| last weeks

June 30, 2016

Last week with Porch-i-Oke at Make Music Boston...

June 29, 2016

"A cell is a machine for turning experience into biology."
--Steve Cole, via Wired's article The End of Code
Experiences Over Stuff Is a Tired--and Sexist--Idea Hmm. Still I hear the siren call of minimalism from time to time, or at least, a bit less...
Going over old photographs, saw some of John Maeda's Shiseido calendars (Java programs) that were on display in a museum in Portugal. Pain in the butt to get to run, but got to see them via Firefox and putting his site on the special "unblock" list in Java.
I see this logo for "Tischman", who are doing some building near Seaport. I really dig the design.

June 28, 2016

Bug copy and pasting URLs from chrome on Macs Anyone else run into this? I mostly noticed copying from chrome into gmail under Safari (where I keep on any on personal email when at work.) Very frustrating - my workaround was to copy everything but the first letter of a URL, paste, and then type the letter (and maybe the http: )

LOL, time for a unit test for them I guess. (No, actually I guess it would have to be at least a functional or maybe even integration test...)

--from College Humor's Troll GIFs - GIFs really are the silent movies of our times
I don't know much about skateboarding but Tony Hawk's last 900 is bittersweet--

"me: How much did you pay for the nipple clamps?
dad: Those are jumper cables. What the hell is wrong with you?"

June 27, 2016

"You know what's wrong with living in a world that exists on the brink of atomic destruction? When you give up that hour in April--you're never sure you're gonna get it back again in the fall."
--Robert Orben, from the 1960s book The Ad-Libber's Handbook: 2000 New Laughs for Speakers
Making the rounds, the Monty Python-inspired cover about Brexit is great.

Interesting to see if the rumors of "well, it's just an advisory vote, maybe they can walk this back after seeing how stupid it is" could be true...
"Quite simply, the English want England to stay relatively English, and voting Leave was the instrument they were given."
--Tyler Cowen on Why Brexit happened and what it means.

Another line from the article: Of course, USA and Canada and a few others are mature nation states based on the very idea of immigration.

I guess what I'm thinking is, I do feel somewhat more comfortable with a concept of an ethnic nationalism in England than I am in the USA, at least in theory. There's still an ugly xenophobic tinge to it, and I'd rather everyone accept a concept of human rather than ethnic identity, but it doesn't bother me as much as it would in other contexts.

In some discussions I got in on this, it made me feel like more of a "fence sitter" than sometimes. I alternate between describing myself as an "extremist moderate" to a "loony liberal" (though the latter is more of a self-deprecating label when talking with some of my more conservative, but still thoughtful, friends.)

The symmetry between left and right is imperfect, and I do think the liberal viewpoint is ultimately more moral, somewhat more reality-based (if a bit too optimistic here and there) and has more robust mechanisms for correction from fundamentalist doctrine that the conservative side. The tribalism of both sides is nuts though - there's a lot of social pressure to toe the line.

June 26, 2016

"What time is it?"
"You mean now?"
--Yogi Berra

June 25, 2016

Trump recently "Accepted Christ". Which Christian values has Trump been exemplifying, exactly?
I made a print map for JP Porchfest again!

I talk about the process and compare it to last year's on my devblog.

June 24, 2016

Ugh, Brexit.

Telling that the demographics are the Baby Boomers and older want out, everyone else wants in.

June 23, 2016

From last night's School of Honk @ Aeronaut...


June 22, 2016

Excerpts from Brady Carlson's "Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nations Leaders"... I admit I didn't enjoy the book as much as I had hope but it had a few cool bits:
Engineers told South Dakota's US senator Peter Norbeck it would be too difficult to carve the roads he'd proposed for tourists to access the site, but Norbeck insisted they go forward: "With enough dynamite," he told them, "anything is possible." It's not a slogan you'd want to print on national currency, but Borglum proved it correct, working right up until his unexpected death in 1941.
More recently the city tried emphasizing Dealey Plaza as a historical site well beyond its Kennedy ties, with one official describing the plaza as "a major public green space on the west side of downtown." (Reporter Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer summed up the message behind this effort as "One Unfortunate Afternoon Shouldn't Overshadow Dealey Plaza's Decades of Not Murdering Presidents.")

"I am a blubber of water."
--Andrew Jackson, suffering from fluid retention

But in 1880 the Republicans nominated Arthur as James A. Garfield's running mate to smooth out a squabble between two party factions. In less than a year, Garfield was a martyr and Arthur was the muttonchopped, well-dressed "Dude President." His first act in office was to lock himself in the bedroom and cry.
(I include this only mostly because it was Chester Arthur (or, specifically, a character that looked a bit like him in the video game "Time Splitters 2" that my cousin Ivan would announce as "Chester A. Arthur, America's Most Badass President". Ironic!)
"The four [entirely incompatible factions of the Repubican party], by the way, are the ultra-religious theocrats, the libertarian "business is business" deregulators, the "subjugate the lesser countries" neocons, and Trump has revealed that the racists in the party are a faction all their own that can be courted."
--John Seavey, on MightyGodKing's 2016: How We Got Here and Where We Go

June 21, 2016

"Yes. Fruit is good, too, you mentioned fruit. Yeah. Fruit kept me going for a hundred and forty years once when I was on a very strict diet. Mainly nectarines. I love that fruit. It's half a peach, half a plum, it's a hell of a fruit. I love it! Not too cold, not too hot, you know, just nice. Even a rotten one is good. That's how much I love them. I'd rather eat a rotten nectarine than a fine plum. What do you think of that? That's how much I love them."
--Mel Brooks as the Two Thousand Year Old Man. He's right, just had one and they're great.
This was another shot from School of Honk at the Arlington Porchfest:

By Nobuko Ichikawa. I'm not soloing (I think Carlos on the metal clarinet is), just dancing, but still, I love how expressive my posture and hands are... it's more cluttered than my previous profile-able tuba shot but has more energy, and I like that it's my own horn ("Beauty") not a School of Honk one I was borrowing for kicks.
Typeset in the Future takes on Blade Runner
Trump pays $30K to a well-nigh fictional ad agency. Jeez, what's the line here? "Mad Men, indeed?" "Truth is fictioner than fiction?" Trump is a shyster par excellence. He goes to where what his audience wants to hear; the trouble is some of that is understandable, but the rest of it is really, really gross.

June 20, 2016

"People forget years and remember moments. Seconds and symbols are left to sum things up: the black shroud over the pool. Love, in its shortest form, becomes a word."
--Ann Beattie, "Snow"
In io9's coverage of the earlier episode "The Broken Man", Rob Bricken references Septon Meribald's speech on how much being a soldier in one of those armies sucked, and it stuck with me. (Especially since some of the armies in the show seem pretty darn polished.)
RIP King Kong Kirk

June 19, 2016

Two photos from an afternoon hanging out with Mama K and my super-niece Cora; she's quite the builderm that main tower is all her.


Talk about a city overdue!

And thanks Lebron James. I know he got a lot of hate for going to make sure he could get his rings, but the local came back, and made good.

June 18, 2016

Throughout Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and North Germany, tradition associates some animal with every church, and it goes by the name of Kirk-Grim. These Kirk-Grims are the goblin apparitions of the beasts that were buried under the foundation-stones of the churches. It is the same in Devonshire--the writer will not say at the present day, but certainly forty or fifty years ago. Indeed, when he was a boy he drew up a list of the Kirk-Grims that haunted all the neighbouring parishes. To the church of the parish in which he lived, belonged two white sows yoked together with a silver chain; to another, a black dog; to a third, a ghostly calf; to a fourth, a white lamb.

Afzelius, in his collection of Swedish folk-tales, says: "Heathen superstition did not fail to show itself in the construction of Christian churches. In laying the foundations, the people retained something of their former religion, and sacrificed to their old deities, whom they could not forget, some animal, which they buried alive, either under the foundation or without the wall. The spectre of this animal is said to wander about the churchyard at night, and is called the Kirk-Grim. A tradition has also been preserved that under the altar of the first Christian churches, a lamb was usually buried, which imparted security and duration to the edifice. This is an emblem of the true Church Lamb--the Saviour, who is the Corner-Stone of His Church. When anyone enters a church at a time when there is no service, he may chance to see a little lamb spring across the quire and vanish. This is the church-lamb. When it appears to a person in the churchyard, particularly to the grave-digger, it is said to forbode the death of a child."

Thiele, in his "Danish Folk-tales," says much the same of the churches in Denmark. He assures us that every church there has its Kirk-Grim, which dwells either in the tower, or in some other place of concealment.
--from Strange Survivals, by Sabine Baring-Gould, an 1892 book brought to my attention by Tom Kermode.

June 17, 2016

TIL: The Japanese word "Ikari" means either "anchor" or "anger" depending on how it's written.

That seems kind of symbolic.

(And yes, I was looking for what the term in the arcade title "Ikari Warriors" meant.)
"His code is 'write only'. It might work, but you have no chance of understanding or modifying it, you might as well burn it to CD."
--Kirk Israel, circa 2001. I was thinking about how my quote journaling has changed over the years, and remembered when I made it onto someone else's webpage of quotes.
On my devblog: doing the thing right vs doing the right thing Latest round of me trying to figure out the appeal and mojo of TDD...
"Sleep is like a 33% tax on life."
Y'know, as much as we like to figure out how to prevent awfulness like Pulse in Orlando, the reality is we might some day be living in a world where there's been a major dirty bomb or minor nuke-nuke in one or more major cities. Unlike cold war M.A.D. scenarios, life will pretty much go on after that, but it will put the current arguments in perspective, and will warp our culture even more than 9/11 did.