bright sunshiney day

(7 comments)
May 1, 2002

Hey, great news...Mo got a job!

And I have a few ok prospects, nuthin' definite yet. But the difference between one salary and zero salaries is pretty dang big...I feel like going on a spending spree. Not that I will, but you know.

Link of the Moment
So in this spirit of unbridled optimism, a Salon interview with the author of "The Long Boom"...maybe this recession is just a blip? Who knows, but it's a nice thought.

Funny of the Moment
Seanbaby strikes again...The Best of the Worst in Comic Book Advertising...actually an older link, but it's laugh-out-loud funny. And of course his other comic coverage of Hostess Cupcake Ads is brilliant. Seanbaby's site has a ton of great stuff, actually.

Quote of the Moment
"'Let me help'. A hundred years or so from now, I believe, a famous novelist will write a classic using that theme. He'll recommend those three words over 'I love you'."
--Captain Kirk, "The City on the Edge of Forever"...IMDB's quote yesterday was from Star Trek, so I read up on the quotes and things...did you know that Scotty is missing his right middle finger?

lifestyles of the rich and LANless

May 2, 2002
Ok, a request from my guestbook from Justin Anderson ("wealthy and loving it") who wants to know how to hook up 4 computers to share the same phone based 'Net connection. First off, look into something better than dialup access! Especially if you're talking about multiple people online at once in a LAN-kinda-way. If you do that (with, like say a Cable Modem or some other ethernet based connection) you can get yourself a Linksys Router w/ Switch...or better yet, get the wireless version like Mo and I have. (Anyone want to buy our old non-wireless 4 port version?) Neither version is too expensive. If you're stuck with dialup, I dunno. We use to run software called WinProxy, then WinRoute (which needed less configuration per PC) with 2 network cards in one PC. You might still need a router or something.

Better yet, you're rich, dude! Go down to your local CompUSA or whatever and see if you can't throw some money at someone to do it for you! (I think they have services like that.) Or better yet, get a smart high school or college student to do it.

Funny of the Moment
"If I were a maitre d', I'd suddenly scream at my customer, 'You want the booth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE BOOTH!' That is some funny-ass maitre d' humor, I don't mind telling you!"
--Jim Rosenberg, via Kim on alt.fan.cecil-adams

Link of the Moment
2001 and 2010 were on the other day... found this in-depth "Underview" website. Lots of "behind the scenes" material, and some interesting thoughts under the Hal! link...poor thing was just misunderstood.

exercising my inner beavis

(3 comments)
May 3, 2002

Exercising my Inner Beavis, it's a kind of funny name for a liquor store. From after a job interview in Salem, MA, April 25 2002.

Quote of the Moment
If anyone chopped the top off my car I'd be upset, but car people are a bit strange and seem to like it. Not quite sure why, it never looks the same, lets the rain in and puts you in the middle of a car where the back end is doing different things to the front end. I suppose if you are that type of person, you don't care about having wet carpets or which direction you are heading just as long as you are Easier To Notice (have you noticed how, the more one tries to be noticed, the less worth noticing one is?).
--From "Underman's Cars: Lamborghini", Phil Vendy, The Underview, Sydney, 1998. I thought that that last line was a very good point. On the other hand, a kind of studied casualness isn't that great either.

Quote of the Moment
Slashdot had a set of the worst programming bugs ever. Now I don't feel so bad! (Actually my code tends to pretty ok.)

high finance and low

(1 comment)
May 4, 2002

Guestbook Update of the Moment
Justin, my friend Maxim Weinstein says check out practicallynetworked.com, there are some of those LAN/WAN routers that deal with dialup, possibly the Netgear.

Mark T! Damn, that's a bit cold! But of course, what is a 'blog but a cry for attention. Ah well. Wouldn't mind hearing more about what your perceptions of me are. I mean, even my blog and loveblender publicity efforts are pretty muted, and it's not like that quote is dismissing the value of doing something that other people might admire or find interesting or useful...

News, Graph, and Link of the Moment
So, yesterday was a bummer, in that the unemployment numbers for April were higher than expected, and that took a toll on the markets. I did a little bit of googling, and found the following interesting chart:

That's the unemployment rate since 1970. (You can see some other views where I made this chart, at this economagic page) So in a larger view, we're not doing all that poorly at the moment, though obviously it's not as good as during the Clinton years (ok, ok, possibly a coincidence...though Republican first terms seem to be a bit of a bummer!) I wouldn't mind seeing some longer term data, like for the 50s and 60s as well.

It's weird how worried people get about the day to day flux of the stockmarkets. Sure more of us stand to lose money when the markets are failing, and in general they're a bellwether of the economy (or is it the other way around?) but still, it can't be that healthy for so many people to be paying such attention, such odd despair and elation. Anyway, if you have that particular monkey on your back, I'd recommend feeding it at finance.yahoo.com, which if you think about it basically gives you a very blog-like view of the days happenings, updated multiple times over a single session.

Quote of the Moment
"When a pharaoh died, I bet the servants tried all sorts of tricks to make people think he was just sleeping, because of the tradition of burying the servants alive with the pharaoh to serve him in the afterlife. Kind of a whole 'Weekend at Tut's' thing."
--George MacMillan via Kim on a.f.c-a.

monkhistory

(2 comments)
May 5, 2002

Odd thing I noticed about my guestbook..."hooked daily entry reader", "Ellen DeGeneres", "Justin Anderson", "Mark T.", and "Paul Gardner" (about half of the last dozer or so entries) all post from the same IP set, one known for abuse by spammers...if I was a more suspicious guy, I'd think something was up!

Nostalgia of the Moment
Bought a new PC yesterday, my previous one was getting pretty long in the tooth. I've decided to name the new one "Monk", just like the previous 4... (Either after "The Electric Monk" from a Douglas Adams book, or short for "Chip Monk", or after "Theolonius Monk". (Warning...extremely boring walk down memory lane follows.)
Monk (1992-1994)
My first PC (before that I had an C=64, and before that an Atari 800XL), a screaming 386 16mhz. I loved playing Wing Commander on that thing! And Elite, and Star Control 2. It might be the only system I installed Linux on...a pre-1.0 release, in fact.
Monk (1994-1997)
Then I moved on up to a 486 66mhz with 16 megs...that was like the gamer machine for a while in the 1990s. I got it in a mammoth tower. It was huuuuuge. Ran Wing Commander 3 like a champ though. And Windows 95 for the first time...I think for some reason I got that on floppies. That took forever to install. Got my butt handed to me on a platter in Duke Nuke'em 3D by all the freshman with their shiny new Pentiums on our new Campus LAN.
Monk (1997-1999)
Got a computer that I thought was a Pentium...turned out to a souped up 486 chip set, as I found out when I tried to run "Douglas Adams' Starship Titanic". Not a bad machine though.
Monk (1999-2002)
Toshiba desktop. Shoulda known something was up when it came with Windows 95, not 98...the USB never did work quite right. Fit nicely under the monitor...assuming I ditch this machine I'm going to have to find a new monitor shelf.
Monk (2002...)
And now, an HP minitower. The case is pretty hefty, actually. Lots and lots of Disk Space, USB that works, DVD player and CD burner built in. Yay me.
Link of the Moment
Ok, today's entry really stunk, so here's a great link: Junkbot! Ranjit helped developed this for Lego at gameLab. It's a good puzzle game. You can also check out its sequel Junkbot Undercover.

crossing over, and under

(3 comments)
May 6, 2002

Links of the Moment
Ever feel a bit skeptical about John Edward and his whole "Crossing Over" schtick? You should be--that's a very readable piece about what he's doing with his "live studio audience". Basically, the same tricks fake-psychics have always used with a lot of slick editing. this article gives it even more historical background, but isn't as tight of a read. (via memepool)

Usenet Funny of the Moment
> Why do french brasseries always write their menu
> in the same typeface? And who first suggested that
> this face was 'authentic'? Is it against the law to
> use Times or Helvetica on a blackboard? Would the
> farmers go on strike and blockade the Channel ports
> if a brasserie owner was caught writing up the
> plat du jour in something else?

The scrourge of the pc: everybody is a font critic nowadays

--Richard Johnson and RM Mentock on alt.fan.cecil-adams

videogamenation

May 7, 2002
Quote of the Moment
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but regardless of whether you're blowing off someone's limbs or collecting Super Happy Tree Fruit, if you're playing videogames, the 'mature boat' has sailed a long, long time ago."
--from this IGNsider article. Fans of Nintendo often get mocked as "kiddy" gamers, since the games by that company tend to follow the Japanese "cute" tradition, as opposed to other system that have a focus on grittier, "mature" games.

Link of the Moment
For EGM's anniversary issue Seanbaby wrote an article EGM's Crapstravaganza: The 20 Worst Video Games of All Time which is now available online, in a slightly more raw form. Funny, though there was something about seeing this stuff in print that doesn't translate to the web.

Link of Two Weekends Ago
Just in case anyone out there was still wondering what PhillyClassic looked like, this AtariAge Photo Album is probably close to being the canonical online view. Sure, on one level it was just a big honkin' room (well, a ballroom I guess) but man...what a room!

is kirsten dunst the best thing ever?

May 8, 2002
Link of the Moment
Kind of like Am I Hot or Not meets WWWF Grudge Match, it's WhatsBetter.com, an attempt to bubblesort everything in the universe, by displaying images of things two at a time and having people pick which one is better. (Don't be flattered if you get a lot of "100% of people agree with you"...often you're the first or second person to have voted on that particular pairing.)

Judging by View All Items By Rank, we have scientifically determined that female models and Star Wars characters are some of the best stuff out there.

Quote of the Moment
"There is no 'I' in 'TEAM' -- unless I say it like Antonio Banderas in 'Zorro,' all manly and breathless. Then it sounds like 'TIM,' but then it gets me all hot, so that's still a problem."
--Rob "Still Not the Attorney" Bodine, via Kim on alt.fan.cecil-adams

challenges

May 9, 2002
Going through the backlog, found a few links with a common theme, of sense and mind related handicaps:

Deafblind.com was the oldest link, people who have the same double handicap that Helen Keller. You know, I think I can imagine what it would like to be deaf, and I think I can imagine what it would like to be blind (I think I could more readily cope with the former) but I'm not sure I can really wrap my mind around constructing a map of the world without sights and without sounds; it's an almost completely alien experience to me.

Then there's a more specific problem: prosopagnosia, or face-blindness. Some of us have trouble remember names and faces, but these people really mean it. It's written by a woman, Cecilia Burman, who is coping with the condition and writes about it fairly well. Her stones visual metaphor is interesting.

Finally, NPR recently had some coverage on Temple Grandin. This is a woman with autism who has done some amazing things. The NPR piece focused on the work she's done to make slaughterhouses less cruel (not quit the contradiction in terms that might seem.) On her autism.org page, she writes in great detail about her condition, fascinating stuff. An interesting tie-in is that she sees some of her nervous system's reaction to that of a wild animal, missing some of the layers that a "normal" child has. Years ago (when she was 18) realized that the "squeeze chute" used at ranches to calm cattle provide a physical stimulation that she craved, so she built her own for human use, and it's had a great calming effect for many autistic people. (Shown here is a chair version she made in collaboration with an artist.) Her work at working to remove the fear and panic from livestock's last hours is her way of paying back what she has learned from them.

got a job!

May 10, 2002
Hey, I got a job! TaxWare. Not the best commute, and not the most splashy subject matter, but a very solid company, using interesting technology. (And 4 weeks vacation/personal days...plus they even met my previous salary.)

Wow, Mo and I did really well, considering the conventional wisdom about the state of the job market.

News of the Moment
Did you hear that the pipe bomber was trying to bomb in the pattern of a big smiley face? Weird. Methinks someone has been watching Fight Club a few too many times.

Quote of the Moment
"The more I keep dealing with computers, the more it resembles a bad redneck romance: constantly flipping between 'I love you so much!' and 'Baby, why you gotta make me hit you?'"
--Armaphine on k5, via Patrick M Geahan on a.f.c-a

go fish

(1 comment)
May 11, 2002

Went to Summer Shack last night. Had the mackerel...the whole mackerel...holy mackerel! You can see the face and everything! Entertaining, but too much work, you have to watch out for the bones and all.

Game of the Moment
Speaking of fish...it's the Insaniquarium!. Feed your fishies and collect the coins they poop out. More fun than it sounds. Addictive, in fact. (thank Bill for any resulting addiction)

Quote of the Moment
"I'm gonna leave this world the way I came into it--dirty, screaming, and torn from the woman I love!"
-Homer Simpson

welcome to flatland

May 12, 2002
Got myself a great big 18" flat panel monitor...man, it's like having a billboard to work with. (I think flat panels are measured on the actual viewing surface, unlike regular monitors that kind of futz with the front part of the unit.) Thanks to Peterman for guiding me to a larger lesser known brand rather than the one I was going for.

News of the Moment
Wow. It's pretty weird to think that Sugar Pills are better than Antidepressents. Part of me wants to wonder if it at all matters what the placebo is made of.

Quote of the Moment
I called up Wes, and we took a look under the hood. It's not like Wes is any good at fixing cars, but he's good at other important things, like starting her up, giving her gas, and getting me another beer. Plus, he cusses like a sailor when the occasion requires it, so he's good to have around for that, since my car usually needs more swears than I got stored up in me.
--Jim Anchower in The Cruise on Onion.com. A surpisingly Twain-ian quote actually.

wokka wokka

(4 comments)
May 13, 2002

So I'm running XP now...looks like they finally improved Notepad so it can handle files bigger than 32K or whatever. Wow, I thought maybe they had lost the sourcecode to that...

Link of the Moment
Hey, a classic video game strip that's actually pretty funny, "2600" - Capers. Someone posted the link on rec.games.video.classic 2 years after the question was posted...I'll let you in on a little secret...I thought the interface for the comic collection was pretty bad, and doesn't seem to be getting any kind of per-page ad money or anything, so I made a single page holding all 85 cartoons.

Link of 4 Days Ago
Dang, forgot to throw this in when I was talking about Temple Grandin the other day: it's the Institute for the Study of the Neurologically Typical, a page especially for autistics who may have loved NTs (Neurologically Typical) people in their life.

Quote of the Moment
"There's an old joke. Uh, two elderly women are at a Catskills mountain resort, and one of 'em says, 'Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.' The other one says, 'Yeah, I know, and such small portions.' Well, that's essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it's all over much too quickly."
--Woody Allen, Annie Hall

four poemspoem

(1 comment)
May 14, 2002

Objects
My life is my hand
The whorls of my fingers...
a prayerbook,
or a map-

My hand, my life, holds a novel,
pages smelling of the book's history;
words smelling of the book's birth-

textured like green polished stones

Found Art
He is brilliant, yes, but evil. So evil I
despair of comprehending him. This man
doesn't want to murder his father and
possess his mother: he wants to murder God
and posess the cosmos.

Echo
All voices told me "no"
a chorus with the tides
like a mute echo-
echo, first hope
of sun and dirt
a single hope
set in the cliff-face
written in ancient script
chisled with tools
of steel sinew muscle
bone clay stone flesh
fire

There is nothing more to be said
There is nothing,
more to be said.

There is...
nothing more to be said

--things I wrote in my poetry class with Peter Richards at Tufts University (found on a dot matrix printout) Not sure what I think of them now...a bit gimmicky maybe. "Found Art" was taken verbatim from a Usenet post, later I used it as the basis for Unspoken, you can see some other things I've written as well.

deja you and mehistory

(1 comment)
May 15, 2002

Last night I was trying to convince Mo that Groundhog Day was a great movie before we watched it. She said she'd seen it already. I asked her when. She said "a couple of years ago". The jig was up! I knew it wasn't a couple of years ago 'cause I would've seen it too! Aha! So her opinion was old! And therefore suspect!

We both agreed that it was a little strange to be at this point in our relationship...

Image of the Moment
--Yearbook Photo of 222 Street Jazz, my high school group. I think it would be perfect except the way Molly is coming out of Veronika's head.

News of the Moment
Iran's Khatami Tells U.S. to Stop Insults..."If they abandon their threats and insulting language and we sense their goodwill then dialogue would be possible. American politicians should first learn to speak politely." This being the nation that calls us the "Great Satan" and uses hatred of us as a rallying point? Sheesh!

Quote of the Moment
"Another day, another dollar...another irreplacable chunk out of a finite and rapidly passing lifetime."
--Calvin's Dad to the Shaving Mirror

the situation is fluid

(1 comment)
May 16, 2002

Link of the Moment
Ranjit was one of the central collaborators on FLUID, a really interesting interactive toy/game/morality fable. You can see a picture of their hardware setup at NEWSgrist. Ideally, FLUID is interacted with using a touch sensitive screen, but it's still cool and kinetic with a mouse (and full size mode looks pretty amazing on that new monitor that I won't shut up about).

Quote of the Moment
"A good way to judge the distance to a star would be to keep watching it until you see it explode, and then count the seconds till you hear the bang."
--Edwin Evans via Kim on alt.fan.cecil-adams

News of the Moment
So, the Segway had it's first reported accident..."The officer, whose name was not released, injured his knee going up a driveway onto the sidewalk". I dunno, it's seem weird to read that, because there's been so much play about how stable these things are...it's kind of like the Titanic..."God himself couldn't trip that scooter!"

bok bok pukok!

May 17, 2002
Hrrm, this page is looking awfully black and white these days...anyway, yesterday I went back and harvested all the good quotes from the past year (from last June 28) and put 186 of them into my random quote picker. That's a less important event than when I was keeping them on my Palm, but still, it's nice to have them in that format.

News of the Moment
Hey, I think today is Mike the Headless Chicken Day! Yay! That's him there on the left side of the photo. A pretty amazing story, that website has all the details and a pretty catchy song to boot. I like the guitar chicken noise especially.

Quote of the Moment
"I have touched the sky and it is falling"
--Cory Hamasaki, in comp.software.year-2000, in those pre-Y2K days. Actually, it looks like he's still trying to promote the idea that Y2K did a lot of damage. Talk about beating a dead horse 'til it's just a greasy spot on the pavement...

Link of the Moment
Dylan pointed out www.time.gov, which is a very useful site for getting the accurate time, and has a certain amount of geek chic to go along with it...and remember, It's Official!

swansong

(1 comment)
May 18, 2002

Quote and Image of the Moment
"If I want to think about having sex with 87 peacocks I can and it's not a crime, but in reality they might not be up for it, you know!"
--Bjork in "The Guardian", June 2 1995...you know, judging by her well-publicized swan dress, I would believe that she's thought about having sex with 87 peacocks.

Links of the Moment
With the release of the new movie, Star Wars (especially the original trilogy) seems to be on many people's minds these days. Here's an interesting piece on The Case for the Empire, the idea that maybe our concept of the good guys and bad guys in those films is mixed up...a bit tongue in cheek, but thought provoking. This slashdot article really tries to bring that home, with the Death Star as the WTC...there are enough parallels to make you think. Finally, in a vein similar to the previously link Star Wars Technical Commentaries (so watch out, Bill) it's pretty much the ultimate Star Wars vs Star Trek site, answering that age old geek question, who would win, the Empire or the Federation. (Short answer: the Empire, easily.) This site is ridiculously deeply researched for both sides, though a bit biased (both in favor of Star Wars over Trek and the Empire over the Rebel Alliance). I suspect fanboys who are into this argument kind of assume that the sci-fi universe with the most powerful technology is somehow better over all, which is silly.

He raises one especially interesting point, since Trekkies love to point out possible wartime uses of the Transporter, he claims that the Empire has rejected such technology for living creatures as a form of destruction plus distance cloning, with no regard for the continuity of life force (The Force?) of the being that is transported...a nice play on an old philosophical thought experiment.

sent in the clones

(3 comments)
May 19, 2002

Saw Episode 2 yesterday...pretty good! It didn't have a lot of the big spaceship battles that I love in the original trilogy, but some pretty amazing ground combat. I'm sure the links I posted yesterday influenced my perception of the new movie to a high degree.

Link of the Moment
The Indie Game Jam (sponsored in part by Intel, interestingly) is pretty cool, though they don't have available downloads yet. They realized that a modern system can display tens of thousands of old school, DOOM-style sprites without breaking a sweat, so they got a bunch of programmers in one place, gave them a basic game engine, and over a long 4-day weekend let them go at. Looks like they came up with some pretty cool concepts. I've always liked games that used the "huge hoards of bad guys" approach...in fact, that was part of what I liked about some of the best Star Wars battles, the total chaos onscreen...

Quote of the Moment
"Damn everything but the circus."
--e.e.cummings

periodically

May 20, 2002
Mascots of the Moment
The Mighty Midols and their fight against "Monsteruation" are about the most random corporate animated spokespeople I've seen in a while. They have they're own little minicartoon and game (actually I dig the little thumping beat they play in the introscreen to the game itself...)

Star Wars Link of the Moment
Trying to meet my insatiable appetite for more, More, MORE! about the Star Wars universe, the official online Star Wars Databank is pretty cool, covering characters, locations, vehicles, and all of that. It has three views of its various entries: what you learn from the films, what's "known" from the "expanded universe" (comics, novels, games, etc) and then a "behind the scenes" view of the Industrial Lights and Magic design.

Quote of the Moment
"Don't take life too seriously; you'll never get out of it alive."
--Bugs Bunny

high culture and low

(1 comment)
May 21, 2002

Yet Another Star Wars Link
Pretty cool, the NY Times has all its old Star Wars film reviews online...it's interesting seeing a view of the movies before they were such a cult phenomenon, especially a kind of cinema snob one.

News of a Week Ago
Heh, the wrestling giant "WWF" lost their fight against "World Wildlife Fund" for ultimate use of the wwf.com domain. So the Wrestlers are changing their name to "WWE", World Wrestling Entertainment, though they're just dropping the final letter from their W-in-W logo, which I've always kind of admired, rather then adding on an extra bar for the "E". To remind folks of the change, they've adopted the slogan "Get the 'F' out", which is funny in a wrestler sort of way.

If only the fight had been a no-holds-barred steel cage grudge match! Them wrasslers woulda shown them pansy animal huggers what's what then!

Quote of the Moment
Television is the golden goose that lays scrambled eggs; and it is futile and probably fatal to beat it for not laying caviar. Anyway, more people like scrambled eggs than caviar.
--Lee Loevinger. I just like that line "the golden goose that lays scrambled eggs", I may have to co-opt it for my own purposes.

four buttonstoys

(2 comments)
May 22, 2002


swerve

1D pong

newton's cradle

fishtank
(broken on Mac IE)

body blow! body blow! uppercut!

(1 comment)
May 23, 2002

I am convinced that Fox's Celebrity Boxing is the pinnacle of popculture wonderfulness and awfulness. Arnold Horseshack vs. Saved By The Bell's Screech. Wow. Utter genius. Probably not great boxing (some of the matchups seem a bit unfair..."Horseshack" is almost twice the age of "Screech", for starters..and 7'7" Manute Bol vs 375 lb. William "The Refrigerator" Perry??) but...wow. They look so angry...I'm not sure if it they're trying to get psyched up, or if they're just mad that their careers have brought them here. There should be a rule that they have to stay in character.

In other news, with the help of Brooke I gave the Love Blender a makeover the other day.

Oh yeah...I start my new job today! I think Ranjit nailed it when he offered "congratulations and condolences" about the end of my unemployment.

Quote of the Moment
"So, in short, you can't prove anything by one occurrence, or two occurrences, and so on. Everything has to be checked out very carefully. Otherwise you become one of those people who believes all kinds of crazy stuff and doesn't understand the world they're in. Nobody understands the world they're in, but some people are better off at it than others."
--Richard Feynman, "The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist"...I finally read a damn book, I've been way behind on my reading. This book was three lectures he gave, on the importance of doubt in science, and then by extension in life and morality and all of that.

Link of the Moment
Death to the Extremist is an odd little online cartoon, Waiting for Godot meets Clerks via Colorforms...

looking a little flush

(1 comment)
May 24, 2002

You know, when you're starting a new job, it's always weird thinking about how hundreds and hundreds of times you're going to be visiting whatever bathroom they have there.

Link of the Moment
"Lets go on NASA's zero-G plane!"
"Ok, what should we do on it?"
"I dunno, play waterballoons?"

Joke of the Moment
There is this French couple, sitting up talking, when the wife says to the husband that it was time he had a conversation with their thirteen year old son about the birds and the bees.

So the father goes to his son's room and says, "Son, do you remember that session I arranged for you with mademoiselle Ginette?"

"Oh yes papa, I remember very well," says the son.

"Well son, it is time you knew that the birds and the bees do the same thing."

patented one-clicker gaming

(27 comments)
May 25, 2002

Gamebutton of the Moment

You must steer the Starfighter Hyphen (behind its worthless defense shield) through the oncoming Dashteroids field. Click to move the Hyphen. Due to extensive damage to your craft's navsystem, the Hyphen is steerable in only one direction at a time.
Tip: once you click with the mouse to start the game, the spacebar is much more reliable than the mouse for registering button hits

More gamebuttons on the way!
Game of Last Night
Mo an I went to Macaroni Grill (oddly, owned by the same people who run Chili's) and since they give you crayons and a big white paper tablecloth, we played a game John Sawers taught me, "Mr. Snowman": one player draws a snowman, then the second player draws something to melt or otherwise destroy the snowman, then the first player draws a defense, and then you repeat the attack/defense cycle. She started with a blowtorch, I put an asbestos wall (with the snowman going 'COF'). Later she drew a bulletbroof train with a team of deadly attack ninjas. I drew a happy helpful chef, who threw the switch to divert the train away from the snowman, along with providing delicous pie to distract the ninjas, because everyone knows, Ninjas Love Pie. It's a great game.

Link of the Moment
Hey, today is ArtBots! (I was I was in New York!) Physical machines that make art...Ranjit entered his Sketching Device #1...very cool, everything I make is too virtual...

the ring's the thing

(2 comments)
May 26, 2002

Went over to my aunt's to watch Vanilla Sky (underrated movie, for the record) when I noticed my wedding ring finger was hurting a bit (And no, I'm not reading any particular symbolism into that) so I switched it to my other hand. Man, that was a weird drive home...it felt like I was driving in England or something, I had to put a lot of extra thought into which way the road curved and how traffic was merging...I guess this ring has become a bit of an orienting device.

Bushism of the Moment
"For a century and a half now, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times."
--G.W.Bush, Tokyo, Feb 18, 2002

Link of the Moment
Everything you wanted to know about the history of the Illinois License Plate...and then some! Cute presentation, actually.

dashing young man

(2 comments)
May 27, 2002

News of the Moment
Slate had two interesting WTC-related stories...one is that the idea that Zacarias Moussaoui asked for flying lessons, but without the takeoffs and landings is an urban legend. The other is that last weekend's spate of Terrorist Threat reminders may have been a response to 9/11 recriminations, i.e. a Bush and company smokescreen. Not that there isn't an ongoing level of threat, but it's a little reassuring as we finish up the holiday weekend.

Last night NPR had some interesting audio footage (is that the term?) from the broadcasting career of Robert Trout, who was one of the first big well known radio news broadcasters. He covered things ranging from FDR's 4 inaaugarations to the moon landing. They had a large number of clips from World War 2. I think, even in this anxious day and age, we don't realize how scary that war was, even for the folks at home, that the outcome was not always clear.

Gamebutton of the Moment

Click (and click and click) to run for the best possible time!
Tip: once you click with the mouse to start the game, the spacebar is much more reliable than the mouse for registering button hits
Pirated Episode 3 Dialog of the Moment
"I dub thee... Darth--"
"Darth Wizard!"
"Uh, no, I dub thee Da--"
"Darth Laser Sword!"
"NO! I dub thee Darth... Vader!"
"But I kinda like Darth Wiz--"
"Oh,wouldyoujustshutupaboutthatwholething!"
"...Yes, my master."
--Kentaro P Maeda, in this thread (in response to an idea that Anakin should have rolled his eyes and sarcastically said "Yippee" at some point in 2 or 3, in couterpoint to his exclamation in The Phantom Menace.)

good food, good games, good company

(1 comment)
May 28, 2002

It was a good Memorial Day! Six or so people over, we grilled meat and veggie kabobs, buffalo burgers, Mo made a great "lemonade cake" and rum punch, played frisbee, Trivial Pursuit, Worms, Powerstone 2, Sega Soccer Slam, Quake III...wheee! And we managed to squeak in all the outside stuff between thunderstorms.

Hmm, I bought a genuine wham-o frisbee, brought out for this event, and it came with instructions. I'm not sure about the "CATCHING" section though... "Catches can be made with either hand. Squeeze hard just before the disc hits your hand." That doesn't sound like a recipe for a successful catch.

Link of the Moment
Ranjit and I were talking about some gamebutton ideas (including a gamebutton writing contest I'd like to setup) and he thought I should set up merit badges for good scores, on the honor system. It reminded me of the Activision clubs they had, where you could get patches if you sent in a photo with a high score. I found a cool webpage gallery of them at atariage.com. I should load up the old games and see which ones of these I could proudly (and rightfully) display on my webpage...I think I made the "Sky Jinks" club, I was pretty good at that little speedy game.

Quote of the Moment
There is no TRUTH. There is no REALITY. There is no CONSISTENCY. There are no ABSOLUTE STATEMENTS. I'm very probably wrong.
--TWENTY PAST MIDNIGHT

asking that musical question...gametoy

(2 comments)
May 29, 2002

...how old were you before you realized "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and "The Alphabet Song" have the same damn tune?

Middle school, for me: the band was having a special performance for some elementary schoolers, to show off a saxophone the player played "Twinkle Twinkle" and I was floored when all the kids yelled out "Alphabet Song!" when asked to name that tune...
Gamebutton of the Moment

Spinning dashes come hurtling in from the right. Click to rotate the dashes in your dashstack: If the dashes in your dashstack are in the same direction as the falling dash when it lands, the topmost dash is removed, otherwise the falling dash is added to your stack and the stack is rotated for you. (Tough Game! Originally called "BracketStack" when I thought you'd rotate > v < ^ pieces...better name but the pieces didn't look as good)

Tip: once you click with the mouse to start the game, the spacebar is much more reliable than the mouse for registering button hits
Link of the Moment
The NY Times thinks Athanasius Kircher was pretty cool for a guy from the 1600s.

everyone will be famous for 15 seconds

(1 comment)
May 30, 2002

Ranjit got a big sentence in this NY Times piece on the ArtBot competition. (You can also check out the previous link.)

Link of the Moment
Slate had a cautiously optimistic piece on the chances of Pakistan and India not going nuclear, that had a link to a more unsettling 20 Mishaps That Might Have Started Accidental Nuclear War. (Most were during or near to the Cuban Missile Crisis.) I didn't realize that he had U.S. interceptor aircraft armed with nuclear missiles...

Quote of the Moment
"I had a stick of Carefree gum, but it didn't work. I felt pretty good while I was blowin' that bouble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I went back to pondering my mortality."
--Mitch Hedberg

slim not so shadygametoy

(2 comments)
May 31, 2002

Nostalgia of the Moment
Remember Slim Goodbody, Super Hero of Health? If any skinny freak in a suit that made it look like his insides were on his outside could convince me to exercise, it was him. But honestly, it didn't work that well. I don't know why he's been on my mind lately. Just a little bit of childhood gone by...but he is still kicking around!

Gamebutton of the Moment

Help the Happy Eater stay happy! Click to open and shut the Happy Eater's mouth to eat or reject the foods that the Happy Eater likes:
Likes :-) Dislikes :-(
Oorange
`ocherry
(banana
==celery
=Dmushroom
@lettuce
Once you make three mistakes, the game is over.
Tip: once you click with the mouse to start the game, the spacebar is much more reliable than the mouse for registering button hits
Link of the Moment
I wish I could fly. In the meanwhile, I play the old Nintendo 64 game Pilot Wings.