| < retrospect: 20 oct >

(34) 2013.10.20

  ...of the moment  
Two haiku from the British Museum's exhibit "Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanes art":
Onto his silent lap
she lowers
her eloquent hips

Though anxious
unable to know your true heart
I give my body to you
--Onakatomi no Yoshinobu


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--A little toy for Glorious Trainwreck's Kackling Korpse of the Monster Klaw Playful ghosts play tag, and you can bounce them around with your ectoplasmpuck. Or press mouse button to call them to you.

(2) workspace
Recently at my job we changed workspaces. Our new space is these kind of odd angled semicubes (all triangles and hexagons) Here's mine!

One neat bit of furniture in the new space is this round table...

Except it's not just a table, it's has a pad of (also round) paper embedded into the top! I drew some Alien Bills....

It's been a LONG time since I'd drawn with pencils. I think when I was a kid I was traumatized in Sunday School when they gave us god-awful #3 pencils to try and write on glossy-ish sunday school activity book paper. But now I kind of dig it, especially if the pencil is nice and sharp. Ink fits my way of simplifying the world into simple shapes and sharp borders, but with pencil it seemed more natural to be a bit more loose.

  ...of the moment  
In my dream, "Cornflower Blue" seemed like the ultimate band name, but "Testing Testing 123" came in a close second.
"But if you want forgiveness for being a computer, don't put rocks in the snowballs."
--David Sudnow, "Pilgrim in the Microworld"

(1) paPLIING!

--via Miller, found here

  ...of the moment  
"All you need is a dodgy priest"
--Una (on marriage)

"that's disgusting, and..." "...and captivating." "...yeah"

  ...of the moment  
I apologize for the recent New England snow- I had raised the odds by tempting Murphy and His Law by not putting shovel in car- fixed!
Not a very deep sports thinker, but I wonder if its the Ass't Coaching that was the old boon, now bust for Patriots? We keep losing 'em... - Slate on the magic behind the iPhone app "Shazam"-for me it's one of those "wow they can DO that?" things - decent little web colors thing. Its name for Brown seems to be "Obscure Dull Orange"

young astronauts in love part (2/4)
Ack, the Red Sox.

Boston is no longer long-suffering sports-wise (except maybe for hockey fans) but it would be nice if our teams continue to show long-term strength.

Ah, civic pride. "Our millionaire manchildren can totally kick your millionaire manchildren's butts!". Or maybe "Our coaches and business men make better use of their large sports market financing than nearly anyone!" which is better, but not much.

Young Astronauts in Love

chapter 2

The setup on GHIBAL 3 was kind of odd

There was so much we didn't know about the anomaly, it really kept the scientists busy, and some of the lawyers

sometimes they had to do research the outposts. there was a minilab for them, with its own coffee maker.

then, one day...

lydia showed up

lydia was one of the lab-scouts. THE fastest jetter i had ever seen

the scientist-scouts were the elite of the elite.

and lydia in the lab... her specialty was this unspace stuff i could just barely get the outlines of

didn't stop me from trying though!

techs are supposed to ask questions, and she was pretty patient

and so it rolled on... lab-scouts came and lab-scouts went.

my own work was pretty interesting, and i had a few side projects

for a while i had a theory she was showing up more often than her research demanded

it was tough to tell. her stuff was pretty obstruse. and it wasn't like i was the only lab she stopped at.

probably i was just projecting

women! or maybe just people.

compared to them, circuits were cake.

maybe her research was about the kind of complexity i'm thinking of

circuits:on, off, mu. you don't understand something, you set up testcases, you can isolate your assumptions and test them...

i've always been pretty easy to read

one time it was near the holiday break. we were talking schedules.

"had you noticed how often i'm here? i've virtually had to make up a new branch of anomaly wave dynamic to justify my trips here."

"i'll bet you say that to all the techs!" i said

no, she hadn't

  ...of the moment  
When I write Josh, who lives in Japan, I oddly switch to more Japanese english stylings.. "please enjoy this book" for "I hope you enjoy"..
<<this is not Ibiza / this is not Cologne / this is not Osaka / this is not Lisbon>>
Hofstadter points out a thing that makes me say English is a bit broken; in most other languages conscious is the same word as conscience.
Filled with a kind of weary melancholy. Maybe I'm just tired.

(9) the might 4-0 jumbos
Max points out something Bill Simmons points out in his ESPN column:
Speaking of fan bases, the fans from a certain New England college are outraged that I refuse to acknowledge a particular undefeated college season that's happening right now and resulted in an especially high ranking last weekend. And you know what? You're right. I need to be the bigger man here. So let's acknowledge it ... congratulations to the Tufts Jumbos on your 4-0 start!
So, um, Yay Jumbos. But are 4-0 starts that rare in college? I guess the one thing you can say about a team like Tufts is unlike football factories it can't really pad its schedule with creampuff opponents, because if anything, it would be one of the creampuffs...

Drawing of the Moment
In helping Evil B up in Rockport, we came across this sketch for the layout of a bedroom. We believe it was done by Alice Cox:

Click here for a larger version
Apologies for the digital photo, I tried to lighten it up some but the pencil drawing still doesn't come out to well. Here's a close up of the chair, sidetable, and lounge:

Cool stuff! I admire the technical skill as well as sense of design that went into this arrangement.

Instructions You Didn't Know You Needed of the Moment
I liked wikiHow's instructions on How to Become a Hobo, but its How to Be a Hobo with a Web Based Income is even more up my alley.

(2) what did delaware?
On the road!

Wrong lessons learned thus far:
  • Trains are a decent way of travelling but a bit bumpy. If you're using a laptop consider disabling that "tap on pad = click" feature.
  • People in Delaware seem to have a hard time making change. I only had 3 bucks in small bills because the Acela folk requests passengers not to use twenties. The cab driver couldn't break a twenty for a 4 dollar fare. The hotel bar was closing, and could only give me two tens. The front desk could give me a 5 and 4 ones.
You know, I was thinking that this was the first time I'd been on a train since this weird Red-Eye trip I took with Dylan in sixth grade or so, but then I remembered Europe, from third-world-ish sardine-can packed bar cars in Portugal to multiple trips around Germany. It still feels rather novel, though.

Anecdote of the Moment
"President Coolidge had a group of guests on the presidential yacht cruising the Potomac. As he stood alone at the rail, looking out at the expanse of water, someone exclaimed, 'Look at that slight and slender figure! Look at that head, bowed over the rail! What thoughts are in the mind of this man, burdened by the problems of the nation?' Finally, Coolidge turned around, and joined the others, saying, `See that sea gull over there? Been watching it for twenty minutes. Hasn't moved. I think he's dead!'"
--Arthur Krock...via Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes. Though it was funny when I looked in the back and saw the story attributed to "A. Krock"... somehow reassuring to know that inane presidential remarks are nothing new.

Photo of the Moment

-"-A UPS-owned B767 departs Des Moines Int'l and turns south", via Image of the Day, who got it from Almost makes me regret travelling by train this time!

(2) pretty sketchy
Doodles of the Moment

The top left might be the server at the same place the booze glasses were doodled in yesterday's set. There's an attempt at a sketch of Mo there, and as for the last two...errr. Well. Isn't it interesting, my friend Erica taught me that it's much simpler to write in cursive with a low-fidelity sketch pad such as this than with my usual printing.

Film of the Moment
Last night Evil B got me to go see the film MirrorMask...pretty decent, and it's too bad there's not more publicity for it. It's a collaboration between Henson Studios (the similarities with Labyrinth and I've heard The Dark Crystal are pretty strong) and author Neil Gaiman...visually, it's incredibly rich, though the story is thin, surprising given the Gaiman influence. I was going to say that it's kind of lile "Through The Looking Glass" meets Salvador Dali, but it turns out that the overarching art influence is Dave McKean...I'd recommend his page (have to click...they're playing some stupid games preventing a direct link) over the official Sony pictures one.

Unfortunately, it might be a "wait for the DVD" kind of thing, given its poor in Boston it seems like only the artsy cinema is showing it.

Article of the Moment
Slate on the inverse relationship between an institutions health and its tendency to make interesting architecture, the logic being that companies that are still enganged deeply in doing cool work don't have time to make the perfect HQ. I've seen this in action, in a small way, with my dear departed dotcom Event Zero; moving to the new offices (with a conference room sharing the oval shape of the company's logo and with the late-90's cliché blue/orange color scheme) was one of the death knells...a big capital suck that any company hoping to ride out the dotbomb crash of 2000 couldn't afford.

(7) nothing but 'net
Stupid Internet connection was down that bugs the heck out of me. Electricity, Water, ''s really a close third.

Kinda Feeble Fable of the Moment
BRUNO: Ahhhh, Marcus?
BRUNO: Like, why did we come to this cave?
VALK: Yeah, why?
MARCUS: Listen, you wanted the gold, right?
MARCUS: And you wanted fun and wild adventure?
MARCUS: And you were both bored out of your minds vegging out in front of TV which neither of you have because it hasn't been invented yet, right?
MARCUS: Never mind. Anyway, understand?
MARCUS: Good, cause neither do I.
(Blackout, enter Narrator)
NARRATOR: Ok, now time for another feeble moral: Slow and steady wins the race. (Exits, pauses, reenters)
NARRATOR: Ok, ok, it doesn't make much sense, but neither will a lot of this play.
--Those who can write, do. Those who can't, get self-referential.
I think that's a vague Hitchhiker's Guide "Excitement, adventure and really wild things" reference there

Coverup of the Moment
Looks like The Bush administration is suppressing a CIA report on 9/11 until after the election. Nice. Too bad Bush isn't a democrat, maybe they'd sick Ken Starr on him.

Sci-Fi Thought of the Moment
If any wants a recommendation for some good...nay, terrific short sci-fi, I heartily recommend "The Collected Stories of Vernor Vinge", currently being lent to me by the EB. I'm only about halfway through but MAN is that good some stuff.

I don't have time to think about it now, and I'm sure cleverer minds than mine have thought about this, but one throwaway line in one of the stories, "That [image is] from a camera aboard the Vengeance. It's transmitting by gravitic means, so we'll be able to see everything up to the detonation" made me think about the idea of somehow using Gravity as a form of communication, and what the speed of that communication could be. I probably should read this paper, which seems to indicate the answer to "what's the speed of gravity?" is somewhere between "lightspeed" and "instanteous", inclusive, so the next question is, could we make a communications device from that? I suppose one problem is that gravity is blunt...I think that it tends to be a single vector at any point, the "sum" of all the gravitation forces at that point. But still, if you could move a mass around quickly enough, a sensitive and highly tuned meter might be able to detect it's movement from an arbitrary distance away? I dunno. There's got a be a reason why you can't do this, or why if you could do this it wouldn't violate the idea in relativity that information can't travel faster than the speed of light... (is that the case? Man, it's been why too long since I've read up on and thought about this stuff.)

People less muddle-headed about these high-falutin' ideas, feel free to chime in...

(5) the smell of spam in the morning
Heh. Nothing like waking up to six copies of e-mail with a subject "Put a bullet in SPAM!shenanigan" in a row. (All to the same e-mail address...usually multiple Spams at least our targetting different e-mail for the same account.) And to think they say irony is dead.

Quote of the Moment
"If you took all the students that felt asleep in class and laid them end to end, they'd be a lot more comfortable."
--Graffiti in the Big Ten

Game Link of the Moment
"Elite" was one of the awesomest games of the early flew a spaceship around a wireframe universe, fighting off pirates (or being a bounty hunter yourself!), trying to make a living trading goods from planet to planet. (Actually, one of the coolest things was your path wasn't set, you had many alternatives to try to make your way.) Years ahead of its time, I remember playing it on Todd Beecher's C=64. Slashdot posted to an Guardian article on the history of the game, or you can check out the author's Elite homepage...including information on Elite: The Musical.

The article goes into some detail about how they auto-generated their galaxies; rather than coming up with the memory needed to store the details of a handcrafted universe, they came up with some pseudo-random formulae to generate a huge number of planets. From there, it was a matter of 'gardening' to find the sequences that would make a good gamer experience. (I remember being very impressed with the game's sequel called "Frontier"--the universe it created was even more rich and impressive, yet it still all fit on a 1.4 meg floppy.)

Software of the Moment
Feh. I probably won't have time to play with this 3D modeling and motion program 'Juice' but it looks like fun...

(1) june 1 2003
Political Cartoon of the Moment
--Tom Toles. I would've just linked to the online version, but the UComics site is slow to the point of death. Anyway, this cartoon is one of the likelier scenarios I've seen...

Quote of the Moment
"In this great and creatorless universe, where so much beautiful has come to be out of the chance interactions of the basic properties of matter, it seems so important that we love one another."
--Lucy Kemnitzer

that's unpossible!

--via Stileproject, obviously (raunchy site) I've seen this idea before but never done so well...

KHftCEA 1997-10 October

KHftCEA 1997-10 October

some comparisons can't be compared to comparing apples + oranges

< retrospect: 20 oct >