Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chocolate from Halloween into January

We have enough chocolate and candy for a city of five thousand.

The Best Thing That Will Happen To Me Today

I always try to walk into "the gardens" right at 9 a.m., when they open. The cafeteria is usually totally deserted for at least the first hour, which is an excellent writing environment.

Today, I walked past the welcome desk, computer bag slung over my shoulder, and a woman said, "Morning, Wally."

"Morning," I said. Of course I didn't correct her.

I pray I'm asked to attend a meeting someday.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

It Seems Like They're Just Stringing Words Together Randomly Now

Family 'inadvertently' created a pipe bomb at fatal gender reveal

Seriously, a world where that headline can exist. Oof.

Costume Count 2019!

All right, you know the drill.

I think this is maybe the tenth year we've done this? It's a tradition, and all you have to do is write down the costumes of the kids that come to your day for candy on Halloween. In an Excel spreadsheet, if you don't mind, and send it to me, along with the city. I'll compile all the results and publish next week.

The Wordsmith

I was listening to a mystery program on the Radio Classics channel (Sirius XM), and I heard this:
She was wearing a gown that started at the floor and ended unexpectedly. 

That is so next level, even seventy years later.


It's not that easy to see, but it's snowing. For two hours today.

I had a better picture of the snow, but a much poorer picture in general, so I'm going with this one.


Remember how I said the NCAA would cave with dizzying speed, now that California had passed legislation?
NCAA Board of Governors gives unanimous go-ahead for athletes to benefit off their names, images, likenesses

Oh yeah, the NCAA is in duck and cover mode right now. This is classic:
...the Board of Governors is directing “each of the NCAA’s three divisions to immediately consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies for the 21st century.”

Yes, you dumb asses, the century that started almost two decades ago. Way to be on the cutting edge.

This is a full-on retreat to attempt to preserve the "student-athlete" model in the sense that the school aren't directly paying athletes. That's Stalingrad, for the NCAA.

Of course, the student-athlete model is an utter and complete fraud, but you already knew that.

Is this good for athletes? Yes, even though it does kind of kick the can down the road in terms of actually being considered employees of the school. In the meantime, though, tens of thousands of athletes can now profit from their name/image/likeness (as other students already do).

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

DESPAIR, a Play in Three Acts

Location: the Gardens, indoors.

ACT ONE, in which I sit down in the cafeteria to begin working.
After only a few minutes, a piano tuner arrives, tuning a previously unnoticed piano.
A piano in the process of tuning is a goose with infinite pitch. HONK HONK HONK HONK. Raise one step. HONK HONK HONK HONK.
This will continue forever.

ACT TWO, in which there are nineteen empty booths and mine, but two woman immediately sit down in the booth behind me, defying both the mathematical odds and the most basic conventions of urinal etiquette.

ACT THREE, in which the next two people to enter the cafeteria immediately sit down in the booth in front of me, giving the middle finger to two hundred to one odds. Also, one brays.
I consider a clever workaround, and begin searching Amazon using the phrase "police tape."
I stop searching when I realize that if I tape off two booths, everyone will walk up and say "Excuse me, but do you know what happened here?"

Monday, October 28, 2019

A Routine

As you know, I've been working on the rewrite of The Man You Trust since the day after Eli 18.3 left for school.

I'll take a picture for you at some point, because I'm keeping all my notes. Hundreds of pages, to rewrite a hundred and ten pages.

What I've done is establish a routine, and I was lucky to find the perfect place for doing that. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is beautiful, but I don't go there for the gardens, or the sculptures.

I go for the cafeteria, which is open and bright, and just large enough to be able to find your own space.

I arrive at 8:30, meditate in the parking lot, then walk in at 9, when it opens. A muffin, some Diet Coke, and I start writing at 9:30. I stay for 2-3 hours, depending on how busy it gets during the lunch hour.

The continuity frees my brain up to write more effectively because there are fewer distractions. Plus it's only about ten minutes from the house, so it's convenient as well.

I am definitely counter-flow. The worse the weather, the better it is for me, because there will be fewer visitors. If I'm really lucky, I can write 4+ hours in relative solitude.

I'm mentioning this because I have a few stories to tell about my time there, and I'm telling them over the next few days. I'm also going to start calling it "the Gardens," because I don't want to accidentally wind up in Google search (which has happened with other things).

I'm roughly at about 40% of the rewrite at this point. I'm focusing more on process, just putting in time every day, working through problems, trying to make steady progress. Having a hard date creates some artificial issues around pace that can really become a problem, so I'm just keeping my head down and putting time in.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Friday Links!

These are wonderful: These Photos From A Muddy 49ers-Skins Game Are So Good.

Apple hype! Day one: Cosmic Crisp apples usurp Honeycrisp's throne starting December 1.

This is an unbelievable find: Neanderthal glue was a bigger deal than we thought.

This is a fascinating story and a terrific piece of writing: What In God's Name Happened To Jordan Tebbutt?

From Marc P., and it's a fantastic read: Portrait of an Inessential Government Worker.

From Wally, and it's a wonderfully clever short video: bicycle. Charlie Brown will never be the same (NSFW): O Great Pumpkin | Robot Chicken | Adult Swim. These guys are predators: Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free.

From Geoff Engelstein, and it's astounding (the perils of subcontracting): Hesitant hitmen jailed over botched assassination in China.

From David Gloier, and what a great story: Arcade Raid: The Duke of Lancaster Ship.

From Ken Piper, and oh, if this is true: A New Crispr Technique Could Fix Almost All Genetic Diseases. A beloved film: The Improbable True Story of How 'Clerks' Was Made. Math is always amazing: This Guy Just Found a Faster Way to Multiply.

From Chris Meadowcraft, and this woman is very good at climbing: Speed climber Aries Susanti Rahayu breaks world record.

Closing out with terrific links from C. Lee. First, and I had no idea, it's The Feminist History of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’. This is a terrific story: How Susan Kare Designed User-Friendly Icons for the First Macintosh. An interesting read: Researchers rediscover fast-acting German insecticide lost in the aftermath of WWII. A fantastic read: Abdus Salam: the Muslim Science Genius Forgotten by History. Provocative: To make laziness work for you, put some effort into it.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

This will absolutely come as no surprise

Eli 18.3 called me this morning at 11:30.

He has an idea for an app, an offshoot of a class assignment, and it's terrific. It's simple, it fills a need, and it's targeted to college students. The pitch he gave me was brilliant.

Okay, here's where you guys come in.

If you have experience in the process of designing/developing/marketing an app, please let me know. It would be nice to help him by giving him a streamlined idea of what he needs to do and what he needs to avoid.

Oh, and he has a partner, a junior who is a business major, so he's not going solo.

Thanks for the help.

[UPDATE: It took all of 30 minutes (thanks, Peter!) to find out that the University of Michigan has a fully-featured resource center for entrepreneurs. Of course they do.]

Hmm, is this actually possible?

This is worth reading: Ex-Navy officer turned inventor signs a multi-million deal to produce his electric car battery that will take drivers 1,500 miles without needing to charge.

A few excerpts:
In 2001 he began to investigate the potential of a technology first developed in the 1960s. Scientists had discovered that by dipping aluminium into a chemical solution known as an electrolyte, they could trigger a reaction between the metal and air to produce electricity. At that time the method was useless for commercial batteries because the electrolyte was extremely poisonous, and caustic.

...Jackson's eureka moment came when he developed a new formula for the electrolyte that was neither poisonous nor caustic.

...Another problem with the 1960s version was that it worked only with totally pure aluminium, which is very expensive.

But Jackson's electrolyte works with much lower-purity metal – including recycled drinks cans. The formula, which is top secret, is the key to his device.

Accredited tests have shown that, weight for weight, Jackson's fuel cell produces nine times as much energy as lithium-ion: nine times as many kilowatt hours of electricity per kilogram. 

This doesn't appear to be one of those rigged demonstration/utter fraud types of things, at least, as far as I can tell. It's not a perpetual motion machine.

However, I'm not that smart, either, and you guys are. So if you have a background in this area, I'd appreciate it if you'd read the article and weigh in with your opinion. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Fall Color, Both Tree and Bird Related

Remember the maple tree with thousands of whirlybirds littering the putting green? Yeah, that bastard. Here's what it looks like now:

Yeah, it's hard to be mad at it when it looks like that. So I just spend ten minutes picking up leaves and enjoying the view before I practice.

Then there are these individuals:

I was sitting in my car on Sunday, meditating in a particular spot (because geese like it here, actually), and this band of tourists starting walking across.

This time, I noticed something I never noticed before. When the lead goose saw me, he/she froze. In response, everyone else froze, too.

It was pretty fantastic, having a line of ceramic geese in front of me.

I didn't move. The goose didn't move.

I sent good thoughts. "So, how's your Sunday going?" I asked telepathically. Reassured, he/she began to walk again, the others following immediately.

They did one parade pass, then one of them started honking with a particular rhythm, and in a few seconds, they started running. Geese don't take off gracefully, really, because they're big. Howard Hughes didn't come up with the name "Spruce Goose" out of nowhere. They made it eventually, though.

Canada geese are very, very powerful. They fly from 40-70MPH, depending on the wind, and can fly 1500+ miles in a single day.

Respect, sirs and madams.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Ring Fit Adventure (More)

I forgot to mention yesterday that Adventure mode is not the only game mode. You can also work out on your own in the mini-games, or set up a custom program. That should contribute to extending the game's longevity, although the consensus is that there are 3+ months of content if you play Adventure mode for 30 minutes a day.

As a short summary, it's a regular fitness game with an entirely delightful adventure thrown on top of it. By Nintendo.

After playing this for a few days, I feel like I can give you a general idea of whether you'd like it or not.

--Casual exercisers who would like to work out more, but lack motivation. This will be perfect for you, and fun.
--Regular exercisers who have unbalanced workouts, like runners who don't do anything else. Also perfect, because this will work every part of your body, and give you more balance, which will help in preventing injuries.
--The snowbound, who stop exercising in winter because they just hate the damn weather and don't want to fight through it to get to the gym. This is going to be me, at times, because when the hellscape freezes over and the snow piles up, I want to work out without needing sled dogs to get to the damn gym.
--People who are middle-aged (or older) and aren't really enjoying exercising because they've done it for so long that it's all starting to seem the same. I'm also in that category, to some degree.
--Gamers who don't really exercise but would like to start.

Not the target market:
--Super-fit people who have balanced workout programs. Even at the highest difficulty settings, you might get bored, unless you enjoy the game aspect of it. You also might not get the benefit from feeling your body get stronger, because it's already strong. I will say, though, that the highest difficulty levels are reasonably stout.

Well, it looks like I included almost everyone in the "yes" grouping. That's because Ring Fit Adventure is widely accessible, with enough difficulty settings to accommodate almost everyone.

It certainly seems good for me. You, too, hopefully.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Ring Fit Adventure

I'm kind of a hero, really.

I did 20 squats kill a purple grape with horns. I did 20 overhead presses to kill a red grape with similar horns. I collected gold coins. Oh, and I unleashed a pilates demon. Mistakes were made.

This is my experience after two days of Ring Fit Adventure. 

I realized long ago that I don't want a fitness instructor with perfect hair and capped teeth encouraging me every thirty seconds. It's the voice, the phony voice that promises everything and means nothing.

However, when it's a cartoon figure encouraging me in the enthusiastic way that Nintendo has always done, I am 100% in and totally pleased. It is very, very fun to be pushed along with the ideal level of silliness.

It's also remarkably fun to see your character onscreen matching your movements very precisely. There's no lag, either.

The form of the game is basically an endless runner, and you have to do different exercises or motions to get past obstacles. Quite a bit of it is reasonably organic, too--you're running in place and doing movements with the ring (twisting, squeezing, pulling) to jump or destroy obstacles and collect coins.

When you get to battles, you do multiple reps of an exercise, and you'll do multiple exercises over the course of a battle (boss battles are particularly long).

I only know a few exercises, for now, but the narrator has mentioned that there are over 50 to use, eventually, which seems solid. And it's clearly a wide variety, too.

I'm playing half an hour a day, and I feel good when I'm done. Not exhausted, but not bored, which is a good balance. I think I could kick it up to a higher difficulty level and be very tired, if I played for long enough.

Tomorrow I'm going to talk a little more about the game and the target groups who would find it particularly useful.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Friday Links!

Leading off this week, because everyone should see it: Saturday Night Live Gives Oscar the Grouch the Joker Treatment, and It's Perfectly Ridiculous.

This is genuinely inspiring and tremendously courageous: ‘Women That Would Gladly Give Their Life’: How The Paramilitary Women's Emergency Brigade Battled GM At The UAW's First Big Strike.

It's hard to build character when you don't have any yourself: What Art Briles Brought To The Town That Never Asked For Him.

This is quite amazing: Why Lightning Strikes Twice as Much Over Shipping Lanes.

This is fascinating: Researchers find just two plague strains wiped out 30%-60% of Europe.

Oops! Researchers find bug in Python script may have affected hundreds of studies.

From Wally, and it's a gearhead red alert: Orley Ray Courtney. Wait, no config.sys to screw with?  Software Library: MS-DOS Games. I only wish he'd been asked to make a Charlie Brown cartoon: REJECTED by DON HERTZFELDT (Blu-ray restoration). Breathe in, everybody: Cruise Ship Passing Through Corinth Canal. A terrific read: The Dreyfuss Nightmare.

From Kevin Womack, and this is astounding: Beluga whale saves an iPhone from the sea in Norway...

From C. Lee, and it's a brilliant idea: Osaka University develops easy method to detect early dementia. This is always the listed house that you can afford: Home buyers, beware: Contamination from cooking meth can linger for years. This is awesome: MIT Confirms a Bridge Leonardo da Vinci Designed 500 Years Ago Was an Ancient Engineering Marvel. I had no idea: The Man Who Mentored da Vinci Receives First U.S. Retrospective. This is a fascinating explanation: Why Renaissance Paintings Aren’t as Green as They Used to Be. I missed this trend: Irish Butter Kerrygold Has Conquered America’s Kitchens. Here's a terrific This American Life episode: A Policeman Burns Down the Firehouse.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

An Observation

Joe Flacco looks like he's trying to hold onto a porcupine.

Ring Fit Adventure/Disco Elysium/Six Ages/Notes

Okay, I forgot that I'm actually playing TWO games on launch day this week.

We go from the sublime (Disco Elysium) to the ridiculous (Ring Fit Adventure). I'm going to try to play RFA for 30 minutes a day for at least two weeks, and I'll report when interesting (YMMV).

Maybe I'll play each of them for 30 minutes a day, consecutively. That would be entirely surreal.

You should be ready for a slower pace at the start of Disco Elysium than most games have these days. It's not a game for people with five-minute attention spans, but it really is extraordinary. I was trying to think of a word to describe the feeling, and I think it's "crafted." So many games now just don't have that feeling--they're kind of slopped together, we'll fix it after it ships carelessness. DE, though, feels tight. It feels like an enormous amount of care was taken in its creation.

Oh, wait--THREE games on launch day. Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind (the sequel to Dragon Pass) launches today as well.

This is the big week of fall for me, gaming-wise, and I didn't even realize it until today. Entertainment coffers are overflowing.

Also, in random notes, I sometimes put things on the shopping list. Not items, really, but conditions, which is considerably less helpful. Today's shopping list has "CHIP EMERGENCY!" scrawled on it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Long Day

I finished chapter five of the rewrite of The Man You Trust today.

I don't know what I can say except that it's going well. I'll spread out all the notes I have and take a picture one day and you'll understand why it's taking a while.

It's been a very, very long day, so I was only able to play Disco Elysium for about half an hour. It's still very early, but everything I've seen so far indicates that it's the real deal, a game that will be remembered for a long time.

I don't know how it will sell, because there's a lot of reading to do, which excludes a large tranche of potential customers, but I do think it will be revered. The writing is very, very special, as is the game design.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Disco Elysium

I don't play something on launch day very often,

Today, though I made an exception, because the game was described as a cross between Planescape Torment and Blade Runner. Not by the company making the game. By people writing about the game.


The game is Disco Elysium. I was only able to play for an hour, but man, what an hour. The comparisons to brilliant games of the past? Perfectly justified, at least for now.

Quick notes:
--the writing is just incredibly good. Usually I get tired of dialogue trees, but not when the writing is so excellent.
--voice acting is very strong.
--it strongly evokes the old Westwood Blade Runner adventure game.
--information (about your character, the world, etc.) is presented in very efficient and effective ways.
--all of this combined makes the world very, very immersive.

I don't know very much at this point beyond that. All I've really done at this point is walk around and talk to people.

Well, I know that the first hour didn't disappoint me, which happens all to often to old and jaded me. Plus, I can't wait to play tomorrow.


Einstein Bros. just announced the bagelrito. At Taco Bell, emergency response teams are forming.

Monday, October 14, 2019

On Pointing

This is an article that you'll think about all day: The pointing ape.

Here's an excerpt, and it's long, but it sets up the entire article:
But to what degree are humans truly unique? Psychology tells us that humans, alone among animals, have the capacity to theorise about the contents of other minds. If you’re reading this essay and wondering where I’m going with this, you’re displaying this capacity. We humans also regulate our own behaviour based on the outcomes of such computations. This is a core tenet in many branches of the cognitive sciences today: the idea that our mentations cause our behaviour. In terms of our language behaviour, human children are magnificent test subjects because every child who masters a language (and this describes the overwhelming majority of humanity) transitions from being a creature without any apparent capacity for symbolic communication, akin to other animals, to being a creature who can skilfully produce and comprehend complex utterances that are, apparently, unique in the world. If we can understand the changing competencies of human children, then, the argument goes, we can discern those infant and toddler capabilities that facilitate this language learning. We can glean the ‘psychological toolkit’ that human babies apply to their social environments to produce their native languages.

Because it is so easy to study children, the literature on this issue is immense. A sub-area in this active research domain involves identifying the competencies present in preverbal children while absent from our living relatives, the great apes. An ability displayed by preverbal children but not adult great apes would be seen as an adaptation unique to us. For decades, the sine qua non of human preverbal communicative exceptionalism was the pointing gesture. A language-competent individual can name an entity or event to which she would like to draw the attention of her social partner; a preverbal child armed with a pointing finger can accomplish much the same. 

In the early 1990s, it was a nearly universal axiom in psychology that pointing was a human adaption for creating a ‘referential triangle’ between two people. At that time, I had no particular reason to doubt this story, but quite by happenstance I met someone who gave me grounds to reconsider pointing as a human adaptation in the human toolkit for language. That ‘someone’ was Clint, an adolescent chimpanzee, and this is the story of how he trained me to question the mainstream scientific perspective on pointing as an evolved cognitive adaptation for the acquisition of symbols.

That's the set-up, but it's not just about pointing. It's about a friendship between a great ape and a researcher, and the kind of bond two creatures can have together, even if they're different.

The reason I thought about this article all day, besides its brilliance, is that it made me think about what really distinguishes humans, and how we decide that. Or rather, how we assume that.

In the last few decades, there have been many flags planted about what humans can uniquely do. It seems, though, that over time, those flags keep disappearing. Our claims seem to reflect more what we want to believe about ourselves.

The more research that gets done, though, the more we find pieces of ourselves in others. The great apes. Dolphins. Crows. Elephants. Killer whales. So many nuanced, sophisticated behaviors and emotions.

There is so much to digest in the article, so many rabbit holes to get lost in. It is a very satisfying, pleasant way to spend time.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Friday Links!

From Wally, and it's fascinating: Russia’s Retro Lenin Museum Still Runs on Decades-Old Apple II Computers. Next, and it's brilliant, it's Painting 'Zebra Stripes' on Cows Wards Off Biting Flies. This is excellent: Warp speeds in 'Star Trek' are achingly slow, and a simple animation by a former NASA scientist proves it. This is hilarious: This chicken breaks into her owner’s house daily to lay an egg on the bed.

From Eric Higgins-Freese, and it's an interesting look at design: An exclusive look at how Google designed its Stadia game controller.

From Joshua Buergel, and it's riveting: The Cheating Scandal Rocking the Poker World.

From C. Lee, and it's both simple and brilliant: Schoolgirls in Fukuoka use plastic bottle to save child in sea. This is fascinating: I learned how to do math with the ancient abacus — and it changed my life. Useful: How to Set Your Google Data to Self-Destruct. This could be huge: Just a drop of urine, worms for highly effective cancer screening. Yuck: Your Washing Machine Could Be a Breeding Ground for Hazardous Germs. What a rabbit hole: Mathematics in Movies. Bewitching (sorry): This Map Shows the Scale of 16th- and 17th-Century Scottish Witch Hunts. They probably interfered in the walrus elections: Walrus attacks Russian Navy, sinking inflatable boat.

From Mark Hollett, and it's terrific (also, "How to Weigh a Whale" is an excellent title for a children's book): How to weigh a whale without a scale.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Consider This

This is an actual place, per the brochure:


So, some important notes from the dedicated axe throwing page. Pay attention:
-Groups of less than 4 maybe mixed with other walk-ins.
No problem. I'll just throw axes with complete strangers. No problem.
--Guaranteed Private Lane with 4 or more.
What's the Public Lane look like? Wait, don't even tell me.
--Everyone in Axe Arena Floor MUST wear closed toe shoes.
[insert the obligatory sandals joke HERE.]

Oh, and full bar service. Drinking and axe throwing. That dude on the brochure holding up his index fingers? Those are the only ones he has left.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Oh, Man

Well, it's another absolutely humiliating day to be an American, but you already knew that.

Eli 18.2 sent a text yesterday
Fun brain teaser. 
Each word is a 6-digit number.

Each letter stands for a number between 0-9.
No number can stand for more than one letter.
D = 5.

It's very challenging and very relaxing to work on. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

At The Game

It was Parent's Weekend, so we did the only reasonable thing: ignored all the presentations and just went to the football game.

It's hard to convey in a photograph how large this stadium feels. It seats over 110,000 people. Right now, that's the second largest sports stadium in the world (there's a stadium in North Korea that seats 115,00 people, at least until they get executed). In ancient times, the Circus Maximus had a capacity of 150,000, and more recently, I believe there was a soccer stadium in Mexico that was 200,000+.

We were in row 91 (of 100 rows), and incredibly, I could still see very well. I wasn't expecting such a good view, which allowed me to very clearly see the most boring game in the history of football. 10-3, and it wasn't as exciting as the score.

The pageantry, though, was fantastic and highly enjoyable, and so was the crowd. Nobody blind drunk, no fights, only the obligatory Head Coach In Row 91 offering near-constant advice in the row above us. Oh, wait, that would mean he was the obligatory Head Coach In Row 92, actually.

Here's a very Michigan thing that happened.

The bathrooms were packed at halftime, at course, and when I finally made it through the line and was on my way out, two guys were trying to sneak in via the exit door (which was separated from the entrance). A guy behind me put his hand out and said, "This isn't an entrance. Stop trying to cut and go get in line," and because this is Michigan, they did. Not one word of argument.

If it wasn't for the hellspawn of weather, this would be an ideal place to live.

The other very Michigan thing was that leaving was remarkably orderly, like a murmuration of starlings. No one was trying to break ranks and race through, and there were lots of people apologizing if they bumped into you.

All in all, a very nice day, and we had dinner with Eli 18.2 afterwards.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Outside the Shell Thinking

"Where are the straws?" I asked the lady at the counter.

"No straws," she said cheerily. "We have to save the turtles."

That's fair. I like turtles.

That made me think, though. Is it better that we stop using straws to save the turtles, or should we start teaching turtles how to use straws?

This is provocative, edgy thinking.

Top three ways that turtles could enjoy using straws:
1. adult beverages
2. a snorkel
3. a periscope (bendy straws only)

Friday, October 04, 2019

Friday Links!

This is an excellent read: He Never Intended To Become A Political Dissident, But Then He Started Beating Up Tai Chi Masters. Another branding craze stops as soon as people realize what they're eating: The Kale Craze Might Be Ending.

From C. Lee, and it seems like this could be a harbinger of upcoming problems: Shawn Layden departs Sony amid restructuring confusion and potential power struggle. This is excellent (Lee R. alert): Video: Ars talks Civilization with the man himself: Sid Meier. This is the ultimate mic- drop: Kid’s mom says video games are pointless, kid grows up to be part of new Zelda game’s soundtrack. This might be useful: Learn How to Code in Python With Microsoft's Free Classes. This is so interesting: To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, Not a Spotlight. An excellent explanation: How decades of L.A. smog led to California’s war with Trump over car pollution

From Wally, and I never thought we needed this, but hey: AMD vs Intel: Which CPU Cooks Better Pancakes? This is quite fascinating, actually: What The Inventories Of Various Emergency Services Look Like Over The World. This is quite incredible: The antique audiotape was a mystery. Then a researcher got it to play. It was a dispatch from D-Day. Very, very interesting: Punching Out: evolution of the ejection seat. This is very funny: Woman who sleeps in $500 EMF-blocking sack wants area-wide Wi-Fi limits. This is astonishing: The Chris Ramsay Playing Card Press.

If you only watch one video this week, let it be this one (thanks, Wally): Pee Wee Football Dance Off.

From Joshua Buergel, and it's mandatory reading for cat owners (okay, not really): The Little-Known History of Cat Litter.

From Ken Piper, and boy, this is incredible:  This ‘129 Ways to Get a Husband’ Article From 1958 Shows How Much The World Has Changed.

Thursday, October 03, 2019


Well, I heart you, too, little golf course:

How do you load a truck? Click to enlarge, because that truck is certainly enlarged. I don't think the inverted pyramid loading technique should be used except in post-apocalyptic circumstances, and then only sparingly.

Honestly, Charlie looks pretty sketchy to me. I don't think I want to play any soccer games with you, sir. Best of luck to you.

She's a Snander

Gloria was eating potato chips in the kitchen. She snacks in the kitchen like this whenever she's stressed.

"Oh, you're snanding," I said.

"Snanding? What?"

"You know, 'snanding.' Snacking while standing." So far, so good.

"Is that a thing?" she asked.

"It's totally a thing," I said. It's totally not a thing.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

The Coward

This is an actual conversation I had with a relative by marriage, who was coming for an annual visit (you can figure it out).

"Well, you know how it is now."

"No, how is it?" I asked.

"One of my friends got fired because two people at work said he tried to run them over."

"Wait, what?" I wasn't sure I heard that correctly.

"I know he didn't do it. But they said he did, and the dispatcher lied and said she saw it, and they fired him."

"Well, that's something, all right." Going super neutral here for diplomatic reasons.

"You know how it is now. Anyone can make up anything they want to and people will believe them. You must have seen this all the time when you had corporate jobs."

"Oh, hell, yes. When I worked for Dell, people were getting run over in the parking lot every week."

That's what I wanted to say.

What I actually did was pause for a couple of seconds, then say "No, I really didn't."


Also, in what world is the go-to card for getting someone fired falsely accusing them of trying to run you over in the parking lot?

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Bad Man Gets Suspended.

This guy has been so dirty for so long.

Alberto Salazar, track coach and marathon champion, gets four-year doping ban

Combo Post

California Pokes The NCAA With A Stick

California Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign [Note: he did] the state’s Fair Pay to Play Act into law today. That bill, which passed the state senate with overwhelming support earlier this month, forbids the state’s public colleges and universities from revoking the eligibility or scholarships of athletes who sign endorsement deals, hire agents, or otherwise make money off of the use of their names and likenesses.

Baby steps.

The NCAA isn't paying their employees wages yet, but this is a start.

Meanwhile, the NCAA rattled every saber they had, including threatening to ban PAC 12 athletes from championships, and you know what's going to happen now?

They're going to cave.

They're going to cave in record time, because everyone knows this is wrong, and has always been wrong, and now the dam has broken.

It's like a police officer accidentally walking into the wrong apartment and murdering the guy living there because she "feared for her life," and then you get all these morons explaining how this is actually quite reasonable, and everybody holds the line. Then the case goes to the jury and they're all "Oh, hell no. This is straight-up murder," and everyone suddenly goes "Oh, yeah. That's murder AF."

Site Meter