" thinker, but I don't quite know how to interprate the results. Part of it is, some part of me "wants" to be a "visual thinker", and that might bias the interpretation I'm going to make.

Or maybe the only safe interpretation is "I'm a bad typist when I try and type fast".

Quote of the Moment
Love is sometimes more than just blind.
Jonathan Lethem, "Gun, With Occasional Music"
... also used for that recent loveblender.

Music of the Moment
DJ BC has made a second Beastles Beatles/Beastie Boys mashup album, Let It Beast. I'm still kind of listening to it, but overall it doesn't seem nearly as tight as the original, kind of disorganized and chaotic.

Explanation of the Moment
Just a little late for Valentine's Day...Slate Explains why do we draw hearts that way?

bowled over

February 15, 2005
"Business Casual" at work today, there's a client about.

Always an interesting little bit of deception, that. Unlike, say, dressing up for a job interview, I think we're supposed to project the idea that "oh, we always dress like this."

Prayer of the Moment
God, let me play well but fairly.
Let competition make me strong but never hostile.
Forbid me to rejoice in the adversity of others.
See me not when I am cheered, but when I bend to help my opponent up.
If I know victory, allow me to be happy;
if I am denied, keep me from envy.
Remind me that sports are just games.
Help me to learn something that matters once the game is over.
And if through athletics I set an example, let it be a good one.
Nice counterpoint to that whole "want to thank Jesus for this victory (but I don't blame him for that interception I threw.)" line of thinking.

Quote of the Moment
"We don't lose games where they give you a free hat and T-shirt!"
Tedi Bruschi, New England Patriots
...I'm not sure if that's the exact wording, but I love the sentiment. There was a good description of how miserable the Patriots used to be at Patsfans.com.

Image of the Moment
--Crick's first DNA doodle ...such a historic thing, where we started the long process of figuring ourselves out...

brilliant, yes, but evil

February 15, 2004
Art of the Moment

--Hmm. Maybe I shouldn't use this image for online personals after all, huh? The first 3 sentences I got from someone's .sig file on Usenet (later I found out it was from "Illuminatus!") the rest I made up for a poetry class in college.

Site Update of the Moment
I decided that that whole "you need time to judge your work" stuff is over-rated, so I added 2004 to my best of kisrael.com page now, rather than wait 'til the end of the year. (Like it says, it's not "best of", it's "Kirk's online arts and crafts", and so I can pretty easily predict what will make the list.)

Flash of the Moment
A day (and a year) late, a Flash Valentine from Chaoskitty with love.

Quote of the Moment
Lee's Law: Mother said there would be days like this, but she never said that there'd be so many!
QotD at slashdot

why ask wherefore

(1 comment)
February 15, 2003
Quote of the Moment
"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition."
Carl Sagan.
Sent to be my Robert Sim (who has his own blog, and had some nice things to say about the mortality guide.) I think the quote makes a good point.

Link of the Moment
Keeping in a philisophical vein, Slate had a piece by John Horgan on why he gave up on Buddhism. I've noticed there seem to be two strains of buddhism in the West, one more traditional and mystic, usually practiced by people who grew up with it, and then one that's trendier and more in the "Zen" style.

I still have hopes for a kind of Buddhism Lite, or something, with a lot of the focus on just kind of being, and not getting too hung up on worldly desires. I guess there's a contradiction here, with a worldly desire of wanting some "authorized" approval of my munged together attitudes.

jittery stomachs across the epochs

February 15, 2002
Science of the Moment
Sure, yesterday other people couldn't stop talking about playing Barry White for sharks to get them in the mood, but Ranjit found something that has more solid science: Dinopuke!

Quote of the Moment
Just before someone gets nervous, do they experience cocoons in their stomach?
Random question on my cousin Kayla's AIM subprofile


February 15, 2001
Song of the Moment
Row row row your boat
gently on the lake
merrily merrily merrily merrily
consciousness is just the story that we make
When I was a kid I used to think that the original song was "deep". (Then again, I used to think "throw your teacher overboard / and listen to her scream -- Aaaaah!" was the best ending for it.) And in a way "life is but a dream" isn't as trivial as many people assume it is, but I had to modify the sentiment slightly to represent my current worldview. And my original draft of this version ended "consciousness is just the story that we tell ourselves" which is more interesting but doesn't scan so well.

Alternative Version

Row row row your boat
gently down the stream
of consciousness
which ain't all that it might seem

Link of the Moment
Many movies use this one stock scream sound effect, kind of an "aiiiiii!" It's called a "Wilhelm" after a character in one of the first films it showed up in (in the 1950s, although it was probably taken from Loony Tune cartoons before that.) It's shown up in all of the Star Wars flicks, even though often it doesn't quite fit. One guy has compiled a Series of Video Clips featuring this yell, it's kind of amusing.

"Your secret mantra is 'Moo.'"
--Swami Pete ("Questionable Swamis", Life in Hell)
"Any time of the day is a good time for pie."
--Fabienne, Pulp Fiction
So tonight I pop the question to Mo. It's a pretty amazing thought. I suspect we can be happy for a long time.
"I Defy Biology and Achieve Ignorance"
"Without a hurt the heart is hollow"
"Damn your kumquats!"
          --The Fantasticks
Chocalate Strawberries after the cafe on 83rd.

Furtive Kisses in the main elevator of the Guggenheim

'I wonder if I love you too much. I guess when people say "too much" what they really mean is "more than you." Probably just paranoia. It's just hitting me how much you've come to mean to me in so short a time, and what it would mean to lose you. '