September 12, 2019

Perfect shot of a swimmer just before the water's surface tension is broken, via reddit

I saw it paired with a similar shot here with @Hookzilla asking "What if water just don't let you out one day..."
i think every day about how cable internet is IP over MPEG. this is a literal fact. DOCSIS sends downstream data in MPEG frames because that's what the cable networks are optimized for and what all the switching equipment understood when cable broadband took off
(Later followup: "important note: i'm told docsis 1 and 2 were burdened like this but the current standard has probably done away with it. It appears that it WAS like this for many years though.")

September 12, 2018

'But back to your question: why do people [get tattoos]. I've always thought of it as a way to get a little more in touch with your body.'

The kit leaned forward. 'Really?'

'Yeah. Your mind and your body. Two separate things, right?'

Sidra directed all her processing power to the conversation at hand. 'Right.'

'Except not. Your mind comes from your body. It's born out of it. And yet, it's a wholly independent thing. Even though the two are linked, there's a disconnect. Your body does stuff without asking your mind about it, and your mind wants stuff that your body can't always do. You know what I mean?'

'Yes.' Stars, did she ever.

'So, tattooing . . . you've got a picture in your mind, then you put it on your body. You make a hazy imagining into a tangible part of you. Or, to flip it around, you want a reminder of something, so you put it on your body, where it's a real, touchable thing. You see the thing on your body, you remember it in your mind, then you touch it on your body, you remember why you got it, what you were feeling then, and so on, and so on. It's a re-enforcing circle. You're reminded that all these separate pieces are part of the whole that comprises you.'

Becky Chambers, "A Closed and Common Orbit".
Sidra is a former spaceship AI housed in a humanoid body (the "kit").

September 12, 2017

found this in the memory banks for Melissa who has been having one of those mornings...
I love the word "rankles". Some days everything rankles.

September 12, 2016

The way you can't see all 12 black dots at once is some next level "Predator" shtuff...

via Gizmodo...

September 12, 2015

This space left semi-intentionally blank

September 12, 2014

TIL MC Hammer's real middle name is "Kirk". (Thanks Bill)
The point is this. Caballero is really smart, so when he puts your obesity in a larger context, accept that what he's saying has some real weight (pun not intended) and that you are not 'fat' but 'evidence of a landmark accomplishment by our species.'

Fatness is a byproduct of the leisurely life your hard-working ancestors and the greatest minds of the Western world have been working to create for millennia. They wanted you to have a life of plenty, a life without backbreaking work. Your great -great-great-grandfather would weep with joy at the sight of you half-conscious on a couch, having just shoveled a pile of fried noodles straight out of the takeout carton into your mouth after a busy day organizing the office's fantasy football league. Surely my descendant has become a king!

Yes, our overweight society is, by the standard of the ancients, a utopia. You've relished it, taking full advantage of your ability to eat like a devout hedonist at an all-inclusive resort while neglecting to tax your muscles with arduous labor. Of the billions of people who've ever lived, you have it easier than almost anyone. History congratulates you.

Martin Cizmar, "Chubster: A Hipster's Guide to Losing Weight While Staying Cool"

Gluttony is not a secret vice.
Orson Welles Nice view of Ghostbusters as a commentary on the Lovecraftian outlook
That physicality is interesting... Lovecraftian horrors are sometimes surprisingly vulnerable to, say ramming by a boat (see "The Call of Cthulhu") and Ghostbusters showed that these beings are not transcendent, just powerful, and playing by some different rules.

September 12, 2013

This made me laugh.... goldfish crackers for the lazy yet gluttonous: - "Game of Thrones"-house style banners for NFL teams.
when miley cyrus is naked & licks a hammer it's 'art' and 'music'.. but when i do it, i'm 'wasted' and 'have to leave home depot'

My friend Greg Owen suggested an "interesting tip calculator" app, and I've made a functional prototype you can run or install as a bookmarklet on your mobile device, from

The idea is lots of folks want to calculate tips so that it comes out even, or, in Gowen's case so it comes out "interesting"... like
multiple of ten e.g. 40.00
digit repeating e.g. 44.44
ascending e.g. 45.67
descending e.g. 43.21
palindrome e.g. 43.34
even amount e.g. 41.00
repeated halves e.g. 43.43

So I start with a base rate of 20%, and then look for interesting stuff +/- 5% of that, and then display the results in sorted order, so you can either pick based on whimsy or by being a bit more or less generous

I wrote up some of the technical details at

If people dig it I might push on a more configurable app-ish version.
Brady took a paycut for this?

this guy digs trains

September 12, 2012

20 or so pages in, my favorite part of Ursula Le Guin's "The Dispossessed" is the colony planet's term for toilet: "shitstool"
Looked at Sam "im-" Bacile's video. Great, we lost tons of good will and a respected Libyan ambassador to a video "Jack Chick Tract".
My son is writing a musical. 'The jaws help you eat / When it goes open and shut / When you have something sweet / It sends it to your butt'


September 12, 2011
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann.
You know, the parody deteriorata did such a fine job of mockery that it's easy for me to forget the elegance of the original.

This work was brought to my attention as I put together the recent Blender of Love Digest-- the issue was a tribute to a recently deceased stalwart Blenderite, Rennie Lorca, and her "Captain" mentioned this was a favorite of hers.

weekend filler

September 12, 2010
--via gifanime

captain kirk is climbing a mountain

September 12, 2009

--via (who gives the background in terms of Start Trek V's unconvincing free climb of El Cap. And as Ted Alvarez writes "That's going on my iPod right now." - (ww2) how to hide a factory

this is the world

September 12, 2008
This is the world, and you are in it.

Quote of the Moment
Gratitude is the most important facet of the spiritual life, allowing us to acknowledge and express our awe and reverence. A universe that 'spawns because it is' generates our capacity to spawn because we are, inviting us to wrap our arms and minds and hearts around the astonishing whole to which we owe our lives and of which we are a part, and gasp our stammering gratitude.
Ursula Goodenough (what a terrific name!) and Terrence W. Deacon, from "The Sacred Emergence of Nature" in "The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science"

Politics of the Moment

--Funny, if a bit cheap-shotish. Still, my real amazement is how imply Palin was always against the "Bridge to Nowhere" (the cool name is probably what makes it such good copy) when in reality it's like "I was on the bandwagon 'til I saw it going off the cliff... but then I hopped right off myself! Yay Republicans!"

I like that the McDonalds near Fenway Park has signs proclaiming their strict NO LIMOS AT ANYTIME policy.
"Comparisons Are Odious"-and comparisons to a "better of all possible worlds" we imagine are ridiculous. Enjoy this life, it's what you got.
My dream mind has a thing for bad puns. It was a world with an odd Flintstones element and I got asked "paying with Visa or Master Chisel?"
w00t, I'm now a "bronze level client" in yourself!fitness and have some new terrible music to move to--
Endeavoring to avoid being That Guy I inadvertently became That Other Guy

but sit and fart in the duck

September 12, 2007
Someone asked what I think of the brewing scandal with the Patriots accused of having a video camera taping the Jets' defensive coaches signals. It sounds reasonably damning on the face of it. (There's also the danger that it's not a terribly uncommon thing to do, and the Pats may be made an example of.)

It seems odd because video recording an opposing coach doesn't seem that different than watching intently, which I presume is allowed. One proposed solution would be to allow one of the defensive linemen to use the same kind of radio that the QB gets.

I just hope those damn Motorola headsets use encryption!

N-quite-SFW Video of the Moment

--Making the rounds, a phonetic re-interpreation of a kids show in Dutch, or Flemish, or Belgian, or something. "Sit and fart in the duck" is on the less crude side of what they come up with, but it's pretty funny, especially when there's an (un)fortunate match between the lyric and the image onscreen.

Quote of the Moment
Heat, pressure, and time. The things that make a diamond, also make a waffle.

the battlin' geoducks

September 12, 2006
So, last night I bought a replacement for my camera.

I got the Olympia FE-190 to replace my Canon SD400, which I guess has a reputation for fragility. In part I was willing to take a gamble with a new brand because it was only $200, though I'm missing some of the Canon bells-and-whistles already. (It's also annoying that selecting on form factor and price keeps me in the "entry level" demographic, when I have delusions of grandeur that I'm taking things that are more than just snapshots.) UPDATE: This camera sucks. You really do get what you pay for in this case, focus was terrible and pixels were very noisy. Damn it.

I guess I find it irksome that small cameras are all striving for the same metrics, megapixels and big old LCD viewscreens. I'd much rather have a tiny, STURDY camera that took fantastic pictures, even if it had a tiny screen and the resolution was only, say, twice what my monitor at home can display, rather than 2.5 to 4.

Same for laptops, where they still seem to be striving for CPU performance, even when for web browsing and Office and casual gaming it would be nice to have a machine with long battery life that you could actually keep on your lap. (At least there is a niche of rugged laptops.)

Mascot of the Moment
Sunday was a goodbye dinner for Ivan as he goes off to college... I brought up the site logoserver and he found this true gem. (I guess it beats "The Fightin' Messiahs".) Of course, his own school's mascot, the geoducks gives even the Banana Slugs a run for their money. All these guys make the "Tufts' Jumbos" look downright ordinary.

life at camp edwards

September 12, 2005
Yesterday I did some work with my (AKA Major Betty Israel, aka "YELM"), my Aunt Susan, and my Uncle Bill at Otis Air National Guard Base. I kind of acted as an apprentice to my uncle in constructing some chest-high freestanding walls for a safe childrens play corner (the idea is that it will be a monitored "dropoff point" for children as adults go to the services booths set up for the various agencies, both governmental (Social Services, IRS, etc) and volunteer (Salvation Army).) With all those organizations and the military, there are some tremendous communication and chain-of-command challenges, but things seem to be sorting themselves out.

Forgive the following cliches, but...the chance to be near NOLA displacees in person did "bring things home" for me, and acted as a reminder of how many lives have been completely disrupted, and to such a degree. I saw the TV and web reports, but...well, that's just the TV and web I guess, even for an online child like me.

There was a nice moment near the end of our time there, my Uncle and I kneeling in the parking lot over the drilling of the last wall panels-- it was the start of a beautiful sunset over some literal "amber waves of grain" (or something similar...I'm not much of a farmer...), and in the distance I could hear a church service for and by the folks from New Orleans...some really joyful gospel music and some enthusiastic preaching. Couldn't make out the words, but I think there's something amazing in being able to count blessings and live hope and faith even through a time of disaster and displacement.

Also by apprenticing for my Uncle I learned a few things about construction and using tools...and not just "I still don't have much of an instict for this", even though that's true.

Oh, and a collective sigh of relief for another uneventful September 11th. I'm sure it's a time when Jihadists are itching to remind us of their capabilities to cause destruction and harm.

Targeted Link of the Moment
Just for Lex: The Ten Stupidest Utopias. Hope this takes your mind off your sexed-up cat, yo.

frontloggin! (backlog flush #51)

September 12, 2004
My scratchpad areas are getting full of links I've meaning to get to (even though there's a proper database that I'm supposed to use to record those) so here are those links, as well as some other tidbits I meant to look into.

oh johnny boys

September 12, 2003
Johnny Cash and John Ritter dead in one day? Bad day for that name I guess.

Death Announcement of the Moment
Surgeons at the hospital tried to save the Emmy Award-winning actor but, sadly, were unable to do so.
While I am saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of a guy who seemed to be very friendly and funny, I have to admire the chutzpah and lack of tact of his publicist in working in that "Emmy Award-winning".

History of the Moment
The oldest entry in my backlog for the longest time, it's the story behind Bibendum, the Michelin Man. This original poster, a man made of tire innertubes toasting with a glass full of nails and broken glass ("Michelin tires drink obstacles") is kind of disturbing... of course, tires don't look that way anymore, so I guess most people assume he's just a big inflated guy, kinda like a lower-rent "Stay Puft Marhsmallow Man" from Ghostbusters.

Online Toy of the Moment
Amusing for lke 2 or 3 clicks, American Military Operation Name Generating Device comes up with those odd namepair titles given to our military operations.

beep beep beep bleep bleep

September 12, 2002
It occurred to me that the title of yesterday's entry wouldn't make such a bad domain name:

Simple Answers to Complex Questions
1. Because they hate freedom.
2. Absolutely yes, because they're a rogue state that might let
     nuclear weapons fall into the hands of terrorists.
3. Drill for oil in Alaska.
4. Less, because less regulation is great for every market.

Quote of the Moment
When Bono shook his hips, that crowd shook their hips...It was filled to the gills, and people were moving back and forth like corn in the breeze.
Jesse Helms after attending a U2 concert (and turning off his hearing aid) via this article from Mother Jones.
Who knew the old coot could be so poetic?

Pop Culture of a Few Moments Ago
This cartoon (via Wired) reminded me of their previous coverage of Apple "Switch" star Ellen Feiss--her various fan sites don't have much material to work on...mostly just repackaging images from the original ad. The appeal? "I can't stop watching Ellen Feiss and I'm not alone in this mini-obsession I think it's because she reminds me of the stoner girls I used to hang around with in high school ... sigh. Those were the days" said one guy...she does seem a bit, err, "mellow"...


September 12, 2001
Yesterday was the hijacking/attacks on the NYC World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Apart from the incomprehensible human tragedy associated with events like these is how it makes every other interest and pursuit look so petty.

Does trying to get on with life disrespect the people who have suffered such loss? Or does stopping everything let the terrorists 'win' an even greater victory?

Like always, I'm going to be wishy-washy and split the difference, and stop with the wacky links and quotes, but maybe only for a day or so.

"God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through."
--Paul Valery
The Onion: Is there a God?

Jimmy Kimmel: Uh, I think so, yeah. Sure. I was praying for Him to kill me last night as I was vomiting up my lobster pasta. I can't take this altitude: I've been [at the Aspen Comedy Arts Festival] for four days--three last year and one this year--and I've vomited on three of those days.

O: Yeah, the altitude can wreak havoc...

JK: Well, I use the altitude as an excuse, but it's really the 17 shots of whatever people hand me.
What Jimmy doesn't realize is that he *is* a god.

Funny feelings coming back from NYC. Busy weekend w/ Veronika and Bernd (B1) and B2 and Marcus, at Krispey Kreme @the World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, TGIFriday's (and Video Store) @ Times Square,
Lenny's Bagels @ 98th + Broadway (after a subway adventure or two), Central Park, a taste of Chinatown, and now homeward bound after the Port Authority. It was wonderful seeing Veronika again. I really like her short hairstyle. She and B2 are really pretty- I hope the pictures show that off.  I don't want Veronika to be unhappy with B1 (they look very sweet together) but I have vague hopes she still carries a small torch for me- I know I still have some bittersweet longing for her, nothing I want or need to act on.
Still on the bus. Just like last night, I can hear a nonsense stream of Veronika's German burbling in my head.

If the Midwest is 'the flyover,' Connecticut must be 'the driveby'.
"After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all-- the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them."
--Dumbledore, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", J.K.Rowling
Unhappy that moderate use of the PalmV (well, heavy on the bus, light the rest of the time) seems to have drained 2/3 of the battery. At least graffiti seems to be giving me fewer problems.