Comedy and music
Today is the anniversary of a bad day in Seattle. I was going to post some photos of lost friends, but I couldn't bring myself to. Instead, in their honor, I'm going to post this excellent example of combining music and comedy, something they did so well.
Uncle Vinny, on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 12:31 PM:
This is superb.
Hey. It's been good to know ya.
Yesterday, two friends of mine were shot to death in a cafe in North Seattle. You can go find the details yourself, if you like.
I knew Joe and Drew through the amazing and tumultuous world of Circus Contraption, where I was lucky enough to be the house photographer for nearly ten years.
I'm still shocked, and stunned, and too sad to really say anything coherent about them, but I did run across this video someone uploaded in the wake of yesterday's tragedy that gives a little flavor of what was so great about Drew, Joe, and the rest of the Circus.
To set the scene quickly: The story arc of The Show To End All Shows begins with a plucky travelling circus that descends over the course of the show into darkness and tragedy. After a Wagnerian end-of-the-world scene, everything goes dark, for an uncomfortably long time. And then, in the darkness, Drew appears:
Sophia Katt, on Friday, June 1, 2012 at 8:23 AM:
How sad to lose your two friends, and what a nice way to note their passing from your life.
Oddly (or maybe not) while I didn't know any of the victims personally six friends of mine from very different venues knew at least one well. A particularly hard situation, outside of being a family member, for somebody was that he knew not only two of the Cafe Racer victims but also taught the children of the victim on First Hill.
My heart goes out to all
Another reason to love my Leica
During WWII Ernst Leitz II helped dozens (some say hundreds) of Jews to flee Nazi Germany prior to the closing of its borders. This is a short documentary explaining his role.
Via the excellent Petapixel.
Beautiful light painting video
Six months of animation work. Beautiful.
Sunfriday, on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at 2:34 PM:
Wonderful! I love the creativity.
John Darnielle on the creative process
MJ: One thing you’re known for is being incredibly prolific; All Eternals Deck will be your eighth album in as many years. How do you maintain that pace? And do you have any advice for would-be writers?
JD: I think it's mostly that I am a person of high energy. [Laughs.] That, and I sit down and I write when I get an idea—I put other things aside. Most of All Hail West Texas was written during orientation at a new job I had. I had basically worked this job before, I knew this stuff, so I was writing lyrics in the margins of all the Xeroxed material. I would go home at 3 o'clock, and my wife was out of town up at hockey camp in Vance, and I would sit down and bang out a song and then make dinner. Part of it is recognizing that while writing is a mystical process, it's also work. If you show up to work five days in a row, nobody's going to pat you on the back—everyone does that. Well, do that with your writing. Just show up. Be there for it. When you get an idea, write it down somewhere and then be a steward of that idea.
When I was kid, they always used to tell me to keep notebooks. I look at my shelves now and it's just nothing but notebooks. And if I haven't gotten an idea but I have time to work, I'll pull one out and I bet there will be five or six sentences that will kick me off. This whole album, all the titles came from that—I just started writing down phrases I'd hear with three words because they looked so orderly on a page. And then I would look at them after six months and be like, oh, Outer Scorpion Squadron, wow, what is that? What's that mean? What does that conjure up? At some point of distance it becomes like you're taking inspiration from elsewhere, which is a nice feeling: Instead of making the demand on yourself that you be inspired right now, you have this phrase that's a little distant from you.
Beardyman - the Open Sauce Tour 2010
You may not have the tolerance I do for someone making dance music with their mouth for 45 minutes and making fun of themselves at the same time. Then this short introduction is for you.
Jews on ice!
rfkj, on Monday, December 6, 2010 at 7:24 AM:
"Happy Holidays"?! Call BillO! It's another front in the War On Chr...uh, wait a second.
Now this looks like an Xmas movie I might dig.
Let us pause for a moment and consider the awesomeness of Chuck Berry
Try to forget what you know about Mr. Berry and just listen and watch. Man. So awesome.
rfkj, on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 6:34 AM:
It's so cool that Marty McFly was able to invent this music. I'm just glad that Chuck's cousin Marvin was able to find a telephone.
Congratulations to JR, the 2011 TED prize winner
" WOMEN ARE HEROES - Part of 28 Millimètres project by JR
More infos on the website : http://www.womenareheroes.be
Film by JR
JR is a guerrilla artist that I first heard about when he did his Portrait of a Generation project: Taking photos of kids from the poor Parisian suburbs making crazy faces and posting ENORMOUS prints in the wealthy districts of Paris. This new project is a nice evolution of that one.
The New York Times has more info: Award to Artist Who Gives Slums a Human Face
Something bright for the coming dark months *
The Kid is utterly obsessed with this song. Most of you, I expect, will find yourself humming it later.
* my more austral friends should feel free to include this in their summer soundtrack.
Uncle Vinny, on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 1:03 PM:
Does it sound auto-tuned to you? Every note is just too perfect. The effect isn't heavy or obvious, which makes me wonder if this happens all the time, now.
David Adam Edelstein, on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 1:29 PM:
Definitely. There's a point in one of the breaks where you can hear the characteristic mechanical slide of the deliberately strong auto-tune in his voice.
brian , on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 10:21 PM:
I'm not sure if it's the autotune or the lithium he's on, but I like it.
I before E before I before E before I just guess, usually wrong
I saw this months ago, and then lost it, and then mentioned it to a bunch of people but couldn't find it, and then I just ran across it again, so here it is so I don't have to look for it again, I'll just search my site for "really annoying run-on sentence".
nocklebeast, on Tuesday, July 27, 2010 at 3:51 PM:
I usually stop at "except weird is weird."
ejuana, on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 at 12:40 AM:
Yes, but this one is by my landlady!
Wait, are you saying pop music isn't entirely original?
It does make me wonder if there's somewhere that chord progression plugs into in our brain, like opiate receptors shaped like opiate molecules.
The future of teledildonics is NOW
The second video is awesome, too: Exploring the Potential of GelSight.
This is strangely compelling
If you don't recognize the song, I recommend checking out the original.
Pixels take over NYC. Really lovely.
Via the inestimable David Malki !
Uncle Vinny, on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 11:17 PM:
Maybe I should hate Liz Cheney for this, but I kept thinking... "too soon?"
But then I went back to thinking... "cooooool!!!!"
nocklebeast, on Friday, April 9, 2010 at 6:36 AM:
If I stick this here, I won't have to go looking for it again.
One for the fairy tale fans
nocklebeast, on Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 4:55 PM:
the joker is wearing roller skates.
Peter Turnley in Haiti
These are the best photographs I've seen from Haiti: Sensitive, empathetic, and strong. No sensationalism, just telling stories the best way photography can.
This may be my favorite story ever.
The short version is this:
It's apparently a big deal to be the #1 song in the UK in the week before Christmas.
For the past four years, the winning singer from X-Factor, an American Idol style show in the UK, also presided over by Simon Cowell, has also been the person to get the #1 spot before Christmas.
This year, fed up with the pre-chewed music coming out of the commercial machine, a couple of Brits started a facebook campaign to elect, by purchases, a different song.
Who did they pick as the band and the song? Why, Rage Against The Machine, of course, singing Killing In The Name.
And the result? This story's happy ending:
Savannah, on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 6:24 AM:
THANK THE FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER (no offense to Simon Cowell).
I HATE, HATE, HATE those competition shows that are destroying everything in their path like freaking Godzilla (no offense to anyone involved in them).
They are systematically destroying art and creativity by turning everything into a contest to be won according to largely arbitrary standards and blind luck. GRRRRR.
Rage Against the Machine indeed.
GeoGeek, on Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 3:02 PM:
I never thought I'd live to see the day...they day when I found a good use of facebook.
This one's for the Harry Potter fans who want to know the rest of the story
Whoa, two videos in the same day?
Nerdy fun: What would the earth be like if it had rings like Saturn?
Hey kids, let's fire an anvil 200 feet into the air. AWESOME.
Uncle Vinny, on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 1:19 PM:
Black powder makes me nervous. That big fella sure does look like he knows what he's doing, though.
rfkj, on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 1:34 PM:
Yeah, I was going to send this to you. They need a better camera and better tracking on that anvil! I want to see this from multiple angles in hi-def. I want a tight shot of that thing flying in the air.
I WANT TO MAKE AN ANVIL FLY!
Tim, on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at 4:38 PM:
Sumit Seru's God of Small Things
Jim Carroll died this weekend. Respect.
Only approved questions get asked
I should include an uncharacteristic warning here: This excellent and powerful video includes some disturbing shots of racial violence and warfare.
Watch out, or the boobie monster will get you.
nocklebeast, on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 7:43 PM:
whoa! that's not even less weird after the second time viewing. preservation of weird.
I kinda always knew this
Tim, on Friday, August 7, 2009 at 9:43 AM:
Uncle Vinny, on Monday, August 10, 2009 at 11:30 AM:
Spooky! They did a great job of synching it all with the body movements, too...
Nas and Nick Cannon bring the big guns
The death of hip hop gets reported every year, and it seems to revitalize itself regardless. Nevertheless this is the most hard core jeremiad I've seen.
(Via the estimable Ms. Morgan)
Something else for the Seattleites: cool weather photos from the Washington coast
From the excellent Doug Plummer:
"So what if it's unprecedented: It's 103° in Seattle. It's 63° here on the coast. Historical weather events, such as the one we're having in the Northwest, are overrated. I've run away."
Something for the Seattleites
Sarah, on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 5:50 AM:
If you take requests, I'd like Milli Vanilli's "Blame in on the rain" going out to us easterners.
David Adam Edelstein, on Thursday, July 30, 2009 at 6:52 AM:
Yet another internet-era music video
Utterly clever and delightful use of webcams.
Only Uncle Vinny knows how much it chaps my ass to say: RT @jonathancoulton.
Heather, on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 1:36 PM:
Way frickin' cool.
A dim lit shot of dangling balls
Oh heck yes.
Via the excellent saedigh.
GeoGeek, on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 1:30 PM:
Sunfriday, on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 8:43 AM:
The best literal video I've seen yet.
Beth, on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 4:11 PM:
That was AWESOME!
Hi, a real human interface
eJuana, on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 9:44 PM:
Make it stop.
eJuana, on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 9:45 PM:
Make it stop.
eJuana, on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 9:47 PM:
Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
Too many comments have been submitted from you in a short period of time. Please try again in a short while.
Please correct the error in the form below, then press Post to post your comment.
POST MOTHER F'ER POST!!
Tim, on Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 3:50 PM:
I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!
Sunfriday, on Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 10:28 AM:
This is great! The other Multitouch videos are great as well. It's been interesting seeing the digital future arrive over a thiry-year span. Capabilities I've wanted for years, and so many creative new things I would never have imagined.
How to make a baby
That's some serious planning.
Uncle Vinny, on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 6:24 AM:
I needed a little GBS to get through my afternoon
And by the looks of things, you could use some too. Remember to turn it up.
Here's a little chorus help for those of you who are jumping around singing:
That's how they showed their respect for Paddy Murphy
That's how they showed their honour and their pride;
They said it was a sin and shame and they winked at one another
And every drink in the place was full the night Pat Murphy died
There now, don't you feel better? Visit the Great Big Sea boys for more.
Uncle Vinny, on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 4:51 PM:
Oh, I figured GBS (George Bernard Shaw) would get you through the afternoon:
STEPHEN. Well, I cannot help thinking that all this provision for every want of your workmen may sap their independence and weaken their sense of responsibility. And greatly as we enjoyed our tea
at that splendid restaurant--how they gave us all that luxury and cake and jam and cream for threepence I really cannot imagine!-- still you must remember that restaurants break up home life. Look at the continent, for instance! Are you sure so much pampering is really good for the men's characters?
UNDERSHAFT. Well you see, my dear boy, when you are organizing civilization you have to make up your mind whether trouble and anxiety are good things or not. If you decide that they are, then, I take it, you simply don't organize civilization; and there you are, with trouble and anxiety enough to make us all angels! But if you decide the other way, you may as well go through with it. However, Stephen, our characters are safe here. A sufficient dose of anxiety is always provided by the fact that we may be blown to smithereens at any moment.
-- from Major Barbara
Heather, on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 8:22 PM:
Awesome, dude. Paddy Murphy has gotten me through many a saturday of chores :-)
You can't NOT jump around crazy to this song!
Heather, on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 8:23 PM:
Oh and Kudos for using the Canadian spelling for "honour"... unless you just cut and pasted ;-)
David Adam Edelstein, on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at 9:43 PM:
Totally cut and pasted.
Sarah, on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 4:41 AM:
Has Heather ever introduced you to Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers? Newfie humour band. Also good for getting you through a tedious afternoon and (or) housework.
Sarah, on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 4:41 AM:
Has Heather ever introduced you to Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers? Newfie humour band. Also good for getting you through a tedious afternoon and (or) housework.
Forget guitar hero. This is a REAL game.
Don't miss the Alpine Legend site.
Sunfriday, on Thursday, April 2, 2009 at 5:32 PM:
More goat bell.
Even I don't park this badly
Heather, on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 11:29 AM:
Wow. Nicely done.
Tim, on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 12:32 PM:
.... ummmm ... you know how to park??
I did not know that ;-)
david adam edelstein, on Monday, March 23, 2009 at 12:42 PM:
Elmo and Ricky Gervais level with each other
Smaller fans of Elmo might want to skip this video. It's not awful, but it's... let's say... out of canon.
Via the excellent Stacy.
YouTube has begun to remix itself. The network has come alive. The message comes in size medium.
Uncle Vinny, on Monday, March 16, 2009 at 9:05 AM:
Sunfriday, on Monday, March 16, 2009 at 1:25 PM:
This is really inspiring, like recapturing something from the days when thousands of travelling bards across the world played for small towns, integrating different pieces of music and stories as they went.
david adam edelstein, on Monday, March 16, 2009 at 1:51 PM:
Turns out there's eight of them. Each one is wonderful and different.
Check out thru-you.com.
Beardyman shows us how a master makes funny noises with his mouth
That video's all him, with no electronics, but he does some pretty cool things with multitracking as well.
(Via Jörg Colberg)
Elizabeth Gilbert says smart things about the creative process
Via the excellent Christina.
Don't divorce my friends
From the Courage Campaign's site:
Ken Starr, who led the campaign to impeach President Bill Clinton, filed a legal brief last month -- on behalf of the "Yes on 8" campaign -- that would forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year before the passage of Prop 8.
Watch "Fidelity" and sign our letter to the state Supreme Court. Tell the Supreme Court to invalidate Prop 8, reject Ken Starr's case, and let loving, committed couples marry. DEADLINE: Valentine's Day.
193,526 people have signed this letter (as of Thursday, February 12). Our Courage Campaign community goal is 200,000 signers. Will you add your name now?:
Seriously. Can you look at those happy faces and think that their joy is any kind of threat at all to your life?
Sunfriday, on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 6:44 PM:
Thank you for sharing this link.
Sarah, on Friday, February 13, 2009 at 2:47 PM:
I think Ken Starr is more of a threat to the institution of marriage than any gay couple ever could be.
Great photo essay by Paolo Pellegrini
Great Performers, in the New York Times magazine.
(doesn't matter where you start; that becomes the beginning of the list and you can click all the way through)
Uncle Vinny, on Friday, February 6, 2009 at 2:06 PM:
Um, Robert Downey needs to eat a cupcake.
Sarah, on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 7:55 AM:
I like that it looked as though Kate Winslet does her own hair before an awards show.
Oh yeah. Laser cats.
Sarah, on Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 5:27 AM:
Canadians aren't allowed to watch NBC, either.
David Adam Edelstein, on Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 7:25 AM:
Oh, you'll see our laser cats...
...AS WE COME NORTH ACROSS THE BORDER.
The Colbert Report on the War on Photographers
Nice take on the latest chapter in this idiocy. Favorite quote, from Mr. Maisel: "Terrorists don't need a photo to know that Penn Station is crowded at 5:00."
AndrDrew, on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 6:26 PM:
I don't suppose there's a video for us international folks. Secrets like when the Penn Station are crowded can't be shared abroad, after all.
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, February 3, 2009 at 8:22 PM:
Of course not! You're all one big antipodean sleeper cell, and don't think we don't know it.
Um, I switched out the Hulu embed for one directly from Comedy Central. Let's see if that works.
Sarah, on Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 5:26 AM:
Canada must really be a haven for terrorists. It is telling me to redirect myself over to the Comedy Network web site instead.
The possibilities of dSLR video
Plus, seeing Shumba play always makes me smile.
(Via the excellent Doug Plummer)
Heather, on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:11 AM:
That is so beautiful!
Supernat shows how it's done
Like that? Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
This is weirdly awesome.
Stacey, on Friday, January 23, 2009 at 5:09 PM:
Weirdly awesome, perfect words for it.
nocklebeast, on Friday, January 23, 2009 at 7:25 PM:
a glass and a half of full of joy....
and 20 one-eyebrowed pushups (on each eyebrow) a day.
Apparently Tan Dun is collaborating with Youtube to create some sort of collaborative symphony. It'll be interesting to see the results, but what I found entertaining was poking around the audition videos people have submitted. They're supposed to submit one video of themselves playing their part from the piece Tan Dun composed, and another piece of their choosing.
PiccChick1, here, is auditioning for the piccolo part. Which is a bit... empty... between the opening and about 1:35, but she counts patiently, the metronome ticking quietly in the background:
Heather, on Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 11:08 PM:
It is a bit like watching someone on the phone with their really gossipy girlfriend.
This video makes me inexplicably happy
Steve Goodman: A true loonie
One year in 40 seconds
Neato. Via TumbleDrew.
Uncle Vinny, on Monday, December 29, 2008 at 5:46 PM:
That's change we can believe in!
Why we miss Eartha
I don't even know what to say about this
Uncle Vinny, on Saturday, December 13, 2008 at 3:20 PM:
You could say.... "It must be really annoying to perform wearing those masks!"
Sarah, on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 12:51 PM:
It's like the Bratz Dolls and Mr. Bungle had lovechildren.
Oh, Hummer, how I loathe thee.
Via Salon's article The short, disgusting life of the Hummer, which includes these two wonderful notes:
2002: Beginning in 1992, a series of tax laws combine to create large tax credits for certain Hummer buyers. By 2002, the New York Times reports that, thanks to changes in the tax code during the Bush administration, an eligible buyer can deduct $34,912 of the $48,800 base price of the Hummer.
[ . . . ]
July 2002: The Hummer H2, a smaller and friendlier Hummer based on the Chevy Tahoe, goes on sale in dealerships. Its base price is $48,800, and it gets 10 to 16 miles per gallon. Even so, the H2 uses more energy in its manufacture and for fuel in its first 24,000 miles on the road than the Toyota Prius does in its entire lifetime.
Savannah, on Sunday, December 7, 2008 at 5:53 AM:
As despair-inducing as the promotion of these environmental train wrecks is, however, there's a germ of hope in that the cat now ought to be well and truly out of the bag: government policy *can* drive markets. What was done for the....okay, did they REALLY think about it before they called it the 'Hummer'? Because that particular double entendre cuts both ways, you know. Anyhow! What was done for the, um, Hummer, can be done for post-combustion cars as well.
I'll have to go read the article some time, it looks interesting.
Buskers around the world
Apparently part of a multimedia project by a group called Playing for Change. Neato.
Via the excellent Christina, who says "Turn up the volume for full enjoyment."
Sunfriday, on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:54 PM:
Beautiful - in so many ways.
Sarah, on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 4:05 AM:
I love buskers. Some of the best entertainment value I've ever gotten was at BuskerFest in Ottawa. They really have to be the hardest working people in the business of show.
Always, always thank and tip your busker.
This one will twist your wig.
Thanks to Uncle Vinny.
GeoGeek, on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 8:03 PM:
ur, uh. wuh? ow!
Standing up for Love
What is this to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace that love?
The world is barren enough! It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us, all of us, to go forward.
Via the estimable Stacy.
Sarah, on Friday, November 14, 2008 at 12:42 PM:
If more people were concerned with what was going on in their own bedrooms instead of the bedrooms of their neighbours, the world would be a much better place indeed.
The American Experiment at work
I saw this official White House photograph today and it struck me that this photo — despite my dark, dark moments over the last few months — is a demonstration of how this country is supposed to work.
Despite the incredibly deep ideological* divide between these two men, there they are, starting the process of handing off power from one to the other.
They're just sitting there, talking. No riots, no troops in the streets; we had an election, we won, they lost, and everything moves forward. That's beautiful, really.
* And, dare I say, intellectual. Yes, I did.
Seattle was a little excited Tuesday night
Another link from Geogeek, who should really get his own damn forum :-)
GeoGeek, on Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 12:00 PM:
Nobody's forcing you to post the stuff I send you, David; you must learn to take responsibility for your own actions. Oh wait, that wouldn't be very American.
This has nothing to do with the election, but it's beautiful
Looks like it's from a "painting game" in development called The Unfinished Swan
Sunfriday, on Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at 6:15 PM:
Oooooo.... wants it.
Time to remix this one again, baby
Thanks to Geogeek for the link.
They can see you too, and they're looking
Thanks to the GeoGeek for the link.
Sunfriday, on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 7:10 PM:
The details are fabulous.
nocklebeast, on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 7:22 PM:
I think that must be the most beautiful ballad ever! Really touching.
I know you've probably already seen this
But you need to see it again. This kills me every single time.
Uncle Vinny, on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 12:23 PM:
I hadn't seen it! That's awesome.
heather, on Wednesday, October 22, 2008 at 12:19 PM:
I can't get enough of it. It's priceless
David Alan Grier says it all with the last line.
Words for the wise
Tilt-shift video. Yeah, baby.
(Via the excellent TumbleDrew.)
heather, on Friday, October 3, 2008 at 8:43 PM:
That is SO COOL!
Sunfriday, on Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 12:47 PM:
Richard Hernandez' "Scenes from a Vacation"
Nikon has recently released details of their new d90 dSLR, which among the usual goodness one expects from a dSLR these days includes one feature that has me very, very excited: High resolution video.
Of course, your pro shooters all use real video (or film) cameras, which have all kinds of control and interchangeable lenses and that sort of thing. But for the occasional video shooter the best we've been able to do is to use either a compact video camera or the movie mode of a little digicam like my G9. Neither of those have a heck of a lot of control.
Richard is using an adaptor to mount a lens onto his compact video camera, but the principle is the same; being able to use high-quality 35mm lenses to capture video -- say, to control depth of field, or to use a fisheye lens -- is quite alluring to me.
Not alluring enough to spend the money to switch platforms... but it's a good time to be a photographer, that's for sure.
Should I be worried that I identify with Wingdings?
GeoGeek, on Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 1:58 PM:
I'm with Century Gothic on this one.
nocklebeast, on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 8:57 PM:
I'm really glad that Courier was saved, because I really like Courier.
nocklebeast, on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 9:02 PM:
Actually, now that I think about it, Courier New as a good point.
It's good to relax on the way to work.
Uncle Vinny, on Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 9:14 AM:
Straight chillin', dude!
Sarah, on Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 7:55 AM:
I don't know what concerned me more. The texting biker, or the fact that no one on that road appeared to have functional indicator lights.
I love me some satire. And the first song here is some brutal satire.
Firefighters with too much time on their hands
What's it all about? This review on the IMDB shines some light.
Yeah, I added it to my Netflix queue.
Uncle Vinny, on Friday, July 11, 2008 at 12:31 AM:
I predict 90 minutes of musical delight!
Via Harry Shearer, who has this to say:
I marveled at the quality that I've come to admire more than most others in this business: his persistence. George seemed to love what he did, and so he kept doing it at a very high level...
George grew tougher and sharper over the years, putting more of himself, and his intellect, at the service of his always nimble, always adventurous comedy mind. And, while his comedy was dark, his spirit with his peers was generous.
Ira Glass has good things to say
rfkj, on Monday, June 23, 2008 at 12:00 PM:
Very interesting and inspiring.
David Adam Edelstein, on Monday, June 23, 2008 at 12:08 PM:
Yeah. The "do a huge amount of work" advice is the main reason why I started forcing myself to post a photo a day in the first place.
The good news is that it works. I look at my photos from 2003 and compare those to the 365 posted in 2007. You know, there's a big difference. Less dependence on heavy handed processing technique, more assured composition, better use of light and form.
Of course, to Ira's point, it's still not really as good as I want it to be. Which is why I'm still working at it.
Savannah, on Monday, June 23, 2008 at 1:50 PM:
DAE, I agree that your work has gotten more confident and assured as you continue to strip away everything which is not your "voice."
Yeah, I definitely agree with this guy. Work, work and more work. That's the key.
Sunfriday, on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 12:08 PM:
This is helpful to hear. Physics 101 isn't really creative work*, but it's helpful to think that someday I may reconcile the gap between the quality I can imagine, and the quality I actually write. I do find myself looking back at past exams and asking myself "What is that? What does that even mean?" And that's just the space where I was supposed to write my name.
* Well, it's not _supposed_ to be creative. The liberties I take in my interpretation of Newton's Laws do not seem to be appreciated.
Game shows used to be awesome
Sunfriday, on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM:
That is great! An interesting view into several aspects of history.
I take back every mean thing I've ever said about Celine Dion
God help me, I find this hysterical.
Everyone sounds great!
That's right folks, it's the "beamz music performance system" from Sharper Image.
Note especially the half-hearted attempt to pick up on an ancient cultural reference.
Sarah, on Friday, May 23, 2008 at 5:21 AM:
Who else thinks they spent an uncomfortably long period of time with "Quiet Reverie" dude?
Uncle Vinny, on Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 1:13 PM:
That's horrifying. I hope it's really really expensive, and that they sell a lot of them.
Apparently satire isn't dead yet
That there aforementioned Circus Band cd
Just got a note from the Circus that the CD is available NOW NOW NOW:
Prepare yourself for a brand-new dose of our peculiar brand of musical insanity. Our fourth CD, "The Half-Wit's Descent," is waiting for you! Immerse yourself in tales of narcissistic crooners, lascivious hussies, Coney Island sideshows, and parading pink pachyderms. Check the indie record stores in Seattle, or buy it now on CD Baby:
Available in a beautiful printed version, or an instant gratification MP3 download version. Go! Click! Buy!
Now I'm depressed
Via Tom Tomorrow.
nocklebeast, on Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 3:23 PM:
Maybe James Carville could help with Batman's campaign.
For the tea fans in the crowd
nocklebeast, on Friday, April 25, 2008 at 5:06 PM:
There's two kinds of people in this world, Earl Grey drinkers, and Lapsang Souchong drinkers.
David Adam Edelstein, on Saturday, April 26, 2008 at 8:52 AM:
Lapsang Souchong crew! WRECKANIZE!
Great and terrible
nocklebeast, on Sunday, April 20, 2008 at 7:10 PM:
I love pain!
That one flying kick about 33 seconds into it is awesome. Awesomely funny.
rfkj, on Monday, April 21, 2008 at 11:43 AM:
That looked like a pretty much dead-on Bruce Lee impression that Jackie Chan was doing about halfway through the first one.
And now we break for a public service announcement.
I just wanted to play tag. I never thought I'd be "it".
rfkj, on Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 7:04 AM:
The counter for "and the numbers are growing" was spine-chilling.
The Algorithm March
Make sure you watch through at least to the second half, after the pythagoras switch.
Uncle Vinny, on Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 10:21 PM:
Ninjas... will we ever tire of them?
rfkj, on Friday, April 11, 2008 at 8:46 AM:
I have a silly walk and I'd like to obtain a Government grant to help me develop it.... With Government backing I could make it very silly.
nocklebeast, on Friday, April 11, 2008 at 8:52 PM:
Ninjas! They're crazy!
Dick Gregory brings it
Beatboxing flute. Whoda thunk.
Hey, if you've got it, flaut it.
Glass is cool
Watching this reminded me that during glaze formulation class when I was in college, the teacher mentioned that the ideal glaze would contract slightly faster than the clay as the whole pot cooled off, because that would make the pot stronger.
I could never wrap my head around the idea then, but watching this video made it completely clear. Thanks, youtubes!
Some love notes are more elaborate than others
Several weeks ago, Sarah Silverman had a surprising announcement on her boyfriend's show. Weeks later, he provided a response. The two videos below are the evidence. Your mileage may vary, as they say, but these had me weeping with laughter.
Not, uh, "family friendly".
maya, on Monday, February 25, 2008 at 8:02 PM:
i saw these earlier today. they just killed me. right up there with the "grape lady."
Fry and Laurie take the piss out of Uri Geller
Kronos Quartet... with David Sanborn... playing a Willie Dixon song.
Only about three of you will dig this as much as I do.
Timothy, on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 10:19 PM:
Beth B., on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 1:32 PM:
I may not have the same appreciation as you of that particular piece of music, but I appreciated the TV show it came from - Night Music. I remember a band appearing once that played sea shells.
heather, on Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 9:19 PM:
Am I one? I've always liked Kronos Quartet - have several of their CDs.
African fractals from TED
GeoGeek, on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 3:34 PM:
This is beautiful research, and a terrific presentation thereof. I love it when math becomes poetry.
Here's a fun trick.
rfkj, on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 1:56 PM:
I missed #4. As a professional nitpicker, that's distressing to me.
The behind-the-scenes was cool; not at all how I imagined it being pulled off.
Also not the trick I expected!
Uncle Vinny, on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 2:44 PM:
I've seen this before, watched it several times, and I just enjoy the hell out of it everytime I see it. Such a fun idea! There's too much to look at in life, and we have to take shortcuts to stay sane. It's fun to point out how many obvious things we're missing all the time.
GeoGeek, on Friday, October 26, 2007 at 3:50 PM:
So what's with the gorilla sitting to the side? Another trick to see who's paying attention?
Sarah, on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 at 1:41 PM:
Sshhh, GeoGeek. You're not supposed to talk about him.
RIP Lucky Dube
Bob Marley said
How long shall they kill our prophets
While we stand aside and look
But little did he know that
Eventually the enemy
Will stand aside and look
While we slash and kill
Our own brothers
Goddammit. Songs aren't supposed to be prophecy.
nocklebeast, on Monday, November 5, 2007 at 8:30 PM:
A nice article in the Economist: http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10015816
All I know is, I'm weeping. From laughter? Maybe.
Sarah, on Monday, October 22, 2007 at 7:38 AM:
The CBC show "This Hour has 22 minutes" used to have a segment called "Talking to Americans". If you can find the clips on You-Tube, it's worth taking a look. Incidentally, would you be willing to sign a petition to help stop the seal hunt on Saskatchewan ice flows?
It's all about the hamiltons, baby
It's back on YouTube, which means you need to watch it again. Oh yes, you do.
Uncle Vinny, on Monday, September 24, 2007 at 5:58 PM:
Absence has made my heart grow fonder, fer shur.
rfkj, on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 at 9:32 AM:
The Aaron Burr joke holds up. Love it.
Nobody does satire like The Onion does
Tim Harris, on Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 3:04 PM:
Sarah, on Friday, September 14, 2007 at 6:54 AM:
Having been a housemaid for some of America's rich (they must have been particularly disadvantaged, since their summer homes weren't even at the Vineyard, they were in Canada), I can attest to at least three wealthy families who really were just plain lazy.
What happens when german students in Helena, Montana, discover bad German techno?
Something a whole lot like zis.
GeoGeek, on Monday, September 3, 2007 at 9:36 AM:
We fear zee milky pirates?!
Uncle Vinny, on Monday, September 3, 2007 at 3:08 PM:
Keep the monkeys away from my hands, and keep these morons away from me, period!
Miz B, on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at 9:15 PM:
I'm not sure there are enough drugs in the world to make that make sense to me. But I like it...
Really lovely ad
Uncle Vinny, on Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 4:04 PM:
So perfect! Like harnessing the energy of a crazy toddler.... hehe :-D
Sunfriday, on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at 9:45 PM:
That's great! An entire, engaging story.
Hamada Shoji at work
One of my clay heroes, Hamada Shoji. Hypnotic and beautiful.
Uncle Vinny, on Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 8:25 AM:
Oh cool, like in that movie "Ghost". Did you see that one?
Sunfriday, on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 9:35 PM:
I'll slap Vinny for that, to save you the trouble.
David Adam Edelstein, on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 10:16 PM:
Beautiful parody of iPhone hysteria
Uncle Vinny, on Monday, July 2, 2007 at 2:06 AM:
This works surprisingly well with the sound off.
One of the oddest and most inspired musical performances I've seen lately
Sunfriday, on Sunday, May 27, 2007 at 6:06 PM:
Whoa. It started our strange and amusing and just kept getting stranger and funnier. You have to wonder how they thought this all up.
Up there! In the sky! It's... wait, what?
Thank Vishnu for Bollywood.
(via the estimable Madfoot)
Photographer shout-out: John Lok
Despite my feelings about the Seattle Times' editorial quality, they're lucky enough to have several terrific photographers on their staff.
This morning, one of them knocked it out of the park with two very different photo essays. John Lok has a great series of photos about people living the Iraq war here in the US:
And in the "Gender: F" insert, he has a very different series of photos of women finding the perfect bridal gown:
It's always great to see photographers getting more interesting photos into a daily paper. In the first image, he's using a Holga "toy camera" with a crappy lens and light leaks to beautiful effect. In the second image, he's at the other end of technique, with a tricky-to-do-well combination of flash on the bride (to keep her sharp) plus a slow shutter speed and a bit of camera pan to add some motion to the background and a little glow to the bride.
Nice work, John.
For more on either technique: Michelle Bates has a new book out on toy camera photography which I've heard is very good. I'd be remiss if I didn't also include a link to the Strobist site here — if you want to learn more about the kind of technique John's using in the second photo, I can't think of a better place to start.
(Both photos copyright John Lok and the Seattle Times, of course)
No photo this morning ...
... we got back from Portland too late last night for me to deal with any of the photos I shot this weekend.
Instead, I'll point you to a website connected with a wonderful book that the Kid's cousin's parents gave us this weekend, called The Century Project.
Here's an excerpt of the project statement from the photographer:
Century is a chronological series of nude photographic portraits of women from the moment of birth through one hundred years of age.
While the biological continuum is an important part of the project and provides a vital framework for other issues, this is much more than a mere developmental chronicle.
Many of the photographs, for example, are accompanied by personal statements written by the participants themselves. These are often highly personal and intensely moving. The combination of words and pictures has proven to be very powerful based on all public and media responses to exhibitions and publications to date.
The subjects portrayed are, quite simply, real-life people. They are not stars or models. They span all ages, body types, and have a rich variety of experiences to draw upon and to share. CENTURY is about real women in real bodies, not the caricatures in the worlds of media and advertising.
Terrific stuff. Go check it out. And I'll be back tomorrow.
The meteorologists are a little giddy at NOA'A
And who can blame them, what with the winter we've had so far?
Short term...for the first time in months...not much to talk about...phew thats nice. Skies are clear with the winds diminishing rather quickly...partially due to pressure gradients weakening and also to decoupling with the strong radiational cooling taking place. Already have a bunch of readings in the teens in the outlying areas and up in whatcom county. Would expect that we will end up with some single digit low temperatures in the outlying regions by morning...especially in areas with a significant snowpack. Those single digit readings will be the outliers rather than the rule however.
With one significant exception...friday will be very much like today. The exception being that the winds will be much lighter which should make for more pleasant conditions. Especially if you are walking due to your car sliding on the ice into a ditch. Icy roads abound...so be careful out there. Forecasts looks pretty good at this point and have no plans to update this evening. Cerniglia
Rob Paravonian hates Pachelbel's Canon
A taste of Nate
99.9% of the movies on Atom Films, despite their heavy funding and early excitement, are dreck (as I've said before).
Here's a short documentary that's actually terrific:
The illest MF in a cardigan sweater
Not, uh, family friendly.
Uncle Vinny, on Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 6:44 PM:
What a weird place for a George Lucas cameo.
rfkj, on Tuesday, December 5, 2006 at 10:04 PM:
The word, apparently, is that this is much closer to Bob Saget's real personality than the "Full House"/"America's Funniest Home Videos" guy is.
Plus, who knew that he was so well-endowed?
Talk like a pirate, bubbeleh
Since it's Talk Like a Pirate Day and all, I wanted to make sure all you shipmates didn't miss this tidbit BoingBoing linked to a few days ago...
Ahoy, mateys ! Thar be Jewish pirates!
[ . . . ]
While some Jews, like Samuel Pallache, took up piracy in part to help make a better life for expelled Spanish Jews, Kritzler said others were motivated by revenge for the Inquisition.
One such pirate was Moses Cohen Henriques, who helped plan one of history's largest heists against Spain. In 1628, Henriques set sail with Dutch West India Co. Admiral Piet Hein, whose own hatred of Spain was fueled by four years spent as a galley slave aboard a Spanish ship. Henriques and Hein boarded Spanish ships off Cuba and seized shipments of New World gold and silver worth in today's dollars about the same as Disney's total box office for "Dead Man's Chest."
Henriques set up his own pirate island off the coast of Brazil afterward, and even though his role in the raid was disclosed during the Spanish Inquisition, he was never caught, Kritzler told The Journal.
[ . . . ]
The great wave of videos begins
Uncle Vinny reminded me that these were beginning to show up, and when I looked for it, there it was: YouTube brings us one of the most visually original videos in MTV's history. I can't remember offhand exactly when this arrived, but for me it stood out in a sea of posterization and explosions, hair bands posturing next to burning trash barrels, and literalist concert videos.
Joss Whedon on equality
I'm not that big of a fan of his work -- I don't dislike it, it just doesn't move me that much -- but what Mr. Whedon has to say about strong women and equality is smart and funny and true.
Laura Z, on Monday, July 3, 2006 at 8:32 AM:
I loved many parts of this piece, but especially the part where Joss says "The question should not be 'why do you create so many strong female characters?', but 'why AREN'T others creating these characters?'". Until, as he says, what he is doing is considered not remarkable, we still have work to do.
Stevie. On Sesame Street. Playing "Superstition".
This has been going around for a few days, but if you haven't seen it, man, this is a good reminder of how !)(#@* brilliant Li'l Stevie was at his peak: playing "Superstition" on Sesame Street.
Go! Watch! Weep!
heather, on Tuesday, June 27, 2006 at 10:15 PM:
I love the kid in the orange sweatshirt at the top of the fire escape :-)
Damon, on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 7:10 AM:
That, is some righteous shit. Damn.
paul, on Tuesday, August 8, 2006 at 11:57 AM:
how 'bout this Q:
does steveland morris actually have an evil spirit in him and is it possible to know whether he does or not??
I used to listen to this stuff (along w/ S.R.V.'s rendition of the same tune)and then show up for church Sunday morning and believe I was a born again Christian!! What a waste of (my )perfectly good mind!!
No question it feels good, but is that all thereis in life???
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
In honor of President Bush and I finally agreeing about something -- namely, his creation of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument -- I thought I'd show off some of our beautiful aerial imagery of many of those islands, like this terrific image of Kure Atoll.
Wikipedia also has an entry on the NWHI, if you want to get edjimicated.
nocklebeast, on Friday, June 23, 2006 at 2:59 PM:
start: Santa Cruz, California, United States
end: Gardner pinnacles
Windows Live Local cannot find a route for the locations you entered. Ensure that your start and end locations are correct, and try again
Best diet coke and mentos video ever
There have been a bunch of videos circulating in the last few months showing the reaction when you combine diet coke and mentos candies.
None of them, however, compare to what the mad scientists at Eepybird.com have done. Watch and wonder, my friends, for it is truly a beautiful world.
Yet another dorky web toy
|Your Linguistic Profile:|
|65% General American English|
|5% Upper Midwestern|
rebelo, on Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 5:20 PM:
75% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
Bethb, on Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 5:42 PM:
Your Linguistic Profile:
55% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
if only i had known that kansas was the "upper midwest"...
ejuana, on Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 8:44 PM:
***Your Linguistic Profile:***
70% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
Timothy, on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 6:09 AM:
***Your Linguistic Profile:***
65% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern
Sarah, on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 7:38 AM:
55% General American English
5% Upper Midwestern
translates as "Canadian".
Although the question about the super-easy class didn't have any correct answers, since, of course, they are properly known as "bird courses".
GeoGeek, on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 12:09 PM:
55% General American English
25% Upper Midwestern
That's right--NO DIXIE
UncleVinny, on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 12:19 PM:
I'm all about "y'all", y'all.
***Your Linguistic Profile:***
65% General American English
20% Upper Midwestern
heather, on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 2:10 PM:
Hah! Pretty much the same as sis :-)
60% General American English
5% Upper Midwestern (= Canadian)
and I have to agree with her on the super-easy class question too.
I think they also need to add the following question, just for thoroughness:
What do you call a pizza with everything on it?
Andrew, on Friday, May 26, 2006 at 10:45 PM:
40% General American English
5% Upper Midwestern
Pretty interesting, considering I speak Australian!
Heather, I would call that sort of pizza a 'supreme'. What are the other options?
Timothy, on Saturday, May 27, 2006 at 9:34 AM:
That would be "All Dressed" or "Full Dressed"
See - I'm bi-lingual! (I speak Canadian - eh)
sheryl, on Monday, May 29, 2006 at 3:36 AM:
55% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern
Um, interesting results, considering I grew up in the MIDWEST. Also, there were no references to 'bubbler' (the Milwaukee word for 'drinking fountain') or 'kringle' (Danish pastry)...
nocklebeast, on Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 4:37 PM:
***My Linguistic Profile:***
70% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern
Is that mostly normal? Why don't I add up to 100%?
Not exactly "Stomp"
Laura Z, on Thursday, March 30, 2006 at 6:03 PM:
That was great, but I kept expecting them to throw off their towels to reveal funny matching underwear (yes, I have watched too many Busby Berkeley choreographed musicals)...
Classic publicity photos
But oh my, what publicity photos.
Timoth, on Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 7:08 PM:
..... uuummmm ........
thisone makes me a little uneasy - but I don't know why.
rfkj, on Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 9:22 PM:
I liked Amerasia and The New Zealand Trading Company. That collection is fascinating on so many levels, there's gotta be a book or two in it at least.
GeoGeek, on Sunday, March 12, 2006 at 10:43 AM:
It's all about the teazer, baby. (http://flickr.com/photos/sharpeworld/110371838/)
marcia glover, on Monday, March 13, 2006 at 12:40 PM:
Sliverlight... all three guys look/acting like they are going out with the her at the same time.
The red square game
A fun little game based on incredibily simple rules and relatively simple code: The Red Square Game.
My best time in 10 minutes of play? 12.281 seconds. What's yours?
heather, on Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 9:28 PM:
10.305 in about 5 minutes of play. Only did it once though. Out of the many times I played it, I hit 4.4 about 4 times, and much less than that many many more times ;-)
Of course, I am solo-mom today and exhausted after catching up on all the laundry, bottles, toy-pickups, high-chair cleanings, and other misc mommy duties since Baby Girl went to sleep.
Excuses, excuses, excuses ;-)
Uncle Vinny, on Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 11:14 PM:
Best I could do was 16.306 sec after maybe 5-10 minutes. I'd be curious to know if people are trying to learn a pattern that gets them a little further each time, or if it's seat-of-the-pants survival? My method is to head down for 1 sec, then up to the top LH corner for about 10 sec, then dodge the big fat square coming from the right, etc...
Timo, on Monday, March 6, 2006 at 12:16 AM:
11.859 - in Seaside OR, kinda drunk ...
heather, on Monday, March 6, 2006 at 6:31 AM:
I did't time it but I did move down to the bottom first and then up to the lower left and then into the center - there's definitely a pattern, if you can remember it, to use to prolong the game.
allen, on Monday, March 6, 2006 at 6:57 AM:
after about 2-3 mins... roughly my 7th or 8th time... i got a 17.667... tho I do have to admit I've been playing video games for a long time and still do.
rfkj, on Monday, March 6, 2006 at 8:02 AM:
21.521 the third time I tried it. The only technique I used was to watch where everything was going and make sure not the be in the way. I actually did very little moving, so it looks like there's a sweet spot of sorts. When it started to speed up, I lost immediately.
rfkj, on Monday, March 6, 2006 at 8:37 AM:
25.037 after another couple of tries. This game sort of reminds me of Jezzball, which used to ship with Windows way, way back in the day. I always loved that game.
Loopsi, on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 at 9:52 AM:
how do you time it??????????????????? WAHHHHH
jorgyboy, on Thursday, September 14, 2006 at 7:31 AM:
blue squares go same way each time got 24.7 after 10 mins
Mr. Crabs, on Sunday, January 14, 2007 at 7:31 PM:
I got 23 seconds on my third try, mostly staying on the left side. Just move slowly and DON'T PANIC. Panicking [sic] is soooo disastrous OMG LOL. Is this how we are supposed to use the internet?
Backdraft, on Monday, January 14, 2008 at 7:02 PM:
27.8 seconds after about 5 min of play
brodie, on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 8:40 PM:
i lasted 40.952 seconds after about 20 minutes o f playing this is my highest score ever. i am legendary at this game and this is not a joke. i literally last about 35 seconds each time i play but this time when i got 40.952 i was so happy. as i said this is not a joke cos i am the best person at this game that i know and everyone thinks i am the best at it. so i still play this game every day and try to beat my highscore but the closest ive come to beating it is 38.914 seconds after playing for about 8 minutes.
Nifty live Beck number
Now that's a rhythm section.
Haner gives good forecast discussion
From this morning's forecast discussion for Seattle at the NOAA site:
Short term...many of our point-to-point pressure gradients have started weakening since 06z...some quickly. However...the base of the negatively tilted trough remains southwest of the forecast area at this time. Was considering letting go of the high wind watch for at least the northwest olympic peninsula...but have decided to first let the upper trough axis and surface front move by first. Indeed...the wind at buoy 29 has actually been coming up for the past few hours...and the wind at hoquiam flipped back around to an easterly direction this hour...so believe the party`s not over yet. As for the foothills...the ksea-keat pres grad has weakened over the past few hours...and the wind at the snoqualmie river bridge on i-90 has trended down since 1 am...but it again concerns me that the front has not actually moved by yet. Often times...strongest winds come in the pre-frontal regime immediately in advance of the front.
Once the negatively tilted front moves by later this morning...much colder air aloft will move in with 500 mb temps dropping down to near -35c. 700-500 mb lapse rates become quite steep...reaching the 8-8.5 c/km range. Will spread the mention of thunder onto the coast and as far inland as the southwest interior...though a stray strike during afternoon heating just about anywhere would not surprise me through this evening.
(reformatted for legibility... why they continue to show this in all caps on the site is a question I haven't really investigated)
ejuana, on Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 9:14 AM:
hey, that's poetry!
rfkj, on Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 10:23 AM:
I'd bet that the reason that it's in all caps is due to some kind of teletype legacy support. They're still out there.
One of the more peculiar relationships with a piece of kitchen equipment I've ever seen
(Via Talking Crow)
ejuana, on Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 9:25 PM:
The noises were too much for Uncle Tio Pepe. Too scarey!
More than meets the eye!
One for the boys in the crowd.
Timothy, on Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 11:28 PM:
Totally Freakin' COOL
I want one!
Christian, on Tuesday, February 14, 2006 at 10:24 AM:
Unexpectedly Phildickian silliness
It's turning out to be Japan Week here at Noise to Signal. Who knew?
Vital information for Sushi eaters
Uncle Vinny, on Friday, February 10, 2006 at 12:37 AM:
I wish I was cool enough to know how much of that is made up....! Very fun to watch, whatever the truth.
If only they had the magic phrase
The boys at Penny Arcade seem to be having the same problem as me.
If only they had used the magic phrase.
rfkj, on Thursday, February 9, 2006 at 12:14 PM:
After the game, though, the magic phrase wouldn't really have worked. You've got to come up with something else..."Fuckin' refs" works or, if you want to avoid what Heinlein liked to call "the Anglo-Saxon gerund," you could try "Well, we'll get 'em next time."
Japan is an odd place, chapter 783
Now I know what killed Betty Friedan.
'Maid in Japan' cafes treat geeks like lords
TOKYO (Reuters) - "Welcome home, Master," says the maid as she bows deeply, hands clasped in front of a starched pinafore worn over a short pink dress.
This maid serves not some aristocrat but a string of pop-culture-mad customers at a "Maid Cafe" in Tokyo's Akihabara district, long known as a Mecca for electronics buffs but now also the centre of the capital's "nerd culture".
"When they address you as 'Master', the feeling you get is like a high," says Koji Abei, a 20-year-old student having coffee with a friend at the Royal Milk Cafe and Aromacare.
"I've never felt that way before."
Maid cafes dot Akihabara, which has become a second home for Tokyo's "otaku" -- roughly translated as "geeks". They're known for their devotion to comics and computer games and can easily be identified by their standard outfit of track suit, knapsack and spectacles.
In the cafes, girls dressed in frilly frocks inspired by comic-book heroines wait hand and foot on customers, mostly male, who might have once been obsessed with naughty schoolgirls and nurses.
At one cafe, maids get down on their knees to stir the cream and sugar into the customer's coffee.
At Royal Milk, diners can follow up a meal with a range of grooming services, including ear cleanings.
Maids at some of the more attentive shops even offer to spoon-feed customers at their table.
Maid cafes have mushroomed since they first emerged about four years ago, evolving from cafes where waiting staff emulated characters from a popular series of role-playing video games, often dressed in schoolgirl-inspired uniforms.
[ . . . ]
Savannah, on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 at 6:28 PM:
It is a sad, sad day when one is forced to reassess the Playboy Bunny phenomenon as being "actually not that bad, compared to *this.*"
Michelle, on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 at 2:36 AM:
Maffy, on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 at 7:40 AM:
Well, I think it would be very hot to have some naughty girl stir my tea...on her knees?...in a school girl uniform? Wow. We can't even get gay marriage recognized, and that seems pretty conventional to me. Japan was never high on my "must see" list of countries. Maybe I should reconsider...
Laura Z, on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 at 11:46 AM:
I cannot start commenting on this or I will start to implode!
rfkj, on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 at 1:16 PM:
Other than calling you "Master," this sounds pretty much like a Hooters. What's the real difference between having a pretty girl stir your tea on her knees and having a pretty girl pound the back of a ketchup bottle so that a) your fries get ketchup; and b) her boobs bounce up and down a lot? The purpose behind both is pretty obvious.
Not that I'm justifying this, you understand (and the food at Hooters sucks), but it doesn't seem to me to be *that* different from stuff we have here.
(Okay...the ear cleaning thing is just frickin' bizarre. "Uh, yeah, I'll have the tea-on-her-knees, the squid eyeball soup, the can of french fries, and...the earwax removal special with the clearcoat.")
Maffy, on Thursday, February 9, 2006 at 7:25 AM:
The ear cleaning thing does seem like a strange choice - unless you're a Ferengi.
Best. Shrub. Impression. Ever.
This guy nails everything that annoys me about Shrub's oratorial style. Particularly the smirk. Lord, how I hate the smirk.
Via Uncle Vinny.
Sarah, on Saturday, February 4, 2006 at 2:47 PM:
Right on the money.
But I'm confused. So, like, when you're not taking photos of creepy dudes' houses, you're surfing for stand up?
David Adam Edelstein, on Saturday, February 4, 2006 at 4:00 PM:
It's a good life, huh?
Valuable advice from Chris Rock
Too bad about the video quality, but still, nearly Swiftian in its precision.
Andrew, on Friday, February 3, 2006 at 11:25 AM:
Rock / Cho / 2008
Timothy, on Saturday, February 4, 2006 at 12:54 PM:
... Obey the law & Use Common Sense ....
That's some damn useful information!
There are no new ideas
Oprah brings the pain
I don't know how many of you have been following the recent furor surrounding James Frey's book "A Million Little Pieces", but even if you haven't, this is fun to watch.
The incredibly brief summary:
- James Frey publishes his memoir about his struggles with addiction, crime, and jail.
- Oprah chooses it for her book club as her first modern selection after her recent "classics" series.
- Lots of people read it, embrace it, change their lives based on it.
- The Smoking Gun publishes an expose that shows clearly that the book is almost entirely fabrication, and that Frey is a lying little frat rat.
- Oprah initially refuses to drop him, and supports him on Larry king.
- Then she takes the path of righteousness and Frey makes the mistake of going back on her show.
There are several more clips up on YouTube.
All of this of course does bring the question: Were people's lifechanging experiences any less true because the book they based them on was a complete lie? Discuss.
BlueNiner, on Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 1:45 PM:
I guess that depends on how you personally value a "lifechanging experience" and if you believe that their is some external universal "Truth" that exists outside the shared meanings that we have created in our society. I'll conceed that Frey most likely violated many peoples 'shared meanings' and going back on the show was not too bright, but then I'm left to wonder in the bigger picture of the world and what I would consider the important things we should focus on, so what? The guy lied. So did P.T. Barnum and the current President. For me personally the curiosity lies not in the specific action, but in what are people really upset about? That he lied and made some money at it or that he shattered the illusion that some external 'Truth' exists? Our personal truth appears to come from the meaning we make out of our experiences that shape our reality so my hypothesis is that the 'outrage' comes more from the second idea than the first. Of coure it could simple be that people feel that they can 'get' to this one where other liars were inaccessable or imune to thier outrage. Bread and circus's baybe and this is clearly part of the cirus.... If nothing else it's entertainment on all side...
Laura Z, on Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 6:33 PM:
While their life-changing experiences based on seeing another person's experience (via the book) are no less true, I can see how they may feel their trust has been violated. All kinds of things can extrapolate out of this (i.e. "WHAT at all can I trust in life, etc.?) and lots of therapy perhaps needed in the future to deal with the larger existential angst.
On another note, if the guy had just said something like "Based on a true story" OR "Fictional account based on true events" in the preface he could have covered his ass.
We're having a huge debate on this in my distance library class in regards to the question of "how much responsbility do publishers have in checking their facts?" On the one hand I can see the publishers should check the biggies (i.e. the person got the degrees they claimed, etc.), but I'm sure it would be expensive and time-consuming beyond belief to check a 300+ page manuscript for accuracy on every potential "fact". Newspapers obviously have to do this (or SHOULD be doing this - don't get me started on the NYTimes), but I'm not sure how we can require that to the same extent in novels.
Karl, on Monday, January 30, 2006 at 12:29 PM:
The cynical bastard inside begs to bash all the poor distraught folks involved, precisely for the reasons that cause them distress. “Don’t believe everything you read”, sound familiar? If a short book can change your life, you may wish to reevaluate your processes. If Oprah is your advice giver, blame her for giving lousy advice all the time. If you believe anyone in the media is ever giving you the full or the straight story, wake up and smell the advertising revenue.
On the other hand, if the book helped you at all to have a better outlook even for a week; if the controversy made you reexamine your skepticism or lack thereof; if anything positive came out of your experience at all, what have you really lost? A little trust with your television personality, a little faith in the media? Isn’t that a small price for the personal assistance you received? Life is rough, wear a metaphysical helmet.
Michelle, on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 12:53 AM:
I haven't been following this whole thing very closely, but there was one detail that caught my attention. He originally shopped his book around as a novel, but no publishers were interested so he started calling it a memoir and then everyone wanted it. Dumbass didn't bother to go back and edit accordingly.
Sarah, on Friday, February 3, 2006 at 7:50 AM:
I am commenting only because they just mentioned the whole fiasco on Sounds Like Canada and I don't want to edit corn genetics at the moment. But I was thinking: I don't recall people getting all upset when they realised that The Blair Witch Project wasn't actually pieced together from footage shot by dead college students? I know a couple of people who only just recently surmised that it was in fact a work of fiction, so it was marketed as real in a fairly convincing way.
Secondly, the thing about the novocaine... he said he wrote it as he remembered it having happened. Isn't that sort of the very definition of a memoir?
What's up Da?
*Da, apparently, is Tamil for "dude".
Still the best cat video montage ever
My favorite clip starts at about 1:08. Watch for it and understand.
Andrew, on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 12:24 AM:
I'll never tire of seeing that sequence.
Have you seen the one where the little kitten squares up to a big cat, gets on its hind legs and starts waving his paws aggressively? The cat just kind of watches for a minute, then decides he's had enough of the attitude and takes the kitten out. Fantastic stuff.
David Adam Edelstein, on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 7:16 AM:
That would be this one, I think: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3665832105675538700
Andrew, on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 7:36 AM:
That's the one. Thanks for doing my Google dirty work for me. ;-)
With that clip, for me, it's a case of watch, laugh, repeat, ad nauseum.
rebecca, on Thursday, January 19, 2006 at 11:53 AM:
ahhhhh. i so needed that. thanks.
when i get tired of my manager i need a good laugh. ;-)
We're a musical people
Abi Meleibt, by the way, means "At least I'm alive".
Old age and guile whips whiney yuppie
On a side note, woohoo, Google added website embedding to their video archive!
(via Ms. Talking Crow)
heather, on Friday, January 13, 2006 at 7:25 AM:
Australian scientists: Maybe they need a little more to do around the lab.
Missing spoons stir scientists into action
Australian scientists have proved what is common knowledge to most people - teaspoons appear to have minds of their own.
In a study at their own facility, a group of scientists from the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health in Melbourne secretly numbered 70 teaspoons.
They then tracked the movement of the spoons over five months.
Supporting their expectations, 80 per cent of the spoons vanished during the period.
The spoons in private areas of the institute lasted nearly twice as long as those in communal sections.
"At this rate, an estimated 250 teaspoons would need to be purchased annually to maintain a workable population of 70 teaspoons," they wrote in Friday's festive edition of the British Medical Journal.
They say their research proves that teaspoons are an essential part of office life and the rapid rate of disappearance proves that this is under relentless assault.
Regretting that scientific literature is "strangely bereft" of teaspoon-related research, the scientists have offered a few theories to explain the phenomenon.
Taking a tip from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books, they suggest that the teaspoons are quietly migrating to a planet uniquely populated by "spoonoid" life forms living in a spoonish state of Nirvana.
They also offer the phenomenon of "resistentialism" in which inanimate objects like teaspoons have a natural aversion to humans.
On the other hand, they suggested, people might simply be taking them.
Possibly the greatest parody hip-hop line ever.
Plus a nifty "embed this video in your site" code snippet:
JDE called this "The best thing ever." I suggested that certain Chinese dumplings are better; we're debating.
Anyway... I won't spoil the line, except that it goes "you can call us __ __ by the way __ ___ ___".
rfkj, on Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 5:34 AM:
Yeah, I loved this on Saturday. It's all about the Hamiltons, baby!
Ludakrishna? MC Vikram?
(Google video seems to be down again briefly, but here's another link to the video)
GeoGeek, on Saturday, December 10, 2005 at 11:00 AM:
Anusha's shoes give her street cred.
Whatever that is.
Virtual Earth is now Windows Live Local
That is, http://local.live.com/.
And we've released a shiny new version. Besides general UI improvements, map style improvements, and higher-resolution aerial photos worldwide, we've also added high-resolution "Bird's Eye" imagery in a bunch of places in the US. Naturally I need to point you to some samples.
First off, I'll show off my map improvements. We went from the perfectly fine but a little sparse map style on the left to the much richer and more attractive map style on the right. (click to see at actual size)
And now for some fun links to imagery.
Let's start with classy little place in Beverly Hills. Be sure to click on the second item in the scratch pad so you can see the guest quarters I've arranged for all of you to visit.
In the same category of the obnoxiously rich, some people's commute is nicer than others.
Sometimes the super rich share, though, and we get to see something like the Getty Museum.
And then there's also cows.
Although some of our imagery isn't as current as I'd like, it does mean we get to see some amusing things in the aerial imagery, like frame numbers. There are more, but I'll let you look for those. Having different eras of imagery also means that you can see things like subdivisions in the process of being built.
And, of course, with the bird's eye imagery we can also act as virtual tourists, which believe me we've all been spending some time doing. Here's an old friend.
Laura Z, on Thursday, December 8, 2005 at 8:05 AM:
This is very cool! ("Having different eras of imagery also means that you can see things like subdivisions in the process of being built."). I particularly appreciated this, since I tried to put something like this together for my institution, scanning various pictures of the institution as it was being built over time and stitching them together in various "animations" to show growth over the years.
Oh, and I'll take the East Wing in the guest quarters if it's not taken - thanks! :-)
Timothy, on Thursday, December 8, 2005 at 10:12 AM:
Very COOL! and very played with this AM!
Sure, I'd be glad to babysit your child ...
I have a Barney video I can show them.
(UPDATED: Link is working now)
stacy, on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 7:27 AM:
ack! a broken link!
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, November 29, 2005 at 7:34 AM:
Yeah, it looks like all videos on google are broken this morning. Those losers.
I'll post an update when they're back up.
Russ, on Friday, December 2, 2005 at 11:33 AM:
Uh, no, you're off the list.
I am locked in a battle in which there is no hope of success. My foe is craftier, more persistent and patient, and has better manual dexterity than me. For months we have been been testing each other’s resolve, ramping up arms and strategies, trying to outwit our enemy. Property damage has ensued. Physical blows have been exchanged. It is a good thing I do not own a gun, for I would use it against my foe with no remorse.
I am battling squirrels.
Oh yes he is. Damn funny. Go, read.
stacy, on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 at 9:38 PM:
From a friend of mine in Fort Worth Texas who borrowed a pellet gun when the squirrels started removing her clothes from the line and eating everything in her garage.
--Ha! I spit on his birdfeeder. This is nothing. Fie on him for calling it a war. Of war he knows nothing. I can tell you about squirrel wars. Wait until they chew holes into his house. He thinks it’s just luck he doesn’t own a gun? It’s a choice. He’ll get one. He’ll realize it’s not a fair fight.
Great photo essay
Highly recommended: Melina Mara's great photo essay Changing the face of power: Women in the U.S. Senate.
I didn't realize there were only 14 women in the US Senate -- as Mara points out, that's seven times what it was twelve years ago. Nice to see that two of them are our Washington State senators, Cantwell and Murray.
Laura Zeigen, on Monday, November 14, 2005 at 10:58 AM:
Yes, and Washington State has the highest percentage of women in your state legislature (I believe 33% - I'll have to check the citation where I think I saw that). Go Washington! :-)
Yeah, 14 women, not bad, but at this pace it will take over 100 years to get to 51 women senators!
Miz B, on Monday, November 14, 2005 at 7:56 PM:
Great photos. I was amazed to see that some of these women Senators have small children. That's gotta be intense...
Now that's an insult
Ordinarily I don't find prank phone calls that funny -- they're often too long, belabored, and gratuitously disgusting. But I have to thank Kim for passing on this very funny prank call by the excellent Roy Wood Jr.
Why is this one different? Because the victim gives as good as she gets. I only wish I could throw insults back at someone that fast, furious, and fluently.
At work? Headphones only.
Holy smoke, the strain is starting to show on the first lady
Clip and save: great design ideas for next year's jack-o-lanterns!
rfkj, on Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 7:21 PM:
All I could think of was, "Alright, Mr. DeMille. I'm ready for my closeup." I wonder what the story is there.
GeoGeek, on Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 7:25 PM:
Dear god almighty. I am going to have nightmares tonight. Shame on you, David, for posting this link!
A little post-hallowe'en safety video
Thanks to Kim for passing on this safety warning video about a popular Hallowe'en joke.
The voice-over is right: If I'm ever trapped in a horror movie, I want this guy with me.
Turn off your police scanner, bubba, it's time for the modern world
Baby got... somethin'
OK, back in 1992 Sir Mix-A-Lot graced us with his loving tribute to big bootie, Baby Got Back.
A few months ago, Southpaw gave us a Christian take on it with Baby Got Book. It's actually pretty good, too, unlike most most attempts at "christian [insert popular music style]".
(Thanks to Beth for the link)
A few good films from Atom Films
Generally I've found that the films on Atom Films stink -- too long, poorly edited, pointless, immature humor, the list goes on. For some reason, though, I keep going back to look for something good, and in the last week I've actually seen a few I liked. In no particular order...
- Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers: Musicians break into an old couple's apartment while they're out and do all those dumb noisy things you did when you were a kid. Or last week. Whichever.
- A Ninja Pays Half My Rent: You think you've had odd roommates. Would you PASS THE SYRUP???
- Prey Alone: Basically an all-chase scene short film. Super high production values. Despite what they say, I did see the end coming, but it was still big fun. RFKJ, I'm looking at you.
rfkj, on Thursday, October 20, 2005 at 5:02 AM:
"I hardly even know he's there." Bwahahaha.
Yeah, I saw the ending of "Prey Alone" coming too (I twigged to it when they called in the jets), but to be honest, it was only because I was thinking about what the ending could be. Very nice chase scenes.
Remember that scene from Wayne's World?
You know, the lip-syncing to Bohemian Rhapsody?
Ever want to see member of the British Navy do the same thing?
Well, now you can.
Really, really funny.
More on the creationists
Saedigh is trying to give me an aneurism by forwarding me more stories about fundamentalist idiots.
The Bible as museum guide
God made dinosaurs on the sixth day of Creation, the same day he made people, according to Rusty Carter's interpretation of the Bible.
"The word 'dinosaur' was not invented back then, but in Job 38, there's two large creatures, behemoth and leviathan," said Carter, director of the Littleton-based Biblically Correct Tours, as he prepared to give his first tour of the school year.
Either or both creatures were probably dinosaurs, he said.
Nineteen kids trailed behind Carter on Saturday morning at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, most of them nodding knowingly as their tour guide pointed out flaws in exhibits.
"What do you guys think? Is the world really 4.5 billion years old?" Carter asked. "Nonsense!" one girl called out. The adults in the group smiled.
Carter said demand for his religious tours of secular sites has been continual since the company's founding in 1988, but the media's attention has exploded recently as local and state school boards across the country debate how to teach evolution.
[ . . . ]
For Tanner Cameron, a fifth- grade student at Shaffer Elementary, a public school in Littleton, life's history finally began to make sense Saturday.
"Ohhhh," he said as Carter's colleague Tyson Thorne explained how fossils form. Thorne's story included water, mud, sudden catastrophe ...
"They're fossilized from the flood!" Cameron exclaimed. "So maybe the dinosaurs became extinct because of the flood?"
The biblical flood fossilized dinosaurs, Thorne said, but dinosaurs made it onto the ark - all the animals did. He suspects Noah brought baby dinosaurs (because who would want an adult tyrannosaur around?), and the creatures succumbed to overhunting or climate change.
As I said in response, "Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah."
I once asked a very orthodox Yeshiva student about evolution and whatnot. He said that they didn't really see a contradiction between believing that the bible is literally true and that science shows the world was billions of years old. "We can't limit God with human logic," he said. "Science is a tool God gave us to explore and celebrate creation." Maybe that's why they kicked us out of every country in Europe at one time or another: we don't use our faith as an excuse to be stupid.
(Some of us, unfortunately, use it as an excuse to be racist... but that's a whole 'nother story.)
Savannah, on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at 5:32 AM:
Although it is a western monotheism, I feel that Judaism to some extent shares the character of the eastern religions, like Buddhism. Its attitude towards science is a good example. I particularly revere its commitment to freedom of thought.
Karl, on Wednesday, September 28, 2005 at 9:50 AM:
Brainwashing your children is not a family value.
Not to start a theological argument, but seriously folks, show me “GOD” and I will show you some faith.
Until then we’re all just swimming around the metaphorical castle in the goldfish bowl.
One for the boys in the crowd
Yeah, baby. You know that the real ones must cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Another "I wish I had thought of that" link
Ji Lee prints speech bubbles, pastes them to posters and billboards, and then goes back and photographs what people wrote in them. Yowza.
McSweeney's offers some perspective
"People, in general, lack perspective. I say everyone should have to busk, out on a street corner, or in a public market, at least twice a year. Not necessarily playing Neil Young tunes on the guitar, either. Do your job, for change, in front of the 17th Avenue liquor store. Then go back to work and complain about having to share an office."
(McSweeney's, via Uncle Vinny)
Andrew, on Monday, September 12, 2005 at 6:57 AM:
A friend-of-a-friend, a real sweetie:
And now we take a break from the depressing ...
... to move on to the creepy!
Parasitic Hairworm Charms Grasshopper Into Taking It for a Swim
Only in science fiction do people's minds get possessed by alien beings. For grasshoppers, zombification is an everyday hazard, and it obliges them to end their lives in a bizarre manner.
Biologists have discovered and hope to decipher a deadly cross talk between the genomes of a grasshopper and a parasitic worm that infects it.
The interaction occurs as the worm induces the grasshopper to seek out a large body of water and then leap into it.
The parasite, known as a hairworm, lives and breeds in fresh water. But it spends the early part of its life cycle eating away the innards of the grasshoppers and crickets it infects.
When it is fully grown, it faces a difficult problem, that of returning to water. So it has evolved a clever way of influencing its host to deliver just one further service - the stricken grasshopper looks for water and dives in.
The article has more details, and even better: it has pictures, oh yes it does.
Timothy, on Tuesday, September 6, 2005 at 7:08 PM:
I think I need to go wash my hair 3 or 4 times ....ok ...I'm creeped out
Sarah, on Friday, September 9, 2005 at 10:43 AM:
Amber snails are sometimes infected with a flat worm, Leucochloridium paradoxum, that causes their eye stalks to take on gargantuan proportions, and throb with psychedelic, lateral-moving stripes. This causes birds to think that the eye stalk is actually a juicey grub, which they then rip off and eat. The flatworm "carcaries", which caused the throbbing, are then dispersed in the birds' droppings. Did I mention that amber snails think bird droppings are quite the delicacy?
And so, the circle of life continues...
Biology is so cool.
Nice little video ...
... from Pablo Korona:
Circus Contraption in New York City
That's right, folks, my weirdo circus friends are about to become the worm in the Big Apple*, setting up shop at Theater for the New City for the entire month of September.
Here are the details about the show.
Here's where you buy tickets.
And here, my friends, are some sneak preview photos taken by yours truly at the final show of their Seattle run, to give you a little taste of what's coming your way. Enjoy!
* Yes, I'm sure that's one of the most overused clichés in the city.
Cool music videos
From their website:
Pleix is a virtual community of digital artists based in Paris. Some of us are 3D artists, some others are musicians or graphic designers. This website is the perfect place to share our latest creations.
My personal favorite so far has been "Itsu" (sorry, no direct link)
A few fun links to Virtual Earth
Here are a few fun map views people on our team found while we were working on Virtual Earth for those long months.
- Cargill Salt's brine evaporation ponds. (They have some information about the ponds on their site)
- Disneyland from the air!
- As Joe said, apparently in this neighborhood keeping up with the Joneses means owning a tennis court.
- Fun with our vendors' data processing artifacts: Ghost airplane!
chrys, on Friday, August 5, 2005 at 12:30 AM:
Hey! Some of us live near those salt ponds!
rfkj, on Friday, August 5, 2005 at 5:34 AM:
Some of those poor people don't have pools to go with their tennis courts. And one guy has to walk all the way across his property because his pool isn't right next to the tennis court! Something must be done to relieve this suffering! I propose that they deed their houses over to me, thus freeing themselves to find a more ideal situation.
UncleVinny, on Monday, August 8, 2005 at 12:27 AM:
I second that proposal! The glitterati of southwestern LA have languished too long at too great a distance from their cooling dunkponds, and I am glad to finally hear someone speak up about it. You are to be commended, countryman!
The commercial that always cracks me up
OK, this is a peculiar thing for someone who watches nearly no television to post about, but bear with me.
I love many of the ads in his reel, but the one that always cracks me up is this one for a shipping company. I think it's the guy's expressions, which are beautiful and subtle; in any event, give it a view and enjoy it as art.
Yet another peculiar diversion
La Pate a Son. It reminds me a bit of The Marvelous Toy:
When I was just a wee little lad,
Full of health and joy,
My father homeward came one night
And gave to me a toy.
A wonder to behold it was
With many colors bright
And the moment I laid eyes on it,
It became my heart's delight.
It went "Zip" when it moved and "Pop" when it stopped,
"Whirrr" when it stood still
I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will.
Wonderful gallery of WPA posters
Ah, the Library of Congress online. Do I love any website more? Possibly not. They have so much great stuff online, from field recordings by musicologists to visual archives like this one.
I'll let them speak for themselves:
The By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s.
Some really wonderful things there, many of which are available as high-resolution archival images, suitable for printing out at home. I'm fond of this one:
I sent the link to this site out to the "Design Inspiration" mailing list at work with the subject line "If you are on deadline, I beg you, do not open this e-mail." Mwah hah hah.
The Monster Engine
Dave DeVries has an amazing painting series based on "one single question: what would a child's drawing look like if it were painted realistically?"
The beautiful result is The Monster Engine.
It won't surprise any of you to find out that I'm most enthralled with the creepy monster ones. Superheroes... not so much.
heather, on Monday, June 6, 2005 at 1:00 PM:
How VERY cool!!!
(via John over at J-Walk)
Sun Friday, on Sunday, June 5, 2005 at 12:20 PM:
OK, guys, time for another lecture on "Sutras: Not just something to mumble while you're digesting breakfast".
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Five Thai Buddhist monks have been defrocked and fined after a brawl with monks from a nearby temple, police and newspapers said Tuesday.
The street fight was the culmination of years of antagonism between monks from the two temples who had often exchanged curses, insults and rude gestures as they collected alms on different sides of a road, the Manager newspaper said.
"When an ordinary person is given a middle-finger sign, he will be mad. So am I," it quoted one of the defrocked monks, Boonlert Boonpan, as saying after the brawl in the northeastern state of Nong Khai Monday.
Boonlert said he usually carried a knuckle-duster in his shoulder bag during the morning collection of alms on which Bhuddist monks depend, it said.
Boonlert and the four other monks, all aged between 15 and 28, were each fined 1,000 baht ($25) by police for public brawling and were defrocked by senior monks, Wut Pomraksa, head of Nong Khai police station, told Reuters.
But Boonlert was unrepentant.
"If senators can fight in parliament, why can't monks?" he said.
Thanks, David. Now I'm going to be hungry all damn day.
rfkj, on Monday, May 23, 2005 at 9:40 AM:
Thanks, David. Now I'm going to be hungry all damn day.
heather, on Friday, May 13, 2005 at 11:36 AM:
After answering the 45-question version I am apparently "An emaciated do gooder. You are Gandhi. Morals matter to you and you like to lead by example. Perfection is important to you." Not what I was expecting, but not sure what the other options would have been :-)
Uncle Vinny, on Saturday, May 14, 2005 at 4:07 PM:
Another option is the one I got: "Mother Teresa". I'm still laughing about it, too...
Laura Z., on Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 4:38 PM:
Supposedly I am "Mother Teresa" according to the 45-question test (but according to the 27-question test I was Hitler, thereby supporting my theory that any individual human is capable of being Gandhi (essentially) or Hitler. The classic movie I am is "Platoon"! :-P
BlueNiner, on Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 4:47 PM:
As if you didn't already know. ;-)
"You are a detached intellectual whose ideas saved/will destroy the world. You are Einstein. You lead with your mind exploring the unknown and helping to invent the future of mankind."
Nice bouquet! Good nose!
BEIJING (Reuters) - The French used grapes, Russians fermented potatoes, Koreans put ginseng in their drink and Mexicans distilled cactus plants to make fiery tequila.
Now China is introducing fish wine.
Sun Keman, an entrepreneur in the northeastern port city of Dalian, has formed the Dalian Fisherman's Song Maritime Biological Brewery, with a plan to use his background in the fishing industry to make fish into wine.
"Different from China's thousands of years of brewing, the brewery will clean, boil, and ferment fish for making wine," the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The company already had orders from Japan, Russia and other parts of China, it said.
Tipplers might also take heart in knowing the brew is purported to be good for them.
"Experts said the wine is nutritious and contains low alcohol," Xinhua said.
heather, on Monday, January 31, 2005 at 1:49 PM:
Fermented fish. Oh god. I can't eat it when it is fresh. I can't even type this without my gag reflex triggering. Ugh. mmph. gaa.
Robert Jahrling, on Monday, January 31, 2005 at 2:00 PM:
Sounds interesting. I bet it would be good for making sauces and broths and soups, assuming it actually tastes fishy--it may not; after all, whiskey tastes nothing like corn, wine tastes nothing like a grape, sake tastes nothing like rice.
I'd give it a shot (no pun intended). Then again, I like (love) harm ha, so maybe I'm not the best one to judge.
What else is there to say? You have to go see for yourself.
eJuanFoot, on Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 12:03 PM:
This is awesome! Why not have 3 obsessions all at once? Cats, Legos, and Christ! Amen.
heather, on Saturday, January 29, 2005 at 10:09 PM:
Jesus loves me, this I know
For the legos tell me so...
Wow, check out these pix of frozen lake spray in Geneva:
As they say: "Attention, certaines images peuvent choquer les personnes sensibles au froid!"
Spam spam spam spam
I'm guessing that most of you have had at least one spam e-mail once in a while. No, no, it's a strong statement, but I'm willing to stand by it.
If you're curious about that industry at all, you might be interested in a conversation going on right now at Inkwell, hosted by yours truly, with Brian McWilliams, author of Spam Kings: The Real Story behind the High-Rolling Hucksters Pushing Porn, Pills, and %*@)# Enlargements. It's a fascinating read, and it promises to be a fascinating conversation over the next couple of weeks.
Join us, won't you, he said in his oiliest tv announcer voice.
Michael Wolf's "Architecture of Density"
Tim pointed me to these amazing photos of high-rises in Hong Kong, by Michael Wolf. From the website:
ROBERT KOCH GALLERY is pleased to present Architecture of Density, an exhibition of large scale color photographs by Michael Wolf. Wolf has lived and worked in Hong Kong for ten years. Stimulated by the region's complex urban dynamics, he makes dizzying photographs of its architecture.
One of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the world, Hong Kong has an overall density of nearly 6,700 people per square kilometer. The majority of its citizens live in flats in high-rise buildings. In Architecture of Density, Wolf investigates these vibrant city blocks, finding a mesmerizing abstraction in the buildings' facades.
Some of the structures in the series are photographed without reference to the context of sky or ground, and many buildings are seen in a state of repair or construction: their walls covered with a grid of scaffolding or the soft colored curtains that protect the streets below from falling debris. From a distance, such elements become a part of the photograph's intricate design.
Check out the rest of them: Michael Wolf's Architecture of Density.
Savannah, on Monday, January 24, 2005 at 7:45 AM:
Wow. Besides the important artistic element of deliberate estrangement of the quotidian from our ordinary perceptions n' all that, there's the time factor! For the people who live on the upper floors, riding the elevator must be a whole other commute! When they get to their building, they're only halfway home!
Andrew Sundstrom, on Monday, January 24, 2005 at 3:58 PM:
Think the cops have to filter peeping-Tom calls?
Jim Casper, on Saturday, February 19, 2005 at 6:02 PM:
Michael Wolf spoke with me earlier this week about this work of his, and an edited audio recording of our conversation can be heard at http://www.lensculture.com/wolf.html
He's as articulate and thoughtful in words as he is through his photography.
Geez, whaddya think I am, a rocket scientist?
How can you expect me to remember everything?
Professor's Saturn Experiment Forgotten
SPOKANE, Wash. - David Atkinson spent 18 years designing an experiment for the unmanned space mission to Saturn. Now some pieces of it are lost in space. Someone forgot to turn on the instrument Atkinson needed to measure the winds on Saturn's largest moon.
"The story is actually fairly gruesome," the University of Idaho scientist said in an e-mail from Germany, the headquarters of the European Space Agency. "It was human error the command to turn the instrument on was forgotten."
[ . . . ]
"I (and the rest of my team) waited and waited and waited," he wrote, as the probe descended. "We watched the probe enter and start transmitting data, but our instrument never turned on."
Officials for the European Space Agency said last week they would investigate to learn what happened. They were not available for comment on Thursday, nor did NASA officials immediately respond to telephone messages.
[ . . . ]
"In total, the core of our team has invested something like 80 man years on this experiment, 18 of which are mine," Atkinson wrote. "I think right now the key lesson is this if you're looking for a job with instant and guaranteed success, this isn't it."
I will never again complain about months of work on a project being thrown away.
heather, on Friday, January 21, 2005 at 10:56 PM:
Whatever happened to good old fashioned post-it notes?
Although I guess the sticky stuff might wear off or dry up after 18 years ;-)
Thumbtacks still work well though.
- Activate instruments on space probe when it reaches saturn (ETA Jan 2005; command: go breakwind)
- Dry cleaning
- Dr Appt @ 4pm (to be safe, reschedule for after saturn mission)
For your weird game pleasure
Yet another cool puzzle game, with the best illustrations yet!
Robert Jahrling, on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 10:22 AM:
Nice--great art, good conclusion. To be honest, it reminded me of Terry Gilliam's animations for Python, although obviously not in artistic style. Good way to spend a few minutes.
Uncle Vinny, on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at 11:41 PM:
Oye dreamt that yon red marble were a gumdrop sweet and clotty, an' lo! it gae me tumbly all the hungries, it did.
You can find current information, as well as some pointers on how to help, at the very informative Southeast Asia Earthquake and Tsunami site.
Our friends at WorldChanging are also keeping a steady flow of links and information going.
Andrew Sundstrom, on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 7:37 AM:
It warms my heart to know our President, having just extended his "condolances" to those taken to pieces my the tsunami, proudly pledged $14 Million (not half of my CEO's bonus this year) in U.S. relief, and with that set out for Crawford, where today we find him riding his bike and havin a good ol time.
Savannah, on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 2:15 PM:
Yeah, I already complained about that on my husband's blog, but I'm gonna complain about it some more. That he cannot be bothered to go to the site of the worst natural disaster in recorded history, which is heading towards a six-figure death toll, is beyond shameful. Part of the job of a head of state is symbolic. For Bush to go to the site would demonstrate that he recognizes the enormity of the event and stands with the affected countries in solidarity (as the rest of the world did with us just a few short years ago in our own hour of need). For him to take a vacation under these circumstances is beyond a slap in the face. The arrogance, superiority and narcissism of this gesture is beyond measure.
Joshua Edelstein, on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 2:33 PM:
This of course is a fact not lost on the rest of the world, especially considering that virtually every country out there responded immediately to our plight after 9/11--even the ones that generally don't like us. Which counters the Bush aides' statement that the Prez didn't wanna make a wan symbolic appearance before offering something concrete. We sure appreciated the symbolic gestures when they came . . .
Guess he's just spending some o' that political capital of his.
Savannah, on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 at 5:20 PM:
So true, and it breaks my heart. I think Blue America should designate Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter our Unofficial Emergency Symbolic Presidential Team and send them to Sri Lanka on our behalf.
Andrew Sundstrom, on Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 11:22 AM:
"President Bush finally roused himself yesterday from his vacation in Crawford, Tex., to telephone his sympathy to the leaders of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Indonesia, and to speak publicly about the devastation of Sunday's tsunamis in Asia. He also hurried to put as much distance as possible between himself and America's initial measly aid offer of $15 million, and he took issue with an earlier statement by the United Nations' emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, who had called the overall aid efforts by rich Western nations "stingy." "The person who made that statement was very misguided and ill informed," the president said.
We beg to differ. Mr. Egeland was right on target. We hope Secretary of State Colin Powell was privately embarrassed when, two days into a catastrophic disaster that hit 12 of the world's poorer countries and will cost billions of dollars to meliorate, he held a press conference to say that America, the world's richest nation, would contribute $15 million. That's less than half of what Republicans plan to spend on the Bush inaugural festivities."
Laura Zeigen, on Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 5:25 PM:
Mercy Corps ( http://www.mercycorps.org) is another good one.
I cannot even think straight when I start to contemplate this Administration's actions (and inactions). GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! It makes me SOOOOOOOOOOO mad!!!!!! Suffice it to say, I concur with the suggestion to send Clinton and Carter.
The scale of this tragedy is horrible. I hope that, in addition to all the food and medical supplies, they are sending over psychologists and counselors to help now and throughout the coming year on the psychological and physical trauma these people have experienced.
Timothy, on Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 5:36 PM:
Two words "World Bank" they offered $250m (yeah, million) today ... and they are not a nation. Think the "Reds" will spin that?
(remember when we said "reds" and we meant the Russians ... my how times have changed)
Savannah, on Friday, December 31, 2004 at 6:00 AM:
But they're still the bad guys! :)
Timothy, on Friday, December 31, 2004 at 4:00 PM:
heh... true ...
Andrew Sundstrom, on Friday, December 31, 2004 at 9:19 PM:
Someone in the White House reads Dave's blog!
"US pledges $350m in tsunami aid"
Andrew Sundstrom, on Monday, January 3, 2005 at 12:02 PM:
Clinton & Carter? Are you nuts?! Hey wait...(again, one ear to the blog).... Howzabout Clinton & the Big Bopper Daddy-o himself?
Two unrelated things
First, an excellent cartographic essay showing how deceptive many of the maps we've been seeing in the US are. It made me feel less isolated, that's for sure.
Second, a little language learning to lighten the mood.
Robert Jahrling, on Friday, November 12, 2004 at 1:02 PM:
I would have to say that the elucidation of the proper use of "gornischt" is the funniest thing I've seen all week. Possibly all month. (And poor Bubbe!)
Apropos of this topic, and of your using a line from "O Little Town of Bethlehem" right before the election, I've been trying and trying to think of a "goy marriage" joke, but nothing is coming to mind. It would be comedy gold, I tell you. Comedy. Gold.
A few choice words on religious bigotry
You don't want to argue theology, trust me. At least, I don't. And you don't want to get into the whole "Jesus never mentions homosexuality in the Bible" thing either, because that's a logical fallacy. Silence doesn't imply approval or disapproval. It doesn't even imply that it's a non-issue. Just leave that alone. You don't want to get into "Leviticus this" and "Romans that." That's a minefield that bigots know very well. (You might counter the former with Matthew 5:17, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill," with, I think, the heavy implication being that Christ will fulfill, or complete, the Old Testament by being the vehicle of the New. And the latter...I don't hold much with Paul, so I find non-gospel evidence uncompelling. YMMV.)
Just ask someone who comes at you swinging the Bible if they know what John 3:17 says.
As I said to Rob, something is really wrong with people who are that homophobic. Or for whom homophobia is that important. It boggles my mind. You want some Jesus? Jesus would get in these people's faces and yell "PEOPLE ARE STARVING!! And according to the theology you PROFESS to believe, they're all ME! So if you don't want me to bitch-slap you when you die, SHUT UP ABOUT THE GODDAMN GAY BISHOP who is also me AND START DISHING OUT FOOD AT THE SOUP KITCHEN!!"
My friend Christina Florkowski has finally taken the wraps off of her formerly sekrit project, and man oh man has it been worth the wait.
This lovely image to the right is my personal favorite from the series, but there are seven others just as cool up there. Go, check it out... and, of course, buy prints!
Conrad, on Thursday, October 7, 2004 at 3:48 PM:
Tom Waits, Paramount Theater, October 18, Center Mezzanine, Row G.
Yes. Be jealous. :-)
How (*&(! American are you? (Feel free to take the test if you're not any kind at all :-)
(Via the Wonkette)
Heather, on Sunday, September 26, 2004 at 12:27 AM:
Whew - I got the same answer. Thank goodness!
Michelle, on Sunday, September 26, 2004 at 1:08 AM:
Robert Jahrling, on Sunday, September 26, 2004 at 4:15 PM:
I got "Horny American," which is "Not F**king American, but not a communist either," or something like that. Heh.
Timothy, on Sunday, September 26, 2004 at 6:07 PM:
I'm a "Canadian-Baiting Uber-American"
I find this part interesting .... "And while your almost F**cking American, you must develop a life-threatening obesity problem to be 100% F**cking American."
Neat .. huh?
heather, on Sunday, September 26, 2004 at 8:53 PM:
I've been baited by an Uber-American!
Saedigh, on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 at 11:09 AM:
An unAmerican Commie Pinko who smells like a French-Canadian.....sounds about right.
Eric, on Friday, October 1, 2004 at 7:56 AM:
Un-American Commie Pinko ?! I guess it wouldn't be the first time I've been called something like that...
Superchuy, on Tuesday, October 5, 2004 at 4:14 PM:
I took the test and got "Happy and Horny American".
Gaylen Morgan's "Floating Worlds"
These are the photos I'm always trying to take when I'm at the ocean, and they just never quite turn out. Morgan, however, has nailed it. They carry a sense of stillness and anticipation that I love.
Michelle, on Saturday, September 25, 2004 at 8:07 AM:
Amazing, simply amazing...
Fighting fire with fire
Me: If you all dont lower your voices and cease calling me Satan, I will have to sing show tunes.
The other straphangers look at me with stony faces.
I begin to sing.
Its very clear, our love is here to stay. Not for a year, but forever and a day
Preacher lady and the Jesus police start mumbling and beseeching G_d to strike me down and boil me in molten tar. (I look better in silver.)
The train reaches Wall Street. Confused subway riders check out the scene. I begin swaying and feeling the music.
The slamming Bible man looks like he is going to pop a blood vessel. I cast ye out, Satan.
I go into jazz dance crouch and then spring up to belt out, THAAAAAAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, HAS ME IN A SPELL
Bible man has to get off the train as I wriggle and shimmy. That same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine!
Bible man exits. SHOW TUNES 1, FUNDAMENTALISTS 0.
Follow the link. It gets even better.
Never say that one person can't make a difference.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Children tussling over a key-chain mace sprayer in a downtown Washington building on Wednesday triggered a chemical release that sent one person to hospital and briefly agitated U.S. financial markets.
Horseplay, not terrorism, was to blame for an incident that led to the evacuation of a building and a short-lived fall in the U.S. dollar, said Cathy Lanier, commander of special operations for the Washington police department.
One of the coolest things I've ever seen
Problem: Your water supply is erratic and the high-water table smells funny. You could pump deeper, but that would take more power, and you live in a poor South African village. Where will you get the energy from?
Solution: You hook a merry-go-round to the pump. Yeah, baby.
From Worldchanging.com, the coolest new site I've been introduced to lately. The good folks from Worldchanging are involved in a fascinating public conversation on the WELL for the next couple of weeks; go check 'em out. This is one site I'm going to be spending a lot of time with.
Absolutely, sir. You and OnStar are speaking the same language.
Recommended: Transcripts of OnStar Service Conversations Not Selected for Commercials, from the good folks at The Morning News.
Youve heard the spots, where the helpful voice of the OnStar satellite representative rushes to the aid of the panicked motorist. But have you heard them all? John Warner digs through the transcripts that didnt make the final cut.
Yeah, I laughed.
OK, so the Brits are having a little problem with the sauce
The article is about what sounds like a huge upsurge in binge drinking, and talks about the connection in the UK between drinking and violence:
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, a general practitioner, said the relative cheapness of alcohol, the introduction of fruity "alcopops" aimed at teenagers and the rise of happy hours and all-you-can-drink deals were partly to blame for the problem.
"It seems that the acme of modern British experience is oblivion preceded by nastiness," he wrote.
I wasn't that surprised -- the Brits have always been hostile drunks -- but then I read this section of the article:
The overnight Saturday train from London to Aberdeen, a favorite for men on stag nights, was canceled recently because no guards would agree to work on it, The Guardian reported.
"It was like an alcoholic bullet flying through the night," one guard told the newspaper. "The buffet car was a cesspool. They were climbing into the berths with Christ knows who. It was madness. They'd pull the emergency cord. They'd vomit. Break guitars over each other's heads. You can't be having that on a nice train."
In honor of the unruly women I know ...
An excerpt, with a killer last line:
Last weeks Olympic Trials featured women going faster, higher, stronger than ever before. And our movie screens are filled with indomitable, determined women like Kill Bills Beatrix Kiddo or Keira Knightleys kick-ass Guinevere in the new King Arthur.
But try to apply these attributes to politics and the media start acting like its 1958 they suddenly dont know how to handle smart, accomplished, complex women. Judy Dean wasnt glamorous or supportive enough, Hillary was too smart and too strong, and Teresa is too loose-lipped and too unpredictable.
So it really isnt much of a surprise that the political wife the media seem most comfortable with is Laura Bush, who has chosen to take on the image of the perfect 1950s sitcom housewife.
Shes the Harriet Nelson of first ladies, the quintessential deferential spouse, praised by her husband for not trying to butt in and always, you know, compete and lauded by the media for her ability to balance strength and subservience. I guess I missed the moment when subservience became a virtue.
Those wacky dolphins
Currently at InkWELL, Susan McCarthy is discussing her new book, Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild.
It's already an interesting and funny discussion. Here's an anecdote from Ms. McCarthy to entice you to take a look:
A bored dolphin can come up with some pretty bizarre behaviors. A funny example is the summer at one oceanarium when all the dolphins went crazy for seeing if they could balance on the tops of the walls around their tanks. Usually they could, but sometimes they fell out onto the walkways around the paths, and the oceanarium workers had to get together and heave the dolphins back into the tanks. (We're talking about hoisting 400 slippery pounds over a waist-high wall.) When the workers saw dolphins jumping up to try to balance on the walls, they would yell at them to stop, but the dolphins found that even more entertaining.
New technology in a 2000 year old art form
From a Disney (yes, Disney) press release:
Disney Debuts New Safer, Quieter and More Environmentally Friendly Fireworks Technology
GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 28, 2004--After years of research and testing, Walt Disney Imagineering has perfected a new innovation in fireworks launch technology, marking the pyrotechnic industry's first major breakthrough in decades.
The new technology uses compressed air to lift fireworks, virtually eliminating the need for smoke-producing black powder and other materials at launch, significantly reducing ground-level smoke and noise while continuing to provide a highly entertaining show.
Super cool. I wonder if this will allow fireworks to go higher, as well, since they won't be dependent on a increasingly more dangerous launch charge?
A film noir period
My own apartment (a sublet) is on the second floor of a building in a gentrifying Greek neighborhood, with a Jewish neighborhood just a few blocks away. Fresh bagels and rotating meat are available to me 24 hours a day. Climbing up into the apartment, I can see directly over the frosted glass of XXX ADULTE into the "new arrivals" section, which is the height of convenience. I can also see the small TV where the bored clerk and his assistant watch non-pornographic movies all day. They are in a film noir period right now.
Another goofy little game ...
... to steal your sleep with.
(Via "There's no Me in Tim")
Full disclosure: I needed a hint from Tim to get started.
The Japanese Restaurant Scam
Via the brother comes one of the funniest videos I've seen:
A diffferent kind of fan art
OK, photos of random people at comic conventions may not be your cup of tea, but scroll down nearly to the end of Jennie's photos to find the pictures of two guys engaging in the silliest bit of fan appreciation I've seen in a while: They went around to their favorite comic artists' tables, and asked the artists to pose as though they were kicking the fans' asses. Yes, it's that funny.
(you can also search on the phrase "These guys are so kick ass." if you don't want to scroll all the way down.)
Christian, on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 at 10:48 AM:
Fans are such... interesting... people. ;-)
Another little flash game to drive you crazy
Much more direct than the red room: Drag the little guy through the maze. Don't touch anything.
Oh, seems simple, does it? OK, you try it if you think you're so smart.
Robert Jahrling, on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 at 1:17 PM:
62 seconds. I actually got to the second rest aone the first time I tried, then NEVER that far again until I finally finished the thing, far too many tries later.
The new Circus Contraption show
This is really a call to everyone in the Seattle area: I have just come from seeing the latest Circus Contraption show, and friends, I have to tell you: It's fantastic. Funny, sexy, graceful, and creepy, it's entirely unlike anything else you're likely to see. The music is wonderful, the acrobatics are awe-inspiring... really I should just stop trying to describe it, because the only way to understand is to go yourself.
So go! See for yourself! The show runs for another three weekends, Friday through Sunday, so you have plenty of opportunities to see them.
(And for my friends in the San Francisco area, no be sorry: The Circus will be spending the month of August at CELLspace, near the Mission. See either web site for more details closer to August!)
Martin Torgoff's Can't Find My Way Home
There's an interesting discussion going on right now in Inkwell, the Well's open-for-free-to-the-web area for discussions with authors (which is worth a more general look, anyway -- lots of interesting discussions are archived there).
The current discussion is about Martin Torgoff's new book on the history of drug use in America, "Can't find my way home". Topics have ranged widely, from legalization, treatment, the pros and cons of 12 step programs, to the therapeutic uses of MDMA and the shaky relationship between drug use and creativity.
So... checkitout: Martin Torgoff's Can't Find My Way Home: America in the Great Stoned Age.
Our army deals out "justice"
I'm hard pressed to choose the dumbest part of this video (WMV, sorry), but I think it's that the soldiers leave the wood on the damn car.
It's great, though, innit, that we have the kids from Lord of the Flies dealing out vigilante justice because they've got the biggest stick on the island.
Crap. We're going to be paying for this shit for years to come.
Laura, on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 at 4:27 PM:
Crap. We're going to be paying for this shit for years to come.
Unfortunately, yes. And all because dumb-ass is in the house, thanks to the Supremes.
Andrew, on Thursday, May 27, 2004 at 2:03 AM:
Thanks for the link to that video. I'm an Australian, and would love to say that I'm glad it wasn't our soldiers. However, our Prime Minister has us involved just as much.
It's just terrible that there is no leadership at the ground level - surely there should be somebody to stop them and tell them that's not the way to 'dispense' justice.
Your Kawaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-des site of the day
What do you do when you adopt the cutest chocolate lab puppy in the world?
Why, you register a site for him, of course.
(Via his dogmommy's photo blog, actually)
I guarantee LuncheonLoaf.com will kill or injure your hunger pangs.
Christian, on Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 11:34 AM:
Timothy, on Thursday, May 20, 2004 at 1:41 PM:
What a disappointment this site was! This 'Veal Loaf' was the only 'loaf' that had the recipe ....
Robert Jahrling, on Friday, May 21, 2004 at 10:06 AM:
I thought that the chicken-cranberry loaf looked pretty good. Shouldn't be too hard to make, either.
But the liver loaf...and tuna loaf...and that shrimp thing. Yikes.
Bryan, on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 at 2:40 PM:
Lots more recipes, and lots more loaves are now up on the site.
In his own words, my friend Scott Randall...
... had the great honor of being an art docent for my daughters kindergarten class one day this spring. I'm not an art teacher, but I got to play one for a day. It was a ton of fun.
I wanted to do a printmaking activity, but it needed to be something that the kids could do in a single session that was about an hour long.
Check out the super-cool results: kindergarten styro-prints 2004.
Uncle Vinny, on Monday, May 10, 2004 at 10:56 PM:
Thinking back...could I have written my name backwards when I was in kindergarten?! Kids dese days is SMART!
receptionista, on Monday, May 17, 2004 at 2:34 PM:
what a cool project, i bet the kids had a great time. although i have to admit, seeing their results makes me want to try it myself...and i'm not exactly a kindergartener.
Rare good news on the Hawaiian endemic species front
The history of our Hawaiian endemic species, especially of birds, is not a pretty one in the last two hundred years or so. Introduced predators (mongoose &c.) and diseases (avian malaria &c.) have done a number on them.
(There's a whole rant here about the attempted destruction of Hawaiian culture in general, and how attacks on and dilution of the native flora and fauna ties into that -- but I'm going to skip that for now and accentu-ate the posi-tive)
So imagine my delight when I checked the Honolulu Advertiser site this morning and saw this article:
Once-endangered 'amakihi bird thrives in state's lowland forests
By Timothy Hurley
Advertiser Staff Writer
Once thought to be incapable of surviving in Hawai'i's lowland forests, the 'amakihi forest bird is not only living there once again but actually thriving in some low-elevation areas, scientists have discovered.
A team of researchers at the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center has found the small, yellow-green honeycreeper living and breeding in low-elevation forests of the Big Island in densities two to three times those found at disease-free high elevations, despite high rates of malaria infection.
In addition, the data show an increase in range and abundance of 'amakihi at low elevations in the past decade.
The discovery is remarkable because most native Hawaiian forest bird populations were decimated after the accidental introduction of mosquito-transmitted avian malaria and pox in the last century. Many native birds simply vanished from lowland forests, where the climate is favorable for mosquitoes and disease transmission, while some became extinct.
In recent years, however, there have been an increasing number of sightings of 'amakihi in the lowland forests of the Big Island and Moloka'i, and even in suburban areas of O'ahu, including 'Aina Haina, Manoa, and Nu'uanu.
Now, scientists have documented the low-elevation comeback, proving that the bird with the sewing-machine trill isn't just visiting lowland regions but living and breeding there. Blood samples taken from the lowland 'amakihi indicate that many of the birds got malaria, survived and became immune.
[ . . . ]
For more on this subject, I recommend Alan Ziegler's excellent (and very readable) Hawaiian Natural History, Ecology, and Evolution.
Christian, on Saturday, May 8, 2004 at 11:28 AM:
This is so weird -- for my (recently completed) bibliography plant for one of my classes, I chose "native hawaiian plants and their conservation" as my topic. Oddly, I managed to completely miss Ziegler's book in my search. Apparently I'm going to make a lousy librarian. ;-)
Robert Jahrling, on Saturday, May 8, 2004 at 6:26 PM:
Since I are one, I feel compelled to point out that native Hawaiians also introduced destructive species into the island habitat when they brought in pigs and dogs. They eliminated quite a few species of birds, apparently. So it's not really just The Man trying to keep us down--although The Man tends to accelerate the process.
I suppose this post will change the results
Christian, on Saturday, May 8, 2004 at 11:30 AM:
Ha! My blog is more evil than yours (40%)! Neener, neener, neener. Now, where's my statue, dammit!!?!
Joshua Edelstein, on Monday, May 10, 2004 at 7:13 AM:
GroundWaves turns out to be 36% evil, but Yehoshua.com is only 20% evil. And as is perhaps appropriate, my synagogue's site (which I designed) is only 12% evil. And I think I know who accounts for that . . .
Hey look, I'm a ring bearer
Well it seems like you're already a ring bearer,
you don't need the Ruling Ring. Of course, you
constantly think of all the things you could do
with ultimate power!
If You Received The One Ring, How Would It Affect You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Robert Jahrling, on Wednesday, May 5, 2004 at 10:39 AM:
Phildickian ceremonies, and a bit of melancholy
The screens were projecting some impossibly overproduced television special, most of it in German, which periodically brought in a grinning, bespectacled Polish announcer who stood patiently at the front of our stage. He spoke sometimes in Polish, sometimes in the indeterminately accented World English that will one day take over the planet. The whole show was masterminded back in a German studio, where a tall blonde mistress of ceremonies cut between our own announcer and similar sound stages in seven other capitals (not a hint of Malta or Cyprus, unfortunately). I got a creepy Philip K. Dick watching her, waves of German flowing out from loudspeakers across the Old Town, but it didn't seem to faze the crowd. Once in a while, a Polish translation would kick in, making us appreciate its absence.
The announcer brought out Cold War relic Katarina Witt, who looked like she had just been removed from cryogenic storage deep in an East Berlin bunker. Witt confessed to an early crush on some Polish figure skater in the eighties, by way of illustrating why European expansion needed to happen. Our announcer gave a rubber grin and said, in English "But Katerina! While you were falling in love with a Polish ice skater, millions of Polish men were falling in love with you!" Her sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithm responded with a smile.
The melancholy (which a reference to Poland wouldn't be complete without) is this: If you've made the decision to put some kind of diary online, and you mention anything about your personal life, then you somehow have to address what happens when, well, something changes in your personal life. Today's case in point, Maciej and Kirstie's blogs, where Kirstie says:
Only a few minutes left until May. All of the windows and doors in the house are open to the soft spring dark, and the peepers are singing outside. The moon is a high bright ghost. I have had a good green salad and a glass of red wine for my solitary supper. Maciej (the entity formerly known as the mister) is in Poland for the E.U. celebration all month long, and I have got the house blissfully to myself. It is a lovely life, sometimes.
Which I thought might be just a clever turn of phrase, until I saw the link list on Maciej's blog this morning:
The artist formerly known as the better half.
Ah well. I wish them all the best.
Thanks for your, uh, sympathy?
Sadly, I can't remember who pointed me to the incredibly creepy Yahoo Greetings card...
... but it's pretty damn creepy.
Christian, on Monday, May 3, 2004 at 10:30 AM:
Demon kittens! AAIIIEEE! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!
David Averill, on Monday, May 3, 2004 at 4:36 PM:
You somewhere there is someone who thinks this is a cute expression of love rather than a bizarre freakish act of art.
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, May 4, 2004 at 8:37 PM:
AH HAH! I tracked down where I found the link originally: Christina Wodtke's site, Elegant Hack.
Whew. Credit has been given where credit is due.
How long 'til this isn't funny?
From Eric Seiden:
Operator: "Thank you for calling Pizza Hut. May I have your national ID number?" Customer: "Hi, I'd like to place an order."
Operator: "May I have your NIDN first, sir?"
Customer: "My National ID Number, yeah, hold on, eh, it's 6102049998-45-54610."
Operator: "Thank you, Mr. Sheehan. I see you live at 1742 Meadowland Drive, and the phone number's 494-2366. Your office number over at Lincoln Insurance is 745-2302, and your cell number's 266-2566. Which number are you calling from, sir?"
Customer: "Huh? I'm at home. Where d'ya get all this information?"
Operator: "We're wired into the system, sir."
Customer: (Sighs) "Oh, well, I'd like to order a couple of your All-Meat Special pizzas."
Operator: "I don't think that's a good idea, sir."
Customer: "Whaddya mean?"
Operator: "Sir, your medical records indicate that you've got very high blood pressure and extremely high cholesterol. Your National Health Care provider won't allow such an unhealthy choice."
Read the rest here...
Robert Jahrling, on Monday, April 26, 2004 at 9:03 AM:
Around this time:
Operator: "Oh, I'm sorry, sir, but your record indicates that you voted for Smith in the last election. This pizza shop doesn't cater to people who voted for Smith."
Customer: "How do you..."
Operator: "You used an electronic voting machine, right?"
A little Polish travelogue
An apparently homesick Maciej has posted a rather lovely travelogue about his native Poland which includes a recipe for "Highlander Tea" and instructions on how to smuggle Polish grain alcohol into the US. As well as a bunch of cultural information, oh and some memoir, too, I guess.
If you think of Poland as shaped like home plate, the Tatra mountains run just along the country's southern tip, right where the catcher would be if the catcher were Slovakia (and Hungary were the umpire). I understand that baseball metaphors may be lost on some of my readers, but chances are anyone unfamiliar with baseball comes from a country that does a decent job teaching European geography. No harm is done.
Robert Jahrling, on Friday, April 23, 2004 at 2:06 PM:
That would be "a decent job teaching post-1993 European geography." I bet nobody in Soviet-controlled Eastern European nations learned a thing about any "Slovakia" in school.
Alternatively, perhaps it should be "...anyone unfamiliar with baseball comes from a country that does a decent job teaching European geography, and remembers their lessons." I had a good geography class, but all I remember from it is that I had a crush on a girl in the front row and that the teacher threw erasers.
And to me it looks like the Ukraine is more in the catcher's position. Slovakia can be the little brush the umpire uses to clean off Poland.
Michelle, on Wednesday, April 28, 2004 at 12:55 AM:
My father runs into the eraser-throwing teacher once in awhile. My sister was in his class at Punahou. His daughter is now 16 and he and his wife have a 2-year old adopted from China. Yes, we are getting old...
Songs to wear pants to
No, that's the name of the site, Songs to Wear Pants To.
Here's how it goes: Readers send in song suggestions, ranging from very simple ("Be Bjork") to more complex ("Please write a romantic song about the joys of eating chopped liver off of the naked body of a girl named Vanessa -- oh, and make it hip hop smoothed out on the r&b tip, with a pop feel appeal to it.")
Then Andrew, a guy in Toronto, makes a short song based on the suggestion.
And you know, some of them are pretty good by themselves, and some of them are just funny in context, but it's a great idea all around.
(Via the recently reanimated Sharpeworld!)
Robert Jahrling, on Monday, April 19, 2004 at 2:43 PM:
What a great idea.
My favorite was the tuba in the "Applesauce" song.
Joshua Edelstein, on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 at 9:40 AM:
Andrew, the site's operator and composer extroardinaire, has agreed to license his ditties to GroundWaves Radio for use in our broadcasts! Since some of them do stand alone (even in their oddness), I figured they'd be a great fit. How fun is that!
Joshua Edelstein, on Thursday, April 15, 2004 at 7:22 AM:
I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America. Dude, I rool! And they got my first name right, too! We like attentive subjects in the Empire.
Robert Jahrling, on Thursday, April 15, 2004 at 8:51 AM:
I got Caligula, too. Scary.
timothy, on Thursday, April 15, 2004 at 10:26 AM:
You are Ludwig II, the Swan King of Bavaria!
Born with the name of Otto, you became Ludwig at the request of your grandfather, King Ludwig I, because you were born on his birthday. You became Crown Prince at the tender age of 3, and soon after stole a purse from a shop on the basis that everything in Bavaria belonged to you.
Richard Beers, on Monday, April 19, 2004 at 8:41 PM:
It would seem that I got Caligula as well.... not too suprising all things considered.... be afraid...very afraid...
Love letter to Philadelphia
While the city has plenty to recommend it, and I will be pleased and happy to show it off to anyone who wants to visit, I will allow that my affections may not be completely transferable. I love Philadelphia because, simply put, I fell in love down there, and thus even the darkest, saddest, chronically-broke-and-underemployed-bookstore-clerk memory still has a warm amber-and-rose patina about it. To me, this city is love.
Go. Read it. Feel the love.
And be consumed by the desire for a really good cheesesteak.
Possibly the wittiest graffiti I have ever seen
For the amateur video types in the crowd
Via Coudal, who also report the following:
Nine days with the family in Jamaica. 1. Me to my to my 3-year-old son. "Did you shoot the sherriff Spencer?" Spence, "Ya Mon, but I did not shoot the deputy."
Robert Jahrling, on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 at 1:15 PM:
Did you see the test footage? Other than the camera being mounted crookedly, it was pretty dang good. Very impressive. If I were building one, the only change I'd make is to use PVC just because I don't like working with metal; it seems that since you're not tapping any holes for the bolts, metal isn't required. I wonder what effect the loss in weight would have, though.
David Adam Edelstein, on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 at 1:19 PM:
I'm pretty sure the whole point is the weight -- the idea of a steadicam is not that it makes it easier to hold, but that it dampens the micro-wiggling that you can't avoid when shooting handheld.
Robert Jahrling, on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 at 6:42 PM:
Yeah, but isn't that what the counterweight is for? He calls for a 2.5-pound weight, but if you bump it up to five, would that be an adequate replacement for the weight of the pipe?
In delving a little further into the site, he says the only reason that he uses the steel pipe is because it's prethreaded--no need for glue. So It would appear that it comes down to whether you're more comfortable drilling through steel or using PVC solvent to glue the joints together.
Shoot, I may have to make one and shoot some video just to see if it would work.
Now that's a t-shirt
Not neccessarily for every day wear, but in the right situation, this t-shirt could be the perfect fashion accessory.
In a red room, with yellow curtains
(apologies to Cream)
I'm just going to quote Coudal on this one:
I'm still stuck in the Crimson Room but I bet it's cool once I get out.
'Cos, you know, I'm stuck there too. But Anusha is all smartypants about having gotten out of it in 20 minutes two months ago... so I'm pretty sure it's possible.
David Adam Edelstein, on Thursday, April 8, 2004 at 2:04 PM:
OK, so it is possible to get out. But quite tricky, no?
Robert Jahrling, on Thursday, April 8, 2004 at 2:12 PM:
I gave up on it a few weeks ago.
Twenty minutes, blah. I can get out of it two seconds: Alt-F4. :)
Robert Jahrling, on Friday, April 9, 2004 at 1:52 PM:
Okay, I got out. I needed help to find that one piece of the box, though. The one that's hidden in that place. After that, it was smooth sailing.
The only thing "cool" about having gotten out is that now I won't lose any sleep over not getting out.
Heather, on Saturday, April 17, 2004 at 11:38 AM:
Ok ok... so I had to cheat at the very end... http://www.lucabrasi.net/yuppicide/crsolve/
Good news for mis homies embarazados
LONDON (Reuters) - Pregnant women rejoice. Eating chocolate is good for the baby, say Finnish researchers.
Scientists at the University of Helsinki, who asked 300 pregnant women to record their chocolate consumption and stress levels, found that daily treats had a positive impact on the newborn baby's behavior.
Six months after the infants were born the mothers who had eaten chocolate reported more smiling and laughter in their offspring.
"And the babies of stressed women who had regularly consumed chocolate showed less fear of new situations than babies of stressed women who had abstained," New Scientist magazine said Tuesday.
Katri Raikkanen and colleagues who conducted the research admitted they can't be certain that chocolate consumption and the babies' behavior are not linked with other factors.
"But they speculate that the effects they observed could result from chemicals in chocolate associated with a positive mood being passed on to the baby in the womb," the magazine added.
Debra, on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 at 12:28 PM:
Excellent, I'll get right on it!
Did you fool anyone this year?
I didn't even try, to my great shame. But then I read this site, and was re-inspired for next year.
I'm not even going to try to pick one of the Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time to excerpt. Just go read down the list, and laugh, and laugh.
(Via Coudal Partners)
Well, after we talked it over like reasonable people...
Hells Angels Target Students' Logo Use
Apr 2, 3:41 PM (ET)
HELSINKI, Finland (AP) - When graduating from a high school called "Hellu," wearing a class shirt that reads "Hellus Angels" might seem like harmless school spirit - unless it's worn in a bar where Hells Angels members have strong feelings about trademark infringement.
After a student at the Helsinki school was pressured to hand over the shirt to two bikers at a local bar, the school received a request to collect all the remaining shirts and forfeit them to the Finland chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti said Friday.
The motorcycle club took offense at the use of its "Deathshead" logo, a winged, helmet-wearing skull. The organization claims a trademark on the logo registered to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corp.
The school promptly agreed with the Hells Angels and is collecting the shirts from its students, admitting the biker group had a strong case.
"This is clearly a stolen logo. It's just a matter of thoughtlessness on the part of the kids," deputy headmaster Eeva-Riitta Mustelin was quoted as saying, adding that the bikers did not want to go to court over the matter.
Yeah, I bet they promptly agreed... :-)
Can't complain today
Given all the times I've whined here about the crappy Seattle weather, it's incumbent on me to give props where props is due: It's beautiful here today.
High 70's (mid 20's C) and sunny, sunny, sunny. Yeah, baby. I dig this.
Your craft project for today
In the category of "Some people have too much time on their hands" comes this page from our Nihonjin friends, who have put together a set of rather cool Science Fiction Paper Models.
They're PDF files you can print out on a color printer (probably on heavy paper, ideally) and cut and fold to your heart's content.
Check out this sandcrawler model from the site:
(Via Coudal Partners)
Timothy, on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 at 9:23 PM:
This is hard....
This is really hard and I need glue ... of some sort ...
This is hard ...
(FWIW - I am working on this one http://www.linkclub.or.jp/~shun-pop/gallery2/Silent%20Running/duey.html )
OK, this is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while.
A young Hungarian architect has invented a way of emedding an array of glass fibers into concrete, such that it transmits light and shadow from the outside. It's not transparent by any means, but it totally changes how we can think about concrete.
Here's a couple of sample images from the site:
In that second image, the tree shapes on the right are actually shadows cast on the "LitraCon" from the outside.
Imagine having a wall of this stuff in your house -- or just panels here and there -- day-long moving art. Could there be a more perfect material to build a house of worship with?
What excites me even more, though, is the idea of how this can change the way buildings and neighborhoods look at night. Instead of light spilling from windows, the entire house will glow softly. Imagine coming home to that at night.
Sun Friday, on Friday, March 26, 2004 at 8:41 PM:
Wonderful! I'd love to use this in farm buildings.
For the car enthusiast/cook in your family
It's a blender with a tachometer.
Uh, yeah. Whatever.
Michelle, on Friday, March 26, 2004 at 12:54 AM:
Did you see the Porsche kitchen appliances?
Heather, on Saturday, April 17, 2004 at 11:55 AM:
Great. I expect one to be showing up at our door any day now. Thanks Dave.
While I'm in a many small links mood
Russ Campbell just blew my mind.
So, New York is cold, I take it.
Andrea seems to be getting tired of it.
Andrew, on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 at 5:19 AM:
Listen to the marsupial for a minute
Those of you who lived in Eugene from around 1987-1992 will probably not be surprised that this wombat manages to sum up nearly all of my political, environmental, ethical, and philosophical views.
Sun Friday, on Monday, March 15, 2004 at 8:36 PM:
Yep. That's it.
My weekend craft project
Matchstick rockets. 'nuff said.
Russ, on Thursday, March 4, 2004 at 8:17 AM:
I am shocked. >SHOCKED< that the man who taught me "there are no problems that cannot be solved with enough high explosives" has never made matchstick rockets.
Let's have some pictures of your weekend craft, mmkay?
timothy, on Thursday, March 4, 2004 at 11:47 AM:
THESE ARE GREAT!!!!!!!!!! Back when I was a little guy, we would steal our parents matches to do this very same thing out on the playgrounds during recess ... man did we have a blast!!!! I am inspired to go home right now and make some of these, and yes play with fire.
Russ, on Thursday, March 4, 2004 at 10:10 PM:
Dratted html anyway. Who needs it?
I am >shocked< that the man who taught me there are no personal problems that cannot be solved with enough explosives ... has never made matchstick rockets. :P
David Adam Edelstein, on Thursday, March 4, 2004 at 10:31 PM:
Huh. Who knew HTML worked in these comments? NOW see what you've done. :-)
Timothy, on Friday, March 5, 2004 at 1:44 PM:
Andrew, on Monday, March 8, 2004 at 11:46 AM:
So you started the weekend with matchstick rockets...and ended up at the circus. I'm confused.
Passion: The Blooper Reel
Those crazy kids over at The Morning News have uncovered the blooper reel for Mel's little film.
Jesus carries a heavy wooden cross through Jerusalem, assisted by Simon (Jarreth Merz).
Jesus: Wait a second. [puts down cross]
Off Camera: What is it?
Jesus: [wipes right eye] Theres something in my eye.
Simon: Oh my God, its a mote.
Off Camera: [laughter]
Now that's a garden
Josie, over at Latitude 13, describes the garden of the new house they just moved into on Guam... which suddenly makes me a little less excited about spring in the northwest. What can I say, I'm whiny.
My father and brother visited a couple of days ago and we walked around the yard identifying all the flowers, plants and fruit trees that surround the house. We have: a star apple tree, a guava tree, 2 mango trees, 2 lemon trees, an orange tree, many pepper trees, a breadfruit tree, a betelnut tree, dozens of banana trees, a macadamia nut tree, a plumeria tree, an achote tree and many more flowers, trees and bushes I don't know the names for. Dad ended up cutting down a ripe bunch of sweet bananas that would have gone to waste had he not been there to notice them. It's so lovely to have a garden. Fresh flowers will be on the table regularly.
My fellow former and current residents of Hawai'i, of course, will say "Oh great: not one stinky-fruit-dropping-all-the-time-in-the-yard mango tree, but two!"
Andrew, on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 9:59 AM:
I visit the orchards of spheres
and look at the product,
And look at quintillions ripen'd
and look at quintillions green.
- Walt Whitman, Song of Myself
Robert Jahrling, on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 2:08 PM:
It occurs to me that having a mango tree in Hawaii (or Guam, in this case) is roughly equivalent to having zucchini in your garden out here: "Oh Lord, what do I DO with all of this?" We never escaped my grandpa's house without some mangos, or bananas, or mango bread, or mango chutney or...well, you get the idea. When my parents built their house on my grandpa's land, nobody was really sorry to see the mango tree go.
Andrew, on Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 3:21 PM:
I have a Romanian friend who was once fond of saying to new acquaintances, "I'm from Romania, land of the olive and the lemon." -- until his wife corrected him publicly: "No, we're from the land of the onion and the cabbage."
To whom do Northwesterners cast their culinary botanical envy? As a native Oregonian, I honestly don't know. Southern California's too far away to fool anyone. And, um, Alaska may as well be Siberia.
Michelle, on Friday, March 5, 2004 at 4:20 AM:
The irony now is that so many people here have cut down their mango trees that I've actually found myself buying Mexican mangos at Safeway on occasion. Bleah. Even the local ones in the stores aren't great since they aren't tree-ripened.
Ordinarily I'm not a fan of cute intro pages -- just let me see the damn site, please, thank you very much -- but I'm totally in love with the tastefully brief Critterbox intro page.
Oh, and they have fun stuff, too, I guess. But that intro page just makes me happy.
Well, Debra and Chris flew to Kaua'i yesterday for a week or so of lazing around on 'Anini beach. And according the Princeville Resort web cam (you too can control it with their little Java applet!) it looks like a pretty nice day at Hanalei Bay:
And how does that make me feel? Well... what do you think?
Michelle, on Sunday, February 29, 2004 at 10:12 PM:
No need to feel so green if your folks have been telling you about the crazy storms out here this weekend!
It's no accident it looks vaguely roman
I mean, ya throw around the expression conspicuous consumption, but this takes the freakin' cake.
(Via Uncle Vinny, who says "This filled me with hate.")
rfkj, on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 at 3:54 PM:
I feel nothing but pity, for he's got a fantastic home theater setup, and what is he watching? Attack of the Clones. YUCK. ;P
Chris, on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 at 10:17 PM:
The decor is a little garish, but the seats are nice. Personally, I'd have displayed Matrix #1 rather than Clones...
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 at 10:20 PM:
I confess I love the red curtain, and the recessed ceiling, although the columns give me the heebie-jeebies.
Michelle, on Wednesday, February 25, 2004 at 1:35 AM:
Yikes! Yeah, the columns do appear to be encrusted in varicose veins...
Build, uh, a thing.
Check out this great Flash, uh, device, that allows you to drag objects onto a thing, and, uh, make stuff happen.
Yeah, yeah, I know that's fricken' vague. But when you go look, you'll see what I mean.
Make sure you try it at least twice, in different orders.
rfkj, on Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 11:53 AM:
That's certainly unique. There must be an optimum order...I wonder what it is.
David Adam Edelstein, on Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 2:22 PM:
No idea. Rosebaby reports a high score of 7600, though.
Michelle, on Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 4:20 PM:
I wasn't really paying attention the first time I tried it and got up to around 12000. Of course I haven't gotten remotely close since!
rfkj, on Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 7:18 PM:
I didn't even notice there was a score! I got a bunch of things to their max level, though. All but 4, I think.
Rob, on Friday, February 20, 2004 at 12:42 PM:
Yet another great time wasting web site!
I reached 13,400!!
Michelle, on Friday, February 20, 2004 at 2:25 PM:
Okay, now I'm just pissed off. I've gotten to 13,900 and can't get the pipe thing to go to the last level. As if I have the time for this...
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, February 24, 2004 at 6:27 AM:
OK, for those of you who, like Michelle, are beating your head against this, I've posted the solution one of our incredibly analytical programmers came up with.
Oh, the way these apples smell. The Black Twigs are tart and bright, and smell of the cider they could eventually be pressed into. The Cortlands are sweet, and smell vaguely of leaves and blossoms. The Winesaps, forever and always my favorites, they smell of earth, wine, cold cellars, lying on wet grass, mystery. I can't stop myself. I pull out one of the more oversized of the Winesaps, almost the size of a Red Delicious, large for this varietal. It snaps, then gives, against my front teeth. The flesh is a little softer than it is at the height of season, but it still provides plenty of the resistance that makes apples so satisfying to eat out of hand. The juice is both tart and sweet, apple wine, and there is plenty of it. It is tart and zippy, smooth and piercing, cidery, winy, round and gorgeous, here baby, there mama, everywhere daddy daddy. How could anyone consider this too straightforward and sincere to be a real pleasure?
A space program I can get behind
101 dumbest moments in business
All that time spent ghoulishly watching QVC's Knife Hour, wasted.
On a live QVC broadcast in September, a guest demonstrating the virtues of a 12.5-foot telescoping ladder slips and plummets to the ground. As cameras quickly cut from a shot of the demonstrator writhing in pain, studio host Lisa Robertson intones, "He's moving, he's OK."
Of course, #19 was pretty good, too -- less ghoulish, more cynical:
He was never a big fan of business class.
As American Airlines teeters on the brink of bankruptcy in April, CEO Donald Carty goes to the unions, hat in hand, begging $1.8 billion in wage concessions from its 110,000 workers. Yet even as he's preaching his stirring, we're-all-in-this-together line, the company quietly files an SEC report outlining a luscious, salary-tripling bonus scheme and a bankruptcy-proof, $41 million pension plan for its top 45 executives. "It's the equivalent of an obscene gesture from management," says union leader John Ward. Salvaging the labor deal and likely staving off Chapter 11 in the process, AA's board kills the bonuses, and Carty resigns in disgrace.
rfkj, on Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 7:36 AM:
How sick is it that Dick Strong's punishment for fraud is a payday of almost a billion dollars?
Hearth and Heart
A brief taste to entice you to read the whole piece:
But slowly I discovered again how much I love to cook. I love the entire process, from strolling through a farmer's market or a really good grocery store picking out the produce, or exploring unfamiliar spices at an Indian dry good store, constructing in my mind the shape of a meal built upon the flavors and textures I encounter that hour. I love to read cookbooks even when I don't plan to make anything. I learned so much about food from reading MFK Fischer and Julia Child and Marcella Hazan. They treat even the humblest ingredients like precious jewels. Child spends an entire chapter on the proper treatment of an egg. It can bring tears to my eyes.
Canada taunts the US
And boy, do we deserve it.
See Talking to Americans.
(Via Nicole, herself a Canadian!)
rfkj, on Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 2:46 PM:
Funny stuff. But I want to see Jay Leno do a "Jaywalking" segment in downtown Ottawa and see just how well the average Canadian does with the same material. Or, alternatively, I want to see the clips from this guy's show where he does the same thing. There are stupid people everywhere, after all, and there's a difference between malice and ignorance.
Three links for your consideration
GroundWaves is a commercial-free no-format internet radio station that is dedicated to unsigned and small-label bands that never get radio airplay in major markets and to listeners who are bored with the repetitive and unadventurous nature of corporate radio. GroundWaves is in the spirit of college and pirate radio, only more obscure by design. Unsigned bands from anywhere in the world and of any genre are encouraged to submit material to be played on the wire. GroundWaves has no playlists, no channels, and no favorites. If an artist has a recording, an artist can be broadcast on GroundWaves.
Which is a noble and beautiful goal.
In other news, my old friend Robert Jahrling has joined the blogging community. Soon I won't ever have to actually talk to any of my friends to know what's up with them; we'll all just be posting and commenting on every detail of each other's lives. Before interpersonal communication dies completely, however, you should go to his site and enjoy the irony of being an actual Hawaiian in Wisconsin. If you think I have reason to whine about the cold... his actual blood is pissed off at him.
Finally, last night I met Laurie Kellogg at a One/Northwest event. Laurie, you see, has a web site with some very fine photos on it, but Google doesn't know who she is -- although it knows all about her namesake. The solution? Since Google knows all about me -- and since I like her site -- here I am, linking to Laurie Kellogg.
Joshua Edelstein, on Monday, January 26, 2004 at 7:52 AM:
My first review ever! They love me, oh, they REALLY love me! (Maniacal laughter)
Oh, that's gotta hurt
- Streakers invade Spokane restaurant.
- Streakers exit Spokane restaurant.
- Streakers chase after their car, which they left running and unlocked to make a quick getaway, and which was thereupon stolen, in 20° weather. Still, uh, nekkid.
(Thanks to Beth)
Possibly the most depressing news item I've ever read
From today's Daily Grist:
I AM THE TOXIC WALRUS
Arctic Natives, Minding Own Business, Suffer From Our Pollutants
Toxic industrial chemicals, carried north by wind, ocean, and river currents, are polluting the traditional diet of native Arctic peoples in Greenland and Arctic Canada. The pollutants, including PCBs and up to 200 other hazardous compounds, are first consumed by zooplankton, then travel up the food chain to the ocean-dwelling mammals -- whales, seals, and walruses -- hunted by Arctic natives according to centuries-old traditions. At this point, concentrations of chemicals and pesticides in the bodies of Greenland's Inuit are so high that their tissues can be classified as hazardous waste. Their breast milk is contaminated as well, leading to widespread immune-system and neurological problems among their children. Public health officials are torn about what advice to offer, since -- absent our toxic crap -- the native diet is quite healthy, and regardless, there is no infrastructure to support importing large amounts of (less healthy) Western foods. Arctic native culture is built around hunting, so a change in diet would also have substantial implications for their cultural survival.
We're all wearing the blue dress now
You must, must check out the Freeway Blogger site.
rfkj, on Thursday, January 8, 2004 at 11:18 AM:
It took me a minute to understand what that sign meant. In fact, it was only after I said "Uh, okay, whatever" and went to look at the Freeway Blogging webiste for a bit that I got it. It's funny, but probably a little too abstract. A sign that you're only going to get a fleeting glimpse of, as you're passing it at 65 miles an hour, demands more directness.
But I like the idea. It's definitely on a more doable scale than billboard hacking. There's a really nice spot around here for just this sort of thing.
Yodeling for everyone
From the site:
This site will make you smile. Guaranteed. I have been performing yodel music for 15 years. One of my greatest pleasures is to look in the audience and see young and old smiling. That is also the focus of this site. The yodeling this site teaches is of the Alpine variety. Yodeling is fun unique and quite silly. I have enjoyed building and maintaining this site, and Have fun!
Survival by scorn
Question: What is the secret to surviving winter in Seattle? Answer: Scorn. Every morning I lean out my bedroom window and yell "Hah! I spit at your rain! I scoff at your darkness!" Then I put on my waterproof undies, bundle myself in fleece, attach a headlamp to my baseball cap, and venture out.
If you've never been to Seattle during the winter, MomBrain is here to tell you: It's not the rain that gets you. It's the darkness. It's frickin' dark all the time. Seattle is so far north that the day is short anyway. But when you add 17 layers of dense clouds blanketing the city without a break from November to April, well, you can see why MomBrain is prone to purple prose and sudden fits of weeping. By March the entire mushroom-white population is blinking like eyeless moles and booking spring-training flights to Arizona. (And I do mean white -- even the three African-Americans who live here are downright pasty by spring. Or heck, maybe we *do* have a more diverse population, but you just can't tell.)
I, of course, am enjoying the smug serenity of someone who is flying to Hawai'i tomorrow, because my parents had the good sense to raise me and my brother in a civilized part of the world. Why we were fools enough to leave, well, that's another story.
Philosophy to start your day out right
Tatsuya-san is getting all philosophical on us over at Sinfest:
And now for some words of wisdom:
- A Zen koan: Zen master said to his pupil, "I own you, bitch. Know that." And the pupil was owned. And he knew it.
- The Tao of Tat: Do not seek your own advantage. That might prevent me from gaining the upper hand.
- Confucius say: One day people from every race and culture will eat my food and bust open my cookie and read my Goddamn philosophy, boyyyyyyyy! East side! Huh!
- Jedi proverb: Fun to put the predicate ahead of the subject, it is.
- Famous Cat Aphorism: Meow meow meow meow meow meow meow. Meowwwwwww.
- Crazy people wisdom: Holy bong bong doogle my mixy! Worship my Bangkok, peanut face! Scooby snack vroom!
- Your daily affirmation: I am the shiznit. I am off the hizzle. And doggone it, people dig me!
Why yes, it *is* a roman D20.
Did y'all catch the mention of the roman D20 on Game Girl Advance?
The catalog entry notes: "Several polyhedra in various materials with similar symbols are known from the Roman period. Modern scholarship has not yet established the game for which these dice were used. "
Well, I think *we* all know what game it was used for! But my question is, before the fantasy Middle Ages, in what setting did the Romans play D&D? Ancient Egypt? Biblical times? Babylonian?
Sun Friday, on Saturday, January 10, 2004 at 10:13 PM:
That is SO cool.
They're gonna take Vince's phone away
He's playing Opportunistic Psychic again.
Sweet cloud, dude
As a side note, mad props to Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell, the authors of APOD, one of whom is probably responsible for making sure that there's an 'okina (glottal stop) in their correct spelling of Hawai'i on this page.
Insulin... pass the insulin...
Probably a copyright violation, since I recognize a few of the photos from Atsuki Sumida's Kittens in Japan, but what the hell.
Via the irrepressible Andrea Harner.
Mombrain on the pain of motherhood
Mombrain, in classic form, explains about the pain of motherhood:
Let me tell you about the pain of motherhood. Is it defined by childbirth? That's only the beginning! The tantrums? Nah. The rejection of a little boy who doesn't need his mommy quite so much? Oh no. The pain of motherhood reaches its zenith with Legos. MomBrain is here to tell you there is nothing more painful than stepping on a Lego. With bare feet. In the middle of the night. And the pain is all the more exquisite because in a dark house full of sleeping babes you cannot scream. Thus MomBrain has six perfectly spaced little circles on the arch of her right foot, a testament to the pain and sacrifice of motherhood. It may scar. I may limp for the rest of my life. This will definitely be an arrow in my sling of maternal guilt. When the Little Guy has grown into the Medium Guy, I will limp into his high school graduation, refuse all assistance to reach handicapped seating, and reassure him that I will be fine, just fine when he leaves me to go to college and eventually to marry that tramp.
I am bitter.
Those of you who have young kids, or are contemplating having young kids, should really read Mombrain regularly. She rules.
rfkj, on Sunday, November 30, 2003 at 5:46 PM:
Wait until her kids start playing D&D and she steps on a d4. I believe that her definition of pain will be redefined. I know mine was when I did it.
Among my people, this is known as "hell".
Barrow, Alaska (AP):
The sun is setting on Barrow and won't be seen again for 66 days.
The sun was expected to rise at 12:33 p.m. Tuesday and will set just 1 hour and 18 minutes later at 1:51 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Barrow.
Residents may see a snippet of sun above the horizon for a few more days, depending on their elevation and also the effects of cold temperatures and atmospheric conditions, which can make part of the sun appear above the horizon even when it is actually below the horizon, said the Weather Service's Gina Sturm.
"I'm sad to see the sun go, and I look forward to its return next year. It will be great to have it with us again as we move toward spring," said Marie Adams-Carroll, who has lived in Barrow all her life.
She said she and her husband Geoff Carroll have a sled dog team, and even the dogs can be affected by the dark and the cold.
George Cowan, who lived in Barrow for 17 years before moving to Seattle, was back for a visit and reflecting on life in Alaska's northernmost town.
"It's a bigger deal when it comes back in January after being down for all that time," he said. "One time, when it was due to return, I walked to the Barrow airport to get a nice picture of the sun when it came up. Then when it happened, I missed taking the picture because both the camera and my fingers had frozen up."
Bob Bolger, who works with computers, said he wasn't that concerned about being thrown into darkness for more than two months.
"The sun is greatly overrated," he said.
To mark the occasion, Barrow was planning a "Goodbye to the Sun" two-mile fun event, to start at the sun sign outside of the Ipalook Elementary School. The event, which was to begin at 12:15 p.m., was timed so that participants could soak up the last few rays, weather permitting.
Joshua Edelstein, on Friday, November 21, 2003 at 12:23 PM:
That would be fun for about two days. Really--"heh-hey, look, it's noon and it's dark! " Good for a coupla laughs, no lie. Then, it would get SERIOUSLY OLD. Not to mention that I'd be freezing my jibblies off. I don't think it's just me, and I don't think it's just because I was raised in a tropical paradise and am on a first-name basis with Sol. I am simply astounded at the human capacity to survive in--and to thus choose--situations that suck. I mean, Canada? That's a WHOLE COUNTRY that is norther than our northernmost point, and I thought Maine in August was pushing it. But what do I know. I'm the kid who always said "wha?" at the dinner table and rely on my brother's blog to recall sublime moments that I lived through but was generally to oblivious to store in my long-term memory. Maybe there's something rapturous about living in a place that is like living in a meat closet with predators and no walls. Could be, I don't know. After 66 days in a meat closet, I'd be hallucinating things prettier than the Aurora Borealis, so whatever. But then I live in DC instead of my native Honolulu, which I'd be hard pressed to explain purely from a geographical standpoint.
OK. I think I'm done.
David Adam Edelstein, on Friday, November 21, 2003 at 1:38 PM:
Not to mention... How do you know when it's shabbos when you're above the arctic circle?
rfkj, on Friday, November 21, 2003 at 2:30 PM:
It does get seriously old. For a few weeks every year, I live in darkness on weekdays: wake up before the sun is up, go to work before the sun is up, sit all day in my windowless office, go home after the sun is down. The only time I see the sun is on weekends. It STINKS.
Somehow I knew that
Sadly (or not?) I am only 47% hip.
What's your score?
Arnold Edelstein, on Sunday, November 16, 2003 at 12:11 PM:
I got the same score, Dave: 47%. Duh!
Joshua Edelstein, on Monday, November 17, 2003 at 6:28 AM:
Well, I'm only a whopping 60% hip. Partially because I answered honestly--but would one get extra points for actually knowing what the hip answer would be? I mean, seriously, the hairstyle thing--c'mon, I don't *have* hair!
rfkj, on Monday, November 17, 2003 at 7:34 AM:
David Adam Edelstein, on Monday, November 17, 2003 at 7:38 AM:
Well, that's probably pretty good for Madison, right?
rfkj, on Monday, November 17, 2003 at 8:44 AM:
I don't even know what a "Hipster" is, but we've got all of those swingin' youngsters down to the University, so it might could be that we've got a couple of 'em round these parts. Ayuh.
Vince Houmes, on Monday, November 17, 2003 at 10:02 AM:
My hips are getting wider every day. 57%.
Chris, on Monday, November 17, 2003 at 11:12 AM:
40% - I must be over 30... Yup, I'm over thirty. Darn.
Timoth, on Tuesday, November 18, 2003 at 12:24 PM:
I'm up there on the NOT hip list
Miz B, on Sunday, November 23, 2003 at 11:17 AM:
40%. Less hip than Dave. Cowabunga!
Not just the ants!
20% of worker ants idle lazybones: study
The Japan Times: Nov. 16, 2003
SAPPORO (Kyodo) Contrary to popular belief, 20 percent of worker ants are not particularly hardworking, researchers said Saturday.
The discovery is the result of observations of three separate 30-strong colonies of black Japanese ants (Myrmecina nipponica), according to Eisuke Hasegawa, an assistant researcher in evolutionary biology at Hokkaido University's graduate school of agriculture, and his research team.
The team transferred three colonies of ants to a man-made nest and marked them for observation. Hasegawa and his team said they observed the ants three hours a day for about five months from May last year.
Hasegawa said they discovered that about 80 percent of the ants engage in some sort of work, such as cleaning the nest or gathering food, but that the rest are mostly idle.
The situation remained the same when the researchers removed six busy ants from one colony; the busy ants that remained had to work even harder while the lazy ants continued to do little or no work.
Scientists have suggested that some ants may avoid working due to old age or inherent laziness. Hasegawa said the idle ants could be contributing something to the colony that they have not yet determined.
Flash-based font browser
Here's a very cool little flash application that allows you to preview the fonts on your system.
It's functionally no different from typing text in Word and choosing different faces, but somehow it's a much better experience. Ain't design wonderful?
Via the estimable Manuel Clement.
A charming end-of-the-world fantasy
Called, appropriately enough, The End of the World.
Via the painfully 80's shades wearing Timmy.
Joshua Edelstein, on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 at 6:30 AM:
Best. Flash Animation. Ever.
Why yes, I guess the northern lights have been spectacular since the sun started throwing hot balls of radiation at us... here's a good set of photos on Fotolog that shows just how amazing it's been.
Girls Kick Ass
High School Girls Pummel Man Who Exposed Himself
Oct 31, 10:31 AM (ET)
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A man described by authorities as a known sexual predator was chased through the streets of South Philadelphia by an angry crowd of Catholic high school girls, who kicked and punched him after he was tackled by neighbors, police said on Friday.
Rudy Susanto, 25, who had exposed himself to teen-age girls on as many as seven occasions outside St. Maria Goretti School, struck again on Thursday just as students were being dismissed, police said.
But this time, a group of girls in school uniforms angrily confronted Susanto with help from some neighbors, police said. When Susanto tried to run, more than 20 girls chased him down the block. Two men from the neighborhood caught him and the girls took their revenge.
"The girls came and started kicking him and punching him, so I wasn't going to stop them," neighbor Robert Lemons told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Susanto was later treated for injuries at a local hospital. Police said he would be charged with 14 criminal counts including harassment, disorderly conduct, open lewdness and corrupting the morals of a minor.
Hey, I had one of these.
From the nostalgia-inducing Lunch Box Bonanza! Gallery.
Via Coudal.com, as so many things are.
Here's a beautiful composite image and time-lapse movie shot from the photographer's apartment in Toronto.
(Via Coudal Partners)
Vince Houmes, on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 at 4:25 PM:
Beautiful! Reminds me of Koyanisqaatsi. I'd never noticed building lights being turned on sequentially in similar videos; I wonder if this is janitors starting at the top of the building and turning on lights as they work down?
More holiday fun
Halloween is really my favorite holiday. It's the only time of the year when my ghoulish tendencies, well, fit in better.
Case in point: This game made me giddy with laughter. Representative screen shot:
That's right! Grab the kids and drop 'em in the pot!
NOAA is editorializing
Miz Becky noticed that NOAA's weather page for Seattle was editorializing this morning (emphasis mine):
THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR RECENT COOL AND UNSETTLED WEATHER WILL SHIFT EAST LATE TODAY OR EARLY TONIGHT. ALAS...YET ANOTHER SYSTEM WILL BEGIN AFFECTING THE COAST LATE TONIGHT...WITH PRECIPITATION OVERSPREADING THE ENTIRE AREA ON SATURDAY. EXPECT COOL...SHOWERY WEATHER ON SUNDAY IN THE WAKE OF THIS SYSTEM.
As a side note, despite the fact that NOAA is an acronym, around our house we pronounce it as though it were a Hawaiian word for weather forcasting: Noa'a.
The horrible baby name list
If you have a bunch of time to kill, and need to feel superior about other people's horrible, horrible names for their children, spend some time with Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing.
As they say on the site: The following is a catalog of naming questions and suggestions posted on several different baby naming bulletin boards going back as far as early 2001.
We aren't having kids for another year or two, but we like Kellyna Nychole, Taryn Mykah and Mykenzie Kathryn for girls.
So far we have come up with;
Boys;Finn, Drake, Regan, Hazen, Tannith
Girls; Mehina, Miette, Acenzion, Reina, Sarika, Taise.
Andreana Calida [last name]
Damita Nicole [last name]
Adoncia Noella [last name]
Kamaria May [last name]
Elliot Ness [last name]
Then, of course, there are the really depressing entries:
I'm a 18 year old mother, and my twin daughters (they are now almost 2 years old) are named Vanessa Aisleigh and Maya Reese. My other favorite names are: Girls: Ashton, Lexi, Elisa, Morganne, Madeleine, Shoanie, Kendel
Boys: Reed, Jack, Cortlend, Dane
I hope that all of the teenagers out there realize what they are doing before they do it. Even though I love my daughters, I made a mistake that will change my life forever.
Hello everyone! Im 15 weeks pregnant and I know I have a lot of time to think on a name, however, the father of the baby is no longer around, I have two older sons whos names are Aaron James, and Andrew Michael... no I didnt at the time had one thought that they both started with "A's". But since so many think so would like to name this next child with an "A" name. I have found: Alyssa, Alexia, Alea, Abigail that I like. Last imput from father of baby was.."going to break the cycle of the "A" name thing....Ugh! Men! What do you think, any good advice for me?
Would like something not so common. Help!
rfkj, on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 11:26 AM:
The actor Jason Lee and his fiancee named their new son "Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf Lee". I'm also reminded of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's kids, Rumer and Scout.
I'd like to know where people come up with some of these names. Like "Anfernee" and "Keyshawn", or my current favorite stumper, Washington wide receiver Laveranues Coles. How is it pronounced? "Lah-ver-knee-us."
Although frankly, with a daughter named "Kulani Ramona", I really shouldn't talk too much...
Wanda Culpepper, on Thursday, February 12, 2004 at 4:25 AM:
Theres nothing I hate more than parents naming their kids after desirable "personality traits" I mean come on... HONESTY? What kind of name is that?
Rory Campbell, on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 at 9:20 AM:
Umm... especially interested in your website since both the name of my son (Finn) and daughter (Taise) feature. I'm interested in the reaction to the names, but plead dispensation on the grounds that
a) I like them and
b) I come from Rathlin Island off the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland: Rathlin had a 6th Century princess Taise, and the local giant was Finn Mac Cumhall.
Dan, on Friday, May 6, 2005 at 9:29 PM:
Alexia means "the pathological inability to read!" Doesn't anyone use a dictionary any more?
Loony or parody?
I can't tell.
The above diagram shows how you can make your own Eternal Life Rings. You can use ceramic or rare earth magnets. You can find ceramic magnets in every hardware store. Ceramic works good, but you can purchase higher quality magnets from a scientific project specialty store. (Example: Edmund's Scientific) Since it is an eternal life device, it is better to purchase good quality, powerful magnets for the sake of your great health. Rare earth is a little more expensive, but they are much more powerful than ceramic. I recommend rare earth magnets. You can use plastic or plastic tape to make the rings.
Don't use conductive material: metal for the brace of the ring because metal will consume the magnetic flux of the magnet that is suppose to fluxuate into your finger; the brace of the ring should be nonconductive. If you want, you can buy the rings from us. Our rings are professionally made, one-size-fits-all in plastic housing.
Watch out for the polarities. If you put the rings on with the wrong polarity, you could get sick within hours! Use a compass to indicate North and South pole if necessary. A compass's North needle always points to the magnet's South pole.
If you are not handy or simply don't have time, feel free to buy a set of eternal life rings from me. My rings are one-size-fits-all plastic rings which only need simple adjustments. Our rings are professionally designed. The braces of the rings are of course nonconductive. Very comfortable to wear and are powerful. I only build my devices with the best quality magnets possible.
Check out the site.
Vince Houmes, on Monday, October 6, 2003 at 11:20 AM:
So go sign up and get an eternal life magnet qi-power groove thingie! Unless you're an independence-minded Taiwanese fella, in which case his site has words for you: "A Taiwanese who does not consider himself to be Chinese does not deserve to become immortal."
Sounds like there may also be a few problems at home: "MY FAMILY
My father is a business man, importing and exporting between USA and China. My step-mother is the forth step-mom already. I feel like that I don't even know her."
Joshua Edelstein, on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 6:37 AM:
Now, I'm not saying that it'll grant eternal life, right, but he *may* be onto something there . . . I mean, magnetic therapy has been proven very useful in blocking pain in patients who suffer from traumatic injury or chronic pain. As humans we're affected by the pull of the moon, etc.
If I can just get Biblical on your ass for a minute, pre-Flood the population of the earth (Noah, etc) tended to live for just shy of 1000 years, and post-Flood life spans decreased greatly. Nachmanides suggested that this was due to climactic change wrought by the flood--who's to say it didn't screw up the polarity, too, and that it couldn't be gotten back through the application of magnets?
Dude, you can reduce the belch-factor of a cucumber by cutting off one pole and touching it to the other. You can light a bulb with a pickle as the power source. Physics and chemistry are weird--magnets, dude, magnets.
Don't get me wrong--I'm not rushing out to get my eternal life rings or anything, but he is right in that people always laugh at what they don't understand. Gravity. Relativity. The earth as a satellite. Who knows? We could all be sitting around aging in 50 years while some freakish new-agers who believed him today still look like they're 20.
--the recently atoned brother-thing
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 6:42 AM:
OK, we're getting deep into pseudoscience here. I refer you to the 9/26/03 issue of What's New:
1. MAGNETIC THERAPY: HAVE WE GOT NEWS FOR YOU! IT DOESN'T WORK.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week, "Effect of Magnetic vs Sham-Magnetic Insoles on Plantar Heel Pain," reports that a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial of 101 adults diagnosed with plantar heel pain found no significant difference in outcome between use of active vs sham magnets. It was carried out by capable physicians from the prestigious Mayo Clinic. They even got the right answer. So what's the problem? The problem is the huge cost to society of disproving claims for which there was no evidence to begin with. Next we will learn that the Fish and Wildlife Service is funding a study of New York sewers to look for alligators.
Click the horsies
Following closely on the heels of the cat town theme... how about doo-wop horses? (macromedia flash)
Also, don't miss the home page of the strange Swedish TV show this is from.
(Thanks to Dylan)
Despite my determination to not be a digest form of Mimi Smartypants, I am compelled to pass on this recommendation:
I also recommend Cat Town, because it is completely retarded and thus contains a nugget of genius. This is a very complex and sophisticated line of reasoning, it's okay if you are not there yet.
I definitely recommend listening to the Cat Town Theme.
Top of the world, ma!
His expression says "Well, here I am... this is as good as it's ever going to get for me."
NOW I've made it
Hey, look! My entry finally showed up in the IMDB!
Now that's a good message
What every neighborhood needs: A child-sized pimp costume for halloween.
It's on sale, too, for a very reasonable $39.99. Your little Snoop Dogg wannabe won't have to pimp-slap many of his bizzitches to work up enough benjamins for this outfit.
Seriously, though, what can one say about this? Yeesh.
(on the plus side, his outfit does go nicely with my site's color scheme... maybe they have one in my size?)
(Via Mr. Barry)
UPDATE: I was showing this to Miz Becky just now and we discovered that there's not just one costume... there are four child pimp daddy costumes for sale.
"Last days, Dave," she said.
That's my kind of girl
Daughter Helps Mom in Dog Attack
WAYMART, Pa. (AP) - A woman being viciously attacked by a large dog said she was saved from further harm when her 13-year-old daughter distracted the canine by screaming "You want a piece of me?" and kicking it repeatedly in the head.
Ya shoulda seen this one coming
The makers of Kazaa (popular file-sharing software similar to Napster in concept) are suing the RIAA... for copyright violation... for using unlicensed copies of Kazaa to snoop out file sharers.
Mimi made me snort
Or, I suppose, technically LT did. From the latest entry at Mimi Smartypants:
I had to listen to a two-year-old voice mail from LT, where he pretended to be one Doctor Pouchenbaggen, inquiring about his upcoming article in the fake urology journal, Schlöng, called "Dein Scrotum Saccen, Das Noblebaggen." It cracks me up every time because who doesn't like fake German accents and scrotum jokes? No one, that's who. Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee or fake German accents and scrotum jokes.
Want to write an e-mail to yourself, to be sent at some future date? Future Me has the solution.
The public entries are alternately fascinating and drab, as you might expect.
I want a death ray!
Check out the newest creation from the boys at Brotron Labs:
It's quite a beautiful thing.
You must, of course, also check out the movie of the Electrolux Death Ray in action! (Quicktime, 5.2mb)
Despite my better judgement, I've sent them e-mail asking how much one would set me back. Wouldn't it look sharp in our living room? Or perhaps roof-mounted on the Protegé?
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 at 4:04 PM:
Update: I got mail back from the boys at the lab. The Electrolux Death Ray starts at $4000 with no options, and goes up to about $7500.
Who wants to send me $7500? Anyone? Anyone?
I have no comment on this essay.
Hey, I resemble that accusation:
This past summer, I almost lost my husband, the man I love desperately. Not in a car crash. Not to SARS. Not to another woman, and no, not even to golf.
Tragically, I almost lost him to digital photography. I was just this side of becoming a digi-widow. Day after day, night after night, the camera was his de facto companion. He'd be out at all hours, his Nikon Coolpix 5000 strapped around his neck, lens cap dangling, hand intimately caressing the case, thumb ever-quivering above the shutter button.
[ . . . ]
Leaving the house, he'd catch the reflection on the doorknob.
"Oh, that leaf. The inherent beauty, the absolute perfection."
"Wait, don't get in the car yet. The juxtaposition of the antenna against the garage door -- it's fantastic."
Click. Click. Click.
Full essay here. (free registration required)
Kirstie is getting ready for winter:
We have just had the den, where the woodstove lives, wallpapered at last, and now we are finishing up the painting. It will be a pleasant place to sit all winter long, with a fire in the stove and a cat on one's knees, the snow sifting down outside and the mister in his armchair in the corner, heaping muttered poxes and imprecations upon the Bush administration.
I want one
From the maker:
1. a CD has a quality of keeping music for a long long time.
2. to keep freshness of food, you freeze it.
3. listening to CD with viewing it turn inside an ice cube. Can you smell the freshness?
Yeesh, I don't want one that badly. I just want someone I know to own one, so I can go look at it.
Al Franken on Letterman
This is kinda cool. From the article:
1 Limited of Cambridge, UK, has found a novel way to make a thin sheet of a piezoelectric ceramic material work like a motor. It can move whatever is placed on top of it, or it can be rolled into a cylinder to grasp and move a miniature camera lens.
What a mess
From SpaceImaging, a satellite photo of the Alcantara launch pad where a Brazilian rocket exploded on August 22, killing 21 people and (as you can see in the picture) scorching a large area of the surrounding jungle.
Some random links
Well, that explains it all
I can't really say anything about this site that makes more sense than this excerpt from what passes for a headline:
ElDorado & The Re-Penting of America:
Pictorial Map to America's Geomantic Global Role
Is the 'Fountain of Youth' the sustainable charge envelope of embedding.. inhabited by ONLY the Shareable?
Meaning of El Dorado: El=Phase Shift from circle to line.. matter(matrix) to energy, Dor=Doorway.. El Dorado - Doorway into Gold - which is Door to Perfect Fractal Embedding.
Or perhaps this line from the end of the page gives a better summary:
So ... there's a significant correlation, here (to say the least), to both 'The Face' and 'The D&M Pyramid' on Mars.
(Via Mr. Barry)
rfkj, on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 9:32 AM:
I'd certainly like to "evolve a genepool THAT COULD BY FRACTALITY SQUIRT IT'S GENES & GLAND MAGNETICS INTO STARS". Can I start with Winona Ryder? :)
David Adam Edelstein, on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 9:40 AM:
Hey now. Lunatic fringe pseudoscience is all very well, but let's leave Noni out of it.
rfkj, on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 9:42 AM:
It doesn't matter; crop circles predicted our doom years ago.
Bill Moyers on the Environment
Grist: Has the Bush administration been more effective at pushing their environmental agenda than the Reagan and Bush I administrations before it?
Moyers: Ronald Reagan came to power with the same agenda, but made a mistake when he appointed James Watt head of the wrecking crew at the Department of Interior. Watt made no attempt to disguise his fanaticism. He was outspokenly anti-environment and he inflamed the public against him with his flagrant remarks. But he took over a bureaucracy of civil servants who had come of age in the first great environmental wave of the l970s -- people who believed they had a public charge to do the right thing. When Watt stormed into office, these civil servants resisted. Now, 20 years later -- after eight years of Reagan, four years of Bush the First, and three years of Bush the Second -- that generation of civil servants is gone. The executive branch is a wholly owned subsidiary of the conservative/corporate coalition.
[ . . . ]
Grist: The irony is that despoliation doesn't just wipe out the verdant land, it makes it impossible to have a healthy, diverse economy.
Moyers: It stuns me that the people in power can't see that the source of our wealth is the Earth. I'm an entrepreneur, I'm a capitalist. I don't want to destroy the system on which my livelihood and my journalism rest. I am strongly on behalf of saving the environment [in no small part] because it is the source of our wealth. Destroy it and the pooh-bahs of Wall Street will have to book an expedition to Mars to enjoy their riches. I don't understand why they don't see it. I honestly don't. This absence of vision as to what happens when you foul your nest puzzles me.
[ . . . ]
Grist: Yes, it seems as though on some level Bush is lacking some kind of emotional intelligence on these matters -- as though he's sort of tone deaf to the environment.
Moyers: We had Devra Davis, a scientist at Carnegie Mellon, on the show recently. She described how Laura and George Bush designed their ranch at Crawford to be environmentally efficient, with solar paneling and lots of new technology. She pointed out that they seem to understand these issues somewhat on an individual level, and yet they don't understand that the personal is not enough. It takes policy to translate. There is a disconnect between how they live privately and how they act publicly.
"Frum" is a Yiddish word (I think) meaning "observant". Friendster is an online dating service.
Frumster, therefore, is obviously an online dating service for Orthodox Jews.
Of course, Sparkles showed up in a search for "modern orthodox - liberal". The other categories are more what you'd expect:
- Modern Orthodox - Machmir
- Yeshiva/Black Hat
I have no idea what Machmir or Carlebachian means. Perhaps the somewhat more frum brother-thing will weigh in.
This is what I love about the web: people in relatively small niches can find each other in ways that were difficult, if not impossible, 10 years ago.
Joshua Edelstein, on Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 10:37 AM:
Brother-thing here. Carlebachian is probably a reference to Shlomo Carlebach, who was a noted spiritual leader and singer. Not sure if he was actually a rabbi or not. Anyway, you think Led Zepplin has a lot of records? Feh! Carlebach basically was the pioneer of sort of new-Jew touchy-feely neshamah Judaism and sang and sang and sang and sang and sang about it. Hippies love him.
A brief consultation with the Shekinternet (God's dwelling on lit optics) reveals that Machmir denotes strict adherence to halacha, or the minutae of Jewish law. The ridiculous example of over-adherence would be the dairy farm that has a kosher authority actually sitting with cows 24/7 so that they can ensure that aliens don't turn the cow into another (potentially non-kosher) animal at any time.
Shows how much I paid attention in Hebrew school--I got "machmir" confused with "machmer" which (I think) means "what's your name?"
A Jew, on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 9:52 AM:
Hi. Orthodox (I hate that term....we're really UNorthdox, if you think about it!) Jew here to fill you in. In this context, "Machmir" means "with relatively stringent leanings". For example, a liberal Modern Orthodox Jew would likely approve of women wearing pants, while a machmir Moder Orthodox Jew would likely disapprove (the concern here being that pants more clearly outline a woman's body than a skirt does, and Judaism considers modesty to be of considerable importance - not out of fear of sexuality or reluctance to recognize it, but rather out of deep recognition of the power and potency of sexual attraction) (sorry for the digression).
A Jew, on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 9:53 AM:
Sorry about that url.......I was trying to be anonymous, but I picked a poor choice of "fake" url.....didn't think it would actually exist!
David Adam Edelstein, on Tuesday, October 7, 2003 at 10:11 AM:
Thanks for the clarification, Mystery Jew! :-)
Dave, on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 at 9:29 AM:
Led Zeppelin only has something like 10 records.
Alan Goldberg, on Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 10:01 AM:
Another site that pretty much offers the same things as frumster is frumsky. Unfortunately it isn't as poplar so you don't get many profiles like the photo displayed of people that look like they are stoned.
Maciej is making me hungry for fair food:
Tonight we tested the better half's newly acquired vegan principles in the crucible of the Addison County Fair and Field Days, the local summer agricultural fair, where every animal on display is also conveniently available served hot on a kaiser roll.
Winner: Fair and Field Days, by a margin of one (1) BBQ pork sandwich and one (1) Italian sausage roll with onions. But we did also consume onion rings and the crust and outer mantle of a caramel apple, so you can't call it a rout.
Paul is... swapped?
This excerpt says it all:
It will be my assertion throughout this presentation that the man you see on the left is NOT the real Paul McCartney, but rather a very convincing look-alike who was chosen, either by the band, the record label, or more likely the government, to take the place of the real Paul McCartney after he dissapeared and probably died in the winter of 1966.
Oh, yes. Read on...
(via Mr. Barry)
Play with the nice kitty.
(via Latitude 13)
CA, on Tuesday, August 19, 2003 at 10:53 AM:
Listen to this kitty:
Is ebay spelling a new language?
OK, I admit, I'm pissy about bad spelling and punctuation online. But this one takes the cake. Note the all-caps (why are you shouting?) and the final instruction to the reader.
HERE WE HAVE A LIMITED EDITION LITHOGRAPH BY THOMAS KINKADE IN ORIGINAL MINT CONDITION. #107 OF 200. THIS STUNNING LITHOGRAPH HAS VIBRANT COLOR'S THAT SEEM TO ENGULF YOU INTO THE GARDEN'S THEMSELFS. THE RIVER SEEM'S REALISTIC AS IT FLOW'S GENTLY THROUGH THE GARDEN'S. ALTHOUGH THE CAMERA I USED IS A NIKON COOLPIX 4500W/4 MEGAPIXIL AND EVEN THOUGH IT TAKES GREAT DIGITAL PICTURES IT CAN'T SEEM TO GATHER ALL THE EMOTIONS THAT YOU GET FROM SEEING IT LIVE UP FRONT. THIS LITHOGRAPH SELL'S FOR $14,500.00* TO $16,500.00 ON THE SECONDARY MARKET. I HAVE IT TO MOVE WITH A STARTING PRICE $6995.00. THIS IS A RARLY OFFERED PIECE. "THE GARDEN OF PRAYER" STUDIO PROOF (THIS ONE IS UN-REGISTERED) IS KNOWN THE WORLD OVER WITH VERY FEW COLLECTORS LUCKY ENOUGH TO OWN ONE. THERE IS NOT ONE THING WRONG WITH THIS LITHOGRAPH FOR I BOUGHT IT FROM A AVID KINKADE COLLECTOR IN WASHINGTON STATE AND AS SHE DID THIS LITHOGRAPH HAS BEEN KEPT IN A SMOKE-FREE ROOM SINCE NEW! IT IS IMMACULANT AND ABSOLUTLY BEAUTIFUL! THIS IS A INVESTMENT PEICE THAT YOU CAN ENJOY ON YOUR WALL UNTIL TIME TO PASS OR SELL TO THE NEXT PROUD OWNER! A ANTIQUE GOLD T.K. FRAME AND PICTURE LIGHT ALSO INCLUDED ALONG WITH ALL PAPERWORK AND REGISTRATION FORM. HIS SIGNITURE LAMP POST FIGURE IS CLEARLY DRAWN ON THE BACK. SMILE!
Ah, it's immaculant. Good to know.
I'll leave the reason I was looking at a Thomas Kinkade auction to your imaginations.
Orchids and asparagus... never seen 'em together
NEW YORK -- Orchids can be elegant, gaudy, lurid and even downright bizarre. While the unusual flowers of these species have excited plant lovers for centuries, they have also made it difficult for evolutionary biologists to place them in the plant family tree and identify their closest relatives.
Now, scientists say, studies of the DNA of orchids are revealing a host of surprises, chief among them, that orchids are actually part of the asparagus group, closer kin to these vegetables than to the other, flashier, flowering plants they had been placed with before.
I particularly enjoy the insightful comment from an orchidologist:
"They're so weird, so different from everything else," said Dr. Ken Cameron, orchidologist at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.
Quarlo inspires me to shoot better and post more photos.
Your dolphin trivia for the day
Dolphin trivia #1:
Unlike you or I, dolphins' breathing is not part of their autonomic nervous system (ANS). It's voluntary. It's as though while you were sitting there in front of the computer reading this, you were also having to remember "Breathe in. Ok, breathe out. Now breathe in again. And out."
Dolphin trivia #2:
Now that you know that dolphins' breathing isn't part of their ANS, you're naturally asking yourself (being sophisticated science types) "Hey, self, how do they sleep?"
This is the cool bit. One hemisphere of their brain goes to sleep at a time. First left naps and right takes a shift, then left wakes up and relieves right, and they trade off until they've both slept long enough.
(Thanks to DTSH, who takes cool classes where she learns this stuff)
What the world needs now is... a creationist science fair?
UPDATE: It appears I was snookered! HEB pointed out that this site must surely be related to Landover Baptist, a wonderfully satirical fake church site. And, after poking around the science fair site a bit more, it seems clear that she's right. Bully for them for fooling me. It's still damn funny.
Oh, yes. From the site:
Our children are the future face of Science and we must teach them to recognize the truth of the Word of the Lord so as to break the cycle of Evolutionism dogma that is paralyzing scientific development and making higher education a dumping ground for the excesses of materialistic philosophies.
To that end, the Fellowship Baptist Creation Science Fair was started. It's purpose is to get kids excited about Creation and motivate them to discover the truth of our Lord on their own.
Here's the second-place winner in the middle school division:
"Women Were Designed For Homemaking"
Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.
Of course, Jonathan was beat out by a girl, so perhaps he needs to re-examine his results:
"Life Doesn't Come From Non-Life"
Patricia Lewis (grade 8) did an experiment to see if life can evolve from non-life. Patricia placed all the non-living ingredients of life - carbon (a charcoal briquet), purified water, and assorted minerals (a multi-vitamin) - into a sealed glass jar. The jar was left undisturbed, being exposed only to sunlight, for three weeks. (Patricia also prayed to God not to do anything miraculous during the course of the experiment, so as not to disqualify the findings.) No life evolved. This shows that life cannot come from non-life through natural processes.
On the other hand... maybe he doesn't have anything to worry about.
My personal favorite, though, is the high-school level winning entry:
"Using Prayer To Microevolve Latent Antibiotic Resistance In Bacteria"
Eileen Hyde and Lynda Morgan (grades 10 & 11) did a project showing how the power of prayer can unlock the latent genes in bacteria, allowing them to microevolve antibiotic resistance. Escherichia coli bacteria cultured in agar filled petri dishes were subjected to the antibiotics tetracycline and chlorotetracycline. The bacteria cultures were divided into two groups, one group (A) received prayer while the other (B) didn't. The prayer was as follows: "Dear Lord, please allow the bacteria in Group A to unlock the antibiotic-resistant genes that You saw fit to give them at the time of Creation. Amen." The process was repeated for five generations, with the prayer being given at the start of each generation. In the end, Group A was significantly more resistant than Group B to both antibiotics.
Here's the thing. Whether you're a Christian Science adherent or not... is it that good of an idea to deliberately try to breed a colony of E. coli that's more dangerous than it already is?
(Via the fluctuant Ms. Smartypants)
Collaboration across the 'net
From Lawrence Lessig:
As I described before, Colin Mutchler posted a guitar track to Opsound. Opsound makes its content available to others under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike license. Cora Beth, a 17 year old violinist, took the track and added a violin track. The result is this.
Give them a listen, and think about two total strangers collaborating.
Addendum: Here's some information about the clearly talented Cora Beth.
rfkj, on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 at 8:01 AM:
Remixes are essentially collaborations between strangers; a turntablist in England need not have met James Brown to use "Sex Machine" in a mix, for example. A lot of jazz records are collaborations between strangers; they'd sit a bunch of guys down in the studio, agree on a list of standards, and play them.
And while it's not collaboration between strangers, the modern recording process often involves playing with nobody, playing over tracks that your bandmates have already laid down. On some of the tracks that I recorded for Sticky Fingers (http://www.stickyfingersmusic.com), we had them lay down their instrumental tracks individually, and then lead and harmony vocals individually. For Rush's latest album, I've heard that the three band members were never in the studio at the same time. Or you could look at Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable" duet with her father. Or Sinatra's "Duets" albums, which (and I may be wrong) involved zero face-to-face time between Sinatra and his duet partners.
Sonic Foundry's Acid, as well as other looped-playback mixing software, allows you to take music loops recorded by other people--sometimes anonymous, sometimes famous--and stitch them into your own musical compositions. You can add your own instrumentals and vocals or not; I've had pleasing results both ways.
All of this is to say that what's happened here isn't really that new, with the obvious exception of the Internet delivery model and the Creative Commons license, which is what has Lessig so excited--natural, given that such things are his area of specialization. And it is absolutely neat that you can take a piece of your creation, license it, and have people use it on your terms without having to go through some Draconian process involving Harry Fox and ASCAP (it's a pain).
Cora Beth needs some work on her improvisation skills. Don't get me wrong, the music is pretty, but she's not really listening to the guitar track; about halfway through, when the guitarist breaks up the rhythm a little, the violin totally doesn't respond to it. It just keeps floating along in a manner unrelated to what's going on around it. I sympathize; I have the same problem when I can't see the person I'm playing with.
I also sympathize with her lack of decent recording equipment. I mean, who had any at 17? Not me. But it was a little painful to listen to, and my ears aren't golden by any means. She should have been able to get a better sound, even from the crappy $1.79 mic that came with her sound card; I was able to get a decent acoustic guitar sound from mine before I switched to better gear.
Still and all...neat. More people should do this.
Dave Barry is a bad man
Did you know that Dave Barry has a blog? I didn't, until tonight. Would it surprise you that he's using it to instigate acts of weirdness among his fans? No, it didn't surprise me, either.
(Pardon me -- Rusty is looking for some attention)
(I say casually, as though it didn't take me four minutes to shoot the picture, skritch the cat, download the picture, color correct it, and upload twice because I screwed it up the first time)
Anyway... So Ol' Dave has a blog. And on it, a few days ago, he said:
MEANWHILE, however, this blog has a little project to amuse anybody who is interested, involving a wonderful site called www.poetry.com, which was brought to this blog's attention by alert reader Laura Stark. Aspiring poets can go there and submit poems in the poetry contest, and maybe even -- incredibly -- have their poems selected for inclusion in heirloom-quality-bound volumes that are -- What are the odds of this? -- for sale!
So anyway, this blog was just thinking how interesting it would be if a whole bunch of people submitted poems that contained a certain key poetic phrase. To see how it might work, this blog submitted a poem under the pen name of "Freemont A. Harkins," entitled: "A Sad Day." Here's how it goes:
A Sad Day
i am sad, so very sad
the tears run down my nose
it was a happy day until
the dog ate mother's toes
You can see this poem at www.poetry.com, using the search engine to search for "Freemont Harkins." Wouldn't it be fun if a lot of people submitted poems using a Pen Name that began with "Freemont" and incorporating the phrase, "the dog ate mother's toes"? Then we all could search for poems written under the first name of "Freemont" -- currently, this blog is the only one -- and see how creative everybody was!
Or would that be wrong?
The results are predictable. Mr. Barry's fans have pitched in. (As, I should say, will I, when I've written my masterpiece)
Here's my favorite so far:
Living in the World Today
Life's been hard and times are tough
Or so the saying goes
Nothing's been the same here since
The dog ate mother's toes
We'd thought we'd trained it better,
And it was so nicely bred
But in spite of all it's pedigree
The dog ate mother's head
Perhaps we didn't feed it well
At doggy's time to glut
The pet chow failed to satisfy
'Cause the dog ate mother's butt
The gore was like the aftermath
Of the attack on Earth by Venus
And when he finished eating mom
The dog ate father's obvious rhyme
Freemont P. Wellbottom
(via the mommy-purse-free mombrain)
I love these NYC landscapes by Sarah Brayer:
From the site:
Intense color is used to capture the allure of the City at night. Pure pigment is suspended in linen pulp, which is manipulated while wet to create the effect of jewels in the night.
It's not easy being green
but apparently it does provide a balanced diet, at least according to today's What's New:
NASA: COULD AN ASTRONAUT LEARN TO SURVIVE BY PHOTOSYNTHESIS?
Perhaps the Columbia accident convinced NASA that a backup plan is needed in case astronauts are stranded on the Space Station (WN 14 Mar 03). According to the Hindustan Times, NASA turned to a survival expert, Hira Ratan Manek, a 64-year-old mechanical engineer from India. Manek claims to have survived for eight years on sunlight, water and a little tea. He is in the United States to show NASA how he does it. NASA scientists reportedly verified that Manek survived on water and sunlight for 130 days. The NASA Public Affairs Office confirmed to WN that the claim is true. This is a bold new approach. If the laws of nature stand in the way of a solution, its time to change the laws.
Far out. It's not even April.
UPDATE: I suspect that if I hadn't tasted food in eight years, I'd look about this happy, too.
Not too early for holiday shopping
OK, I really like this t-shirt.
Jian Shuo Wang, on Wednesday, July 2, 2003 at 6:25 PM:
From your comment on my blog, I found your site and enjoyed reading it. :-)
Doonesbury nails it
All together now: "How can the President be RE-elected?"
Can you map the Middle East and northern Africa?
True to form, I knew which part of which continent every country went, but I only knew the exact location for about 50% of them.
How did you do?
(via Uncle Vinny)
rfkj, on Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 8:04 AM:
I got all of the -stans and the major players in the Gulf area (Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan). Oh, and Turkey because of "Viva Variety". The rest of the area was a blank (well, "Palestine" was easy enough to guess). I got Egypt and Libya because I knew them, and Tunisia because that's where Star Wars was filmed, and Morocco because of Gibraltar. The rest of Africa was a blank slate for guesswork. Very interesting.
Ever feel like the universe was against you?
Maybe it's just me... but take a look at today's Astronomy Picture of the Day and let me know if you see what I saw.
rfkj, on Monday, June 30, 2003 at 11:09 AM:
"it's[sic] clear definition stimulates the human imagination" indeed! Yeah, I suppose it COULD be a superhero...but it's not. Hilarious.
David Adam Edelstein, on Monday, June 30, 2003 at 11:17 AM:
It's true. I sent this around the office; the general consensus is that while it's possible to see the superhero, if one squints and picks out the different pieces... the Alternate Interpretation is much more obvious.
The Baba, on Tuesday, July 1, 2003 at 12:12 AM:
I saw the finger, of course, and thought of
the end of Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle."
Hot dog sculpture
The ineffable Ms. Smartypants says:
Oh my god oh my god oh my god. If you only click on one link in your entire life it must be this one. I am the happiest girl on the planet and I cannot explain, you simply must go there forthwith. Like, now.
I'd tend to agree with her.
Bad ideas #37562: Baby name inventor
Yes, it's an automatic baby name generator.
From the site:
Looking for a unique baby name? Our name wizard generates suggestions by statistically analyzing real baby names in our database, then creating new letter combinations.
Try it just for the fun of it...you never know where that perfect baby name will come from!
And what quality names they are, too! Here's a sample result set of girl names:
Veevic, Jolosel, Fimyola, Varok, Gesondy, Peairy, Qurta, Inen, Rdri, Qudo, Mesin, Gary, Iath, Rieele, Qust, Lisourc, Rauc, Zevaneras, Kahatat, Eatarel
Now that I look at it, this isn't that odd of a list... I had a crush on a girl named Varok Fimyola Fujishige when I was in high school.
Note that they aren't even filtering out male names.
(thanks to NTK, who asks "and what better way to honour her Klingon grandparents?")
rfkj, on Friday, June 20, 2003 at 12:35 PM:
We went to school with people with names like that. Wasn't Tu Ngonethong's first name something like Soukchapeng? They're right, you might come across the perfect combination of letters. Like Gary. Heh. This would be a good resource for people trying to come up with names for a fantasy or sci-fi novel, too. I wish George Lucas would use it so that we wouldn't have to put up with names like "Kit Fisto" and "Dexter Jettster". Oh, yeah, and don't make fun of Varok Fimyola Fujishige! She was hot! :)
rfkj, on Friday, June 20, 2003 at 12:37 PM:
I just tried it and got the eerily appropriate "Randam" in one of my lists.
It's, well, an online spirograph, sort of, but beautiful to watch.
It may not work in all browsers, since it's super cool java programming as near as I can tell.
Be sure to poke around the rest of the site and look at some of the other experiments there.
Want a church wedding, but out in the country? Need a prop for your plein-aire Boring English Drama? It's Inflateable Church to the rescue!
Las Vegas Baptist Church, on Monday, May 19, 2003 at 9:48 AM:
It would definately save money
Well, that blows that theory
It turns out that a subset of an infinite number of monkeys mostly produces a lot of S's.
Mmmm, hagfish recipes
What's a hagfish, you ask? Splorp provides that answer, too.
What are the dozens? From the page, above:
"Snaps" carry references to one's relatives, especially one's mother. The expression "Playing The Dozens" means to taunt another person by taunting, kidding, "jiving," teasing or insulting their family--in essence, to use "snaps." This "gaming" has deep roots in the humor, personality, and social relationships of Black Americans.
And, naturally, a few examples:
You're so stupid, it takes you an hour to cook Minute rice.
You're so dumb, you failed Romper Room.
Your mother is so fat, she broke her arm and gravy poured out.
Your breath smells so bad, people on the phone hang up.
Your mother is so old, she was a waitress at the Last Supper.
Your car is so old, they stole the Club and left the car.
If you'd like to read some older examples of this kind of wordplay, I recommend Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men, a collection of African-American folk tales and other folklore she gathered in the 1930's.
rfkj, on Monday, May 5, 2003 at 12:49 PM:
I've always had a soft spot for:
"A long double is insufficient to express the weight of your mom."
"Your mom is like HTML: a tiny and a whole lot of ."
and the more traditional
"Your mom is so dumb she got hit by a parked car."
Alex Ortiz, on Friday, September 5, 2003 at 12:30 PM:
yo mamma's so fat even her car has stretch marks.
David Adam Edelstein, on Friday, September 5, 2003 at 2:09 PM:
David Adam Edelstein, on Wednesday, January 14, 2004 at 3:46 PM:
I heard this one while we were on vacation:
"Your mama so ugly, tears roll down her back because they afraid of her face!"
What Jedi mind tricks?
Who'll save the poor little girl? Henry Darger.
Who'll save the poor little girl? Henry.
Who'll tell the story of her? Henry Darger.
Who'll tell it to all the world? Henry.
Who'll buy the carbon paper now? Henry Darger.
Who'll trace the lines of her mouth? Henry.
"Who the heck is she singing about," I wondered, and tracked down Matthew Michael's excellent site about Henry Darger. (OK, so I typed "Henry Darger" in Google and it was the first hit. It did take a bit of effort, really)
From the introduction to the site:
Henry Darger died in 1973 in a Catholic mission operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor. He was buried in a paupers' cemetery. He had no family or friends. The neighbors in his north Chicago apartment building remembered him as an odd, unkempt man who scavenged through garbage cans and talked to himself in numerous voices. He attended mass every day, often several times a day, but otherwise led an entirely solitary life.
Unknown to his neighbors, and to everyone, Darger had been creating and compiling a massive literary and graphic body of work since 1909. If Darger's landlord, photographer Nathan Lerner, had not sorted through the collection of scavenged debris in his apartment following his death, Darger's writings and paintings certainly would have been lost.
Central to Darger's work is his 15,000 page, 12 volume, single-spaced, typewritten epic entitled The Story of the Vivian Girls, in What is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, as caused by the Child Slave Rebellion...
... To illustrate the epic Realms of the Unreal, Darger produced hundreds of watercolor paintings. Some of the paintings are huge double-sided murals, painted on scrolls four feet high and ten feet long. An untrained artist, dissastified with his ability to draw the human figure, Darger often resorted to collage or to tracing figures from newspapers and comic and children's books. Darger's keen sense of composition and use of vivid color, however, allowed him to create landscapes, battle scenes, portraits, and even an odalisque, of incredible intensity and immense beauty.
That's fifteen thousand pages. Single spaced. Heavily illustrated. And as Matthew says, some of them are really quite beautiful.
Check out the site for artwork, more information, and of course links, including Richard Vine's extensive article on Darger from Art in America.
Update: The Carl Hammer Gallery has some larger scans of Darger's work on their site.
rusto, on Monday, May 5, 2003 at 8:19 AM:
Less than a week after reading your entry about Darger, I pick up the May 5 issue of the New Yorker and there's an article about Adolf Wolfli, a "Swiss madman" whose "large, incredibly dense drawings combine religioin, sex, language, music, geography, economics, and other aspects of the artist's fantasy empire..."
Too bad the New Yorker doesn't provide proper archives of their web site...if you're interested, I'll transcribe the article for you. A Google of his name brings up plenty to read as well.
rusto, on Wednesday, May 7, 2003 at 5:53 AM:
Today (5/7/03) on The Connection (http://www.theconnection.org/) at 11 a.m. (Eastern time): "Postcards from the Edge: Outsider Art. Art created by the unquiet -- or the criminal -- mind offers a window into a world inaccessible by other means. A conversation about the artistic value and particular appeal of outsider art."
Listen live at wbur (http://www.wbur.org/) with Quicktime, Real Audio or Windows Media).
zip codes, on Saturday, September 6, 2003 at 12:57 AM:
So quiet lately. Any more comment please.
I suppose so!
Grant Hutchinson asks the blog-ly question "Haven't I always said that today's visual content catalogs needed a little more dog ass?"
Recent photos and videos of the Kilaue'a eruption, courtesy of the USGS.
Link by way of my Dad, ever vigilant volcano watcher that he is!
The sensuous kugel
I was just reminded of Cynthia's Sensuous Kugel recipe. Phew. Gotta go splash cold water on my face now.
Is this you?
Ah, the power of the Web. One of the great things it does is allow people to connect across enormous distances on the thinnest of pretexts, or to find things and people they thought they had lost forever.
Which brings us to Is This You, a UK-based site that is nothing but a long line of scanned photos found on the street, in photo booths, and so forth, with the recurring question: "Is this you?"
If it is you, they have a mechanism for getting the lost photos back to you.
None of the photos are me, or anyone I recognize, but I love them for the same reason that I love buying other peoples' snapshots in antique stores: The stories they contain. How people look at each other, body language, and so forth are wonderfully tantalizing clues to their lives. Even better is finding more than one photo of the same person or from the same day. One photo may be fascinating, but two or three suddenly give us a much more well-rounded view of a person's personality from just a few subtle clues.
(all of this reminds me that I've been meaning to scan some of my found photo collection and put it on this site... I'll have to make a start on that this weekend)
isthisyou, on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 at 8:21 AM:
cheers, david. thanks for the write up.
Strike the pose. Take a picture. Send it in.
I love the web.
What humor are you?
Via Mimi Smartypants:
A history of pigments
The truth about the moon landings
German, on Thursday, February 19, 2004 at 6:20 AM:
your website doesn't prove anything, the pictures you have are not NASA's pictures....
City size comparison
Speaking of "They all want to talk to me"
Cool 2 B beefy?
Bearing in mind that I don't have any inherent problem with eating meat (though I mostly eat free-range "happy" meat) ... this is still creepy.
It seems that the Beef Council ("Beef: it's what's for dinner", etc.) has created a site called "Cool to be real" to convince young girls that they don't want to be vegetarians.
You know, answer quizzes, send free e-cards... pick up recipe tips... and learn that
"Real" girls have "real" friends.... Friends who understand, friends who care, and friends who keep you real.
"Oh, come on, Dave... it can't be that bad." Why yes, yes it can.
My best guess is that our friends at the beef council have decided that if young girls decide to become vegetarians, then when they grow up to be good little wives and homemakers, they might inflict that horrible, horrible lifestyle on their unsuspecting families... and then where would the beef producers be?
(via Business 2.0)
The handwriting's on the wall
I've always been fascinated by the different handwriting systems that have been used to teach writing, like Spencer, Palmer, D'Nealian, and so forth, probably because I've always had such crappy handwriting.
(The reason for the crappy handwriting is a long story involving a visit to my elementary school counselor, who sent me to a neurologist, who said "yep, he's just wired differently", as if that was any suprise at all to my parents.)
So I was delighted to find this site, a comparison of several of the handwriting systems that are available today. I think they're connected with the Zaner Bloser method, since the url for this site is zanerbloser.com, vs. zaner-bloser.com (with hyphen) for the actual system's URL. Even if it is biased, it's interesting to see all the systems together.
The only one missing is Spencerian script. There's apparently a Spencerian page at http://www.spencerian.com, but there's nothing there. The link to their PDF catalog is still live, though, and you can see samples of Spencerian there.
Update: Following a link off of my original site brought me to Educational Fontware, which sells fonts of each of these styles for use in creating course materials. You can see more samples there, of course, but my mind reels at the possibility of using these fonts in printed materials.