November 26, 2021

I slightly touched up this photo of Star the pup...

it got me thinking about what I thought was a controversy about photoshopping up a photo from the 1984 Olympics... but, ironically enough, I can't find any evidence of my memory - I write about that on my devblog, some possibly false memories about the history of making false memories
It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.
Q on "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

The UX of LEGO Interface Panels

November 26, 2020

Being a reader these days is amazing in terms of being able to almost effortlessly look up any reference, no matter how obscure. I'm reading a Dwight Garner's commonplace book, absolutely nothing but quotations loosely categorized (but without having the topic explicitly listed) and being able to find out more about who said any particular thing, or maybe get it in context... amazing.
Dolly Parton is even more amazing than I thought!

November 26, 2019

I was looking for software that could extract individual photos from a single scanned image file - someone suggested Photoshop Elements - their webpage shows off other tricks the software can do. Now I'm no marketing genius, but you wonder if their design team could have come up with a better example of "Easily remove unwanted objects" than "Your other child"...

Tommy Siegel is brilliant:

November 26, 2018

Asking on FB:
Random survey re: bad news (and no not a prelude to revealing anything) If there's bad news brewing so you want:
A to hear about it as soon as possible
B to postpone, "I don't wanna hear it"
C I don't have a singular answer to this

My answer
I'm a strong A. Like this morning; I know my weights up a bit after an indulgent long weekend of birthdays, thanksgiving, and hanging with bread making, beer quaffing friends, but still I wanted to weigh myself as soon as I could get a regular reading.

The concept of news I'm potentially not hearing scares me more than anything I do hear. I've learned I can survive nearly anything (or at least am at peace with I will survive everything up until I don't) but "unknown unknowns" are an immeasurable threat.
Email me or some such if you have any thoughts.
I've often wondered why I picked "Bill" as the name for my extraterrestrial mascot. (See for the Gallery) I'm pretty sure it was because it seemed like a innocuous common name (vs, say, naming it after my Uncle or Bill Gates or whatever) but I just remembered reading a novel or two in the "Bill, The Galactic Hero" series, which probably primed me for "Bill as a comically normal name to put in an odd context".

And not that the shape of Alien Bill was 100% original (the gallery goes over some likely inspirations) but now he just looks like a weirdly simplified version of Mike from Monsters, Inc.

You wouldn't want to live in a world where you can't be conned, because if you were, you would be living in a world with no trust. That's the price you pay for trust, is being conned.

i just read something like 'hey you know how long 2018 has been? we had an olympics this year and everybody forgot about it.'

and i just stared off into the distance like

November 26, 2017

Good day for the middle aged tubist getting ready for the Quincy Christmas Parade

November 26, 2016

She was always immensely generous with her money, her love, her time. The result was thousands of friends, a life crammed with lovers, and, at mid-century, an idyllic romance with a man who turned out to be her mental and emotional double. My mother and grandmother, who hoarded and calculated their love, my sisters, who chose their husbands at eighteen and never budged, wound up with less than Hope, who gave everything away. She was a human potlatch. Gifts dropped from her like fruit from a tree. You dared not admire anything in her home or office or on her person for fear she would give it to you. Anything at all: a painting, a first edition, a piece of jewelry. She gave and gave and gave. Things fell out of her pockets. And everything eventually came back. Doubled, usually. Or tripled.
Erica Jong, "How to Save Your Own Life"

How to Save Your Own Life
The Wit & Wisdom of Isadora Wing
(Amanuensis to the Zeitgeist)
"Have pen, will travel"
  1. Renounce useless guilt.
  2. Don't make a cult of suffering.
  3. Live in the Now (or at least the Soon).
  4. Always do the things you fear the most; courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.
  5. Trust all joy.
  6. If the evil eye fixes you in its gaze, look elsewhere.
  7. Get ready to be eighty-seven.
(to be continued)
Erica Jong, "How to Save Your Own Life"

Oh man, I wish I could find the song starting at around :38 of this '72 Italian film trailer. (mildly NSFW in parts)

November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, etc. Gratitude is a very useful practice.

from Lena Dunham's autobiographical "Not That Kind of Girl"

November 26, 2014
"I have written sentences about how the first time we made love felt like dropping my keys on the table after a long trip."
"I've always had a talent for recognizing when I am in a moment worth being nostalgic for."
"This is what camp is all about! I thought. Meeting other, slightly different white girls."

November 26, 2013

Some territory I've seen explored, but not in such a nice audio-centric and dynamic way:

November 26, 2012

The moon for 2013, one frame = one hour.

via Slate
future self: for selecting multiple calendars on the iPhone: is broken because it lacks a link to - on my ui blog, Zachstronaut's fun and easy "rotate3Di" library for sweet 3D-ish flip transitions.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Well, actually it is mostly paved with human skulls; but the good intentions serve as a thickening agent.
God, "The Last Testament"

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. Then one morning he bringeth me to the shed out back and boom!, he maketh me into lamb chops.
God, "The Last Testament"

Favorite artist: Jackson Pollock, because I am in on the dirty little secret of his success: he was not an abstract expressionist.

Jackson Pollock was trying to paint landscapes the whole time.

He was a terrible, terrible painter.
God, "The Last Testament"

I came, I saw, She conquered. (Something seems to have been lost in the original translation...) -- missed a few weeks but my 5 Star List is back with a vengeance: the tightest, funkiest cover in the world... Maynard Ferguson covers Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon"

the poetry of defeat

November 26, 2011

--via 22 words. So boingy!
Saints Row the Third is taking much of my holiday. Good game. Fun vehicles and mayhem. Trigger warning for human trafficking though.
I like SR3's wrestling's shout out to Wii MadWorld. And "The Walking Apocalypse" is a truly great wrestling sobriquet.
Overall Saints Row 3 does a good job of removing the annoying bits of sandbox games. Good elements of GTA, Mercenaries, and Crackdown.


November 26, 2010

--I really dig when people are smart enough to notice patterns like this, like on tv tropes, because I'm pretty bad at it. hand print art projects way more badass than turkey - very clever.
When I heard about "Spandau Ballet" on Modern Family I assumed the name was made up: as I read about the name's derivation on wikipedia I just wish it was.

batman: street librarian

November 26, 2009

This T-shirt was in a dream I had last night... it was at some kind of Con. I thought Amber might like it what with her being a librarian by training and all.

Google Image Search now has a simple color filter. This is cooler than I expected.

it's a wednesday all right!

November 26, 2008
Umm... happy day before Thanksgiving?

Anti-Libertarian Thought of the Moment
You are paying taxes for your life "footprint" in that country, not just for your income but also when you buy things.
Now try to think that whenever you use anything on earth that it is not your own creation (knowledge, art, infrastructure, etc), and try to mentally subtract the value that you can return in exchange to that thing, you will be embarrassed. Are you paying your life time, knowledge and pretty everything you are to humanity by thinking in terms of socialism or not ?
Also, a longer bit of more concentrated advice about vitamins and carrying weights around and that kind of thing.

Protip of the Moment
In Firefox, I knew that ctrl-L hops the cursor up to the address bar, but ctrl-K jumps over to the search/Google box, which might be even more useful.

Is "Pressure Cooker" a direct ancestor of all those "Diner Dash" type games? (but the Atari game had the food proactively coming at you...)
Haven't seen a "school ruled" piece of paper in so long, seems kind of arbitrary... 3 holes, the red line left margin, blue lines w/ header-
pentomino Picnic Paranoia -- loved that game -- similar multitasking, and a food element, but lacks the prepping/serving food element.
Gunmen in Mumbai. BB linked to - I can't tell if they're misusing 'quotes' for emphasis or distancing 'selves'

omen, omen the range

November 26, 2007
I'm not superstitious by nature but I long for some kind of oracle. Sometimes I look for meaning in what songs my iPhone's shuffle comes up with. Kind of an "iChing". (Apparently I'm not even the first Kirk to think like that. Plus here's a similar Tarot-centric approach.)

Similarly when I bike to work (not so much lately, with the poor weather) I would count it a good omen when I passed other bikers, but a poorer omen when they passed me, or rather I'd do a bit of arithmetic of passing vs being passed. (Some of the bad omen was mitigated if they were all up in biker gear, the tight black pants etc.) It's akin to the narrator looking for streaks of red cars in "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time". But of course, my mythology had a nice side-effect of encouraging me to bike faster so as to make more of my own luck.

I also have my "lucky numbers" that I count as good fortune to find... 222, which was the street of my highschool (and which led our renaming of its jazz band,) a number that shows up more often than you might think. And the final digits of the year of my birth, and graduations.

I don't know how seriously I buy into this homebrew attempts to tap into synchronicity. But like (Neils Bohr's? Lord Rutherford's?) horsehoe; maybe it works even if you don't believe in it.

Illustration of the Moment
--Slate's historical look at children's books is kind of rambling, but Sendak not illustrating "The Hobbit" is a tragic missed opportunity.

you write as well as ever you did

November 26, 2006
Sigh, the very last day of a 4 1/2 day vacation.

I've made fairly decent use of it, catching up on some correspondence, having various get-togethers with friends, ripping CDs, watching movies, improving kisrael's "backend" systems, spending time with Ksenia, playing with the Nintendo Wii, but still... it's never quite enough time..

Anecdote of the Moment
An author was boring Howells with his efforts to extract a compliment from him. "I don't seem to write as well as I used to," said the man fretfully. "Oh, yes, you do," said Howells reassuringly. "You write as well as ever you did. But your taste is improving."
from Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes' entry on William Dean Howells.
Sometimes I think I'm pretty much in that author's place.

Technology Gripe of the Moment
This is an ATM we have at my office building. You insert your card magnetic stripe down, as the picture indicates, but every time I use the machine I have to stop and think about it. I finally realized why: it's a matter of perspective. From where I'm standing, I can't see the damn stripe on the actual card as it is being properly inserted, but the drawing is from a toddler's-eye perspective in order to show the stripe directly.

I have a similar problem with the parking receipt reader at Porter Exchange. There they have a bit of homebrew workaround, some helpful person taped a spare ticket up and drew some arrows.

It's not easy to design hardware that implicitly suggests where the stripe goes, though on some swipe machines the side with the embedded reader is much lumpier than the other. (Not that I think people are likely to construct that kind of physical model in their head.) So the onus is on the people making the diagrams, and I think they should always try to match the perspective of the person using the machine (Err, ok, of people in the middle 90% of the height bellcurve,) even if it means having to fake a picture of the front of the card (heh... too bad XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX and ####-####-####-### both have total symmetry!) rather than the conceptually more important and visually stronger magnetic stripe.

(Tangent: does my difficulty realizing I need to change perspective mean I'm less of a 3D/Visual thinker? And does my atrocious spelling mean I'm more or less of a "audio" thinker? It's odd to me that I'm not sure what the implications of certain cognitive difficulties are.)

mein gott, madonna is packin'!

November 26, 2005
Photo Phunnies of the Moment
Besides her amazing wire-y biceps, the current issue of Rolling Stone indicates that Madonna is More Man Than I'll Ever Be:


Watch those shadows, boys. (It's even more blatant in the magazine.)

unicron and on and on

November 26, 2004
Whoops almost forgot to do an update today...

I got nothing to say so I'll just leave you with this:

If you know where that Death Star Devourer is from, you deserve a geek cookie. (And if you know the name of that thing's nemesis, you deserve a whole geek cake!)

three more seconds of my fifteen minutes

(1 comment)
November 26, 2003
Plug of the Moment
[...] oddball hybrids like JoustPong [...]
January 2004 Electronic Gaming Monthly, on my JoustPong project.
Funny to get a tiny little mention in such a big magazine (embedded in a paragraph about AtariAge in an article about homebrew games for classic systems.)

BTW, what the heck is up with magazine predating? It makes sense that your "Special Holiday Issue is out in mid to late November, but why the heck should it be dated January 2004? Is it like how now every gas station prices end in 9/10 of a cent, where there was some weird competition going on?

Cartoon of the Moment
Mo's new favorite cartoon is sh*thouse at (click in the left column) the endearing adventures of two psycopathic, masochistic meatball-like creatures. A surprising amount of fun playing with the comic form, actually.

Logo of the Moment
This is "Frankie". He was the logo for the project that brought Internet and Cable to the Tufts dorms, "Tufts Connect". (Since Tufts' mascot is Jumbo, Elephants show up a lot around there.) I actually sketched this elephant-jumping-a-globe logo using my laptop's trackball during a planning meeting, and the final professionaly done version here (scanned off a mousepad) was almost exactly what I had doodled, except they removed the angel wing. I was a good hand with a trackball, I was. Alas, when Tufts Connect started having popularity issues, they wanted to start with a clean slate and "Frankie" (I do wonder where that name came from) was unceremoniously dropped. I have a t-shirt with him on it, though.

the beauty of pollution

November 26, 2002
Image of the Moment

--Detail of Salem Parking Lot, 2002.11.22

Gross Article of the Moment
Sigh. Cruel Site of the Day pointed out this article from the Tufts Daily [R-rated link, not for the squeamish], paper of my alma mater. It starts "I don't believe that there is a woman, homosexual male, or flexible boy out there who would claim that semen tastes great" and goes downhill from there. Looks like someone is trying to capture that "Sex in the City/on Campus" vibe and failing miserably.

Book of the Moment
Today I'm raking. I haven't really raked for years, maybe not ever, really. It's not bad work, really, but I in trying to think of a good way of bagging the results, I decided to consult Google. Amazon offers me a chance to buy a book, How to Rake Leaves, for the low low price of $40.24! Now, yeah, technically I was the one looking for some pointers, but $40 for How to Rake?

Tip of the Moment
Whoa...I'm a bit of an inadvertant expert in getting around Windows without using the mouse (it goes back to the day when I used to sit way back in my Papasan chair with the keyboard in my lap.) Anyway, I knew about tabbing through links in IE, and using return to open one, but I only now just realized I can hit shift-Return to open a link in a new window. (BTW, the other thing I always setup is the Accessibility option "MouseKeys" that lets you move the pointer via the numberpad.

Funny of the Moment
Samuel Stoddard's Ultra-Condensed version of "Titanic":
Leonardo DiCaprio
Your social class is stuffy. Let's dance with the ship's rats and have fun.
Kate Winslet
You have captured my heart. Let's run around the ship and giggle.
(The ship SINKS.)
Leonardo DiCaprio
Never let go.
Kate Winslet
I promise. (lets go)

From Movie-A-Minute, where they cut out all the filler bringing movies to their essential core. They do the same thing for books as well.

a little levity

November 26, 2001
Dangnabbit, my Palm done busted again.

Joke of the Moment
Walking into the bar, Harvey said to the bartender, "Pour me a stiff one, Eddie. I just had another fight with the little woman".

"Oh yeah", said Eddie. "And how did this one end"?

"When it was over", Harvey replied. "She came to me on her hands and knees".

"Really? Now that's a switch! What did she say"?

"She said, 'Come out from under that bed, you gutless weasel!'"

Link of the Moment
President Junior and the Turkey of Doom.

Why are Walk signals designed to send pedestrians out into the street just as turning traffic wants to start to move? Did the designers forget about drivers turning?

Orpheus hesitated beside the black river.
With so much to look forward to, he looked back.
We think he sang then, but the song is lost.
At least he had seen once more the beloved back.
          I say the song went this way: *O prolong
          Now the sorrow if that is all there is to prolong.*
                     --Donald Justice, from "There is a Gold Light in Certain Old Paintings"
I cannot seperate her
from the beautiful body.
She has charm and a very
gay spirit; in every way
she's attractive. Intelligent
and she reads good books.
But it's the faultless body
that forces me to make a fool
of myself, pursuing a virtuous
girl I could never possess.
          --James Laughlin (1914-1997)
"We're all soldiers in the war against entropy."
"I spent an interesting evening recently with a grain of salt."
          --Mark V. Shaney
"the day that you die will be like any other day, only shorter."
Thanksgiving Trip to NYC:
Note to self:
Hi, self!
"The Age of Anxiety"- whoever came up with that was dead on, especially with all the economy questions being asked.