Saturday, July 20, 2002

I said ooh, ah fhqwhgads.

Friday, July 05, 2002

It's, but I can't hotwire it.
note from Tracy: I did for you. I'll show you how next time you visit.
Well, now that I've gotten this far, I can't remember any of the cool stuff that I have sniffed out on the Web. When in doubt, think about Isaac Stern:

House rabbits are a more esoteric interest, and they don't smell as good.
I will be back when I have an original thought.
*This is a test of the utterly sputter posting system.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Wondering which flag to fly?

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Hypochondria is a real disease, and not a mental one. My guess is that somebody oft accused of being a hypochondriac got so mad about it that he decided to set us all straight on the subject, using every color possible in html.
The dingo, "the mother of all dogs--God's dog," is going extinct through cross-breeding with domestic canines. Who cares?
What should we do with all of these hot peppers going bad in the fridge?

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

A good first step in recording your family's personal lore.
And a list of links about every aspect of the subject.
Kai pointed out to me that "blekksprut" is spelled without a dash and brought to my attention several fine internet images which he found via a google image search.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Now that our computer is working again, I should start posting once in a while. All I have so far is that the animal known in English as "squid" also has a neat-sounding name in Norwegan: "Blekk-sprut."

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

From an article about Monaco's, San Marino's, and Vatican's euro minting: "None of the three countries is even in the EU, but all are so integrated into the Union's business that adopting the euro was only practical. Andorra, Montenegro and Kosovo have also taken up the new currency, but without minting their own coins." The Economist. I'll be damned.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Men, make sure you've packed everything.
For French readers, here's a pleasantly laid out layperson's physics resource. It came to my attention via a colleague who recommended the black list of dubious science sites.
Email I received from our friend Martin:

Subject: The design of the (dead) Alpha EV8

crying shame.


A detailed look at an awesome microprocessor architecture that Compaq killed last summer. Ok, they didn't really kill it, since parts will resurface in Intel's post-McKinley IA64 implementations, but probably at nowhere near the same level of boldness, and a year behind schedule—at least.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

A few years ago, I got quickly bored by the (apparently defunct) Invisible Hand, a predictions market that seemed overrun by sports fans and Hollywood gossip mongers. A much more interesting embodiment of the same idea caught my attention today: the Foresight Exchange. I had never heard of Catalan's conjecture before.

Monday, February 25, 2002

Can the creation of wealth in online worlds such as Everquest have a profound impact on the global monetary system? This entry goes out to Tracy, who thinks this is a ludicrous idea.
So, which is the more nutritious, desi ghee or vasapathi?
"Milk leaps towards immortality."

Thursday, February 21, 2002

Quality turntablism streams do not abound. The sites of the Technics-sponsored DMC and the ITF (if their site is down again, hit the Google cache) clamor for recognition as the official representatives of this renegade culture, but they are about as useless as they are ugly.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

Material for Tracy's explorations in origami: a brief report from an AAAS conference on origami and science held in Boston.
Samuel R. Delany has written award-winning works of science fiction and what the French would call anticipation — novels set in the future but not primarily informed by technological or scientific advances. Of all the sci-fi writers I've read, he has the most interesting ideas about sex and socio-cultural organization. As an African-American writer, he also has interesting things to say about ethnic identity and diversity on his home planet.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

In Spain, this division of the judicial branch is called Direccion general de penados y rebeldes. I asked a couple of Spanish and Spanish-speaking office mates, and the denomination is indeed quaintly redolent of the Franco years. Jose (whose last name is Franco) told me about the franquist law on vagos y maleantes, which was used to clean up the streets when the Generalisimo came to town. Apparently, we don't think that heritage was all bad.
Our computer is still down. I tried to alert our readers to this fact a few days ago, but my post was rejected. "Not enough hyperlinks." Jesus.

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

I recently saw a variation on the grey Haussmanian edifice that made me say, "What the heck!?" The police station at 78 rue Daumesnil is crowned with 14 replicas of Michelangelo's dying slave, each one pierced by a pyramidal hole.

Sunday, February 10, 2002

Last year we were briefly addicted to mobiles disco. One person got so friendly with a fellow mobile that the two of them had to check into Hotel Kulta Kala. Kulta Kala is impressive, but hard to get into if you don't know any Finnish. And not very un-Finn friendly if you do manage to get in. Perhaps to get rid of all the pesky foreigners polluting the lobbies of Kulta Kala, there now exists Habbo Hotel, in English, German, Italian, and French.

If you feel ill-at-ease in the luxurious 5-star setting, take your white trash self to the Crossroads Motel instead.

And if hotel life is not your thing, go buy yourself a house in Fake Town. The hotel and motel sell you perks for phone credits, so you can't, for example, rent a private room or get a TV set without paying via cell phone. Everything in Fake Town is bought and sold with real virtual money.

The creators of Mobiles-Kulta Kala-Habbo-Crossroads are from a company called Saluke Labs (Finnish).

If you're a pixel art fan, burned fx has a whole site dedicated to the subject, including polaroids from his date at Habbo. If you want to become a pixel artists, check these out.

Saturday, February 09, 2002

How the mafia helped win WWII:
After the Normandie burned and sank in New York Harbor, the US military went to see Charles "Lucky" Luciano, who was running his finely-tuned NY organized-crime operation from prison. The mob prevented sabotage on the waterfront and was key in helping US troops land in Sicily. After the war, "Lucky" was supposed to get a deal, but Mayor Thomas E. Dewey (who had put him in jail in the first place) was thinking about running for president, so Luciano was released only on condition that he return to Italy. The rest is a long story. He may have been killed by the mob because he had cut a movie deal to tell his life story, but officially he died of a heart-attack in 1962.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

The British (and, for once, logical) way of dealing with periods and commas in the vicinity of quotes single or double still does not satisfy me. It would forbid
Did she ask you, "What the hell kind of punctuation is that?"?
Listening to the radio show Continent Sciences on France Culture this morning, I learned that there is a rivalry in the world of biology for the title of "smallest mammal." The contenders are Suncus etruscus and Craseonycteris thonglongyai aka Savi's pygmy (white-toothed) shrew and Kitti's pig-nosed (or bumblebee) bat. Interestingly, both animals are blind and use sonar to get around.

Wednesday, February 06, 2002

Someone who spends a lot more time on the internet than I do (Kai) posted this early this morning: "Filling in on Tracy's TV-addled banana post, the United Fruit Historical Society has a 100-year chronology of United Fruit which lists in passing over 20 cases of US invasions in Central America (more commie propaganda here).

The company is now called Chiquita Brands International and though the history page on its Disney-like ('Hello amigo!') web site doesn't mention anything nasty, its annual report acknowledges its 'complex history' in some detail and says 'Today, we are a different Company'. So go ahead and eat a banana every day ."

Whew. Thank you Kai, despite the "addled" remark.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Mark Rosenfelder's Metaverse has some of those hilarious (or disturbing) phrases from real phrasebooks, three million excuses, a jibe at Baudrillard, interesting sci-fi essays, a Syldavian grammar, and the Language Construction Kit.
Yesterday I watched a documentary on TV on TV. I learned that ovens and washing machines have windows in their doors to be more like TV.

I also learned about the evil United Fruit Corporation, which got President Eisenhower to overthrow the government in Guatemala .

Monday, February 04, 2002

A departing colleague thanked me for my competence and availability in his farewell email to the company. That made me feel kinda good.

I picked up the new Visa card I hadn't asked for after forgetting my old one in an ATM a few weeks ago. I have a new PIN for the first time in 11 years. I already remember it. Give me four digits, man, any four digits.

I left the bank, got to the subway and looked for the new card in my wallet, in my bag, in all my pockets. It was gone. I marched back to the bank. The teller swore she didn't steal it. It was in my bag after all.

Friday, February 01, 2002

Thanks to Dave Suisman for passing this link on to me.

If you live in or are visiting New York, The Institute for Applied Autonomy has come up with this useful site for getting around town without being filmed by surveillance cameras. The map is not that easy to use, but the idea is very good.

Check out the "associates" links on the IAA page. One of my favorites is the Redundant Technology Initiative. These links cover everything from how to make and put up your own posters and billboards to how to develop new technologies for the Defense Department. Why do the DARPA and the IAA have such eerily identical templates? I think this may have been the first time I visited a dot mil.

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Now, thanks to the internet and Anita Conrade, anglophones the world over can discover Gérard Dôle's Chevalier Dupin stories. So far there are two in English: The Ungodly Mirror and Robertson's Shadows. Anita is currently working on the third translation. Dôle was not only an author, but also a musician. Robert Crumb made a drawing of him.
Grr. Lost my first post because my session had timed out. Maybe asking it to "remember me" will prevent that from happening again.

I wrote:

Pending or Appending, c'est selon... I just found out about the horror of PhoenixNet, a little documented feature in Phoenix BIOS. Just what I always wanted: a direct backdoor to my BIOS!

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

My little sister Angela wrote me today to tell me she had put her paintings on her website. She's a mystical fanasy-loving type, so many of the paintings have a nature theme, but there's one of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon burning. And one done in collaboration with her toddler. Some are too small to see at all, really.

You can also try to visit her homepage, but somehow when I tried to go directly there I got rerouted to catalog city!

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

I haven't been on the internet all day because Kees has been here using the scanner. To see what he accomplished this afternoon, visit his website.

Monday, January 28, 2002

Thank you for visiting the utterly sputter. I know it's empty now, but it won't be for long. Please come and have a gander again soon.