April 14, 2019

--via this Quora where a former Soviet Propaganda executive points out how Russian Trump's us vs them mentality is.
On my devblog - really old web design
Your old man's gonna knock on the sky, listen to the sound.
Flynn in Tron: Legacy

April 14, 2018

My hunt for the ideal sketch program for iPad continues with "Linea", which is pretty cool in a minimalistic way. Of course, the joy of these programs is always the samples they come with. "See? If you had actual skill you could make THIS!"

Blender of Love

April 14, 2017

I just ported an old macabre doodle program I made for my Aunt a while back, to make it modern-browser friendly.

April 14, 2016

The Jastrow illusion is worth checking out...
360 view from Game of Thrones opening credits Not bad! Though odd that it's painted on the inside of a globe, kind of like the Mapparium...
https://www.captionbot.ai/ - a Microsoft 'bot does a surprisingly good job captioning photos.
Random naive bike riding question: the other day I saw a fellow bike commuter whose rhythm was pedal, coast, pedal, coast. He didn't seem to be pedaling especially fast, but still making decent time. Is that a notably more efficient way of riding than my "pedal most of the time" style? (Then again since my bike commute is some of the little semi-daily exercise I reliably get, maybe energy efficiency isn't the number one goal anyway...)
Sometimes I wonder if over-eager code testing policies are a bit like excessive password complexity requirements and expiry; both sound great on paper and give certain types of administrative types warm fuzzies, but unless used properly just make things worse.
‪#‎TBT‬ Some shots from my Salamanca, NY Days courtesy Robert Smith - me rockin' red footie PJs and a bean bag chair, Shinola the Cat (As in the phrase "Can't tell S**t from Shinola", and my minister parents couldn't very well call him the former), a newspaper clip from Advent, and my mom behind the wheel, looking a bit sassy!

Blender of Love

April 14, 2015

I like making Alien Bill a bit thicker; he looks less like that usurper from Monsters Inc...
I love wikipedia pages that show the scars of edit wars:
In recent years, sousaphones have been available made of fiberglass reinforced plastics instead of brass. Today, the fiberglass versions are mainly used for marching, with brass instruments being used for all other situations. Depending on the model, the fiberglass version normally does not have as dark and rich a tone as the brass (King fiberglass sousaphones tended to have smooth fiberglass and a tone somewhat more like a brass sousaphone; Conn fiberglass sousaphones often had rough fiberglass exteriors and a thinner sound; the Conn was also lighter). Regardless, fiberglass sousaphones are lighter than their brass counterparts and work well for smaller players who could not otherwise play the heavy brass instruments in a marching band. Although the tone of fiberglass models tends to be thinner and less "warm" (earning them the nicknames "Plastic Bugle", "White Trash", "Toilet Bowl", and "Tupperware" among players in some ensembles), it is considered acceptable by the high schools in which the instrument is most common due to the tradeoff in durability, cost, and weight.

I'm tempted to add a "citation needed" to that nickname bit... I do dislike that type of snobbery.

April 14, 2014

"Mama, just for a moment we're happy. Let's really look at one another!...I can't. I can't go on.It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back -- up the hill -- to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-bye, Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners....Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking....and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths....and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every,every minute?"

"No... ...The saints and poets, maybe they do some."

"I'm ready to go back."

--Emily and Stage Manager, Thornton Wilder's "Our Town". There's a strong parallel with the ending of "American Beauty"

"More often than we think, it is better to be kind than to be right."
--Jonathan Kaufmann

April 14, 2013

"What I believe is that all clear-minded people should remain two things throughout their lifetimes: Curious and teachable."
--Roger Ebert

mario and peach head to head

April 14, 2012
My birthday was rather toy-riffic... EB and his family got me a Mario Kart Slot Racing set... the racers were squirrely as heck but you know, pretty photogenic...

the most interesting developer in the world

April 14, 2011
making the rounds at work:

RT @GamingPixie For nosy people who like seeing unused sprites and other dummied out features from games: http://tcrf.net/The_Cutting_Room_Floor
http://tcrf.net/Blaster_Master - man, wondered why the last level was so mind-bendingly hard... that "Spike" upgrade woulda helped.
"[On Mad Men] they have whole storerooms full of booze."
"Wow, we can't even get pens.".
me & A

young men of joust!

April 14, 2010

--Mr. Ibis pointed me to Steve Thomas' Art Blog and his awesome faux-vintage video game posters... he has a store with posters available, maybe I should get some of these for the "media room" basement Amber and I plan to setup -
The iPad isn't just a giant iPhone. It's a Fisher-Price activity center for adults.

oh daphny

(1 comment)
April 14, 2009
--I very talented artist I know online, Harvey James, put the real life adventure of Oh Daphny and got it published in Vice magazine. Warning: the story is a bit horrific and brutal at its core, the kind of thing you might not have realized can happen in an American local jail.

I am not in favor of immortality. I believe death for humans is the way of getting rid of accumulated errors - as in trial and error. Without death, the old folks would start to gang up on the babies (the new trials). Immortality → immortal mistakes.
Esther Dyson

The thought of people in this day and age sitting down to listen to a radio variety show on Saturday evening is rather implausible and was even more so in 1974 when we started "A Prairie Home Companion." Thank goodness Minnesota Public Radio was too poor to afford good advice or the show never would've got on the air. We only did it because we knew it would be fun to do. It was a dumb idea. I wish I knew how to be that dumb again.
Garrison Keillor

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/04/13/loop-of-disney-video.html - Disney repeats itself. Guess I can't blame 'em.
http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2009/04/14/woman-publishes-book.html - cool but eerie. I'd read it.

dewdrop world

April 14, 2008
So one concept I've seen floating around the memepool is that the Iraq war and tax cuts are being paid for by an increase in the money supply, hence, inflation. (And of course there's that weird way food and energy don't get counted in many types of inflation figures. Just 'cause the price of something fluctuates doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to see a general upward trend!)

I hope the Democrats spin this and hammer on "Bush's Dirty Stealth Inflation Tax" in much the same way the Republicans got a fairly standard tax on inheritance called "The Death Tax" and "Double Taxation".

Haiku of the Moment
The world of dew
Is a world of dew, and yet
And yet...
Kobayashi Issa, written after the death of his child.
This was my favorite translation, by Donald Keene. Other translations helped me understand it though: "Life is but the morning dew, bards say; / 'Tis true, indeed, but well-a-day!", "The world of dew is, yes, a world of dew, but even so" and "this world / is a dewdrop world / yes... but..."

That last translation is from Haikuguy.com's Issa website that has some cool features and commentary.

Still a bit worried about all the haiku-abuse in this country!

Quote of the Moment
"I didn't realize I owned so much Cold Play."
Jo, new boardgaming friend who along with Scott and Rhys hosted a great fun gaming event with tasty chicken over rice. (Jo disclaimed that she imported a large amount of music from a friend, so an iPodish sampling should not be considered canonical viz a viz her tastes in music. But most of it sounded pretty good at that.)

the 29 bestest songs

April 14, 2007
Game of the Moment
Too make up for the terribly dull and self-indulgent entry below, here's a lovely and addictive flash game: Boomshine... kind of a cross between Missile Command and Maxwell's Demon. The urging on you do of your little boomshine circles to just hold one one...second.........LONGER is amazing.

Ramble of the Moment
I bought the red iPod, which gave a token amount to fighting AIDS in Africa. Also, this image is about half again as big as the real thing.
I finished sorting through and rating my iTunes music collection the other day. Out of the 6400-odd tracks in my collection, there were about 5000 I never wanted to hear in a mix. Of the 1400 I thought were ok, I rated 270 of them as stuff I'd actually be happy to hear when they came up in rotation, and about 30 of those as "great". Thus, my 37-gig collection got reduced to the 5.75 gigs that matter.

(Admittedly, my judgement is biased towards stuff that's good to do geekwork to, so energetic music tends to have an advantage over the slower stuff, and long jazzy or classical bits have very little chance.)

So I decided to grant myself one final birth day indulgence, or reward for sorting through all this, and bought an iPod. I had an iPod a long while back, but didn't really have a spot for it, the car radio adapter was more trouble than it was worth. But now that I've started walking to and from the T station and my work PC doesn't have a reliable sound setup, this one should be more useful.

It's kind of weird that the 8-gig Nano costs the same as a 30-gig iPod video, but still I went for the former. Besides better battery life, and not having internal moving parts, its petite minimalism just resonates for me.

And for your reading pleasure, and since I was on kind of a self-indulgence roll, I thought I'd blow a day on kisrael discussing the 29 bestest songs on my iPod.

Music of Every Damn Moment
The first three I identified as the Best. Songs. Ever. a long while back. They are Deee-Lite's Groove Is In The Heart (which I am morally compelled to dance to every time I hear it, even if just a little), Buildings And Bridges by Ani DiFranco, which is the most beautiful blend of dimestore profundity and musical grace I've ever heard, and It's Your Thing by the The Isley Brothers, the bass and piano that never fails to grab me by the cajones. (There's a bit more R+B in the Top 29: James Brown's I Feel Good and Soul Man by Sam & Dave.)

I've always loved Fever by Peggy Lee, and Shirley Bassey has a similar vamp effect in the Propellerheads' History Repeating.

Lately I've been getting into mashups, Tripper Trouble is dj BC mixing up the Beatles and the Beastie Boys, Groove's a Bitch by dsico is Groove is in the Heart plus She's a Bitch plus Just 1 Kiss, My Other Car Is A Beatle by Jay-R is an even bigger swath of artists. And before there was mashups there were covers and remixes, like Shake Your Thang, which really is how Salt-N-Pepa introduced me to It's Your Thing, and more recently JXL's A Little Less Conversation revived a sleeper Elvis work. Also two by Tom Jones et al.: Burning Down The House and Sexbomb.

Mystery Dance by Elvis Costello is the only song to appear in the Top 29 twice, it's short enough that both the electric and acoustic versions seem worthwhile.

Cake's The Distance always holds a special place in my heart as being my big solo in Tufts' sQ. Then there's a string of modern stuff... Smash Mouth's Diggin' Your Scene and the overplayed but great AllStar, t.A.T.u.'s All The Things She Said, the nostalgic drumline of Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl, and the cool retro-western-gogo of Legend Of A Cowgirl by a Imani Coppola

Slowing things down, Holly Cole's cover I've Just Seen A Face is just lovely, and I find Dar Williams' As Cool As I Am, Paul Simon's Tenderness, and Willy Mason's Oxygen can all move me to tears when I'm on the hunt for that kind of catharsis.

Finally, some oddballs: Johnny Cash's Riders In The Sky is just THE cowboy song for me, Maynard Ferguson's Chameleon is the only instrumental to make it here, and Madonna's Hanky Panky (Bare Bottom 12" Mix), with its giant percussion and naughty spanky talk is the best thing to have spun off from the movie Dicky Tracy.

I might be willing to make a mix cd or mp3 set if anyone is interested.

book 'em danno

April 14, 2006
Well, glad to see yesterday's interview got a little bit of feedback... I realize that it's rather esoteric for the bulk of the regulars here. It's nice to have a place to put stuff like that though, where it can get a little attention.

Link of the Moment
The sheer chutzpah of OneRedPaperclip is a wonder to behold. A guy starts with a single red paperclip and a plan to try to use it to barter his way to a house. A house! He got some sweetheart deals, especially early on, but through 10 trades he's already up to a year's free rent in Phoenix. Like million dollar homepage, this is probably one of those "why didn't I think of that" one-time-only tricks. Still pretty cool, and the writeups are fun to read.

Decluttering of the Moment
This past weekend I helped EB and his wife move. There were some extenuating circumstances that forced us to get everything moved in a hurry without all the weeding out they had hoped to get to. Although I don't think I'm as clutter-iffic as that, I'm trying to capitalize on an undercurrent of wanting to get rid of the extraneous stuff. I'm trying to foster a mantra that getting rid of the cruft will leave more room for the stuff I really love. I can almost envision my personal belonings get a little nervous as I give various shelves the evil eye, envisioning what I could live without...

Of course, the toughest thing has always been books. I've gone through a few weedings, but never a major purge. (Part of the difficulty is, of course, that I think of books as kind of a hallmark of being a smart person.) I've been trying to think of what harsher criteria I could apply:
  1. If I can recall quoting the book, or feel I have a non-trivial emotional response when I see it now, it stays.
  2. If I have an honest expectation of being able to read it within the next few years, it can stay.
  3. Books that might not meet those criteria, but are in a collection of other books by the same favorite author can get a pass.
  4. Books that are there mostly because they look impressive should not stay.
  5. Everything else should probably go.
Books usually aren't too clutter-iffic beause they stay neatly on shelves for the most part, but my thinking is a bit warped by the amount of moving I did last weekend, and realizing how bulky and heavy they can be en masse. Again it comes down to thinking I could scale down into a room or two as a living arrangement if there was some reason to do so.

Politics of the Moment
Retired Generals against Rumsfeld. S'funny, last night "En Pointe" (I think) had a thing on the 31 days of the Gerald Ford presidency, and they mentioned how the neocons, especially Rumsfeld and Cheney, were just begining to gather power and formulating an ideology to replace the Realpolitik of Kissinger. (I love the fundamental ideal of realpolitik, that practical concerns and goals should outweigh broad ideological ideals, though in practice there are some big questions with acting on that.)

i love that robot they call bumblebee... bumblebee!

(1 comment)
April 14, 2005
Dialog of the Moment
"How are we gonna get out of this?"
"By the skin of our teeth!"
"I didn't know human teeth HAD skin!"
Bumblebee and Spike, the old Transformers cartoon.
I quote the final line sometimes during video games. Maybe somebody will catch the reference before I have to explain it to them...heh, come to think of it Bumblebee was my first transformer, so he'll always have a nostalgic place in my heart.

Image of the Moment
--Proposal for "Palace of Soviets" from Unrealised Moscow. Is that Lenin? Marx? Stalin? I'm not sure if he looks more like the Statue of Liberty or King Kong...

three questions

April 14, 2004
LiveJournalism of the Moment
I want everyone who reads this to ask me 3 questions, no more no less. Ask me anything you want.
Then I want you to go to your journal, copy and paste this allowing your friends (including myself) to ask you anything.
--LJ meme, transported here to a slightly different environment. But go ahead, ask 'em if you got 'em. (I asked this (late) yesterday but there were no takers so I thought I'd give it another chance before filing it away under 'excessive LJ-ish navel gazing')

Link of the Moment
The Annotated Beastie Boys. When I was younger, I woulda loved to see something like this, so I'd have a better idea what was going on...I mean, all this time I thought "Brass Monkey" was a codeword for beer. Have I been grievously misinformed?

Actually, it's kinda nice just to read the best guess of all those lyrics, some are really hard to understand.

Political Jab of the Moment
"Al Qaeda is determined to attack inside the United States."
"Not specific enough."
"It may be a hijacking."
"Not specific enough."
"They may target a building."
"Not specific enough."
"Lower Manhattan."
"Not specific enough."
"What do you want to hear??"

tea...in the FUTURE!

April 14, 2003
Movies of the Moment
Making the rounds, High Tea, astronauts eating tea with chopsticks. Surface tension in action!

Snippet of the Moment
The earliest story I kept a copy of was, I had thought, sophisticated, for I'd had the inspiration to lay it in Paris. I wrote it on my new typewriter, and its opening sentence was, "Monsieur Boule inserted a delicate dagger into Mademoiselle's left side and departed with a poised immediacy."
One Writer's Beginnings, by Eudora Welty.
News Clipping of the Moment
"The doors of the town house opened to reveal a playboy's fantasy straight from the 1960s: mirrored bedroom, lamps shaped like women, airbrushed paintings of a topless blonde woman and a mustached hero battling a crocodile."


April 14, 2002

Insert your token and you'll see Adam and Eve who are about to be evolved into bananas by the angry monkey at the top. You must take quick action. You are a dedicated Christian Creationist at the bottom of the screen who must carefully climb the archaeological ladder and rescue the desperate couple up above. You must avoid secular humanists, textbooks, barrels of supposedly prehistoric fossils, evil paleontologists, and the entire United States Supreme Court. When the going gets tough, just press the "lawsuit" button which allows you to jump over obstacles and make it to the top. If after three tries you are unsuccessful, stop playing this game and move to game entitled "Christian School".
--From a 1982 "Wittenburg Door" feature, Christian Video Arcade. This magazine (now just The Door) is a Christian satire magazine that I've always respected. I finally webified this article from an issue I've been keeping around all these years, mostly because I liked the faked screenshots and font play.

Quote of the Moment
"Three years ago I took that HTML course and I was on top of the world--now look at me."
Overhead conversation of a Burger King Manager.
I guess the hope is that some of the people who were johnny-come-latelies to the tech world with the dotcom explosion have been pushed back to their preboom careers. I kind of console myself that think I'm doing what I'd be doing even there never had been an Internet boom, though obviously it's treated be better than nonboom years would have.

sick, twisted

April 14, 2001
Ok, I apologize in advance for this one... but it looks as if Easter may be a postponed due to some technical difficulties this year...(via camworld)

click for full view

Runner up in the "that's not right" contest: Peein' Kitty Barbie-- this seems to be a completely legitimate link, check the URL...

According to the NRA, the best form of personal protection is to be in possession of a loaded firearm at all times. To ensure your personal safety, stay the hell away from NRA members.
--"Personal Safety Tips" from The Onion, 00-4-12
"My heart shattered, I am living testament of a cancer-ridden love that I perceived as perfection. She was my all.  But now loneliness, uncertainty and confusion contend for my nightly companonship."
"If I had any arms, I would most certainly beat you to fucking death."
--http://hotendotey.com, 00-4-10
"Event Zero: preparing to rule the Internet startup arena with an iron fist! Bow before the might of the blue and orange!  We will crush our enemies like so many pecan shells, strewing their remains before us for increased traction on slippery surfaces! We will rip the earth from its foundations and throw the oceans from their beds! Look on our works, ye Mighty, and despair..."