kirk.is | < retrospect: 5 dec >

December 5, 2015



advent day 5

animal advent ala emberley day 5

December 5, 2014


http://kotaku.com/how-jackie-chan-creates-action-that-is-also-funny-1667150671 Thinking more deeply about how Jackie Chan does his thing!
Reading my first dead tree book in a while, essays by Alan Lightman. Given that I now do the lion's share of my reading on e-readers, I'm troubled by reports that claim retention and what not is said to be better with paper, and trying to get a feel for why that might be. One thing is: a page read and then turned in a real book exists, whereas a screenful of text is gone. You can reconstruct it, but even then it very well might be off by a few lines relative to the page you read, thanks to the vagaries of pagination.

On the one hand, I'd like to think maybe I'm less thrown off of my game by electronic texts, in part because it suits my fast paced reading strategy of "grab the gist, go back for the tough stuff." Conversely, in other parts of life I'm aware of how critical the physicality of information is for me, how I employ my body to recall the layout of a week, or how I prefer sticky notes (virtual or otherwise) to mere lists of things. So I'm left with a vague worry I'm missing out with all the e-reading I do.
Charting kayaking's movements - from http://www.boredpanda.com/kayaking-long-exposure-light-painting-photography-stephen-orlando/

A great example of simple curves combined into lovely and complex ones
Just finished reading "The Secret History of Star Wars":

"Getting her was a lot more fun than being here."
--Marcia Lucas, film editor, and then-wife of George Lucas on their life near the end of the marriage.

"I have an innate ability to take good material and make it better, and to take fair material and make it good. I think I'm even an editor in real life."
--Marcia Lucas

"In fact my suggestion for the title was The Other Shoe Drops instead of Revenge of the Jedi which is a misnomer."
--Mark Hamill. I remember reading that in the the old Star Wars fan magazine "Bantha Tracks". What a horrible, horrible name!
"I always tie the shoelaces together of the dead. Cause if there is ever a zombie apocalypse, it will be hilarious."
--Sixth-generation funeral director Caleb Wilde

December 5, 2013

(6 comments)

advent day 5

It's really awful to see what has happened with a century of people trying to say "THIS dog goes up to ELEVEN"
"I love to take in the good whenever I eat an orange. I have at least two a day, so I get an opportunity to experience this moment often. As I break through the skin, I gently close my eyes and breath in the sweet scent. I hold that pleasure in my mind and think about how I'm the first person ever to see inside this orange and taste its fruit. Although this experience takes less than a minute, it has an enormously positive effect on my mood and energy level. I look forward to it throughout the day."
--Man quoted in "Hardwiring Happiness". The image, especially the part of the privilege of being "the first to see inside", has stuck with me.
Man, all this international McDonalds looks amazing.

blender of love

December 5, 2012

(3 comments)

advent day 5

"I've squirted this entire bottle of No More Tears shampoo in this babies face, he's still crying, babysitting is hard."
--http://twitter.com/weinerdog4life
"Want to learn how to BEATBOX? Just repeat: 'Boots and Cats and' TRY IT! =)"
--http://twitter.com/McFunkypants
Getting good use of that James Harvey Alien Bill... now it's a GelaSkin for my phone...

javadvent day 5

(4 comments)
December 5, 2011



"The great tragedy of Science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."
--Thomas H. Huxley

playlist: season_2010 3 autumn... the fall of music

December 5, 2010
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.

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.

javadvent calendar day 5

(3 comments)
December 5, 2009



Mayhaps I FAIL fontography forever and ever, but I don't see what's so god-awful about Papyrus. Comic-Sans, of course, but Papyrus?
In Concord NH- "Pitchfork Records" sells vinyl, CDs, even audiotapes. Man. Browsing CDs feels very removed from current life, anchronistic. Maybe it was the clanky plastic security cases (like the old "long boxes") that let them fit LP bins.
Totally just made Amber's day by telling her about how if she *double* twists her key in the car door it unlocks the passenger side too.

what did you do to herman?

(7 comments)
December 5, 2008
Found Poem of the Moment
  • What did i do 25/08/2005 10h AM ?
  • What did you do to herman?
  • Where do I hide my conscience?
  • Is this the best I can be?
  • Will I ever be fat?
  • How did I break a rib?
  • Where did you find the holsters?
  • Who did you first sleep with?
  • Who did you have a baby with?
  • Who did you have sex with at VIPP(1st & last name)?
  • Does my wife have a pierced navel?
  • Does your wife have a big butt?
  • Did I ever had sex?
  • Do you love Allan?
  • What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
  • How do baby wood ducks get down?
  • Why are chickens happy?
  • Why was the 4th element introduced?
  • Where did it all began?
  • Is this a dream?
--Eric J. et al., from this Daily WTF Entry ("Worse Than Failure", ahem, an updated-daily blog of discovered IT weirdness.) Eric J. found Thawte's Personal E-mail Certificates service had an odd quirk where if you put in the begining of a "security question" it would fill in the rest with a question some previous user had entered. He then assembled a series of these found questions into a form that I found poetic.


The phrase "I could care less" actually makes logical sense if you assume an implicit "(in theory, anyway)" after it.
A while back I got Twitter closeout Sennheiser headphones. Are "normal" size, non-earbud, non-huge-DJ headphones now retro / 80s walkman-y?
so infatuated with cheap sound tech- mario sound drop from japan, fart fx pen, sound recording/varispeed pen, "that was easy" button...
Hey dorks waiting for your specific train on the greenline: standing like you're letting people exit and then not moving is not helpful.

greenhouse r.i.p.

(9 comments)
December 5, 2007
I'm really bummed to see that the Greenhouse restaurant at Harvard Square has gone the way of the Wursthaus and the Tastee, i.e., is no more. Making their way for who-knows-what business. No doubt about it Harvard Square has lost much of its old charm.

Once upon a time I wrote a prose poem about their french fries and heartbreak.

And then at Davis Square there's a new building with the health club above and a CVS below, right there between the twin subway entrances. The thing is, I can't for the life of me remember what was on that block, if I had to draw a map I would have put the old Someday Cafe location directly across from that block where the Buck-A-Book used to be.

Damn it, I'm remembering all these places by what used to be there.

Personals of the Moment
Excerpts from from "They Call Me Naughty Lola", personals from the London Review of Books:

I like my women the way I like my kebab. Found by surprise after a drunken night out and covered in too much tahini. Before long I'll have discarded you on the pavement of life, but until then you're the perfect complement to a perfect evening. Man, 32. Rarely produces winning metaphors. Box no. 5632.

Nothing in this world makes sense. Apart from Sphenodon punctatus, last survivor of the reptilian order Rhynchocephalia. If only there were a woman like it - cold, efficient and brutal in love, but also able to feed off small animals, inhabit the breeding burrows of certain small petrels and be in possession of a vestigial third eye. Zoologist, M (51), possibly a little too close to his work. And his mother. Box no. 8643.

I intend to spend the summer stewing over failed relationships. You can join me if you like, but know now that you'll never live up to Sandra, Jackie, Dawn, Helen, Karen, or Peter. M, 37. Bitter, bi-curious, Bebington. Box no. 5762.

Today we are kittens, but tomorrow we are tigers. Confused zoologist (F, 34). Box no. 0539

Attention male LRB readers: 'Greetings, Earthling - I have come to infest your puny body with legions of my spawn' is no way to begin a reply. F, 36 - suspicious of any man declaring themselves in possession of a 'great sense of humor'. Box no. 6413.

These are all really clever and brilliant, I wonder how successful these turn out to be in fostering romance among the British Intelligentsia...

more longwinded angst, delivered right to your door!

(12 comments)
December 5, 2006
Last night I had another small introspective break through. Lately I've been thinking about two central and separate concerns:

One is that I employ several non-helpful, fretful and angsty avoidance strategies to put off work that I feel even remotely insecure about. For a while I've been working with the assumption that this springs from a need to protect a weirdly inflated subconscious image I have of myself of being the smartest guy in the room.... that it seems better to not try and have something fail than to give it my best, still fail, and then be "dangerously aware" of my personal limitations.

Two is an abject fear of being helpless, and also being unable to help someone else who is helpless. I've always though this might have sprung from seeing my dad get sick and die when I was a young teenager. It's almost a little trite to blame the death of a parent, but still that was a very harsh lesson that things don't always work out for the best.

But...what if the self-limiting behaviors of the first point spring less from this inflated ego thing -- because I know I'm at least consciously able to have a realistic idea of my place under the bell curve, despite being an only child -- and are actually just a response to the fears of the second? Could there be this element that I'm afraid a given tactical situation, like at work, might be "the one", the intractable problem that just can't be solved by me, or the group, within the parameters of time and resources of the assignment? That I'm not seeking to avoid knowledge of my own limitations, but of the fact that the universe has no obligation to seem "fair" to me?

I guess the negative behaviors probably spring from both concepts, protection of an inflated ego, and from knowledge of an callously indifferent world. But the thought of a "fear of helplessness" might have reverberations even in my day-to-day worklife was a wake-up.

I guess that's an advantage people with faith in an Activist kind of God have: a fallback position that no matter how craptacular any given situation seems, someones got their back, or failing that, it's a negative part of some positive master plan, or failing that, it doesn't have too much of an impact on the only thing that really matters, which is one's eternal fate.

Icons of the Moment
So I'm heading to Delaware tonight. I'll be staying again at the Brandywine Suites, near the trainstation there. I just have to say, I enjoyed this big mass of icons that shows up on their "Check Availability" page, even though there are some repeats. It's just such a nice study in minimalist iconography.... each icon is on a little 13x13 canvas, and I know from experience that that's not a lot to work with.

premature adulation

(4 comments)
December 5, 2005
Neologism of the Moment
I was trying to think of the word for when someone at an instrumental concert starts clapping before the true end of the piece. (Hint: wait for the the conductor to drop his or her hands.) The best I came up with was "Premature Adulation". Can anyone top that?

Game of the Moment
Cool but a little long for the joke (I didn't actually get to find Samus) it's Megaman vs Metroid, a mashup of two Nintendo classics.

Random Question of the Moment
Do Vegans like cold cereal? (Ok, a bit silly to speak off ALL Vegans as a single group but...) If so, what do they put on it? Soy Milk? Or is that seen as just a ghoulism impression of animal cruelty? OJ? That ghetto-unfabulous or no-time-to-run-to-the-store-option water?

what can the browns do for you?

(2 comments)
December 5, 2004
Today the Patriots are playing the Cleveland Browns, a team whose helmets are notably plain, just a solid block of color: Orange, of course. I really hope that when they need stuff shipped they use the trucking company Yellow, whose trucks and branding are proudly Orange as well. ("the safest color on the road".)

Of course, the helmets might be better for the Browns than the alternative of this guy, who I guess was used in the '50s and 60s. (UPDATE: Some careful googling (the key was adding in the word "elf") revealed that the guy's name is "Brownie" and he got disposed of by Art Modell right after he bought the team, though I think he's started to make a few retro appearances here and there.)

The image came from the NFL page at logoserver.com... LogoServer is an archive of all these logos from teams famous and utterly obscure alike. They even have logos from teams that never quite made it, like a team that might have been in Baltimore if the Browns hadn't moved there and become the Ravens:
Come to think of it, I previously kisrael'd "I almost want to rig up a big web compendium of all the teams and logos I can get my hands on"... it looks like LogoServer.com beat me to it.

Laser Tag of the Moment
I played Laser Tag for the first time last night, at a place called The LazerZone in Randolph. It was fun, not quite what I expected. My mom and I were on the same team, actually. (This was part of the local Salvation Army's headquarters christmas family dinner.) We did ok, with our team losing the first match and taking the second. I tended to score in the middle of the pack...the tactics weren't quite what I expected, because a big part of the game is just standing there blasting someone as they (sometimes) just stand there and blast at your "base"...sometimes not dodging because they're in "invincible mode" or just because they want to get as many hits in as possible. Though I think ducking and dodging and prolonging your 20 "lives" before having to go back to homebase for a recharge was a big part of it. Still, fun. I worked up a sweat, though I was wearing a fleece pullover which wasn't too sharp.

aguhguhguhguhguh

(15 comments)
December 5, 2003
Link of the Moment
Despite bad navigation that always seems to require one extra click, Quarter Bin has some interesting essays on comics...surprisingly academic and deep, like this essay on Popeye. (Interesting to contrast and compare that to the previously kisrael'd The Previous Adventures of Popeye the Sailor.)

Separated at Birth?

The "Kohr-Ah", the baddest-assed alien race from 1992's
brilliant PC game Star Control 2 (click for fullsize)


Sentinel, reasonably bad-assed warrior robot from 2003's
so-so sequel Matrix Reloaded.

Thanks to Dehumanizer for grabbing the images to prove something that was on the back of my mind (also an unnamed AIM buddy for giving me the link.) On the other hand, after reading Larry Niven's "Known Space" novels, I realized how much SC2 cribbed from him...

Horoscope of the Moment Aries: (March 21—April 19)
You fail to understand the primordial mystery of the funk: You can still have it no matter how many times you give it up.
--The Onion's Horoscope. Hey...I'M an Aries! I feel funkier already.

More Matrix of the Moment
In today's comments, LAN3 also points out a page in Spanish, Comparación De Los Filmes "Dark City" & "The Matrix". It's actually easy to pick up in Spanish (and as LAN3 points out, you can learn fun new phrases such as "Bichos tentaculoides.") or you can just be a wuss and check out the semi-decent Google language tools translation of the page.

Some of the points are fair, but if there's only a year difference between the films, there was probably a lot of overlap in their production times, and both probably borrow from previous clichés of the noir genre. Overall, I'd say "The Matrix" is the superior film in terms of pacing and really toying with some cool philisophical ideas. Not to mention being much higher on the "kick-butt-kung-fu-o-meter". Both are great flicks, though.

bow to your ur-quan overlords!

December 5, 2002
Game of the Moment
Good golly, I don't know how I almost let this one slip by...Star Control 2, about the best game of the early-90s, is being engineered and released for free as The Ur-Quan Masters (Toys for Bob, the current company of the original designers, owns everything about the game except the title "Star Control") More information about this incredible series on The Pages of Now and Forever. For my money it's about the best RPG and head to head deathmatch ever. It's a big download, but worth it.

Bad Writing of the Moment
In one fluid movement Herman rolled forward on to his knees, grasped Dorian by the shoulders, and kissed him. Such suction. They were like two flamingos, each attempting to filter the nutriment out of the other with great slurps of their muscular tongues. Adam's apples bobbed in the crap gloaming.
--Will Self, "Dorian", from The Guardian's coverage of the shortlist for the Literary Review Bad Sex Prize 2002. A great (if by great you mean terrible) collection of unfortunate similes and odd apparent fetishes and turn-ons. (via metafilter)

More Bad Writing of the Moment
He pauses, flexing those amazing pecs. "Let's try once more. 'The god ran his fingers through his thick curls; she could only gasp in amazement.' See? Use a semi-colon, not a comma there. If you do it right, I'll consider running my tongue up and down your body."
--The Semicolon, from Thamiris's Sexed-Up Grammar Guide. Right after that last link but from an unrelated source, I found a Globe and Mail piece on "Erotic Fan Fiction".

Dreams of the Moment
I went to half.com to order Dion McGregor Dreams Again. In the 1960s, Michael Barr taped his flatmate Dion McGregor as he talked in his sleep, narrating the most funny and spectacular (and sometimes a bit dirty) dreams, with huge vigor and enthusiasm. Assuming it's not a hoax (and as one reviewer put it even if it is a hoax then "Dion McGregor was the greatest poet of the 20th century") it's the most amazing tour of the subconscious imagination. You can hear some brief samples on the Amazon page.

It's interesting to compare this to Jess Reklaw's Slow Wave, 4 panel comics based on the dreams people send in. I remembered a bit from last night's dream, something about being at camp with Mo driving the camp's big old 15 passenger van, and it slowly rolled over at one point, but everyone was ok. Somehow I don't think that's quite Slow Wave material. (Unlike my future self and Yak Man episodes...)

Incidentally, the first Dion McGregor link (the album has been on my To Get list ever since some NPR coverage a long time back) is from a site on Song-Poem Music, services for people to send in their lyrics and get them set to music and recorded. The site presents these companies as scam artists, since they imply they will also provide an in to major labels, but it seems pretty cool to me as long as the writers know what they're getting into.

no freak gyration

(1 comment)
December 5, 2001
Well, so far Smash Brothers Melee has proved to be good, maybe not the testament for all humankind I was expecting, but good.

Quiz of the Moment
A little topical quiz: Character in Harry Potter Book, or Current U.S. Navy Rear Admiral? Surprisingly challenging. (thanks Ranjit)

Link of the Moment
Wow. As far as I can tell, Pageant City is a sincere site, from Katy Johnson, Miss Vermont USA 2001, cartoonist, columnist, founder of the "Say Nay Today" and "The Sobriety Society"...she's all that and a bag of (low-fat) chips. Her site is chock full of bon mots, targeted at young aspiring beauty contestants and young ladies in general, full of advice such as "No booty dancing / or FREAK gyration... / I don't play with my reputation!", and featuring her own troop of upright cartoon gals, the Starrlettes. Recently she's addressed the current crisis of our nation, with cartoons like the one to the side here. (via Portal of Evil)

Quote of the Moment
"We have tamed lightning, and now use it to make sand think."
--Unknown. It's a pretty amazing thought, actually. Incidentally, this is the last piece of pre-wedding backlog I had stored up, though there is still plenty of stuff from July...
KHftCEA 1997-12.1 December KHftCEA 1998-12.1 December CB

KHftCEA 1998-12.1 December CB

The B+B (Molly Stark Inn) is really nice- I'd never jacuzed before. I like the loft style of the cottage.

It's factory outlet city!
98-12-5
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KHftCEA 1997-12.1 December

I imagine I bury a pocket calculator with liquid crystals spelling her name, then watch the earth shoot forth lightning bolts

"Tyler?"
          "Yeah?"
"You are my trailer park."
          "And you, Anna-Louise, are my tornado."

"We are animals.  Our first instinct when we see an object of beauty is to eat it."

"What'll you do when you meet Heather-Jo on the beach in Malibu?"
"Ask her to write her name in the sand, then roll in the words."
          --Douglas Coupland, "Shampoo Planet"
---
I've been sneezing in larger groups... given my previous observations, does this mean I'm the equivalent of multi-orgasmic?

"I'm out to shave with Occam's Razor"

radio program had the president of "envirosell" talking about shopping as a social perogative, cross-cultural, to see other people... "shopping is our hunting + gathering"

My increase in blood pressure really really bums me out especially since my exercise program started between the readings... Maybe nookie is the key to better health.
(Plus vericose veins and I forgot to ask about zovirax. Fuck)
97-12-5
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< retrospect: 5 dec >