Saturday, December 06, 2008

Ned Flanders

"Some teenagers are hanging out in front of the store. I think they could start slacking at any moment." - Ned Flanders, the Simpsons

Google Calculator

Use Google as a calculator. Kewl.

Panasonic G1

Mike Reichman reviews the Panasonic "non-DSLR" G1. Includes video.

Ice and cars

Every morning I see the respectable citizens in this block scrape the ice off their cars for ten minutes per person. I wonder why they don't just use a cover.

Ray said:
The rubbing alcohol spray:- Yes, it works, on top of the ice. The alcohol reacts with the water molecules (ice) to turn the whole thing into liquid. And it isn't harmful to the rubber molding and it won't rust the metal like salt does.

I wouldn't advise adding too much of it to your regular windshield washer fluid, though, because it makes the wipers squeek while operating.

I first discovered this while working security at a waterfront bulk terminal where they had tanks of methanol, another alcohol, which some of the workers used on their own windshields. Later, I found that any relatively pure alcohol will melt the ice on a windshield, and this stuff from the pharmacy is the easiest to get.
Give it a try and see what you think.

Cohen, stage

Friday, December 05, 2008


The Pogue-O-Matic is an interactive shopping virtual assistant. As you might expect from David Pogue, it's at least as fun if you don't do anything at all.

Here's a strange thing: after I select a feature of the product type I'm looking at, my computer remembers my choice... even if I go to another browser! How the hell is that done?

Thursday, December 04, 2008


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Inconveniences, quotes

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
-- Thomas Jefferson, to Archibald Stuart, 1791

Not every story has explosions and car chases. That's why they have nudity and espionage.
-- Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum, Unshelved, 09-14-08

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - More News From Nowhere

[Thanks to Luke.]
And here's a more mature singer. (Nick is looking good for fifty, durnit.)

I don't know much about him or the band, but this is interesting stuff. Not like anything I've seen.
Just for one thing, how often do you see a rock singer with a mustache?
Clearly not somebody who is trying to emulate others.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Young pop stars

The kid is not afraid of a challenge, that's a very difficult song to sing, even for much more experienced singers.

Stiff Little Fingers "Roots Radicals Rockers & Reggae" 1981

Punk rockers for peace!
This is another of my old big favorites. It's from one of the many albums and bands I discovered by simple lending records on strength of the cover art from the public library back in the day.

Bobby Mcferrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy

That song never gets old.

Design and quality

An article about how good design and quality is good sense.

The author is also a co-founder of the new site Dream Icons.
He's a friend of mine, and he'd like your comments on either.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

More on introverts

Here's a really helpful 5-minute radio clip about introverts/extroverts.

Basically an introvert gets his stimulation from his inner life, and an extrovert gets his stimulation from outside.
If an introvert is forced by himself or circumstances to be for long in very stimulating surroundings, he will get overloaded and exhausted.

In much of the Western world (like Italy and USA), being extroverted is seen as the one healthy state to be in, which dismisses that a big minority of the population (over 20%) is otherwise naturally, and it's very detrimental to them to try to be something they're not. Introverts are not understood well, often not even by the introverts themselves!
Earlier posts on this subject here and here.

De Nattergale - Sad Blues


If you have ergonomics problems with mice, look at the Rollermouse.
I got it after my neck problems early this year, and I like it. For one thing, I no longer have to carry the weight of my arm when I use the pointing device.
It's not perfect, it's a bit pricey and if one has a very large screen (I have a 30-inch one), the cursor often can't go all the way across without reaching the limit of the roller bar's travel, and then it will zip the rest of the way, out of control. (This can theoretically be handled by upping the tracking speed, but this makes the cursor hard to control too.)
I have not made A/B test with a mouse, but I feel I like this. It takes a bit getting used to before you get good control though.
The Pro model has a very long roller bar, and my right hand will sometimes rest on when I'm typing, making the cursor jump around on the screen. It can be minimized by careful shifting of the keyboard's position, but I wonder if the non-"Pro" model would have been better for me. (Update: it is, though harder to find.)

3200, the new 400

"3200. It's the new 400. And some of you probably just don't realize how amazing that is." Mike

Roof snow

These were taken only five-ten minutes apart, which shows the volatility of light and its influence on photos.

Inspiration and Self

Inspiration may be a form of superconsciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness - I wouldn't know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self- consciousness.
-- Aaron Copland

Oooh, that's good.
To me, inspiration feels like leaving the little Self behind and going out into the great oneness. It takes courage, but there's no feeling like it.

Rowling at Harvard

J.K. Rowling speaks at Harvard (it's some kind of secondary school, I believe*). Video and transcript.

Online videos are improving. I like the Vimeo interface, where the controls and data are hidden until you mouse-over. Very clean and nice.

*That's a joke.

Night snow

Taken at 5.30am, well before sunrise, with Nikon D90 hand-held at 3200 ISO.

In those two minutes it took, I witnessed three people leave their homes to go to work. At 5.30. Good grief. :-) Sure makes me appreciate my ten-meter commute.

The light is actually even more red than that.
Pictures are manipulated to enhance contrast and sharpness.

Monday, December 01, 2008

A letter

This letter came to Domai today. It's far from unique, but one of the good ones:

dear eolake,
from discovering your site about a year ago, my life has took a 180 and i've began to see women as who they really are. Me and many other young men i know are constantly being bombarded with sex and seeing women just as a possession, lust and nothing more. and for awhile, thats exactly how i thought, that women were just a object and only sex, almost unhuman. then i discovered your site, at first i had no idea what it was thinking it was just another place to look at women, but i was searching for more, i was curious, then upon looking farther into your site, and reading the articles i began to understand the face above the body, the true beauty of women and not just as a object. i thank you for what you've given me, and i hope many of my peers can find the same beauty as i found in domai.

thank you, you've changed my life,

Unexpected bonus

Big bonus paid to employees from ex-owners of a business, article.

I like giving best when it's unexpected. A child who gets twenty Christmas gifts may just get mad that he didn't get twenty-five. But if you give him a single gift unexpectedly in the middle of the year, he'll be delighted.

I was acquaintences w/a woman, years ago, that had adopted 2 little kids. She invited me and my husband over to a birthday celebration that she was going to have for them, along w/a GOB of other people. She, herself, was not entirely financially *comfortable*. We later found out (after being invited again the next year -- we weren't even working together, any longer, and...we had no kids) that she was just using people to SHOWER these kids with a GAZILLION toys!! I sat and watched as these little people stood on top of a mound of gifts for EACH of them taller than they were; unwrapping each gift in such a *feverish* pace that they were trembling. Just as quickly as they ripped the present open, they literally threw the present to the side and dove for they were working their way up to the ultimate prize! They didn't stop for one minute to *take in*/*receive* the present that someone had taken the time to get them. It was quite appalling to see.

It's the human condition, isn't it? There's this hole we're trying to fill. When candy doesn't work, we try sex, when sex doesn't work, we try money, when money doesn't work, we try fame, ekcetera.

It's A Wonderful Internet

It's A Wonderful Internet, a familiar story line reminds us of the wonder of the Net.
(The sound can be turned off, though the narration is very professional. Widgets on the page can change the picture. Subtle arrows on lower right will change the page.)

Late light

Alex has been out in the late light. More pictures. (Picasa has an excellent feature: the picture will automatically fit to the size of your browser window, even as it's sitting on a page.)
Blog post about the ship.

Notice the bird.

Hey-Zeus and Harry Potter

Harry Potter is the devil's tool. Or at least they said it a lot some years ago, I'm not sure if they keep on playing that song.

It is always amazing how Jesus, who was total love and never offended by anybody or anything, is used as spokesman by people who are mortally offended by practically everybody and everything.

Enemies come from belief in enemies, whether you call them Satan, terrorists, gays, Germans, rapists, politicians, hairdressers, or whatever.

Advice for writers

Advice for writers to not sound amateurish, article.

Grosse Pointe Blank

Talking about Minnie Driver, Leviathud said...
Grosse Pointe Blank. With John Cusack, Dan Akroyd and Alan Arkin.
That's where I first saw her. One of my favorite movies of all time.

Thanks. I'm rewatching it right now, and it's even better than I remembered. John Cusack is scintillating. Very funny movie too, in a non-obvious way.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dancing girl

Luke Tymowski kindly sent me a bigger version of yesterday's dancing girl, and a variation. With the latter I messed around a little with cropping and tones (dampening the background and putting more light on the girl), and made this version and one in BW.
I like both. The color one is richer, but the BW one has more integrity as a picture.

Moore and Eno

Alan Moore interviews Brian Eno.

School bus

If interest in funding education keeps falling in in the West, maybe this is the future?

Imagine if all the monies used waging war in the twentieth century had gone to education? Any country which had done that would be invincible on the global arena now.

Maid of Orleans

A friend of mine, Mark Ricketts, is a highly talented sculptor, and just made this Joan Of Arc figurine, only ten centimeters (four inches) high.
He casts typically in resin and sells them for very reasonable prices.
The bigger picture below he sent me especially for the blog.

He told me:
If anyone does want the piece and does not want the job of gluing together the bust onto the base I can also supply it assembled. I will simply need an email telling me to do so. No extra charge for this.