scrap pad

Joey Comeau's latest short story

Historians and Degenerates, by Joey Comeau. at Strange Horizons.

gender snippet

wrote this down when Adam and I were reading some weird article (which I wish I had the link to) about the evolution of gender: "the ideas of race and sex were created to maintain inequality after the ideas of the enlightenment proscribed equality among all men (men was a genderless term)"

it's been sitting on my desktop for a few weeks so is pretty out of context at this point, but reminds me of the idea that homosexuality only really became a concept in the victorian period.

found the link: Sexuality & Modernity. the most interesting part was about the enlightenment, but truthfully I could not sit through more than a paragraph of any of it that night.

Cory Doctorow: I, Robot

enjoyed this scifi novella by Cory Doctrow at The Infinite Matrix: I, Robot. It reads like classic scifi, but is somehow more modern ("natty checked suit and pink tie," and the ending). from the bottom of the page:

About this story, Cory says, "Last spring, in the wake of Ray Bradbury pitching a tantrum over Michael Moore appropriating the title of 'Fahrenheit 451' to make Fahrenheit 9/11, I conceived of a plan to write a series of stories with the same titles as famous sf shorts, which would pick apart the totalitarian assumptions underpinning some of sf's classic narratives."

mp3 blog mix tape

I'm enjoying this mix on this mp3 blog: M3 Volume 7

Normal Life - comic

this is approximately how I participate in conversation

Malcom Gladwell has a blog

enough with Blink (his book) and the whole decision-making, "life-hacking," self-improvement through business practices applied to personal life fad... but Malcom Gladwell just started a blog, and it's full of information chunks like ben and jerry's peanut butter cup ice cream with peanut butter cups. Anyways, it's good: at this point not super-linky, instead it is full of opinions and solid references to books and stuff. (granted, references to a certain kind of book... the kind I am not interested in ever actually reading).

a review of Gladwell's book, The Tipping Point, at Amazon refers to it as "pop sociology," which covers the kinds of books I am not interested in ever actually reading. The books he writes and also the books he reads, I guess.

abortion howto, kindof

Molly Saves the Day: For the women of South Dakota: an abortion manual (via kottke)

The West End News is now online

The West End NEWS on blogger.

April is Mathematics Awareness Month but before that is Pi Day.

mathematica erotica

vaguely sexual images made with equations

rainbow chard

kb pointed me to this 80's chard: Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard-Seed Savers

the IT Crowd

funny UK tv show about an IT department. episodes at YouTube.

Slate on the Olympics

notes back-and-forth. quote: "When a commentator asked [women's halfpipe] gold-medalist Teter about how she'd prepared, I braced for some piety about being mentally ready to visualize giving 110 percent. Instead, she said something like, 'I just wanted to chill, man, as much as possible, all week long.'"

olympic opening ceremony

look! it's a human spark of passion!

on defining things

my roommate is taking philosophy this semester, and is working on a paper with something about Plato's assertion that everything in a certain category shares a common set of characteristics. Our basic discussion is, "define a chair."

a chair is an object. can an object have an intent? a chair is an object that has the intent of being sat on. or, that we intend to sit on. obviously there's more to a chair than that.

"define art"—this one I had a pat answer to: I've been using this as my definition of art for a while, and I'm pretty satisfied with it, though it doesn't encompass everyone's approach to art, it describes what I treat as art: art has to have intent of meaning, and some element of craftsmanship.

afro-punk: documentary

This played at space on Monday the 13th and I really wanted to see it--punk is so whitewashed, and I've always wondered about other peoples' experience of it. (Ska isn't, though, and it overlaps with punk some...) Anyways I was sick and tired, so I didn't go. Afro-Punk "explores race identity within the punk scene. black punks latino punks people of color punk rock"

pictures - tiny people

tiny people on food, more tiny people on food. (via

mac os x trojan?

this time, it might actually be for real. Mac Rumors: The First Mac OS X Virus? (A New OS X Trojan)

good music

kb's pandora radio station

bullshit and truth

my dad sent me this article about bullshit and the existence of truth a while ago. just finished it today. Say Anything, by Jim Holt, at The New Yorker

DOM Elements Reference

I was *so* happy to find this. DOM Elements Reference

mass vs. weight

You measure mass when you shake or heft something, like some people do in the produce section. You measure weight when you use the produce scale... Mass measures inertia. When you shake something, you are testing to see how it reacts... Weight is a force, the force of gravity... The scale balances the force of gravity against the force of a spring inside the scale.

a comment on ideas to make basic physics concepts clearer

php 4 with mac os 10.4

thread at that helped me out on using php 4 with Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger). My problem was this dude's problem, getting php.ini to register. turns out you need to edit two lines in httpd.conf.

PDF making software

more specifically, split and join PDFs. PDFLab (mac os x)

kingdom of loathing guides

Drink Mixing Guide, Cooking Guide, Meatsmithing Guide. (picked up kingdom of loathing again recently.)


one way or another, these got on my reading list: Melissa Scott's Shadow Man, and something by Sarah Waters

touch screen

beyond the mouse paradigm: movie of using a touch screen with two hands (mpg)

speaking of battlestar galactica

behind the scenes video blog. especially "billy gets no respect."

ski movie trailers

almost as bad as reading behind the scenes episode stuff about battlestar galactica. but with skiing. Warren Miller Entertainment - Trailers

low-power radio in Kittery

sweeet. Low-power radio station is making its voice heard - The Boston Globe (kittery maine)


Postmodern Courtesan takes a pro-"cunt" stand, or at least anti-"beaver": A Glaring Lack of Good Words

There's no question what you want done with the thing when you use the word cunt. Cunts are a bit more demanding... Cunts are ready to party, pussies haven't fully made up their minds yet.

rides for seniors

Independent Transportation Network lets senior cits trade in their cars for rides. Helps them get around & feel independent. No longer driving, but as mobile as ever | (portland maine) (link from kb)

breaking hometown news

Unauthorized entry of several vehicles:

A half-dozen people called police last Thursday to report their cars had been rifled through. ... nothing of value was taken from the vehicles and all were unlocked.


These types of incidents can be avoided, French said, if people would simply lock their car doors.

Anil Dash on alt-weeklies

alt-weeklies vs. craigslist, blogs, and where is the community? Anil Dash: Alt Weeklies, San Francisco, Curiosity, and Bullshit

My advice? If you have a newspaper, publish something that's unique to your community; Write something that nobody running a website on the other side of the country would have enough knowledge or information to create.

physics text unrealism

Most physics books neglect air resistance, which can be signifgant in golf ball problems &c. calls the influence of these textbooks "baleful" and stresses the importance of coordinating physics teachings with real world effects. uses and stresses the importance of dimensional analysis (analyzing the units in a problem). names my physics text as an offender. only 3 pages. Introductory physics: The new scholasticism

retro photographs

retro in the style of the media, and possibly in the content, but not retro as in riffing on the 50s. Adam Lubroth, especially shirts.

cartoons of Muhammed scandal

Choire Sicha at The Morning News flails a bit (esp in the title), but hits it on the mark. The Morning News - Would You Like Havarti With Those Freedom Fries?, by Choire Sicha

flavored vodka

Flavored Vodka: "CHESNOCHNAYA (Garlic Vodka) One clove of garlic, slightly crushed, and one sprig of fresh dill with three white peppercorns."

That site was referred to as "alarmingly authentic" by this post on flavored vodka at The Spirit World, which lists some old-fashioned flavored vodkas: "The late 18th century saw a boom in flavored vodkas, including absinthe, acorn, anisette, birch, calamus root, calendula, cherry, chicory, dill, ginger, hazelnut, horseradish, juniper, lemon, mastic, mint, mountain ash, oak, pepper, peppermint, raspberry, sage, sorrel, wort and water melon."

more potatoes

informative post about potato types/use: Accidental Hedonist - Potato Varieties. Starts by saying: "There are hundreds of varieties of potatoes worldwide. Luckily for us, the majority of US supermarkets have seen fit to lower our options to three..." (um, luckily?)


The British have a ton more potato varieties than us Americans do. Also, apparently describing potatoes as "floury" is a British thing (Aussies use it too). "Floury" describes a drier, starchier potato that is likely to fall apart when boiled. They're best for baking and mashed potatoes. For the record, Russets are a floury potato.

If I ever end up in Peru, I will try lots of different potatoes. As the cradle of potato history, there are something like 4200 varieties there (versus about 5 here, including the shrinkwrapped variety).

NPR : Podcast Directory

NPR : Podcast Directory. a few of my favorite shows are available here (wait wait don't tell me, marketplace, sunday puzzle)

jen recommends

the movie "Ma Vie en Rose" (about a little boy who is a girl)

kittery point postmaster retires

Mike O'Brien. He goes on ski trips with our club... our PO box is not too far out of that picture. Portsmouth Herald Maine News: Retiring his post

Is Language Infinite?

I think it was Joe at work who I was talking about this with. Or maybe it was Dana. Anyways, April 24 2004, someone printed this out for me. Found it on my floor today. really, really cool that the content is still at the same URL. Is Language Infinite? -

notes from a memo at work

  • be on time
  • clean/keep busy, even though it's slow this time of year
  • pay attention to guests
  • be responsible for your own aprons

70s stuff

Might be going to a 70s/disco party on Saturday night. Research: Clothes of the 70s. A long list of random clothes that were popular in the 70s. example:

  • Shellsuit

    Like the racing car drivers suits. Shiny and lightweight in material usually pastel shades and very flattering. A zip had the full length at the front. More seductive if the zip came down to cleavage level.


I kind of wish kb's and my blog about Portland, 04101, was still going on.

The Weather Underground - documentary

This morning I watched this documentary on the Weather Underground. It's now a day late due back to the library. I almost didn't pick it up because it has the 4 stars in quotes on the front, which for some reason in my head triggers an association with comedy. enjoyed it though. random notes from the film:

  • "those who make peaceful revolution impossible only make violent revolution inevitable" -- JFK, quoted by Martin Luther King
  • repeatedly compared the Weather Underground to Bonnie and Clyde
  • one leader (I think of the Black Panthers), in distancing his group from the Weathermen, called them "custeristic" - leaders taking people into situations where they're going to be massacred (lose badly.)
  • "there are no innocent in this war of aggression"
  • two of the women talk about cutting themselves off from their families. it strikes me that a revolution that will stick and be meaningful should include the parents/families/etc. maybe I just think that because I share a lot of politics with my parents.
  • "it was seen as impossible to defy the fbi. everybody on the left said, this is only going to last a few months"
  • "violence didn't work"
  • "I think that there's a history of resistance, and a history of white peoples' involvement in that resistance, that makes a difference in the ability of that kind of resistance to emerge again" - not to draw color lines, but it seems like radical groups of white kids "align" themselves with the Black Panthers without paying much attention to the Panthers' intrests and direction.
  • when you get a list of what they did, the Weather Underground's accomplishments were pretty spectacular. the radicalism of using bombs to make a point is scary, and puts a lot of distance between most people and them: these people were terrorists. But the american (vietnamese, chilean, ...) people were more than equally terrorized by the american government, and had no other recourse.

Apple's installer

In a footnote to a post on an app that sneakily installs software, John Gruber (daring fireball) mentions that "Apple’s installer application has a command in the File menu — Show Files — which [shows a list of all files that will be installed]." Good to know. (mac os x)

cell phone cooking

cook an egg with two cell phones. via mimi smartypants.

registrar recommendations

NameCheap, DirectNIC. from comments at lifehacker.


who I am