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!"
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.
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.
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.
--"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).
via my new favorite tumblr batlabels
"O Mighty King, remember now that only gods stay in eternal watch.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.
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."
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.
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.
It's time to kill software patents. Just let them die.
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.
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.
Wow, Flann's (local Irish pub) has a line waiting to get in. Must almost me St. Patricks Day!
There is never a time in the future in which we will work out out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.
- The 60 Second Novelist
- On "Allison"
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:
Open Photo GalleryMy connection flight to Chicago got changed to a sidetrip to Washington Dulles. I got to stop at a mini-Fuddrucker I remembered from business trips, and my final arrival in Japan was only 2 hours later than first scheduled. Plus I got to see this ATM:
I'm sure they get these jokes all the times, but man! Who let him have a bank? (But then later when I saw the current Yen/Dollar exchange rate, below 100 for the first time in a long while, I myself felt ready to sing Moon River...ZING!)
The flight on ANA (All Nippon Airways) was fine. Inseat video technology has improved since my last international flight, or Japan does it better. Jet Blue had DirecTV, but on this flight every chair had its own video library, so you could pick from about 20-odd films, pause, rewind, etc. There were also some basic time killing video games and the old standby channels of music etc.
My last minute seat change had put me in the "families with kids" section, but I admired the little bassinet things the attendants could fasten to the wall in front of the seats:
My friend Josh met me at the airport. He's lived a total of 9 years in Japan, and lives just outside of Tokyo with his wife Tomomi and their young daughter Erin. We took a few trains from Narita (an airport built kind of against the will of the rice farmers who were living there, but certain concessions were made) to his place in Chiba. The train seating was "subway" style, but often the seats were nicely padded and cushy:
Same car a bit later, giving more of a feel of it:
Josh describes the vibe of Chiba as being roughly "Coolidge Corner"-ish. I could see that, with the caveat that stores and buildings tend to be brighter and more garish than their American counterparts. Here's Chiba on a rainy Friday night:
A few other notes:
- I noticed more people who seemed to have more mundane tasks than in the USA: an airport employee at the luggage carousel, wrangling bags coming out of the chute to make sure they didn't get stuck, a man making a pass through the train with a mop (it being a rainy day), and then at the rail station, a man with a construction uniform and a megaphone warning people getting off the train to be careful about the construction going on. Josh talked to me about the pride and work ethic entailed even at these "low level" jobs, but more striking to me was the-- attention to detail, I guess I'd say, that it was worth having someone responsible for these particular things.
- I'll probably get some photos of this later, but the department store we ducked through is interesting, because it wasn't really a department store... it rather looked like one, but each section was a separate vendor with its own cashier. So while there are other "proper" department stores around, there's also this "evolution of the bazaar" in effect.
- Josh and Tomomi live four or five stories up, and the stairs to their building are exposed to the outside... Josh says this is extremely common in Japan.
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.Huh!
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.
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
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.
"I thought that one of the things women like to do is eat. So I started working on a game concept based on eating."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.
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.
Verbogeny is one of the pleasurettes of a creatific thinkerizer.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".
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.
News of the Moment
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.)