My very talented friend and School of Honk classmate/bandmate Sophie made this fun throwback:
Here's an ugly truth: some of the country doesn't believe that America belongs to people who aren't in their tribe. That tribe is white, straight (at least openly), and Christian. It's gotten bigger over the years -- it didn't used to include the Irish, or Italians, or Catholics, or women -- but every inch of expansion has been fought, bitterly and grudgingly. Other tribes can live in America, maybe, but theirs comes first, and everyone else is here at their forbearance.
"How badly am I bleeding?" selfie during today's "March for our Lives", playing with BABAM! as we backed the students begging for gun sanity and school safety... (shoulda shaved ahead of time :-)
Look in my sunglasses and see the stilt walker who was boogying in front of us the whole way...
The American White Middle Class Dying Faster Explained. It's not happening in other developed countries. We're also further to the right politically than almost all of them. This is not a coincidence.
I did not acquire the ability to not finish a book until I was 50 years old, which probably has to do with scarcity as a child: You have a book -- finish it!
But I've made a number of decisions since then. If you don't like a book, stop reading it. If you don't like a movie, walk out. Life is not a jail sentence.
Would you tell Matt Groening that he doesn't know his ass from third grade.I kind of really like this insult, should store it away for future use.
Explanations of the backgrounds of some unix commands.
P.T. Barnum's Art of Money Getting.
Thoughtful comments from RuPaul
--via Tumblr Gets Deep
THe production values really sell this video of Fritz, the non-catching dog... I laughed!
To the coming generations. May they always start something they can't finish.
Our daughter's choices--like everything else--had been written in stone at the birth of the universe, but that information could only be decoded by becoming her along the way.
Plot idea: 97% of the world's scientists contrive an environmental crisis, but are exposed by a plucky band of billionaires & oil companies.
I was lookin' for ya... you weren't in my car.
now I ain't sayin' she a Schrödinger / but there's really no way to know if she isn't either
March 24, 2012
A tree or shrub can grow and bloom. I am always the same. But I am clever.
Studying recent Turing test attempts, I see a parallel between "tricky" chatbots and the way high school debating has gone off the rails-- just playing little linguistic games to win a rigidly defined competition is bad in the same way 'spew as many supportive facts as quickly as possible' as the primary method of debating is. Both are tweaked to maximize the chance of winning in the letter but not the spirit of their respctive laws. Then again, it's the same thing that's happened in investing, with high frequency trading turning so much of it into an insider zero-sum game with money as points.
Sometimes I think encouraging cloud storage for consumer's media is just a scheme to get people vested in the fortunes of that company.
March 24, 2011
After posting my note about "Macarthur Park" on Facebook, my buddy Jim Graves wrote
Richard Harris' song reminds me of the Vampire's Lament from Forgetting Sarah Marshall.It's not bad! Softly cheesy in an 80s kind of way, but I dig the production!
C'mon iPhone shuffle don't fail me now... ok, let's see it's... Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park" DAMN! Someone left the cake out in the rain, indeed.
You know they won't let you buy a gun if you're crying?
I guess technically I kisrael'd this a bit in 2001 but this Atari Age thread included Randy Ball's neat map of the Atari 2600 game Mountain King, including the secret areas:
March 24, 2010
(The thread has the fullsize version.)
That secret area on top is really intriguing... I've always suspected it was the map-reading part of the cartidge reading non-map parts of the game ROM/RAM -- especially how the area changes based on user inputs and movement, but I'm not 100% certain that it isn't (at least a bit) intentional. this page analyzes it to a great degree.
Man. I don't think I ever quite beat that game.
Got a pair of workwear-able Skecher's Shape-ups. Weird,like walkin' on a mushy hill everywhere. (Plus almost like wearing lifts or someting)
I'm amazed at how at least 3 or 4 times a day I'm annoyed by the stickiness of Visual Studio's "Search Up" checkbox in its Find dialog.
Cracked.com: If Classic Movies Had Made
The Worst Possible Casting Decisions
Huh, like that the NFL is fixing its stupid OT rules; weird that (for now?) it's just for the postseason.
My "!psyched" playlist - 28 high energy songs, familiar enough not to distract - it's like chaingang shackles for my brain at work. :-/
March 24, 2009
Marriage is OK, but there are two big points:
* ladies: your man will never change. His faults will not go away when you marry.
* gents: your wife will change.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/47062214@N00/ - a Lego mech-ape and more. Man, Lego is just awash with fiddly little bits! But the artist uses them well.
Reading "Sum"... it's Einstein's Dreams but about the afterlife instead of the nature of time and space.
There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when hour name is spoken for the last time.
[On God as a Married Couple] It is heartening to see that they learn from us in the same manner that all parents learn from their children. For example, it turns out they didn't know how to express the workings of their universe as equations, so they are greatly impressed with the ideas of their physicist children, who phrase clearly to them for the first time what they wrought.
Thinking about how to deal with shoeboxes full of old photos. bulk scanning? Sort of like natives who think a camera will capture their soul, I'm sometimes loathe to physically dispose of them. And then it's weird, and sad, to see photos from less than 15 years ago of things I had no memory of... like a "Band Lemmings" trip to visit NYC in 1996. (A year before I started keeping journals.)
"Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives" is a great book. Maybe tied in to the rest of this ramble, some of the most resonant for me are the afterlives that let you explore what you were, what you might have been... one where your 8 year old self, and your 18 year old self, and your 35 year old self, etc all coexist... or one where you share the afterlife with all the yous that might've been... living well is its own reward, because you can lord it over all the shlub yous, but you resent the ones who did better.
March 24, 2008
- Random anecdote: We tried to get a "pep band" going for basketball games in high school but we were getting too much flak about not being able to play during the course of the game. I remember thinking how lame Mr. A's (the band director's) arguments were, something along the lines of... don't the refs use whistles? And aren't whistles tones? And aren't tones a form of music? So let the band play!
- Ah, the age old Satanic Lyrics when you play songs in reverse.
If one were to take the 25,000 word Oxford Pocket English Dictionary and take away the redundancies of our rich language and eliminate the words that can be made by putting together simpler words, we find that 90% of the concepts in that dictionary can be achieved with 850 words.You wonder about the other 10%... how much is just technical? How much is poetry?
Travelog of the Moment
So today I set off once again on my own to Kanazawa on Japan's west coast.
Open Photo GalleryIt was a rainy day in Shim-Matsudo, though... I was impressed by all the people on bikes with umbrellas.
I was braving my first full-on Tokyo commute, but it wasn't bad as all that. I think I managed to avoid the worst of it by choosing cars at the ends, but I did see the classic image of uniformed railroad employees shoving folks in a bit further so the doors could close. I also saw these women with giant wicker baskets on their backs...
A beer ad I like, Josh says he's a well-known comedian.
Random digital annoucment board.I was just impressed because between the resolution and the font, it was the least electronic looking announcement billboard I've seen.
They generally have women cleaning all of the bathrooms, and guys just ignore them utterly and do what they need to do.
Sometimes, when two bullet trains love each other very much...
Shot from the train. I was in the bottom part of a 2 floor car, and the ground-level view was kind of neat as we sped past the platforms.
I changed trains in Echigo-Yuzawa. Outside the station things were covered with snow! (I was worried that I hadn't brought my fleece, but Kanazawa was only a bit brisker than Tokyo had been)
The scene outside the train was really beautiful;
I was thinking about how I had seen the image of snow used in Japanese art, and now I know why...
The train passed through tunnels (with a sudden pressure change to make your ears pop a bit) and eventually we got to
At the Kanazawa train station, I think this is some kind of advertisement for Hermes.
More lovely big architecture that you so often find by the train stations here.
They also had a very clever fountaint, again with a digital clock, and then messages in English and Japanese.
Close up of the "K" in "Kanazawa"
Kanazawa is a very art-minded town, from their historical arts and crafts to more modern fare. Statues grace many intersections...
Sometimes they're all nekkid!
This is the Shinmon outside the Oyama Jinja shrine. It has stained glass at top, was made in co-operation with some Dutch, and once acted as a bit of a lighthouse.
It had a lovely garden inside; Kanazawa has a lovely formal garden I'll be seeing, but this was a lovely contrast.
I like the walkway over the water.
And a water strider! Hadn't seen one of those since summer camp in upstate NY!
Close up of the map at the Shrine, showing the garden. I was thinking the street maps are odd here, because none of them seem to agree which direction to put North at. It occured to me that some of them may try to make it so the map is oriented with the way the viewer is standing, but even printed material can't agree.
For some reason I wanted to take a picture of the lone figure in the park, but I like how the shot came out in general.
I stopped by the Noh museum. I'm kind of intrigued by the oldest living drama form, but even most Japanese don't understand it well. The museum didn't have a lot to it, really, but there was a nice video on Kanazawa in general that you could watch in English.
Again, I don't know what it is with me and random Japanese people, and how I take a picture of them but pretend to be mostly interested in something else. Guy and a bike and a cherry tree.
Finally, to the hotel. It's near a pretty happening place, as you can see out the window...
I'm at a funny level of "connectedness" when I'm on a trip on my own. On the one hand, sometimes I end up wishing I had rented a cellphone so I could dial up Josh and ask him things as they occur to me, othr times I think it's good to not be quite that wired. (Plus, maybe not having that security blanket is a positive for both me and Josh...) But I'm able to get online wherever I go, and make this travelog and e-mail and msg with people in the mornings and evenings, and that's a far cry from days of old, and there's a bit less adventure for that.
Also I think about how the camera changes my logging style; I think it's very cool and visual but I'm not writing quite as much, or as deeply. Maybe at the end I'll try to rectify that and go over some topics, for people here and for my future self. I hope people have been enjoying it this far, maybe the picture style helps people ahare in the experience a bit...
Bleh. The number of other Kirk Israels on Google is growing.
March 24, 2007
Previously, I knew of some guy, maybe dead, out in Arizona, and then this one electrical inspector and/or coach in Vermont.
But now there's this 6'6" Guard from the Lipscomb Bisons basketball team. He's snuck up to about 4th or 5th place on the results page, depending on how you use quotes.
Grr! There can be only one!
Not that I'd say that to his face.
Game of the Moment
Desktop Tower Defense is a cute little game. A bit like that Defend Your Castle (against the hoard of stick figure barbarians), or the PC game Dungeon Keeper. You set up little stationary towers that both attack the oncoming hoards as well as let you block them, to prevent them from getting to the opposite side... so a typical strategy is to build labyrinths to heard them into withering crossfire before they make their way to the opposite side.
It's funny how the game combat is so indirect... you don't directly attack the enemies, and they can't do anything to your towers.
Exchange of the Moment
"What'd you do?"I'm not sure if I quite caught the terrific, under-his-breath resentful tone that amused me so much.
"I took a step class...
...oh my god... ...Evil fuckin' old lady"
Dialog of the Moment
March 24, 2006
"Did you like the white beans you had for supper?"...after this AV Club collection of quotes I decided to see what they had at IMDB. I like this one, it reminds me of an Instant Messenger convo.
"Well, you didn't say anything."
"Well, I ate four bowls. If that ain't a tribute to white beans, I don't know what is."
"Eating speaks louder than words."
"You know, your education was worth every penny of it."
I made a discovery in NYC...some guy at tkts "sold" me the paper version of The Onion, and it was a easier to read thana the Online Version, which frankly I haven't been paying much attention to for the last few years.
Language of the Moment
I was trying to Google up which came first, "color" or "colour" (answer: color, "colour" is a bit of francophilism filing into the language) and found the answer on Mike Finch's British and American Spelling page. A well-balanced appraisal of the differences, and descriptions of which spelling he goes with for various splits as he considers himself writing "Mid-Atlantic" English.
I like his praise of the American "gotten" and some of the nuance it provides. (Actually the other day I wrote "tooken", which is slip I make sometimes...)
I also prefer "grey" over "gray". At least sometimes.
Photo of the Moment
March 24, 2005
--My transparent laptop, inspired by this flickr gallery. Not as cool as some of them but not as bad for a few minutes work.
If you want to try it yourself, I'd suggest taking a photo while holding the camera right around the front edge of the laptops keyboard (with the laptop shut of course), and then take the final photo from the same angle but further back. In my case setting as unstretched wallpaper let it extend beyond the sides of the screen (my camera is higher-rez than my laptop) and got everything about the right size.
In case you were wondering, the red ribbony thing with photos is the wrapper from a copy of "Body for Life", with a rough sketch of my head by a cow-orker peeking out behind. I think it's the phone that really connects the laptop to the background, along with the paper.
Heh, ironically, the kisrael.com entries were a lot better when I was away than they've been the past few days...it's just been a very hectic time, I really haven't caught up on my usual surfing.
March 24, 2004
Quote of the Moment
I hate babies. They're so human.
Link of the Moment
Encyclopedia Obscura--lots of Seanbaby-esque commentary and research (except I'm guessing it actually gets updated every once in a while, unlike SB) on really obscure bits of our pop culture heritage, from games to movies and beyond.
Article of the Moment
Continuing the popculture theme, a take on Marvel's cool teen heroes as opposed to DC's simpler, more iconic ones, and why that past coolness makes them less hip to be into now. I never really got into superhero comics when I was a kid; I don't think I've ever liked stuff that was so serialized, where you had to wait so long for the next episode...
Links of the Moment
March 24, 2003
I guy at HP is trying to perfect his blimp (small) package delivery system. But doesn't he know how scary it can be when blimps attack?
Quote of the Moment
You can fool too many of the people too much of the time.
Movie Passage of the Moment
"Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you're so cool, you're so cool, you're so cool. And sometimes Clarence asks me what I would have done if he had died, if that bullet had been two inches more to the left. To this, I always smile, as if I'm not going to satisfy him with a response. But I always do. I tell him of how I would want to die, but that the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn, and that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe I wouldn't have named our son Elvis."Tarantino's hinting as "You're So Cool" as an updated version of those "three words" and I think he might be on to something.
Flash Toy of the Moment
March 24, 2002
A simple little Funky Greedy Rabbit, in fullscreen or windowed mode. Not quite as satisfying as Poke the Bunny but still cool.
(via Jesse (who recently started a blog allegedly inspired by this one, though different in approach.)
Afghanistan of the Moment
A little out of date but still making the rounds, French Intellectuals to be Deployed in Afghanistan to Convince Taliban of Non-Existence of God. Also, this music video is pretty amazing.
Link of the Moment
March 24, 2001
Whaddya Love? And Whaddya Hate? Odd little site, maybe not enough to hold long term interest.
Link of the Moment
This camptown races link seemed really cool until I realized the simple gimmick. "Easy when you know the trick, doo dah, doo dah." Still, the idea might come in useful someday.
I heard on the radio this morning that "Today the Pope celebrated mass on a hillside in Israel". Now, I'm no theologian, but somehow, I just can't see this guy *celebrating* mass... "Woohoo! It's *mass*! It's there even when we're weightless! Without it there would be no intertia! It's much better than volume or even density! It leaves length width and height *way* in the dust! Chant with me! MASS! MASS! MASS! All-riiiiight!"
Then again, I can't really see this guy wearing a hat like that, so I guess we're even.
> Jesus knows how to get down!
Somebody must've taught Him then, because the last I heard, He couldn't.
Jesus Christ on a dance floor: "Help! I've risen but I can't get down!"
--Delain, Expert Doughminatrix
[ courtesy of daniel ]
Nothing good comes from phone calls at three a.m.
"I'm so sorry," she began.
The caller ID said the rest.
"A small anarchic community of wireheads and hackers made the mistake of giving fire to the masses. Nobody is going to give it back. It is paradise lost."
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
Just realized I've been away from Cleveland longer than I was in Cleveland... that puts an interesting perspective on things. Still ties into that life slipping away feeling however.