and so on

March 14, 2019
I myself once learned 380 digits of π, when I was a crazy high-school kid. My never-attained ambition was to reach the spot, 762 digits out in the decimal expansion, where it goes "999999", so that I could recite it out loud, come to those six 9's, and then impishly say, "and so on!"
Douglas Hofstadter

A quantum experiment suggests there's no such thing as objective reality Hooboy.
Takin' my todo list and inbox tasks head on like

Developer proposes turning 3rd floor of Cambridgeside Galleria into office space
I've heard the Galleria is doing ok. Having seen the malls of my teenage years all turn into wreck and ruin, I'm kind of uptight about these things...malls are fun and it's a bummer when they can't survive.

March 14, 2018

RIP Stephen Hawking. You know I kind of hoped that he had so somehow overcome his condition he was low-key immortal.


Liking or not liking Political Strongmen is now, sadly, a Partisan issue. I was thinking about this: with the consolidation of power in China by Xi Jinping, and Trump joshing about president for life roles, and digging dudes like the Phillipine's Rodrigo Duterte (and apparently taking orders to ditch the Secretary of State from Russia) -- combined with "MAGA" - what makes America great is that we do this as a system, not as big tough individuals. It was considered amazing when George Washington stepped down after a second term - people on the other side of the Atlantic figured it was just a power grab for another kind of dictator. Conservatives don't get that. They just see the system itself as like an incorporated dictator, I guess, so might as well put a know-nothing failed-businessman precocious fifth grader of a reality show star in the role instead.
A system is never the sum of its parts. It is the product of the interaction of its parts.
Dr. Russel Ackoff

https://nextdraft.com/ is the most worthwhile newsletter of the day.
gonna be in a pickup band to close out Jon Batiste's second set with some folks from School of Honk, so that's pretty hip

not JUST 2 beers and a moscow mule talking- this is one of the best shows ever. between variations on fur elise and thoughtful gentle covers of round midnight and st james infirmary and wonderful world i'm fricking reliving my musical youth.

March 14, 2017

"ELECTRONICS IS O-CHEM FOR ROBOT / ROBOT BIOLOGY"
--"Sticky" note I typed out at about 2 or 3 AM this morning. I was having some kind of dream about making robots. I remember lying awake a few minutes trying to figure out if electronics was organic chemistry, and programming neurobiology, or what. (I think "O-Chem" the midwestern term, vs "Orgo" which is what they called it at my school. Like with "Pop" vs "Soda", the midwest has the objectively better word.)

Mario has a thick stache (Groucho), speaks with an outrageous Italian accent (Chico), but actually doesn't speak (Harpo) because he's just a blank slate for the audience (Zeppo).
Nick Bensema

March 14, 2016


via my new favorite tumblr batlabels

mm mmm time for pi!

March 14, 2015
3/14/15 9:26....
π!

March 14, 2014

Cool T-map, based on the time it takes to travel between stops, via Stone Brown Design

worshiping thirst

March 14, 2013
"O Mighty King, remember now that only gods stay in eternal watch.
Humans come then go,
that is the way fate decreed on the Tablets of Destiny.
So someday you will depart, but till that distant day Sing, and dance.
Eat your fill of warm cooked food and cool jugs of beer.
Cherish the children your love gave life.
Bathe away life's dirt in warm drawn waters.
Pass the time in joy with your chosen wife.
On the Tablets of Destiny it is decreed
For you to enjoy short pleasures for your short days."
Siduri, "Epic of Gilgamesh"
The quote comes to me by way of this Forbes article The First Immortal Does Not Live Among Us Today. It's sad to realize that we aren't as close to earthbound immortality as some think science implies, but I think less sad than living with false hope.

And you know, there are some benefits to not living forever. Besides knowing you're making way for new and different stuff, many of humanities problems are only as much your problem as you choose to make them.

For a slightly melancholy spin on the Gilgamesh quote and the logic of putting the best spin on our existential plight, check out this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic...


Last night I realized I was conflating
Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams. Kind of another Sarah Michelle Geller / Sarah Jessica Parker thing.
http://instagram.com/p/W2BuMLQLRB/ -- how odd it is when the desire to record a moment totally becomes the moment
7PM and not even dark. I love DST.

force it

March 14, 2012
I went back up to the second floor of the barn and I sat in the white plastic chair and I sweated, because it's hot, and I thought: You can't force it. If it isn't there you can't force it. Then I thought: You can force it. My whole life I've been forcing it. You throw yourself against the weight of the massive sliding door to the barn, that does not want to move, and you lean and you wag your hips and you haul on the metal handle, and you strain, and you grunt, and you point your face at the sky and say bad words, and it starts to move and rumble, and then it moves a little more easily, and then a little more easily still, and finally, the barn door is open wide enough that you can barely fit through, taking care not to scrape your back on the broken-off lock flange.

So you can force it, and you should force it. All the time. Force it open. Push. Pull. When you think you can't, think again. On the other hand, sometimes the wood of the door is a little rotten around the handle and you tear out the screws. My father was right. Sometimes the door is really just stuck.
Nicholson Baker, "The Anthologist", a really lovely book with great thoughts on the rhythm of poetry, and its rhyme, and heartbreak.

It's time to kill software patents. Just let them die.

it has a good beat and i can really dance to it!

March 14, 2011
The binary data for the MS-Paint program treated as a sound file... the original link has people commenting on it, all over it.

befunk

March 14, 2010

BeFunky.com is a very cool website, lots of nifty photopshopy filters to play with.

And yeah, I gotta get over this photo as my "go to" photo for image manipulation fun. Still it came out kinda nifty here.

Hooray it's DST already!
Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds that darkness has always got there first and is waiting for it.
--vishal, http://loveblender.com/
Between stuff like Hulu.com and craptastic #comcast dvr and cable service, amber and I are thinking cable tv might not be for our next place.

if there is one thing bob saget taught me it's nothing is funnier than a guy getting hit in the 'nads

March 14, 2009
food for thought. (now that the video has been removed.)
Wow, Flann's (local Irish pub) has a line waiting to get in. Must almost me St. Patricks Day!

hello japan! (backlog flush #65 and travelog)

(2 comments)
March 14, 2008
Travelog of the Moment
In theory my jetlag "isn't so bad", but then again I'm writing this at 4AM (3PM Boston time.)

I now have the technology and 'net access to try travelloging in real time. This likely means my observations will be extra facile and I'll be less likely to know if they represent just what I see, or Japan as a whole. And so it's going to be more raw and mundane than if I were pulling it together after. So, those disclaimers out of the way:



A few other notes:

children and other small animals

March 14, 2007
I would, almost literally, like to kiss the hand of every congresscritter who voted for the DST change. (Typo alert:did you know "coted" is a word, and so won't attracted the attention of a spellchecker?) I think if a politician ran on platform of "DST all year round!" they would get my vote, independent of party affiliation or other ideology.

I've been taking advantage of the daylight and warmth to start walking home from Alewife subway station rather than hopping a bus. It's a nice half hour walk on a bike path. My feet, or my arches, have been complaining a bit (these boots weren't made for walking, apparently) but it's a nice end to a workday.

I admit to one stab of nostalgia, glancing at the street I used to turn on to get to the first apartment Mo and I had together.

One of the sidestreets, Pond Lane I think, had this:

There was a sign on the side:
If you see something of interest here, you are welcome to bring it with you. However people are asked to take only items intended for personal use and/or that of immediate friends. The intent of this box is to gift people with something unexpected rather than help provide credit at used bookstores or the like. Thank you for your indulgence.

Virtually any small object that remains in some way potentially useful to others is welcome here. Please, however, make sure that all items are safe and appropriate, or at least not inappropriate, for children and other small animals! Thank you for your generosity.
Huh!

Observation of the Moment
Oh yeah! Happy Pi Day! (3.14)

.Sig of the Moment
There are two types of people in the world:
   * Those who need closure
Chad Bourque's .sig on Google groups. It's occurring to me that there's a common thread in much of what I find funny, this pattern of miscategorization or self-referentiality. Yesterday's "precocious kid" joke was kind of similar. I guess it's kind of a geekish trope.

feh

(9 comments)
March 14, 2006
Politics of the Moment
So Bush's approval has sunk to the mid-30s. It used to be higher. Now, leaving aside the "objective" question about how good or bad the idea of overthrowing Saddam was...why has it taken a certain chunk of the population this long to see the situation as "bad"? What's changed? The bodycount on both sides? The factional strife there? Gas at the pump still pretty high? What?

I had some interesting conversations with my coworker Tim the Libertarian. He has a view that I think is a kind of "fallacy of the excluded middle", that, say, we couldn't follow my idea of "giving the inspections teeth" with a "they can inspect it or we bomb it" policy, because by treaty the inspectors were UN and out of US supervision. Somehow it seems improbable to me that something like that would be forbidden, but overthrowing the government there would be more or less Okiedoke, but then again I'm not a diplomat.

I guess there might be legitimate questions about sovereignty with "inspections with teeth", but still, relative to what has transpired, I don't think it seems all that bad.

This Slate article talks about another point Tim and I disagree on... he's kind of a proponent that Bush made the best decision he had with the data he had at the time, where I believe that he was so hell bent on invasion so early on that it completely influenced what "evidence" they allowed themselves to see and interpret, and that's why he deserves all the political backlash he can get.

Link of the Moment
Top 10 Most Annoying Alarm Clocks. I wonder how many of these are in production as opposed to just one-offs in a lab? Still the idea of the little helicopter one, zipping across the room yelling its electronic brains out 'til you get up and turn it off is kind of appealing.

I'm Going To Hell
I know I'm going to hell because I practically snarfed just reading the headline Candi sent me, Miss Deaf Texas Killed by Train. A witness reported that "the train sounded its horn right up until the accident occurred"...that must've been kind of surreal. Doesn't sound like the safest activity for a deaf person, though I'm almost surprised she couldn't feel the rumble in the ground or something.

pac-man fever. it's driving me, driving me, driving me crazy.

(1 comment)
March 14, 2005
Quote and Logo of the Moment
"I thought that one of the things women like to do is eat. So I started working on a game concept based on eating."
Toru Iwatari, inventor of Pac-Man
On a similar note, I thought that the image at the top of every page of the new New England Classic Gamers site was a bit tall, so I tried to doodle up my own version...



I didn't spend very long on it, but I guess it shows why I'm a developer and not a designer. Of course, at NECG, we emphasize Pac-Man's fondness of drink over that of food...this is the original version, and of course mine was meant as a replacement for (and borrowed from) this version...maybe I should've spent more time duplicating the shading...shading is one thing I've never been good at, but that one looks like it has a style that would be easy to emulate.

title

(8 comments)
March 14, 2004
Odd, I was about to post a link to this funny lab writeup but then I realized I already kisraelized it...and oddly, that day (for a joke) I used a subtitle style I was just thinking about adopting, namely simply dropping the "of the Moment" after each category.

I don't know if it works well or not. I almost think I need to make some additional kind of seperator, like a line, or using some sort of marker e.g. ::Article::. Let me know what you think, if "of the Moment" is good or pointless or what.

Quote
Verbogeny is one of the pleasurettes of a creatific thinkerizer.
Peter da Silva
Observation
William Gibson's novel Neuromancer (the one sometimes credited with starting the "cyberpunk genre") famously begins " The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." Back when he wrote that, he probably meant static color: black and white mixed all in to some kind of grey. But someone reading it now for the first time might assume he meant a pleasant (if overly bright) blue...a lovely day indeed.

I also heard Gibson saying how he couldn't include some stuff that we take for granted today, like small cellphones: it would have sounded too much like wacky Star Trek scifi back when the book was written in 1984.

Parody of the Moment
Tremendously funny idea for a Bush campaign ad. Not for the easily offended. But what's really funny, or scary, is when you read this New Republic Journal Entry and realize that the parody has to be that much over the top, because the original ("John Kerry's Plan: Weaken Fight Against Terrorists") comes so close to being a parody of itself. But mostly, I just like saying that I'm from "Saudi Taxachusettsstan". (Via Bill the Splut)

Followup: the parody's source, a political blog called The Poor Man, seems pretty good. Claims to be centrist...in this day and age, being centrist but not passive probably means you're going to be labelled as a liberal. I like the theme of his latest entry, "Easy Answers To Unnecessarily Complicated Questions".

armagiddy with anticipation

March 14, 2003
Quote of the Moment
This too shall pass. The clock will not stop ticking. Armageddon never lives up to its hype. Things change and they change for the better, the worse, and the indifferent. Let's all go to my house and have a beer this evening.
Blog of the Moment
Kevin Sites is a reporter near Iraq, his blog makes for some interesting reading.

Ramble of the Moment
I find myself making a lot more faces when no one is looking these day. Mostly rolling my eyes. I don't know what's causing it, but I'll be walking down the hallway, have one of those little "hi" "hi" interactions that makes life a little more pleasant, and then something about the goofiness of doing that will get my eyes a-spinnin'. Someday it's gonna get me into trouble, I know Mo has caught me doing it once or twice, but it means less than she might think...if memory serves what she was saying was a little eye-rolling-worthy, but not nearly as much as my face indicated.

In general, I've been thinking more about my own facial expressions, after reading about how much information were purposefully and accidentally telegraphing all the time.

Exhibit of the Moment
Losthighways.org has an amazing exhibit on Radebugh, an artist who saw the future, helping to set what the 60s and 70s were goint to look like back in the 40s. Beautiful stuff! Be sure to click on "The Exhibit", especially "The Negatives". I wonder where all that streamlining went to...now everythings all compact and curvy...nowadays cars look like jellybeans, not like these aerodynamic beauties.

o'reilly oh really?

March 14, 2002
Saw Tim O'Reilly (of everygeek's favorite computer book company) give a rambling talk on "Emerging Tech Trends" last night at local computer bookstore Softpro. Some thought provoking stuff. He mentioned that the Apple iPod is being used (or could be?) to carry around the information for people's Macintosh desktops...so you could go take your iPod to your buddy's Mac, and suddenly it looks like your computer. It made me think how far we are from the ultimate PDA/laptop combo...what if you had something that looked and acted like a typical PDA, but it had plugs for a monitor, keyboard, mouse, power, etc, so you could use it on the go, or as a reasonable desktop. It would have the standard dayplanner software, but you could still get to the desktop programs in PDA mode....it's an intriguing idea, and I suppose I'd have to admit Microsoft PocketPC's are closer than Palm to realizing that dream at this point, though they're still pretty far off.

News of the Moment
--Joseph Calzaretta and Govenor Ridge

w lies

March 14, 2001
Bush blatantly lies about Pollution. Looks like the guy has a little truth problem. Wonder if he had told the truth if five or six hundred people in Florida might've realized what a oilman nut he really is?

And he's working that old Republican magic-- polls indicate that people seem to like the general idea of republicanism though they disagree with most of the individual policies, same for Bush.

Quote of the Moment

Programmers are going to be the assembly line workers of the 21st century.
More gist for the fret mill!

Link of the Moment
Wow. Thanks to Lee for sending me one of the most Horrifying Concepts of the late 20th century. The animation of that pig will live on in my nightmares.


This day does note bode well. Spent too much on some pictures, couldn't find my belt, locked my keys in the car for the first time, will be lunching with R *and * D (there's a bad pun in there somewhere.)
"Fuck you- and your untouchable face" (from the cd that helped me leave my keys behind.)
00-3-14
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