September 24, 2022




Oh, I just realized Barton Fink was the movie I was mixing up with Barry Lyndon. Not that I know much about either.



Spock, McCoy, and Scotty waited with Kirk in the transporter room. McCoy was scowling. Kirk knew what McCoy thought of the transporter. For the doctor the room was filled with the ghosts of a thousand humans and aliens who had passed through this room to their fates: disintegration and analysis and materialization in a distant place. Bodies had come and gone, leaving their immaterial essences behind, and most of them had returned--though who can say that the same persons came back who left this room. Exact duplicates, certainly, but what of that which could not be measured or analyzed? What of the personality? What of the "I"? What of the soul, for those who still believed?
James Gunn, "The Joy Machine (Star Trek: The Original Series Book 80)"

Nothing outside makes you whole. That arrives only when you come to terms with what's inside, when you accept what you are and who you are and grant yourself the right to make mistakes and still keep your self-respect.
Captain Kirk (James Gunn, "The Joy Machine (Star Trek: The Original Series Book 80)")

Think! Happiness is not the only good. Humans value other things even more: love, friendship, accomplishment, discovery, and, most of all, knowledge. Given a free choice between happiness and knowledge, humanity will choose knowledge every time.
Captain Kirk (James Gunn, "The Joy Machine (Star Trek: The Original Series Book 80)")

(I've been on a Vonnegut kick, and I wanted to check out this novelization of a never-produced screenplay by Theodore Sturgeon, who is said to be the influence for Vonnegut's Kilgore Trout character)
Ghost Town @ Roslindale Porchfest , with a few JP honkers

Open Photo Gallery



















September 24, 2021

Finally got around to watching "Hamilton"! I admit, for the first 15 minutes or so Melissa and I were a little worried, it just felt very musical-y and the hip hop aspect a little cheesy, but once it settles in it really gets good, great writing and real human drama, the tragedy of it was moving. And I really liked the "cabinet debates as rap battles".

September 24, 2020

Ice Delivery 1918

On my devblog:
the importance of rapid iteration and proximate feedback

September 24, 2019

Lovely little instagram chapbook on loneliness

sunset kayaking

September 24, 2018

--Before the "moonlight kayaking" (and a nice campfire on a remote beach with smores) with some of Melissa​ prev coworker friends via Essex River Basin Adventures​, there was an astonishing sunset...

More photos and B-roll videos - including hermit crabs! To meet a request from one of the fellow kayakers-- (some of the odd horizons were messing around with "pano mode")


All the electrons,protons and neutrons in your body were created at the beginning of time, They have always existed and they will be there long after your death.
/u/Parmar_Mandeep
Not sure if that is 100% true, but the principle- of the stuff that makes us pre-existing us and sure to outlast us- is solid. Anyway, a good reddit thread.

September 24, 2017

September 24, 2016


Over the years as I make various improvements in my out look, philosophical and existential ways of trying to be a better and more aware person on a number of fronts, I try to think if I'm doing a lot better than my past self, or if I'm just forgetful of what that past self was up to at the time.

September 24, 2015

For some time, though, he struggled for more to hold on to. "Are you sure you have told me everything you know about his death?" he asked. I said, "Everything." "It's not much, is it?" "No," I replied, "but you can love completely without complete understanding." "That I have known and preached," my father said.
Norman Maclean, "A River Runs Through It"

saul to rebecca, from the illuminatus! trilogy

September 24, 2014
This passage has been rattling around my brain lately, though its been a few years since I've read the book. This bit is a great explication about sex, set in an enthusiastic bit of action. Unfortunately I'd say some parts are maybe a bit racist or otherwise distasteful, but in the balance I think the general terrificness of the passage outweighs the negatives.

You see, darling, it all revolves around sex, but not in the sense that Freud thought. Freud never understood sex. Hardly anybody understands sex, in fact, except a few poets here and there. Any scientist who starts to get an inkling keeps his mouth shut because he knows he'd be drummed out of the profession if he said what he knew. Here, I'll help you unhook that. What we're feeling now is supposed to be tension, and what we'll feel after orgasm is supposed to be relaxation. Oh, they're so pretty. Yes, I know I always say that. But they are pretty. Pretty, pretty, pretty. Mmmm. Mmmm. Oh, yes, yes. Just hold it like that a moment. Yes. Tension? Lord, yes that's what I mean. How can this be tension? What's it got in common with worry or anxiety or anything else we call tension? It's a strain, but not a tension. It's a drive to break out, and a tension is a drive to hold in. Those are the two polarities. Oh, stop for a minute. Let me do this. You like that? Oh, darling, yes, darling, I like it, too. It makes me happy to make you happy. You see, we're trying to break through our skins into each other. We're trying to break the walls, walls, walls. Yes, Yes. Break the walls. Tension is trying to hold up the walls, to keep the outside from getting in. It's the opposite. Oh, Rebecca. Let me kiss them again. They're so pretty. Pretty pretty titties. Mmm, Mmm. Pretty. And so big and round. Oh, you've got two hard-ons and I've only got one. And this, this, ah, you like it, don't you, that's three hard-ons. You want me to take my finger away and kiss it? Oh, darling, pretty belly, pretty. Mmm. Mmm. Darling, Mmm. MMMMM. Mmm. Lord, Lord. You never came so fast before, oh, I love you. Are you happy? I'm so happy. That's right, just for a minute. Oh, God, I love watching you do that. I love to see it go into your mouth. Lord, God, Rebecca, I love it. Yes, now I'll put him in. Little Saul, there, coming up inside you, there. Does little Rebecca like him? I know, I know. They love each other, don't they? The way we love each other. She's so warm, she welcomes him so nicely. You're inside me, too. That's what I'm trying to say. My field. You're inside my field, just like I'm inside yours. It's the fields, not the physical act. That's what people are afraid of. That's why they're tense during sex. They're afraid of letting the fields merge. It's a unifying of the forces. God, I can't keep talking. Well, if we slow way down, yes, this is nicer, isn't it? That's why it's so fast for most people. They rush, complete the physical act, before the fields are charged. They never experience the fields. They think it's poetry, fiction, when somebody who's had it describes it. One scientist knew. He died in prison. I'll tell you about him later. It's the big taboo, the one all the others grow out of. It isn't sex itself they're trying to stop. That's too strong, they can't stop it. It's this. Darling, yes. This. The unifying. It happens at death, but they try to steal it even then. They've taken it out of sex. That's why the fantasies. And the promiscuity. The search. Blacks, homosexuality, our parents, people we know we hate, Saint Bernards. Everything. It's not neuroses or perversion. It's a search. A desperate search. Everybody wants sex with an enemy. Hate mobilizes the field, too, you see. And hate. Is safer. Safer than love. Love too dangerous. Lord, Lord, I love you. I love you. Let me more. Get the weight on my elbows, hold your ass with my hands. Yes. Poetry isn't poetry. I mean it doesn't lie. It's true when I say I worship you. Can't say it outside bed. Can only say love then, usually. Worship too scary. Some people can't even say love in bed. Searching, partner to partner. Never able to say love. Never able to feel it. Under control. They can't let us learn, or the game is up. Their name? They got a million names. Monopolize it. Keep it to themselves. They had to stamp it out in the rest of us, to control. To control us. Drove it underground, into background noise. Mustn't break through. That's how. How it happened. Darling. First they repressed telepathy, then sex. That's why schizos. Darling. Why schizos break into crazy sex things first. Why homosexuals dig the occult. Break one taboo, come close to the next. Finally break the wall entirely. Get through. Like we get through, together. They can't have that. Got to keep up apart. Schisms. Always splitting and schisms. White against black, men against women, all the way down the line. Keep us apart. Don't let us merge. Make sex a dirty joke. A few more minutes. A few more. My tongue in your ear. Oh, God. Soon. So fast. A miracle. Whole society set up to prevent this. To destroy love. Oh, I do love you. Worship you. Adore you. Rebecca. Beautiful, beautiful. Rebecca. They don't want us to. Unify. The. Forces. Rebecca. Rebecca. Rebecca.

Midweek, every 2-3 weeks, MBTA Alewife @DunkinDonuts runs out of large straws. You'd think that'd be a pretty easy logistical fix, eh?
"But only the Christian civilization has scored a triumph to be proud of. Two or three centuries from now it will be recognized that all the competent killers are Christians; then the pagan world will go to school to the Christian-- not to acquire his religion, but his guns. "
Mark Twain, "The Mysterious Stranger"
I really enjoyed this book, even if there was some question about it being hacked/faked by later editors. The Devil Goes Down to 1600s Germany, and the result works on so many levels; humanist to its core, implicit digression into the implausibility of true free will in a "foreseeable" Universe of cause and effect, even as pure strategy its take on what omnipotence and pure amorality might look like to us mere puny humans is way ahead of its time.
this weekend I saw some of the future of the webz let me show you them

September 24, 2013

The world is a dynamic MESS of jiggling things, if you look at it right.
Richard Feynman explaining rubber bands and more:

holy mackerel, mr. science!

September 24, 2012
"Oh, hello there, Jimmy. You're just in time to watch me perform my latest fascinating experiment."
"Gee willikers, Mr. Science. I'm always fascinated by your fascinating experiments. Which one are you going to perform today?"
"Well, Jimmy, today we're going to observe what happens when we boil water right here in the laboratory."
"Great day in the morning, Mr. Science! . . . I don't understand what you're talking about."
"Well, it's not as complicated as it sounds. You see, each chemical property has its own particular temperature point at which it changes from a liquid to a gas. And loosely defined, steam is the form of gaseous vapor that water is converted to when we heat it to 212 degrees."
"Holy mackerel, Mr. Science. I don't understand that even worse than what you said the first time."
Bob & Ray "Mr. Science"
I thought of that final line when I saw this article about Quantum Unmeasurement... quantum stuff, and the idea of the uncertainty resolving when you measure it is weird enough, but UNmeasuring?
Old paint program (PSP5), default is "select tool" New paint program (Paint.NET) default is paintbrush. Result: I tend to go to select and crop to the region in the comp I want to focus on, and end up scribbling over it instead. Every time. Some people believe in learning from experience, but I have not such way.

Lurelle Guild's Dump truck of the future, from this piece on cautious WW2 futurism... loved this linked city of 1895's future as well


via Jay Kamins on facebook...


self-portrait

much mario madness

September 24, 2011

--Astounding Mario Tribute. So many songs and scenes from so many games... I can't even tell you how high the "oh yeah THAT song" factor is for me... and the production values are through the roof, it's a real tour de force...
100 billion people have died on this planet. We're walking on a world of bones. Good night.

a costume to aid computer pattern recognition

September 24, 2010

--from Myron Krueger's "Artificial Reality 2", a suit to help computers better figure out what position the human was in... I just love this vision of high tech bending into the harlequin...

portugal: évora

(3 comments)
September 24, 2009
Photoblog of the Moment

MOMWARNING: Very, very weird, and just a tad homoerotic. But fun!



a really disturbing number of tiny lego axes

September 24, 2008
Last night I went to the New England Lego Users Group meeting because I wanted to find a good home for my old lego instructions and catalogs and cutout boxsides) (I figure I can find what I need online now, and also one of the guys there, Bill, works with kids and they make montages from 'em.)

This month they met at the Burlington Mall Lego Store and hung out for a bit. Maybe 'cause I'm going through a bit of a "Dark Age" (what they call a period of time a lot of Lego fans go through where they don't do much Lego) I was a bit more stoked about building then and there than most of the regulars.
It made me realize how limited my Lego building has been, historically. I've had a very strong focus on making as cool a spaceship as possible. (That might be why I'm in a Dark Age... sometime in the late 1990s I started to feel that the sets coming out were cooler looking and better designed than the creations I come up with myself, which wasn't the case in the 1980s.) But it was nice just to build this tree-ish structure. (Later some kids moved onto the play table where I had left the Lego tree. I was amused by a parent trying to tell a kid not to touch what I had left behind. Legos aren't about Don't Touch!)

Most of the folks (9 or 10 nerdy-ish guys, though I heard rumors of women members of the group) bought a kit or two, or took from the "Pick-A-Brick". I decided to buy one of the grabbags. The bag had some odd remnants, a lot of light green and orange bricks, and little white "macaroni" curvy blocks. I made a vehicle:


It was cool getting back to building with a small and motley assortment of pieces... my own collection is decent-sized, and sometimes the idea that "a better piece might be in there if I dig enough" can be a bit disheartening. Plus the grabbag had an awful lot of minifig torsos...
And a really disturbing number of tiny axes. I made a kind of centicentaur wielding two of them...
There wasn't much building, just what I was doing, and a few of my neighbors at Pizzeria Uno made a few constructions out of my grabbag. Bill showed off a great big pneumatic crane thing (an official kit) and another guy had a Tiamat multiheaded dragon which was an original creation, I think.

Had a hard time focusing in the light there. Also it made me a little sad that I didn't have digital cameras growing up, and/or an obsessive need to document my life, so I don't have visual records of the spaceships I was so proud of back then.


Nice driving by and getting a glimpse of Fenway all lit up with the radio describing the team celebrating a postseason spot clinch.
There must be something akin to gaydar for Spanish speakers; alternatively, Spanish is gradually becoming a default language for commerce.
"you know and i know you gotta move on the dance floor / we're blowing up this party with this sex bomb"

geeksctacy and velociraptures

(3 comments)
September 24, 2007
A while back there was an xkcd cartoon entitled "Dream Girl" wherein the narrator gets a longitude and latitude and time and date whispered to him in a dream, shows up at that place and time, and...

Well, that's where the geeks who love xkcd came in, and they decided to make something happen. The place was a small park in Cambridge, and the time and date was yesterday, 2:38PM. If you took woodstock, and divided it by burning man, and multiplied it by your high school's AV club, you might have something like the xkcd meetup. Hundreds of folks were there, some in costume, many references to various xkcd cartoons abounded. The place was packed to the rafters, or at least, there was a big stack of people on one of the bits of playground equipment:



This is what it looked like from underneath:



I attended with FoSO and her SO, and she took this photo of FoSOSO being attacked by an injoke velociraptor:



I've tried to explain just how deeply this webcomic resonates with a certain population of geekish folk. Heh, and despite this comic's admonition against slavishly echoing the trappings of a beloved bit of geek culture instead of its spirit, there was a certain amount of pure fandom at the event, like staging a real-life version of a tape-measure-based olympic event. But that's ok. It was a great time and a blast to have been a part of.


Link of the Moment
Muji sounds interesting. Here's their international online store.

paris in the twentieth century via the nineteenth century

(3 comments)
September 24, 2006
I read most of another book on the way back, a (previously) "lost novel" of Jules Verne called "Paris in the Twentieth Century". The cynic in me wants to say, pity it didn't stay lost... some of the technology predictions were interesting, but mostly it was a chance for Verne to sound a panic about the the threats of technology and "modern" outlooks (once or twice those are painted as the "American" ways) for classical culture and literature.

The Wikipedia page summarizes it pretty well. Of course I dislike it because I tend to be on the "other side" of the equation, enjoying technology and the like, but also I hate books that have a whiny main character who feel society has done them personal disservice just by being its own dumb self. (See: "Catcher in The Rye") But also, it's such a dour view of humanity and technology...even in a society as insanely techno-riffic as the one Verne paints, to me it seems unlikely that admiration for the "classics" would be an object of such derision among the general population. The thing that Verne doesn't get is that in that kind of culture... sort of a pinnacle of technology and business geekdom... obscure interests are often celebrated, and there's often at least lip service paid to the classics, even if they're largely ignored in practice.

But... I certainly did dig the cover art:



the imagination circuit is taught to respond to the most minimal of cues

(3 comments)
September 24, 2005
Passage of the Moment
We are not born with imagination. It has to be developed by teachers, by parents. There was a time when imagination was very important because it was the major source of entertainment.

In 1892 if you were a seven-year-old, you'd read a story -- just a very simple one -- about a girl whose dog had died. Doesn't that make you want to cry?

Don't you know how that little girl feels? And you'd read another story about a rich man slipping on a banana peel. Doesn't that make you want to laugh? And this imagination circuit is being built in your head. If you go to an art gallery, here's just a square with daubs of paint on it that haven't moved in hundreds of years. No sound comes out of it.

The imagination circuit is taught to respond to the most minimal of cues. A book is an arrangement of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numerals, and about eight punctuation marks, and people can cast their eyes over these and envision the eruption of Mount Vesuvius or the Battle of Waterloo.

But it's no longer necessary for teachers and parents to build these circuits. Now there are professionally produced shows with great actors, very convincing sets, sound, music. Now there's the information highway. We don't need the circuits any more than we need to know how to ride horses. Those of us who had imagination circuits built can look in someone's face and see stories there; to everyone else, a face will just be a face.

Vonnegut, from 'A Man without a Country'.
That line about the "imagination circuit" makes me wonder about the connection between the imagination and dreamtime...from what I've been told, dreams are part of our brain constructing a narrative out of the random bits flashing through the other parts, memories and concerns and random "line noise" in our sensory circuitry.

we're all earthbound right now

(6 comments)
September 24, 2004
Game Geekery of the Moment
Lost Levels Online is a site about all these games that never saw public release, even though many were pretty close to complete...one of the most legendary of those is the NES game EarthBound, a quality port of a Japanese RPG. (Interestingly, its main character Nes made it into every version of Nintendo Super Smash Brothers.) There's other neat stuff in there as well


Quote of the Moment
I used to think that the human brain was the most fascinating part of the body. Then I realized, well, look what's telling me that.
Emo Philips

Game of the Moment
Cool! The BBC released a 20th Anniversary Edition of Infocom's Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure...they added some graphics, showing a sketch of each scene. The purist in me hates that, but I have to admit it's much easier to get a mental grip with the illustrations. These were notoriously difficult games, but GameFAQs has some guides. The second one is just a "type this", "type this", "type this", the first is a little more casual. Actually, there might be the original Infocom style hints as well.


Observation of the Moment
Thank goodness...I think I've finally forgotten how to do "The Macarena".

achtung, baby

(2 comments)
September 24, 2003
Quote of the Moment
Arnold Shwarzenegger. Finally a candidate who can exaplain the Bush administration's positions on civil liberties in the original German.
Bill Maher

Query of the Moment
So in my quest for healthy-ish foods I can eat and not worry too much about eating I've stumbled upon that dieting cliché "cottage cheese". I think it's quite tasty. What's funny, though, is that there seems to be a difference of opinion about whether it's something that goes well with sweet, or something that goes well with savory. For instance, if you go to the supermarket, they have premade cottage cheese blends; most are with various types of fruit, but the ones I like have chive or black pepper. (Which Mo think is really rather weird.) It might be like grits/oatmeal etc, where people down south eat that stuff with salt and butter, and Yankees pour on the sugar. So, a question for today's comments section: is cottage cheese mostly something to go with sweet, to go with salty, or does it go just about as well with either?


Gallery of the Moment
Space Art in Children's Books is a terrific thing to browse, visions of the future from 1883-1974. If you're in a hurry, just take a second to check out the cool spaceplane in 1930's "Other Worlds Than This", this striking illustration from 1957's "Planets, Stars, and Space", the clever spacesuit toe-claws from 1959's "Space Flight: The Coming Exploration of the Universe", and some boisterous scenes from 1961's "America's Astronauts... Conquerors of Space!" (This scene here is from 1950's "Sun, Moon, and Stars".)

On the other hand, the front page's quoting of Wyn Wachhorst "Soon there will be no one who remembers when spaceflight was still a dream, the reverie of reclusive boys and the vision of a handful of men" is a little poingnant, given how so many parts of that dream have gone unfufilled. If we're not careful after a while there would be no one who remembered when landing on the moon wasn't just a dream! But maybe with India and China in the picture a bit of the Space Race will pick back up.


Article of the Moment
Bill pointed me to Harper's The Revision Thing, the story of our conflict with Iraq as told by real administration sound bites. Or,as the subtitle puts it "A history of the Iraq war, told entirely in lies."

obsessive? compulsive? moi?

September 24, 2002
Man, I was up until like 2am beating that Lego Spybotics game. Besides being a mini-wargame and a puzzle game, it also has elements of Pokémon (in terms of acquiring a stable of warrior programs) and that old Lightcycles game from Tron (well, not really Light Cycles: more like Snafu for the Intellivision, but fewer people know what that's about.) I'm really tempted to make a completely obsessive and geeky FAQ/Walkthru for it.

I know I'm really into a game when it influences my dreams: Tetris Attack (not Tetris itself, though I hear that's the big one for many people), Bangai-O, only a few others besides this one.


Silly Link of the Moment
Speaking of all things Lego, Peterman sent me a page where the minifig men build a PC...very cute.


Useful Link of the Moment
Google has made some great strides with its News Service. It's still beta, but now has a better organized frontpage, with images. (And it's been added to the frontpage and navigation bar.) It harvests articles from other sites, grouping them by story. It's probably not the best site for happening-right-now stories, because of a slight time lag, but it's very good for getting a few different views of the same event.


Movie Quote of the Moment
Most things in life, good and bad, just kinda' happen to ya'.
Not sure if this level of determinism is helpful or not, but I think there's an element of truth to it.

sniffles and paranoia

September 24, 2001
Feel way under the weather. And now I'm neurotic about biological warfare! What fun! Could this be the first symptoms of anthrax contracted via inhalation? (Yeah I know it's not. Still, it says something about this age we'll be living in.)


Links of the Moment
Salon has had some interesting and disturbing articles lately about the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The most striking features are how they aren't really being true to Islam... First we are Pathan, then we are Muslim, finally we are either Pakistani or Afghan. The Islamic justification for some of the treatment of women is really weak, based on "hadith", sayings or rules that were collected after Muhammed's death, not on the Quran that they is considered the incorruptible word of god. I don't see how to fix it though. How do you get through to people whose mindset is that broken?


Funny of the Moment
Just a point of interest ...
If you bought $1000 worth of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.
If you bought $1000 worth of Budweiser (the beer, not the stock) one year ago, drank all the beer, and traded in the cans for the nickel deposit, you would have $79.
My advice to you is to start drinking heavily
Making the Rounds

the terms of youth
the uncounted cost
*the loves we've held
that then we lost.*

the twists of
this heartache
known to give
as well as take
99-9-23
---