reasons I would be excited to return to Portland
- my falafel stand idea
- kelly's idea of making free web pages for small maine businesses
Firefox 2.0 headstart2nd beta just released. for when it comes out in "early 2007" and when I eventually upgrade (as far from now as possible: the new features don't look thrilling) there's a hidden preference for per-tab close buttons. slashdot comment.
small talkThe Smalltalk Question (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought). poses that asking "what have you been thinking about lately?" is an effective question to start an interesting conversation.
talking about web statisticsevhead on the weaknesses of counting by hits and pageviews (etc)
photos of sacramentoflickr photos from downtown sacramento. I'll be here in less than two weeks.
oath of officeI will have to take this oath as an AmeriCorps VISTA: Sec. 3331. Oath of office. Minus, I hope, the "So help me God."
cloth padsSometime soon I will make some. this is the pattern I will use. but this pattern is a tessellation, and this girl made them with pretty colors. actually, maybe I will do something with the changeable pad part exposed.
my powerbook battery is recalledBattery Exchange Program iBook G4 and PowerBook G4
o'reilly books coupon code"Buy 2 books, get one Free, use code: OPC10." via an ad at daringfireball.net.
the administration's current "sit on your ass and wait" diplomacy
that comes from either ze frank's the show or the a daily show clip on youtube.
japanese beatlesrepelled by geraniums. maybe peonies too? general simple solution is to knock them off plants into soapy water.
eric gill quote
Edward Tufte's latest book quotes British typographer Eric Gill: "If you look after truth and goodness, beauty looks after herself."
(who is eric gill?)
Burn Testwhen you burn different kinds of cloth, this is what they smell and look like. cloth burn test
the L wordI went and watched some of season 1. One L Word lesbian wears more makeup than all the lesbian and bisexual girls that I know, combined. Ugh.
more OK Go
a million ways - OK Go. or something. not as good as the other one. awesome because it is nerdier and more off-balance. this is one reason I think civilization is awesome.
(other reasons: music in general, toilet paper, cooking, books, discussions, travel. the idea of our social and cultural environment as something we can change.)
Google Checkoutso google now has a web store thing? Google Checkout. I like it: I'll appreciate having reciepts and order history from a bunch of random stores in one place, not have to make logins at rinky-dink little sites, and trust who's processing my credit card. normally my solution to these things is to buy from Amazon. anyways, yay google. also, the form is nice to use. maybe I trust google with too much. buh.
OK Go music videothis is fucking awesome. uses treadmills. apparently overplayed on MTV. OK Go - Here It Goes Again. via mightygirl.
lab report introduction
from ELE210 in spring of 2006. draft.
It was clear before we started what the result of each procedure should be; the experiments were done so that we could understand basic lab procedures rather than to find results.
The procedure involved walking up to the lab bench and mucking around.
scrap of paper from nyc last fallinculcate, bags of natron, benu bird (Egyption Phoenix), Erin McEown, "rock doves," plan-it-x records, black glands == black plague, Soy Not "Oi!", two recipes featuring peanut butter.
kinds of appleskinds of apples I was curious about at one point: Baldwin, Spitzenburg, Pippin, Northern Spy, Winesap, Liberty. (had Northern Spys before, last fall tried Winesaps which are aromatic, sweet, and winey.)
An Inconvenient Truth
Just saw it, very good. Gore co-stars with his powerbook. Its target audience is very obvious (upper middle class liberal environmentally sympathetic reformed hippies who don't feel entirely out of place watching someone jet around the country in first class, limos, and fresh forest green station wagons to talk about graphs and what Scientists Have Found to respectful auditoriums), and the attendees matched right up. I was pretty much the nonagonal peg in the round hole: a little odd, but basically fitting right in.
Gore is very convincing and the film is well produced. I'm convinced, but I don't know what my response might be beyond plain old conviction. I mean, what should I do: give up my car?
stephen recommendscolm's friend stephen recommended hiking Mt. Brandon and The Reeks in Kerry.
Uncertain Principles: The High Cost of Assigned Reading. He talks about how professors don't have much of an option to use cheaper books; anyway, I think that the publishers are at fault. I left a comment there.
As frustrating as the high prices and constant new editions (updated sections on the latest versions of MatLab and Mathematica, anyone?) is the dropping of useful parts... in my past two textbooks for EE courses, the answers to the problem sets weren't in the back. They were online, requiring a username and password. So second hand books have no solutions, unless someone was thoughtful enough to write the username and password inside the cover. And if I go back to the book in ten years, what's the likelihood that the solutions will still be accessible?
the insidehighered article that spurred this has a list of a few lower priced and free textbook publishers... one of them, Dover Publications is apparently publishing math and science texts from the 60s.
cd: more Kossoy Sisters
if Bull Moose were perfect, they'd have this cd: Kossoy Sisters: Hop On Pretty Girls. but they don't, so I won't spend that store credit yet.
also, how did I not mention what I was so suprised to find out about this? -- when they recorded "Bowling Green" in 1959, they were 17! They have been doing concerts recently... in fact they were here in Maine just a few days ago on August 10th. "Hop on Pretty Girls" is their new cd, from 2002. more info plus an interview. also, some press from around the time the second album was released.
can someone tell Ray Ban that their website is absolute crap and to make it more useful RIGHT NOW? Because I'm trying to find out what different colors of a frame look like, but I'm waiting for the menus to descend, I'm clicking on the wrong menu items because they're too small, and then the flash gets stuck at "50% loaded" and I no longer have a mouse pointer over the menus. And they have no place to complain to.
cell phonemy cell phone battery isn't holding a charge for more than a couple calls. I was a little sad and a little excited to get a new one, but luckily I don't have to: factory direct cellular is still selling batteries for my phone (a Samsung 1500).
there is so much sacramento internet activity! ... guess that's what you get in a city 10x the size of portland (ME).
SactoFly.comSactoFly.com: blog about "Sacto's DIY, Indy, Alt, Fringe or otherwise non-corporate Art, Music, Theater, Poetry, Film and Comedy." uhh, they misspell "your" in the subtitle, though.
Sacramento Bicycle KitchenSacramento Bicycle Kitchen. Last week I refused to describe myself as a biker but I was mostly being contrary. I love biking in the city. Looks like they sell some bikes, plus do repair related things. Also, the site is great.
where is the grocery store!midtowngrid.com: listings of shops, cafés, restaurants, grocery stores. (in Sacramento)
Broad&MarketBroad&Market: philly "street fashion" blog. pictures of everyone with interviews. fascinating.
sifting through junk: old notebook
Song that I liked in highschool a lot: "Got You Where I Want You" by The Flys. It was on their album "Holiday Man." I remember every few months that I never found that cd.
Today I was reminded of it because I found a notebook I used to write down interesting music circa 1999-2000, mostly things I heard on WUNH. There are a lot of band names that are spelled like 'nameless indie band,' but a few notable influences and foreshadowings: The Eels, Rancid, Bright Eyes, Modest Mouse.
"old time music blog"why is lifehacker the 8th result when I google old time music blog?
Apple keeps moving
WWDC was this week, so I watched the keynote yesterday. notes:
- "we hosted 17 million guests at our retail stores" (wording)
- cheetah (march 2001), puma (september 2001), jaguar (july 2002), panther (october, 2003), tiger (april 2005)
- Bertrand Serlet, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. awesome French accent. one of the cooler non-Steve Jobs presenters (why were there so many this time?)
- next: Leopard, spring 2007
- Leopard will have multiple desktops, more spotlight, stupid mail features, a new Dashboard widget...
It strikes me that if I were to leave the Mac platform, it would be because I hate upgrading just to have access to new applications, because every time I upgrade there's some tacky new feature to deal with (metal finder windows, command-tab switching visualized in a pop up thingy rather than the dock, Spotlight, Dashboard). Never mind that I've incorporated all of those comfortably into my workflow.
yana recommendsgeoducks, pronounced "gooey duck." they are giant clams, usually 1-3 lbs but sometimes up to 15 lbs and 6 ft long. she recomends them as in she thinks they are awesome.
why I am allowed to distance myself from suburbia... and suburban hippies. I guess I think I deserve credit for not being suburban just because I think about not being suburban. or because I don't expect others to be suburban.
morning's discussionliz thinks that the internet is breaking the monopoly of academia on scholarship... is noticing rigorous discussion on wikipedia.
j.f. willumsen quoteI'm looking for a certain quote by artist J.F. Willumsen about how artists are scientists (discovering new ways of expressing themselves, new combinations of form...). it was on the wall of the j.f. willumsen museam in frederikssund, denmark, he said it around 1889 or 1891. wish I had written it down when I stood in front of it.
second law of thermodynamics
Boltzmann worked with it in terms of statistics:
Boltzmann suggested that the entropy was really counting the number of ways we could arrange the components of a system (atoms or whatever) so that it really didn’t matter. That is, the number of different microscopic states that were macroscopically indistinguishable. ... There are far fewer ways for the molecules of air in a box to arrange themselves exclusively on one side than there are for the molecules to spread out throughout the entire volume; the entropy is therefore much higher in the latter case than the former. With this understanding, Boltzmann was able to “derive” the Second Law in a statistical sense — roughly, there are simply far more ways to be high-entropy than to be low-entropy...
from Boltzmann’s Anthropic Brain, at Cosmic Variance. (
"The Second Law of Thermodynamics — the entropy of a closed system will not spontaneously decrease, from the same article)
The fact that entropy increases defines the arrow of time. It is a statistical phenomenon, valid for large systems... quote from a post on the "arrow of time" at Preposterous Universe. interesting to think of time as defined by the changing state of the universe... ie, as a function of events, relating time to events rather than placing events in time. got this sense from the article on boltzmann's stuff, but the arrow of time article had the clearer quote.
finder use note
often I use my desktop as a workspace. it's frustrating how the spacial organization of the items in a directory can have meaning, but is only speciously preserved. select one of the grid arrangements in the inspector and boom, spacial information gone. also frustrating: not being able to arrange lists in any order I want (can sort them, which I love, but in folders of frequently used items, it'd be nice to reorder).
on my desktop, I pile files that are part of the same project together, I put 'permanent' things on the right side, I put receipts of items that should be coming in the mail or documents I need to deal with off on their own so they show up. sometimes I do the same thing in folders; if I have a bunch of short movies from my camera, I clump the bad ones at the bottom and pull the one or two usable ones out separately at the top. but most of the time I work in list view though (instead of icon view), because there are a lot of things in most of my folders.
(mac os x)
presumptuously 'viral' video
Beyond that, the chances of anyone passing this video around are slim indeed. Can we stop referring to anything that’s posted online as “viral”?
joke on the blogosphere: you're all passing it around. (who am I not to include myself?) it wasn't viral when the ad agency posted it, but it's viral now. the video is an ad agency pitching themselves to subway (and is pretty painfully stupid). adfreak: Agency.com posts Subway pitch video online. via waxy.
tea stains to sketchessilly groupies now doing it on purpose. but this one is cute, and this one reminds me of the girl named Clare in Galway.
plot map of Syrianasaw Syriana in Denmark; the subtitles were in Danish, so a bunch of the movie was opaque to me. The Tangled Web of Syriana, via a.wholelottanothing.org.
"medihoney"Honey helps problem wounds. from kb. the 'medihoney' they talk about is a brand, but I bet regular honey would work...
comment at uncertain principles
because every word I write is precious. (actually: if I make and save an idea now, maybe I can find a use for it later)
I commented on this post about most popular college majors. what I was thinking, and trying to say indirectly, is that more people go to public universities/colleges, there is a distinct class differentiation between public and private institutions, and this list reflects that weighting. for many people who go to public unis, secondary education is a way to try and move 'up' in terms of class. the specific majors of business and education point towards careers that are white-collar but within the experience of lower-middle class students. basically I think that c.o.'s suprise (and the commenters' suprise) at the composition of the list is because his (their) experience of higher education is exclusively (IIRC) at private colleges (williams, union, etc).
not that I mean any comment as a criticism of c.o./uncertain principles. I really enjoy that blog. it's a little weird to me thinking that I would be more aware of class bias than someone else, because for most of my life I've lived in a 'classless' bubble. (thinking of: 20 things about class)
indie weathermap of weather stations, personal and public. Personal Weather Stations Google Map : Weather Underground
xhtml slideshowsMark Pilgrim says he uses this instead of PowerPoint or Keynote: S5: A Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System. I've seen it before, but for future reference. xhtml!
sweet reading at daring fireball
John Gruber is my hero... it feels so good to agree so much. regardless of what the article is actually about (I skimmed that part).
I'm referring to section one of his article on Mark Pilgrim's switch away from the Mac, plus this:
It’s often said that you shouldn’t compare apples and oranges — generally used figuratively, but even looking at it literally you can see that it’s not true. You need to compare apples and oranges when you’re deciding what to pack in your lunch. What you can’t do is compare apples and oranges and somehow conclusively prove that one is better than the other.
Also, in the same vein as the first section:
You can explain the reasons why you prefer the Mac, but can you explain why you care about those reasons? You either feel it or you don’t.
dj-ingHEY DJ, FUCK YOU! - Anyone Can Rock the Party. not that I agree, it's just funny. via kottke.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Artvisited this in Denmark. it was great. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
or, rugbrød. I ate at least four slices a day in Denmark. two recipes, one knead and one not, another more simplistic no-knead recipe. I'm going to try the kneaded recipe first, which I've reinterpreted below.
my interpretation of a recipe for Danish rye bread (untested)
- 3/4 c yogurt
- 1/4 c water
- 1/2 c rye flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- mix, leave to stand. stir once a day, cover with paper from the second day.
- should take ~ 5 days, ready when volume increases and there are plenty of bubbles 6 hours after stirring.
- if mold forms, just scrape it off.
- once every week or two, discard some and add a little water and rye flour.
- keep it thick.
- take out of the fridge the night before, add water and let rest covered at room temp
- 1/2 to 1 c sourdough starter
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp salt
- 3 c lukewarm water
- 1 1/2 lbs rye flour (add a little at a time; might not need it all)
- mix first three ingredients together well, then add the rye flour.
- let dough rest for a while (rye absorbs water more slowly than wheat)
- knead for 10 mins. should be a wet clay texture.
- save 3/4 c dough here for next starter. put in a jar, sprinkle with salt, refrigerate.
- put dough in a 2 to 2 1/4 quart loaf tin. wet the top. cover with damp towel, let rise for 4-6 hours (until doubled).
- wet top again. bake for 30 mins at 200 C (~400 F) then 1 hr 30 mins at 175 C (~350 F). a skewer should come out sticky but not with chunks of dough. cool covered, don't cut for 10 hours or 1 day. slice to 1/2 inch or less.