September 15, 2020

It's funny what sticks you from childhood, little mental snippets that lie dormant 'til they randomly remerge, unbidden. In this case, I thought of the official comics adaption of Raiders of the Lost Ark. That link is a good review but you can find the whole thing online.

In this case, it was this panel of Marion's naked back as she changed into a dress Belloq has given her:
I must have been in second grade. Sometimes I think about how difficult it was to get pictures of undressed people back then (especially relative to today where you have to remind Google not to show you naked boobies) From National Geographics to Art Books, I think I knew the location of every bare nipple in my parents' library.

Anyway, that lovely curve of back scandalized me and has stuck with me... of course that slinky dress in other panels might have helped:
And this shot of the Ark being filed away in a giant warehouse stuck with me more than the movie version:

BONUS: I grew up with people telling me I looked like this guy:
I guess in high school I sort of inadvertently leaned into the look with an unfortunate hat, and also the glasses. The trouble is no one remembered the characters name (Major Toht) so it was always "that Nazi guy from Indiana Jones, you know, the "We are not... heh heh... thirsty" guy who gets the medallion burned into his palm..."

September 15, 2019

I like to think that the house I grew up in dreams about me sometimes, too.

Sequin pillow magic.

Play Chess and Lose Weight! Albeit at the grandmaster level. I had no idea it was so gruelling!

I never got deeply into chess - probably because I wasn't naturally great at it once I learned the moves, and too full of myself to struggle with getting better. I think I had a handheld game of it that I could beat, and an Atari 800XL program that I couldn't. I remember by friend Beau was terrific at it.

I wonder what percentage of people who grew up in the USA know all the chess moves?

September 15, 2018

Hot Take: "W" should be pronounced "Wubble-Doo" so it's starts with the letter that it is
Hotter Take: "W" should be pronounced "Wub" so it's no longer the only multisyllabic letter.

September 15, 2017 This seems like a beautiful concept for a website....

September 15, 2016

Forever will not be solved with algebra but with geometry, not with ideas but with things. Even an infinity symbol can be traversed by a single line drawn right. Even the scratchiest record can't skip forever, even the moldiest peach can only decay for so long. Eventually, there is an end to discord, a return to either harmony or silence. After the end credits, there is still the clatter of film against reel, of a machine waiting to be turned off. There is still the need for agency, for someone to help bring everything to a satisfying finale before the lights can come back on.
Matt Bell, from "Ten Scenes from a Movie Called Mercy".
I worry this passage is more evocative than sensible, or internally consistent, but I kind of love it.
Cross-cultural studies of parenting along with the promise, or threat, that in kids come across fine with a bunch of different styles applied, there's no one right way to do it.

September 15, 2015

September 15, 2014

The truth is, we know so little about life, we don't really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.
Kurt Vonnegut, "A Man Without a Country"

I don't know about you, but I practice a disorganized religion. I belong to an unholy disorder. We call ourselves "Our Lady of Perpetual Astonishment."
Kurt Vonnegut, "A Man Without a Country"

5 Tragic Reasons Why the World's Largest Theme Park Stands Abandoned in Ohio. Dear old Geauga Lake park-- when I left Cleveland it always felt like Cedar Point's little cousin, I had no idea it had had such a radical expansion and merge with Sea World. So sad, in any guise that place was fun, and now when I see the aerial footage of where it stood... same kind of deal as the ghost malls in the area.

September 15, 2013

'Why is Sonic a blue hedgehog? He could just as easily be a phallus racing through a nightmarish hellscape of infinite Tuscany.' #noshow13

toy boat toy boat toy boat

September 15, 2012

from a collection of artifact toys my mom brought me,
some i recognize from my childhood, but some i don't, like this...

advanced vs overt

September 15, 2011
From Jason Hartley's "The Advanced Genius Theory":
Once you have achieved the Advanced state of mind, something amazing happens: you start to like everything. Not only will you appreciate Advanced Artists' most challenging works, but you'll also experience with an open mind the parts of pop culture that otherwise might have tormented you, such as "We Built This City," movies based on TV show, TV shows based on movies, radio commercials featuring two people pretending to have a casual conversation about a product, and Fox News.

What's more, though you will like everything, you won't necessarily lose the ability to discern between levels of quality. You can still have "good taste". It's just that the question becomes how much you like a work of art rather than whether you like it. This is by far superior to traditional good taste, which is predicated on what one rejects. The Advanced accept everything, including everything the Overt enjoy-acid jazz, abstract expressionism, French New Wave, NPR--but they won't ruin your party by insisting on playing music no one's ever heard of. So not only will Advancement give you back your favorite artists, help you enjoy the things you've always hated, and put you in touch with your true self, it will get you invited to more parties.
This book is one of the most enjoyable quick reads I've had this year. Hartley has a theory of Advancement (that he claims is 15 years in the making) arguing that great artists who appear to just lose it in their latter years may just be going Advanced... a form of genius that often looks a bit like selling out, and that stands in contrast to "Overt", art that's a bit too aware of what it's trying to do.

It's sometimes tough, though... one example given is this experiment with rap by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys:

The book doesn't really argue that this is a good sign, just that Wilson was at least on the right side of history at a time when many old rockers wouldn't consider rap actual music.

If nothing else, I'm all for the unironic enjoyment of things.
See the happy moron, He doesn't give a damn. I wish I were a moron, My God! Perhaps I am!
Dorothy Parker

What's funnier than a miffed boyfriend? A boyfriend that says that he's 'miffed'.

lg10: the nature

September 15, 2010
So, one thing Lake George has is nature!
Things I learned about this weekend: "Nose Grease", a convenient lubricant at hand for carpenters and people with chapped lips and what not.
Things I learned about this weekend: I observed again how a star-filled, low-light-pollution sky really looks like a sky dome arched above.
Things I learned about this weekend: if there's no such thing as a "Jacksi-One" (Pepsi One and Jack) maybe there oughta be. (Why no love for Pepsi products as mixers in general?) This spoof video and that Chappelle Show w/ Wayne Brady had that "shushing while strangling" thing- where's that from? -- Google's War on our attention spans.
Technically, my job wouldn't be impossible without jQuery and Firebug, but man, it's pretty close!
If I ever saw an amputee being hanged, I would just start yelling out letters.

shirtfest 2009

(1 comment)
September 15, 2009
In June of 2001 I started posting a series of photos of T-shirts I had gotten rid of. I apolgetically explained doing that back then. And I'm doing it again-- Amber helped me weed out my wardrobe, getting rid of about half of it, at least shirt-wise.

Here are the shirts I thought I might sort of miss, arranged roughly in descending order of coolness. Most of these shirts are technically irreplaceable, but that's the way the entropy bounces.
You know what, browsers? If you can only give me a readonly FTP view, no upload, forget it; don't try to grab ftp:// - dark but funny, stormtroopers say "The Deathstar: never forget"
huh, things are afoot in Boston sports radio, like I mentioned with the iPod/FM thing. ESPN's AM affiliate is gone... preferred their "Mike + Mike" to the WEEI political bozos.
Then: The Wealth of Nations
Now: Invisible Hands: The Mysterious Market Forces That Control Our Lives and How to Profit from Them -5 Myths About Health Care Around the World

greenspan shrugged

September 15, 2008
Huh, last night I had the jumpiness I had a few week ago, still kind of lingering this morning.

I wonder if I was just over-caffeinated? Or sometimes there's that weird psychosomatic thing if you're a bit muscle-shaky from exercise, if you exhibit some of the physical signs of being nervous and jittery, there's some feedback that actually makes you nervous and jittery...

Or maybe it's tied in with the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth in the financial industry. As of this writing the Dow was looking surprisingly resilient, but who knows what the season will bring. (Just another thing to be all angsty and anxious about, for no good reason.)

I also just realized that one of my favorite essayists, master-of-the-footnote David Foster Wallace took his own life at the age of 46.


Video of the Moment

--from the "good golly did that actually exist or did I make it up?" department... (more specifically from TVTropes' I am Not Making This Up file--) Could you imagine given the task about making a cartoon about Rubiks Cubes?

I'm trying not to resent the neurons I have dedicated to that "Hello, my name is RUB-ik" ending.

BTW, the TVTropes random item feature is kind of a nice way of getting measured doses of that great site.

Greenspan Shrugged
Thoughts you immediately regret having: "gee, maybe the Great Depression wasn't that bad -- I mean, 75% of folks were still employed--"
After Y2K, I'm kind of done worrying about this stuff. Hell, for other reasons I've already moved into the ol' family brownstone, what more?
a decade late, but... spice girls... "zigazig ah"... is that like, a euphemism for sex? or sex noises? stupid ipod.

level up!

September 15, 2007
I gave blood this morning (at 8am, after a surprise night of late night socializing when my upstairs neighbors had a shindig for their former housemate who was visiting from Italy) so I'm extra self-righteous today! Also tired.

Random note: separated at birth, yesterday's image of Nasruddin and the Sultan from Aladdin?

Stupid folk-traditions, ripping off Disney like that.

Game of the Moment
Scong is toast-modern [sic] game. "Be the Ball." No really... be the ball. Surprisingly disconcerting. (By the same guy who organized last weekend's game fest.)

Potentially Mildly Offensive Quote of the Moment
[Enemy looms, roars, gets exploded by gunfire]
"Oh man, that was scary. Good thing I had my reflexes up.... I'm a Level 8 Polack."
Jonathan Z, when we were trudging through the FPS game "Gears of War".
At the risk of over-explaining, it's a vague reference to online RPGs where you establish the get to upgrade your character's abilities (like reflexes) and achieve various levels of your character's type. Also funny because "polack" sounds a little bit like "warlock".


September 15, 2006
The haiku frolics in the sidebar comments have raised a point I find interesting, is "growl" one syllable or two? I guess it varies by dialect, though Miller claims that it's lacking the requisite vowel (but I think back to "a e i o u, and sometimes y and w"... I learned it "sometimes y" but I have heard that "and w" thrown in there since.) Still, for me, "growl" is a perfect rhyme for "towel" and, appropriately enough, "vowel". Though I guess those words might all be, say, 1 1/2 syllables.

Of course than I start thinking about parts of the country where "fire" is one syllable and then I need to go lie down for a bit.

Image Toy of the Moment

--FoSO sent a link to this official seal generator. The UI isn't super dynamic but it's still cool. (Hint: the "Emblem" caption is a link taking you to a browser, rather than making you pick from a text list.)

Passage of the Moment
Please ensure that your seat belt is fastened, your seat back is upright and your tray-table is stowed. At Veritas Airways, your safety is our first priority. Actually, that is not quite true: if it were, our seats would be rear-facing, like those in military aircraft, since they are safer in the event of an emergency landing. But then hardly anybody would buy our tickets and we would go bust. [...] Your life-jacket can be found under your seat, but please do not remove it now. In fact, do not bother to look for it at all. In the event of a landing on water, an unprecedented miracle will have occurred, because in the history of aviation the number of wide-bodied aircraft that have made successful landings on water is zero.
Just in time for next week's trip to Seattle!

column of the Moment
We have no more troops to send to Iraq. We have, or had, the army to win any war, but (mercifully?) we are no great shakes at being an occupying force.

Thank goodness it has struck such a blow against terrorism, huh?
As the Post paraphrased the Marine Corps chief of intelligence for Iraq: "al-Qaeda has become the province's most significant political force." In other words, the prediction some began making a year ago—that Anbar would become a new and enduring sanctuary for al-Qaida—has come true.
Of course, until and unless there's a major terrorist incident in the USA, it's difficult to absolutely criticize our ham-fisted Middle East policy, but on the other hand, until there's a clearer demonstration of how Iraq ties into that, and how removing Saddam unambiguosly helped, it's hard to know that it's worth the expense.

Of course, no new taxes to support the war, that might start people counting the cost in other ways as well...

he was a real potty animal

September 15, 2005
Political Snarks of the Moment
--Bush requesting Condoleeza Rice if they can get a bathroom break, close-up, zoom-in. Also, this joke via ErinMaru: "What is Bush's position on Roe vs. Wade?" "Either...he doesn't care how people get out of New Orleans." HA!

Quote of the Moment
That means all of us when you remember an adage a guru once told me: "Every piece of computer software, no matter how small, involves at least a team of two -- me, and me six months from now when I have to fix it." Conway puts it differently "Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live."
Fellow coding geeks might want to check out the book's author's Ten Essential Development Practices.

you don't get any ice cream, scumbag

September 15, 2004
Dialog of the Moment
isnoop writes:
TheChirurgeon: "So, what would you do if you were rich?"
Me: "You mean when I'm rich?"
TheChirurgeon: "Yeah."
Me: "Well, I would probably pay a big dude to follow my roommate around, and every time he got some ice cream, the big dude would slap it out of his hands onto the ground. Then he would be like 'You don't get any ice cream, scumbag'."

Note: This roommate and I aren't enemies, but he was there, and we constantly mess with each other.

ANAmal: "Wouldn't he eventually just stop eating ice cream?"
Roommate: "Yeah, I would probably stop."
Me: "Yeah, and then I would have the big dude hide, so that when you went to get ice cream, and you thought you were safe, he'd jump out, and then knock it out of your hands."
Roommate: "Yeah, but-"
Me: "And then I'd pay another big dude to follow you around in an ice cream truck, and constanlty offer out free ice cream."
Roommate: "So... much... hate."

Worth clicking through.

Map of the Moment
This is a nifty map/poll of the USA, showing states sized relative to how many electoral votes they're worth. I wish the news wasn't looking so Bush-postive though. Man, I had a feeling Kerry isn't the right guy...I hope against hope that the debates manage to turn it aroud.


September 15, 2003
Sick Joke of the Moment
"What has two legs, and bleeds profusely?"
"Half a cat."
The Don and Mike show, via some guy on Slashdot.

Games of the Moment
People who know I'm such a classic game geek may think this kind of weird, but after skimming through these Atari 2600 game reviews, I'm astounded at how many Atari games were released that I never ever heard of. I had what was a pretty big collection of games for the time, actually really big by normal kids standards (though I didn't get them 'til everyone else was moved onto NES, and my collection pales compared to the serious collectors') and so I guess to tend to forget that there was this whole world of games beyond the carts me and my friends managed to get a hold of.

Posters of the Moment
--Not the best interface for browsing but still cool, has tons of posters advertising old time magicians.

Observation of the Moment
Speaking of "eww": dangnabbit, I hate it when you sneeze and a droplet flies onto a tv screen or monitor and you see those giant R-G-B pixels reminding you of how disgusting you are.

i have a great capacity for love! also a great capacity for dunkin' donuts french vanilla iced coffee.

September 15, 2002
:-) of the Moment
Some people think they have found the first 'Net smiley, with more details from the inventor here. (though others are convinced that this is a reinvention, that they were around before on various BBSs.) And even those may have been predated by Emoticons on the PLATO System which were even cooler. On that system, you can overwrite characters (like on a typewriter, you can hit "backspace" and put a character over the last one) and some of the results (like these two here) are the right is what you'd type, and to the left is the result. That link had even more interesting ones...

Quote of the Moment
But even the thought of a Billy Joel 9/11 opera justifies raising our nation's bad-art threat level to CONDITION ORANGE.

Link of the Moment
Frank Jump is the force behind Fading Ad Campaign, photos of the advertisements you would sometimes see on the sides of old buildings. Just realized now that the artist with HIV, and that might influence the subject matter...also, that (now defunct) helped put him on the 'Net.

not so great expectations

September 15, 2001
Quote of the Moment
I will never apologize for the United States. I don't care what the facts are.
George Bush (Sr.)
...this is the kind of attitude I'm very nervous about now. We need to hold ourselves more accountable.

Links of the Moment
I saw someone on TV from Jane's Information Group talking with the anchor and pointing out that they sort of were pointing to this ahead of time. Even though it's not clear if they offered enough specific detail to have prevented it, someone pointed out it's odd we haven't heard more about that.

Tom Burt, who claims to be a bit of a regular reader from the UK (wow, didn't know I had regular readers who wouldn't've already known me) made a reasonable Libertarian-ish argument against what I was saying about crypto and civil rights yesterday. He pointed me to this article on foreign policy that made some level of sense. (On the other hand, I think a generous foreign aid policy makes us allies that we really need...)

Here Zimran Ahmed, a Packistani, gives some details on the Middle East view of American foreign policy. For a certian perspective, we're the sponsors of state terrorism.

I find this Time magazine survey disturbing...we're so ready for war. We need to spend a LOT more time in diplomacy before we go marching off. Our European allies aren't as hawkish as we are right now.

Two pieces from UKs The Guardian, John Sawers thought that this one on how Americans can't see why others don't see them as the good guys was right on. They also had this piece on information about bin Laden's group gleaned from the US embassy bombing trial.

Finally, some people swear they saw the devil's face in the smoke at the WTC, before the collapse.

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
--Psalms 137:9
"It is evident that the end of the
world is fast approaching." - Assyrian Tablet, c.2800BC
Mike Witczak is a dad. Crazy.

Going to see Rebekah tonight and possibly Kyle tomorrow.

Mo and I are hoping Hurricane Floyd doesn't screw with our vacation plans to Florida too badly.
Mo's right I do need to be more exercise-a-riffic.