Friday, July 30, 2010

quote for the day

Yes, happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat.

Hugh Grant in "Notting Hill"

weeee, lookee!

Tribute to Escher in Barcelona

Man, I love Escher's stuff. See it bigger here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

quote for the day

"The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."

George Orwell
This is what worries me. That when people argue with the unshakable conviction that the other is wrong and refuse to even look at any evidence to the contrary, even when it comes from sources previously agreed to be neutral, eventually one side or the other (or both) will reach the point where they decide that if the other side just needs to go away, preferably in a manner which renders them incapable of any further arguement.

They may reach this point not out of malice, or desperation, but simply because they are weary of the constant, unrelenting, misinformed arguing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I'd use a picture from the finale, but I couldnt seem to find one, so you'll all just have to settle for a generic shot instead
Well, I just watched the season finale of Doctor Who, and it was really, really satisfying. I'm a sucker for the Doctor, even when it's really cheesy, but this whole season was just good, solid storytelling.

The downside: Except for the Christmas Special, I now have to wait for next April before I can watch a new show.

this aint your daddy's Dr. Suess

props to Gerry Canavan, who also provided links to a couple of other fake previews.

Monday, July 26, 2010

quote for the day

"The very power of strongly held beliefs - their stickiness, as complexity researchers say - is what keeps the system pegged in place even during times of extreme political unrest. Indeed, as emotions rise and voices are raised, democracies are frequently less likely to descend into turmoil than to move into stalemate - very much like the left-right rift that opened up during the Vietnam era, or the partisan gridlock that has gripped the United States since the 1990s. Things became even more mired when the issues being debated turn on religion or ethnicity.
[Princeton University biologist] Levin observes that the more threatened a group that defines itself by race or spiritual belief feels, the more it will raise its threshold for tolerating new ideas, actually moving away from the compromise the circumstances call for and towards absolutism. This serves nobody's long term interests, but it does help ensure the purity of the groups members and reduces the likelihood of assimilation..."

Jeffery Kluger, writing in Simplexity, which is turning out to be one of the most interesting (and relevant) books I've read this year. A few pages later, he says this on the same subject:

"The complexities of moderation - a place where compromises are crafted and deals get struck - is cast aside for the simplicity of extremism, where nothing at all gets done."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010


- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

- Soothing. Really.

- "The Right-Wing Thought Police". Indeed.

- Pryme's got a point: when did Prince John and the Sherriff become the heroes in America?

- Well, if gravity doesnt exist, there's always the Theory Of Intelligent Falling.

- Kabuki Democracy. This is a long and depressing article, by the way. via.

- The Game of Life. It's a math thing, sort of. Or some sort of game theory. Or something. You've probably heard of it, so now play it, but not on Internet Explorer, which it wont run on. Fascinating to watch, but not as soothing as the circle thing above.

- Yeah, it's a long time to wait for a scarf, but it's still pretty cool. (via)

- "I'm a goddam 1972 Republican." (via)

- Apologize to BP.

- other tiny homes here and here and here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

quote for the day

“Make no mistake about it, the world is going green. Nothing would make people like us in China happier than America continuing this debate for the next 10 or 15 years. Because in 15 years, when you guys come out of the fog, China will own the revenue stream of the green revolution. We’ve spent a hundred years trying to catch up with the United States, and we now have the opportunity to blow past you in a half generation.”

via David Brin

Monday, July 19, 2010

film at 11

via Boing Boing, who gives more details than I do.


According to Cookie Jill, this is National Ice Cream Day, and I do loves me some ice cream!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

how it ought to be done

refering to here, in case you dont know.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

new glasses

Dont get excited, this is just for the record.

Friday, July 16, 2010

hmmm, again

Okay, so the "polls" keep talking about how Obama is "slipping" in the polls, and how high his Disapproval rating is. Funny thing about all these polls, there have been ten times as many gallup polls during the Obama presidency as there were during Bush's (twenty times as many as during Reagans).
You dont suppose they're looking for something, do you?

So far, most of what they've found is a lot of conservative bluster. I especially find this one... amusing?... where they claim that Obama's numbers are weaker than they appear because "the president has a 91 percent approval rating among black voters", who apparently dont count, I guess, when one considers the American Public.

Truth? While I'm not crazy about the job he's doing, he's still doing okay. God knows he's probably doing better than McCain/Palin would have done. At least the rest of the world only dislikes us now, rather than loathing us.

Addendum: Are they looking for something, or trying, through their questions, to create something?
On the one hand, this makes me question the whole idea of polling. On the other hand, such a (desperate?) quantity of polling makes me think that perhaps polling is accurate, more or less, because they seem to hoping to find something (or again, create something - I cant decide which).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

almost right

Funny thing here, it's not really a lie. Radical leaders do indeed "prey on the fearful & naive". The lie is the picture of Obama, and the fearful and naive ones are the teapartiers. Just exchange Obama's picture for one of say, Sarah Palin, and it be perfect.

via Kel.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


So, a conservative ex-judge on who regularly contributes to Fuax News thinks Bush and Cheney ought to be indicted "for torturing, for spying, for arresting without warrants".

It'll be sad if it turns out to be conservatives who end up prosecuting such a case. Ironic, too, because they'll collect the support of thinking middle-of-the-roaders who voted for Obama in the belief that only Democrats could get the job done.

Not that it'll ever happen. But if the public could be made to perceive that as the most likely course, then the GOP wins anyway.

video time

If you're a regular reader (and you are because no one else reads this), then you know I'm helpless in the face of Star Trek stuff.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

progress report (of sorts)

Yep, I've been out for a while, having been working 10+ hour days for a couple of weeks, then going on vacation for another. It's been a while since I had anything to say, really. Still dont, other than to thank my family in Iowa for a wonderful time, and to say that if you're anywhere near Stratford, Oklahoma you should buy some fresh, delicious peaches.
Back to the grind, tomorrow, though.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

quote for the day

"But boobs are magical and should be loved and appreciated like unicorns, candy and kittens."

Something Positive

Monday, July 05, 2010

song for the holiday

I'd forgotten about this song, but my friend Connie reminded me.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

observe the holiday


quote for the day

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage -- torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians -- which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.

George Orwell
via Kel

Friday, July 02, 2010

friday night at the movies

Normally, I dont like to do anything like advertising, but, well...

via Jonco