"The function of the artist is to make people like life better than they have before." --http://twitter.com/Kurt_VonnegutHonestly a mediocre honest to goodness attempt at a prank geek news piece would be better than another post about how bad April 1 stuff is.
"What if the worst is true? What if there's no God, and you only go around once and that's it? Well, you know, don't you want to be part of the experience?" --"Hannah and Her Sisters", via this Slate piece by a guy who watched all 40 of Woody Allen's filmsI love the term "oontz" for that genre music. Super-impressive onomatopoeia.
Now I'm 37. Unfortunately my only numerological reference for this age is a raunchy-ish bit from "Clerks".
Diane points out that 37 is a nice prime number. (The only one between 31 and 41...)
yee & lan - story by kirk israel - art by marissa saradpon
A story I made up a long time ago... I thought I could add it as a "comic" feature here, and also give it nicer bit of UI to go through the pages...
Marissa created the art as a school project a number of years ago, mentioning it after the fact-- it being easier to get forgiveness than permission, but no forgiveness needed, I was really happy with her treatment of the work. (And unlike people who translated it into Chinese, she kept my name on it.)
"They say there are no atheists in foxholes, and this is a good argument against atheism. I think it's a better argument against foxholes." --http://twitter.com/Kurt_Vonneguthttp://www.slate.com/id/2290036/ - if you've ever wondered if the Supreme Court majority might be callous to the point of evil, here's your answer.
"Adjustment Bureau"- most brutally romantic film since "Eternal Sunshine", setting personal achievement vs. romantic fulfillment...
Playing World of Warcraft is such a satisfying job, gamers have collectively spent 5.93 million years doing it [...] To put that number in perspective: 5.93 million years ago is almost exactly the moment in history that our earliest ancestors first stood upright. By that measure, we've spent as much time playing World of Warcraft as we've spend evolving as a species" --Her mathematical reasoning is suspect (because evolution only works as a massively parallel process, kind of in the same way that 6 or 7 years of real world existence can be enough for lots and lots of players to put in millions of years of playtime.) Still it's an eye-opening number!
Reading "Reality is Broken", I realize the way I've been tracking books and movies I consume for the past 10 years is basically gamification
"Television is the first truly democratic culture - the first culture available to everybody and entirely governed by what the people want. The most terrifying thing is what people do want." --Clive Barnes. Then came the Intenet.The 7 Most Needlessly Terrifying Pieces of Heavy Machinery - Cracked puts me in touch with my inner-7 year old.
"In the future, everyone will be as paranoid as Philip K. Dick for 15 minutes." --http://twitter.com/OKGently"Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy." --http://twitter.com/Kurt_VonnegutThink about death for five minutes every day. (Researchers suggest that we can induce a mellow, grateful psychological state known as "posttraumatic bliss" that helps us appreciate the present moment and savor our lives more.) --Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal. This sounds like the same thing as "Negative Visualization" in William Irvine's "A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy"
"'Religion seems to make people happy in these dark times, but it's just a delusion. It distracts them from the zombies and everything.'" --Teller quoting an atheist friend's young childhttp://jtnimoy.net/workviewer.php?q=178 didn't realize many of the Tron sequences (scoreboards, fireworks etc) were by a processing guy!
The word "subscribe" is to my pseudo-dyslexia what "pollen" is to some folks' allergies.
"I like tablesaw's observation that a videogame is art without audience, because the player is collaborator or performer, not observer." --http://twitter.com/zarfeblonghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txaUPwC1EyE - whoa Bangai-O sequel... still sad I couldn't quite get into the DS version.
"According to cemetary industry statistics, the average grave receives just TWO vists in its lifetime--TOTAL, by ANY friend of family member--after the initial flurry of visits that immediately follows the burial." --Jane McGonigal, "Reality is Broken". Man, that's kind of sad -- I think Mexico with its Día de los Muertos has the right idea..."A house phone? A phone for the house? Who would want to talk to a house?"
"All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors." --http://twitter.com/siwisdom"the end is nearer" --alt.text on http://www.asofterworld.com/?id=655 - what a webcomic.
The visual design of the iPhone app icon communicates that it is like a little physical pebble. Unlike other platforms, iPhone icons have no negative space. Every icon has the same solid shape. They can optionally have a gloss, which is applied by UIkit and on by default for developers, and the uniformity of this lighting effect across many icons further reinforces the effect.
I feel like I could take all my apps and put them in a little bag and carry them around. Just like the collection of marbles I had as a kid. There is something viscerally satisfying about the physicality of those little app icons.
You may be thinking you’re too sophisticated to be influenced by this, but I’m pretty sure we humans haven’t evolved as fast as our technology over the last few decades.
--The Only App Phone-- some astute analysis. It's just one aspect of physicality and kinetic feel that Apple is doing so well with these devices...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGbpucWLfpE - James Brown, not Mr. Humanitarian but man could he dance
Daring Fireball rah-rahing the Yankees is just as awesomely awesome as WEEI's morning sport show going on and on with blowhard politics.
--(Warning, N-bomb in there) Not super funny but kind of intriguing, both in watching Richard Pryor riff in a constrained kind of way and in having a closer look at what I think are the original costumes from the Star Wars cantina scene.
Been on a bit of a Richard Pryor kick as of late, listening to the Rhino 2 CD set "Evolution/Revolution". He is really funny and very human.
So tired of those asscovering "please mention if anyone in your party has a food allergy" stickers-- like charms for warding off lawsuits.
http://accessmaincomputerfile.net - nice supply of fake computer system screenshots.
"You want to know something? We are still in the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages--they haven't ended yet." --Vonnegutheheheheheh - Buffalo Bill's Brewery Alimony Ale IPA: "It's Irreconcilably Different!" (via http://www.thoughtviper.com/newest.html )
--excerpt from this limited run poster Trexels -- (too big to put here without reducing and losing the pixel wonderfulness.) It's amazing how identifiable so many of these are, with so few pixels to work with!
#lifehacks "say 'did i just say that out loud?' after not saying anything" --http://twitter.com/dropkickpikachuFriend in Japan says they're raising to Chernobyl-level warning. To paraphrase the emperor, the reactor situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage.
Want To Live To 100? Try To Bounce Back From Stress : NPR http://ow.ly/1stmBN"When it comes to the care of the body, our scientists search for longevity amd not for euphoria. If experimenting on chocolate cake, our scientists will study how quickly it kills you, not whether the pleasure is worth it." --Hennifer Michael Hecht, "The Happiness Myth"Interesting. Based on trailers, it looks like Tag: The Power of Paint is to Portal 2 what Narbacular Drop was to the original Portal.
Baseball pitching is at the far end of human capability. Here is a neat piece on how some perceptual illusions help our selection of what to throw. (Also, like dogs, monkeys are foolable by pretending to throw, which the researchers take to mean they have ideas about the kinetic and mechanical aspects of the activity, even if they're not so good at it themselves.)
Dig the shytergy of copy and paste from Eclipse to Outlook- blue highlight background is included, so blue text is 100% camouflaged. DUH!
"That's one of those theist defenses I never got. I'M arrogant? You just asked the creator of the universe to help you win a football game." --http://twitter.com/Iron_Spike (for Ask an Atheist day, on the accusations of hubris)
RT @GamingPixie For nosy people who like seeing unused sprites and other dummied out features from games: http://tcrf.net/The_Cutting_Room_Floorhttp://tcrf.net/Blaster_Master - man, wondered why the last level was so mind-bendingly hard... that "Spike" upgrade woulda helped.
"[On Mad Men] they have whole storerooms full of booze." "Wow, we can't even get pens.". --me & A
It's the coolest hidden Nintendo song since
funny how I listened to that background bajillions of times, and the entire melodic aspect is utterly disguised. I guess there's a temporal aspect to melody recognition -- or even recognizing that there is a melody present.
As is probably all too obvious I didn't have much an idea going into Klik of the Month Klub last night, so I built a toy, which arguably is more pleasant to mess with than the final game. Click to make a new whirligig.
"me in 2001: I wonder what kind of graphics games will have in 10 years! me in 2011: I wonder what kind of graphics games have these days..." --http://twitter.com/S0phieH
A new look and feel for the front page of my oldest domain, alienbill.com:
I commissioned that alien bill image from harveyjames a while back -- it was cool to have some fun with stretching the image and using space in a different way than most webpages do. You can compare it with the old version here...
Copley Sq Borders is closed. I remember when Amazon just sold books and I was pro-no-Internet-sales-tax 'cause I wanted the online to thrive... I was worried.
Of course now I might be pro-no-Internet-sales-tax because it's such a pain to calculate correctly- really byzantine...
Seriously, you'd need each customer to have a GPS to calculate tax just right... in many ways it makes no sense.
They say to win a game of "chicken", rip off your steering wheel, throw out window- A how strong ARE you? Do you have to pre-loosen the wheel? B Better have a car with good alignment- otherwise you just drift and lose.
Silly metaphor. Stupid game! Something so lovely in watching poured cream curl into iced coffee in a clear sided glass or cup. I mean it works on so many levels...
Is this just the contrarian nostalgic in me talking or was Bomberman 64 multiplayer (open arena, round explosions) better than classic? Kinda like that Playstation multitap game "Poy Poy".
4:20 on 4/20... time to make a marijuana joke! Remember, if you can't be funny, be meta.
"If everything is coming your way then you're in the wrong lane." --http://twitter.com/siwisdomI think half of my problem with clutter is a refusal to believe that I'm not depriving some future biographer of precious research material.
Random anecdote: many years ago in my Palm Pilot I wrote down the semi-cryptic notation "BTK Peppyrock". More recently I realized it was a reference to a song, that BTK was "Birth Through Knowledge", and that it had the video above. Just recently I realized I should have an MP3 of this song. It's no masterpiece, but it lives up to its name, and I dig the percussion and scratching.
Many thanks to Matthias Thorn who is terrific at hunting down these odd MP3 files (without me having to use some super-suspect downloading "service"... here's a hint kids, when they offer you free Firewall and Antivirus, and the option to include that isn't uncheckable, DON'T DO IT.)
-Nice information to know -- but I realy wish it was median income and life expectancy, and not the average. If everyone in your country is dirt poor except for a few small pile septuagenarian bajillionaires, you've failed as a nation.
"Man, if I were president I would totally push to make Kindereggs legal in this country." "That's... only one reason you're not president." --Me and Amber just now
"Could you clear the table?" "Sure! [takes plates to kitchen] [bam] [rattle]" "No... the dishwasher is clean." "[elttar][mab]" "..."
"ATTN: FOG IS JUST REALLY BIG GHOSTS" --http://twitter.com/boatse
Yesterday Kjersten and Raya came over with a whole egg dyeing setup!
here is the fruit of our labor, except it's not fruit, it's eggs.
The center egg is mine: I made a K with electrical tape, then died it green, the orange. Clockwise from top are two electrical tape colored ones, a neat orange-pink one amber made by using a Q-tip to remove color, an Alien Bill I made using the Q-tip as a paintbrush, Raya's GI Joe/Rambo-ish egg with the tap still on,
Kjersten's polkadots, one with the tape technique and stickers, a really ambitious and lovely flower in wax by Amber (with green grass on the bottom) and then an egg I started with Ambers "remove color" technique that came out weirdly so I decided to use a sharpie for outlining. It came out kind of cool and funky, actually.
Comedy gold was me grabbing my glass of beer, noticing it was kind of vinegar-y, and then running to the bathroom to get rid of the green dye before it did too much staining...
Three random snarks my dad would play with me from time to time:
A typical response to me asking "Have you seen my shoes?" was "Well, the last time I wore them..." At one point I thought I would out clever him and ask "Yes? Yes? What did you do with them?" but he was disarmingly quick to respond with a "Well I put them right back where I found them."
Another favorite to almost any semi-rhetorial query like "Where's my book?" was (in a certain sing-songy voice) "Ok, I'll play your silly little game, where is your book?"
Finally, this exchange:
Him: "Lets do a knock-knock joke!"
Him: "Great, you start!"
Me: "Knock knock!"
Him: "Who's there?"
I'll be playing some of these games with the kids of my friends, having already instructed my (now college aged) cousins in the fine art of video game trash talking.
"The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he'll fight and die for it. The way real science goes is that you come up with lots of ideas, and most of them will be wrong." --Francis Crick in this amazing New Yorker piece on the Mind and the perception of Time"'We’re stuck in time like fish in water,' Eagleman said, oblivious of its currents until a bubble floats by." --Same Work
Kindle app dutifully has no "copy" function for highlighting. Don't they know the copy UI sucks for anything larger than fair use?
"If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?" --Scott Adams"I think I had a beautiful life. I didn't wish for anything I couldn't get, and I got pretty near everything I wanted because I worked for it." --Louis ArmstrongMy favorite nickname for Trump is still "Donald Mayonnaise".
The fourth worst thing about a Trump candidacy would be the endless "You're Fired!" campaign jokes. Endless, I tell you.
Man, last night before sunset, the crazy humid pre-rain warmth-- totally trips my nostalgia switch. Want it to be the evening of my life.
Democrats: the political grownups. Neocons, Birthers, Teapartiers, Trump, get outta here with that stuff.
There's some right resentment how we still have wars but no war protests; but 1/2 the protest was against getting us *into* these messes.
Whoa, I'm gonna be in Germany for this whole May 21 Apocalypse thing. Sweet.
On the other hand a May 21 Apocalypse makes for a great http://glorioustrainwrecks.com/ Klik of the Month Klub theme, AMIRITE?
"Oh, it's on. It Is On. It is ON LIKE FROGGER. err, donkey kong."
Trump gloats about the certificate. You know, beyond the hairpiece, beyond how he somehow takes credit for the certificate while still blaming the press for it, I can't get over how his jowls flow over his too-tight shirt collar.
Sometimes I wish the northeast had a more hug-ish cultural. Little awkward waves and smiles and nods just aren't as humane.
"The people that you work with are, just, when you get down to it, your very best friends. They say on your deathbed, you never wish you spent more time at the office- but I will. Gotta be a lot better than a deathbed!" --Michael on his final episode of The Office"This next test applies the principles of momentum to movement through portals. If the laws of physics no longer apply in the future, God help you." --Portal 2"When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons! What the hell are these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! WITH THE LEMONS! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN!" --Cave Johnson, Portal 2