Tuesday, September 7, 2010

They Might Be Giants: Damn Good Times

They Might Be Giants: Damn Good Times

This is my favorite song on The Spine after Experimental Film.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Apple TV iOS portable remote

The rumors and speculations regarding the Apple TV before it was announced on Wednesday, these I found to be wild guesses. People were talking about it being renamed the iTV as if this were "exciting". It was pretty certain, and confirmed, that the Apple TV runs iOS. I expected this to just be handy on the back-end, so Apple programmers could use one programming architecture for all of their non-computer devices. Others guessed, hoped, dreamed, that apps would be available for Apple TV, which I found bizarre. I can't think of many apps that I would want to use with a five button remote, looking at a screen across the room. One suggestion was that portable iOS devices could work as screens for individual users for games, like tile racks for Scrabble; the iPad Scrabble app supports using an iPhone/iPod touch as a tile rack. I think this is possible, but only really useful for board games. Some people imagined that the Apple TV could act as a game console rivaling the Wii; I don't expect the latency between an iOS controller and Apple TV to be fast enough to use as a game controller, nor do I think that a $99 set-top box could be powerful enough to play modern games.

I also noticed that Apple is offering an app to use iOS portables as a remote for the Apple TV, and this is probably the best use for Apple TV/iOS portable integration. I'm surprised that this has earned minimal press coverage, except for at iThinkDiff and Wireless and Mobile News, and their treatment of this feature is about one or two sentences long. There was wild speculation about iOS portable integration with Apple TV before the Apple TV was announced, but little coverage, now, of what this integration can actually do. The remote app hasn't been released yet, so reviews of it can't be written; even so, the noise leading up to the Apple TV has dwarfed the actual coverage of facts regarding what the Apple TV can do with iOS portables. I have a pet peeve about Apple tech news coverage mostly being wild guessing and punditry, with much heat and little light; Daring Fireball is the main exception.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Joking Computer

The Joking Computer:
Computer generated jokes than your third-grade brother would tell. For example:

Q. how is a nude stream different from a reserve legal document?
A. one is a bare spill, the other is a spare bill.

One that made no sense to me until the computer explained the joke:
Q. what do you get when you cross a banquet with a geographical area?
A. a feast africa.
Its reasoning: "east africa is a kind of geographical area". This site lives in the uncanny valley of puns.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three times a day

Three times a day, on average, I remember that I have bipolar disorder and that I'm getting treatment and that my life is so much better, happier, more pleasant, than it was before I got treatment.

Just now, I was going through some files on my computer, and found "Tea Optimization.numbers", a spreadsheet I used to track how long and at what temperature tea ought to be brewed at. I'm a fastidious person, and always have been, and I do think it's important to brew good tea. I brew loose tea, and I use a timer to make sure I don't stew it. When I saw the spreadsheet file, though, I felt a little silly.

I had distrust in the idea that boiling water should be used to brew tea. This was something that I liked to talk about at parties, I would talk about how the tannins were released if you brewed the tea at above 180 Fahrenheit. (I don't actually know what tannins are.) So, I was brewing my tea very meticulously, measuring time and temperature, trying to get it perfect. I made a spreadsheet to record how I brewed tea because I didn't trust anyone else to have properly experimented with brewing tea.

Before I started treatment, I felt guilty and anxious a lot of the time, even if nothing was wrong. I feel at ease now, not all the time, but most of the time, enough that normal feels normal. I'm not filled with distrust anymore about ultimate truth or tea.

So, that was one of my three or so things for today that remind me that life is better now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Triceratops and Torosaurus become a thorny issue

I was nervous when I saw the title, Triceratops and Torosaurus become a thorny issue - chicagotribune.com: "Triceratops: Beyond extinct". Triceratops has always been my favorite dinosaur. Triceratops and Torosaurus are likely the same species, at different maturity levels. This quote made me less nervous:

"Triceratops: Beyond extinct"; "You'll get a lot more hits on Google if you type in Triceratops instead of Torosaurus, and if you don't understand why that matters, you're, well, a dinosaur. So let's agree: A Triceratops isn't a baby Torosaurus — a Torosaurus is a grown-up Triceratops."

Friday, August 6, 2010

I got an email thanking me for signing a petition that I didn't sign, regarding bear farming.

I just got the below email in my inbox from the World Society for the Protection of Animals. (Ricky Gervais is on the front page of their webpage. Also, they stopped bullfighting in Catalonia, so I guess that's good. I've never heard of the WSPA before today, and I certainly didn't sign the petition mentioned below.

Thank you for signing the petition against bear farming in South Korea. Your signature will help us show the government that people around the world are calling for an end to this brutal cruelty.

Right now, thousands of bears are suffering in desperately cruel conditions bear farms across Asia. Most are held in cages the size of a telephone booth, in which they are unable to stand and can hardly turn around.

These bears are confined so bile can be extracted from their gall bladders and sold for use in some Traditional Asian Medicines, even though research has proven that herbal and synthetic alternatives are just as effective for treating ailments.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) believes that bear farming is cruel, unnecessary and must come to an end. Increasing numbers of Traditional Asian Medicine practitioners agree and are turning to herbal and synthetic alternatives to bear bile.

If you agree that no animal deserves this horrible treatment, support WSPA with a donation today. WSPA is working to end bear farming by: working in partnership with Asian governments — using research, education and diplomacy to work for an end to bear farming; calling for an end to the illegal trade in bear products; and, working with practitioners and consumers of Traditional Asian Medicine to promote alternatives to bear bile.

You can make an online donation, securely through this website: [redacted]

Thank you,
Silia Smith, Regional Director
WSPA Canada

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wild variety of things hit by car en route to pool

A teenager fell asleep, and drove through:

  • all terrain vehicles
  • go-carts
  • garage
  • grape arbor
  • swing set
  • dog run
  • deck

before landing in a:

  • swimming pool (above-ground).

It's like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but with a car instead of a caterpillar, and a swimming pool instead of a beautiful butterfly.

I have catalogued other car in pool things.