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Digital Polish Anger

So I've been feeling a bit smug this month, 10+ posts in a month is pretty good for my lazy ass.

But My-Friend-Kamil-Who-Has-a-Better-Blog-Than-Me's blog has really stepped up this month as well, I count 10 posts, many of them substantially longer than mine. And a slick redesign as well!

So consider this blog props Mr Kamil guy, thanks for wiping the smug off my face like some sort of toxic wet erase smug cleaning solvent.

Now please imagine me staring deeply into your tiny eyes while I unnecessarily paraphrase this heart felt quote from As Good as it Gets: "You make me wanna be a better blogger."

Long Term

Yesterday, I foolishly attempted to go into an AT&T store to buy an accessory for my non-vowel prefaced phone.

Unknown to me, AT&T is no longer in the business of selling you things, instead they seem to somehow derive revenue from having you stand around for 20 minutes staring at people who want to buy iPhones.

So I had a long time to consider how ephemeral all the stuff I own seems to be. That I'm considering replacing a car that is a mere 8 years old. That my phone which is only 8 months old already has a crack on it's camera lens. That I crave a new laptop every 2 years, regardless of need.

I have no solutions, and maybe my current consumer ennui is just the forgotten anti-consumptive messages of WALL-E making themselves at home in my subconscious. In any case, I was in the perfect mindset to appreciate this project to build a clock to last 10,000 years.

If you are not in the proper funk to enjoy the above concept, than I recommend perusing Chris Jordan's work until you feel appropriately wasteful and depressed, and then re-check it out =).


So I've been leaning on these "lists of neat stuff" a bit too heavily of late, I admit that.

But this one is specialer, I promise.

Each one of these links is to something someone has lovingly created, and to which I had an honest emotional reaction to.

LinkEmotion Induced
CV Lib DubYouthful exhilaration which quickly turned to covetous jealousy known only to the old.
Robot Parade
(Turn off HD if it is choppy)
Cute kids doing cute things aren't normally my style, but the absurdity of this one and the TMBG tie-in struck true.
JoCo's Space Doggity
(a.k.a. Laika the first dog in space singing an homage to David Bowie's "Space Oddity")
The story of Laika, the trusting and doomed space dog has made me sad. Clearly I still have some residual "dog death" issues.

Question #0 Do you think everyone is interested in the minutia of your life?

So my remaining grandmother took care of a bunch of "things" over the weekend, up to and including filling out her desires for her funeral, as well as making an account at a "legacy" website, which records some things about her.

One of the things it had her do was fill out a Proust Questionnaire.

Apparently this questionnaire is "Infamous" but I had never heard of it.

In any case, I've been told the results are "revealing" or whatever, and that it can be useful for posterity if you fill it out at different ages.

So I filled it out, and since I didn't find my responses all that entertaining, I put them after the fold. (In fact, I suspect they may be the *opposite* of entertaining).


What Memes Do the Memes Spread?

  1. I am unable to get over how adorable this video of Feist on Seasame Street is.
  2. Similarly, this Bert and Ernie Rap makes me smile.
  3. Apparently, there is a Firefly knitting fan club which make's Jayne Hats as featured in the episode "The Message"
  4. Finally I have a kid with a strong opinion on turtles.

Servant of the Meme

Do all the following describe you?

  • Secret dreams of becoming an evil scientist super villain?
  • Weakness for stories about nerds pining over girls?
  • Love of clever musical sequences?
  • Joss fanboy/girl?

If so, then you are me, and it is kind of pathetic to be reading your own blog.

If 3 of the 4 of those describe you then you might enjoy Joss Whedon's new project Dr Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, because it's the best thing ever created.

I think it's fair to say that it owes a bit to Jonathan Coulton's songs Skullcrusher Mountain and The Future Soon, but in practice it's so much more.

I predict in 100 years it will be some sort of video bible for a flourishing and deeply meaningful religion.

In any case, you can only watch it for free until July 20th, so mark your calendar to watch all the acts this weekend.

The Morning After

I wake up this morning, and paw at the rumpled and empty political sheets next to me.

He seemed so charming during last night's primary. That smile, how compassionate and idealistic he seemed, we agreed on pretty much everything! He was a rebel but with a determination that made it seem like he would change the system no matter what the odds! He was like Han Solo and Che Guevara's affable roommate.

Now, normally I can tell when guys are just trying to sweet talk me into getting me into bed. They agree a bit too quickly with what I say, talk themselves up, lead in with the same tired old lines. But he seemed different. He put me at ease, used self-deprecating humor, it was all too good to be true.

Of course I had looked him up before that. His myspace page was really great, it had a ton of interesting things on it.

But I look at it this morning, and it's like he's a different person, like he adjusts his page based on what sorority is throwing the next big party.

Now, one night stands are nothing new, and you almost come to expect it from the likes of *them*. But this time hurt all the more because he led me to believe it was real. That it was the start of something.

He's probably had to rush home to start brushing up on his bible phrases to land one of those "christian" skanks over at Alpha Delta Chi this weekend...

I need a hot shower.

Toxic Memes

In the early "Ohs" I had a subscription to the magazine Adbusters. Which is run by graphic designers attempting to combat conspicuous consumption via the same flashy graphics used to promote it

It was also the first (and only) time I heard the idea that the current media environment is "toxic" to our minds. That the mind has the built in susceptibility to not being able to think about something, and that the concentrated effort of everyone who wants to make some money off that fact is "bad" for you.

At the time, I thought they were speaking of "metaphoric" toxicity. That it was a useful idea to express the sort of general stress that attempts to manipulate our "wants" can produce.

I got to see WALL-E this last Friday, which is relevant for two very disparate reasons. The first, is the compellingly crafted anti-consumptive message written into WALL-E, which still manages to recognizing that there is genuine joy to be found in the items we surround ourselves with, but that when they stop bringing us joy, we're doing it wrong...

The second, was my exposure to a Disney trailer that has converted me into believing that it is possible for a message to transcend the allegory of marketing messages being toxic, and actually be capable of hurting my brain directly.

That trailer was for Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and to get the full theater effect play the video in full screen mode while having a friend put you in a full nelson and press your face into the screen.

I predict most of you will cry uncle at around 0:50, when the rapping commences. (Youtube link for the quicktime less).


What could be a nerdier follow-up to posting a word problem?

How about a video showing what magnetic fields look like?

I don't think good bloggers post word problems...

A lot of people are thinking of trading in their cars as of late.

Up for a little word puzzle?

Let's say you are a two car family, and both of you drive your cars 10,000 miles a year.

For whatever reason, you have two options:

  • Upgrade your aging sedan which gets 35 mpg with a hybrid that gets 50 mpg, an increase of 15 mpg.
  • Trade in your SUV which gets 15 mpg for a small truck which gets 25 mpg, an increase of 10 mpg.

Which will save you more gas?

The answer seems obvious... Take the 15 mpg increase over 10 mpg, right?

As it turns out, the 10 mpg upgrade of the more inefficient vehicle saves you 3 times more gas then the 15 mpg increase.

Lest you accuse me of mathemagicrafterary, you can see the graphical details laid bare here (found via Make).


So my wife and I were having a picturesque luncheon at the "Turtle Island Cafe" near Essex, NY. Having talked her parents into babysitting, we were languishing in the luxury of peace and quiet.

We began discussing turtles, and more over, the origin of their important symbollic place in Stephen King's "A Dark Tower" series. This wandered into my description of the cosmological half-joke of Turtles all the way down..

Our salads came, and somehow, Elyssa laughingly brought up a joke from season 5 of Angel, regarding the silly question of who would win in a fight between a caveman and an astronaut.

Elyssa laughed, assuming that I would side with the astronaut, whose victory could be nothing other than manifest. Ever so politely, I began making my argument for that of the caveman.

Needless to say, this fundamental disagreement consumed the rest of our lunch together.

But, like all factual disputes, only the Internet can truly decide. And so I leave it to you.

Here are the facts we ended up agreeing upon:

  • No weapons
  • It must be assumed to be in some sort of unescapable alien arena, say 50 yards in diameter
  • Military airforcemen receive very little practical hand to hand fighting training
  • The cavemen is likely shorter, and less nourished than the astronaut
  • The cavemen will have a larger/more potent adrenal response system.
Astronaut or Caveman?
-- poll results --