We just watched Beyoncé's Homecoming on Netflix - good lord how did Beyoncé mixing it up with HBCU Marching Bands and Drum Lines fly under my radar??
Ugh, social distancing must be rough on a lot of 12-step programs and support groups...
Does anyone else get endless FB ads for "Hero Wars"? It's weird - the animations all strongly imply it's a puzzle solving game (with rescue the princes in bondage themes) but it looks like the game itself is just a RPG-ish turn based combat thing. So odd.
Watched the movie "Drive" (one of the ones on the 100-movies-you-must-see scratch off poster I got). I like this bit of trivia from it:
The Driver and Irene actually say very little to each other, primarily because Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan felt that their scenes should be more focused on the mood and refused to say many of the scripted lines. Mulligan summarized making the film as "staring longingly at Ryan Gosling for hours each day."
making of is why I'm posting it though.
Dolphins are said to sleep with only half of their brain at a time, keeping partially alert for predators. Many of us spend much of our lives in a similar state.
Capitalism good or ill is the river in which we sink or swim and stocks the supermarket.via "The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History"- the essay, and its view of making art in a money based society, is said to be an influence on Matt Groening. (I also liked "Waiting for art talent scouts? There are no art talent scouts. Face it, no one will seek you out. No one gives a shit.")
http://jpporchfest.org/ - JP Porchfest Registration opens today! I'm pleased with how my design for the frontpage worked out...
So Amazon has this thing we'll they'll donate X % to charity, IF you start your browsing at smile.amazon.com. Kind of like they're becoming their own affiliate. I'm trying to think of what they're up to-- probably they want people to start their searches at their site, rather than through Google, where, despite Amazon's strong "first result" presence, people might get exposed to other options.
Kind of sucks feeling manipulated like that.
How to fall down stairs
I love the UK English expression "having a bit of a lie-in" almost as much as I like having one. (just don't confuse it with "sleeping in")
March 23, 2012
(making the rounds)
Stop Software Patents. Let them die. Copyright protection is enough.
I often judge a work of art by how neccessary it is for that work to be in that medium.Me too! Especially in video games, which is some of why I don't dig RPGs and strategy games.
World map highlighting the countries not officially using the metric system:
March 23, 2011
Only three nations out of 203 have not officially adopted the International System of Units as their primary or sole system of measurement: Myanmar, Liberia, and the United States of America.I know some countries have the odd English measurement here and there, like UK folks sometimes talk in miles (I think) but still... just to sound like some old time 1970s crank, I think our failure to go Metric is representative of a kind of anti-intellectual, go-it-alone, old-style-Industry thinking that is gonna be our downfall.
Dear FedEx: how does "Direct Signature" morph to "relase authorized" aka "please leave in snow on porch and don't ring bell?" #fedexfail
http://is.gd/ICHMZA - Microsoft Patent Antics. Patent #6,339,780 (2002) is ye olde loading animation... but OVER the window. GENIUS! Seriously, did "non-obvious" mean ANYTHING in 2002?
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort...You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.
Good games are productive. They're producing a higher quality of life.
March 23, 2010
|--Kind of amazing project to make a movie about making video games. I'm pledging a couple of hundred, and urge anybody to put in as well - it's a great idea. (Click for a preview movie.)|
Someday You Will Be Nostalgic For Now.
The iPhone Gmail web app is pretty sweet, but the load times are gruesome. Wonder if one of those standalone apps that are mostly just wrappers fix that?
Hee, for reasons symbolic and utilitarian I'm making the Google Calendar that Amber and I share the default one on my iPhone.
March 23, 2009
--I have very little to add except I have always enjoyed the Tom Jones / Mousse T. song "Sexbomb", especially the "inside out"/reversed track bit.
http://joshreads.com/?p=2364 - The Comic Curmudgeon on USA's "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" vs Canada's "peace, order and good government". Food for thought.
My small apartment, after a bit of cleaning, proved good for entertaining and is nice and cozy. Now to just declutter...
March 23, 2008
- Popular Mechanics debunks 9/11 myths.
- Odd anecdote: when I was a wee lad I was eating too many grapes so my mom put the bowl on... a piano, I think it is, out of reach. She comes in later to find me clambering up over the piano to get the little treasures, and my all-innocent response to her fierce look: "gapes... I yike gapes". That's a bit of a family catchphrase to this day.
- Thoughts of a 90-something year old guy -- all the way back to when he was an 88-year old guy!
Travelog of the Moment
Now reading: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This is actually a profoundly wonderful book, thanks for the suggestion Lex!
You know, I've taken almost 1,200 shots so far this trip. Yeesh!
Today was a bit of a repeat of last week, visiting the electronics store area Akihabra and meeting up with old college buddy Alex.
Open Photo Gallery
LAN3 asked for a shot of 7-11/iHoldings... here 'tis. Not too exciting.
Japanese shops usually put a sticker on stuff you just bought if there is no bag, or seal the bag if present...
So note the complexity of the Tokyo Japan Rail subway map. Also not the complexity of the ticket machines. Also ponder the difficulty in using said machines, which have an English mode, but often the maps don't have the place names written in Romanji, so figuring how much of a ticket you need is tough.
I was trying to make a balanced photo of the next subway train over.
Josh and I returned to Electric City Akihabra... this is the Taito Station arcade previously photographed, some gal DDRing, and a drummer drumming.
I was kind of surprised to see sit-down arcade machines, with little stools. When I met with Alex later he said this had been common for a long while.
This shop had nothing but those "gumball machine" type toy dispensers. My favorites were the Super Mario noise makers that played a sample from the game (200 Yen, ~$2 each) I have secret hopes that in a few years they'll be able to dispense little LCD video games. I mean they make those things for Happy Meals, why not here? Come on, get with it Japan!
Retro videogame store. I enjoyed the Pac-Man ghost wearing Mario's hat.
So I bought this random CD of Jpop (Alex was telling me something how it was actually some kind of synth voice) and when Josh and I came back to the store there was a costumed gal hawking it, so I got my picture taken.
So what I called a "department store" last week was actually just a "camera store", though it had pretty much the same range as a Best Buy, actually quite a bit more. Anyway, outside the store there was a robot for taking pictures with.
This was in a different store, "Bic Camera". Josh says "Bic" is probably Engrish for "Big". Which might explain these binoculars. My faith in Japanese miniaturization techniques is diminished.
Just a note on Tokyo fashion; this is a conservative version of what seems to be the most popular look, short skirt, and then either boots or socks almost up to the knee. I gotta admit, it's a pretty good look.
The 50 minute wait for Krispey Kreme donut. Oddly they were giving people in line free donuts to bribe them into waiting longer. But what if a single donut was all they wanted in the first place?
Demolishing some building or other...
Engrish on Alex's bag... "It is felt familiar always. SHELTER SPORTS. The time of when is also active and aiding people with a dream is continued."
NTT/DoCoMo tower, with lots of cellular and communication equipment.
At this point Josh headed back home to be with his wife and child so it was just Alex and me. Alex says this store is not actually pronounced "My Lord" even though it looks like "mylord"
Alex also had a bit of scorn for extremely strict Japanese interpretation of promising to meet someone "under the AltaVision" (Shown here). Waiting, you know, in the near area isn't enough... you have to be UNDER the SIGN.
Shinjuku district, entertainment and more.
Seperated at birth: this Tokyo building circa 2008, and the Northcal Headquarters of the Atari Technology And Research Institute, circa a 2005 that never was?
Design school ad image. It would seem to be a girltank.
Intriguing Traffic Halo.
Alex suggested this would be a cute photograph. He's probably right.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building. Its design is a little disturbing, this kind of modern reinterpretation of gothic spires.
The court area at the base of the building. Alex and I observed it looks like the area for a final boss battle. "Just break these statues on the outer part to reveal health powerups if you get damaged"
So you can go up that building, about 42 or so floors, and visit toy stores and see a pretty fantastic view of TOkyo.
The Eye of
Shinjuku at night.
I would have liked this shot more except for the guy at the bottom.
So Shinjuku is a bit of a redlight district, which was kind of fun, we had a few offers of various entertainments, nothing too exciting. And we decided against this Stewardess cafe. That kind of things not my bag, baby.
So we went to a Shabu-Shabu restaurant, where there's a big simmering dish with broth and veggies in the middle, and you cook thin pieces of beef and pork in it. All you can eat in 90 minutes for around 20 bucks! Tasty.
Alex and I had some really nice conversation, talking about Tufts back in the day and our careers now. He's Chinese by origin, and actually I enjoyed his cynicism about Japan and the folks there, kind of a nice contrast to Josh's generally upbeat attitude.
Terrible shot of the nightlife. They had a number of little bands setup. The odd thing was that it seems like the most important instrumentalists of these buskers were the drummers. I saw some solo drummers, and even one case that had a prerecorded background, a live singer, and a live drummer. That's what you can't see in the back center of this photo.
I navigated to Shim-Matsudo on my own for the first time, but I had done it enough with Josh that it was pretty easy. Especially for the train to Ueno, that had this helpful digital map of the Tokyo loop.
Finally, like the free English lesson on the monitor next said, time to call it a day...
Hmm. Felt a bit better this morning, not running a fever... my secret placebo was buying a humidifer for the bedroom.
March 23, 2007
Link of the Moment
I have to admit I really dig that glass bottomed walkway over the Grand Canyon. Some folks will complain about spoiling up the natural beauty, but... it's a big canyon, and I think it's a lovely thing to have done.
Minicomic of the Moment
--from Tom the Dancing Bug Super-Fun-Pak Comix...
Link of the Moment
The current betting pool for the US Presidential race. I think it's telling that the wide gap between Hillary and Obama in the Democratic Candidates race is much smaller in the All Canidates pool. I wonder if that means that Giuliani beats Obama but loses to Hillary, or what I tend to think, which is that Hillary is more likely to win the nomination but has become such a rallying point for the rightwingers that she's less likely than Obama to win it all.
Hey does anyone have a Windows 98 CD about? I'm trying to get some old hardware up and about.
March 23, 2006
Ramble of the Moment
Lately I've been thinking about how being an only child, along with living in some neighborhoods without many kids my own age, might have molded me, and what influence it might've had on my introverted streak.
I "moved around a lot as a kid", and it was always just me and my folks. From the ages of about 4-8 I lived in a little town called Salamanca, and as far as I can recall was mostly on my own in terms of freetime...I think before and after I had more friends contact, but after, it was generally having one or two close friends at a time.
Maybe though I have a kind of unrealistic vision of other folks' childhoods, running around in "Li'l Rascals" type groups, learning through experience about all kinds of social rituals that I'm still a newbie on. Maybe most people tend to have one or two close friends besides their usual schoolmates, and the tribalish neighborhood gang thing is the exception. On the other hand, a lot of people have siblings.
I can think of a few implications of this kind of background, though I can't always be sure about the nature vs. nurture aspects (as far as I can tell, a kind of "attention seeking introversion" runs through my family a bit.) For one thing, a lot of my pleasures are solitary (no, I'm not talking about that one)... I think in my current relationship with Ksenia, I feel more drawn to doing couple-compatible-things, like watching a video, even when I'd much rather work on my independent projects. It's not forced by her, it's not even quite because of guilt, but kind of a feeling of...I don't know, responsiblity, or what "should" be done. Not that I mind watching the videos or anything. Also I think sometimes she wants a kind of coupley snugglehood that just doesn't come instictively for me. I can undestand it but I don't grok it at all.
The other thing implication, and this comes somewhat from those "birth order" books, is how being a bright beloved only child got me used to being both the center of attention as well as not having serious competition for most achievements. The unfortunate side effect of this is I usually try to avoid "contests" where I don't think I'm likely to "win"...like I've said before, I hate things that remind me I'm not the smartest and bestest guy in the city. I prefer the illusion that I would be crownable as God-King of the Universe, the Watchman of Wit, the Vishnu of Videogames, the Programmer Papa Smurf, the Crowned Champ of Creative Expression, if only I really set my mind to it. But I can't be bothered, so I'm just here at my station in life.
Link of the Moment
Oh look, as if we only children didn't have enough already, our own website complete with a list of famous only children. (Yeesh, are we in that much of a minority?)
List of the Moment
March 23, 2005
--via Bill, 13 Unexplained Things in Science. Of course what I like about science relative to religion is the attitude that A. We don't know everything B. The things that we don't know, we might be able to figure out. (And even then, very little is "known", just increasingly supported as the most likely explanation.) But I don't know, it doesn't seem like we'll really make progress on stuff like "why do bad things happen to good people, anyway?"
- The placebo effect
- The horizon problem
- Ultra-energetic cosmic rays
- Belfast homeopathy results
- Dark matter
- Viking's methane
- The Pioneer anomaly
- Dark energy
- The Kuiper cliff
- The Wow signal
- Not-so-constant constants
- Cold fusion
My current favorite theory about the universe, though not particularly well (or poorly) supported is the concept that maybe it's a closed loop. My layman understanding thinks that if it were, that when we're looking far far away we're actually seeing "ourselves" a long time ago, it would help explain a few of those odd results...maybe "The Horizon Problem", "Dark Energy". Or not.
I do suspect that someone is still going to do the inverse square law for Gravity what Einstein did for some of the other physics...effects that are difficult or impossible to see at "human" distances, but can come into play at interstellar ones.
Sick today, my throat feels like I tried gargling with a scouring pad, but I might be able to muster up some house cleaning before the party this weekend...
March 23, 2004
Link of the Moment
Real Player sucks. I couldn't believe it didn't even have an option NOT to startup when I inserted an audio CD. Lists some alternatives, has some feedback from people at Real.
Title of the Moment
F*** You and Your Pez Despenser: The Definitive Guide to the Infantile Consumerism of the 1990s
Heh, sorry yesterday was so mimimal...though really, doesn't MC Hammer say everything that needs to be said about current geopolitical situation?
March 23, 2003
Slight page redesign...I realized that I had totally removed any links to single day entries, so I added the "link" links above, though I'm not crazy about the placement so far. Any suggestions?
Quote of the Moment
What makes the universe so hard to comprehend is that there's nothing to compare it with."Funny Times" is a comic and humor newspaper out of Cleveland (after it, "Editorial Humor" was a big disappointment...) This quote sounds deep, and it sort of is, but it misses the idea that all the time we're comparing the universe to the way we think the whole enchillada SHOULD be. (And by that standard, it kind of sucks...)
Toy of the Moment
Aww man, my mouse is on the fritz. One of those wireless ones, so things weren't so bad even when left-handed Mo moved it to the other side...one Windows trick I learned a long time ago is to turn on "MouseKeys" in Accessibility Option Control Panel that turns the keypad into a lame mouse touchpad. You have to fiddle with the settings to get it at all usable (the defaults are too slow) but it's good to know about in a pinch.
March 23, 2002
Cartoons of the Moment
Tales of Mere Existence are great little quicktime movies. The narrator talks over the drawing of a (non-animated) cartoon that also describes the scene. I could really identify with "Man" and "Procrastination". I think they're shot from behind some kind of semi-transparent paper, and then possibly mirror-imaged, but I'm not sure.
Exchange of the Moment
> Those [feral kittens] were bouncing off the walls and
> around the room without touching the floor, and when I
> eventually managed to catch one it gave me 4" scratches.
> I'd guess they were less than 4 months old.
Yup. Kittens: self-propelled barbed wire in a dewy-eyed mohair sweater.
So here I am, sans job, but with decent prospects, a Good Résumé, more than a month of severance plus 2 weeks vacation pay, and some freelance work to tide me over.
March 23, 2001
Quote of the Moment
In other words--and this is the rock-solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation's Galaxywide success is founded--their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.(Hmm, sounds like some dotcoms I know.)
"Give a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set fire to him, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
"The Germans are a cruel people. Their operas last for six hours and they have no word for fluffy."
"Vikings? There ain't no vikings here. Just us honest farmers. The town was burning, the villagers were dead. They didn't need those sheep anyway. That's our story and we're sticking to it."
"It's a sad ass that never rejoices."
--Someone's grandfather caught farting
"All women are either girls, women, or men. And all men are either men, boys, or hairdressers [...] Sigourney Weaver is a man. Jane Fonda is a man. Diane Keaton is a girl. Jessica Lange is a woman. Mel Gibson is a boy, Clint Eastwood is a man. Cary Grant is a hairdresser."
--Cynthia Heimel quoting Felicity quoting Will Wenham's theory
I am nuts for information-- as are we all, I suspect, most real men and women. I can't get enough of the stuff. When I'm clicking through the hundreds of E-mail messages that await me each morning, sometimes I imagine I'm a mighty information whale, sifting through thousands of tiny (but nutritious!) krill bits. Yum! Whether it's reading the cereal box or scanning the advertisment slide show some genius thought to project on the big screen at the movie theater, my appetite for information is unquenchable.
Can't believe that my Pilot went out on me-- feels like some kind of neurological disorder... and Mo's so generous with her own machine, but it's odd thought to be so thoroughly abstracting the information (mine) from the hardware (hers)
"The beatings will continue until morale improves"
"Some people have a way with words, others have not way."
O pilot my pilot -
do you think of me
while another's hands,
Business Idea- at home pet euthanasia- why should a pet's final moments be at the frightening vet's and not at home?