kisrael.com | archive | 2010 dec

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(11) gps hell
2010.12.01
--via gifanime (sadly hasn't been updated in a while)

higher
2010.12.02

--from 5 4 insane videos that will freak you out if youíre afraid of heights

  ...of the moment  
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/026869.php Ah sweet old Republicans: "Screw bipartisanship; we're playing hardball until we get what we want on tax cuts for the wealthy." They are so unfit to govern -- actually, it's more like they just refuse.
"Time exists in order that everything doesnít happen all at onceÖand space exists so that it doesnít all happen to you."
--Susan Sontag

(2) are you in, genius?
2010.12.03

  ...of the moment  
"Are you going to come quietly, or do I have to use earplugs?"
--Spike Milligan, from "The Goon Show"
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/11/st_essay_nofreebird/ - fewer and fewer excuses to pirate music, seriously.
"I'm starting a magazine called Lowlights for Children. It's mostly puzzles and word games about nearsightedness, booster shots, and divorce."
--http://twitter.com/BoobsRadley
http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/02/1954921/nasa-new-find-a-big-deal-really.html - now once we have life forms based on old lace, we'll really have something.

Best Buy vending machine at Alewife T station. Loaded with pretty serious shwag, like Canon cameras, iPod touches, and even those expensive Dr. Dre headphones they sell at Apple stores.

(3) march on
2010.12.04

  ...of the moment  
"SUFFERERS OF ADHD. Look on the bright side. At least your deficit of attention is in high definition."
--http://twitter.com/VizTopTips

#screenshotsaturday !

Youtube Skimming Enterprise "Mirror Darkly"; always like "elseworlds" stuff; TOS Defiant kicking Terran Empire butt is fantastic, as well as the old school uniforms. CGI Gorn is as cheesy as the original in its own way though.
http://lenlow.com/ - some GREAT mashups (tho also broken links) Cyprestition, My Shiny Gun Mosey, Do Your Thing to the Music, Kanye Mahna--
http://gameinternals.com/post/2072558330/understanding-pac-man-ghost-behavior -I am humbled by the nuance of Pac-Man's AI (not to mention the A/V!)

playlist: season_2010 3 autumn... the fall of music
2010.12.05
Once again, here is the music I added to my collection this past season, acclimating myself to it via having a big playlist of just the new stuff. Managed to find passable videos for just about all of them. And I'm kind of proud of the weird eclectic nature of it...

A song that deserves to be more well known:
Ha-he (Just a Band (Kenya))
One of the more obscure choices, I heard of this on cracked.com's 6 Insane Foreign Memes That Put Lolcats To Shame
Random songs from my past, recently remembered:
Three Hits (Live From Eddie's Attic, Atlanta, GA) (Indigo Girls)
Had this one for a while but not on my playlists... heard it again, realized it's great.
Praise You [Explicit] (Fatboy Slim)
Another "oldie" but goodie.
Superstar (The Alan Caddy Orchestra and Singers)
Remembering how my (usually black techno digging) college roommate had a thing for the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack.
What's the Buzz (The Alan Caddy Orchestra and Singers)
iTunes has dozens of near identical versions of Jesus Christ Superstar versions.
A Summer Song (Chad & Jeremy)
This was on an old McDonalds promotional mixtape ("Shake Burgers and Fries"? Wish I could find the tracklist) I remember facetiously quoting
they say that all good things must end someday
autumn leaves must fall
but don't you know
how it hurts me so
to say goodbye to you
in a melodramtic way around my high school graduation.
Bang on the Drum All Day (Todd Rundgren)
This was like a staple of WMJI in the late 80s.
Sunny Came Home (Shawn Colvin)
I think Amber had this one. This was all over the gym I was going to in 1997.
Punk Rock Girl (Album Version) (The Dead Milkmen)
Vaguely remember this from high school. Maybe college.
Theme From "Shaft" (Isaac Hayes)
I mostly remember my high school jazz band covering this song.
Songs introduced to me from movie soundtracks, or tv shows...
Milkshake (Album Version) (Kelis)
"Mean Girls".
Threshold (8 Bit) (Brian Lebarton)
Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, nice-NES-era chiptunage.
I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)
Big Chill Soundtrack
Good Lovin' (Single Version) (The Young Rascals)
Big Chill again I think.
Take A Chance On Me (Abba)
Such a catchy still fresh sounding song, but it took this scene from the Office to remind me of it.
Songs introduced to me by friends:
Imma Be (The Black Eyed Peas)
Amber had this album last summer, when we first started going out.
Around The Bend (The Asteroids Galaxy Tour)
I think Kjersten had this, but they used it in an iPod touch ad
Sugalumps (Flight of the Conchords)
Miller introduced to me this song.
Too Many Dicks (Flight of The Conchords)
Again, thanks Miller.
Wonder Woman Theme-'E' Candy's (Radio Edit) (Carol Medina)
Amber has a thing for Wonder Woman, so I tried to find the best remix I could.
And the rest, mostly just making the rounds...
Get The Party Started (Shirley Bassey)
I previously posted this great Bond-ian cover
Sexx Laws (Beck)
This came up on Pandora when Amber and I were assembling IKEA bookshelves.
Hot N Cold (Katy Perry)
Heh, it was the too hot for Sesame Street duet with elmo that got me to find the original.
White Knuckles (Ok Go)
Already posted this. Love these minimalistic, smart, fun videos.
Cupid Shuffle (Cupid)
They were playing this in the afternoon at the Atlantic City boardwalk. Catchy!
F*** You [Explicit] (Cee Lo Green)
NSFW, but such bitter clever soul. The only one I ranked 5 stars this month.
Really, no idea:
New York City (LP Version) (They Might Be Giants)
Everybody (Radio Edit) (Rudenko)
Shut Up and Drive (Rihanna)
Dancing With Myself (Single Version) (The Donnas)
Ain't No Other Man (Christina Aguilera)
This one made it on my "psyched" playlist I use for non-distracting energy at work.
Survivor (Remix featuring Da Brat Extended Version)
God Is A DJ [Explicit] (P!nk)
Summer Girls (Lyte Funkie Ones)
I have nothing more to say about this one.

  ...of the moment  
There can be a visceral pleasure in typing fast, to have your mind's voice's syllables to the screen in rapid fire succession. Even if I still "wanna live like I type, fast, and with lots of mistakes", it's fun to do.
The power of open competitive markets vs. ripoff retail at retailers: HDMI cables. $2 for 10 feet on Amazon vs $30-50 easy at say Best Buy.
Speed Racer: totally underrated movie. So super-saturated and hyper-kinetic; it feels like a lot of reviewers mighta missed the point.

(2) that darthly vader
2010.12.06
--from Adam Watson's Dr. Seuss does Star Wars -- some other clever bits there!

  ...of the moment  
http://www.slate.com/id/2275155/ - Thoughts on OK. I love that word and its nuance-able usage...
"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
--Colette, in New York World-Telegram and Sun, 1961

flynning for the winning
2010.12.07

-via Miller -- I'm not sure if lightsabers add a ton to the classic duel but it did make me look up an explanation of the fencing techniques the combatants talk about...

  ...of the moment  
UI engineers think they're geniuses for the blatant over application of "Fitts' Law". The whole stopwatch UI metric thing is not fully baked
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/07/science/07teller.html - Teller reminds me why I don't dig puzzles, even w/ the MIT Mystery Hunt looming.
http://www.boingboing.net/2010/12/07/die-pluto-die.html - Folks resent Pluto's deplanetization because they think science is a collection of facts, not the ongoing process of consensus and self-correction that really makes it the best way of understanding the physical world.
Two rants, both using the parable of the Good Samaritan: Slacktivist uses it to unask the question "do all paths lead to God",
Fake Steve Jobs uses it to point out how so many Christians are in total denial about how their faith contradicts the actual teachings of Jesus.

heh, park street red line totally smells like weed, transit cops are walking around.

(2) umbrellaellaella
2010.12.08

(3) what i need is a robot pet
2010.12.09
cmg pointed out the site WishbookWeb -- very nostalgic! I can't even say how these two pages of robots from the Sears 1986 Catalog influenced my thinking and drawing back in the day--



Sadly, the 1986 Catalog is missing the next 100 or so pages, including video games. Ah well - no crappy pseudo-fakey screenshots for me for now!

Though I remember always being a bit mystified when Sears would put out other catalogs during the year that just didn't have a toy section. Made no sense at all.

  ...of the moment  
"Well, letís go back a bit first. Two and a half thousand years ago, at the time of Aristophanes, the Greeks believed that comedy was superior to tragedy: tragedy was the merely human view of life (we sicken, we die). But comedy was the godsí view, from on high: our endless and repetitive cycle of suffering, our horror of it, our inability to escape it. The big, drunk, flawed, horny Greek gods watched us for entertainment, like a dirty, funny, violent, repetitive cartoon. And the best of the old Greek comedy tried to give us that relaxed, amused perspective on our flawed selves. We became as gods, laughing at our own follies."
--Julian Gough, http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2007/05/greek-comedy-modern-literary-novel/
http://www.slate.com/id/2277104/ - only around 6% of scientists are Republican. No wonder Republicans replace analysis with ideology.
"I am a believer in Christ," Rayford said. "I attend church. I read my Bible. I tell people what I believe."

And that, in a nutshell, is the authors' five-sentence definition of what it means to be a Christian.

It's only four sentences, you say? Well, yes, Rayford left out the fifth, traditionally unspoken, sentence: "I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal."

--from The Slacktivist's brilliant critique of Tribulation Force, one of those godawful "Left Behind" books.

(2) it's elephants all the way in
2010.12.10

--An old coworker Kevin S wrote me and said
I came across these math doodling videos and immediately thought of you:
http://vihart.com/doodling/
That's a pretty huge complement I thought! The other videos there were pretty great to, if a little cynical about math classes...

  ...of the moment  

My firstish attempt at making a whole meal:
Trader Joe's Pork Roast Florentine, Thai Rice, Salad....

(3) sierpinski? i hardly knew ski!
2010.12.11
To view this content, you need to install Java from java.com
sier - source - built with processing
So the topmost video on yesterday's page on Doodling Mathematically touched on Sierpinski Triangles but didn't get into one of my favorite ways of making them. It's called the Chaos Game and you can do it with pen and paper, though you get quicker results with a computer program...

The core idea is pick 3 corners of a triangle, and then any point (or one of the corners). Then randomly pick one of the 3 corners, and draw a dot halfway between that point and the corner. Then randomly pick one of the 3 corners again, and draw a dot halfway between that corner and the last dot, and repeat. After you do it enough times, Sierpinski's triangle rises from the mist.

I've tried to animate the manual process with this program, slowing it down and sketching out the line, with the outlined circle being which corner had been picked and the white circle being where a new dot is drawn ... move the mouse up and down over the canvas to speed it up or slow it down, and click to start with a new dot.

  ...of the moment  
"For somebody fluent in over six million forms of communication, it's weird that C-3PO went with 'gay-tinged passive aggression.'"
--http://twitter.com/BoobsRadley
<geekrant>
What was so bad about the "applet" tag? It still works in 6 lines while #processing 's 40 lines of "object" is busted on chrome.
I hate "standards compliant" tags that are
A. harder to read
B. grandly more verbose
C. more fragile than the old school ones.
Like, setting margin-left:auto and margin-right:auto for a div instead of the old center tag. (I know it's not as simple as that but still)
</geekrant>

(10) yo dawg. err, cat.
2010.12.12



New Hampshire tree as we took our Thanksgiving walk...



The First Baptist Church of Boston's belltower has some detail people on the street probably don't see very much of...



Clouds over the Charles.



Amber and I decorated a wreath... I like how we both have a red sled ornament with our name on it from our childhood.



My dad's "folk art" tree decorated with some needlework ornaments my dad made, recently unearthed by my mom and aunt... (doubly nice because they're soft and won't get hurt if Rex knocks over the tree...


Speaking of cats...

Alright, a bit of a reach, but there was something about Emma's face in that fourth photo that looked so familiar.
(Not that it's that funny but click here if this makes no sense whatsoever to you.)

  ...of the moment  

December Blender of Love

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/out-of-our-brains/ - Amber linked a great piece on gizmos as extensions of our minds. That articles talk on "body thinking" makes me think that a "neuron accurate" computer brain model wouldn't work if it were sans body...

(1) snow goes the metrodome
2010.12.13

--Minnesota is very snowy these days. Random fact: it's actually the " Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome".

I gotta stop mixing him up with Herbet Hoover. Or J. Edgar Hoover for that matter.

  ...of the moment  
"Hey, do you guys remember the OJ Simpson trial? MAN, were we bored before the Internet."
--http://twitter.com/BoobsRadley

(7) when can i shut up about the ipad
2010.12.14
My brain often has a specific "flare stack", a burn off of (hopefully) extra mental cycles. Like, before and after I bought my car, I was intensely into a few automobile blogs. Lately, though, its been how gosh darn awesome the iPad and iPhone are.

I'm always on the lookout for things that justify or explain this obsession. The link Amber posted the other day on devices as literal extensions of our brains. And that helps explain the iPhone I think -- for example I get a little rush of dopamine when I use the Todo app to keep myself organized or jot a memo to preserve a bit of information or make a datebook entry to nudge me at some future moment. It's not a new phenomenon for me, I got the same thing with the Palm Pilot, but the iPhone absolutely upped the ante with Internet connectivity and general slickness.

So an important part of the "brain extenstion" explanation of the iPhone is the portability/pocketability; if it's going to be part of my mental whole, it needs to be at hand pretty much all the time. (Not ALL the time, much like I'm often (clearly) not engaging all the parts of my brain all the time.) But the iPad doesn't have this excuse: sure it's nice and portable, but no more so than a small laptop. So why does it feel so much better than a laptop, while being a bit less capable in may respects?

Amber's article explains that too, I think...it talks about how people who "talk with their hands" aren't just talking with their hands, they're probably thinking with their hands as well. (For that matter, speaking is more a form of on-the-fly thought assemblage than we usually acknowledge--) The physical body becomes the medium of computation. And iPads allow for a deeper physical communion than a keyboard and mouse or keyboard and touchpad. (And more so than the iPhone, even, since the throughput of the larger screen is that much greater.) A barrier to the closed loops as "gadget as extended nervous system" is knocked away, and the result is an almost tangible sense of pleasure at our newly enhanced and extended brain.

We tend to think of ourselves as beings of pure mindstuff (or soul or what have you) inside a bodily shell, but our bodies are part of us, and iPads tap into that in a way few other products can hope to. And connectivity to the Internet is another part of that... iPad eases the way to the groupmind that is the modern net.

The whole app model reflects this. Frankly, interesting computer applications are few and far between. I look what I install on every new PC I get - browsers, paint programs, text editors, IM, programming environments (even cool ones like Processing) -- it's not very interesting, all the action has moved to the browsers. iDevices get past that though, and suddenly apps are interesting again. I would look askance if a bank or entertainment website insisted I use a special application on my Windows box, but with the iDevice, it just kinda makes sense... and it has to do with how the whole iThing seems to transmorgify into a new device, and so that whole eye/brain/hand/screen loop has a new toy to play with, without the klutzy old keyboard or intermediary, one-removed mouse, or other distracting windows to interfere.

TOMORROW: how Google's CR-48 laptop gets it wrong, wrong, wrong.

  ...of the moment  
My buddy Beau is doing a Salvation Army virtual kettle - I split a few hundred tween Boston + Cleveland- HUGE need these days!
"Brownies in the kitchen!"
"Alright, You talked me into it, I'm off-"
"He twisted your rubber arm, eh?"
"Well, I like Brownies more than I like dignity."
--Pedro, Me, and Jon
http://www.cracked.com/article_18927_6-bizarre-ways-architecture-designed-to-ward-off-ghosts.html - I love stuff like this. Plus: ghost-diagrams!
First few real flakes of snow, near Arlington T stop. Damn.
Are cats impressed by our ability to use lights? When I come home to a dark house are they all "Behold! It is Kirk Dispeller of Dark!"?

(16) nothing but net
2010.12.15
So, as promised (not that it's very intersting): thoughts on the Google Chrome Cr-48.

This is the main review I've read. Conceptually I dig the stark, uber-minimalist no-stickers-whatsoever case, but beside that, this thing seems as boring as possible. To quote the review:
I have to keep reminding myself of the OS' fundamental concept: a Chrome OS notebook is absolutely zero-percent different from any Windows, Mac OS, or Linux notebook running Google Chrome in fullscreen mode.
So, if my disdain for the Cr-48 is shortsighted, it would probably be because I'm downplaying the potential coolness of the Chrome App Store -- is it possible that this could become as intriguing as the Apple App Store? My guess is no... iDevice apps get a boost because they are touchscreen at their heart, and based on what I was saying yesterday, I think that's an important difference that will last even after the novelty has worn off.

So we have a boring, browser-only laptop: the difference is, this laptop is an experiment in Life on the Cloud: none of your files are stored locally, they live on the 'Net.

This seems like yet another attempt to make dumb terminals cool. And that is a misguided effort. To quote that review again:
But without a connection to the Internet, this cutting-edge machine had become little more than a Notebook-Shaped Object. The six or seven open browser tabs in front of me were just ghosts of webapps that joined the choir invisible as soon as they lost contact with their servers.
In other words, you have nothing with you. And not to sounds like a luddite, but people like to own things. Even with ebooks, your books feel like you kind of own them in a physical format. Thanks to DRM this a bit of an illusion, remember the uproar when Amazon "took back" copies of 1984? But there is something to it -- even offline in a tunnel, your titles are there for the reading.

(Similar with movies and shows -- now, through the relatively brief history of audio/visual entertainment, the time we've been "owning" shows is pretty brief - people went out to see "Gone with the Wind", waited at home for "I Love Lucy". In the '80s and '90s they could own a VHS of "Ferris Bueller Days Off", tape "Friends", DVR "Lost", and get a DVD of "Amelie"... with the rise of Netflix, we've regressed a bit, and streaming might become the preferred way of watching movies, but still, I think stuff like Blu-Ray will have a place as people want to own some physical thing.)

I dunno, maybe I'm overplaying the ownership aspect. I agree with Richard Stallman that it might be Careless Computing -- you are REALLY trusting these companies with your stuff. But when I think of the bulky stuff I keep on my main PC -- photos and music, I guess I could see a life depending on a Picassa and/or that long awaited "Cloud iTunes", and it would be livable -- though I think the absolute dependency on a robust connection is foolhardy. You know, for AT+T and other reasons there are many places my iPhone has no 'net connection. And my iPad is offline on the subway, and still fun.

The author of this article, though, would think I Just Don't Get It. John Brownlee writes:
Think of what Chrome OS represents: the bare minimum operating system necessary for tapping into the living ebb of the Internet. Google has polished this window thoroughly. Chrome OS is mindless to administer. The UI is uniform. Legacy support has been thrown out the window. Itís immune to malware. Battery life is extreme. Itís even immune to system failure; if your computer breaks, your operating system corrupts, all youíve lost is the glass and a frame, and the world it conveys still exists outside it. All you need to do is find another window.
It's kind of a cool idea, but you know? I kind of do the same thing already. All the files I'm concerned with on my laptop, I keep in a folder: C:\data\ -- that's the folder that makes it "my" laptop, that's the directory I backup, and when I upgrade, or if something happened to that laptop, all I would have to do is go to that backup, and suddenly it's "my" machine again.

Brownlee is wicked enthusiastic about the idea of "Nothin' but Net". The most interesting part of his article was quoting Beatrice Warde's broadside:
THIS IS
A PRINTING OFFICE
CROSSROADS OF CIVILIZATION
REFUGE OF ALL THE ARTS
AGAINST THE RAVAGES OF TIME
ARMOURY OF FEARLESS TRUTH
AGAINST WHISPERING RUMOUR
INCESSANT TRUMPET OF TRADE
FROM THIS PLACE WORDS MAY FLY ABROAD
NOT TO PERISH ON WAVES OF SOUND
NOT TO VARY WITH THE WRITERíS HAND
BUT FIXED IN TIME HAVING BEEN VERIFIED IN PROOF
FRIEND YOU STAND ON SACRED GROUND
THIS IS A PRINTING OFFICE

Stirring words! Brownlee makes a hackish paraphrase of to conclude his piece, substituting "Internet" for "Printing Office". But I thought one of the comments (by "hello") rephrased it in a much more realistic way:
THIS IS
THE INTERNET
CROSSROADS OF CIVILIZATION
CO-OPTER OF ALL THE ARTS
ACCELERATING THE RAVAGES OF TIME
ARMOURY OF BASELESS SPECULATION
FURTHERING WHISPERING RUMOUR
INCESSANT DEGRADER OF LABOR
FROM THIS PLACE WORDS FLY ABROAD
TO PERISH ON FIREWALLS
VARYING WITH THE BROWSER AND STYLESHEET
UNFIXED IN TIME, DYNAMICALLY GENERATED, UNDEFINED BY PROOF
FRIEND YOU STAND ON SHIFTING SANDS
THIS IS THE INTERNET

I love the internet, but you need to take it with a grain of salt the size of Pittsburgh.

Anyway, the potential ephemerality of our bits is a big problem for our tech-dependent civilization in general... another commentator wrote:
To put it another way, the archaeological value of a cr-48 is roughly that of a stone knife; it will tell our descendants that we had a culture, but (except what they can glean from the silkscreening on parts) will leave them no direct artifacts of it other than the machine itself. A long-dead computer might harbor something readable on a hard disk; a partially recoverable song, some text, perhaps, possibly more. The cr-48 is a tombstone and nothing more the moment it loses the cloud.
I used to get nightmares about "the giant EMP pulse" that takes down our society, and it still bugs me somewhat -- you kind of hope some not-to-radically-nutso survivalist-minded folks are taking steps to, say, know how to build a primitive by today's standard PC and other things that would have a chance of reading material we insist on making electronic only -- and while they're add it, store some useful technology-and-society-rebooting books as well.

And that note, to make up for a long and boring article, here is an interesting photo of a ship cut in half:

via

(Maybe my fears about ChromeOS taking off are moot anyway)

(2) cat's eye
2010.12.16

--via

  ...of the moment  
"Obama just signed a new bill to fight childhood obesity. That totally screws up the GOP's planned Modest Proposal Act of 2011."
--http://twitter.com/marcmack

My buddy JZ got hold of Row 3 seats for the Celtics, right behind their bench, invited me along.... sweet!

(6) celtics!
2010.12.17
So my buddy JZ managed to get his boss' awesome Celtic season tickets for a night.

The seats were just a small number of rows behind the Celtic's bench...


So the view was, you know, good...


The rafter banners during the Star Spangled Banner.


Freethrow... the token gangly European guy Semih Erden...


The ever photogenic Doc Rivers


The somewhat less photogenic "fat kid in baseball hat"


But the fancam loved him, and he was the crowd favorite.


Neat seeing the team during the timeouts.


Halftime was a gal from the Red Panda acrobats who kicked bowls onto her head. While on a unicycle.


Wheeee!


And there was some actual basketball!


Final score 102 to 90, Celtics over the Hawks.

  ...of the moment  

Company's cafeteria is featuring an "unbelievable!" shrimp-and-crab-stuffed-in-cod dish. It's the turducken of the sea!

(6) life is a game, a video game-- and first and last i hate the past
2010.12.18

via

(2) the times regrets the error
2010.12.19

--from the NY Times correction July 17, 1969, right after Apollo 11 launched and a few days before it landed on the moon...via -- regrettheerror seems to be a blog about this kind of thing.

comin' rougher
2010.12.20

--I think the DREAM act is a good idea.

Reminds me of being in Cleveland and that truck with two Irish flag decals then an American flag sticker with "No Vacancy" over it.



  ...of the moment  
With latest flash mob video, wanted to hear Alan Sherman's "Hal+Lulu Chorus"- couldn't find it. 'Cause duh, he did "Harvey+Sheila"/Hava Nagila. Both very cheesy but fun songs.

Played "Pac-Man Party". Is it so hard for party game devs to get "Time watching boardgame BS to playing minigames" ratio right?
Some games offer minigame only modes, but too often it's as joyless as "select your next game off this menu".
The first Mario Party got it just right with its minigame stadium; just enough boardgame randomness to give excuses- haven't seen that since.
Party Games have so much potential- a great way to do retrogaming but w/ prettier graphics and more 4 player action than back then. Sigh.
Of course it's a bit moot, my core gaming buddy group dispersed to the winds. Double Sigh.

And thatís where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. "Do this or youíll burn in hell."

You wonít burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
--Ricky Gervais, Why I'm an Atheist. A kindly written bit of Atheism 101.

http://todayspictures.slate.com/20101217/ -- nice gallery of old company holiday party photos
Geared up for my first snow bike commute. And by geared up I mean I brought the new gloves Amber gave me as an early Xmas gift.

(3) attention is vitality
2010.12.21
"Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager."
--Susan Sontag

  ...of the moment  
There's a part of me that thinks maybe it's just dumb to live in a place where snow is a regular part of the landscape; ignoring a blatant sign from nature.

(1) play ball!
2010.12.22

--Apollo 11's walkabout on the moon, overlayed on a baseball field... some background and the soccerfield version over at Gizmodo.

  ...of the moment  
"Artistic License: Because someone other than the government should take liberties."
--http://twitter.com/rstevens

turn down your speakers for this one...
2010.12.23

--Databending in the game "Carmegeddon" -- stretching what happens when your car gets in a collission 'til ludicrous virtual sculpture results. Sorry for the sound, it really stinks, but still.

  ...of the moment  
http://www.slate.com/id/2239252/ - I love the Swedish Christmas Tradition of Donald Duck cartoons...
http://www.slate.com/id/2278923/ - Americans exaggerate their church attendance- side effect of a conflating of morality and religion. Duh.
This Rex Ryan foot fetish thing is hilarious, but I respect him more- if you know what you like, and have someone to share it with, good on ya! I mean they've been married 23 years-anyone who hasn't been in a relationship for more than say, a decade should back off.

(12) our princess is in another babycastle
2010.12.24

Frost covered ground in Arlington.



Lens flare! Amber points out that sans buildings this looks pretty darn rural.



The music and flailing lights preshow at Jordan's IMAX are getting old, but sometimes it can still be pretty.



A bushel of birds near Harvard Square.



First night of snow bike.



Since I was in NJ last night I went to see Babycastles Holiday Party: Julefrokost! on 42nd St.



On the way there I noticed I was looking up at the Times Square Soon-To-Be-Dropped Ball.



Loved the homebrew arcade machines there at Babycastles.



But honestly some of the appeal was just meeting the legendary Auntie Pixelante.



And of course her gal Daphny!



Babycastles had some interesting lectures that night. Afterwards: DJ rockin' out the gameboy



42nd St the other way.



NYC confused my GPS.



Finally back at the family homestead; Christmas loot a-waitin'


  ...of the moment  
"You can stop running that response to Virginia's letter about Santa. She's probably dead by now."
--http://twitter.com/FakeAPStylebook

(259) good tidings etc
2010.12.25

  ...of the moment  
"It's getting colder- do you want to put on another sweater?"
"Gin is like another sweater."
--Family Christmas 2010

(2) amber by the seashore
2010.12.26





click for fullsize

  ...of the moment  
Just watched "Real Genius". It really gave geeks of the 80s and 90s something to aim for. Longing for a Richard Feynman biopic though.

(11) snowmegeddon
2010.12.27
So, this picture of the NYC snowpocalypse is making the rounds:


But they don't hold a candle to what my folks are dealing with in Ocean Grove New Jersey...
(I feel a little guilty that we skedaddled ahead of the storm...)

Still, as Gizmodo explains (and has even more pictures of), Japan might just have us beat:

Man. Admittedly that's like, their Alps, but still.

  ...of the moment  

a reach for atari
2010.12.28

-via rinkuhero. It would be great if Atari programming, or any programming, had actually been like that. The 2D-3D thing is great, kind of transcending any era of actual gaming.

(1) the corporate runaways
2010.12.29
This is my buddy Kay on his bike.

Kay and his gal Dachary are on a motorcycle trip. From Cambridge, MA to Tierra Del Fuego, the southernmost tip of South America.

It's pretty mindblowing. They're running a blog at corporaterunaways.com (Kay quit his day job for this.) -- you can follow their progress on the map as well as reading their regular updates.

Man, the cajones this kind of trip takes is really something, and I salute them. Currently they're in Mexico. Already their trip has at times read like a checklist written by Murphy's Law but they are persevering and seeing some really amazing things.

I'd say check out the site, their flikr stream, track their map location, maybe make a lil' Paypal donation -- I did, I think Kay said it helped a bit when his glasses got destructed...

  ...of the moment  
http://counternotions.com/2010/12/28/the-unbearable-inevitability-of-being-android-1995/ - How Android vs iOS is Google vs Apple, with Google not always living up to Don't Be Evil.
http://www.dutchbikeco.com/_blog/Dutch_Bike_Co_Weblog/post/Seattle_Snowpocalypse/ - tempted to make bike "snow chains" w/ cable ties...
http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-8-g.i.-joes-most-frequently-left-in-box/ - what Shipwreck was to GI Joe, Riker (bearded) was to TNG.
http://clientsfromhell.net/post/2168532314/client-you-told-me-youve-changed-xy-but-you - @clientsfh Y'know, if Clients From Hell adds a comments feature there should be a "the client was kinda right" button

(3) a decade of kisrael.com
2010.12.30
Holy Yikes, today this blog is

click for fullsize

The website itself is a bit older than that, and I've been quote journaling since early 1997, but still: December 30, 2000 is when I started this thing, and I'm still not sure when it's going to end.

I've updated every day. For a while I was really strict about never missing a day, then a technical glitch forced a miss, now I'm a little bit looser, but I make up a skipped day. (I think some of the creaky Perl scripts that power this site kind of depend on there being content every day.)

A decade. That's the same amount of time that covers, say, all my time in Cleveland plus my years at Tufts. 7 jobs, 1 divorce, 5 living spaces, 2 cars... I dunno, what are some other interesting things to quantify?

The site has morphed over the years, going from a talk-y blog format quickly into a comment plus 2 or 3 interesting things goal, to the tumbl'r/twitter-ish it is today, where I try to get at least one thing worth taking in, and then any fool thought that pops into my head. Plus there's that "do I call it kisrael.com or kirkjerk.com" issue that'll probably be around forever.

This site is a kind of anchor for me, and along with my private "mundane diary" represents my attempt to track my life-- sure, this decade has gone by faster than any I'd lived previously, as is the nature of decades, but I really do feel I have some footprints to look back on. (And I go through phases where I enjoy looking at the restrospect "this day on the site in years past" feature. I wish I knew a way of preserving it "in perpetuity" even when I pass on, though I know it's some unfounded bit of vanity to assume anyone would want to look at it.

Fun fact: I had the idea for making this blog around the end of 2000, and rushed to get it in the last few days so I could say it started "in 2000". Cute idea, though it makes my archive by month page look a bit unbalanced.

Ah well, here's to ten more years!

Tech note... today's collage consists of 400 images (out of about ten times that total) randomly picked from my "journal.aux" directory. I ponied up for the full license for the software so let me know if you have any clever ideas for making something similar...

take the plunge into 2011
2010.12.31

  ...of the moment  
http://releasecandidateone.com/236:crotchety_old_power_users attack of the crotchety old power users.
Man those "2011" novelty glasses suck- the first decade had it so much easier. By the way happy new year all!
"Oh- Don't... it's like Weekend at Bernie's" Amber and I have mixed feelings about the post-stroke Dick Clark...

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